'Grey's Anatomy': Jo Finally Learns Who Her Father Is
Dr. Jo Karev finally solved the biggest mystery of her life in this week's episode of Grey's [...]
Dr. Jo Karev finally solved the biggest mystery of her life in this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy. She learned her father raped her mother.
In "Silent All These Years," Jo (Camilla Luddington) treated a trauma victim, Abby (Khalilah Joi), who inspired Jo to come to terms with her past. Abby first claimed she got hurt in an accident, but opened up to Jo about more bruises. In reality, she was sexually assaulted. She feared coming forward because no one would believe she was hurt at a bar and worried her husband would think she cheated on him. Jo told Abby about her abusive husband, and Abby agreed to have her injuries photographed for evidence.
The present-day scenes at Grey Sloan were juxtaposed with Jo's meeting with her biological mother, Vicki Ann Rudin (Michelle Forbes). When Jo met Vicki and told her who she was, Vicki told Jo she could not be at her home. So, they decided to have a conversation at a nearby diner.
When Vicki showed up, Jo said she was surprised to see that Vicki was successful, with children and a beautiful home. Jo told her mother that she was not better off without her. In fact, she struggled as a kid in foster homes and was abused.
The conversation topic soon turned to her father. Vicki said the man was killed in a motorcycle crash, but she wished for a worse death. She said Jo's father was a teaching assistant she met during her sophomore year in college. She agreed to go with him to watch a sunset. He suddenly started touching her and she told him no repeatedly.
"I fought him. I fought him as hard as I could, but he wouldn't take no for an answer," Vicki explained. "So, nine months later, I had a baby. I had you and then... five days later, I didn't."
Vicki said she never told anyone she was pregnant. It was not until many years later she told someone she was raped. She went to therapy and even had to convince herself what happened to her was rape. Jo wondered why her mother never tried to find her. Vicki said she was afraid Jo would be a boy who would grow up to look like her father.
After Jo was born, Vicki left the hospital early and said she wanted the world to be just them. But memories of her father never disappeared. She defended her decision to drop Jo off at a fire station, saying she was "not in my right mind" at the time. Vicki said it took years for her mind to come back. It did, but never fully.
"You deserved better. I didn't have better to give you," Vicki said.
Jo opened up about her experience with her abusive husband. She admitted to having an abortion, after realizing she could not raise a child in that environment. When Jo reached for Vicki's hand, her mother pulled hers away.
After explaining that Jo had her father's eyes, Vicki left the diner.
Back in the present, Jo told Abby she is a survivor, no matter what she decides to do next. Jo agreed to stay by Abby's side for as long as she needs.
At the end of the episode, Jo told Alex (Justin Chambers) she did not want to talk about her day. She just wanted to go home alone.
Since Jo was introduced on Grey's Anatomy in 2012, she has opened up about knowing very little about her family history. When she was only two weeks old, she was left at a fire station and grew up in foster homes. She headed out on her own when she turned 16. Recently, she decided to take a DNA test, which is how she learned about Vicki. At the end of the March 14 episode "And Dream of Sheep," Casey (Alex Blue Davis) opened up Jo's laptop to see a picture of Vicki.
"Silent All These Years" started with a disclaimer that the episode would discuss sexual harassment. Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff said the episode was inspired by Christine Blasey Ford's testimony during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. She called the episode the "most powerful hour of TV I've ever been a part of."
"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," Vernoff said at a Getty Center panel, reports The Hollywood Reporter. "What these great writers brought to it is so much character and so much humanity and so much heart."
Grey's Anatomy airs on ABC at 8 p.m. ET Thursdays.
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