Grey's Anatomy Grey's Anatomy

So the big "what if" episode of Grey's Anatomy turned out to be a big What Ev. The more things change, the more they turn out the same. Something we knew before Meredith dreamed it. Diagnosis Pointless. As I've been saying about stunt episodes like this since the days of ER's live episode — yes, I've been doing this that long — and including Grey's musical detour: Everyone take a bow, and promise never to do it again. And yet there was voyeuristic fun in the opening acts as we see everyone in altered states of being: Meredith all pink and preppy, now known as "Dr. Webber" because her mom married Richard and never got sick; and Derek (here known as "McDreary") never left Addison, though when he finds out she's pregnant — the real Addison would be so pleased — with Mark's baby (whoops), the dejected and underachieving doc ends up knocking back tequilas with Mer at Joe's, and the rest is ABC history.

I did get a kick out of Justin Chambers projecting nerdy and perky instead of sullen and prickly as a more upbeat Karev (who's still a louse in the relationship department), and Chandra Wilson giving us the meek "Mandy" Bailey, fired for not speaking up and thus causing the great Ellis Grey to lose face. And for those grieving the current state of malaise in the Cristina-Owen relationship, they shared one of the episode's more dramatically potent moments as he turned to her to patch up his latest PTSD outbreak, which he's hiding from wife (Callie) and kids — a sign that even fatherhood won't heal all of his psychic wounds. Lots of other call-backs to characters past and present, which makes fun sport for the long-time fan. But I kind of felt like Sorry Charlie (killed in the hospital massacre that apparently never happened), who as things begin to fall apart at work mutters, "Shoot me now."

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