April's Return To 'Grey's Anatomy' Could Be The Beginning Of The End

- Grey's Anatomy -
April's Return To 'Grey's Anatomy' Could Be The Beginning Of The End

Japril lives — sort of. Sarah Drew is officially returning to Grey's Anatomy as a guest star three years after her character, April, was written off the show. And Jesse Williams, her on-screen baby daddy, is already teasing their reunion that's all hunky-dory — but what if it's actually not good news? April's Grey's Anatomy return could be a sign the series is ending with Season 17. A dramatic overreaction? Perhaps, but let's look at the evidence.

On Friday, March 12, Deadline confirmed that Drew would be returning to Grey's Anatomy in an upcoming episode. Though no details about her storyline have been released, it stands to reason that she might share some scenes with Jackson, the father of her child who she supposedly co-parents with despite never being seen with him in the past three seasons. Plus, when teasing their upcoming on-screen reunion, Williams shared a video of him and Drew on their way to set together, suggesting they would shoot a scene together. (Otherwise, this is a cruel, cruel trick, Williams, and Japril fans will NOT forgive or forget.)

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It's also possible that Drew is returning to make a coveted cameo on Meredith's COVID-induced purgatory beach, but this seems unlikely. (She's not dead, for starters, and April and Meredith weren't particularly close either.) And this is what makes Drew's return so striking.

Why, after all these years — and a highly controversial exit — would Grey's Anatomy writers decide to invite Drew back now, if not to start setting up the end of Jackson's storyline for the series finale?

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Just last week, Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff said that, though no decision has been made, she was preparing for this season to be the last. "I'm planning a season and a finale that could function as either a season finale or a series finale," she told The Hollywood Reporter. And star Ellen Pompeo has been equally vague about the possibility of a Season 18 of Grey's Anatomy.

Nothing screams final season quite like a revolving door of returning stars and fan-favorite characters. Before Drew's return, the wave of surprise guest stars — Patrick Dempsey! T.R. Knight! — could be rationalized as serving Meredith's story, not as an attempt to bring back as many characters as possible for a final season. But now that April is officially returning to Grey Sloane Memorial, the signs of a final season are harder to ignore.

Fans are already hoping that this means a Japril endgame is in the works. A romantic reunion fans have been campaigning about for years, involving the return of a beloved character? Sounds like a pretty good series finale moment to me.


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Image: ABC/Ron Batzdorff

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