Jackson Avery has been the golden boy of Grey Sloan since he landed in the hospital's intern program. Sure, he has that whole "family legacy" thing going on for him, but he's also a gifted surgeon. Too bad Jackson royally screwed up, apparently. What did Jackson do on Grey's Anatomy? According to his mother, Catherine, Jackson "ruined" everything, seemingly by making one simple phone call.
It all started just because Jackson was trying to help a friend — Amelia and Alex are trying to use lasers to shrink tumors and save Kimmie, Alex's favorite patient. They came across a physician, Dr. Foy, in Chicago who could help... except that Dr. Foy won't have anything to do with a Harper Avery hospital. Something's fishy here, and this doctor keeps hanging up on Amelia every time she tries to get her to explain her Harper Avery aversion.
Enter Jackson, a real-life Avery, who tries to help and ends up unearthing the fact that Dr. Foy fought a legal battle with Harper Avery and lost, leaving her with a gag order and plenty of bad blood. It makes sense as to why she kept slamming the FaceTime door in Amelia's face. So, Jackson undoes the NDA (he's an Avery, after all), and... oh, no. This beautiful doctor has done a very dumb thing. But why is this thing so dumb? Grey's Anatomy fans were confused as all get-out.
Leave it to Shonda Rhimes to keep us all guessing, but man, girl — you couldn't have given us any hints? Catherine Avery might be a big one here, because when Jackson started talking to her about the lawsuit, seeing what she might know about Dr. Foy, Catherine played it cool. A little too cool, if you know what I mean. And when Jackson was all, "I fixed it, Ma, we're all set here," Catherine did that smile you do when you're trying to pretend everything is awesome but you're secretly screaming inside.
Catherine should have been honest with her son and told him what all of the lawsuit hullabaloo was about, but instead, she lied, and now she has to deal with the consequences. I'm sure if she explained the situation (which she clearly knows about), Jackson would have understood and not done his really dumb thing about dropping the parameters of the litigation.
Really, though, why did Dr. Foy sue Dr. Harper Avery? After a little sleuthing, I found a hint (yay!). The ABC press release for the April 26 episode, dubbed "Bad Reputation," includes this in the synopsis: "The hospital brings in crisis management to help them sort out allegations against Harper Avery." Oh, allegations? Shonda Rhimes doesn't shy away from news-making or important contemporary topics, so it wouldn't be a surprise if she decided to introduce the issue of harassment in the workplace into her flagship show.
Say that Harper Avery harassed Dr. Foy and Dr. Foy took a settlement and was barred from speaking about it until Jackson took off the gag order — that opens up the Harper Avery Foundation, and in turn, Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, to intense scrutiny and possibly even monetary damages. It doesn't matter that Harper Avery is dead — if more women come forward with the same sort of allegations, it reflects poorly on the organization for harboring and helping a man with a habit of harassment. And, to push it further, what if Jackson isn't really Catherine's child? What if Jackson is Harper Avery's child, a child he had to hide? Stranger things have happened on Grey's Anatomy, and Catherine didn't want to tell her son what happened for a reason — perhaps because it may change everything between them — or at least everything for Grey Sloan Memorial.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.