Grey’s Anatomy season 15 episode 19: The significance of Jo’s story

Grey's AnatomyThursday night’s Grey’s Anatomy is important — it’s character-focused, incredibly dramatic, and it’s going to get dark. ABC has already placed a “viewer discretion advised” warning on it, meaning that if sensitive subjects tend to make you uncomfortable, it may not be the episode for you.

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What we know with confidence at the moment is just how seriously showrunner Krista Vernoff is taking it — after all, she recently noted via a Getty Center discussion (per The Hollywood Reporter) that this is “the most powerful hour of TV I’ve ever been a part of.” That’s a big statement given the incredible stuff that she’s done. Consent is a big part of the theme for this story — which revolves around Jo meeting her mother and some stories about her past coming to light — and apparently, the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings where in a lot of ways an inspiration:

“With the Supreme Court situation that happened this year, I wrote the writers and I said, ‘We have to do something about consent. It hurts me too much. We have to do something.’ It was the only time I can point to where I came at them with an issue and the story evolved … What these great writers brought to it is so much character and so much humanity and so much heart.”

We know that Jo wanted to explore her past when it was brought up to her — hence, why she made the difficult decision to seek it out and try to meet her mother (played by Michelle Forbes). What she’s going to see as a result of this is more than likely so much different than she ever imagined. It’s going to be difficult to handle and grapple with, but the important thing is that Jo is a strong character who also has supportive, loving people in her life. If she struggles on the other side of this, we know that there are going to be some people who have her back and will support her through thick and thin.

For Vernoff to be supportive of this message getting out there likely means a lot to so many people out there, but beyond that, we also have to show appreciation for ABC and its executives for allowing this story to air. Even if the issues brought up within this episode may be limited mostly to it, what Jo learns and uncovers about her past here could reverberate for some time to come in the future. We don’t want to spoil any possible outcomes of her visit with her mom … but the more that we hear about it, the more that we think the circumstances leading to her being put up for adoption become clear.

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