If there's one thing Grey's Anatomy's 300th episode delivered on, it was definitely the waterworks. Featuring plenty of tributes to the 14 seasons of badass surgeries and the doctors who make it all happen, creator Shonda Rhimes made it clear to fans that 300 episodes of Grey's is something pretty special. In addition to being peppered with plenty of references to some of fans favorite former characters, there was also a special Grey's Anatomy 300th episode cameo from Ellis Grey. Here's where the tears really start flowing.
Now fans were expecting some sort of cameo in this episode, but after hearing that there would be lookalike doctors of Cristina, Izzie, and George, many thought (hoped) it would be one of them. But, instead the last few minutes of the episode gave Meredith the approval of the person she's always needed it from, even if it was in ghost form.
After blowing off the Harper Avery award ceremony in Boston, Meredith decides to do everything she can to save a Cristina lookalike named Cleo. Right as she and Kepner finish surgery and Cleo is rushed into recovery, Dr. Webber and Dr. Bailey rush into the OR. With the help of Jackson they've set up a special live feed for Meredith to watch the ceremony remotely. All eyes are on her and the screen as the winner of the prestigious medical award is announced. Meredith wins and it's about darn time. Surrounded by the nurses and doctors of Seattle Grace, Meredith smiles, proud of all the work she's done over the years.
Jackson gives an acceptance speech on her behalf, and he notes that everyone, including her sister Lexie, husband Derek, and mother Ellis, knew that one day Meredith would win this award. And, right at that moment as everyone cheers, Meredith looks up to the gallery where the ghost of her mother claps and smiles, clearly proud of her daughter.
Longtime fans of Grey's know just how tumultuous of a relationship Meredith and Ellis had over the years. Although Ellis was a brilliant surgeon and two-time Harper Avery award winner herself, she wasn't exactly mother of the year. In fact she was far from it. But, nonetheless she did manage to create two brilliant daughters, Maggie and Meredith, who both became amazing surgeons.
After being diagnosed with Alzheimers before the series began, Ellis later died in Season 3, numbing Meredith in a way. Ellis had always made sure to stress to Meredith that she couldn't just be "ordinary," especially if she wanted to be a surgeon like her. But after surviving a plane crash, more deaths than anyone should ever half to deal with, and raising three kids while still having time to kick butt it at work, viewers can agree that Meredith Grey is far from being ordinary.
A short while after Ellis died, Derek discovered a journal of Ellis' that Meredith eventually bonded with Cristina over. Soon after the two discovered many more notebooks. The entries mostly were about Ellis' surgeries and affair with Dr. Webber, but gave Meredith great insight into Ellis' mind. Even though as a child Meredith strongly disliked her mother, reading the diaries helped her realize that her mother was intense but also fun, loyal, and inspirational —reminding her a lot of Cristina. That makes Ellis' cameo on Nov. 9's episode that much sweeter.
If Meredith couldn't have Cristina there to celebrate her historic win, I'm glad she at least had someone there that knew what it's like to live for the job. Ellis finally gave Mer the standing ovation she deserved ,and it was everything it should have been and more.