Richard Cartwright/ABC
March 15, 2017 at 06:00 PM EDT

Could Jackson and April be on the way to reconciliation?

On Thursday, Grey’s Anatomy presents Japril: The Sequel, a follow-up to last season’s Japril: The Movie episode, which took a Momento-like approach to chronicling the origins of Jackson (Jesse Williams) and April’s (Sarah Drew) relationship all the way to their untimely divorce.

“It’s totally different,” Drew says of the sequel. “Stylistically, it’s totally different, and this one is really more about Jackson. April happens to be there, along for the ride, and throughout the journey of the episode, it does become a little bit about the two of them, but it’s mostly about something that Jackson is going through.”

During the hour, Jackson and April head to Montana to treat a patient, but Jackson has ulterior motives — he wants to meet his estranged father. “There’s a girl who needs a throat transplant, and it’s too delicate for her to be moved and brought here, so we go out there,” Drew tells EW. “It was supposed to be Meredith Grey [with Jackson], but then Catherine Avery puts April up to be there instead. We’re forced to be in the same space, working on a case together, in an unfamiliar location without any distractions or any of the normal life stuff surrounding us.”

April, however, doesn’t know about Jackson’s intentions to meet his father, leading to tense moments between the former couple. “The episode starts with them in a pretty contentious place, snipping at each other and fighting with one another,” Drew says. “He’s especially distracted, especially cold, and especially short with her. She’s just taking it and is getting more and more frustrated with him until she discovers the reason behind all of this behavior, which is that he’s here to find his father. It puts to rest all of that stuff.”

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So, will the sequel offer hope for Japril fans? “She shows up really as a rock for him,” Drew says. “She knows him better than anybody else, and she can read him pretty well. She also can meet his needs before he knows to ask for them; we get to see that play out in this episode. She tells him what he needs to hear in the moment, and she’s not needing anything in return from him.”

“I love this episode,” Drew continues. “It’s a pretty neat opportunity to see another dynamic between the two of them. So often in our history together, April has been the one to spin out of control, and Jackson’s been the one to try to pull her back and ground her. This is an opportunity for the roles to be reversed. I love it, because it’s an opportunity for April to really show up for him in a way I don’t think she has for him before.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. Arizona. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes’ hospital melodrama.
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