Grey’s Anatomy “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” Review (Season 12 Episode 5)

Grey's Anatomy "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" Season 12 Episode 5 (2)
There are few things I love more than an awkward dinner party. It was one of my favorite aspects of The Mary Tyler Moore show. No one threw horrible parties like Mary. Grey’s Anatomy offered its own version of the awkward dinner party this week with “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Unlike the awful dinner parties on Mary Tyler Moore, this episode was filled mostly with tension, angst and a few laughs here and there, largely because of Meredith and Penny’s shared history.

What Would You Do?
So you’re Penny and you arrive at Meredith’s party and realize you’ve entered the home a woman that you associate with one of the worst days of your entire life. To make matters worse, she also associates you with one of the worst days of her life. Of course, this is Grey’s Anatomy and Penny had to stay for dramatic purposes, but had it been me there is NO way I would have stayed there. I would have left immediately and there is no amount of insistence on Callie’s part that would have gotten me to stay.

You know what else I would have avoided if I was Penny? If I’m going to work at the same hospital where my girlfriend works, it’s something I’m going to disclose to her sooner rather than later. It was not Penny’s fault that she unexpectedly ended up at Meredith’s dinner party, but the awkwardness of Bailey announcing that Penny was joining Grey Sloan Memorial is all on Penny.

Ellen Pompeo was great in this episode. I love how she went from offering drinks to people that she never made to staring daggers at Penny. I even loved her meltdown with Amelia and her very callous, but understandable closing the door in Callie’s face. I did not, however, love everything that Meredith did in the episode. For the most part, I could give her a pass on her rage, anger and thinly veiled efforts to tolerate Penny. What I did not like, however, was her reaction to Amelia. Meredith’s unwillingness to really acknowledge Amelia’s grief is something that has bothered me since the episodes following Derek’s death. Did Amelia overreact at the dinner party? Yes, but I’m not sure if I would have been able to exercise any restraint either. I understand why Meredith likely had reservations about telling Amelia, I did not care for her callousness when she very loudly dismissed Amelia and threatened to kill her if she did not get out of her room. Nothing will compare to Meredith’s sense of loss as Derek’s widow and the mother of his kids. Likewise, nothing will compare to Amelia’s sense of loss as Derek’s sister. I have not liked the way in which Meredith has responded to Amelia’s grief and pain and I am interested to see if the two are on better terms in the next episode.

Other Episode Highlights

– Overall, I thought this episode was well acted by everyone. Even the characters at the table who had no lines, but had to provide reaction shots did a great job.

– I’ve raised this question before and I think it warrants revisiting – what do the writers want the audience to feel when observing Alex and Meredith? I love the idea of a platonic friendship and I like Alex stepping into Christina’s shoes as Meredith’s person. So far, I think that we are supposed to view Alex’s support of Meredith as that of a great friend. I hope the writers will address Jo’s issues with the friendship and move on. If Jo is understanding, I would prefer for it not to be something we have to watch her complain about each time. Although I do not have a need to see anything romantic between Meredith and Alex, it does make me wonder if she will ever let another man into her life – when the time is right.

– I LOVED the bathroom scene between Meredith, Amelia and Maggie. Watching Amelia and Maggie go back and forth about UTIs and cooking while Meredith, unknown to them, was completely freaking out reminded me a bit of the Braverman family interactions on Parenthood.

– I do not want Arizona to battle alcoholism, but I really do love drunk Arizona. On a related note, my favorite line of the night was “Dr. Robbins, you’re drunk,” courtesy of Bailey.

– I also liked the b-story with Maggie and the hot intern. It was a nice break from the tension of the dinner party and I am not going to complain about any opportunity to look at him. Sadly, I have not learned his name and it will be awhile before I do. Maggie’s “any of the -ias” line about STDs was my second favorite line of the night. I also loved her observation about his “confident and swoopy” hair and him inadvertently drinking cranberry juice intended for Maggie.

– I got a good laugh at Meredith’s “Perfect Penny killed my husband. Kepner, the food is getting cold. Let’s pass those peas.” Similarly, I found the intern who came in with the cheese and said “say cheese” to be really cute and a nice source of levity. He’s growing on me, so hopefully he’ll avoid the Shondaland death knell for interns.


– What were Alex and Jackson doing earlier in the dinner party? Were they exchanging money? Did anyone catch that?

– Was anyone else distracted by the HORRIBLE green screen behind Penny during the outdoor scenes? It was so bad!

Until Next Week!

Overall, this was a pretty entertaining episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve had my fill of Perfect Penny and I hope that after the next episode, we’ll get a bit of a reprieve from her. I love episodes with storylines that allow a large number of cast members to interact with each other, while still including intimate moments between smaller subsets. I loved the Alex/Meredith and Owen/Amelia scenes. The only thing I did not care for was the makeup/breakup dance Stephanie and Jo are doing. What did you think of this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy? Sound off below!