This Halloween on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, fans of the Alex/Jo romance were given a (boo!) scare when all of the tension stemming from him rediscovering his father led up to an intense, could-go-either-way face-off between the budding lovebirds. Would Alex shut Jo out, by shutting a door in her face? Or would he let her in, signaling a huge step for them? Camilla Luddington spoke with TVLine about the emotional outcome and what it means for the future together, as well as weighed in on this week’s other happy/sad twists.
TVLINE | The table read for the Halloween episode must have been very funny.
It was hysterical. We loved it just because it was reminiscent of the old Bailey, always popping up and scaring us and not thinking we’re worthy of anything. And then all the zombie stuff….
TVLINE | You had moments like,”The patient leans up and bites Leah in the neck!”
I know! They were telling us it would be Halloween-themed and we heard rumblings about something like a zombie, and I was thinking, “How are they gonna do this?” But it was really cool.
TVLINE | Speaking of scary, I was nervous for Jo when it seemed like she was going to tell Meredith what’s going on with Alex. I was like, “No. Don’t. That can’t end well for you.”
Yeah — this being Grey’s Anatomy, it’d turn out horrible. But I think that in that moment, Jo really has no idea who to turn to. Something they cut from last week is that I had asked [Jackson], “Do you know anything about his dad?” So she’s sort of been putting out feelers, to see if anybody has any idea what’s going on. And at that point, Alex has been so standoffish, and there are so many times she’s reached out but is so exasperated, she does not know what to do. In normal circumstances, she would never, ever reach out to Meredith, but it was like the final straw to her.
TVLINE | Were you on the edge of seat when you first read that final scene, where she’s at Alex’s doorstep? When a couple has a door between them, it could always slam in someone’s face.
It was hard for me, these past two episodes, because I really just feel for Jo. Usually when we’re not filming a scene, we’re not present, but I went and watched the scene that Justin [Chambers] and James Remar filmed in the bar. Because when I read it, it was so heartbreaking and I wanted to see how it went. I felt really invested in both Jo and Alex’s journey with this storyline, so by the time it got to the door [scene], I myself was almost exhausted. I felt like she was again putting it all on the line, but I remember saying to the director, “I don’t want her to be upset. I don’t want her to play it that way. I really feel like, at this point, she feels like she’s done everything she can.” But it’s always scary because I was like, “He’s really not even gonna open the door to her?” And they’re like, “No. He’s keeping it closed.” And that made it so difficult, as she stood there in this costume. There’s something so vulnerable about it to me.
TVLINE | Alex letting her in… Do you feel that’s the biggest hurdle they’ve cleared so far?
That’s an interesting question…. I would say yes. In their relationship, yes. Obviously, the biggest hurdle was admitting that they had feelings for each other. But again, this situation was taxing, because they’re both horrible at communication.
TVLINE | It was almost more of a test than a hurdle. Like, will he let her be there for him in that way?
Yes — and I think the door was obviously symbolic of him literally letting her in. And I don’t feel like Jo has been like this ever in a relationship either. There was a point last week where he says to me in the elevator, “It’s none of your business.” I remember discussing it with the director and thinking, “I would just be like, ‘We’re done.’ I would text him and say, ‘You can’t talk to me like that.’ Even Justin was sort of like, “Wow. He’s giving her such a hard time.” It was almost difficult to play, but I loved it because I feel as if her showing up is something she’s never done in the past. I think she’s thinking that he won’t open the door. I think she’s thinking that it will not fix things, but she just has to say it. I saw that as Jo progressing herself in a relationship.
TVLINE | What can you say about the next beat in their storyine? Will they get some easy-peasy?
Well, yes and no. I think I’m allowed to say this – there’s a malpractice trial for Callie, and Jo assisted her in that surgery. So she’s part of that and that’s a little stressful, and Alex is supportive of her then. But I’d kind of just love them to have some sort of romantic vacation or something! They had a couple of episodes where it was fine and then it was instantly drama. Of course, again, that’s in true Grey’s Anatomy fashion.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about what’s going on with the others. Were you surprised by the Leah/Arizona hook-up? Because they’re totally doing it now.
I know! I kind of liked it. I know that the “Calzona” fandom is so passionate, but I feel like it’s something that Arizona needs to experience. Sometimes you need to experience somebody else, because you always think the grass is greener on the other side. Clearly there was a part of her that wanted to be free and kind of sever that relationship, even though in the beginning of the season she wanted to work on it. I almost see that it’s a good thing, if Arizona sees she needs to really work hard at getting that relationship back on track, because the grass isn’t greener. I think there are fun elements to that story line.
TVLINE | And look at Shane, buying Cristina a drink!
That was interesting. I feel like with Shane, there’s this reaction that’s happened after Heather’s death. That moment between them, where he buys her a drink, is a bit like, “Whoa, I didn’t see that coming.” But I think that’s his character now. And you’ll see more of that this season.
TVLINE | And Bailey, what a sad episode for her. Dropped by Webber, and things aren’t going well with the hubby…..
The scene where they’re arguing, and Trick-or-Treaters and coming to the door? That got the biggest laugh in the table read, because as much as it’s sad, it’s hysterical at the same time — or at least it was at the table. But yeah, Bailey’s going through a tough time and you’ll definitely see more of that. Actually, in the next episode, Jo is operating with her, and you see a lot of tension between Ben and Bailey in that episode.