Grey's Anatomy Recap: As Tears Go By

Grey's Anatomy April Jackson Baby Dies

It’s a miracle. Though, as anticipated, Grey’s Anatomy put us through the wringer right along with April this week, the episode in which her and Jackson’s baby was born — and died — still managed to feel, weirdly, uplifting. Read on, and see if you don’t agree.

TEST OF FAITH | Early on in “All I Could Do Was Cry,” Herman explained to the Averys what it meant that their son had Type 2 osteogenesis imperfecta. Understandably, April was horrified by what she was hearing. “My baby’s bones are breaking inside of my belly,” she asked in disbelief, “the place he’s supposed to be safe?” Afterward, the mom-to-be wasn’t sure that she had the strength to do what needed to be done. Catherine reassured her that she did, and laid out a sensible, sensitive plan (pick a date, induce labor, name the baby, baptize the baby and “memorize every little detail of his face” until he passes away), but April appeared to retreat into denial. “Maybe,” she said hopefully, “God won’t take him.”

Next, when she and Jackson met with Herman to fill out consent forms — and were given a death certificate to sign! — April only dug in her heels more deeply. Even on the day that Herman was scheduled to induce labor, April couldn’t bring herself to give up hope. First, she stretched out her and Jackson’s discussion of a name (shooting down Norbert, the moniker of her husband’s favorite uncle); then, she put off putting on her hospital gown; and finally, she flat out refused to go through with the procedure. Instead, she was going to go back to work and hope for a miracle. “This isn’t fair. It isn’t just,” she told Jackson. “And I have spent my life believing in a God who is just.” She followed His calling to be a life-saver, was becoming the person that He meant for her to be… “and then this… to be handed this?!? It’s cruel, and I feel like God is laughing at me. If this is a test, I fail.”

SHOWS OF SUPPORT | Throughout the episode, the Averys’ friends struggled to think of something, anything that they could do to ease the couple’s suffering. Arizona, for her part, was eager to be their go-to doctor. “I wanna make it as nice for them as it can be,” she told Herman, “and you’re not nice.” (Of course, that was exactly why Herman was the better choice for the Averys — she could concern herself only with their feelings, not her own.) Amelia, drawn back to her loss years ago on Private Practice, suggested that, rather than attempt to cook a casserole or send flowers, everyone light a candle in the chapel. Other than that, “You can all just give them privacy,” she said. “That’s what they’re gonna want.” The doctors’ subsequent visits to the chapel were alternately funny (Owen and Alex had no idea what they were doing) and dark (Stephanie confessed to Jo her fear that, because she’d wished misery upon her ex and April, she’d brought this on them). Yet all of their prayers paled in comparison to Jackson’s. “God, Yahweh, Buddhah, E.T., whatever… show up for [April], please,” he begged. “She loves You. She needs You.”

CHANGE OF HEART | While all this was going on, Mer ran around trying to find 1) a doctor be on call in her place that weekend and 2) a babysitter for the kids, so that she could fly to D.C. and have “emergency sex” with Derek. After being given the cold shoulder by Catherine, Richard offered to be on call, and after being passed over by her half sister again and again, Maggie (in the sweetest of all possible ways) volunteered to babysit. In another plot, Amelia appalled Stephanie by practicing the technique that she’d eventually use on Herman’s tumor on a flirty blind patient even though she didn’t think that she could restore his sight. (Ultimately, he did see again. But even if he hadn’t, Amelia yelled at Stephanie, doctors have to be able to try even when it seems hopeless, or they’ll never succeed.) Nearby, a woman who’d been accidentally shot by her husband gave birth to the baby they desperately wanted but had been told they couldn’t even conceive. And a spacey intern was revealed to be not an intern at all but the fiancée of a patient who’d died the night before. She’d been given scrubs to wear instead of her blood-spattered clothes and just… hadn’t been able to bring herself to leave. “You can survive this,” April told the woman and, in a way, herself. “You are strong.” Afterward, Kepner and Avery settled on the name Samuel Norbert, and since April “got what [she] was waiting for,” she allowed Herman to induce labor. What followed was a singularly lovely, heartbreaking scene in which the parents held their doomed newborn, compressing a lifetime’s worth of love into a few short moments. “He squeezed my finger,” April whispered, “and then he let go.”

END OF DAY | As the tearjerker drew to a close, Arizona thanked Herman for being there for her friends, Catherine closed the gap between herself and Richard, asking, “Can you just take me home… take me to bed and just hold me?” and Amelia discovered that every candle in the chapel had been lit. “My baby lived for 43 minutes,” she then confided in Owen. And, without a word, he just took her hand. Good stuff. Great episode.

OK, your turn. How impressive were Sarah Drew and Jesse Williams — and, while we’re at it, Debbie Allen? Catherine’s last scene with Richard really choked me up. And you?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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79 Comments
  1. Alichat says:

    Good lord, that opening scene with Debbie Allen had me crying in my dinner.

  2. Lauren says:

    Haven’t cried like that at Greys in a long time. Good stuff.

    • Julie says:

      Seriously one of the saddest episodes of Grey’s in a long time. Reminded me of an early episode of a guest star having to deliver a stillborn baby. I bawled like a baby at that one when it aired and, now that Ive had two of my own kids, I can’t even imagine going through what April and Jackson went through. Not sure when Sarah Drew’s baby is due but I feel like they also set up her maternity leave, should it occur prior to their hiatus. She’ll need time to get past this and go home to OK or wherever she’s from and will return next season.

  3. Oh I just felt all the feels! I cannot even very well scripted and directed episode!!! Bravo Grey’s going 11 seasons strong!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Umm something was wrong with my episode. Couldn’t hear any of the talking but could hear all the music. Anyone else have this problem?

    • kn1231 says:

      I did. The episode aired earlier in other regions so I just downloaded it and watched it. Still finished in time to watch Scandal live.

    • Mia says:

      This has been a huge problem for me as well. The background noise is super loud, sounding at times a lot like white noise. It’s terrible! I had to turn on closed captions before bc I couldn’t hear the dialogue at all.

    • Dianne Hill says:

      If you have an additional surround sound system, that could be the problem. We had this issue until my grandson visited, heard it, changed the wires and fixed it.

      • kn1231 says:

        It was definitely the channel. Along with it the episode was cutting in and out. I find ABC has the same issue at least once a week, but it usually happens during Nashville.

    • sj says:

      Until I started reading the comments here, I assumed those scenes were meant to be silent.

  5. Faith says:

    Have been disappointed with Grey’s this season and wasn’t planning on watching,but this was a decent episode. Now if Derek and Meredith can only stop sniping at each other I might start watching regularly again

  6. Brittany says:

    Such a great episode. The actress that plays Amelia was amazing too. The whole episode I could feel her pain over the memory of her son. Also, watching this episode while pregnant was a terrible idea.

  7. Ashley says:

    The acting made this episode. Sarah Drew, Jesse Williams and Debbie Allen knocked it out of the park. As cruel as this storyline was, it was grounded in reality and tastefully done, so good job Grey’s,

    • Grey's Fan says:

      I agree with the praise for the three actors you mentioned but I also would include Caterina Scorsone (Amelia) – her scenes were great as well. I hope Stephanie decides to pursue neuro and learn from Amelia.

    • Diana says:

      Completely agree. One of their better episodes.

  8. Babygate says:

    My head still hurts from all the crying. Tonight I’m hating Shonda and her entire writing team. And while Sarah and Jesse get all the awards for such amazing and touching performances, special kudos to Debbie Allen and Caterina Scorsone. Every time Mama Avery spoke to Jackson and April it was sweet and harsh and compelling and emotional. And everytime Amelia was on screen it was clear that her lost baby was on her mind and she was reliving that awful event and it was gut-wrenching. Only Grey’s knows how to dig this deep. Dang. I feel emotionally exhausted.

    • kn1231 says:

      Sounds more like you are loving Shonda and the writing team. If they can make you and millions of others feel that way, then they are doing a good job.

  9. Jane Doe says:

    Sarah Drew is an excellent actress. She plays April beautifully . Very talented . Avery Jackson is the hottest guy I’ve ever seen! Great actor as well!!

  10. i was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, type 3 & type 4… i’m 29 years old and am only 2’9” tall… i hate that they only showed the “fatal” side of OI and not the positive side… i’ve only had one surgery my whole life, i did break a lot as a child, but looking back, i don’t remember an ounce of pain, i only remember the good times with my loving family… it’s not all “doom & gloom”… i just wish the storyline wouldn’t have ended this way, i was happy that some sort of awareness was being spread for OI…

    • Nikki says:

      I agree Melissa. I have a 37 year old niece who has an 11 year old son. They are both type 4 if I’m not mistaken. Born with broken legs, arm, ribs and multiple surgeries for rods over the years. This is a disease you can “live” with and April and Avery would have been the perfect couple toshowcase this with.

      I love this show and never miss it. Was super excited for this storyline to play out..I cried my eyes out from beginning to end and when she threw the gown down and walked out I thought yes, April will never terminate her pregnancy. .. they played this beautifully even if it did not end that way!

    • Amber Boyd says:

      My sister just found out that her baby has type 4. I would love to talk to you. I watched this and she found out like the same day and I’m scared and worried now. I would absolutely love to talk to you. Let me know please!!

  11. MAB says:

    This episode was especially hard for me. My son and daughter in law went through this. It was not the bone disease but something different and equally fatal. They induced the labor at 24 weeks and the baby only lived a couple of minutes after birth. They wrapped the baby as any newborn and they held that baby for hours. We all held the baby. The whole family was there with them. It was one of the hardest most painful experiences my family has been through. My daughter in law had 4 miscarriages before this. The good news is they went on to eventually have two beautiful little boys 15 months apart.

  12. Alicia says:

    That was some beautiful acting by Sarah Drew & Jesse Williams. What a heartwrenching, yet hopeful episode.

  13. Dil says:

    Heart wrenching episode…beautifully written and delicately acted…greys is on fire this season getting better and better with each passing episode…

  14. Stephani says:

    I thought she said the baby’s name was Samuel Harper (as in Harper Avery). I guess I misheard.

  15. mendoza says:

    As usual nobody get a happy ending, ever on this show..Thats why a stopped watching a long time ago.

    • Kay says:

      Life isn’t about “happy endings” – that’s not real. People go through ups and downs, heartbreaking loss and overwhelming joy. They of course exaggerate it on Grey’s because it’s a drama and they have extreme situations, but they also give quite a lot of happy middles- weddings and children and everyday wonders of life.

      • TV is not “real”, Kay. You need a reality check if you think all TV is supposed to replicate and reflect real life. Exactly where do you know that Star Trek was a “real” representation of?

        It’s a perfectly valid point to want some escapist TV, and to be uninterested in a show that skews 80/20 on the unhappy and maudlin scale.

  16. bj says:

    I was choked up for a good part of the episode. It was so well done. The acting was superb all around.

  17. Debby says:

    Wonderful episode. Deserves an Emmy.

    • Eirene Wee says:

      Totally agree – in this episode, so many actors and actresses deserved Emmys as did the scriptwriters and team! Truly outstanding!!

  18. Cyn Cromarty says:

    It was a very beautifully done episode. I went through that same thing, and it was like I was watching me and my husband. They really rally did a good job. It was heartbreaking, tough, but REAL.

  19. Juan says:

    Damn when Amelia said her baby lived for 43 minutes it broke my heart. It was extra heartbreaking if you watched PP and saw that storyline. Also the scene with Avery in the little chapel got me too. Sarah Drew, Jesse Williams, and Caterina Scorsone were all amazing.

    • Tee says:

      The episode of PP when Amelia gave birth was gut-wrenching, especially given the debate about the baby being a living organ donor, and once his heart came out, Sam could conceivably be “killing” him. It’s just one of those episodes that stays with you. When they showed the little guy and his head without the cap, I just thought, deng it…I didn’t think a prime time TV drama could get me choked up. It’s that episode alone that makes me root for Amelia as a character, and I think her seasons of PP are required viewing for anyone wondering about her on Grey’s.

  20. Ki says:

    I can only say WOW…. I’m expecting in August and watching April go through what she went through… I think I trembled through the whole episode. Powerful stuff!

  21. veronica says:

    So sad i cried like a baby. The whole episode had me in tears. I cant even imagine going through something like that

  22. APorter says:

    Tough to watch in so many ways. Excellent episode, excellent work!

  23. JJM says:

    So the promo for next week showed Meredith going away and it was not to see Derek. Is Cristina Yang making a surprise visit for an episode or is Meredith visiting someone else? Theories?

    • Kara says:

      I personally don’t think she went to see Cristina because they said that she packed only lingerie and why would you pack lingerie to go see your person? I don’t want to believe it but I think she is cheating. The only other explination would be she got a hotel room to walk around in lingerie(Which I might add is very uncomfortable for the most part)and nothing else. I don’t know I could be wrong but I still think she did sleep with someone else and as a personal fan of meredith and Derek, it kills me.

      • Grey's Fan says:

        I think she planned to go visit Derek in D.C. but before she got on the plane, Cristina called (with a crisis?) and Meredith changed her flight plan and went to Switzerland to be there for “her person.” Not sure what kind of crisis Cristina had – perhaps something happened to her mother and she needed Meredith.

      • Lauren says:

        Lingerie is still underwear. Why won’t you pack one during your travels.

      • JJM says:

        I’ve also read theories of possible early onset alzheimers.

        • Dee says:

          Yeah, except she’s only 35-36 or something now. She is supposed to be 40-45 if we are following the real timeline. I don’t think early onset would make sense at this age.

  24. N says:

    It was wonderful……

  25. Ninna says:

    Well, I’ve to say this was the best episode of Grey’s I’ve seen in a long, long time. Very emotional, very difficult to watch. Amelia has grown on me and I find myself becoming a fan of her since she was able to tone down that over the top acting eagerness she had in the beginning. Caterina Scorsone is indeed a very skilled actress and very beautiful too. The same can’t we say about that ugly duckling with zero performance capabilities that is Mer’s half sister to which I can not even remember the name of so little charisma that she has . It’s painful to see her acting in the middle of an episode where everyone stood out for their brilliant individual performances. The poor woman is THE stain os the cast. What a casting error.

    I was appalled to see Owen who was preaching the blessings of motherhood to Cristina for years, so adamant to pass the huge blessing as it was a hot potato(caring for Zola and little Baily) back to Alex.
    So all those times he babysat Mer’s kids was only for Cristina?! It wasn’t because of his enormous belief that children were what made life and because he loved it?! And it wasn’t him who volunteered for Mr. Momma years ago when he was trying to persuade Cristina to have the kid?! Well, kids are that great when the others have the trouble, particularly if are the wives, isn’t it Owen?
    If cristina hadn’t been a grown up woman and refused his bullying at the time, today SHE would be the one with the hot potato because he was into retreat as he always does with everyone when things turn out not exactly what he expected or are too much. What a wonderful guy.

    • Karen says:

      Just because someone wants their own kids doesn’t mean that they want to spend a weekend baby-sitting someone else’s. Owen’s not a jerk because he wanted kids and Cristina didn’t, just like Cristina’s not a jerk for not wanting kids while he did.

      • Anne says:

        I haven’t seen the commenter above saying he was a jerk because he wanted kids but because he bullied her. And he totally did. Not to talk that he repeatedly gave mixed signs about fatherhood over time.

  26. Emma says:

    All the tears!

  27. sunflower says:

    Well, I’m happy to see that I was not the only one that couldn’t stop crying throughout the episode. That was heart wrenching and one of the best episodes in a long time.

  28. Disappointed says:

    There was no sound for the first 10 min, did other people have sound? There is no sound on DVR either, yet the summary above seems to indicate there should have been sound and the commercials leading up to the show with April and Jackson had sound??????????????

    • Miss Rozie says:

      @Disappointed, yes, there was sound from beginning end. Sorry you did not have sound. You missed fabulous dialogue from Catherine to April. She was guiding/talking to April & Jackson not only as a Mother but also a Grandmother, not as a doctor. The acting was superlative last night between Sarah Drew (especially Sarah) Jesse Williams & Debbie Allen.

  29. Joe Smith (honestly) says:

    AFTER SO MANY SEASONS WE STILL GET EPISODES OF THIS CALIBER – SIMPLY AMAZING!!!!! HOW CAN SHONDA CONTINUE TO COME UP WITH THESE SCENES AND NOT JUST FOR THIS SHOW BUT FOR ALL OF HER SHOWS. I CAM’T BELIEVE THAT SHE ISN’T HONORED CONSTANTLY SHE IS A GENIUS

  30. pamela says:

    I’m glad I read this before watching or I never would have made it through. I still cried the entire episode though.

  31. martina says:

    it was hearthbreaking… really good episode!

  32. As a mother who has lost a baby at 26 weeks… this episode left me curled up in a ball on the couch crying.
    *
    Between Catherine quietly helping them plan what to do… to the flash backs of how they got together… to the individual friends going to the chapel.
    *
    I remember my ending… I am still crying today. The actors and writers pulled this off properly.

  33. lady marshmellow says:

    This episode proof once again, and to those in doubt, how good actress Sarah Drew is. It was about time she had an SL. Not crazy about Japril, but the episode brought great memorable moments for them as characters as well as for the actors. Great episode! Having said that, it’s time for lighter ones?

  34. Eirene Wee says:

    I’ve watched a lot of GA over many seasons – this episode’s absolutely epic – the acting and script, themes – stellar! I my books, this ranks as one of the entire series BEST!

  35. s says:

    I really enjoyed the episode, something that’s not happened for a while, with one HUGE exception. It really broke my heart, that end scene when they’re holding him was awful! I’m surprised, I really didn’t think Jesse had it in him to do pull something like that off.
    However, Meredith was COMPLETELY inexcusable. I mean really, interrupting someone while they’re trying to pray/light a candle for a dying baby? Running around whinging about having no-one to look after her kids when Jo had already offered, calling her a hoodlum and dissing her to her BF when all she’s done is be nice and offer to help her out?! ARGH. God she is becoming more and more unlikable as she goes on. Collectively I’m still not enjoying the season, mostly because Im an Alex/Jo fan and have no idea what the writers think they’re doing with them, they are in dire need of a proper story line.

    • Miss Rozie says:

      @s says – I’m with you, Miranda was attempting to pray & Meredith just gave a damn about herself & what SHE wanted. I have been trying to like Meredith & I’m seeing more & more ways not to. If she needs “a person” go to a therapist, because this storyline of having one has gotten very old. Grow up Meredith, handle your own life. You wanted to be a doctor, you’re a doctor, you wanted kids, you have kids, you thought you could do it all, deal with it all. Wow, what a whiner.

      So many parents have to live through their children dying. While I thankfully don’t know & hope I never do have to know what it’s like, my heart goes out to every parent who lives through it. It will be interesting to see how April/Jackson start dealing with their devastating loss. The scene towards the end where Jackson wheels April out in a wheelchair & her arms were empty, really got to me. We have no idea just how many times this scene plays out in the real world. More than I even want to think about.

      Hopefully soon you will have more Alex/Jo time.

      Before this season started, I thought, without Cristina, it would be dull & boring – how wrong I have been & happy that I’ve been wrong. For me, this season is one of the best since the show began 11 years ago.

  36. Miss Rozie says:

    What a heart-wrenching storyline & more than brilliantly acted by Sarah Drew & Jesse Williams. I hope to see Sarah & Jesse’s names in the mix for night time Emmy awards, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    While she has been annoying many times, Catherine Avery elevated herself last night. She loves her son & April, she showed such compassion & guided them as best she could as the Mom but equally as important in her role of Grandmother. While this WAS the story of two young parents about to lose the son they will never get to know, it is also the story is of a Grandmother’s loss as well. Debbie Allen did a great, great job in all scenes she was in & when she asked Richard to take her home & to bed to hold her, showed us just how grief stricken she truly was as well.

    Now we watch as April spirals a bit out of control/character but that is to be expected after this tremendous loss of a child & Faith. Jackson will hopefully be as understanding of this as he was last night, begging & pleading with God to help his wife, just got to me. If Mark Sloan was alive today it would be very interesting to see how he would help Jackson get thru this, because he would. Mark is the very reason why Jackson stood up & interrupted April’s marriage to Matthew. Too bad we will never know.

    A lovely, compassionate, thought provoking storyline over the course of a few episodes. The characters may be fictional, but the medical issue is very real.

    One unexpected new life given & one expected new life taken.

    Rest in Peace Samuel Norbert Avery ~

  37. delfiteblu says:

    I used to cry over movies and TV all the time; then as I grew older, I stopped. Last night I made an exception. I, too, broke down when Catherine made her suggestion to April and Jackson. But when they had the delivery scene, with the sweet perfect baby girl and their poor dying little boy, I lost it. I see Emmy suggestions, at least. Greys usually doesn’t exist around that time, but this was so beautifully done.

    I DID, however, nearly fall out of my chair when Meredith came busting into the chapel after Bailey. Has she lost her manners as well as her husband? Geesh.

  38. This was such a beautiful episode. Bravo to all those involved. It was definitely moving and heartfelt. Very well done. I only hope that Jackson and April try again. Are they going to touch on that at all?

  39. Bobbi says:

    It was a beautiful episode and I’m sure hit home with all of us that have lost a baby. Someone that has gone through that, although maybe not exactly the illness this baby had, wrote or contributed to the writing of that show. So well done.

  40. Viv says:

    Okay I want someone to give Debbie Allen props for this week! She directed Scandal, she directed Gray’s Anatomy & guest starred in it AND she directed Empire episodes this week!! That woman is amazing!

  41. Marilyn Smith says:

    Drew is fantastic as April! I miss Sandra Oh, also a great actress. Marilyn Smith

  42. Ava Sawyer says:

    I love Jackson and April as a couple and this was heartbreaking to watch but so beautifully done. Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew were amazing, it was great to see them front and center for a change. A new classic Grey’s episode.

  43. Jan says:

    April and Jackson just straight up broke my heart!

  44. Hannah says:

    It was really well acted, but I don’t think it was true to April’s character….with her previous stance on abortion I am surprised her decision to terminate was reached in only 1 episode (or even that she chose this option and didn’t keep praying for a miracle).

  45. Lynn says:

    Not a dry eye here. They both were real, sincere & honest. Very moving

  46. Janet says:

    I love this show. And I especially love April and Avery characters. April’s belief in God, her faith, her questioning, are so real. She’s so real. I wish they gave more episodes of them.

  47. just my thoughts says:

    Such a sad storyline, and I am so sorry that I missed this last episode. I will watch it online.
    I really love this show, but honestly I don’t like when the Dr’s STOP working and look at each other (even for a few seconds) and discuss their personal lives.
    I just think about real life and how I would want my loved one treated. I would want All Eyes on THEM, and the discussion to be about their care.
    I am sure it’s worse in real life though, as sometimes the wrong body part has been amputated, or actual tools or supplies is left inside
    Or sadly as in Joan Rivers, maybe they’re taking selfies? Or

    Sorry for complaining, my dad passed recently and I was in the hospital with him quite a bit. There was an 90 year old man in the bed beside.
    When the man (with a broken hip) said “you’re hurting me! ” when they were doing something to him. The nurse said rudely “if you don’t sit still I’m going to Really Hurt You”
    Yup. Chilliwack Hospital in British Columbia. It’s apparently student ‘teaching’ hospital.
    How awful is that comment? No one deserves that! Plus this is their Chosen profession.. they have no right to ever be rude or bossy, no one does in Any job.
    I wish these Characters on Greys Anatomy and Saving Hope were actually Real doctors. I wish kind and clean hospitals existed in this world. Where they actually Care and try to help save people.

    I haven’t seen every episode or season, I bought season 1 on a whim and have watched ever since. Thanks to the writers for creating the show, and for the wonderful cast also. It’s always refreshing and new. + I Love the words of wisdom at the end.
    Yay to season 11. Just started watching tonight (didn’t have cable for a while as I moved to be closer to my parents)
    When did the season start? How many episodes have I missed? I had no tv for 2 1/4 months! Wow! Didn’t even really miss it. Just shows like these ;)