‘Grey’s Anatomy’: The Japril Dilemma

Natasha Sondakh

The Grey’s Anatomy episode ‘Unbreak My Heart’ left our jaws on the floor and eyes deliberately gouged out, and as usual, we have our favorite hero Shonda Rhimes to blame. When all was going smoothly, April filed a restraining order on Jackson upon overhearing a conversation that Catherine had with Richard but ended up coming home to a cot that Jackson bought as a sign that he wanted to make peace. To typical viewers, this is merely a shock. But to the dedicated Grey’s Anatomy fandom, this is a fire for a war that is about to be reignited.

Indeed, viewers are completely oblivious to what is to come of Jackson and April’s fates, however, all that anybody can do is simply sit still in mere hopes that Shonda will do these characters justice. The fond memories of the happy Japril in Season 10 — when Jackson held April’s hand and ran away from her supposed wedding to paramedic Matthew Taylor — has literally vanished into thin air.

Nevertheless, here are some reasons why Jackson should probably sue April:

  • If we put ourselves in Jackson’s shoes, possessing the right to see your child will definitely be something that anybody will fight for. Imagine being a father stripped away from the right to see your child grow up. Unless you are a rock devoid of emotions, being torn away from a part of both yourself and a former loved one will hurt and leave a prominent scar.
  • Jackson already lost a child before this. Jackson and April’s baby, Samuel Norbert Avery, passed away due to a terminal condition known as Type II Osteogenesis Imperfecta, where even as a fetus, his bones were constantly being broken and he was in a lot of pain. Both parents were devastated upon acquiring this knowledge and made a decision for Dr. Nicole Herman to deliver the fetus at 24 weeks. Samuel took a few breaths, got baptized, and passed away shortly after. Although Jackson was also grieving, April decided to treat Jackson very poorly after she lost Samuel. She was selfish, wanting Jackson to be there for her when she was never there for him. This put Jackson under a lot of stress, but he continued fighting for her and their marriage.
  • April also has a different set of values than Jackson. They often bickered about whose values Samuel would follow, and Jackson ended up succumbing to April’s needs because he loved her. Throughout their relationship, Jackson constantly gave in to April’s requests. Suing her would mean that he would regain custody of his child and be selfish for once since he spent most of his marriage giving in to April’s demands which he deemed ridiculous.
  • April put Jackson through a lot of emotional stress even after Samuel’s loss. She packed up and left Jackson to go to Jordan to help her grieve over her baby’s death. Escaping to a foreign country to heal traumatic soldiers in the middle of a war zone is an opportunity that should not be taken for granted. However, April overstayed her welcome — she was only supposed to stay in Jordan for three months but ended up staying for a year — leaving Jackson alone in Seattle without a sense of security about their marriage. Jackson thus had every right to worry about his wife’s wellbeing. In addition:
    • There is no cellular service on the battlefield. Moreover, April barely has time to call home.
    • Being in a war zone is undoubtedly dangerous. Various bombs go off every few hours and this puts Jackson on alert, constantly in fear for April’s life.
    • It was generally a traumatic experience. April could have come back as a different person like Owen warned Jackson.

However, April is not entirely at fault in this situation, and she should also deserve a voice in this lawsuit. The following support the more popular stance of why April should retain custody of her unborn child:

  • April’s child is all she has left. April did not want to bring up the pregnancy in the first place because she was fearful of the consequences since Jackson was so determined to divorce her, leaving no space for April to try and fix what she had broken. 
  • Likewise, Jackson put April through a lot after she returned from Jordan. Despite April’s concerted efforts to save the marriage, Jackson felt strongly that he did not belong with April. He completely ignored her and shoved her out of the way when she wanted to try and reconcile with him, in the end only moving out to Bailey’s to try and avoid any contact with her. April escaped to Jordan to get away from the hospital to recover from Samuel’s death. To her, losing Samuel was a traumatic experience since (as of now) she had never experienced major losses within her family. Moreover, as a part of her personality, April generally has a tendency to push people away and shut them out while she is hurting and takes a long time to overcome emotional trauma.
  • April was not at fault when Samuel contracted Type II Osteogenesis Imperfecta. She was angry and upset, blaming God for her loss and took a long leave from work. Although she did lash out at Jackson several times, April was still faithful to him and she grieved in a unique way. Her grief sent her to Jordan with Owen. If Jackson had been supportive enough, he would have allowed her the time to grieve over the loss of their son.

Whatever Shonda decides to do with these characters will be up to her but speculating about a cliffhanger means viewers will just have to keep pondering and dying a little every day. For now, I’ll just stick to eating popcorn with my eyes glued to my computer screen, anxiously biting my fingernails while waiting for what’s next.

Natasha Sondakh
Living in Jakarta, Natasha Sondakh enjoys writing – she writes editorials, creative essays, poems and prose. An aspiring literary translator, Natasha is also currently translating some merited Indonesian short stories. You can find her at www.tashasondakh.com.
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