Grey’s Anatomy is making it official: Matthew Morrison will indeed be returning later this season as Jo’s abusive (and very much estranged) husband Paul, and it sounds like this time the Glee alum will be sticking around for a while.
“Matthew is coming back as Dr. Paul Stadler and we are facing the issue of domestic violence head-on,” co-showrunner Krista Vernoff confirmed to TVLine over the weekend at the ABC drama’s 300th episode soiree in Los Angeles. The EP was quick to assure fans, however, that Morrison’s return — and the dark cloud he’ll be bringing with him — would not upend Season 14’s lighter tone.
“I’ve talked a lot about how this season [we’re refocusing the show on] fun and joy and laughter, and my commitment has been to make sure there’s laughter in every episode — even the ones where the stories that we’re telling are quite painful and quite dark,” Vernoff explains. “And my hope is that women will come out of this story feeling empowered. I’m really proud of this story. I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing.”
Morrison made his Grey’s debut as Paul in Season 13’s penultimate episode when Alex tracked down the fellow doc at a medical conference and imagined various incendiary scenarios involving his archnemesis. Ultimately, Karev walked away without confronting him, although the two did share an awkward moment jockeying for a cab (during which Paul seemed to recognize Alex). In last week’s episode, Jo announced her intention to finally divorce Paul — a move she (rightfully) feared would bring him back into her orbit.
Morrison foreshadowed his Grey’s comeback over the summer when he hinted that Paul would play “a big role” this season. ABC has yet to reveal when exactly he’ll resurface on air. (With reporting by Jean Bentley)