When Grey Girls Collide: Meredith Meets Lexie

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It's so great to have the Grey's Anatomy cast back, and so far, the critics seem to agree - "A Change is Gonna Come" - has been received positively by most.

We've read many reviews since the premiere aired. Here's an interesting one from Jennifer Armstrong of Entertainment Weekly that sums up the feelings of fans who really love their favorite show despite its many perceived faults.

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So here we are, back again at Seattle Grace Hospital. Our first few scenes back made it clear â€" with a Shonda Rhimes-penned script, no less â€" that there would be no dark Sturm und Drang to match that very emotional finale.

When Grey Girls Collide: Meredith Meets Lexie
Shiny new interns! Happy opening music! A sunny establishing shot of Seattle! It feels like the first day of school â€" a brand new day, to borrow from a certain omnipresent promo ABC has been running for a certain spin-off show on Wednesdays.

The back-to-basics vibe stuck throughout "A Change is Gonna Come," which, while not exactly life changing, did successfully deliver a very strong message right from the source: Classic Grey's Anatomy is back, viewers.

Yes, we can totally do the addictive combo of banter, soap and metaphorically resonant surgeries without Isaiah Washington and Kate Walsh, dammit!

All the trademarks of old-school Grey's Anatomy were there:

  • Alex and Izzie and Cristina and Meredith traded mildly witty barbs while sitting on that one gurney in that one hallway where they like to hang out.
  • A mid-level disaster (car accident) provided a variety of surgeries (pregnant lady with severed arm, dude who seemed dead but wasn't).
  • A quirky twist (the deer from the car crash must be saved)!
  • A string of preposterous coincidences popped up to wreak havoc on our characters' already complicated personal lives.
We might as well go ahead and talk about Little Ms. Coincidence first, as she was one of the bigger developments of the night. It so happens one of the new interns is Lexie Grey, the half sister Mer never met or saw photos of.

Of course, we've known since the penultimate episode last season that this was coming, thanks to Lexie's flirtation with Derek Shepherd in the bar.

The good news is they didn't drag it out. They just plopped her intro to big sis in the middle of getting victims out of the ambulance, actually, which was awkward but better than an annoying multi-episode arc during which everyone would have to keep it a big secret. You know that would totally happen on a lesser show.

Turns out there is a certain self-absorption that runs in the family. The first big dialogue for Lexie came when she fluttered in to deliver X-rays to Cristina.

"I met my sister for the first time," Lexie blathered, by way of apology, while a recently-dead-turned-back-alive man lay on a gurney. "So then I got lost in my head on the way to X-ray because of Meredith..."

Next, Lex was caught right in the middle of MerDer's first apparent face-to-face since their quasi-breakup at the almost wedding.

That's when Meredith learned her sister was the infamous "girl from the bar" whom Derek had flirted with!

"The girl from the bar?" Mer fumed. "I'm the girl from the bar."

And with that line alone, Grey's Anatomy was back.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Meredith: You're me.
Amelia: What?
Meredith: You're me before Derek. I can be here for you. I can do this. I get you. I can be a twisted sister for you. Just tell me how do you want to play this?

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)