The actress, 40, reprised her role as April Kepner during Thursday's episode of Grey'sand reunited with her former costar Jesse Williams, who plays April's ex-husband, Jackson Avery. It was the first time fans witnessed the couple — dubbed "Japril" — back together since Drew's exit in 2018.
During the episode, Jackson headed to April's house and asked her and their 3-year-old daughter Harriet to move to Boston with him so he can take over his family's medical foundation. (The episode was Williams' second to last after 12 seasons on the series, ABC announced Thursday.)
After April revealed that she and her husband Matthew had actually split, the romantic tension between the pair reignited and viewers were left wondering whether or not they would end up back together. Drew, for one, thinks they will.
"They run off into the sunset!" she told PEOPLE of her ideal "Japril" ending during a Friday panel. "I have such hope, I have such tremendous hope that these two people will come back together."
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The Cruel Summer star said she also noticed that even fans on social media who "used to call the relationship toxic" have changed their minds about the TV couple after Thursday's episode.
"There's such maturity, like you witnessed these two people that really want good things for the other person, they've moved past the epic traumas that drove them in different directions, and they're settling into really their true selves. And I think with this new maturity leaves space for them to find one another again as like, a full-on partnership — that would be my hope for them," she said.
As for why Jackson and April didn't share a kiss, Drew said it was a combination of filming during the COVID-19 pandemic and staying true to the storyline. She noted that the two actors weren't even meant to hug during the episode due to pandemic guidelines, but made it work.
"There was not supposed to be a hug, there was not supposed to be a hand grab, like, both of those things happened on the day," she told reporters. "I just think [a kiss] would have been too much. I love how it leaves the audience hoping and wanting more and drawing their own conclusions."
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She continued, "It would be a little intense, if like, she drops the bomb that her marriage is over and then five seconds later they're making out. I mean, I know that's what a lot of fans wanted but I just think there's tenderness there about all of the things he's asking her to do — she's uprooting her life, they're about to go on this epic journey, you're going to need to take some time, if that's the direction they're gonna go back in."
"I'm glad we held it back, but I understand the desire," Drew added.
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Drew also said it was "so easy" to fall back into character as April and find her old rhythm with Williams, 39.
"Jesse and I love working together, we have a beautiful friendship, and a really special partnership on screen," she said. "Just like, diving back into that relationship with Jesse, it was beautiful and fun and easy and it felt literally like I had worked with him yesterday, like, it felt like no time had passed."
"We just were right back to what we always do, so it was lovely," Drew continued. "After shooting on our first day I remember looking at him after one take and just being like, 'I've missed you! It's so easy working with you!'"
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.