Season 15 of Grey’s Anatomy was the “season of love,” according to showrunner Krista Vernoff. But, for Dr. Joe Karev (Camilla Luddington), it was a season of depression that ended with her checking into Grey Sloan’s psychiatric treatment facility. What does this mean for the future of Jolex?
Jo’s storyline during Season 15 was utterly heartbreaking. It started on a high note, as she had just married Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), but when she found her birth mother and discovered that she was a product of rape, she quickly went into a downward spiral.
— Matt Carter (@MattCarterMedia) June 19, 2019
Jo also revealed that she had an abortion when she was married to her abusive ex-husband, and all of this deep-seated trauma boiled to the surface and put a strain on her marriage. What does this mean for the future of Jolex? Luddington says that Jo’s issues are about her own personal trauma, and not about the strength of her marriage.
“It was interesting to see other people on Twitter educate people and say, ‘Listen, when you have depression, and this is the story we’re telling, it’s not about whether she loved him or not. It’s just that she cannot communicate how she’s feeling. She is in too deep in her own trauma and depression, and she can’t get herself out of it,'” Luddington explained to TV Guide during ATX’s annual television festival.
Luddington said that Jo’s story was so painful that she couldn’t express it to Alex, and she loves that Alex realizes that he is not the solution for her. Jo can’t pull herself out, and she needs professional help, and Luddington says that isn’t a reflection of the relationship.
The actress says that Jo and Alex are a great couple, but Jo’s story is about depression and trauma, not how strong Jo and Alex’s relationship is.
Co-executive producer Elisabeth Finch says that Jo has not had an easy life, and this latest trauma has fundamentally changed her. She explained that we don’t often see characters on television who are desperate for help actually asking for it and getting the help they need.
— Matt Carter (@MattCarterMedia) June 20, 2019
The writers’ room for Season 16 has just opened, and Finch says she is excited about honoring the process of someone going through trauma, getting help when it’s needed, and then “coming out the other side and have their full happy lives.”
Vernoff says that she hopes that Jo will successfully complete her therapy and return to Alex “in a way that’s beautiful.”
New episodes of Grey’s Anatomy will return to ABC this fall.