10/18/2014 12:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Grey's Anatomy Recap: The Audacity of Ellis Grey in 'Only Mama Knows'

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 11, Episode 4 of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, titled "Only Mama Knows"


I will not even try to expound on the construction of this episode and how well they brought back Kate Burton, fit in the flashbacks, and made me feel sympathy for Meredith again. When was the last time you really felt for her, or like her? The Hollywood Reporter has a great interview with the editors about how they dug up the clips and "told a new story" about Ellis Grey if you want to geek out.

Other than that, let's be thankful that within four episodes we have started to sweep up the Maggie/extra sister mess and the plot can move happily ever forward.


1) Oh, the plot devices to bring Alex back. He was fired from private practice (which is a shame, because he cleans up so well in a suit!), loses the board to Bailey, and has been sort of played by his best friends. Luckily, Arizona has a new fellowship and is still fighting with Callie: so she need Alex to be in charge of peds. Not officially, just while she's studying, which is a complete jerk thing to do, but we'll let it slide because it's Arizona.

2) Those Derek and Meredith showdowns! She tells him where to go, and finally stands up for herself, obviously taking Christina's "be the sun" advice. In the end, they are each others' people and he nudges her along in accepting in Maggie.

3) Shonda Rhimes really does know how to talk about empowering women, and letting them be vulnerable. Ellis suffered from depression after Richard, but she was "audacious." When we watch the clip of her talking about dedicating her awards to all the female surgeons that come after her, that means her two daughters, who are pretty audacious themselves. Richard might still have a chance to be a dad to someone else.

What did you think of this week? Let me know @karenfratti

"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.