It seems like all we’ve heard about in the past week is Grey’s Anatomy’s 200th episode — and spoilers on spoilers on spoilers of what we can expect to see in it. Fortunately, the moment of truth is here: did it live up to our expectations? If you ask us, the answer is a resounding yes.

It’s the day of the fundraising gala (to raise money for storm-related repairs to the hospital), which means all of the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital surgeons are dressed to the nines. Hey, Jackson cleans up nice, right?

And it may have just begun, but it’s a circus — no, really. A literal circus. A spectacle, and not quite what Jackson had in mind. But the show must go on, especially since there are dudes breathing fire in the corner. It’s just the beginning of a very long night for Jackson.

And before they hit up the event, Meredith and Bailey are checking on Richard, who isn’t doing so hot. Bailey’s worried, but Meredith says let him suffer if he wants to. Maybe once he hits bottom, he’ll realize he does want to live. But Bailey’s not planning on listening. Elsewhere in the hospital, the interns are cranky. Why? They’re the only ones not invited to the gala. Somebody’s gotta take care of the patients.

By the time Meredith arrives, Callie’s ready to bolt. Not so fast, Callie: Jackson’s got a little incentive for you to stay. Whichever surgeon pulls in the most donations will get a cut of the money for their own department — yep, now she’s on board. A little competition? Now it’s a party!

But when Arizona shows up, she loses her focus. Is every scene between these two going to break our hearts from now on? And when a guest assumes Arizona died in the plane crash, Callie lets him. Meanwhile, Alex has enlisted Jo for her help with the donors, but he’s more or less blown her off. She’s understandably unhappy, and for some reason, Alex just disappears.

Cristina’s not afraid to play dirty, either — flirting with rich guys? We’re onto you, Yang! And Callie’s dead wife act is pretty successful, too, albeit way more shameless. Having overheard this, April sits down with a still heartbroken Arizona (and two stolen bottles of champagne). Hiding out in a supply closet, they share a heart to heart about their mutual relationship qualms. We’re glad Arizona’s got someone to talk to, even if April’s a little loopy (read: drunk) right now.

Jackson’s welcome speech goes pretty well… ‘til one of the acrobats crashes to the ground. Good thing she’s in a room full of doctors, right? And the interns are failing big time back at the hospital, particularly with a patient who Alex has a vested interest in for some reason. Hmm…

Back at the hospital, Richard’s refusing his CPAP — and Bailey’s not having it. If the man down the hall with cancer and no options is still willing to fight, she reasons, he should be, too. She yells at him, but he refuses her help and tells her to get the hell out. He’s become such a sweetheart since his accident.

Meredith — still on maternity leave — breaks her agreement with Derek to not work ‘til they can both work, and manages to find herself in the operating room. Derek’s fine with it, because she lets him help. And at the party, April and Arizona are hammered. Maybe a night of drunken laughter is exactly what these two needed in the midst of their personal crises?

The good news is, we know why Alex is acting so strange: he’s pretty sure the junkie Meredith’s operating on is his dad. Jo catches him drawing his blood for a paternity test. Alex hasn’t seen him in 20 years, and doesn’t want this guy to be him — he’s not so sure he ever wants to see him again. Totally understandable, since he did walk out on his family.

And Bailey moves her cancer patient in with Richard and hands him a brochure for end of life care. That’ll show him. And she’s right — it’s just enough to convince him to find the will to live again. One step at a time!

Jackson’s already not having an awesome night at the gala, and he comes back to the hospital to find Stephanie and Shane kissing, euphoric after their successes as surgeons that night. She pleads her case with Jackson, and he tells her she better start communicating with him better or their relationship will never work. We’ve got a feeling this is the beginning of the end for these two, though.

And the results from Alex’s paternity test is in: the junkie is his dad — and Alex is pissed.

Catch the next episode of Grey's Anatomy on Thursday, October 10 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.