Week 16 brings us once again to the personal subplot, this week with our young Avery and his former betrothed, Kepner.
In “Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?” we explore a side of Jackson that we’ve never seen before — his paternal side. And how could we, really, with the prominent force that is his mother taking up much of the energy of the show?
After last week’s debacles, we find our young Avery on a trip to Montana to perform throat surgery on a young girl. However, when Zola comes down with the flu, Grey has to stay home and, unsurprisingly, Momma Avery chooses Kepner to replace her. Whether this is because her maternal instinct is telling her a trip to a remote part of a state nobody cares about will bring the couple some conflict resolution or just because she’s playing favorites remains to be seen.
Tensions are still high when the pair arrive at the Avery hospital. The young girl’s mother’s main goal — don’t lose the vocal cords. The pair think they may have a throat they can transplant from another patient who suffered irreparable brain damage, but when the throat shows signs of lesions, the pair must think of other ideas.
While Kepner struggles to get the mother to stay at the hospital and get on board with their only option, a laryngectomy that will rid the patient of the ability to speak, Avery drinks at a local pub. When Kepner arrives to yell at him, he walks home, but not before giving her all the attitude he can muster. The bar keep asks her if she’s okay and they discuss the surgery. He offers a surprising amount of knowledge on throat surgeries, admitting he was a surgeon back in his prime. We leave learning his name — Robert Avery.
Kepner confronts Avery about coming to do the surgery to find his father and he admits it was a huge influence in the case. His father left when he was young and knows nothing about him. Avery returns to see him and admit their relations, and Robert is ecstatic. Barely able to contain himself, he asks question after question about Avery’s life.
When Avery returns, he is unsure of what to think about the warm welcome. As they discuss, they realize they have a solution for the young girl – using part of her gut.
The surgery is successful and, as we all know, saving lives is quite the aphrodisiac. Kepner and Avery sleep together that night at the hotel and Kepner tells him what a good father he is. The next day before leaving, Avery says goodbye to his father and tells him that he won’t return. The visit was nice, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that his father never tried to know him.
Kepner and Avery return to the hospital happy, and Avery thanks his mother.
Next week: Riggs and Meredith look for answers along with Owen and Amelia.