Through the course of its 14-year run, Grey’s Anatomy has been largely consistent in two things: 1) Pulling at our heartstrings while exploring critical social issues like same-sex marriage, gun control, and racism; and 2) Naming every episode after a song.
Remember that gut-wrenching hospital shooting episode? It got its name from a Coldplay track, “Death and All His Friends.” How about that one time Meredith realizes George was the John Doe patient? Its title originated from the song “Now or Never” by Three Days Grace. Oh, and that episode where we’re all forced to say goodbye to McDreamy? It borrowed its name from The Fray’s “How to Save A Life.”
But last night, Grey’s Anatomy deviated from its long-standing tradition of naming episodes after songs for one very important reason.
Aired last November, the midseason finale left us with a cliffhanger as Jo ran into her abusive husband she worked so hard to get away from. Last night’s episode was originally going to be named after a Crowded House track, but showrunner Krista Vernoff decided to change it after a suggestion from one of the show’s actors, Giacomo Gianniotti, who plays Andrew DeLuca.
They changed the title to “1-800-799-7233” — the phone number for the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.
If you weren’t able to catch it, here’s a sneak peek:
The latest installment comes on the heels of that devastating moment — with Jo left paralyzed at the sight of a man she thought she’d gotten rid of forever. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Camila Luddington, who plays Jo, revealed that the episode is a tough hour for her character.
They show intended this episode to be informative, with the goal of dismissing “misconceptions about domestic abuse, who it happens to, and what it looks like.”
At the height of #MeToo and #TimesUp, with women finally speaking up and standing up for one another, the timing of this couldn’t be more perfect.
Thank you, Grey’s Anatomy, for never shying away from tackling hot-button issues and embedding them into the show ever so tastefully. This is precisely the reason why we’re still watching 301 episodes later, and for 300+ episodes more.