Shonda Rhimes, mastermind behind the hit ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy,” doesn’t waste anytime giving audiences a jaw-dropping cliffhanger — one that leaves audiences sitting on the edges of their seat for the entire Season 12 installment.
Episode 11, titled “Unbreak My Heart,” begins with Jackson (Jesse Williams) racing to a church to meet a blushing bride — a bride that isn’t April (Sarah Drew). The woman in white is Jackson’s long-time patient Tatiana (Maya Stojan) who he’s been treating for facial reconstruction for nearly four years. (She had acid thrown at her, which melted nearly half of her face.) But before audiences can find out why Jackson is sporting a tux, the Season 12 installments flashes back to reality … and it isn’t pretty.
Jackson and April are sitting across from one another in a boardroom to finalize their divorce.
“This is one of the simpler divorces I’ve seen actually” Jackson’s lawyer says to the two. But there’s nothing simple and Japril’s relationship, which is explored through a series of flashbacks throughout the emotional episode.
Viewers learn that April was served with divorce papers from Jackson in front of her peers … and she’s completely humiliated.
“So what you serve me papers just like that? Do you have any idea what a slap in the face this is?” she says, before asking her husband when he decided the they were done.
Although Jackson stays tight-lipped, fans learn the answer when episode 11 goes back in time. The couple is standing in a parking lot following one of their therapy sessions and their conversation is heated. The two can’t see eye-to-eye and it doesn’t seem like either one of them wants to stand in the other’s shoes. That’s when Jackson comes to the conclusion that their relationship has plateaued.
It’s then that Jackson realizes he wants a divorce, but he’s unable to relay that devastating revelation to April who is still remains hopeful. So, Tatiana, whose bandages are being removed after a year of treatment, urges Jackson to be upfront with his wife and bring up the conversation that he’s been dreading.
He does — and just as he suspects, April doesn’t take it well. The red headed doctor grabs the fortune cookies laying on the table from their Chinese takeout and begins launching them at her husband. Jackson explains to April (after dodging tasty treats) that he felt abandoned when she left for Jordan. But April fires back stating that she felt like dying after their son’s death.
“You don’t think I was dying, too?” Jackson responds, explaining that he wasn’t coping with the death of Samuel, he was “covering” for April so that he "could take care of her."
Jackson continued, stating that while April needed Jordan, he needed her. “I survived. You survived. But I do not think we can survive this,” he says. But their late-night argument ends with the surgeons in between the sheets.
— Greys Anatomy (@GreysABC) February 26, 2016
Audiences go even further back in time to a few days following Jackson and April’s wedding. Jackson brings a photo from their big day to show Tatiana and she breaks down in tears at the sight of their love for one another.
“No one will ever look at me the way you’re looking at April in these pictures,” she says. But Jackson disagrees. He says that although the surgeries will give Tatiana back the face she once had he doesn’t want her to think for a single moment that she’s not already beautiful.
Time rolls back again, giving viewers a few more looks at the past of Japril, which includes the first moment they met to ever a scene featuring Cristina (Sandra Yang). (Jeez, it’s good to see her face again!) But the flashbacks soon come to and end and fans are back in the boardroom with divorce papers staring them in the face.
“You want this? Do you really want this?” April asks. Although Jackson's lips stay sealed, his silence says it all. She picks up the pen and signs her name, freeing Jackson, whose eyes are filled with tears, of their marriage.
— Greys Anatomy (@GreysABC) February 26, 2016
“Grey’s Anatomy” then gives fans a glimpse into the future, revealing why Jackson is at a wedding. He had promised Tatiana that he would walk her down the aisle the day of her wedding … to another man. (Phew!)
“You kept every promise you made to me,” Tatiana says, thanking Jackson for standing by her side like he vowed the day he met her in Grey Sloan. “I’m sorry about you and April,” she adds, unveiling that Japril is officially over.
But just as the episode begins, Rhimes ends the Season 12 installment with a twist. After the divorce is finalized, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) brings over bottles of booze to help April celebrate her new single status. But April isn’t in the mood for champagne, tequila or Pinot Noir.
“You just signed divorce papers and you don’t want to drink. What are you pregnant?” Arizona quips.
“According to the test I took this morning. Yeah, actually. I think I am,” April responds.
Does this mean Jackson and April still have a chance? Sound off in the comments section below what you think April's pregnancy will mean for the fate of Japril. "Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.