With his chiseled good looks, Justin Bruening made as big a splash as a young actor can by conquering the world of daytime soaps, living his own youthful fairy tale romance onscreen and off, and impre...
Would Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) confess his love to Dr. April Kepner (Sarah Drew) before her wedding?
That was the question before the Grey's Anatomy winter finale. Kepner's marriage to Matthew (Justin Breuning) seemed forced.
Yeah, he's a nice guy, but the spark that Avery and Kepner shared was apparent.
Avery waited until the actual wedding. He delivered a moving plea to the redheaded bride in an "oh, damn" moment: "April, I love you. I always have. I love everything about you. Even the things I don't like, I love. And I want you with me. I love you, and I think that you love me too ... do you?"
But that wasn't the only part of the winter finale that raised eyebrows. Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Dr. Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) friendship is deteriorating.
"You know what Meredith ... go to hell. I have listened to your crap for weeks now and I'm not gonna stand here and take it any more."
Their fight over surgical competence and the importance of family has been brewing for a while. The only solution could be bare-knuckle boxing or a steel-cage match. Hair pulling would definitely be legal.
Speaking of Yang, her boy toy Dr. Shane Ross (Gaius Charles) is out of control. He's mean-spirited, edgy, reckless and disrespectful. All because he finally got some. His surgical mistake should get him in hot water, possibly even resulting in termination.
The other docs have OK story lines, but nothing really intriguing, although Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) could have a game changer thanks to a phone call from the President of the United States.
Kepner's response will be the juiciest outcome at all. Avery has played his hand and it will have a gigantic domino effect whether Kepner's answer is yes or no.
Now that the doctors officially own the hospital on Grey's Anatomy, it’s time to reopen the ER under its new name, Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. And while the doctors on the board are concerned with the new struggles that come with owning a hospital, all Dr. April Kepner's (Sarah Drew) mind is elsewhere.
"She’s just so relieved that the ER is back and up and running," Drew tells Hollywood.com. "[Tonight], we have the reveal of the new ER with all the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital logos and we have a bunch of bright, shiny, new toys. So she’s super psyched about all the new stuff that this new regime has enabled to happen."
Drew says April is lucky — she doesn’t have to worry about the business side of the hospital, unlike its new owners, who face some struggles opening Grey Sloan Memorial. "They are all very passionate people and particularly excited about their projects that they’re working on," Drew says. "They’re not as interested in the bureaucratic nonsense, like trying to push for funding and making the administrative decisions that need to be made. We’ll see them struggling with wanting to be who they feel they’re striving to be but also fill this role of hospital owners, which just makes everything more complex."
It’s especially hard for Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), who was appointed as head of the board by his own mother, much to the chagrin of the other, more experienced doctors. "It continues to be a difficult line for him to walk because he’s the youngest of the bunch and the newest of the bunch to the hospital," Drew says. "He spars a lot with Callie in particular over the next few episodes. But we’ll see him beginning to come into his own, take the reigns, and try to do the best he can possibly do given the circumstances."
RELATED: 'Grey's Anatomy': April Kepner's New Boyfriend Is 'Practically Perfect'
So how does his new leadership role affect April’s complicated relationship with Jackson? "They’ll always have some kind of magnetic draw to one another, but I don’t think April has ever been truly able to articulate how she feels about Jackson," Drew says. "She’s never actually told him how she feels about him. In her head, she thinks that he’s not the right fit for her. He doesn’t see the world the same way she does. But in her heart, she feels the opposite. She doesn’t know how to make her head and her heart communicate with each other. It’s hard."
And now that born-again virgin April is getting serious with her new EMT boyfriend Matthew (Justin Bruening) — who she says is "just perfect in every way" — expect her past with Jackson to complicate her present. "April is in total distress after lying to Matthew [about being a virgin], plus she’s realizing that she really does miss sex. Quite a lot, actually," Drew teases. "She wants to have sex with Matthew but feels guilty for even wanting it, and doesn’t want to lose him. She’s in a whole new tizzy about that."
Her confusion leads her to seek advice from an interesting source. "She goes to Meredith for advice which is a sort of ridiculous person to go to about that," Drew says. "Meredith is on the polar opposite spectrum about feeling guilty about sex, so that’s a pretty hilarious interchange."
It’s also bad timing for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), since tonight’s episode, "Idle Hands," focuses on her anxieties about her pregnancy. "She’s dark and twisty as she’s been for nine seasons, so she’s imagining that everything that could potentially go wrong will go wrong," Drew says. "Like, 'What happens if my kid comes out with 10 legs and four hearts? What if my kid is an alien?' She’s dealing with a lot of fear."
But tonight, Meredith and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) will have something to celebrate: "They do reveal the gender of the baby," Drew says. "But I can’t tell you what it is!"
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Eric McCandles/ABC]
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With his chiseled good looks, Justin Bruening made as big a splash as a young actor can by conquering the world of daytime soaps, living his own youthful fairy tale romance onscreen and off, and impressing showbiz suits enough to sign him to a starring role on a reboot of a classic television series. The producers of the feature "Superman Returns" (2006) passed on him for their title character, but NBC made Bruening the new face of the redux of its sci-fi/spy action show, "Knight Rider" (2008-09) - first with a two-hour movie, followed by a series revival. In many ways, Bruening's career arc ironically saw him echo the path of onetime daytime star-cum-Knight Rider, David Hasselhoff, though the young upstart was ultimately regarded with much more respect and higher expectations than his predecessor, boding well for a lengthy, dependable career in showbiz.
Born on Sept. 24, 1979, in Chadron, NE, Bruening grew up in tiny St. Helena. Too young to have caught the original "Knight Rider" (NBC, 1982-86) with any cognizance, he later claimed that he began watching "Knight Rider" in syndication. Small-town life began get to him after a time - spending a summer inseminating farm animals did little to squelch this growing itch - as he felt that he was missing out on better opportunities in life. He returned to Chadron to study biochemistry at Chadron State College, but after graduating, sought a new climate in San Diego, CA. It was at a local McDonald's that a talent agent spotted him behind the counter and recommended he enter the fashion modeling trade. Indeed, his look impressed the apparel company Abercrombie & Fitch, which cast him in one of its ads. He also made an appearance in a Britney Spears music video. Even this early into the game, Bruening was determined to be regarded as something other than a pretty face. Transplanted to New York City, he began to study acting at the Caymichael Patten Studio, and in 2003, watched as this led to his discovery by a casting agent of "All My Children" (ABC, 1970- ).
His stint as Jamie Martin on "All My Children" did not go unnoticed. He soon developed a buzz among the swooning beefcake trackers in the media, getting himself added to sundry celebrity and teen magazines' frequent "hot" lists. Bruening made it to primetime the very next year doing two guest-shots on the ABC sitcom "Hope & Faith" (2003-06). The network decided to leverage his growing popularity with a crossover programming stunt, having his character of Jamie appear for eight episodes on another of its soaps, "One Life to Live" (1968- ). His co-star and onscreen love interest, Alexa Havins, who portrayed Babe Carey-Chandler, garnered her own share of headlines as their coupling spilled over into a real-life love affair. After Bruening proposed to her on set, they were married in 2005. That same year, Soap Opera Digest named him "Outstanding Male Newcomer," and he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Actor. In his spare time, he also netted guest roles on CBS procedural crime dramas "Cold Case" (CBS, 2003-2010) and "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002- ), as well as was in serious contention to play the ultimate superhero in director Bryan Singer's jumpstart of a movie franchise, "Superman Returns" (2006). Because Singer specifically went looking for unknowns for the role, Bruening was given serious consideration, but Brandon Routh was eventually cast as the new Man of Steel due to an uncanny resemblance to the franchise's original star, Chris Reeve.
Despite the disappointment, TV writer-producer Gary Scott Thompson took notice of the actor while casting for his new "Night Rider" retreatment. Thompson had also mined "AMC" to cast Josh Duhamel in his previous network outing, NBC's "Las Vegas," and curiously, the original "Knight Rider" - about a mysterious man "who does not exist" fighting crime with his talking car - had starred Hasselhoff, who had also been hired off the soap "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ). Thompson scripted his protagonist as the estranged son of Hasselhoff's Michael Knight, and, in the wake of the blockbuster "Transformers" (2007) CGI frenzy, conceived the new KITT as a vehicle that could shapeshift to look like different vehicles, as well as heal itself via built-in nanotechnology. Speaking with Val Kilmer's voice, the new car would be less the ever-amenable helper like the original KITT, and more a confused, sometimes petulant new cybernetic life form with whom Bruening's character would grapple with to get the job done. While reviews were tepid, the pilot's airing drew nearly 13 million viewers, delivering NBC the ratings win for the night and all but assuring the show getting picked up for NBC's fall 2008 primetime schedule. However, the show was cancelled after one season.