‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Was the Japril Ending Really Better Than the Train Wreck of Alex’s Exit?

Grey’s Anatomy might be about doctors at its core, but anyone who has watched the series knows that it is actually about relationships.

Since premiering nearly twenty years ago, fans have watched hundreds of romances blossom, fall apart and blossom again. Few, however, had the intrigue of Jackson and April’s ‘Japril.’ With Jackson off the series now, however, many wish they got a more satisfying ending to their favorite power couple. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Japril showers 

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According to ABC 7 in Chicago, Jesse Williams’ Jackson and Sarah Drew’s April met when Seattle Grace merged with Mercy West. Initially smitten by Dr. Shepherd, she later befriended Jackson Avery, and the two became intimate partners. Viewers watched as the virginal April fell in love with Jackson and went through the wringer. Devoutly religious, her sexual relationship with him was a big deal. 

From pregnancy to marriage and divorce and the ensuing custody battle, the couple had a roller-coaster relationship that came to its dramatic head when Jesse Williams left the show. 

Fans chime in 

SARAH DREW, JESSE WILLIAMS
SARAH DREW, JESSE WILLIAMS | Mitch Haaseth via Getty Images

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Fans on Reddit saw Japril as one of the season’s saving graces. From the reactionary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to the drama behind the scenes affecting the on-screen storytelling, Season 17 was an especially memorable affair. For a show that hinges on melodrama, even Grey’s may have its limits. 

The entire situation was summed up succinctly by u/ThePrincessRuto.

“Jackson decided to move to Boston to be the leader of the family foundation there. He went to April to ask her to move there with their daughter and Matthew so Jackson can still be around his daughter. April says yes to moving to Boston and then reveals that Matthew and her split up because he still resented her for what previously happened like her leaving him at their first wedding. That’s the short version,” they wrote. 

If that seems like a lot, many were taken aback by just how quickly everything transpired. After all, after Alex Karev’s sudden departure from the series, having more time to work with Jackson’s could have prevented such a protracted schedule.  

One fan saw the relationship as something executed well given the circumstances but would have benefited from a little more screen-time. Namely, they thought creators gave the other arcs too much time while Japril could have given something special. 

“Their arc should have been at least 3-4 episodes. I don’t like how it played out. I feel like Jesse chose to leave, so Krista wrote whatever she knew would appease Japril fans just enough without sacrificing her own dislike of April,” wrote u/IlaDC.

Despite this, Jackson said goodbye, and while the ending left something to be desired, it got a conclusion that other departures either never reached or took years to satisfy. However, with Grey’s approaching its 18th season, it may become increasingly clear that it’s time to wrap things up. 

Where do they go from here?

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Explosive patients, random plane crashes, and roller coaster relationships have been a staple of Grey’s for two decades. However, recent seasons have felt incredibly rushed. As such, many fans are ready for the show to reach its end. With millions tuning in each week, however, perhaps the creators are secretly giving them what they want. 

Storytelling is not always about giving satisfying endings. Sometimes, it’s about tying up loose ends and running with whatever helps to move it all along. Grey’s didn’t make it this far by playing by the rules, and it certainly isn’t going to start now. Love it or hate it, the show knows how to tell a quick story, write a character off, and move on to the next one with shockingly fast speed. 

As such, these latest incidents may not be unprecedented so much as they are more examples of a formula that’s existed for the entirety of its run. After all, how can a show with such a devoted following change everything up now?