It’s finally happening, fam — Jackson and April are coming back home to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Well, sort of. As first reported by
, Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew will reprise their roles as one of Deadline the medical drama’s most popular on-again, off-again couples for the Season 18 finale on May 26. It’s a moment “Japril” fans have been waiting for, in essence, since Williams’ and Drew’s characters, Dr. Jackson Avery and Dr. April Kepner, seemed to part ways for good when April was written off in 2018. But when she returned in 2021 to help her ex say goodbye to Seattle, it sparked renewed hope for Japril stans. And now, with the news the pair will be reunited once more, talk of a possible spin-off has picked up, too.
To recap, Jackson visited April last season to ask her if she would be willing to move to Boston with him so they could both be close to their daughter, Harriet, while he takes over the Katherine Fox Foundation. Not only did April surprisingly agree to the cross-country move, but she also dropped a bombshell of her own: She and Matthew, her husband, had separated. With that revelation, you could practically hear the hopes of one million shippers materializing like a giant
So, in the perhaps naive hope that a Japril spinoff could be in the works — and to celebrate the duo’s upcoming finale cameo — let’s revisit the best Jackson and April moments in
Grey’s Anatomy history. When Jackson Defends April (S8, E21)
The night before their big board exams, April lets her nerves get the best of her and ends up drunk at a bar. When she manages to nearly incite a bar brawl, Jackson jumps into the fray and punches a man trying to intimidate her. For April, who hadn’t exactly had the best luck making friends since coming to Grey Sloan, the moment solidifies how much Jackson means to her. In fact, it helps her see she actually has feelings for him. Ah, the start of Japril!
When They Hook Up for the First Time (S8, E21)
From the first moment fans met April, they knew her faith was a big part of her identity. In her first season, much was made of the fact that she planned to wait until marriage to lose her virginity due to her Christian beliefs. She stood her ground even when the other residents made fun of her over the choice. Until, that is, she and Jackson exit the friend zone and enter, well, you know. A massive moral crisis ensues for April — but that doesn't stop the pair from enjoying some pretty steamy sessions in the on-call room.
When They Had a Pregnancy Scare (S9, E7)
Although April and Jackson ultimately go on to get pregnant (twice), their first potential brush with parenthood came early in their relationship. April reveals she’s late, prompting Jackson to go all-in — he proclaims he’s ready to get married and raise the baby together. But when April waffles over the idea, he realizes they might not be on the same page regarding their future.
When Jackson Stops Her Wedding (S10, E12)
You knew this moment would make the cut, right? While everything leading up to it was the start of Japril’s story, it truly began at April and Matthew’s wedding — or, rather, their first attempt. The setting? Stunning. The bride? Beautiful. The final few minutes?
Epic. Before April and Matthew get to say “I do,” Jackson interrupts the service... and then it cuts to April and Jackson ecstatically running out of her wedding hand-in-hand. Can you get any more romantic-slash-heartbreaking? When Jackson and April Elope (S10, E13)
While April’s runaway bride moment ends in a cliffhanger, it soon becomes abundantly clear that Japril might actually be end game. Mere hours after busting out of her wedding, the couple elopes at Lake Tahoe. Still crying, tbh.
When They Lose Samuel (S11, E11)
Hands down, the most heartwrenching moment in Japril history? The death of their first child, Samuel. During the pregnancy, the couple finds out their baby has a rare birth defect called Type 2 osteogenesis imperfect that would not be survivable. When Samuel is born, the new parents tearfully say goodbye to their firstborn. The moment itself is shattering — as are the fractures that form in their marriage due to the very different ways they cope with their grief.
When Their Relationship Unravels (S12, E11)
Fans got to experience heartbreak in a profound way with Season 12’s “Unbreak My Heart” episode devoted entirely to Jackson and April. Essentially one big love letter to the couple, it relives some of their most touching moments over their time together. Ultimately, though, the episode acts as their love story’s last gasps of air. A prelude to their divorce. Of course, it’s also the episode April shockingly reveals she’s pregnant again. So, all in all, one of the biggest moments in Japril canon.
When April Gets in a Car Crash (S14, E23)
Here’s a truth all
Grey’s fans know and accept: At some point, every single character will have a near-death experience (or, in the case of the unfortunate ones, an actual death). April’s comes in Season 14 when she’s brought into the hospital hypothermic with no vitals after she and Matthew get in a car crash. One of the most gutting moments? Watching Jackson, who has always struggled with believing in a higher power, literally try to pray April back to life. She does survive, and it’s obvious that the love between Jackson and April isn’t gone — it’s just dormant. When Matthew Gets the Girl (S14, E24)
Alas, fans knew April’s departure was coming, but it didn’t make giving up on Japril any easier. With “All of Me,” though,
Grey’s Anatomy leaves little choice — April, in what would be her last episode as a series regular, reveals she and Matthew are leaving to provide medical treatment to people without homes. After everything they’d been through (the runaway wedding, the car crash, his wife’s death), the pair decides life is too short to not give their love one more try. They remarry, but the moments between Jackson and April really give the episode resonance. When April Says “Yes” to Boston
The last fans saw of Jackson and April, she agreed to uproot her life with Harriet to support Jackson’s decision to move to Boston. As
Drew explained in a press conference, it turned out to be an emotional homecoming. “They’ve gone through so much, and you’ve watched it. It just felt like you’re peering into the lives of two people that you love, who clearly love one another, and witnessing them wrestling with big, massive life questions in a way that is loving and mature. And it was just… it was so beautiful.”
With so much history between Jackson and April, it’ll be interesting to see where the duo stands when they return to
Grey’s for the Season 18 finale. Hey Ready for more? Sign up for Scary Mommy's daily newsletter for more stories from the trenches.