The thing they changed: Ellis never got sick and was still in the hospital, running things. In Meredith’s words, she wants to be extraordinary, so she has to crush everyone and keep them ordinary. Yep, that sounds like Ellis AND it brings back memories of an episode where Ellis called Meredith “ordinary.” Also, Meredith wondered if she had a good dad, would things be different? At this point, we thought that this entire thing was a fantasy in Meredith’s head, or a dream, especially when her “good dad” came in the form of a stepdad, Dr. Weber. But as the episode went on, we decided to take it not as a Meredith fantasy, but as a picture of what really would have happened, from the writers to us.
Because Meredith would never make her sister a drug addict or have Alex cheat on her in a fantasy, right? One thing that didn’t make sense at first: Why would Ellis Grey being alive mean that Owen and Callie would have married years ago and had lots of babies? We traced it all back like this. In season five, when Owen showed up, Callie and Arizona were not together. Because Cristina was an even bigger bitch than she is in our usual reality, Owen went right for Callie, who shares his love of making babies. Why wasn't Cristina desirable? Because Meredith wasn’t twisted enough to go for Cristina as a best friend, because she had a living mommy teaching her and a good dad. Meredith must soften Cristina.
Also, Cristina was a pariah for sleeping with Burke. Since Meredith wasn’t twisty, she didn’t go for Derek so that a good guy could save her. Instead, she went for Alex so that she could save and change the bad boy, like a normal woman would. That means only Cristina slept with an attending. In both realities, Burke leaves Cristina. In this new reality, Meredith ratted out Izzie over the Denny situation (which means Izzie probably died of cancer because Cristina wasn’t around to save her), and George left after failing his boards. Presumably, he would still be alive.
We loved cutesy Meredith and Alex in the first half of this episode. Their alternate selves were hilarious. Callie looks great with that alternate hair and makeup. We even liked Lexie’s dreds. Now, if Ellis had ended up happy and with the chief, Thatcher Grey would have killed himself. Man, that guy is the worst. Without her good daddy, Lexie would end up on drugs and not a doctor. In any reality, April is annoying, but in this one, she is also a crappy friend. Jackson is still competent and nice. Bailey was always meant to be a bad ass, but she doesn’t do well under Ellis. She still ends up a teacher when she chews Alex out in the elevator.
Addison still cheats on Derek, but this time, she has Mark’s baby. Ellis makes Derek suck as a surgeon and his nickname is “McDreary.” There was a little dark humor when Charles was still alive and said, “Shoot me now” in disgust. So….Ellis’ presence scared off the shooter? Or maybe she just would not have unplugged the shooter’s wife? We loved watching Meredith and Cristina as enemies in the episode. They are just electric together, no matter the relationship. We were so happy when they ended up friends, using the same lines they said in the pilot when they made up after a fight. That warmed our little hearts. We swooned like ninnies when Mark found Lexie and carried her into the hospital. So romantic. We know those two aren’t over yet.
Without Cristina, Owen never got treated for is PTSD or faced down those issues. Three years and a bunch of babies with Callie later, he is miserable and probably about to cheat with Teddy. A mutual love of babies is not enough. Cristina is only nice to Owen, helping him when he hurts his hand due to his illness and advising him to get help. This sort of shows us that the writers think Cristina and Owen were meant to be too, if only for a short time in order to help him get healthy. It also shows us that kids would not make him happy by themselves, no matter how much those twins looked like Owen. Does this mean that the writers believe in C/O as a couple in the same way that the think MerDer and Meredith/Cristina were meant to be? Either way, it looks like Cristina is going to fix Owen, whether he is married to Callie or not. Callie and Arizona were looking a little friendly anyway.
The episode used music from season one of this show, and that was fantastic. It started with "Portions for Foxes". Even though Meredith’s life was cozier and she had a better relationship with her mom, Meredith saw Ellis for who she really was in the end. Meredith is always supposed to be a deep, rebellious, twisty, fearless girl. We think, in having these characters become who they are despite changed circumstances, this episode reminded us of all the things we love about the characters and all of their best moments. Finally, of course, Meredith and Derek ended up single, heartbroken and in a bar together, about to get wasted and hook up. Yessssss.
Episode grade: B+