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.
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.
"Everywhere Ghosts Hide"
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"
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.
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.
"Everywhere Ghosts Hide" - Erin McCarley
"Lost Without You" - Freya Ridings
"I Won't" - Richard Walters
Notes and Trivia
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.
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.
Behind the Scenes
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: 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...
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.
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.