Friday, February 3, 2012

'Grey's Anatomy' Review - 8.13 If/Then

        In the newest episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, as Meredith puts Zola to bed and falls asleep, she begins to wonder -- what if her mother had never had Alzheimer's and she had loving, supportive parents? The reverberations of a happy Meredith change the world of Seattle Grace as we know it.

        Some may call this episode a filler not relevant to the overall plot of the season since it gave a brief glimpse at what could have been for these characters. I will concede to that fact but it was very fun and fulfilling to those fans who have been with the show since the beginning. It was very riveting to see the hour include so many throwbacks to first few seasons like Ellis still being a control freak and uncertain of how to connect with Meredith, Lexie's mother dying from "stomach" issues, Cristina sleeping with Preston Burke, the shout-outs to Izzie and George, Mark's shirtless entrance and Charles line of "Shoot me now."
        It was also clever to end the episode with the belief that one way or another we end up in the place where we should be. People sometimes have a preconceived notion that when a show delves into an alternate reality episode they will depict the characters as being miserable and loathing their lives and choices. Although unreal, Grey's made every character plausible. Addison and Derek were never a perfect couple, so with them staying together it's only natural that they would be more uncomfortable. It also made complete sense that some characters didn't change at all like Jackson and Mark.
        The episode did have a few misfires though. For example, why would Derek not be such a risk-taking surgeon? Were Dr. Burke and Callie both the big cardio surgeons at the hospital? Wouldn't Owen have had to come to the hospital earlier in order to have those kids with Callie?
        The best moment of the hour was the connections between Meredith & Richard and Richard & Ellis. Richard has always been a surrogate father to Meredith at the hospital, so the actual family relation here was palpable. He was a confidant for both of them to turn to and to always give a listening ear.

Side Notes
  • The most drastic character change was Lexie and she was so compelling as well in this episode.
  • Meredith and Alex have always been like a brother and sister on the show so it was a bit strange and awkward seeing them as a couple.
  • "This guy, uh, Teddy has really been helping him." I actually didn't mind the lack of Teddy in this episode
  • It was so smart to start the hour by just briefly touching on the closing of the previous episode. Although only Meredith was speaking, I felt for both Owen & Cristina and Richard & Adele. Also, why was everyone already asleep and Meredith was just putting Zola to bed?