I don't know how much Mer would have noticed at age 5—or remembered all these years later. What stuck were the traumas of Ellis being in the hospital and losing her doll when they left suddenly for Boston.
This is the 3rd time Mer has been introduced to a new half-sibling (though this one was a surprise—and whatever happened to the first one, Lexie's sister?). Perhaps some of her annoyance is that Ellis was a terrible mother and she later had Alzheimer's and Mer had to deal with these alone. (Granted, Lexie and her sister wouldn't have been involved since they are on Mer's father's side.)
I like her, too. She's a little hard to figure out, but she is a good doctor and she can be personable. I think people hate new characters on nearly every show. I remember this when Tara joined Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, though I didn't watch it then, I bet viewers of NCIS had as negative a reaction to Ziva "replacing" Kate as they (we) are to Bishop replacing Ziva.
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