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S11.E04: Only Mama Knows

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When she told him that his presentation was good but not as good as Bailey's I wish he would have told her he didn't have the day to prepare because she placed her problems over him (no shock there).

Arizona's excuse wasn't much better: she needs Alex to replace her as an attending because of her fellowship. Why doesn't Arizona give up her board seat if she's so squeezed? 

 

I think Alex got played by both of them.

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Arizona's excuse wasn't much better: she needs Alex to replace her as an attending because of her fellowship. Why doesn't Arizona give up her board seat if she's so squeezed? 

 

I think Alex got played by both of them.

Agree Arizona's excuse was lame too but there were 2 big differences - her excuse was based on wanting Alex's skills as a doctor in her department and not him being lesser than Bailey and, she didn't spend the entire day talking about herself while he was trying to prepare.

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I just realized this show premiered the same year as Desperate Housewives, way back a decade ago.

How is this show still on the air?!

 

It's not. We're just all trapped in Shondaland.

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The operative words being "right now." Biiiiiiig difference between 2014 and 1983. Right now, children are required to sit in car seats until damn near puberty while in 1983, they could lolly gag around in the backseat with no car seat or even a seatbelt required. I don't think CPS even existed then in its current form. I think it was just social services, with local offices staffed with about two people.

When my father collapsed, in the '60's, my mother went off with him in the ambulance and one of the ambulance guys--total stranger--stayed all night at the house with the little girl, me.  I remember crawling up in his lap and crying (because I'm no Meredith Grey.)

 

How many ways would THAT be wrong, wrong, wrong today?  Ha.

 

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Edited by candall
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Agree Arizona's excuse was lame too but there were 2 big differences - her excuse was based on wanting Alex's skills as a doctor in her department and not him being lesser than Bailey and, she didn't spend the entire day talking about herself while he was trying to prepare.

 

Meredith was unfair to let her own drama get in the way of Alex's preparations, but I don't think Arizona's career goals should have been a factor in picking the new board member.

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Considering that the suicide attempt was actually an attempt to get Richard to come running back to her, it's a bit unbelievable that Ellis would have just run off to Boston after finding out about the pregnancy rather than trying to use it to get Richard back.

From Ellis Grey's perspective, she's suddenly a woman with such massive poor judgment as to destroy her marriage and decimate the lives of multiple people for her soulmate lover/trusted colleague--who's *boom* apparently a loser who can't get past his cold feet and doesn't even have enough respect for her to have a decent conversation before he scampers home.  Yeowch.  I can absolutely accept a bit of wrist slashing despair, either from unaccustomed self-doubt, or maybe as a way of making some point to Richard--with no "Please come back" subtext.

 

Either way, I think any similarly proud, humiliated, woman who could scrape up the cash would take her baby bump far, far away.  Hmm?  Oh, right, you come too, Meredith.

 

I love how they shoehorned in every scene in which she'd ever uttered the word "daughter"--and addressed the complaint that Meredith's next secret sibling should be a brother. 

 

Obviously I have a lot of empathy for Ellis Grey; this is the first episode in a long time that made my eyes tear.

Edited by candall
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Meredith was unfair to let her own drama get in the way of Alex's preparations, but I don't think Arizona's career goals should have been a factor in picking the new board member.

I totally agree. I hope Alex remembers how these people put themselves before him. I was especially irritated with Meredith because of all the "you're my person now!" crap.  Kick her ass out the door the next time she breaks into your house. 

 

This is why, when Meredith keeps telling Derek that she didn't ask him to stay and that he should just go to DC, I wish he would say ok and pack up the kids and take them to DC with him.

 

I wish he would too. I am no Derek fan but she is a selfish bitch. One would need to be dumb as a post to not see he was concerned and wondering what the hell was up with her this time. Its also so considerate of her to tell her husband to leave his kids while knowing full well he lost his own father as a kid.

 

Bailey is gearing up to be the most annoying board member ever.  

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Derrick scenes:

1. I believe he tried to cut Meredith to shreds with the mother comment.

2. I do not believe his "give me a big ole hug" reaction to Pierce.

 

1.  Agree.  His voice was dripping with venom when he said that.

2.  Very strongly disagree.  Derek accepted Lexie.  In season 5 he tried to protect her from Mark.  In season 8 he was shown as a great "big brother" to her, as well as a professional mentor to her in Neurosurgery.  And he had a very anguished reaction when he found out that Lexie died in the plane crash.  So it's completely in line with his character to accept another Grey sister.  I also think that his smile, overall facial expression, and hug for Maggie were out of relief and understanding of what was going on with Meredith.  His saying "Meredith isn't good with sisters." also showed that it was a relief and understanding type of reaction.

Considering Derek avoids his own family and treats all of his sisters like garbage, I find it irritating how controlling and judgmental he is with how Meredith handles her own family, and how he is the perfect big brother to her sisters. As usual, his hypocrisy is showing. He is the Ultimate Exception to all things, and only a fellow narcissist like Meredith could put up with him. They so deserve each other. Derek's excitement that a new sister was in the mix made me miss Lexi so much. This plot is crap.

 

Damn, the Puzzle Whisperer strikes again. This time she cured paralysis when even the mighty and powerful Dr. Shepherd could not. Gag, gag, gag.

 

The patient of the week was so ridiculous. A baby bump, really? JUST in time for Meredith to remember her mom had one, too? How convenient. 

 

WHAT is with the tragic flashbacks about Ellis attempting suicide. She did NOT attempt suicide, she did it for attention. I hate when they screw things up by changing what we have already been taught about the past. That was a huge breakthrough for Meredith in therapy years ago, to learn that her mother knew how to cut so she would bleed and not die, and that when she called Meredith "ordinary" it was not about surgery. Stupid show, make up your mind.

 

This episode was a mess. I don't get the point, besides further skewing timelines and characters. Now we find out that although Richard has been unable to even say the name "Ellis Grey" without beaming with pride for ten straight years, that he was actually jealous and resentful back then of her skills and success? And when he talked about how threatened he was by her potential success in the future, I did not like the look on Meredith's face like she could relate. if she thinks for a second that Derek is threatened by HER success, she is more arrogant than I already thought. Derek might be a dick, but he is still a significantly more successful surgeon than she is. His problem is NOT jealousy. 

 

And even though Bailey is not wrong that the board has been a hot mess, she has been JUST AS BAD. Pot, work with kettle and shut up already.

 

Alex's desire to be a great surgeon over his own ego and pride about how the board votes went is reason to love him even more.

 

I was appalled when Derek's sister said she knew what she knew about Maggie from AA meetings. That showed an incredible lack of character to risk another member's privacy like that. Shame on her.

 

The end was still sweet, though. And if I have to put up with Maggie, at least she had a happy childhood and she is functional. I am tired of all the broken pieces Richard has left in his wretched selfish life. Maggie might be a Mary Sue, but I guess that is better than her being yet another broken toy? I guess..

 

Where in the hell is Kepner???? And do you think we will ever see Alex's kid sister? There could be some awesomeness for Justin Chambers if they went there. Too bad Meredith and Derek have cornered the market on siblings and drama.

Edited by Chewy101
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Okay, I have to ask? What is a Mary Sue?

 

I first heard the term in Fan Fic Forums. It refers to a character inserted into a story who is ridiculously exceptional to the surrounding characters. The Mary Sue tends to border on perfect in so many ways that she begins to eclipse the other characters on multiple levels. She is funnier, quirkier, smarter, etc.... More, more, more, and so elevated by the writer that she is impossible to ignore. 

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Hopefully Jo and Alex and April and Jackson will have more screen time in the future.

Agreed.

 

I'd also love if the cut Stephanie's pointless 2 minutes of screentime and gave it to someone else. I can't stand her. What was with her smug delight at making Alex feel like shit? What did he do to her?

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Agreed.

I'd also love if the cut Stephanie's pointless 2 minutes of screentime and gave it to someone else. I can't stand her. What was with her smug delight at making Alex feel like shit? What did he do to her?

Stole her best friend from her. (If we are to assume she and Jo are best friends, that is)

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I'd also love if the cut Stephanie's pointless 2 minutes of screentime and gave it to someone else. I can't stand her. What was with her smug delight at making Alex feel like shit? What did he do to her?

 

 

Christina and Alex used to be that way all the time. Even though it is ridiculously bizarre for Stephanie to do it to Alex, I just assumed the show was trying to fill its snark quota any way they could (now that the best female character is gone).

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Did it sound to anyone else like Ellen Pompeo was dubbing in the voice of younger Ellis in the flashbacks?

 

Yes! At the very least she studied Ellen Pompeo's cadence and inflection. It was so distracting, though, because Kate Burton and Ellen Pompeo have entirely different speaking voices -- Meredith was like her mother in temperament, but not appearance. I thought Sarah Paulson nailed the temperament of Ellis Grey, while this actress looked like...alternate universe Meredith.

 

Other than that, I thought this was a very strong episode. It was a treat seeing Kate Burton's scenes again -- she's such a talent. She and Meredith were one of my favorite stories in the early years. That "you are no more than ordinary" scene still gives me chills. This is one of the times where Shonda's tendency to hire the same actors for different shows really pays off. I hope Kate Burton comes back to Scandal soon.

 

And I liked Maggie for the first time -- she was very much a secondary character, with everyone reacting to her. I feel like the Maggie-centric episode would've played a lot better after this one -- now that she's been "accepted" into the Grey's "family" (literally!) Richard watching his two surrogate(ish) daughters poring over their mother's journal was a really nice moment. Poor guy only ever wanted a family of his own.

 

One minor nitpick: nobody abbreviates Massachusetts General Hospital as "Mass Gen." It's "Mass General" or "MGH." Come on, Shonda -- you went to Dartmouth: tell your writers something about the regional culture!

Edited by Eolivet

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One minor nitpick: nobody abbreviates Massachusetts General Hospital as "Mass Gen." It's "Mass General" or "MGH." Come on, Shonda -- you went to Dartmouth: tell your writers something about the regional culture!

I agree, but they have been doing that since season 2 or 3.

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Did anyone else pick up on Ellis' last words before the video of her cut off?  "Where were we?"  I wonder where she was in her career and Alzheimer's onset when she was giving that speech.  I think that was intended for a kind of "Whoa..." or "Wow" reaction, which is exactly the reaction I had.

YES. Wondered same.

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Maybe someone should tell Maggie that Meredith already had a surprise sister show up and then she died.

Seriously. That experience would make anyone gun-shy about accepting a new surprise sister, let alone someone as emotionally guarded as Meredith. But that would require the writers to (a) remember past things and (b) have the characters talk to each other like human beings. But yeah, I really hope someone tells Maggie something about that whole situation at some point.

 

About  Ellis not changing her last name, I wonder if it is because Meredith would have had a different last name from her.

I could buy this. I didn't change my name when I got married because of mildly raging feminism, but I would do so in a second if I had or intended to have kids. Although there are certainly plenty of families with non-matching names, I think it just makes everything easier for everyone if everybody matches. 

 

Did it sound to anyone else like Ellen Pompeo was dubbing in the voice of younger Ellis in the flashbacks?

Mostly just for the first few lines, before I actually saw her face. But yeah, when she first started speaking, I immediately looked to see if they just had Ellen playing her there. Once I realized it wasn't her, I didn't find it sounded as much like her, but I'm definitely with you on this.

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I could buy this. I didn't change my name when I got married because of mildly raging feminism, but I would do so in a second if I had or intended to have kids. Although there are certainly plenty of families with non-matching names, I think it just makes everything easier for everyone if everybody matches.

Yeah for the first ten years of her life my mom was raised by her mother who was remarried and divorced had another child. She changed my mom's half sister last name to match my moms even though she had no connection to the last name for school records.

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This episode was a mess. I don't get the point, besides further skewing timelines and characters. Now we find out that although Richard has been unable to even say the name "Ellis Grey" without beaming with pride for ten straight years, that he was actually jealous and resentful back then of her skills and success? And when he talked about how threatened he was by her potential success in the future, I did not like the look on Meredith's face like she could relate. if she thinks for a second that Derek is threatened by HER success, she is more arrogant than I already thought. Derek might be a dick, but he is still a significantly more successful surgeon than she is. His problem is NOT jealousy.

 

Interesting that you interpreted Meredith's expression that way.  I saw the look as well and thought the exact opposite--that maybe she was realizing that she was reacting to Derek out of jealousy.  We did see her admit to her envy of Cristina last season.  Twice, in fact.  Time will tell, I hope.

 

 

Okay, I have to ask? What is a Mary Sue?

 

I'm very glad that you asked and someone answered!  I didn't know, and I was wondering as well.

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I really liked this episode, but after giving it time to digest, I'm a little unhappy.  I don't like Ellis.  In fact, I hate Ellis.   She was an incredibly horrible mother and all around nasty person, and I feel like they just tried to white wash her.  I've always believed that Richard stayed in his marriage because he loved his wife.  I also felt that while Richard still had great affection for Ellis, he knew he had dodged a bullet - a big one.

 

Now it's poor Ellis betrayed by Richard's weakness and jealousy.  And their love story was EPIC.  And I don't remember how Richard talked about his wife, but it wasn't very respectful.  I understand that Meredith lives with the "what if", because being raised by Richard would have impacted her life positively.  But the minute they split up (and I don't doubt it would), Ellis would have worked her parental alienation on Richard too. To have Richard look back on Ellis as the one that got away, and the love of his live - not good show, not good. 

 

And while I felt it was very sweet that Meredith, in her own way, reached out to Maggie with Ellis' diary, I wish Meredith had just told her the truth.  Our mother neglected me, emotionally abused me, attempted suicide while I watched, kept me from my father, etc.  And I've always felt that Ellis physically abused Meredith as well.  That flashback with Ellis coming in ranting, and an almost frightened Meredith running and hiding, speaks volumes.

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