In trauma, we're concerned with one overriding question. How did this happen? What was the mechanism of injury? How do we see past the mess and confusion of trauma to figure out what the damage actually is? Infinite possibilities put the patient on the table in front of you. Now you have to figure out, will they live? Will you be able to save them or are they a lost cause? Every part of a trauma tells a different piece of the story and until you look at each and every injury, you can't see what went wrong. We talk about the mechanism of injury, about where it all started, but the truth is, it's sort of a myth. We can't boil every injury down to one single blow. What hurts us is cumulative. It happens over time. We absorb blow after blow, shock after shock, painful hit after hit. But even then, even if we know exactly how we got here, it doesn't mean we can fix it. You can't heal every wound and that's okay. I have to believe it's okay. I have to believe that even if something seems like it cannot be fixed, it doesn't mean it's broken.

Unbreak My Heart is the 11th episode of the twelfth season and the 256th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

The evolution of April and Jackson's relationship is revealed through a series of flashbacks dating back to when they first met. Simultaneously, we follow the years-long progress of one of Jackson's patients.

Full SummaryEdit

Ben paces outside a church on the phone. Jackson comes up and Ben informs him that he's late and she is starting to worry.

Jackson enters a bridal suite and Tatiana Flauto stands up and says that she didn't want him to see her yet. He says that she's beautiful.

April teaches the anatomy class about finding the source of a trauma.

April and Jackson talk with their lawyers. They have no assets to contest, so they just need to sign the papers. It's one of the simpler divorces they've seen.

Rewind to April and Jackson fighting about her being served divorce papers at the hospital. It's only been four weeks of counseling, but Jackson says it's not getting them anywhere. They have the same fight over and over. April feels like she's being slapped in the face. She asks him when he decided he was done.

Rewind to them leaving counseling. Jackson unlocks the door as they argue about whether or not their therapist said they shouldn't be having sex. April says their sex life isn't their problem, but Jackson says it gets in the way. Jackson keeps trying to unlock the door, but April keeps grabbing the knob, keeping it locked. They fight over whether or not April has apologized for what really matters. Jackson finally successfully unlocks the door.

Rewind to Jackson removing Tatiana's bandages. She asks him if he talked to April. He says it didn't go as expected and Tatiana figures out he didn't ask her for a divorce. He says it's not easy, but she thinks it is. Bailey and Richard come in, excited for the unveiling. It's been over four years since they started working on her and they're finally done. Jackson goes to remove the bandages. Tatiana's not sure she can look, but Jackson says she'll want to.

Rewind to Jackson and April taking about Meredith's recovery. They flirt and Jackson says their therapist said they should be more direct with what they want. April says she has an hour and Jackson says he was heading to an on-call room to get a nap. April says he won't be getting any sleep and they leave.

Rewind to April and Jackson fighting about whether or not he was going to ask for a divorce. He says he was going to ask for a divorce when they went to dinner, but then they had sex. He says he was sure in what he was going to do, but now it's not so clear anymore. He doesn't want the divorce anymore. He wants her.

Rewind to April and Jackson after having sex. Jackson gets up and April starts to get dressed. Jackson then looks back at her as he leaves the room.

Rewind to April and Jackson coming home with Chinese food. They didn't want to wait an hour for a table. Jackson says the place looks nice because she changed some things aorund, but April knows he's lying because he hates throw pillows. April sees that they gave them a bunch of fortune cookies. Jackson says he asked for extra. April apologizes for the previous night and her getting called into work. April quickly prays before they start to eat. She thanks him for waiting. She jokingly says she was praying for throw pillows. April says the place where they got the Chinese food is great and Jackson can't believe he never noticed it before, because he ordered takeout every night while she was gone. April thinks he was trying to pick a fight, but he says he wasn't. He didn't come to fight. She asks why he did come. He jokes that he came for throw pillows. She asks him about a nasal septum reconstruction, Tatiana's final surgery. She's come a long way. He says he'll be proud once it's all done because he's done so many surgeries on her. He says they need to talk, really talk, about them. It's not easy. He says they need to talk about getting a divorce. They're not living together and this is their first substantial conversation in months. She says that's on him because she's been there wanting to talk. He says not to blame him. She says they're having two different conversations because she wants to work on things and he wants to end them. He says he's not taking it lightly. She left him and walked away. She says she was dying. Samuel died and she died. Until she was able to go to Jordan, she felt dead. He says he was dying, too, after Samuel died. She says he wasn't dying like she was. He says he was, but he was covering for her, to take care of her. He was trying to put her first because that's what you do in a marriage. She says she took care of herself so she could survive. She asks if it upsets him that she found what she needed to heal or the fact that it wasn't him. He says he needed her. She survived and he survived, but he doesn't think they will. April says she won't get divorced because no one in her family ever has, but Jackson says everyone in his family has and sometimes marriages just don't work out. Sometimes it's healthier that way. April says she won't give up, but he says she already did. Divorce is not a dirty word to him. It's the light at the end of a really dark tunnel. She picks up some fortune cookies and throws them at him. They fight as they throw cookies. April doesn't know why she's doing it. She stops and asks how they make it stop. They start kissing. April says it's probably not a good idea, but they continue making out and he takes off her shirt.

Rewind to Owen and Amelia examining a patient in the ER who broke his neck falling 20 feet. Jackson comes in to establish an airway. Owen questions him, because he was supposed to be getting on a plane with April. He says he decided not to go.

Rewind to Jackson running through the airport. He's rushing to make his flight. He gets to the gate, but Lori informs him that he's too late. The gate is closed, so he can't board the flight. He says he needs to get to his wife. Lori says that's sweet, but there's nothing she can do. She points out that the flight is leaving.

Rewind to April packing for Jordan. Owen's not going to be there, but the rest of her unit will and they're like family. She asks him to come with her. They always need more surgeons. You can see the immediate effects. In Seattle, people get too caught up in their stuff, but in Jordan, every day has meaning. He says he can't just leave. He has commitments and people. He has patients and he's not willing to abandon people who depend on him. She asks if he thinks she is and he says she is, kind of.

Rewind to Jackson removing Tatiana's bandages. There's a lot of necrosis, despite him harvesting two vessels this time. It's her second forehead flap to fail. He's upset about it, but says they'll figure it out. She jokes that maybe her face just doesn't like forehead flaps. She encourages him, saying he'll figure it out. This one's just especially crappy because it's happening right before Christmas and the anniversary of Samuel's death. She knows things have to be tough for him.

Rewind to April in Jordan, desperately trying to get a signal to call Jackson. It doesn't work.

Jackson is getting stitches in the ER. Ben asks if he needs lidocaine, but he says no. Catherine comes up and asks what happened. Jackson says it's nothing. Catherine asks if April called that day. He says she's busy and probably doesn't even realize what day it is. Catherine asks if she can help. Ben sends her to get lidocaine.

Rewind to Jackson trying to take the screws out of Samuel's crib. He gets frustrated and starts breaking it apart, cutting his arm in the process. He then starts to destroy everything else in the room.

Rewind to Jackson telling April he's going to work. She's sitting in Samuel's nursery and he asks if she's eaten breakfast. She hasn't gone to church in a while, so he suggests that they go together. He sits down and suggests they try again, try for another baby. She gets upset at him for even suggesting it. He gets up and he goes to work.

Ben and Jo work to keep Tatiana still. She's pushing them off her. Jackson comes in and asks what's happening. Ben was trying to mark her face for surgery, but she says the marker stinks and she doesn't want any more surgeries. Jackson sends them away and Tatiana says she used to have a life and then she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and now her face is melted off. It's been a year and half and there's a long way to go. Her life is in the hospital, in that bed. She wants to go back to how it was before.

Rewind to the attendings' lounge. Once April and Jackson are alone, they start to dance to celebrate having a baby. Arizona comes in and questions it, but they just say they're dancing and she joins them. Meredith comes in and asks them who died. She only dances it out when something bad happens. Richard also comes in and starts dancing and then Alex. Callie comes in and starts dancing and then asks if they're celebrating the new baby. They all stop, in shock. Callie apologizes to April and Jackson, but they admit they're expecting a baby. The doctors all celebrate and dance some more.

Rewind to April and Jackson on a plane. They're flying to her parents' house and she wants him to lead them in prayer when they get there, to make a good impression. He doesn't want to change who he is to please her parents. She says it's just a gesture of good faith. It's one day, one prayer. He asks what happens at future events when he's suddenly not praying. He then wonders how long she plans for it to go on. Jackson says the conversation's over. She knew who he was when they got married. They agreed to respect their differences, so he's done with the conversation. April wonders if she really didn't know who she was marrying. The way they're speaking to each other is not who they thought they were marrying. As the flight attendant announces that they're landing soon, April says her parents are picking them up at the airport. He offers her his peanuts, but she points out that she's allergic to them.

Rewind to Tatiana looking at April and Jackson's wedding album as he works on her face. She congratulates him and says April's beautiful. She's upset because she thinks no one will ever look at her like that. He says he looks at her and sees strength and bravery and persistence and beauty. The surgeries will give her a face, but she's already beautiful.

Rewind to April and Jackson being pronounced married by a minister. They kiss.

Rewind to the night before the wedding. April is insistence that they can't have sex until they're married. Jackson tries to convince her, but she says they'll survive and their wedding night will be amazing. She unlocks her door and enters the room. Jackson goes to go into his room, but he knocks her door. She opens the door and says good night. She closes the door, but a moment later, opens it and pulls him inside.

Rewind to a clothing store, where April is looking for a new wedding dress. She wants to get married in white. The sales clerk says the dress she's wearing is beautiful and she knows a cleaner who can get the stain off. April insists she needs a new dress. The clerk goes to look in the back. Jackson comes up and says he found a justice of the peace to marry them. April says she wants someone actually ordained because she wants God at her wedding, but Jackson wants a wedding without a lot of God talk. The clerk shows April a dress, but it's not white, so she sends her back. Jackson agrees to find a minister. The clerk comes back with another dress, which April says is perfect. She stops Jackson from looking at it.

Rewind to them in the car, eating fries. She keeps stealing his. He accidentally spills ketchup on her dress. She asks him where they'll live after. He suggests his place and she agrees. It's nicer and bigger. She says she won't change her name, though. He says Avery's a great name, but she says Kepner is too and asks if he wants to take it. He says he's not changing his name and didn't expect her to either. It's not a thing for him. She laughs because they're actually doing it.

Rewind to April saying they can't have sex in closets anymore. She sees that he's upset and asks him about it. He says he's doing facial reanimation and he's worried about it. Mark practically invented it and Jackson did it with him a few times. April assures him he can do it. He's not a person who makes promises he can't keep.

Rewind to Tatiana in the ER. Richard and Bailey are working on her. A stranger threw acid in her face, severely burning her. A bystander gave her a towel with ice, which then stuck to the burns. Jackson used saline to remove the towel, which he says will be painful. He assured her that she's safe and it'll be okay. He pours the saline and removes the towel. He asks to page Mark, but Mark's on a plane to Idaho, so Jackson has to take care of it. Tatiana starts to panic, but Jackson says that the two of them are a team now and they'll get through it together. It won't be quick or easy, but he'll be with her the entire time. He promises her.

Rewind to April and Jackson as residents complaining about Mark and Owen being hard on them. They go through a hallway and April stops. It's where Reed died. She slipped in Reed's blood there. She hasn't been back since. Jackson says there's a elevator near where Charles died that he never uses. April starts to hyperventilate and Jackson awkwardly tries to calm her. She hugs him and he says they're there and okay. She says her life flashed before her eyes when she had the gun pointed at her. And it was boring. She kept thinking she didn't want to die a virgin. He says she can fix that, but says he's not propositioning her. They brush it off as a joke, and she tells him good luck with Mark. After she's gone, he says she's weird.

Rewind to April and Jackson's first day as interns. They're introducing themselves to the group. Charles offers to go next. He's undecided about his specialty. He has time to figure it out. Jackson goes next. They figure out he's of the Avery family. He doesn't want to talk about it. April asks if he knows Catherine Avery and asks if he's going to urology. He says no, he's going cardio. He wants to be done. April volunteers to go next. She introduces herself and says she's thinking of a specialty that has set hours so she can raise her children.

Back in the present, April says they can't always boil an injury down to a single blow. April asks Jackson if he really wants the divorce. He doesn't answer and she takes the pen and signs the papers as her voiceover says they absorb a lot of hits. And even if they know how they got there, they can't always fix it.

Tatiana asks if it's too late to back out. She says she and Timothy got in a huge fight that morning. Jackson says they'll have the same fights for 50 years, but you can't let it become bigger than them. Marriage is hard, but not as hard as getting acid thrown in your face. She thanks him for keeping all the promises he made to her. She says she's sorry about him and April. He says today is about her and goes to walk her down the aisle.

April is sitting on the couch when Arizona comes in. She didn't know what April would want, so she bought some of every kind of alcohol. She asks April to choose, but April doesn't want anything. April says she's just a little hungry. Arizona questions her having signed divorce papers and not wanting to drink and wonders if she's pregnant. April says according to the test she took that morning, she thinks she is.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Callie Torres
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • April Kepner
  • Jackson Avery
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Jo Wilson
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Ben Warren
  • Nathan Riggs
  • Catherine Avery
  • Charles Percy
  • Tatiana Flauto
  • Jackson's Lawyer
  • Attending
  • April's Lawyer
  • Minister
  • Sales Clerk
  • Lori

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Tatiana FlautoEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Chemical burns to the face and neck
    • Contractures
  • Treatment:
    • Facial reanimation surgery
    • Paramedian forehead flap
    • Nasal septum reconstruction

Tatiana came into the ER after a stranger threw acid on her face. A bystander had given her a towel with ice, which adhered to her burns, so when she arrived in the ER, they had to use saline to remove it so they could evaluate and start treating her burns. A year and a half into her treatment, she became discouraged about her lack of progress and wanted to quit. However, Jackson was able to convince her to continue treatment. After another surgery, she still had a lot of necrosis. It was her second flap to die. She had her bandages removed after her final surgery, a nasal septum reconstruction, and after 43 surgeries over four years, three months, one week, and four days, she was pleased with the result.

ER PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken neck
  • Treatment:

A patient who had fallen 20 feet came into the ER. His neck was fractured, so Jackson came in to establish an airway.

Jackson AveryEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Arm laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

Jackson cut his arm disassembling Samuel's crib and Ben stitched it up for him. He declined lidocaine.


Song Performer Scene
"Touch" Sleeping at Last
  • April introduces herself as an intern.
  • Flashbacks to April and Jackson's relationship.
  • Jackson's lawyer says it's a simple divorce.
  • April asks Jackson if he really wants it.
  • He doesn't answer, but April signs the papers.
  • Jackson gives Tatiana a pep talk as she gets ready for her wedding.
  • She says she's sorry about April.
  • They go to her wedding.
  • Arizona brings alcohol to April, who declines.
  • Arizona questions if she's pregnant and April says she thinks she is.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 12x11 Promo "Unbreak My Heart" (HD)

Grey's Anatomy 12x11 Promo "Unbreak My Heart" (HD)

  • This episode's title originated from the song Unbreak My Heart, originally sung by Toni Braxton.
  • This episode scored 7.23 million viewers.
  • This is the first episode since Remember the Time to feature new footage of the now-former residents in the light blue scrubs.
  • The table read took place on November 19, 2015. It was held with only Sarah Drew, Jesse Williams, and the writers and producers, since the other actors make such small appearances in the episode that they were exempt from participating.
  • This is the last episode to feature an anatomy class.
  • Kelly McCreary and Martin Henderson appear in the background, but they have no actual lines.
  • Crew member Barbara Friend appeared as one of the new Mercy West interns.
  • On social media, the episode was referred to as Japril: The Movie.
  • The Jordan sequences were filmed on the set of the ambulance bay.
  • The airline featured in this episode is Oceanic Airlines, the fictional airline featured on ABC's hit show, Lost.
  • The episode re-introduced several props from the past, such as Callie and Arizona's rings and necklaces and April's notebook.
  • The episode featured scenes filmed at the Riverfont stages, Air Hollywood, Hollywood Presbyterian Church and St. Luke's Church.
  • The episode was submitted for two nomination ballots for the 68th Emmy Awards: directing and hairstyling for a single camera series.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


April: (to Jackson) You are not a person who makes promises he doesn't keep.

April: What people do you have here that would prevent you from coming overseas with me?
Jackson: Patients. I mean, I'm not will to just abandon people that depend on me.
April: And I am?
Jackson: Kind of. Kind of, yeah.

April: I'm serious, okay? No pre-marital sex.
Jackson: How serious? Like "absolutely not" serious or "I could be convinced" serious?

Meredith: (dancing) Who died?
April: What?
Meredith: I only dance it out when something bad's happened.

April: What...what is it Jackson? What... what pisses you off so much... that I chose to go after the thing that I needed to heal or that the thing I needed wasn't you?

April: What is happening to us?
Jackson: I don't... know.
April: How did we get to this?
Jackson: I don't know.
April: How do we make it stop?

April: Want to know what I was praying for?
Jackson: No, that's all right.
April: Throw pillows. Thousands of them, just raining from the sky.

Arizona: (to April) I wasn't sure what you'd be in the mood for, so I kind of got everything: Champagne, tequila, pinot noir... pick your poison.

April: Did you see what we just did there? We disagreed. We discussed. We compromised.
Jackson: We are pretty amazing at this marriage thing.
April: We are.

See AlsoEdit

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

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.