Grey's Anatomy's Jason George on Ben's downfall
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Read at your own risk!
Well, this is certainly going to make things awkward at home…
During Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Ben (Jason George) was forced to perform a procedure on a pregnant patient without proper tools amid a hospital lockdown. Unfortunately, both mother and child died. Making matters worse: A surveillance video revealed that Ben started just after the lockdown had been lifted.
Judged by his peers at the hospital, Ben was given a six-month suspension, though Bailey (Chandra Wilson), his wife and the chief of the hospital, would’ve fired him if given the chance. (Fear not: George is not leaving Grey’s Anatomy.) Suffice it to say, there’s a rocky road ahead for Ben and Bailey, which is why EW turned to George to get the scoop on what’s next:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction when you found out that Ben was going to be suspended from the hospital?
JASON GEORGE: Psyched, because problems are good TV. At the end of the day, no actor wants to play a character whose life is simple. You love having problems. That said, I will say that I jokingly said, “I don’t need to be looking for a job, though, right?” And they said, “No, you’re not that lucky. You’re stuck here with us.” Then it becomes exciting because knowing that you’re not out in the world looking for a new job, you get to continue to explore a character that has all of this confidence and experience, but has to figure out, “What is my world if I’m not a doctor? What does that even mean?” He doesn’t like it. He’s given up so much already. He’s given up a fellowship to be with his family, he took a pay cut in order to become a surgical resident, he left surgery when he was a resident at UCLA to be with his family. He’s given up so much to protect both his family and Bailey and to be a surgeon. To have all that be for nothing, because he did what he believes is the right call, and then to have the woman that you did it all for, Bailey, be the one to tell you, “If it were up to me, you wouldn’t have a career anymore,” that’s a tough one to swallow.
What will Ben be doing if he’s not working at the hospital?
It’s funny, because that was one of my questions. They had this great response that’s so true: The medical piece is really just one piece of this thing we call Grey’s Anatomy. It’s really all about the relationships, the characters, and the comedy. The medical is almost just a lens to look at those relationships; they often reflect back what’s going on in the relationships. Not having a way to look at the world is a new way to look at the world. The fact that Ben is lost and all of his friends that he still sees socially are going off to work is a new way to look at this world of Grey’s Anatomy that we haven’t really seen before.
Ben really needed Bailey while he was going through all of this, and she had to be in boss mode. Do you think that will destroy their marriage, or can they come back from this?
Can they come back from this is a good question, and even now a few weeks later, my answer is, “I don’t know.” I hesitate to say this in case she ever sees it, but Chandra was an actress that just knocked me out long before I was ever on this show. So it’s been so much fun playing with her all this time. This has pushed us to another level. Even to this day of what we’re shooting now, I don’t have a solid answer to that question. They love each other, but there’s a trust deficit right now. There’s a chief who doesn’t know if she can trust this surgical resident. There’s a husband who doesn’t believe he has the support of his wife. That’s a really tough nut to crack, and it’s not going to happen quickly. Even if they manage to get there, they have to figure out the ground rules of working in the same place, because this problem could happen again.
If he can’t lean on Bailey during this, who will Ben turn to during his suspension?
It’s safe to assume that the Plastics Posse, even if they’re not in the hospital, they still roll.
Can he appeal the decision to suspend him?
Whether legally you can or not, Ben has a pretty powerful personality. Even though he became a resident and therefore had to take what Bailey says, at the end of the day, the reason why he and Bailey got together was because he’s every bit as confident and stubborn as she ever was. Whether you can appeal it or not, Ben’s going to try and find a way to make it happen. He doesn’t quit easily.
Will this suspension actually teach him a lesson? Or only make it worse?
From Ben’s perspective, he doesn’t feel like he needs to be taught a lesson. The lesson is you do the right thing whatever the consequences. Hopefully they can see it was the right thing and I’ll take the bullet. But that said, if the lesson they’re trying to teach is think twice and then think a third time before you do something that crazy, probably this will get it there. But, like I said, Ben is one of the more stubborn people in the world. If that’s the only way he can save the person’s life, even on the third thought, he’s probably going to do what he has to do.
Does Bailey saving the father help soften the blow a little bit, or could Ben still be sued over what happened?
Legal action is always hanging in the wind. Grey’s plays the long game. It wouldn’t be the first time that somebody came back many episodes later to have a conversation about something that happened to them or their family member once upon a time. That said, losing both the mother and the child wrecks Ben. I honestly think that if the father had died too, Bailey’s trust in him — and possibly even his trust in himself — I don’t know that any of that could’ve survived.
The show has put a spotlight on Ben being somewhat emasculated with his wife being the chief. Do you think this is another case of that?
Emasculated is such a strong word. He’s always wanted her to be chief. He pushed her to be chief even when she gave up on herself. At home, he has no problem that she earns significantly more money than him because he took a pay cut to become a surgeon and she got a pay raise because she’s chief. That’ll all work out. Check me in a few years. But he has an ego like everybody else, man or woman. He doesn’t want everyone else knowing the disparity between what they earn. It’s far less about any emasculation. Worrying about your ego, how it looks to other people and feeling embarrassed is irrelevant next to making sure that the thing you love to do most in the world you still get to do.
Is there anything you can tease about the season finale?
As usual, Grey’s hits a finale that from what I’m hearing, everybody keeps going, “What?!” We end up in some place that we never would’ve thought we’d have gotten to. The folks at Grey’s end up some place they would not have thought they could get to.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.