Grey's Anatomy has covered a lot of ground over its 12 seasons on the air. With its rapid-plotting and ever-shifting cast of characters, Grey's has explored topics and tragedies like no other show. But interestingly, one corridor the show hasn't really gone down is that of domestic violence. That's about to change, though, with season 13.
Creator and show-runner Shonda Rhimes talked to Entertainment Weekly about what to expect from the new season, premiering Sept. 22. Last season ended with Jo declining Alex's marriage proposal — she never told him she was still legally married to the abusive husband she was running away from. This season kicks off with Alex showing some violent tendencies himself, though not directed at Jo. And it sounds like we're finally going to learn a lot more about Jo's backstory and how that factors into her relationship with Alex now. "The idea that she’s a survivor and that very act of being that person is threatening to that relationship is interesting," Rhimes told EW. "The fact that Alex is a guy who his response is to beat somebody up is a little problematic.” Rhimes continued,“This idea that women are often treated in this way is disturbing to me, but it’s also very interesting to me to get to tell the story of Jo from this perspective of somebody who has walked away from a past that happened so long ago, and might have to face it again.” The exploration of domestic abuse wasn't a calculated decision, though, Rhimes says. “I don‘t think that I ever think about doing things, like, ‘Oh, we’re doing a domestic violence story as an issue.'" We're definitely excited to see Rhimes tackle this subject as a personal, organic part of Grey's.