ABC is spreading a strong message with its upcoming midseason premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. The episode, set to air on Thursday, January 18, was originally titled “Four Seasons in One Day.” However, it has now been changed to “1-800-799-7233.” That is the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
The midseason finale ended with Jo (Camilla Luddington) recieving an unwelcome surprise visit by with her estranged, abusive husband Paul Stadler (Matthew Morrison). She had been hiding from him and had changed her mind so that he wouldn’t be able to find her. The midseason premiere will dive right back into their relationship.
Executive producer Krista Vernoff tweeted about the title change on Thursday, January 11, revealing that Giacomo Gianniotti, who plays Dr. Andrew DeLuca, came up with the idea for the title change. “Thank you @KristaVernoff glad it made the cut! Very honoured to be apart of this story,” he responded.
Thank you @KristaVernoff glad it made the cut! Very honoured to be apart of this story. https://t.co/OPQ8r9XOAp
— Giacomo Gianniotti (@GiacomoKG) January 12, 2018
“The next two episodes get to a very dark and intense place, but it deals with it and kind of resolves the whole story in a beautiful and redemptive way,” Kevin McKidd told Entertainment Weekly about the midseason premiere. “People step up for Jo because everyone loves Jo. But it’s interesting because Paul is a kind of like a con man and he has incredible skills of persuasion, so there are twists and turns along that road where people start going, ‘Wait, his version of things seem kind of plausible,’ so it’s really interesting depicting and telling that story of somebody who is a deeply manipulative person.”
Vernoff recently explained in an interview with TVLine that brining back Paul would create a “quite painful and quite dark” story line, but she felt it was important. “My hope is that women will come out of this story feeling empowered. I’m really proud of this story. I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing,” the producer added.
Grey’s Anatomy returns to ABC Thursday, January 18, at 8 p.m. ET.