This was a very good episode, advancing all storylines as they should. It had moments of fun and moments fully charged of emotion. My take:
I) Things I liked:
A) Nick, Arizona, Callie. That was incredibly emotional. There are not much episodes out there in which they give death sentences to very relevant patients that are very important for our favourite doctors (last one was in 8x21, but before then, only few cases had taken this direction) and makes all of us cry. It was a very strong move. Yay writers! An the effect of this was Arizona's "I don't want you to leave" scene. I enjoy in a huge way, these scenes when characters pour their hearts out, with an extreme amount of sincerity, and it's so valuable in real life. There's nothing as appealing as sincerity, directly from our hearts.
B) I'm sexy and I know it (party scene). Wow! It brought me back to season 1 (01x05, drunken party scene). I loved how everybody were enjoying themselves. I even liked drunken April, and the song was excellent for this moment of trying to move on. I was impressed when she let herself loose, and danced like there was no tomorrow.
C) Mistery case. I always like cases when doctors are aware of how their cases resemble to their lives (paralelism, basically), instead of not being aware or just greaving (03x21; fish in their woo-woo), and making fun of it. I liked Jackson's accelerated speech, and Mark's tender speech, both contradicting themselves.
D) Wedding plans. That proposal was supposed to be romantic, but Miranda had to be Miranda and she destroyed all romanticism intended (without any intention, of course!). I liked how Miranda stepped up at the end, and that twist (Ben's new plans) made a very interesting storlyine for both of them. What will they do?
E) Cafeteria fun. I always love funny brunches. Cristina impersonating April at the phone was just BRILLIANT! Incredibly funny. Also noodle jokes were simple, yet powerful to me.
F) Richard being the moral chief. All this season we've been watching this "moral/spiritual chief" role of Richard. It was funny how Alex followed all his indications, and got the result he wanted. Even when he does not seem to have more storylines, this role is perfect for him!
II) What I didn't like.
A) Lexie and Mark. Maybe this was the only episode left for Mark to tell Lexie how he felt and even kiss. Instead, we got to see awkwardness in random scenes, which I didn't enjoy. Specially when you watch 8x24 "Flight"...
B) April in that dark zone. Poor girl! She can't seem to be having it lately. It would be good to watch, only if she wasn't that annoying towards Jackson. He's so supportive! He wants nothing but the best for her, but she's not making the wisest choices. Jackson seems to be the most suitable option that would allow her to cope with this set of bad news that she's been delivered lately. He's offering some contention and understanding that she should accept soon. I hope she realizes that soon.
C) Migration storylines. Although this is how the story is supposed to go, it's making this series a bit confusing. Everyone trying to leave, or not to leave is very confusing. SGMW is the place in where all characters can develop their storylines together, and I don't seem to see how I would enjoy everyone still appearing in different locations, without much scenes among them. In the only case this would work, is if they ulteriorly decide to return for x reasons in season 9. How annoying would be watching them in different hospitals? In a way, if doctors were not to return to SGMW (mind you, if actors were not to renew their contracts), this should have been the last season, as naturally this is consistent with their choices regarding where they should continue their medical carrers. And thus, happy ending for all. At least for one episode...
D) 8x23 Should have been the season finale. With some twists and changes, if this had been the last episode, it would have left a lot of questions in the air, regarding who will survive or not (or even who took that flight); which was consistent with contractual inquieries. Read II) part, B) of my review of 8x24 "Flight" for a full take on this item.
E) Plane crash (remission). I wrote about this in two ways in another review (8x24). One of them is this story isolated of all context but the storylines (8x24 "Flight" Review, part I B), and the other one is considering all background behind it, as regards spoilers and contractual situations (8x24 "Flight" Review, part II, A) and B)). Do read it, if you want a deeper take on this storyline.
III) Overall. This was a pretty good episode, despite some flaws. But I liked all comedy and some scenes that reminded me of old Grey's Anatomy seasons. It would have been a more suitable season finale. Still, a proper cliffhanger for 8x24.