This article contains spoilers.
While audiences were drawn in by the promo for Grey’s Anatomy’s last episode and its focus on Jo meeting her birth mother, the episode proved to be much more. Throughout the episode parallels were drawn between the time Jo visited her mother and her time back home with a new patient.
Jo initially struggled to understand her mother’s reasoning for leaving her at a firehouse as she seemed to have a cookie-cutter lifestyle, but this was only the surface. After finally getting her to agree to talk, Jo met her mother at a diner where she would go on to learn that she was the product of a rape that tore away at the person her mother used to be. In scenes where Jo is back home and working at Seattle Grace, she stumbles into a patient, Abby, who she immediately feels connected to. With Abby’s injuries consistent with sexual assault, Jo relates to her with her past traumas, holding her hand every step of the way. Abby struggles to fault anyone except herself and further troubles arise as she refuses surgery, citing her fear in having to see her abuser’s face when she’s unconscious. In what should be a scene to remember and one for society to learn from, Jo arranges for an array of female Sloan Grey Memorial staff to line the walkway to the operating room, those being the only faces she would have to see.
In typical Grey’s Anatomy fashion, the episode highlighted many societal issues including rape and the need for unity. This was not an easy episode and was one of the heaviest of the season, and it was successfully able to come across as organic and raw. Through dialogue and the acting between Jo, her mother and Abby, audiences were able to see and relate to inner workings of true pain.
Grey’s Anatomy’s ability to sustain and maintain its level of success amounts to its storytelling, as seen with the last episode. With the use of certain ideas, metaphors, and even gestures, this episode was able to tie characters together on the grounds of truth and compassion.