Grey’s Anatomy season 14 and the difficulties of a Matthew Morrison return

Matthew MorrisonLast season, Matthew Morrison made his first appearance on Grey’s Anatomy in the role of Dr. Paul Stadler — Jo’s estranged husband. It goes without saying if you’ve seen the show that Stadler is a terrible human being. He’s abusive, violent, and hides all of it under a charming smile. Morrison is the perfect cast simply because he looks superficially so unassuming; he’s the guy you’d want to become friends with, because you think he’d care for you when the chips are down. Alas, that is not the case in actuality.

This appearance from Morrison last season was presented in a Sliding Doors sort of format, where Alex (Justin Chambers) determined in his mind the multiple outcomes of what would happen if he and Stadler were to interact at the medical conference he showed up at. He was there specifically to see him, but there were many unfavorable outcomes to them meeting. Maybe he did something to hurt Stadler as revenge; in turn, he could face legal trouble. Or, maybe he actually tips off Paul to where his wife is and she’s hurt in some way.

For now, Stadler is none the wiser as to who Alex is or what his relationship to Jo is — but, could that change, and are there scenarios where you bring Morrison back? It’s a difficult, challenging debate to have.

There is an argument now for letting the past die and moving forward into the future, and it for the most part starts with the notion of not wanting Jo the character to suffer in such a way. Not everything in life has to be constructed in such a way where the past comes back. This episode could serve as closure, since without Paul knowing where she is, there’s no reason for him to come back. There’s no reason for anyone to tip him off, either. Alex kept his temper at bay, and while DeLuca may be hurt that she’s not interested in him romantically, do you really think that he would enact revenge by going to her former abuser and asking him to come around? Hardly.

The counter-argument here is that you want to see Morrison with more meaty material; while no one wants to see Jo in pain, it obviously does give Camilla Luddington weighty material. As actors, you want to tell stories with some power and some truth to them. This one fits that bill, and is something that men and women go through in this country. Shonda Rhimes can shine a light further on the horrors of abuse, and what some people are willing to do in order to escape that survival. It’s not always so cut-and-dry as just having them arrested. Jo’s story proves that.

For now, we consider the Matthew Morrison appearance to be a one-off. Will that change? It’s possible, but if the show is going down that road, it needs to have a worthy story to back it up.

Now, we turn this over to you

Do you want to see Matthew Morrison on Grey’s Anatomy again in the future, or are the set of circumstances surrounding this character too challenging to properly process that? Share in the comments below!

Also, be sure to check out the remainder of our coverage on the ABC series right away. (Photo: ABC.)

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