Grey's Anatomy Round Table: Will What Happened In Montana, Stay in Montana?

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On Grey's Anatomy Season 13 Episode 16, we were taken away from the hospital politics in Seattle and given a Jackson centric standalone installment in Montana.

Jackson confronted the father who abandoned him when he was a child and finally made peace with his past. April supported him through it, and the two reconnected.

Jackson and April also pulled off a daring surgery to save their patient's vocal chord. 

Below, TV Fanatics Tiffany Staton, Stacy Glanzman, and Amanda Steinmetz  discuss "Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?" 

Grey's Anatomy Round Table 660px

We finally met Jackson's father (played by Eric Roberts). React.

Tiffany: I was happy we finally met him and I surprisingly really liked him. The way he reacted to Jackson's arrival was so different than what I was expecting. He was sincerely happy to see him and didn't seem to have any regrets or guilt about not being in Jackson's life growing up.

This makes me think he's either a horribly selfish person with no conscience whatsoever, or it wasn't his decision to not be in Jackson's life, which wouldn't surprise me knowing how controlling Catherine is.

Stacy: It was really interesting to finally meet Jackson's father. I was not expecting him to not even recognize his own son. He was never curious about him? Never did a Google search to read up about him or at least see a picture of the man he became? I'm glad Jackson shut the door on him. He got his closure and he definitely does not owe that man anything. Eric Roberts is a great actor, but I hope we never see him again.

I'm glad Jackson shut the door on him. He got his closure and he definitely does not owe that man anything. Eric Roberts is a great actor, but I hope we never see him again.

Amanda: To be honest, I kind of forgot he was even alive. I never could remember if he walked out on his family or if he died. Anyway, I thought Eric Roberts was a really interesting casting choice. I think Jackson meeting his father was long overdue.

I agree with Stacy, that it's crazy he wouldn't ever look up his son on the internet or anything. But that clearly shows why he was never going to be a good father.

Do you like these episodes where they focus on a couple of characters, or do you prefer the standard ensemble approach?

Tiffany: I actually do (so long as they only happen every now & then), but I was prepared to hate this one because I'm not team Japril. Still, the episode wasn't too bad. I liked the Montana setting and meeting Robert Avery.

Stacy: I definitely prefer the standard ensemble episodes, but these occasional character focused ones are a nice change of pace. I wouldn't want too many of them, but once in awhile, they can help shake things up. I thought this was one of the better ones.

Amanda: I love these character focused episodes, but they shouldn't be used all the time. The ensemble is what drives the show, but with a lot of lackluster and frustrating plots this season, I was glad to get a break with this episode.

Also, it depends on which characters are the focus. With so much tension between Jackson and April this season, I am glad we got Japril the Sequel.

What are your thoughts on Jackson's backstory, particularly with his absentee father, and the effects it had on him during the episode?

Tiffany: I loved it all. We rarely get any backstory regarding Jackson that doesn't come directly from his mother. We know he doesn't love the pressure and expectations that come with being an Avery.

He's not like Catherine who sought it out and thrives under it. It makes sense that he would wonder about his father, especially after he just became a father himself.

Stacy: While Robert apparently was never curious about Jackson, Jackson obviously was about him. He's spent a lot of time thinking about the type of father he is and wants to be, and I think he needed to face his own father to really see that he's not him.

April obviously helped to reiterate that. He got that out of his system and he can move on with his life now and never look back.

Amanda: Jackson obviously wanted to meet his father for a long time. How could he not be curious about the man who abandoned his family and his family's legacy? I think Jackson needed to see how much his father wasn't actually a father to appreciate how hard his mother raised him to be a good man.

How do you feel about the Japril reunion? Do you think it's permanent, or was it just a "What happens in Montana stays in Montana" sort of thing?

Tiffany: As I said before, I'm not team Japril. This relationship came out of nowhere and I never bought that these two characters (who have such different personalities, faiths, upbringings, etc.) would end up together. Opposites may attract but they rarely lead to long-term, stable relationships, in my opinion.

That being said, I didn't hate the reunion but I felt like it, too, came out of nowhere. I'm sure this was Shonda's way of creating a path of reconciliation, though, so, if it's not permanent, I think that's the direction the couple is heading.

Stacy: I have a feeling it's going to be slow burn. I don't think they're going to immediately jump back into a full-on relationship, but I do think that's where it's heading.

If neither of them is ready for that or wants that right now, then lets hope it was a one time thing. Sex was never their problem, so the last thing they should do is fall back into a physical relationship without working out their other issues.

Amanda: I don't think they are immediately going to get back together. I think their reunion in Montana was something they both wanted and needed in that moment. I have always been a fan of this relationship, so I would eventually like to see a reconciliation. But if they do get back together, it will take a while.

Would the episode have had the same impact if Meredith went along as originally planned?

Tiffany: Probably not, because Jackson may have been less inclined to speak so openly with Meredith and she, historically guarded, wouldn't have forced the issue like April did.

Stacy: No, obviously not. Meredith and Jackson don't have the same history or the close relationship that April and Jackson have. She would have tried to be there for him as a friend, but she wouldn't have had the same emotional impact.

Amanda: Not at all. Meredith can relate to the famous family name and the pressures that go along with it, but they aren't particularly close. It would have been weird for Jackson to share this important moment in his life with anyone other than April.

Do you think Robert Avery will appear again? Would you like him to?

Tiffany: I actually do. Not only do I think Catherine had something to do with him not being around during Jackson's childhood, but he also said he had something for Jackson.

My guess is, he'll show up in Seattle to give him whatever that may be (a picture of them when Jackson was a baby or something) and more backstory will come out about why he wasn't around. Plus, why cast a known actor like Eric Roberts if you're only going to use him once?

Stacy: No, like I said before, I think the door is shut on him and I don't want to see him again. I think we learned all we needed to from him.

Amanda: There's always the possibility he could appear again, but I don't think it's necessary.

What was your favorite quote and/or scene from Grey's Anatomy Season 13 Episode 16?

Tiffany: I don't have one scene/quote that comes to mind. I just liked that the whole episode focused on Jackson. He's a great character and we don't know enough about him considering how long he's been on the show.

Stacy: There were a lot of great scenes, but I think I have to go with Jackson thanking his mom at the end. The whole experience made him appreciate that she's always been there for him, even if their relationship is often strained.

Amanda: I agree with Stacy. Watching Jackson thank his mom was a great moment. Their relationship has been tense for a while with everything going down at the hospital. It was a nice reminder that no matter what, they love each other.

Do you agree with our Round Table?  Hit the comments below and let us know. Don't forget you can watch Grey's Anatomy online right here via TV Fanatic.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Grey's Anatomy Season 13 Episode 16 Quotes

Freezing, choking, getting tongue-tied--there's a reason it happens. We lose our words because the stakes are so high and we have so much to lose. We're petrified of saying too much, or saying it wrong. When the truth is,the only wrong thing you can say is nothing at all.


Freezing, choking, getting tongue-tied--it's what we call it when your mind goes from brilliant to blank. you can prepare all you want, but the feeling can still hit you. So when it hits you, when your mind...your mind shuts down, when you open your mouth, and no words come out, the good news is, it happens to all of us.