“Grey’s Anatomy” aired what some are calling the most poignant episode in the show’s history on Thursday night.
In the episode, entitled “Silent All These Years”, actress Khalilah Joi guest-starred as Abby, a woman who is the victim of sexual assault but is afraid to report the incident.
In one particularly emotional scene, the women of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital line the hallway to show support and solidarity with Abby.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired, showrunner Krista Vernoff and writer Elisabeth R. Finch discussed the emotional episode.
Vernoff revealed that the decision to do the episode came after the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, accusing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape.
“I went to the writers and said, ‘The message that has just been sent to all young women is that consent doesn’t matter. We have an opportunity here to teach men and women about consent and to talk about how lasting and impactful rape can be for generations.'” Vernoff recalled. “It’s the first time ever that I reached out to the staff with an actual issue as opposed to saying, ‘Hey! I have a character idea.'”
As it turns out, many of the women lining the hallway in the episode’s pivotal scene were writers and other crew on the show’s staff.
“I am not a crier,” Finch said, “but I could barely keep myself together to walk down that hallway, over and over.”
“Grey’s” star Camilla Luddington spoke to Cosmopolitan about the episode, which also featured the revelation that her character Dr. Jo Wilson was conceived when her mother was raped.
“I think the feelings are messy and complicated and rooted in a deep, deep pain,” Luddington said. “Even when she’s told about what happened, she’s been living with her own sadness for years. I think it’s a tornado of emotions and they spill out in this devastating way. I think at the root of it all is a longing to be loved back. There’s a lot of despair there over the entire situation.”
The episode drew praise from fans on Twitter.