Grey’s Anatomy Review: Jo’s Husband Makes His Move

Grey’s Anatomy Review: Jo’s Husband Makes His Move

Grey's Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy‘s motive is clear: memorize the number: 1-800-799-7233. If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, the number of the National Hotline could save your life. Season 14 of the ABC hit drama has mostly been about bringing the fun back. Hospital dramas shouldn’t just be about death and sickness, but about the celebration of life, and living past your worst moments. So what happens when your worst moments blindside you in the present? What happens when the monster appears right in front of you, smiling? That is where we left Jo, confronted by her estranged, abusive husband Dr. Paul Stadler (Glee‘s Matthew Morrison). It was a heart in your throat moment, and we were glad for the brief moments of levity the episode provided while we waited for Paul to make his move.

Aside from the horrific reality of Stadler being in the hospital, which we’ll get to in a minute, there were some hilarious moments of levity. Arizona and Carina’s flirting, Andrew’s girlfriend yelling at him for exhausting her, Jackson and Maggie’s awkward pseudo flirting while soaked in their patient’s blood, the intern infamously known as ‘Glasses’ contaminating a sterile field (again). It was actually jarring to laugh during such a serious episode, but welcome nonetheless. When the hackers literally turn the heat up on the hospital’s thermostats, Bailey has had enough. And we have found our favorite of the new interns.

‘Glasses’ is a hero for donating his own blood to a patient during her surgery, but he does pass out. While ‘Glasses’, whose real name is Schmidt, is a hero for his patient, intern Parker is the hero of the hospital. With his history in cyber security from his time in the military, Parker uses a defibrilator to open the blood bank, then uses his know-how to hack the hackers, thereby locking them out of the hospital. What’s more, we learn that Parker is transgender, and his biggest claim to hacking fame was hacking the DMV when they refused to legally change his gender on his driver’s license. Kudos to you Parker.

Back to Dr. Paul Stadler, who is a charismatic monster. To cut Jo off if she tries to spread the truth about him, he drops lines about her past “hard-partying” days with him. Subtle at first, then more direct with Meredith, he drops words like “unstable” to describe the person Jo was. As if this could ever excuse any kind of violence. He paints himself as the savior, and he is a master of twisting the truth. It doesn’t help that Arizona fangirls all over him before she knows who he really is. But this is how domestic abuse works. It’s not as direct as you think it is. It’s about taking someone who you think can be manipulated and milking it for all it’s worth into a terrible cycle of ego and violence.

Jo enters a state of shock for the entire day, and quite frankly, it is a testament to the strength of her character that she wasn’t completely paralyzed by that fear. Alex practically foams at the mouth, anxious at first over the state of Jo’s physical safety, then filled with rage that Paul would dare come to Seattle. We have said it many times, but it may be the first time that Jo thinks “Thank God for Meredith Grey”. Meredith really steps up, truly becoming Jo’s friend in this episode. From the moment Meredith realizes Paul is there, she sticks to Jo like glue, restricting Paul’s level of access to his ex.

Except Paul can’t resist his desire to torture Jo. In his mind, Jo humiliated him, and is still doing so. He can’t stand that, so in his mind, he’s within his rights to get in her face. This is especially true when Jo realizes Paul is abusing his current fiancée Jenny (One Tree Hill‘s Bethany Joy Lenz), and she gives Jenny her number to try to help. To Paul, this is Jo’s vain attempt to meddle in his life out of desperation. But the threat is there as he holds onto Jo’s phone number, “so I know where to find you”. The next time we see Paul, he’s the one on the stretcher, the victim of a hit-and-run. And I use the word victim lightly. The question is, who tried to kill him?

We know Matthew Morrison can play the good guy, but did anyone else find him absolutely terrifying in his new role as an abuser? And who really tried to kill Paul? Find out on the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

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