When there's a poisonous snake in our path, we freeze. When we smell smoke, we run. When faced with danger, fear takes over and we react, desperate to feel safe. It's biological, primal. But for someone who suffers from trauma, it's the everyday things. A song in a coffee shop, the smell of rubbing alcohol, seemingly random, common things, convincing your brain and body you're in danger. And there is no way out. Too often, trauma gets dismissed as just in our head. But the pain is real. We feel it, in our muscles, our cells, our hearts, our heads. And while there's no magic fix, no pill to make it disappear, we can ask for help. And we can tell our truth, whenever we're ready.

Silent All These Years is the nineteenth episode of the fifteenth season and the 336th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

When a trauma patient arrives at Grey Sloan, it forces Jo to confront her past. Bailey and Ben have to talk to Tuck about dating.

Full SummaryEdit

Alex comes up behind Jo in the hallway. She left while he was in the shower and he thinks she's avoiding him. She says it's not on purpose. She has one last chance to get Bailey's full attention before she's Chief again. Alex doesn't believe it and asks how long they're going to dance around the issue. He wants to know what happened with her birth mother. She avoids the question and then leaves.

Jo steps up to a house and rings the bell. Vicki Ann Rudin answers the door. Jo introduces herself and hears two kids inside the house calling out to their mom. Vicki calls back to them. Jo is surprised that she has kids. Vicki thinks she's selling something and tries to end the conversation, but then Jo tells her that she thinks Vicki's her mother.

While driving him to school, Bailey asks Tuck about his homework. He got it done. Ben then suggests they go get burgers to celebrate Bailey's last night of sabbatical. Tuck says he has a thing ... with Kelly. Tuck says they're just talking and then asks to be dropped off not in front of the school. Once Bailey pulls over, he dashes off. They watch as he puts his arm around a girl.

Abby Redding is wandering around the lobby, looking around when she runs into Jo and freezes. Abby says she can't find her way to the ER, so Jo gives her directions and then offers just to take her. Abby asks if she's ever had just a garbage kind of day. Jo says she has many times.

In the ER, Abby gets in a bed. She says she was putting away dishes and smacked herself in the face with a cabinet. It happened last night, but wouldn't stop bleeding, which is why she came in. Dahlia prepares to numb her. When Andrew comes to get Jo, she tells Abby she'll be right back, but is surprised when Abby grabs her hand. Jo asks Andrew to tell Bailey she'll be a while and give them room to stitch up Abby's face. She asks Abby to sit up, but she whimpers with pain when she tries. Jo sends Dahlia away and closes the curtain around Abby's bed. It's just the two of them. Jo knows she's hurt. Abby removes her scarf, revealing bruises on her neck. Then she pulls up her shirt, showing a large amount of bruising. Jo tells her she's not going anywhere.

Vicki closes the door behind her and then asks Jo what she's after. Jo says she just wants to talk. Vicki says she can't be there. Just then, Vicki's husband comes through with their dog. Once they're in the house, Jo suggests a diner away where they can meet. She just wants one conversation and Vicki will never hear from her again.

Jo waits at the diner, but Vicki hasn't come, so she gets up to go. Just as she does, Vicki arrives. She comes to sit down with Jo. She's late for work. She works for the mayor's office, creating jobs for the under-served communities. Jo says she has a house and a husband and kids. She's successful. Her life is very different from the life Jo imagined her having. Vicki says she wanted Jo to have a better life than she could give her. Jo writes that off as a cliché. Vicki says it's true. Jo asks the names of her children and Vicki tells her they're Alexandra and Josh. Her husband's a lawyer and he's not Jo's father. He's very different. She met him, Daniel, in grad school. Jo then says she didn't have a better life. She didn't get adoring parents. She was in foster homes so bad he lived in a car. Then she ended up with a husband who beat her almost to death. She thinks there's no way Vicki's life wasn't better than hers. Vicki says she should go and gets up to leave. Jo says she's consistent. Vicki stops and asks if Jo came there to punish her. Jo says she doesn't know anything about where she's from and she wants to know. Vicki sits back down and starts to tell Jo about her ethnic heritage before Jo says she got all that from spitting in a tube. There's a family history of cancer and heart disease. Jo doesn't want to hear any of that. Vicki tells Jo about her childhood and asks if that helps. Jo just asks who her father is and says she'll try to find him. Vicki says he's dead. He hurt her more than any other person in her life and he died in a motorcycle accident ten years ago. She would have preferred a more painful death. Jo thinks she's a monster and tries to leave, but Vicki asks her to sit back down. Jo's father hurt her. Jo sits back down. Vicki tells the story of a TA when she was a freshman. He pursued her. He asked her for a date. She said yes to the date. She said yes to going to Braden's Point to watch the sunset. But then he started kissing and touching her and she say no to that. She fought, but he didn't stop. Nine months later, she had Jo and then five days later, she didn't.

Dahlia and Jo collect evidence from Abby's body and see that her injuries are even worse than they already knew. She's covered in bruises. She says her husband's on a business trip in Portland and she doesn't want to bother him. Abby startles at a knock at the door, but Jo says she called her. It's Teddy, whose here to help. She wants to do an ultrasound to check for internal injuries. They help Abby lie back on the bed while she groans in pain. Teddy explains each step to her as she works. Dahlia starts to cry and Jo looks at her and shakes her head. The ultrasound shows a tear in the diaphragm that has allowed her organs to migrate into her chest. She'll need surgery to repair it. Abby says whatever they need to do so she can go home. Teddy wants to talk to Jo in the hallway, but Abby doesn't want her to leave, so Teddy goes to prep the OR. She asks Dahlia to come out of the room with her.

Out in the hallway, Teddy tells Dahlia to have them prep the OR, but don't let the nurses do an antibiotic prep. Abby appears as though she's been sexually assaulted and they don't want to destroy evidence. They want to give Abby the chance to talk about it.

Back in the room, they ask Abby how she got hurt. She says it doesn't matter. Teddy says she doesn't have to tell them. They can bring a counselor in for her to talk to if she wants. She doesn't want any more doctors. She just needs her stomach to stop hurting. Jo asks about an injury on her leg. Abby makes up a story about kids playing street hockey, but Jo immediately says she doesn't believe it's true. Teddy admonishes her for saying that. Abby asks them just to say what they need to say. Jo says she thinks Abby's husband hurt her and based on her legs, sexually assaulted her. Teddy tries to send Jo out, but Abby just says Jack would never hurt her. Jo says someone else did it, then. Abby just wants to have her surgery, but Jo tells her that if they go to the OR, they have to make her sterile, which means erasing all the evidence. She can still report it. Abby says there's nothing to report. Teddy said that's her choice, but Jo pushes her, saying if something happened, they can gather evidence and seal it away until she's ready to do something about it. Abby says they all know if she does the kit, it'll end up in the back of a police station, ignored for years, while Abby waits for the bomb to go off, to see if a jury of her peers will believe her, a woman who wore a skirt a few inches too short, had a few cocktails too many at a bar, after a fight with her husband. The tequila she drank will make it her fault and for the guy who did it to her, what he drank will be his excuse. She wants to know if the kit will prove it wasn't her fault. Abby starts to wheeze, so they give her oxygen and help her calm down. Jo tells the story of her husband beating her. She was scared and alone. She never had the chance to hold him responsible. Some day, Abby might want justice and Jo wants her to have everything she needs to do that. Abby says her husband can never know and Teddy says he won't have to. Abby tells them to do it.

Jo holds her hand as Teddy prepares to do the kit. At each step, Teddy asks if she's ready and Abby says she is. They photograph her injuries and collect swabs from the areas where she was injured, including where he bit her. They clip her nails and comb her hair. They take swabs from between her legs. Finally, they are finished and Abby starts to cry.

Vicki confirms that she never told anyone what had happened. She convinced people she was just gaining the freshman 15. She didn't tell anyone she was pregnant. It wasn't until years after she was raped that she went to therapy and did the work. She wrote journals and learned triggers. She had to work to get to the point where she could call it rape, because she said yes to the date and getting in the car. The word rape has been qualified and somehow, people believe it's not rape when you know the person. She moved forward with her life, but never once tried to find Jo. Vicki says she was petrified every single moment she was pregnant. It was bad enough to see his face every day in class. She was terrified imagining that Jo would be a boy and have his face and his voice. Every kick, every movement, reminded her where Jo came from. All the books and movies always talked about the love you feel the instant your baby is open and your heart cracks open. She told herself that once that moment happened, she could do it. She gave the hospital a fake name and she left even though the hospital wanted her to stay and rest. She just wanted to be alone with Jo and stare at her and hold her until the love came. Jo thinks the love never came. Vicki says it did. Everything they said was right. Her heart cracked open. But it was still never just the two of them. She was a reminder of him and Vicki resented her for that. Jo doubted every person she ever met her whole life, leaving them before they could leave her. Now she has a job and a husband and friends and she never stopped hoping Vicki would find her. Vicki says she did the best she could, but Jo doesn't believe that. It's easy to say that no, with who she is now, but after she was raped, she wasn't that person. She wasn't in her right mind. He smiled and hurt her and then said they could do that anytime she wanted. That's when she lost her right mind. She looked at Jo after she was born and she could feel again for the first time, but her mind took years to come back and part of it never did. Jo deserved better, but Vicki didn't have better to give her. Jo says she was seven weeks pregnant when her ex cracked her ribs and threw her across the floor. He didn't know she was pregnant and Jo decided he couldn't know. She couldn't see a way out at that point. If she tried to leave, he'd kill her. She couldn't raise a kid like that, so she had an abortion. She's never told anyone that. She's not ashamed, so she doesn't know why. She did what she had to do. Jo asks if she looks like him. Vicki says she has Vicki's father's eyes, but the hair came from her along with the fire in her belly. Vicki says she did the best she could and she's still doing the best she can. Vicki then gets up and leaves.

Abby's getting worse, so they have to go right away. Abby starts to panic because the last time she was out, he did it. Teddy says if she doesn't have the surgery, it can kill her. Abby says she can't leave the room because every man has his face and it's all she sees. Jo says she doesn't have to.

Bailey and Ben discuss the situation with Tuck. She doesn't know what just talking means. She wants Tuck to be happy and have all the butterflies and first love. They have to sit him down and teach him about respect and consent and condoms. Ben suggests that he can do it. His father gave him the talk and it worked.

Andrew guards a door and tells Richard he can't go through. Richard asks why and Andrew says he's been asked to see that he doesn't. A nurse goes through and Richard asks about her.

In the hallway, only female employees from the hospital have gathered. Meredith asks Bailey if she knows why and Dahlia says a patient needs them. She needs all of them.

The women line both sides of the hallway.

Jo asks Abby if she's ready and she says she is. Abby is pushed down the hallway to the elevator. They get her to the OR, where Jo continues to hold her hand. Jo promises that she'll stay right there.

Teddy operates in a room with an all-female surgical team and talks about her experience with soldiers, women and men, who'd been brutalized like that with no way to talk about it. The way Jo talked to Abby wasn't protocol, but it should be.

Abby wakes up and Teddy tells her she repaired Abby's diaphragm and put in a chest tube for drainage, but it would come out in a few days. Jo says her kit will stay there, if she decides to report it. Abby knows they think she should, but Jo says it's not their call, but they do think she should talk to someone. It doesn't have to be her husband, but someone. Abby says she keeps going over it in her head. If she hadn't been distracted. If she hadn't gone down that street. Teddy reiterates that it's not her fault. She didn't ask for it and there's nothing she did to deserve it. Abby says she can't. Teddy tells her to try to get some rest. Abby's worried her husband will look at her and see a broken person and if she tells him, it's all he'll ever see. Jo tells her that this doesn't define her. Whether she tells her husband or not, if she never tells another soul, she's a survivor. She survived. Jo still gets nauseous when she sees men with expensive shoes with pointed toes because that's how her ex made her kidneys bleed. For years, she thought she was responsible, that she got what she deserved. But it wasn't her fault. Abby asks if Jo has a phone she can use and Jo gives Abby hers and asks if she'll stay. Jo says she'll stay as long as Abby needs. Abby finally lets go of Jo's hand to make the call.

Ben and Tuck are getting burgers. Ben talks about games they watch on TV. Everyone plays until someone gets hurt. Or someone calls time out. Then the game stops, no matter how much fun they're having. That's consent. Tuck's confused, but Ben says they need to talk about it. Ben says he needs to talk to the girls he's with and make sure she's enjoying things at least as much as he is. If she says stop, it's all over. Ben says being with someone you like is amazing. He wants Tuck to be safe and happy, but it can only happen if she's happy, too. Ben makes Tuck say if she stops having fun, just plain stop. Time out. Game over. Always. Ben then asks to hear about Kelly, the girl he likes.

Abby's husband holds her hand as she talks to the police. Jo watches from the doorway, then leaves and closes the door behind her.

Alex finds Jo as she's leaving. He's no longer the interim chief and he's hungry. He asks her if she wants to celebrate with him, but she just wants to go home and go to bed. He says they can do that. She wants him to go out and celebrate with Meredith. He says he won't judge. He just wants her to talk to him. She says she doesn't want to talk about it. She can't talk about it. She just wants to go home alone and sleep.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Jo Karev
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Andrew DeLuca
  • Teddy Altman
  • Ben Warren
  • Abby Redding
  • Dahlia Qadri
  • Taryn Helm
  • Vicki Ann Rudin
  • Tuck
  • Daniel Rudin
  • Nurse Karen
  • Nurse Liv

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Abby ReddingEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Diaphragmatic rupture
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical repair

Abby came into the ER with a forehead laceration. She initially claimed that was her only injury, but when pressed, she revealed a severely bruised abdomen. An ultrasound showed that her diaphragm was ruptured and her organs were pushed up into her chest. Before her surgery, she agreed to let them collect a sexual assault evidence kit. Then she was taken to surgery, which went well.


Song Performer Scene
"Everywhere Ghosts Hide" Erin McCarley
  • Abby consents to the rape kit.
  • Teddy and Jo carry it out, asking for permission with every step.
  • Jo comforts her afterwards.
"Lost Without You" Freya Ridings
  • The women of the hospital line up in the hallways for Abby.
  • Abby is taken into the OR.
  • Jo promises to stay with her.
  • While operating, Teddy tells Jo what she did should be protocol.
"I Won't" Richard Walters
  • Abby calls her husband.
  • Ben talks to Tuck about consent.
  • Abby gives her statement to the police with her husband by her side.
  • Jo leaves Abby's room to go home. She tells Alex she wants to be alone.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 15x19 Promo "Silent All These Years" (HD) Season 15 Episode 19 Promo

Grey's Anatomy 15x19 Promo "Silent All These Years" (HD) Season 15 Episode 19 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Silent All These Years, originally sung by Tori Amos. The reason writer Elisabeth Finch chose this title is because in college, a friend of hers was raped and she did not know how to help. However, days before, she had gone to a Tori Amos concert where people were handing out RAINN bumper stickers, which made her tell her friend about RAINN, where they were able to help her friend.
  • This episode scored 7.37 million viewers, a season high.
  • The episode was filmed around January 25, 2019.
  • The episode is Jo-centric.
  • A label shown during the sexual assault evidence kit scene shows that the hospital part of the episode takes place on March 28, 2019.
  • Caterina Scorsone and Kelly McCreary appear but they do not have any lines.
  • Showrunner Krista Vernoff has declared that this is one of the most powerful episodes of the entire series. The episode focuses on consent and was directly inspired by Christine Blasey Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
  • Writer Elisabeth R. Finch makes a cameo as one of the nurses transporting Abby to the OR. The other women in the hall are all women who work at ShondaLand or ABC, who requested to be in the scene after they had read the script and word had spread.
  • Vicki's dog Chip was named after Elisabeth's childhood dog Chip Finch.
  • Khalilah Joi refused to see the "wall of women" scene in rehearsals so that her reaction would be completely genuine on camera. She auditioned multiple times in the span of one year for different roles on the show, but Krista Vernoff deemed her too good for the small roles she initially auditioned for. Khalilah was then offered the role of Abby once the script was ready without her having to audition.
  • Camilla Luddington shared that they shot the scenes in chronological order, which rarely happens.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


Teddy: Abby, if we take you to the OR, we have to make you sterile, so everything that happened to you, all the evidence, it all goes away. You can still report it.
Abby: I'm not reporting anything. There's nothing to report.
Teddy: That is your choice. It is all your choice.
Jo: But if something happened if it did we could gather the evidence and seal it away until you are ready to do something about it.
Abby: We all know if I do that kit it ends up in the back of some police station, ignored for years, while I sit there wondering when the bomb will go off, waiting to see if a jury of my peers will believe a woman who wore a skirt a few inches too short, who had a few cocktails too many at a bar last night after having a fight about laundry with her husband. And you know the tequila I drank will make it my fault, and whoever did this to me, whatever he drank that'll be his excuse! Is your kit gonna convince them I wasn't flirting at the bar? If I give them my story and my underwear, will it prove to them or to my husband that I didn't cheat on him and make up some story just to save my own ass? Will your kit do that?!
Teddy: All right, deep breath. That's it. Slow deep breath.
Jo: My ex-husband, he hurt me. Not in the way that you were hurt, but he hit me, he hurt me, for years. And I was so, so terrified. And so convinced that no one would believe me, and I was so, so alone. I never had the chance or the choice to hold him responsible. I can't imagine how you are feeling right now. I can't. But, one day, you might feel differently. You might want justice and I want you to have everything you need to do that.
Abby: My husband, he can never know.
Teddy: He won't have to.
Abby: Do it. Just do the damn kit.

Teddy: I've seen soldiers like this. Young women and young men, brutalized, with no idea how to talk about it. What you did today with Abby, that was not protocol.
Jo: I know. I know, and I'm sorry...
Teddy: I'm saying it should be.

Abby: I keep going over it in my head. If I hadn't been so distracted by my phone. If I had just trusted my gut and not gone down that street with the broken lamplights.
Teddy: Abby, this was not your fault. You didn't ask for this. There is nothing you did to deserve this.

Abby: Jack... He's gonna look at me and see this broken person. If I tell him this, it's all he'll ever see.
Jo: Abby, look at me. This doesn't define you. And whether you tell your husband or you report it or you don't tell another soul, you're a survivor. You survived. I still feel nauseous when I see men in expensive shoes with the points of the toes, because that's how my ex-husband made my kidney bleed. For years, I thought I got what I deserved, that I was responsible, that maybe, just maybe, if I had said or done one thing differently...
Abby: But none of that was your fault.
Jo: No.
Abby: It's not your fault. Do you have a phone I can use?
Jo: Yes. Will you stay?
Abby: As long as you need.

Ben: Any game we watch on TV right? They run, toss, wrestle, chase, until someone gets hurt. Or until someone calls time out. Then the game stops. And no matter how much fun they're having, everything stops. That's consent.
Tuck: I thought we were just having burgers.
Ben: Yeah, well, I thought talking was just talking, but you and I both know that's not the same thing anymore, so... You pay attention to the girl you're with, all right? You need to care about her feelings, her joy, at least as much as you care about your own.
Tuck: Okay, okay.
Ben: And she gets to change her mind. At any time. I mean, if she says "stop," or if she stops having fun, you just plain stop. Time out. Game over.
Tuck: I know.
Ben: Being with someone you like is... There's nothing like it, and I want you to be safe and happy, but that only happens if she is, too.
Tuck: Okay.
Ben: Say it. Say it.
Tuck: If she stops having fun, just plain stop. Time out. Game over.
Ben: Always. Now, pass those fries and tell me what this Kelly is like.

See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

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