Your enjoyment of this episode relies solely on what you think of Jackson and April (this was called #JaprilTheMovie after all, to my dismay), and sadly I personally think of them as the show’s weakest characters.
I just never felt an emotional attachment to this relationship or to either party (the only time I liked Jackson is when he and Meredith connected over their famous family names and I never got over April’s high-pitched voice), so it was difficult for me to enjoy this couple-centric hour simply because I couldn’t care any less if their marriage went crumbling down (and it certainly should).
So naturally, I really hated this episode. It was 40 minutes of two people I really hate fighting and screaming at each other. Perhaps I would have liked it slightly more if April was actually reasonable, but ever since their sudden and odd breakup last season she’s become increasingly hard to root for in this relationship. The fact is, they both went through a tragic and traumatic experience last year (two years ago, according to the show’s timeline) and instead of sticking together and figuring out how to move on, April simply packed her stuff and left. To Jordan. For an entire year. Anything she said this week cannot possibly explain her actions, and the show’s use of backwards flashbacks really felt like it was used to condone what she’s done.
Structurally, it was indeed interesting and quite entertaining to watch this relationship unfold in the opposite direction (starting with the divorce and ending at the first time they met), but this creative decision ended up backfiring story-wise. While it was definitely the show’s intent on showing both sides of this failing marriage (April’s flashback in Jordan conveniently revealing how she can’t get a signal to contact Jackson is just lazy writing), I came out of this episode feeling exactly the way I felt all along about this couple: it needs to fall apart. Everything from their stupid little fights to their wildly opposing views on family and religion, down to their first meeting at Mercy West which clearly reveals how irritated they both are in one another, proves that this relationship does not and will not ever work.
Which made the cliffhanger all the more frustrating and puzzling. I was overjoyed with how the episode was structurally moving back to the couple signing their divorce papers—perhaps the hour’s undoubtedly most heartbreaking scene—because it meant that the writers had given Jackson and April a real, tear-jerking closure that’s true to both characters before it snatched it all away with the reveal that April is pregnant. I can’t stress enough how much I HATED that cliffhanger; the idea that the only way to fix a broken marriage is by having a baby is clichéd and awful, and there’s no way they can top the way Cristina and Owen handled that issue.
Then again, like I said, this depends entirely on how much you can handle Jackson and April.
Bits and Scalpels
– The fake-out concerning Jackson and Tatiana on her wedding day was such a cheap move on the writers’ part. What was the point of misleading us on that, exactly, other than to mess with Japril fans’ feelings (all two of them, I hope)?
– I heard a lot of people enjoyed the dancing scene where every other doctor joined in randomly, but I found it absolutely weird and ridiculous. The only salvaging moment was Meredith’s “who died” comment. Hilarious.
– So many touching callbacks: Mark Sloan, Cristina, and the shooting mentions all made my heart skip a beat.
– The “Sloan is on a plane to Idaho” comment: heartbreaking!
– Loved seeing Reed and Charles again! The latter, in particular, as he had new footage. But did Robert Baker (who plays Charles) seriously not grow up at all in the past 6 years?! Amazing.
– For what it’s worth, I do appreciate this show’s lovely attention to detail in the flashbacks. I can’t believe April’s notebook made an appearance!
– So how long will April keep her pregnancy a secret from Jackson now? I can totally see this storyline lasting several episodes. Sigh.
– Why were both the opening and closing voiceovers given to April? Just curious, that’s all.
Meredith: I only dance it out when something bad has happened.
April: Want to know what I was praying for?
Jackson: No, that’s alright.
April (voice-over): We talk about the mechanism of injury, about where it all started. But the truth is, it’s sort of a myth. We can’t boil every injury down to one single blow. What hurts us is cumulative. It happens over time. We absorb blow after blow, shock after shock, painful hit after hit.
Must Download Tunes
Atlas: Touch by Sleeping at Last
Even the reverse-storytelling twist can’t help this Jackson and April centric episode from feeling like a complete waste of time. Let’s forget this ever happened.