It was only a matter of time before Jo found her mother in person after she located her online in last week's episode. But it doesn't appear that Jo's first meeting with her mom on Grey's Anatomy went well. In fact, the next episode detailing the encounter has a "viewer discretion advised" warning. It's not clear yet exactly what unfolded, but the teaser trailer shows that there was lots of crying on Jo's part, her mother didn't even really want to talk to her, and Jo asked about her dad.
On Thursday's episode, viewers saw the aftermath of Jo's trip, and it left her seriously shaken. Jo came back to Seattle and was just laying in bed pretending she was asleep so she wouldn't have to talk to Alex. The next episode will reveal what exactly went down, and it looks like it's going to be upsetting for both Jo and viewers.
As viewers know, Jo was left at a fire station as a baby and was in and out of foster homes throughout her childhood. She has never met her mother, but last week she got a DNA test that revealed one of her cousin's names. From there she was able to track down her mother Vicki Rudin and learn that she lived in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
During Thursday's episode, she took a personal day to go visit her. Viewers haven't yet seen the drama unfold, but next week we will. The promo showed Jo knocking on her mother's door and saying, "I think you’re my mother." Vicki looked concerned and quickly said, "You can’t be here." Jo pleaded with her to just have one conversation with her at a nearby diner if she couldn't come inside the house. Vicki agreed, but scenes from the diner show that conversation didn't go well.
In one, Jo says, "Tell me who my father is," and in the next shot Jo's shown breaking down and sobbing. The fact that the episode has a discretion warning means it covers some serious topics. What those are is still unknown — perhaps she was rejected by her mother or learned her father was someone unsavory — but it obviously had a big impact on Jo. She had completely shut down by the end of the episode. She didn't answer Alex's phone calls and faked that she was asleep when he came home. Once he left the room, though, she opened her eyes and clutched her pillow tightly. Jo is a strong woman, but she's been completely shaken by what just happened in Pittsburg.
It would have been nice if Jo had been welcomed by her mom with open arms, but there was obviously a reason her mother decided she couldn't raise her and left her at that fire station. Jo had a very hard life from that point on, even living in her car for a period of time. As much as she wanted to connect with her mom, she probably also has a lot of anger as well. It's almost understandable that this first encounter would have at the very least been awkward, and at the very most been terrible. But the discretion warning, fear in her mom's eyes, and Jo's sobbing make it look like things take a turn for the truly awful. This looks to be more than resentment and frustration. Jo might have learned something about her family that will change her forever.
Of course, all of this is speculation until the drama unfolds. The discretion warning could be about something else entirely. The synopsis for the episode says, "When a trauma patient arrives at Grey Sloan, it forces Jo to confront her past." Maybe it's the patient's trauma that necessitates the warning and not Jo's meeting with her mom. Either way, the promo shows that it definitely didn't go well. But fans will have to tune in on March 28 to find out exactly why.