Grey's Anatomy's Alternate Reality Check: What Were Your Favorite Moments?

ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy uncorked its “alternate reality” episode this Thursday, and while some of the broader strokes had been revealed, promo’d and spoiled beforehand, the hour still offered some interesting, hilarious and/or crowd-pleasing surprises.

In lieu of a traditional recap – because really, the medicine was immaterial here – let’s take stock of who was up to what in this “other” reality.

ELLIS & RICHARD WEBBER | Ellis had never gotten Alzheimer’s, so she was still at the top of her game and had held onto Richard. She’s the chief of surgery at Seattle Grace, which apparently never endured any hardships and had absorbed not just Mercy West but soon another hospital. Alas, she cracks the whip (or Whipple) pretty hard at work, sometimes pushing her daughter into the deep end too soon.

MEREDITH | Meredith Webber lives with Ellis and Richard (aka “Dad”), wears a whole lotta pink and is blissfully engaged to Alex. This episode, however, serves up a bad day for Mer, as she discovers that Alex is cheating on her with no less than her “person,” the “virgin” April Kepner, and she has a less-than-great surgical experience with Yang. At the end of it all, she bonds with Cristina at the bar, then manages to warm up the icy-cold one known as “McDreary.” Just like old times.

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CRISTINA | She’s rocking fierce(ly bad) hair, struts around with her own hard-rock soundtrack and doesn’t sit at the cool kids’ table. And yet she still hooked up with the esteemed Dr. Preston Burke (name check alert!) – though things went so badly south between them that he skedaddled out of Seattle. She deems Mer a nimrod after their joint operation, but later the two find common ground at the bar.

OWEN | He’s married to Callie, with whom he has two tow-headed sons and a brunette daughter, but his PTSD issues apparently didn’t get dealt with as deftly as in this reality. In fact, he punches a window at one point, then begs Cristina to help him conceal it, lest he lose his family.

ALEX | Apparently he was the jerk we first met in this reality, but Mer changed him into a polo-wearing go-getter. OK, it turns out he still is a jerk, as evidenced when Yang catches him cavorting with Kepner. But that is his pattern, he sighs, always screwing a good thing up. One saving grace: This lout is mild-mannered Mandy’s — sorry, Miranda‘s – champion.

BAILEY | Having never been properly mentored by Richard Webber, “Mandy” is terribly soft-spoken, to an extent that her acquiescence completely torpedoes a critical surgery of Ellis, where she was to show off a new technique to the press. Ellis gets her fired for the misstep, an event that seems to put a much-needed fire in Bailey’s belly.

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APRIL | Yeah, she’s apparently not the virgin everyone paints her to be. Dr. Charles Percy (he’s alive!) chases after her when he’s not making us LOL by saying, “Just shoot me now.”

LEXIE | Her mom’s dead, dad Thatcher killed himself, so she turned into a cokehead thief replete with dreadlocks, piercing and tattoos. She reveals to Avery that she has a half-sister working at SGH, but never divulges details. (And yes, she’s still an adorkable Lexipedia.)

DEREK & ADDISON | Everyone deems the “bad” and “good” Drs. Shepherd to form the “perfect” couple, though secretly they are not. And then… not-so-secretly they are not. “McDreary” has failed to meet his potential, something that Ellis makes clear will jeopardize his future at SGH. Ad, meanwhile, remains far from perfect, seeing as the baby’s she’s carrying is Mark’s. (Twist!)

MARK | One of the crowd-pleasing moments was unconscious Lexie being carried back into the ER by this familiar face, looking a bit more “old-school McSteamy.” He still doffs a shirt well.

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CALLIE & ARIZONA | Callie is the head of cardio, having been steered into that specialty by Ellis — though she privately laments not choosing ortho. At work she locks horns with Arizona, until a case brings them… closer. To the point that Dr. Robbins and her million-watt smile declares her to be “amazing,” and they ponder having drinks “sometime.” Fun fact: Callie thinks her husband’s war buddy Teddy is a guy. Har!

GEORGE! | The one known as “007” failed his intern exam, and was never seen again.

IZZIE! | Alex and Mer use her name as a synonym for “crazy,” seeing as she slept with a patient (though hopefully not his ghost, too) and even stole a heart transplant for the guy. Mer got her fired for the ethical errors.

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In the end, though Meredith set out to envision a reality where one thing – her mother’s health – could make so much else different, she notes, “Some things are going to work out as if they were destined to happen.”

Like that drink between that “just a girl” and “just a guy” at the bar.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. L James says:

    Enjoyable episode. Period. The musical episode sucked butt. This episode kicked butt.

  2. Caro says:

    I really liked the episode. I was doubtful after seeing the promo’s but it turned out to be more fun than expected – of course due to the good quotes and references to the real show and lives of the characters. Like ‘just shoot me now’, Mark/Lexie, Addi pregnant with Mark’s baby (knew that the instant Addi was pregnant) and finally the perfect ending: Meredith and Derek in the bar (Derek wearing the same shirt)! It was fun to watch.
    A nice surprise, after the musical episode, which I found to be not a succes.

  3. sarah says:

    This was such a great episode. I loved all the nods to Season 1 especially the last scene with Der and Mer in the bar, He’s just a guy in a bar, and Mer’s just a girl in a bar.
    I laughed out loud when Percy said: Just shoot me now!
    I also enjoyed how they made mention of Burke, Izzie and George (not sure why they would still call him 007 if he failed his boards and did not try again so he was never a doc at Seattle Grace)
    I also like that no matter what reality or Universe things will turn out the same to a certain degree as was it meant to be will be: If this alt reality would have continued then you would have had Mer and Der together. Mark and Addison still slept together and that is who he had his baby with and he still walked into the room shirtless saying that he could not get the stain out (just like he did when Der discovered the affair a few seasons back). Callie and Arizona would get together. Christina and Owen would too. Christina and Mer would become friends. However there were some items that were different, Alex being Chief Resident, April not a virgin as she and Alex were hooking up, and Lexie as a druggie. Even though ‘Mandy’ was timid, Miranda came to the surface in the elevator when she was talking to Alex after she got fired. So Jackson just stays the same in both realities??

  4. Kerry says:

    It was filler, but entertaining and funny. Some great dramatic moments with Pompeo and Burton. They never should have killed Ellis off.

  5. Steph says:

    Even in AU Shamda can’t help but throw most of her characters under the bus. LOL What’s worse than finding your wife in bed, on your favorite sheets, with your best friend? Finding out she’s trying to pass off the baby she’s carrying as yours!

  6. ggny says:

    biggest thing i got out of this was Charlie Percy would have been a great character to replace George and they shouldnt have killed him off

  7. Lyria says:

    I really loved this episode. I liked the call backs to the pilot episode, like using the song Portion for Foxes and Mer and Der’s conversation at the end. It reminded me of the AU episode of Friends where all the characters end up where they’re supposed to be. Also it made me wish Charles hadn’t died.

  8. Terry says:

    I hated this episode. It was overhyped and was a huge disappointment. I think the writers have run out of ideas and as a result are going through their previous trash for ideas. If this is the best they have – please cancel the series and put the loyal fans out of their misery.

  9. JUCILEI says:


  10. juan says:

    It was an amazing episode, I loved the ending with christina and mer and mer and derek being meant for each other. I loved the throwbacks too, the bar scene and everything were awesome. totally LOL’d at the someone shoot me now please comment from charlie, so funny. made me love christina more though in this episode

  11. Tiffany says:

    Please note, everyone…they said Izzie stole a heart transplant and was fired for it…they never said if Denny died. In my mind, alt!reality is where Denny/Izzie got their happy ending.

  12. Michael Thomas Angelo says:

    Did you notice how they made Derek look paunchy and over-tired? It was a subtle but effective contribution to the mise-en-scene.

  13. Christyanna Brown says:

    The best episode ever.
    I loved loved when we find out the baby is Mark’s.
    Maddison is my favorite pairing ever so I was super happy.