The highly anticipated Grey’s Anatomy flashback episode finally arrived and surely seeing a meek Miranda gain her voice, the early years of the Chief and Mer‘s mom’s partnership and a short-on-confidence Callie work miracles had fans hoping producers will do another time warp. Until then, discussing this installment’s ‘OMG’ moments will have to do. –Carrie Bell
RETURN OF RICHARD: Fresh from rehab and 45 days sober, the Chief came calling for his old job. Derek reminded him it was pending board approval, which could take months. Meanwhile, his successor offered him a job as an attending surgeon, which he immediately turned down, uninterested in working for McDreamy. He did, however, agree to give one last speech at the resurrected lecture day.
A NAZI IS BORN: Bailey spoke of a patient who came in three days into her internship with unexplained abdominal pain that was misdiagnosed as gallstones. She answered all of the Chief’s questions during rounds and caught his attention to the chagrin of a resident. When she pointed out errors in the resident’s diagnosis in front of the boss, she was punished with paperwork. The patient returned multiple times with similar symptoms and when Bailey made a bad appendicitis call, it put a smile on her enemy’s face. The Chief’s advice: “Surgery is a shark tank. Make sure you’re a shark and not a minnow.” Bailey eventually solved the mystery and cancelled the resident’s surgery. When she came looking for her pound of flesh, Bailey let her have it and said she’d learned to listen to her patient. The Chief took her into his office where he pretended to reprimand her when he was actually acknowledging how great she was destined to become.
BEST FOOT FORWARD: Torres was so afraid of public speaking that she puked, mumbled and dropped her notes. She promised a patient with a severe club foot that he’d walk again during her third resident year. The Chief thought her promise was a sign of arrogance and “arrogance in an unseasoned surgeon is dangerous.” When the guy became unstable during the first operation, she was ready to quit until she got a pep talk from Alex and the patient moved his toes. When they went back in, his heart had the same issues as the elevator cop and Alex had to admit he wasn’t that guy. Torres pushed him to do the procedure and miraculously the man could walk. Torres celebrated with Alex in the old Torres way — with a romp in the sack.
GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST: Richard’s talk centered on learning from your peers and not losing yourself. He used a story from the ‘80s when he and Meredith’s mom were just starting out their Seattle Grace tenure — and their affair. He experienced racism, she fought sexism and their patient, who had the first AIDS case in Washington, suffered homophobia. When they first asked if he was gay, he threatened to sue for slander. On his return visit, he was worse off and their supervisor wouldn’t operate, afraid of the risks to himself and the staff. But the dynamic duo carried on and bought the man eight more months. His death made Richard lose the sense that he was a superhero and he warned that this work “changes you.” He recited the medical oath and got a standing ovation. He, of course, left out parts of the story concerning his attempts to end the affair, toddler Grey’s visit to the hospital and her mom’s standoffishness toward her, so as not to show weakness and the fact that Mama Grey introduced him to vodka. –Carrie Bell
Tell us: What was your favorite part of the flashback episode? Bob D’Amico/ABC