The halls of Seattle Grace Hospital might be a little less crowded next season, thanks to a cliffhanger finale in which “anybody could go,” Grey’s Anatomy star Sarah Drew reveals to TVLine. But before the residents can leave the nest, they have to pass the boards, the stress of which will send Drew’s virginal April into bed with her best friend in this Thursday’s episode (ABC, 9/8c)!
TVLINE | Am I crazy or are Kepner and Avery getting it on in the promo for this week’s episode?!
[Laughs] They’re definitely hooking up, but I cannot reveal whether she loses her virginity or not.
TVLINE | When your characters entered the series, they were the two newbies and they were friends, so it made sense for them to go there. Are you surprised that it’s taken so long?
I was actually surprised when I read the script that they would hook up because they are such good friends. They’ve been established as sort of a brother/sister, best-friend relationship. I actually didn’t even see it coming. Once the storyline started playing out, I was looking online and realizing that there are a lot of people really rooting for them to get together, which is kind of funny because I was definitely not expecting it. But just because they make out in this episode, that does not mean they’re becoming a couple. They have a really interesting journey as they’re navigating having crossed this line a little bit over the next four episodes. It’s really fun, really interesting and pretty unique. And I really loved working with Jesse [Williams].
TVLINE | What leads them to this moment? It’s so out of the blue.
Yeah, it does feel totally out of the blue. It all is associated with the crazy energy and stress and anxiety of the boards. All these [residents] have been working for [years] for this moment, and they’ve been studying their asses off and working super hard. This is the defining moment that catapults them into their actual careers. It’s super high anxiety and super high stress. Everybody deals with that stress in different ways. April’s way is that she’s so stressed out, she’s like literally jumping out of her skin. That’s what motivates this moment. And then we’ll see the fallout of making that decision to flirt with that line with her best friend. She is jumping out of her skin and just wants to make out. He’s a really safe bet because they’re so close.
TVLINE | The promo also shows her punching somebody.
[Laughs] There are some surprising things that come out about April in this episode that you would not think that she would be capable of. That is all part of the anxiety and the heightened reality of the moment. Part of her jumping out of her skin is also yelling at Meredith and punching a guy in the face and making out with her best friend. [Laughs]
TVLINE | It sounds like you got to do a lot of things that have been a long time coming for her.
Oh yeah! The last four episodes for April are really fun. We really do see a huge transformation of her character, and all these different shades and colors of who she is come out that we haven’t seen before.
TVLINE | We know that one of the residents will fail the boards. Should we be worried?
Basically, all of the residents are up for jobs at other places. Everybody’s future is totally uncertain by the end of the episode. Everybody’s being offered jobs. Yes, there is one person who fails, but that doesn’t put that person in a different boat than everybody else. Everybody else is potentially going and working at other hospitals in other places. It’s still very cliffhangery for all of the characters, especially all of the [residents]. But yes, there is one person who fails, which ends up creating a lot of drama for everybody.
TVLINE | Is April leaning toward going away or staying at Seattle Grace?
Everybody wants to go away. They’ve all been training for this, to fly out of the nest and go to the places that have the best programs for what their specialties are. She doesn’t really reveal what her top choice is and where she wants to go, but everybody wants to keep their options open and take whatever offer’s the best. Nobody feels married to Seattle Grace just because it’s Seattle Grace. Everyone just wants to do what’s best for their careers.
TVLINE | There’s a lot of speculation about who from the original cast will be back next season. Are you definitely sticking around?
Nobody knows. As the actors, we don’t get our official pickups for the next season until the middle of June. Basically, every character is left in a cliffhanger at the end of this [season]. … It’s really up in the air. But we do this every season. Every season, we wait until the middle of June to find out if we’re coming back. That’s just how it works for actors on TV shows. There’s no certainty for anybody.
TVLINE | Is it weird filming the finale not knowing if you’ll see these people again? Is there a sense of like, “Goodbye, this could be the last time we ever film something together”?
Yeah, totally. It’s been super emotional. For me, it’s always emotional at the end of a season just because there is that possibility that it might not just be a break. It could be the end. … You just sort of get used to that; it’s par for the course. But it’s definitely been extra emotional because it’s such a huge cliffhanger episode where really anybody could go.
TVLINE | What can you tease about the season finale?
There is a huge story that happens. For half of the people, it happens outside of the hospital, and then the other half are in the hospital and don’t know that this big thing has happened. It will forever change everybody’s relationships. I am on the edge of my seat because I want to know what’s going to happen at the beginning of Season 9. [Laughs] It is that gigantic of a cliffhanger. It’s really intense, really emotional. Everyone was crying and shell-shocked at the table read. It’s huge.