The character everyone forgets Matthew Morrison played on Grey’s Anatomy



Dr. Paul Stadler first appears in the 23rd episode of season 13 of “Grey’s Anatomy”, “True Colors”. He attends a conference on minimally invasive surgery in California, which is also attended by Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). Alex soon realizes that Stadler is his girlfriend’s abusive ex-husband, Dr Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington), and he fantasizes about beating him like Paul beat Jo. While Alex spends the entire episode following Paul, they never come to blows. Instead, Alex rejects Paul’s offer to share a taxi to the airport, a gesture of kindness and goodwill that he will later regret.

Stadler goes to the airport and does not resurface until the 8th episode of season 14, “Out of Nowhere”. For Jo, then the new chief resident of Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital, the title of the episode proves prophetic. Stadler unexpectedly shows up in the middle of a hacking crisis at the hospital and does so at the end of the episode, breaking Jo’s emotional balance.

In Season 14 episode 9, “1-800-799-7233”, which is also the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, audiences learn that they discovered Jo’s pseudonym and found her because that he wants her to sign a divorce agreement so he can marry his new fiancee Jenny (Joy Lenz). Once the papers are inked, Jo reaches out her hand to Jenny, fearing that Paul will mistreat her as well. Jenny denies that there is anything wrong with their relationship. But Jo knows Paul too well. She slips a piece of paper with the holder number on Jenny, and Paul later confronts Jo about the gesture, informing her that Jenny told him about the note and that he is hiding it from his fiancee, strongly implying that time hasn’t changed it at all.



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