It takes a lot of character development for someone annoying, neurotic and naive to become someone driven, kind, respected and successful. It’s hard work, but that’s what April Kepner, Grey’s Anatomy’s resident redhead, did in her nearly 10-year run on the show. The season 14 finale of ABC’s never-ending hit drama airs Thursday, and viewers will say goodbye to April, one of primetime’s only strong examples of a devout Christian character.
Since her introduction in season six, April has represented faith and Christianity on a show known for closet hookups and steadfast atheism. Fans have hated her, loved her, grieved for her and watched her change more than arguably anyone else at Grey Sloan. She’s struggled with purity, lost a child and even weathered a crisis of faith.
A few months ago, Shonda Rhimes told us April Kepner, played by actress Sarah Drew, would be written off Grey’s Anatomy. It was a blow for fans everywhere, and Shonda articulated why in a statement: The devout Christian community is underrepresented on TV. We should all mourn the loss of a character that added to the program’s diversity and scope.
ABC hinted Kepner would make her exit in May 10th’s episode, thanks to a fatal accident. Sure enough, April showed up to the ER in an ambulance, hypothermic and with no pulse (that’s Grey’s for you), but in a surprising turn, she made it through. What’s more, as everyone fights to save April, they start to think about what it would mean to lose her, and the audience does, too. In the face of certain death, April’s legacy emerges both as a character on the show and as a personality on TV: perseverance and faith in the face of adversity. It’s one we should all strive for.
After the surgeries, all the main characters wait by April’s bed for a pulse. Her baby daddy and atheist ex-husband Jackson Avery holds her hand, and Dr. Owen Hunt asks that everyone pray for her. “I don’t care how you do it or who you do it to, but April would want us to pray for her,” he says. A room full of doctors bow their heads.
This scene is the epitome of who April is and how she’s represented Christianity on television. Grey’s Anatomy often scoffs at faith in a higher power, but April is always strong. She persists through trials, and it has a Christ-like influence on those around her. At the same time, it’s not perfect because we’re not expected to be, either.
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Source: Relevant Magazine