Grey's Writer Recaps Last Week's Flashback Episode

I admit, I have a bit of an obsession with Richard… an addiction, if you will.

He’s always just so suave, always so collected, and always, cool. SO MANY people have asked me what is to become of him now that he’s drinking again. I only hope this episode serves to address at least some of your many concerns about the Chief.

We had always talked about doing a flashback episode, and from day one, Season One, Shonda has emphasized that Richard and Ellis got together at least partially because of the fact that they were the only black and the only woman resident in their class.

Being outcasts, they were naturally drawn to each other (and passion did the rest). They were residents in the early 80’s and of course the BIG thing about the early 80’s was that weird new disease they eventually called AIDS.

I think one of the most chilling lines in the episode is when Young Richard says, “They could find a cure for this tomorrow, or next week,” because you know he probably really believed it… and here we sit 18 years later with no cure.

What better case to highlight Richard and Ellis and their irresistible draw to each other. There was nothing that could keep them apart, and a patient like this, who was an outcast himself, could only pull them even closer together.

As one of the crew members put it, what a cool way to tackle racism, sexism, and homophobia in one fell swoop! Side note: It was so fun to recreate 1982! The crew worked SO HARD to make this happen and did an AMAZING job.

How great was it to see the Richard/Ellis dynamic? Ellis was a force to contend with. Shall we say she was … a “maneater?” There were basically two categories that were prevalent among female surgical residents in those days: feminine, or macho.

I’ll give you one guess as to which one Ellis was.

She was a surgeon first and only incidentally female. She put her defenses up against any challenge to the way she thought the world should be, and lashed out when her plan was interrupted. Is it any wonder Meredith ended up so dark and twisty?

But it’s not all about 1982. We also get to see Richard as he became Bailey’s mentor, helping to shape little Mandy Bailey into the Miranda Bailey we see today … and the Richard we saw in 2006 makes Callie shake in her shoes a little bit.

About the author

Beth Hodgson is a freelance writer and editor ( based in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Writing to keep the public informed is her passion; and who doesn't love Canadian TV?
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