Will Jo and Alex’s Relationship Survive After Her Trauma on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?


Alex (Justin Chambers) and Jo (Camilla Luddington) might be going through a rough patch, but there may be a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

The couple started out in a good place, personally and professionally in Grey’s Anatomy Season 15. Then, Jo found her birth mother and learned she was the product of rape. Her mother rejected her because Jo was a reminder of that trauma.

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As a result, Jo spiraled. She drank. She didn’t go to work. She kept the truth from Alex. It wasn’t until the finale that she sought help, officially taking a leave from work and entering in-patient care at the hospital. We may not know what’s in Jo’s future — will she be able to return to the hospital? — but fans probably shouldn’t be too worried about her and Alex’s relationship.

“I hope therapy brings her back to herself and Alex,” showrunner Krista Vernoff told TVLine and added she hopes “he gets to heal that wound that keeps repeating, where he chooses women who go into mental-health crises. I’d like to see that story complete for him, with Jo returning to him in a way that’s beautiful.” (However, she also said they hadn’t begun writing the new season at the time of the interview.)

(ABC/Tony Rivetti)

Jo struggled with telling Alex what she learned when she met her mother, and it was Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) who told him for her at the end of the season.

“She’s in so much pain that she can’t tell the person she loves the most the hurtful truth [about her mother],” Luddington previously told TV Insider. “We are telling a story of the repercussions of trauma and how you can survive it.”

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But Alex was by her side when she entered treatment, which Vernoff told The Hollywood Reporter after the finale is “the next step of the healing process” Jo must go through since she “is suffering from depression born of trauma … and the idea that her brain is telling her that she should never have existed.”

And part of that process will clearly be what comes next for Jo and Alex, and what we see in Season 16 will likely depend on when the premiere picks up. Vernoff has said “it’s unlikely that there will be much of a time jump,” but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one between the first and second episodes or at some point early in the season. That will be a factor in how much of Jo’s “healing process” we’ll see on-screen and what is to come in her relationship with Alex.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 16, Fall 2019, ABC