If you find yourself sobbing weekly over both the Pearson family and the happenings of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, you're not alone. There seems to be plenty of overlap between fans of This Is Us and Grey's Anatomy, and that's no surprise. Though the dramas don't share a network, both feature stellar character development, hit viewers with plenty of twists and turns, and often require an entire box of tissues for a single episode. It seems that even Grey's Anatomy stars themselves can't keep themselves away from the tragic, newly-resolved mystery of Jack's death. Sarah Drew, who plays April Kepner on Grey's, responded to a tweet on Thursday noting that April would have been possibly the only person who could've saved Jack from the untimely death we saw after the Super Bowl.
"It's too bad Kepner wasn't #ThisIsUs Jack's physician [because] she definitely wouldn't have missed his smoke inhalation," a Twitter user said. This is referring to back in the good old days — Season 6 — when April 'twas but an intern at the hospital, and was fired after a large-scale investigation was launched into why a seemingly OK patient died. April was found to be responsible for the negligence that lead to the patient's death because she failed to check the burn patient's airway to notice that she had inhaled a substantial amount of smoke. She definitely learned from that mistake and could have saved Jack unlike his doctors did.
There was way too much happening in the ER, in April's defense. but she definitely didn't check the airway when she should have. The then-chief of surgery Richard Webber ultimately decided after the investigation that, had she checked the condition of the patient's airway, she would have seen the soot and intubated immediately. This will ring a bell with This Is Us fans who remember when, just last weekend, Jack's airway was in similar condition just before his death, but he was treated for burns and ultimately fell victim to cardiac arrest brought on by the smoke inhalation.
Drew responded to the tweet, confirming that she thought the same thing, and is apparently a This Is Us fan as well. "I was just thinking that when I [watched] that episode!! Brought me back to when April first got fired," she wrote. There were plenty of other fans of both shows who made similar observations during This Is Us. "I’m not a doctor or nurse, but have successfully watched every episode of #GreysAnatomy (hello Kepner being fired) to know that Jack could have been saved if he was intubated!! The hospital killed Jack!" wrote another Twitter user.
It's easy for all of us fans to think we know best after more than a dozen seasons of Grey's — I think it should probably count as legitimate surgical training, though actual medical professionals would probably roll their eyes at that statement. But, especially after dealing with Derek Shepherd's death at the hands of unworthy and ill-equipped doctors, we will never trust another fictional doctor that isn't working out of our beloved Seattle home base. The lone exception, probably, is Dr. K. — the This Is Us doctor who delivered the triplets and who reappeared at Jack's funeral. He probably could have saved Jack. (I know he wasn't a heart specialist and that he mostly delivered babies. Don't fact-check me. Let me dream.)
The heart attack following smoke inhalation was certainly a less gruesome death than the possibility that Jack might've died in the fire itself, and Milo Ventimiglia himself said that was a purposeful choice. "It makes it all the more real when he dies on his own, in a room by himself, with his wife 30 feet away," he told Vulture. For some reason, it makes me a little more calm to know that we've got Grey Sloan doctors watching along with us as This Is Us progresses. Can we get a crossover? If any more Pearsons are in mortal danger from here on out, I officially require April Kepner to burst in to save the day.