How Heavily Grey's Anatomy Will Get Into Jo And Her Abusive Husband's Story

Jo seeing Paul for the first time

There's long running TV shows, and then there's ABC's Grey's Anatomy. The medical drama is currently in the midst of its whopping 14th season on the network, and has addressed just about every issue plaguing both society and the world of medicine. While Grey's is currently in the midst of its winter hiatus, it seems clear that domestic violence will be a major plot line in the back half of Season 14. Jo's abusive husband Paul (Matthew Morrison) has officially arrived in Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, and her history with domestic abuse will no doubt boil to the surface. Showrunner Krista Vernoff recently addressed how it will be handled on the show, saying:

We are facing the issue of domestic violence head-on. 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.

Did anyone else just get goosebumps? Grey's Anatomy has always been at its best when confronting harrowing and difficult subject material, and Jo's history of abuse before literally running away from Paul will be no exception. And while Camilla Luddington's character hasn't always been the most likable surgeon on staff, this focus on Alex's partner sounds like it will be a powerful series of episodes.

Jo's history of abuse hasn't been explicitly explored in Grey's Anatomy, and most of her co-workers doesn't even realize that she's been using a pseudonym for her entire surgical career. After growing up homeless, she eventually began a relationship with Dr. Paul Stadler, and things quickly turned abusive. She was so scared of her husband that she ran away and changed her name, with Paul only able to find her once she finally applied to divorce. With him now within the walls of her safe space, it's unclear how she'll be able to continue her work.

The midseason finale ended with Jo coming face to face with her abuser, with A+ cinematography showing her utter shock and horror. TV Line has shared the first image of the two together, alongside the above interview with Krista Vernoff. Check it out.

Who knew that Glee's Mr. Schuester was such a bad guy? And furthermore, how will Alex react to knowing that Paul has found Jo? He traveled to a conference Paul was speaking at last year in order to confront him, but decided against it in the wake of his legal troubles with DeLuca. But Alex has been known to be violent when it comes to protecting his people, so this certainly seems like a recipe for disaster.

Grey's Anatomy will return to ABC Thursday, January 18. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch, and our cancellation list to see if your favorite show got the chop.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.