REPLY to only LAST e-mail, not entire string

When hitting REPLY to a message, it shows the ENTIRE conversation which can be very long. Gets really confusing seeing the entire contents of ALL the e-mails. Is there some way to just show the LAST e-mail you are responding to?  This gets extremely confusing and takes forever to find the last e-mail questions I am trying to answer.

If you turn off conversations (Menu > View > Conversations), does the reply display any differently?