Grey’s Anatomy Season 11 Review “Only Mama Knows”

Grey's Anatomy Season 11 Episode 4 Only Mama Knows (2)

Last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy was entertaining and served as a useful reminder of how well adjusted Meredith is, despite some of the challenges of her childhood.

Most of the episode focused on Meredith trying to retrace her mother’s steps from the her attempted suicide to her relocation to Boston to the birth of Maggie. Kate Burton is always great on whatever show’s she’s appearing, whether it be Veep, Scandal or Grey’s. The actress portraying younger Ellis was solid as well. It was kind of hard to take the actor portraying young Richard seriously because he looked just like Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) in flashback scenes on Brooklyn 99 (which are absolutely hilarious). Case in point:

The flashbacks with Ellis were haunting. The show runners made a great choice at book ending the flashbacks of young Ellis, who was spiraling a bit personally because of the affair, the heartbreak and dealing with a pregnancy and adoption alone, with the polished, self-assured Ellis that we initially met on Grey’s Anatomy. I suppose Meredith has been able to lead a reasonably well adjusted life because she did such a great job at blocking traumatic moments. Current day Meredith appears to be better equipped at tapping into those dark places, as she used those memories to form a connection with Maggie. The pacing of this storyline continues to be exceptional and the actors have done a great job with the material. I liked the writers gradual, but efficient approach at exposing more people to the Maggie/Meredith/Richard secret. It’s hard to decide which I liked more – Meredith sharing the journal or Derek giving his sister-in-law a hearty hug and being so visibly relieved that for once Meredith wasn’t being grumpy about something he did. I’m glad the couple put their grievances aside so that Derek could be there for Meredith. Although there is something sweet and nostalgic about Alex being Meredith’s “person,” she should really be sharing these things with Derek.

With Meredith slowly opening up to Maggie, I expect the conflict between her and Derek to take center stage. Low blow doesn’t even begin to describe Derek’s actions when he told Meredith she was like her mother.

The writers managed to squeeze in a few other characters in between the Ellis flashbacks. Seeing Arizona’s faith and confidence in Alex being the new her was a nice bookend to watching his disappointment at not being selected for the board. It was also a very clear message that although Alex has made progress, he still has some room for growth.

Until next week!
Reflecting on how much I’ve enjoyed the last few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy makes me wonder if it is the writing alone or if it is because characters like Stephanie and April have been put on the backburner. Looks like Callie and Arizona are at the center of next week’s episode, which I’m all for if it gets the couple closer to figuring out if they can really have a life together. What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off below!