Amelia and Link (Chris Carmack) flew to New York to perform a risky surgery on an 18-year-old scoliosis patient, but they unexpectedly ran into Amelia's older sister Nancy (Embeth Davidtz) in the lobby of the Catherine Fox Medical Center. Nancy mistook Link for Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Amelia didn't correct her, thinking they only had to survive a five-minute brief encounter. Unfortunately, Nancy overheard that they'd be staying for longer than expected and guilt-tripped Amelia — who then guilt-tripped Link — into a family dinner.
Instead of coming clean right then, Amelia convinces Link to pretend to be Owen for the entire dinner. He managed to fool Nancy and the only Shepherd sister we hadn't met yet, Kathleen (Amy Acker), with only a couple of comedy of errors. Liz (Neve Campbell) was out of town and couldn't make the throwdown. However, things went awry when Mama Shepherd (Tyne Daly) arrived and called the bluff, because she met the real Owen when visiting Derek years before. Once the cover was blown, the Shepherd sisters went in for the kill and began to list Amelia's laundry list of previous sins, which was diabolically long even before she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Even though Link came to her defense, the dinner party was a total disaster and proved that Amelia's sisters may never be able to see her as anything other than the teenage wild child she used to be. The drama also led to Amelia predictably pushing Link away because he found out too much about her dark past. However, it also led to a profound breakthrough for Amelia and her mother; the two met up the next day to have an honest conversation about their relationship and why Amelia has kept her biological family at arm's length for so long.
Mama Shepherd apologized for leaving Amelia for Derek to take care of after their father died, explaining that Amelia just reminded her so much of her dead husband that it was hard to be around. She acknowledged that wasn't fair though, and convinced Amelia that she is worthy of love — which has been her Achilles heel since she first arrived on Grey's Anatomy.
Does a park bench heart to heart mean that Amelia is totally ready for a healthy relationship? Well, it seems like it was a great start. Following the conversation, Amelia offered Link a peace offering and genuine apology. That's huge for her! Usually, it'd take two to three episodes for Amelia to make true amends, if she ever made them at all. This is a really good sign for the future of this relationship, which is great, because Mama Shepherd was right: Amelia really does deserve to be loved.
Grey's Anatomy continues Thursdays at 8/7 on ABC.