If you had told me that an hour that featured April so prominently would be one of the best episodes, I would have been skeptical.
Yet, Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 10 was one of the most devastating hours of the show in quite some time, and April was incredible.
Everyone was incredible throughout this hour that was heartbreaking, relevant, emotional, and beautifully done across the board. It was such a sad but effective way to explore unconscious bias.
In 14 years, on a show that has always broken barriers and stayed fresh, relevant, cutting-edge, and controversial, it's hard to believe that they never once addressed "the talk."
Now that it's something that has come to the forefront and more people are increasingly aware of the experience, it was impactful here, especially after that case.
Anyone who has ever had "the talk" can remember exactly when it happened, the serious tone of the conversation when it was given to you, and what may have brought it about at the time it took place. While, yes, it's a conversation in some ways unique to black or POC families, many people have some rendition of it.
If you're a woman, you probably remember when an adult drilled into you about being cautious or alert while walking alone or reprimands for the type of clothes you wore and where it could lead. It wasn't because you were a horrible person for wearing a short skirt, but because some bastard may take advantage of it.
Bailey: 12-years-old. In his own house. It's time to give Tuck the talk.
Ben: I know.
Maybe some LGBT kids remember when someone told them to dial it back or tone it down as a precaution. There are so many different variations of talks that some people have to go through to prepare them for a world that will not treat them kindly.
But "the talk" is mostly in reference to the conversation nearly every black boy or girl across America had with an adult about how best to interact with the police when, not if, but when they inevitably encounter them. It also spins out into many other subcategories, sadly, too many to mention.
After such a tragic case, Miranda and Ben knew they had to give Tuck the talk, and it was emotional. It's like watching a kid lose their innocence as they're forced to become aware of the world they live in and how those in it will view them. It was a sentiment echoed by Jackson a few times while working on the case, as well.
Let's talk about their patient. His name was Eric, and he didn't deserve to die. All Eric wanted to do was enter his home, but instead, he was shot in the neck by a cop who assumed he was breaking into a house in a fancy neighborhood.
Worse yet, a kid who didn't pose a threat when he was shot, and certainly didn't pose a threat at the hospital while suffering from a gunshot wound, was handcuffed and chaperoned by cops like he was a criminal. It was disgusting.
If you're still trying to give the cops the benefit of the doubt in this situation, just think about the fact that after Eric's family came in and confirmed who he was and that he was, in fact, trying to get into his own home, the cops were still guarding him and treating him like a common criminal.
It was maddening and exasperating all at the same time. It did lead to some very powerful scenes, particularly from Jackson.
Shoutout to Jesse Williams for bringing so much of himself to this hour because, in those moments where he was confronting the officers and eloquently and passionately speaking his mind on the issue, I couldn't tell where Jesse ended and Jackson began.
OFFICER: It was a high-pressure situation. The officer made a judgment call.
JACKSON: No. There was no judgment in that call, it was just a reaction. You see skin color, we all do, but the reaction that you give to a white kid versus a brown kid in a split second...that's a measurable, fixable difference. Bias is human. You have guns. You're using guns. So yours is lethal.
OFFICER 2: We aren't racists. We just never know who has a gun.
JACKSON. I didn't say anything about racist. I said bias, and lucky for us, bias is fixable. You have protocols in place, those can be adjusted. You can fix it, or you can keep pretending that it doesn't exist at all. Kids are dying. This kid is dead. For what? So many people who look just like him are dying. For what?
I also loved the scene where he and Bailey bonded over something they understood all too well, and April didn't quite get it.
April was shocked to hear about Jackson's experience as a young black/biracial kid in an upper-class neighborhood. The nonchalant way he described being held at gunpoint and slammed into a police car for a case of mistaken identity was perfectly executed.
April was horrified at the ordeal. Bailey was disgusted, and Jackson was as unfazed as if he were speaking of what he had for lunch. But that's the most realistic portrayal of someone speaking of their day-to-day experiences with racism, even the big, traumatic incidents like that.
JACKSON: Look at him protecting us from a 12-year-old strapped into a CT. That is our tax dollars at work.
APRIL: He's just doing his job.
JACKSON: That's what they always say. What about the cop who shot him? Was he just doing his job?
APRIL: I've seen soldiers get so wound up with stress they shoot first before they even know what they're shooting at.
BAILEY: You think that's OK?
APRIL: No, of course not. Those are war zones. This was an upper-class neighborhood.
JACKSON: Yeah, those can be the worst ones for us. I grew up in those neighborhoods. Just being there is suspicious. Constantly stopped for fitting the description. I remember I was walking, carrying these speakers for my friend, and these cops pull up on me, tires screeching, yelling at me, guns drawn, slammed me into the car, handcuffed me. I was one block from my front door.
APRIL: You never told me that.
JACKSON: It doesn't really come up until it does.
April had a few relapses during Grey's Anatomy Season 13, but she has been great so far this season, and she was at her best during this episode. I love that Sarah Drew and Camilla Luddington are getting opportunities to show off how talented they are.
I don't recall Drew having the room to show off her range and excel like this since April and Jackson lost their baby. Don't you just want to hug April after all of this? That was one of the worst professional days ever!
April has lived her whole life believing that God doesn't give a person more than they can handle, but April has tapped out. After the day she had, it's a reasonable response. It was tough as a viewer watching her start off her usual chipper self and then watch pieces of her chipped away bit by bit.
By the time the hour ended, April was in a dark place. I don't know if she's going to be crawling out of it anytime soon. She's in the middle of a crisis of faith.
It appears as if Grey's Anatomy has finally broken April, and it's painful to witness but fascinating too. I look forward to the direction this may go.
The entire situation with Matthew and Karen started off funny, then awkward, but in true Grey's Anatomy fashion, it took a turn for the worse. This was such an unexpectedly dark hour. Did you expect it to be this dark? Was it like a classic Grey's Anatomy sneak-attack?
Sorry Japril shippers, but Japril and Matthew were such a perfectly adorable couple, and that was one of the many reasons I was pissed when April and Jackson ran off together on her wedding day.
Matthew was such a likable guy, and it was great to see that he had his happy ending after the pain April put him through. He was so happy, and Karen was so sweet. In fact, Karen was similar to April.
April: Karen is terrific.
Matthew: Yeah. Best thing that ever happened to me. I guess I have you to thank for that.
The women sort-of bonding despite the awkwardness of the situation was a nice touch. It made it all the more devastating when she died, though. Matthew moved on from April, but he didn't come across as if he made peace with the situation or forgave her. Now, I don't think he ever will.
Was I the only one expecting Matthew and April to pray together in the chapel? He gave her a chilly reception instead. Matthew probably blames April for Karen's death, and now he has a sweet baby girl he has to raise alone without a mother.
April couldn't win for losing after finding out that three people died all in the span of two minutes because it also hit her hard when Paul died.
The same can't be said for Jennie and Jo, who formed an unusual bond of solidarity. It turns out that Paul was hit by a drunk driver, so that means all the people we care about are in the clear.
That also means Meredith's jokes are over. Meredith's willingness to help her loved ones run from the law is one of my favorite things. I think it's her and Alex's rendition of the Cristina/Meredith calling each other to help the other bury a body bit.
Paul was a real scumbag played to perfection by Matthew Morrison. I can't say that I'll miss seeing Paul, but I do appreciate Morrison's performance.
If only Paul didn't spaz out when Jennie threatened to file charges against him, he would have still been alive. Jo's hysterical laughter at the fact that she had any say in whether to keep him alive or not was a priceless moment.
I wonder, is there satisfaction in Paul's ultimate end? He'll still be remembered as this renowned surgeon and an all-around great guy. Would it have been more satisfying if he went to jail instead of being killed off? Either way, Jo, and Jennie are free, but is it the best result?
Jennie: Some very broken part of me is still in love with you, but let me be clear. I am never speaking to you again unless it's from a witness stand.
Paul: You stupid bitch!
There were so many moral quandaries to be pondered throughout the hour. There was everything with Eric, of course. There was everything with Paul.
Personally, the religious ones were the most interesting to me. Everything about April and how steadfast she was in her faith rocked. I very much appreciated how she handled the kid who tried to cut his hand off and her break down of the Bible.
The end, with April in the shower with the intern, got me. The vacant look in April's eyes gave me chills, and so did that final voiceover that you can find here. Again, Sarah Drew was incredible in this episode.
And I'm sorry, but Aunt Maggie channeling Ms. Frizzle with her weird science experiments like the adorable geek that she is, well, that was incredible too. I'm just saying.
Are you pleased with how the domestic violence storyline was resolved? Did any of the cases make you ugly-cry? Do you appreciate this April heavy episode equipped with the return of her ex and a crisis of faith? Did you have some version of "the talk" growing up? Hit the comments below!
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Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.