This episode wasn't actually all the "What if?" questions that Meredith asked in the opening monologue. For those that have been watching for long enough, and bothered to pay enough attention to remember some of the more interesting details, the scenario we saw was the scenario that Richard gave Ellis when Ellis was near death. He told her that he should have chosen her, and that Meredith would have had a caring father and a stable home, and Ellis would have been healthy and happy.
Here's the problem with that "What if?" Ellis Grey, the surgeon, is a terrible, competitive person that beats down anybody and everybody. Ellis Grey, the mother, is just as neglectful and controlling as she ever was. This means that almost all of the changes are for the worse. I'll do this by character instead of timeline, and it'll only be what happened BEFORE the episode. Everybody else has already done reviews of the episode. I'm only going with characters we saw in the first episode of the series AND in this episode, though I'll also explain the write-offs (and in one case, on).
- Chief Weber: With Ellis being chief instead of Richard, Richard isn't the respected elder surgeon that everybody knows and reveres. He's just another attending, who happens to be married to the Chief of Surgery. It means he has less authority than he normally would, and apparently has less confidence than he usually displays. However, he is a GREAT father, to the point where he adopted Meredith and she took his last name.
- Meredith: Meredith is a shiny, happy person because she grew up with a loving father. She went to Mercy West for her residency instead of Seattle Grace, and became friends with April. She came to Seattle Grace after that hospital absorbed Mercy West, and presumably moved back in with her parents to be close to the hospital. Reid (you know, the first victim in the mass murder at the end of S6) took her place at Seattle Grace. She never knew Izzy, George, or Burke. She has also never met Lexi.
- Derek: Since he didn't meet Meredith after coming to Seattle, he got back with Addison (okay, so I'm covering both of them). He's still miserable in his marriage, and with Ellis as his superior instead of Richard, he feels like nothing he can do will get noticed, and knows that Ellis prefers Addison, and Addison has a baby. Thus, he hasn't taught, and hasn't done any research, even that brain surgery method she developed with Meredith.
- Bailey: Without Richard as the Chief pushing her to speak up and be better, she stayed the quiet and shy woman she was in that "Time Warp" episode. This meant that she never learned to advocate for her patients, even when she really needed to. She also isn't all that good when it comes to residents and interns. She motivates absolutely nobody, and just sticks back and lets Ellis Grey be Ellis Grey.
- Cristina: Burke left because he slept with her, as Ellis Grey would have fired Burke, unlike Richard, who appreciated that Preston came forward, and that they were both unattached to anybody else. Since Burke left because of her, Ellis wouldn't give a damn what she thought of any other cardio attending, talented or not. Without Meredith as a friend, she never bonded with anybody else - well, maybe Reid, but Reid is still dead.
- Alex: Karev never moved in with anybody else, and stayed a jackass. Without Meredith there, he blew his one shot with Izzy, meaning he never got close to her. His arrhythmia was misdiagnosed as vision problems, hence the glasses. He's still messed up because of family issues, but without an Alzheimer's trial, or a reason for Meredith to interfere in it, Karev's natural leadership skills came through, and he never betrayed anybody. One thing stayed the same, though - being around Meredith made him want to be better, and he screwed it up.
- And Honorable Mentions: Ellis fired Preston Burke when he admitted to having a relationship with Yang. The reason O'Malley disappeared after failing his Intern exam was that Bailey wasn't a strong figure, and therefore didn't have the authority to encourage him to re-do his Intern year. Reid is still dead, but most likely because she ratted out Stevens, and therefore was killed when Izzy came back and shot up the hospital. Ellis isn't the type to care about plastics, so Sloane was never hired to the hospital. The rest is explained in the episode.
In summary, Meredith may have wanted Richard to admit he should have chosen Ellis in the past, but truthfully, she would have been more miserable. Oh, and Yang and Meredith are destined to be friends, while MerDer was always destined to happen after Derek discovered Addison cheating on him.
I love Grey's Anatomy! I do, but I have to say that I was disapointed of this episode. I didn't really enjoyed watching this weeks episode, it was kinda boring. And ok, it is a alternative reality and what could have been .. Were the writers out of inspiration of storylines? I hope next episode will be better! But.. Grey's Anatomy still rocks!! :-) That's is why I don't give it a bad rating ;-)!!
ok this episode was awsome, alex as a geek awesome but hes still an ass , callie and owen married and having kids didnt like that much because it just didnt fit , christina wow awesome and mer very nice i loved that richard was her dad and lexie as a druggie i was a bit surpised but all in all great episode
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about, this was one of the best and most classic Grey's Anatomy episodes ever! I mean that. Some will see this as merely a filler episode, but it was more than that...well it was filler, but the best kind of filler! A Filler that really resonated with the entire season and general happenings. This episode made me nostalgic of Grey's Anatomy when it first came about, and it did some very creative things with the characters. It was fantastic to see Kate Walsh as Addison again. Everyone was fantastic. It looked like they had fun with this episode and it was done pretty close to perfectly. While other bitch about it, I found the fun in it! It was beyond great.
Would I watch this version of Grey's Anatomy week after week...maybe...it's interesting enough. If Shonda decided to do a AU spinoff...I would watch, especially if this episode is any indication of what that spinoff would be. Still, this was classic Grey's Anatomy.. Too great!!!!!
To be honest, I watched 15 minutes of this episode and then it lost my attention. Experiments never work well with this show, as it's a pretty limited vehicle by definition. Nobody wants to see third class singers act their way through a show, nobody wants to know what could have been... , it's already about "what might have been if this would be real", why add another heavy layer on top??!?!!
Stick to the drama that you've been doing so far, it's entertaining, the gore is fun, nobody expects anything "art-sy" from this show, so quit the crap.
So far Grey was spot on this season. That s why I gonna give them a pass on this one. I love some creativity in the show but it s not even present in this episode. No originality as the subject of what is meant to be would happen anyway. So many series treat it and way better.
Please keep up drama, humor, cries, laughs coming for the rest of season and a few mores
This is a Get Out of Jail Free episode for the writers. All their rules limiting their creativity are lifted; they are free to write whatever they want to write. There is very little anatomy in this episode; very little medical story except just enough to hold the story together.
I did not like it when Bones did a story like this and I don't like it here either. I think this is an indication that the writers are getting desparate for material. I later gave up on Bones. I am not so quick to give up on Grey's Anatomy but if this episode is an indiacation of the writers becoming desperate for material then I might have to give up on this show too.
The hospital shooting episode disappointed me. In that episode, the police knew where the shooter was but they did not go after him and many of the shootings happened after that. That episode was also not written well.
Grey's Anatomy have always been the walk-the-extra-mile show. It dared to be visionary, to be totally out of the tv routine. This show have never been scared of experimenting. They got numerous episodes that are just jaw dropping (dared to mention the hospital shooting, oh my heaves right) But lately, their supposedly fun episodes aren't so fun (maybe with the exception of the Documentary set). This is not a great Grey's episode, it's not a totally lame one either. Am not quite sure what this episode is. Maybe it's a review, or an episode for reminiscing. Don't exactly hate it, but it's not entertaining enough that I can't find the proper words for a proper review. I gotta say though, it's nice to hear those tracks again, (maybe this is a recycle episode - recycling of scripts and scenes or whatever.)
Well, it's an alternative reality to what we know of Grey's Anatomy. The show started well. I like the first 15 minutes but then it kind of dragged on. Maybe because McDreamy turned out to be McDreary... nope, Patrick Dempsey doesn't look good gloomy at all haha.. A whimpy Bailey is not realistic too.. And the goody goody Alex doesn't fit at all, haha.. I like the Owen/Callie/Yang storyline though. That storyline seems to be more realistic than the other alternative reality.. And wow, Lexie, well... not looking good at all. Whew, good it's only for one episode..
I hadn't watched the show since about the season 6 finale and while I have missed a lot of the show from the past two seasons, it was kinda nice to see what may have happened if Meredith and Derek hadn't gotten together and if Meredith's mother hadn't gotten Alzheimer's. Overall a decent episode.