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8-13: "If/Then" 2012.02.02


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#31

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 2:41 AM

I liked it, although I want our regular characters back. I am not going to think too hard about what made sense and what didn't.

I would have liked more development of the Derek/Addison stuff. I guess we are to assume he did walk in on her and their marriage was pretty broken, but I wish they had explained more about why Derek chose to stay with Addie when he so obviously didn't want to. I thought Addison revealing the baby was Mark's was unnecessary and made it seem too soapy.

Enjoyed the Mer/Der bar scene and also Christina and Mer's true friendship coming out.

Lexie and Jackson actually have really nice chemistry.

Alex was such a weird hybrid that I don't really know what to say about him.

Overall, I give it a B.

#32

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 2:45 AM

It was OK, but I agree that leaving out Jackson (who wasn't really different at all, so what's the point), April and (especially) Percy would have left more room for other stories.

The things that most clearly spell out that this was AU: a) it being beyond the pale to sleep with your attending, and b) people (i.e. Alex and Mere) keeping their relationships out of the hospital. I laughed so hard at those.

Ellis was still pretty much a bitch here. I know Meredith was supposed to be all "bright and shiny" because her mom was nice to her, but...Ellis seemed exactly the same to me. I dunno.

Ellis was the same, but they had Richard. That was the difference. Even Ellis recognized this. "Is Meredith OK? I don't know how to talk to her. You talk to her." Meredith's blow up about Ellis wanting others to be ordinary so she can be extraordinary was pretty great too.

Mark's facial hair is gone. You know what that means: Mehxie is a'comin...

I don't get this. I'm pretty sure Mark had facial hair for the better part of their run.

I would have liked more development of the Derek/Addison stuff. I guess we are to assume he did walk in on her and their marriage was pretty broken, but I wish they had explained more about why Derek chose to stay with Addie when he so obviously didn't want to. I thought Addison revealing the baby was Mark's was unnecessary and made it seem too soapy.

I don't think he caught her cheating. We knew already that the marriage was going downhill even before Addison cheated with Mark. I think they were just caught in that place.

Edited by bijoux83, Feb 3, 2012 @ 2:47 AM.


#33

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 3:33 AM

Honestly, Lexie should have died. At least it would have been...I don't know, SOMETHING?? It would have really driven home the point of how much this AU sucks which is what I think the writers were intending with this episode. Even though it was extremely depressing, the only thing that really affected me was Bailey getting fired. Everything else looked like it was on the path of becoming what it "should" be, so what's the point of the episode?

ETA: And they basically spent money on the actor who plays Charles to come in for one day and say that dumbass line.

Edited by Silent Eve, Feb 3, 2012 @ 3:35 AM.


#34

BrightSide

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 5:28 AM

I don't think he caught her cheating. We knew already that the marriage was going downhill even before Addison cheated with Mark. I think they were just caught in that place.


I think he did catch her cheating and he ran away to Seattle and bought the land and trailer just like our regular timeline, but there was no Meredith. So when Addison came out to Seattle, they tried to make it work. That was my impression, anyway.

#35

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 5:44 AM

I tried. Gave it ten minutes, then deleted it. Life is too short.....

#36

Aliera

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 6:43 AM

Oh that was awesome! I loved the various call backs and the mentions of Izzie George and Burke.

I don't think he caught her cheating. We knew already that the marriage was going downhill even before Addison cheated with Mark. I think they were just caught in that place.

I seem to recall the reason Addison and Derek didn't stay together once they reconciled during the show is that Derek realized he was still in love with Meredith. So if he had never been in love with her in the first place the marriage might have lasted indefinitely.

Also: McDreary. Hee.

Edited by Aliera, Feb 3, 2012 @ 6:45 AM.


#37

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 7:57 AM

but why would Ellis change Meredith's last name? I understand that she wouldn't want her daughter to have her ex-husband's name but why wouldn't she want to keep it for the prestige attached to the name 'Grey'?


I don't think Ellis was prestigious at the time (Meredith was, what, 5 when Ellis and Thatcher divorced?).

ETA: And they basically spent money on the actor who plays Charles to come in for one day and say that dumbass line.


Silly for the network, awesome for the actor. :)

Ellis was still pretty much a bitch here. I know Meredith was supposed to be all "bright and shiny" because her mom was nice to her, but...Ellis seemed exactly the same to me. I dunno.


Ellis was the same, but they had Richard. That was the difference. Even Ellis recognized this. "Is Meredith OK? I don't know how to talk to her. You talk to her."


Right. Besides, they never said this was Ellis as a "nice person." The alternate reality was simply that she hadn't gotten Alzheimer's; she was still the same person, and was likely just as overbearing and self-centered toward Meredith as she really was. The only difference is that she probably didn't also resent Meredith, since here she does have Richard. Meredith is bright and shiny because she had two parents who loved her and she never had to go through caring for her ill mother, but she still has issues with her mother as many people do.

Edited by Chicken Wing, Feb 3, 2012 @ 8:03 AM.


#38

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 8:06 AM

I kind of loved it, but I hated several points that were made throughout. They went with the cliched "all the current relationships are soooo meant to be" route. Some things weren't so much what if's- Addison was still a cheating cheater, Alex was still a jerk, Ellis still a bitch etc. And Meredith is such a savior- without her Derek is miserable and dreary and Cristina is scary and horrible.

#39

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 8:47 AM

I would have liked more development of the Derek/Addison stuff. I guess we are to assume he did walk in on her and their marriage was pretty broken, but I wish they had explained more about why Derek chose to stay with Addie when he so obviously didn't want to. I thought Addison revealing the baby was Mark's was unnecessary and made it seem too soapy.



This above all is what pulled me out of this episode. So there was no Addison going to California in an attempt to become happy and whole/have a spin-off. To me I would have been happy if there was still a depressed/uninspired Derek and Addison was either A. Still there, but divorced from Derek and happy with life either by herself or with Mark or some other guy or B. a one off mention of the ex in California or New York or C. still married to Derek but not as snippy about it or made a continued (and uncreative) cheater. Because was too hard to see them as The Shephards of the AU with both characters acting with the general hostility of S1/S2, unless in the dream there was a stasis between Derek fleeing New York and Addison coming after him and we were to think of this AU coming from around the time George failed his boards.

Did love the fact that Mere/Alex made me feel like I was watching two close step-siblings make out with each other. I also liked the possibility of Owen/Callie if things went differently mostly because I loathed how the issue of kids in a long-term relationship was handled for both characters in the prime reality and Sara Ramirez was smoking hawt as the toady cardio surgeon. Lexie's part in the story would've had better impact if she had died with Mere finding out she had a sister after the fact. I did not like Bailey simply because given what we were shown if she was working under Ellis for most of her career at this point her timidness would've been smacked down hard early on (like in the time of that flashback) so the braids and meekness made no sense.

Was not a fan of Ellis Grey in terms of how she was presented in her treatment of her patient, but really really appreciate the idea that in her hospital crap like the LVAD-gate wouldn't go down, the scrubs wouldn't seem strangely well-tailored and color-coordinated for attractiveness, relationship squabbles/fights in the OR and hooking up in on-call rooms would be frowned upon, the technology and advancement of the equipment would look better, and the hospital would be the aggressor taking on other hospitals in the area and not the other way around. Basically, with the exception being Mere's self esteem Ellis would've rocked.

#40

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 9:19 AM

Entertaining, but I wish they would have saved this episode for the summer or during winter break to break up the reruns. There was no real point to it, except for another Shonda gimmick.

I did appreciate and love that all of the music was from Season 1 & 2; especially "Into the Fire" and "Portions for Foxes" from the pilot episode. I also liked some of the throw-back lines and the Burke mention.

I didn't understand why Bailey turned into "Mandy"; would working under Ellis really turn her into a soft-spoken, timid resident? Charles was pointless. Callie was gorgeous. I liked Lexie and the Derek / Addison dynamic as it gave us a good glimpse of why Derek could leave the marriage so easily after Addison cheated and flee to Seattle.

The biggest revelation for me with this episode was just how much I miss Ellis. Shonda made the biggest mistake ever in killing off her character.

#41

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 9:39 AM

I was getting such a "Clark Kent" vibe from Alex! It wasn't just the horn-rimmed glasses, though that really made the look. It was his whole eager-beaver obsequiousness to Ellis Grey. He really reminded me of Clark Kent in the Superman movies, being so conspicuously meek and mild, deferring to Lois Lane and letting Perry White push him around. But instead of being secretly Superman, Alex was revealed to be secretly super-jerk!

#42

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 9:48 AM

Eh, I enjoyed this episode more than I have any Grey's for some time, but I could totally do without the "some things are MEANT TO BE" sapfest, and with more Addison. Interesting that Ellis Grey's Seattle Grace seems to be full of cardio gods, and also that you get the impression that all Meredith wants to do is general (that's...new, but okay). Justice dictates that Alex gave red-headed April the syph in this world, rather than Olivia.

Also, did Derek order more tequila from "Tom" rather than Joe? Maybe without George, Chief Webber and the more innovative Shepherd, Joe doesn't survive that brain aneurysm?

#43

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 9:50 AM

I didn't understand why Bailey turned into "Mandy"; would working under Ellis really turn her into a soft-spoken, timid resident?


We saw in that flashback episode in season 6 that soft-spoken, timid "Mandy" is how Bailey used to be when she was an intern. I guess with Ellis running things instead of Richard, no one was there to draw Bailey out of her shell.

#44

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 9:57 AM

I usually love alternate histories, what ifs, etc.

This one just didn't feel right.

Addison being there.

(hell, the Addison/Mark/Derek triangle was instigated FAR away from Seattle, I doubt Ellis Grey's existence in an alternate history would have extended that far)

Also specifically, Mark being in Seattle and not working in the hospital? Did he follow Addison to try to get her back, and then... poof, nothing? There's a lot in that just doesn't untangle in a way that makes sense to me.

Nerdy Alex? With glasses? I'd buy the personality change, but why would he move to glasses?

April being Meredith's "person"? How the hell did that happen? She came over from Mercy West! Cristina and Meredith connected in the first episode, on their first day.

(I accept them not connecting... after all, in this case the possible favoritism of her being Ellis Grey's child was explicitly there)

April wasn't as horrible in this episode as normal, either. I like the actress, it's the character that drags her down.

I think a lot of it doesn't set right with me because I didn't really hitch onto a specific point of divergence... It seems like it's trying to fill 'what if Ellis Grey remained healthy' (so, no alzheimers). But a lot of these changes don't fit.

Callie + Owen didn't feel right at all to me. Though I did like Callie being shoehorned into cardio by Ellis.

#45

bijoux83

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 10:26 AM

Also specifically, Mark being in Seattle and not working in the hospital? Did he follow Addison to try to get her back, and then... poof, nothing? There's a lot in that just doesn't untangle in a way that makes sense to me.

From the way Mark's and Addison's scene with Derek was set, it looked like she called him over from New York after realizing Derek didn't want her much like she did in reality.

#46

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 10:39 AM

Ellis was still pretty much a bitch here. I know Meredith was supposed to be all "bright and shiny" because her mom was nice to her, but...Ellis seemed exactly the same to me. I dunno.


I don't think Meredith was bright and shiny because her mom was nice. I think it was because she had Richard in her corner. Someone to rebuild her after her mother tore her down. One of her "What Ifs" in the opening VO was "What if I'd had a good father?", so I think she's imagining someone who loves her unconditionally - and that someone is not her mother. That's why Mer snapped at him at the end.

I thought it was a fun fluffy episode. And it had Zola too! That kid is too cute.

#47

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

It was a cute idea for an episode but everything was blown all out of proportion. What was the lynchpin - Ellis not developing Alzheimer's? And that caused everyone's lives and personalities to change to such a massive degree?


I thought it was Richard leaving Adele for Ellis AND Ellis not having Alzheimer's that changed everything.

#48

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 10:50 AM

Honestly, Lexie should have died. At least it would have been...I don't know, SOMETHING?? It would have really driven home the point of how much this AU sucks which is what I think the writers were intending with this episode.

I thought I caught a little with both Lexie's parents being dead (Dad shot himself). It sort of underscored Mer giving Thatcher her kindey was more for Lexie's sake than for Thatcher.

There were a numer of lines in the ep that were great call backs to the previous years: Mark's "Well, this is ackward", Mer & Christina's last exchange in the bar... I liked that Ellis was able to takeover and absorb all of the other hospitals. Notice that all of the coats and monitors were updated for this ep. :)

I thought it was hilarious how they treated the past cast members: George was the loser whon never came back, Burke disappeared across the country, and Izzie getting fired.

#49

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 10:52 AM

Also, Cristina was waaaaaaaaay frigid. That was jarring to see.


I actually liked that Cristina was Cristina, only way more so. Unlike a lot of the rest of the episode, that worked for me.

#50

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 10:58 AM

It's so impressive to me that this show's first season still has so much impact; hearing the old music and lines from Ep.1 gave me chills! Could not have loved the ending more, especially the tequila lesson...it was perfect!

Meredith's blow up about Ellis wanting others to be ordinary so she can be extraordinary was pretty great too.

Totally agree; I'd like to think Meredith's subconscious has realized that this was Ellis' greatest flaw, and that her fear of never being able to escape her mother's shadow is actually something Ellis put on her, intentionally or not. Back in the real Grey's, my biggest hope is to see her conquer that fear.

you get the impression that all Meredith wants to do is general (that's...new, but okay)


I don't necessarily agree with this; I thought that Meredith started out wanting general but was too afraid of what that meant as far as having to follow in Ellis' footsteps. It seemed like neuro became her default initially because Derek kept putting her on those cases, and once they established their relationship it continued because it was the easy/obvious thing to do. Not that she wasn't passionate about neuro, but it seemed like it was more about her relationship with Derek than her own thing. I think it's way healthier for their longterm relationship to be in different specialties; there would always be competition over cases and trials etc. Anyway, it will be really interesting to see what direction she goes in; the whole mother-legacy thing is such a huge part of that character, and it's hard to separate the specialty issue from all that, so I'm finding this storyline really satisfying.

#51

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 10:59 AM

This episode highlighted how useless Kepner and Avery are. Putting Charles next to them and inserting them (awkwardly) into the stories of the rest of the cast brought it all together. Actually, Avery didn't even have a story with the cast because Lexie wasn't part of the story in this episode. That's not to say that I haven't thought these two were useless for ages now, but it really stuck out like a sore thumb. Also, Eric Dane and his awful, awful acting can leave too. He's only relevant through his sex life storyline, not as an involved father (Shonda's need for a "modern family" and pointless drama is especially bad this time; a baby can't be a dropped plot point but she's managed to do it), which right now consists of some woman we'll see for two more episodes until Mehxie resumes.

Even when they show him reprising his walking in with no shirt scene from when we first saw him with Addison he seemed irrelevant. It appeared that he had no shirt on because Junkie!Lexie puked on him, not because he had just had sex with the fully dressed Addison; I guess we're supposed to think that Addison did not abort their fetus, but who can tell because they were clearly in the hospital when he walked in the middle of Derek and Addison's "it's not your baby" discussion and he said "awkward" not because he was shirtless, but because he walked in on Addison telling Derek that the baby wasn't his. Mark is a useless character in cannon AND in alternate universe. Oh, and is Lexie. I was wondering why I didn't really miss her very much when she wasn't around earlier this season and her scene with Avery and Mark constituted a triumvirate of dead cast weight. It was made all the more worse when the two superior characters and actors Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) came in and took over Lexie's care.

I almost liked Owen and Callie as a couple. First of all, SaRa was devastatingly hot this episode. But, it showed that having babies, even for the two characters most pathologically obsessed with having a gaggle of kids, would never be enough to keep a failing marriage together. Owen was lying to Callie by telling her that Teddy is a guy he chats with incessantly and he was lying about how many violent outbursts he was having at work. I'm going to assume that the "incident" to which she and Cristina were referring is the choking. Callie was the one who pulled him off of Cristina or woke him when he was choking her? And, didn't Cristina defend him and his behavior (choking her) just like she forgave and helped him when he raged out in the hospital in this episode. I guess that this was Shonda's way of proving that Owen and Cristina are truly made for each other (wasn't that the purpose of this episode, to show that certain couples are meant for one another, even if almost everything were different?) I didn't, however, get the feeling that Callie was "pining" away from Arizona or that Arizona was into her.

It wasn't a satisfying episode, especially because there is so much ground to cover, it is now February and the season ends in May.

By the way, did anyone notice that Elis was the Chief of Staff, rather than the Chief of Surgey? Every chief of surgery in the show has behaved as if he were chief of staff even though the positions are totally different. It was nice to see the hospital resemble an actual hospital in a few respects.

#52

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

I was fully prepared to not like this episode, as I don't usually like the "stand alone" or "now we are a musical" episodes that don't move any plot forward. However, seeing all the characters in a (mostly) completely different role was entertaining, as long as I didn't think too hard about the time-line, and I successfully dodged all those anvils falling from the "meant to be" sky.

#53

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:21 AM

By the way, did anyone notice that Elis was the Chief of Staff, rather than the Chief of Surgey?

No, in fact I thought Alex or Bailey told the patient she nicked off Bailey that she was the Chief of Surgery.

#54

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

Richard was still Chief of Staff, because she demanded that he fire Bailey.

#55

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

That was the biggest waste of time that amounted to nothing. It made less sense than I thought it would.

Ellis and Thatcher broke up in reality and had nothing to do with each other, Lexie didn't know Meredith in both, her mother is dead in both. Lexie's not a coke head.

The writers didn't even care to have things make sense. If they're going to do this filler episode for a stunt, at least they should attempt to have it make some sense.

#56

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:52 AM

I didn't understand why Bailey turned into "Mandy"; would working under Ellis really turn her into a soft-spoken, timid resident?



In a episode from Season 6 about the most important case in various characters' careers, we saw that Bailey was timid while she was an intern (I think) whom Richard encouraged to be more assertive for the sake of her career. In this AU, Richard was so whipped by Ellis that he wouldn't have encouraged Bailey the same way and so Bailey the timid intern became a still-timid resident. Why Ellis would've put up with her, well, that is a different question.

Edited by proserpina65, Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:54 AM.


#57

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:56 AM

This is the episode that launched a thousand fanfics.

BronxBomber: I didn't, however, get the feeling that Callie was "pining" away from Arizona or that Arizona was into her.

That's funny because I felt like that's all they showed Callie doing, crushing hard on Arizona, particularly in the cafeteria stare/stalking. As for Arizona, the attraction seemed there if muted because she saw Callie as a married mother of three so, really, what's the point of even imagining?

I, too, wished they'd cut out the Mercy West folks and just concentrated on the Seattle Grace characters. Eliminating even a couple stories (I'm looking at you, Jackson and April) would've freed up more room to give this episode the depth it needed to go from "interesting concept" to "genuinely memorable." As is, though, it came across like a highlight show where they tip their hat to all the greatest hits from the past with a lot of "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" action and little more.

I did, however, like the ending where Meredith and Christina saved Lexie by working together and then wound up drinking shots at Joe's. I even found myself diggin' Christina's hair when she was wearing the black turtleneck. IMO, Sandra Oh was the most compelling in "If/Then" then maybe Patrick. It was kind of a relief to see Derek finally smile his twinkly eyed smile at Meredith (who I find far more interesting in the "real world").

Edited by DioxinBlues, Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:56 AM.


#58

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 12:04 PM

Ellis and Thatcher broke up in reality and had nothing to do with each other, Lexie didn't know Meredith in both, her mother is dead in both. Lexie's not a coke head.


All I could make of that was the possibility that with Ellis still around, Thatcher and his new wife never reached out to Meredith, therefore Meredith wasn't around to somehow influence their lives? Except of course that doesn't fit the timeline, but then neither did Owen & Callie and their passle of kids, so who knows what the heck the writers were thinking.

#59

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 12:05 PM

Well add me to the list of those that liked this AU ep.

The music rocked! nice call back to earlier seasons. I loved the Cris/Mer dynamic---as always. My girls are meant to be---even in AU. ;-)

I didn't spend time thinking about the why's and how's---I just enjoyed the characters being something different. Besides it was easy to see that all the actors enjoyed doing something a little different.

I can actually see myself watching this episode again. Fluff and nonsense to be sure but sometimes that is fun.

#60

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 12:20 PM

Oh man, I've got mixed feelings about this one. I really enjoyed it, but there were several things that just made no sense to me. I agree with those who would have appreciated a more solid linchpin to the AU; I could buy the change being that Ellis and Richard got together after all AND that Ellis never had Alzheimer's, but that doesn't explain all of the changes to me. Why is Alex so bubbly? How on earth did Owen and Callie get together, a good five or six years back even! Owen wasn't even on the show back then!

But overall, I really did enjoy it a lot. I might be the only one here who ships them, but I love Alex and Meredith together. I never thought the show would ever go there, even in an AU ep, but that kiss at the beginning of the episode delighted me. :D I wish I knew more of AU!Alex's character development; he seemed like he had no connection at all to his previous self right up until the end where he talked about having such good things and ruining them, like always. (Bailey in that scene, btw? AWESOME. I love Bailey so much! It was so nice to see her start to become more of who she is in the main universe.)

The digs at Izzie made me laugh, even though I actually like Katherine Heigl as an actress and adored Izzie's character for the most part. Poor George though, but at least he's probably still alive in the AU-verse. I wonder if George reminded Ellis of Thatcher here too and maybe that's another reason she wanted him gone.

Ellis intrigued me as well. The moment where she broke down and her desires to have Meredith succeed made me feel for her. Interesting to me that she seems to have respect for Meredith as a surgeon in this alt universe when in the main one, she didn't think Meredith could cut it.

Meredith and Cristina stole the spotlight, I think. I really loved the two of them bonding over saving Lexie's life and going for drinks afterward. Interesting to me that they didn't bond beforehand, but then it seems like alt!Meredith is seemingly happier and better adjusted than our Meredith is. Or at least pretends to be; she kind of reminded me of when Izzie dressed Meredith up so she could meet Derek's mother - not quite herself and it's all a mask. Then the more dour, snarky side comes out and that appeals to Cristina, who would have thought the bubbly momma's girl was all that existed and been pleasantly surprised by the "real" Meredith.

So overall, a genuinely fun episode. It left me wanting more of this version of the characters, and that's always a good thing.