If anyone deserves some good news on Grey’s Anatomy, it’s Jo Karev (Camilla Luddington). Jo was on the brink of a revolutionary medical discovery last season on the medical drama when her entire life was derailed by the discovery that her birth mother was still alive and living in Pennsylvania. Jo flew across the country to meet her mom, only to find out that she was given up because she was the product of rape.
That bombshell information lead Jo to a depressive cycle that culminated with her checking herself into the psychiatric wing of the hospital to get professional treatment for her trauma and anxiety. The last we saw of her was her saying goodbye to Alex (Justin Chambers), and entering the wing to begin her treatment.
“I was really proud of the character of Jo for being strong enough to ask for the help she needed. I was really proud of Bailey and Alex for stepping up to help her get that help,” Grey’s executive producer Krista Vernoff told TV Guide at the ABC Summer Stars party. “We’re playing that through in the premiere as well. Jo had a severely depressed episode in reaction to intense trauma. That was a real trauma for her to meet her mother, to learn that she was a product of rape, to understand her father. It would have triggered all of her childhood stuff around abandonment and it sent her into a spiral.”
If last season was depicting the authenticity of that trauma, Season 16 will be about finding the light again. After all of her suffering, Jo will be getting better this season and finding her way back to being stable and happy.
“It was very hard for fans to see her without Alex, her inability to receive the love that he was offering. That is so often true of depression and we wanted to depict it honestly,” Vernoff explained. “Now, we want to honestly depict the fact that you can recover. People can put in the work and heal and recover. I’m really excited for everyone to see that.”
We’re excited to see Jo get back on her feet as well.
Grey’s Anatomy premieres Thursday, September 26 at 8/7c on ABC.