Yeah, there's a lot of crossover in your takeaway from the episode and mine. ;) Particularly on the Tina and Buck storylines! And in generally agreeing that Sydney's awesome. ;) However...
- I don't think I had quite the same extreme reaction to the dream sequence as you did; yes, it's a device we have seen many times and it might have been handled differently. (What if Ty turned over to Hooten's desk and Quinn was sitting there in a little lab coat, JUDGING HIM. That would have been unexpected, no? ;) Yes, I'm goddamned serious.) I think the visceral nature of Jamie's performance there kept it afloat; like I mentioned above, the hallucination scene is more problematic for me.
- The shift in focus in Michelle & Tina's surgery case IS interesting, and I think encouraging in the way I indicated above that the show plans to really develop Michelle's character more. SPOILER if you haven't read the book!>>>>> In the book, Michelle is being set up to be dismissed at the end, which circles back to her being in a particular place at a particular time when something very bad happens (won't spoil that aspect, there's no need.) Anyway, obviously the show has no need to go there (at least not yet) so it's nice to see them revise the dilemma as needed.
- You actually make a good point that I didn't consider... maybe Ty and Tina did sleep together but called it off, and that's what she's referring to with Sydney? Either way, I'd argue the show *is* being coy about it. It does feel one-sided because Ty is dealing with his angst, but also... how much of Tina's behavior is a combination of her feelings for him plus her natural inclination to be that "umbrella" for everybody? I think the answer is somewhere in the middle.