Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams has some big changes on the horizon when it comes to his Grey’s character, Jackson. After the plane crash survivors rallied (and succeeded!) in an attempt to bail Seattle Grace from liquidation, with help at the last minute from Jackson’s mother Catherine Avery, Jackson has been appointed the head position on the new board. Essentially, Jackson will now be everyone’s boss, and this new role will come with its fair share of struggles.
In a recent interview, Williams addressed some of the issues that Jackson will face both personally and professionally in the episodes to come, including the struggle for authority between Owen and Jackson and how Jackson feels about the romance between April and Matthew.
The news of his new responsibilities and authority at Seattle Grace was as much of a surprise for Jackson as it was for the rest of the group. “It's a lot for him to take on at once; he didn't ask for it. The source of it is going to feed into how he handles it. It's a huge and unprecedented for him that he never saw in his near- or possibly even long-term future and it's happening as a result of something he had no control over -- his family legacy,” says Williams. “That becomes a bitter pill for him to swallow. For a long time, he's been trying to avoid that. It's going to lead to some friction both personally and with his co-workers, where it becomes difficult to oversee the staff and the decisions that have to be made by the board of directors with Jackson being the deciding vote. It's a big undertaking that's a lot to take on for anybody, even with a running start and he didn't have the luxury of that.”
In addition, this change in roles will mean that it is likely Jackson and his mother Catherine Avery will be rubbing shoulders and bumping heads a lot more often. “It's a push and pull with his mom,” says Williams. “You're going to see some conflict around making sure she appreciates what she did and maybe she should apologize and acknowledge that she's forcing something down Jackson's throat.”
Through promos, fans have seen that Owen will quit upon hearing the news of Jackson’s promotion. Williams says that this will weigh heavily on Jackson’s mind and spark some difficult decisions. “Every character has their own attachments and loyalties: You mess with Owen, you mess with Cristina; you mess with Arizona, you're dealing with Callie.” Williams continued to say that “There's going to be some arguments, fights, tension and Jackson has to learn how to be a leader and not be everybody's friend and make some tough calls. Owen is a big one as chief of surgery and he's always been there for Jackson in the past and has given him the hard lessons in the past, which makes it difficult for Jackson to make a tough decision involving him.”
As for the complicated relationship between Jackson and April, Williams hints that it will not be solved quickly without some give and take from both characters. “We've got some great scenes coming up where their relationship is really in his face and Jackson has to deal with it. It's a real test for him. Jackson has already fought for April -- with the proposal and the pregnancy scare -- and she really hurt him and burned that bridge with him. There's only so many times someone can keep coming back for more.” For those of you who are rooting for the former couple, Williams says that there is still some hope for reconciliation – if it is what is best for both of them. “He cares about her and it wouldn't be a stretch to say he loves her but there's only so many times he can put his hand on a hot stove. At a certain point watching her be with Matthew and seeing her find happiness with someone else, he can't help but think, "What the hell, as long as she's happy, I need to move on."”