Last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, aired on January 18th, really tugged at viewers’ heartstrings- and not just because of the fictional plot line.
In previous episodes, we learned that Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington), is married to an abusive, manipulative man named Paul Stadler (Matthew Morrison). In the winter season finale, Jo was unexpectedly greeted by Paul after getting off the elevator, leaving us with a major cliffhanger.
(Photo obtained from https://www.moviefone.com/2017/12/13/greys-anatomy-season-14-return-phot…)
When the show picked back up last Thursday, Jo was completely shook that Paul had re-entered her life. Her world started spinning after she realized that her abusive husband had found her again and was still trying to manipulate her years later. By the end of the episode, Jo found the strength to use her voice and finally stand up for herself against her abuser. She also spoke to the audience and provided the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline if you or anyone you know needs it.
The airing of this episode alongside movements against sexual violence and abuse like #MeToo and the Time’s Up Campaign was phenomenal. These movements are empowering women to stand up to sexual, workplace, and domestic violence and abuse. With Grey’s Anatomy being such a popular show among people everywhere, this episode may have come out right when we needed it the most.
I’m sure many people caught on to the underlying message in last week’s episode; you CAN stand up for yourself and use your voice. The episode threw out the misconceptions of abuse- you aren’t silenced or trapped. It encouraged women to fight for themselves. Jo’s actions may have given women the courage and strength to do the same as her.
And you may or may not have noticed that every episode of Grey’s Anatomy is named after a song title. Last week’s episode was titled “1-800-799-7233”, the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and title of Logic’s popular single about suicide prevention.
This just goes to show that, once again, Shonda Rhimes is a genius.