Grey’s Anatomy revisiting the standalone ‘Japril’ episode a second time around is long way away from the bittersweet tribute fans were treated to in Season 12. Unlike the first Japril-centric episode, the two have never been further apart emotionally. I would even include their barely seen year apart following their son’s death apart of that, because at least then they yearned to talk to each other. Now they barely speak except when it relates to their daughter. Something’s gotta give, and the catalyst to a raw, honest understanding between Jackson and April comes in the form of his long-lost father. This is the long time coming confrontation which viewers didn’t even know was needed to push Jackson Avery forward.
Like I said, Jackson and April are on terrible terms at the moment. He is definitely not happy to have her along on his trip to see a patient in Montana. Jackson has no intention of telling April his real reason for this trip. Yes, it’s exciting to invent a new procedure to save a young girl’s ability to speak. That part of this trip April loves. What she doesn’t love is all of the false hope Jackson gives the girl’s parents before they even figure out a plan. You can tell Jackson has daddy issues on the brain because he brings up Baby Samuel and Harriet several times to convince the parents he can pull off their daughter’s surgery. In between uncertainty and victory is a very angry Jackson who needs to confront his deadbeat dad.
Robert Avery (guest star Eric Roberts; nice job on the casting there) is really something. Upon learning who Jackson is, he yaps away like he and Jackson are old friends who simply haven’t seen each other in a long time. It’s not as if he’s unaware of what he did. On the contrary, Robert has an excellent grasp of his past and present. He just doesn’t think he did anything wrong by walking away. Walking away from medicine and the Avery legacy is one thing. Walking away from your child is a whole other matter. Robert is perfectly happy working at a diner in Montana without a care in the world. He doesn’t need closure with Jackson because he was never a father to him, which Jackson flat out says. So why did Jackson want to see his father now?
Jackson hasn’t been happy for a long time, and there was a part of him which wanted his father to be miserable. Because Jackson was feeling unhappy and suffocated under the Avery name, there’s a part of him which wondered if he could become his father. Robert still speaks fondly of Catherine’s rightful place in the Avery family even though he never wanted it. After “celebrating” a successful and groundbreaking medical procedure, it’s as if April can read Jackson’s mind. She tells him he’s a good father, and it’s enough motivation for Jackson to tell Robert he is not his father period. Catherine has been everything to Jackson. For better or worse, whether she was supportive or a shameless meddler, she stayed. Catherine kept her commitment to her career and to her son and has never wavered on either decision. Even when Jackson’s trip to see Robert could have opened a can of worms, she had enough faith and intelligence to know this was a journey her son needed to take. Which is why she orchestrated April going on the trip in the first place to keep an eye on him. Seriously, the woman’s meddling knows no bounds.
Though it wasn’t the lovely trip down memory lane the first Japril-centric episode was, did this story make sense to tell? Will it push Jackson and Avery together, or further apart?
Grey's Anatomy Season 13 Episode 16 Review: "Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?"
Grey’s Anatomy‘s second ‘Japril’-centric episode brings Jackson out of his anger after a difficult confrontation with his father.