Those who know me know that I can be very passionate about certain tv shows. So much so that over time I develop an intense emotional connection to some of the characters and suddenly find myself in a long term committed relationship that I just can’t seem to break away from, regardless of how bleak things get. I’m invested. But everyone has their breaking point. And that just might be where I am now when it comes to how I feel about Grey’s Anatomy.
For the last two years I have stuck by the show, despite the fact that my relationship with it had become toxic. I knew it was bad for my health, but I continued to watch anyway because I kept holding out hope that things would get better. I mean, there was a reason I fell in love with the series and I didn’t want to give up. But week after week, I found myself constantly disappointed. The writing was inconsistent and the characters continued to do things that I never thought they’d do, based on who they were when we first met them. And much of the action seemed to be happening offscreen, leaving the audience to fill in the blanks. My expectations were no longer being met. And each time an episode would end, I would swear to myself I was done. Yet, every Thursday, my friends knew exactly where to find me. Planted on the couch in front of the tv watching the latest installment of this ever depressing medical drama, that would leave me emotionally exhausted. But, it wasn’t always like this. The show used to make me happy. It used to be fun. It used to be filled with romance and love. And it was a joy to watch.
Let’s go back to when my love affair with Grey’s first started. It happened casually enough during the show’s 5th season. Up until that point, I never considered myself much of a fan. I always found the characters to be a little too whiny and self absorbed. But that all changed, when late one night, I was flipping through the channels, and came across a new face. She caught my eye immediately because there seemed to be something different about her, despite her “All American Girl Next Door” appearance. I mean, she was blonde, blue-eyed, sweet, and perky, and wore wheely sneaks around the hospital. Who wouldn’t be immediately intrigued by this character? She seemed cool and fun and cheerful! But no nonsense all at the same time. I’m, of course, talking about Pediatric Surgeon, Dr. Arizona Robbins, played by Jessica Capshaw. And forget it, as soon as she follows Calliope Torres into the bathroom to make sure she’s okay and then leaves her with a kiss, I was a goner. That was the night that Calzona was born. I just had to find out what happened to them next.
Their’s was a story that made you believe in true love. Even the show-runner and the writers started referring to them as MFEO (Made For Each Other). And that’s what kept you tuning in. Sure, you knew there was bound to be drama, but in the end, they’d get through it, because love conquers all, right? And because it’s a TV show, you’d think that with all the devastation you get in the real world, this would be a nice escape. Boy, were we wrong. Had I known then, what I know now, I don’t think I would have allowed myself to get so invested in this couple. Talk about zero return on such a huge investment. But just for nostalgia’s sake, let’s take a trip down memory lane to remind ourselves why it’s so hard to let go of these two and why our affection and attachment runs so deep.
We’ve already revisited their first meeting, so, how about we go back to some of their other early moments together. Remember their first dance session? Everything was just so easy and effortless. They were just truly having a good time and enjoying being with each other. They were not only dating, but seemed to be friends too. Aw.
How about the time they steal a kiss in the stairwell?
Back in those days, Arizona was a little more commanding when it came to Calliope Torres. She’d never shy away from making the first move and Callie was more than happy to let her do so. They had so many other squeal worthy scenes in the beginning. Like the time Callie’s dad cut her off financially because she had started seeing a woman. Callie and Arizona had been out on a date together and Callie abruptly leaves the restaurant with no explanation. So, in an attempt to get some answers, Arizona, the next day would not leave Callie alone. She just wasn’t satisfied until Callie would let her know why she ran out on her. And her persistence paid off because Callie finally broke down in tears and told Arizona that the reason she left was because she had no money and couldn’t afford to eat at such expensive restaurants. And what does Arizona say? “So we stay in and eat sandwiches.” It’s not about the food or where they go. It’s about them being together. AW!!!
And who can forget when they officially became girlfriends? Wasn’t it so nice back then when the two of them would communicate their feelings and actually listen to what the other was saying? Yeah, those were good times!
And, of course, the night they both said, “I love you,” for the first time.
In the early years, their storyline was actually developed and we’d see things play out on screen. Like when they first started to have some drama with the whole baby thing. Callie had always wanted to be a mother, so she was quite shocked to hear that Arizona had no interest in kids, especially given her line of work.
Callie was hesitant to say anything out of fear of jeopardizing their status as the “stable couple,” but thanks to her friend, Mark Sloan, she knew what she had to do.
They did finally have that difficult conversation. Callie tried to convince her girlfriend to want kids as much as she did, but Arizona wouldn’t budge. She was adamant on the no kids thing.
But Callie wasn’t buying it. She thought there had to be another reason behind Arizona’s not wanting children. And then, it hit her! It had to be because of fear stemming from the loss of her brother. So, she confronts her again.
This back and forth did ultimately lead to a very painful decision toward the end of season 6. It was time for Callie and Arizona to part ways because they didn’t want the same things. And Arizona couldn’t be the one to keep her Calliope from having kids, so she lets her go, in one of the most heart wrenching breakups Grey’s had ever seen. You could feel their pain as they were saying goodbye to each other. They loved each other so much, but knew it just wasn’t gonna work if they stayed together.
Since they worked at the same hospital, they agreed to remain friends. But when the love is so strong that is easier said than done. There was a pull between them that just would not die. You could feel it when the two of them ended up in the same elevator together…alone.
I mean, geez, how could you not want them together? Even Callie couldn’t understand why they were apart. Callie thought of Arizona as the love of her life and wanted more than anything to just hear Arizona say she had changed her mind on the whole kids thing. But that wasn’t gonna change any time soon. And so, Callie, threw out the whole friends thing and decided to hate Arizona instead.
And Arizona called her on it, like she always did back in those days. And Callie responded, despite the fact that they were on lockdown due to a shooter who had taken over the hospital. But with a mad man on the loose, they had no where else to go, so what better time to air their grievances. And what better time to realize how precious life is and that it’s too short to not be with the one you love, regardless of your differences. Two of my favorite scenes come from the Season 6 finale. And Shonda herself made reference to this one where she said it is a good illustration of Callie & Arizona’s family dynamic.
*sigh* I miss them like this. Look at how brave Callie is and how she protects Arizona and the little girl. And the way Callie talks about Arizona and her super magic smile. You could feel the love between them. Look at their eyes. Look at the reaction Arizona has when Callie touches her face. Their connection is undeniable and this is why we fell in love with them! And it’s why they ultimately decide they can’t live with out each other and will have children. Talk about the perfect way to go into the summer hiatus. It was a love high! So much promise going into season 7. But that high would wear off pretty quickly once the Fall came around. Sure, Callie & Arizona would have some cutesy moments together, like when Callie asked Arizona to move in with her.
Then their adorable bickering over paint colors.
Again, they communicated openly and honestly.
But then, Africa-gate happened. Jessica Capshaw needed some time off due to her pregnancy, so they decided to send her character to Africa after she was awarded the prestigious Carter Madison Grant. This was the moment things began to get tense for Calzona. Initially, Callie was upset about this news and the change it meant for their relationship. But after some arguing, she decides to accompany her girlfriend on this adventure, giving up the life she knew in Seattle. But it wasn’t gonna be smooth sailing because even though she said she’d go, it was quite clear that she wasn’t happy about it. She was being very passive-aggressive, so Arizona breaks up with her in the airport and heads to Africa by herself.
Arizona’s trip would be short-lived though because her love for Callie outweighed her love for work and soon she’d be on Callie’s door step hoping to get her back.
Unfortunately for Arizona, Callie wasn’t having any of it and so she slams the door in her face. But Arizona wasn’t gonna go down without a fight. So, she comes back the next day and waits outside of Callie’s apartment in the hopes that this time, Callie would take her back.
Still, no luck. Even after several attempts at apologies and declarations of love, Callie just would not budge. She was too hurt. And tells Arizona as much when, yet again, Arizona, tries to win her over by telling her she’s sublet the apartment and that she was back.
Most people probably would have given up by this point. But not Arizona. She sees this as Callie still caring, so she continues to do anything she can to convince Callie that they should be together. And in classic Grey’s fashion, this next attempt would happen in an elevator. Cue the drama!
And that’s when Callie drops the bomb. She is pregnant with Mark Sloan’s baby! And that’s where the episode ends. What will Arizona do now? Does this change the game? Does she still want Callie back? We’re just gonna have to wait until next week to find out! Thanks, Shonda! And surprise, surprise, Arizona decides she wants to be with Callie and raise their baby.
Let the romance and happy times commence. They were in love and there was nothing that was gonna come in their way, or so we thought. As it turns out, this situation wasn’t gonna be that easy. There were not just two people involved with this child, there were three. It was a modern family that they were gonna have to learn to navigate. It would have been fine if they all understood their role and if there had been some boundaries put in place, but they never were and that would lead to a lot of drama. But it would also lead to one of the most hyped episodes in the show’s history. It was the musical event, “The Song Beneath the Song.” Here we finally saw Callie make a choice. Did she truly love Arizona? Did she want to marry her? Did she want to put her before Mark Sloan? The whole episode showed Callie in an out of body experience since she was in a coma due to injuries sustained from a devastating car crash that left her critically injured and put her baby’s life at risk. We would see some truly beautiful moments that showed us just how much Callie and Arizona belonged together and why they were MFEO. One of my favorite scenes from that episode is the moment in the gallery where you actually (literally) see Callie choosing Arizona.
And then when the two of them sing a lovely song together, “The Universe & U,” it shows their connection goes beyond anything in this world. It’s cosmic! They don’t even have to be together physically to feel the bond the two of them share.
And it solidifies them as two people who are meant to be. And by episode’s end, Callie accepts Arizona’s marriage proposal. And what a beautiful wedding the two of them shared. Not only the ceremony itself, but what came before. We learned that all of Arizona’s dreams were coming true. Dreams she never even knew she had. I’ve always taken that to mean a wife and family. Too bad she tells this to Mark and not Callie, but at least it was something the audience got to hear. I just wish more people would remember that Arizona had said that because even now some fans blame her for depriving Callie of having children.
After this tearful moment where we see our “Good Man in a Storm” show some vulnerability over the loss of her brother, it was time for her dad to walk her down the aisle and marry the woman of her dreams.
The newlyweds would get to be drama free for about the next half season, or so, with a couple of disagreements thrown in that didn’t seem like huge deals, so they just glossed over them. And, of course, the usual cutesy Calzona moments we had all grown to love, plus a nice scene where we see Arizona expressing to Callie how much she wanted a piece of paper that said she was legally Sofia’s mom. Arizona loves their daughter and didn’t want anyone to be able to take her away from her mama.
And so, Callie, assures her wife they will get her that piece of paper. They continued in wedded bliss for a little longer until the end of Season 8 when the doctors of Seattle Grace were en route to Boise and their plane crashed. This was a devastating event that left Lexie Grey dead and Arizona with a severe leg injury and a lot of blood loss. We, the viewers saw this, but the doctors left behind had no clue. In fact, Callie Torres was waiting to surprise her wife with sexy times.
But, let’s get real, any Calzona fan could tell you that we’d never actually see Arizona with Callie in a situation like this. It looked, to me, like another way to show off the provocative side of Sara Ramirez. But anyway, I digress. The crash gave fans a lot to think about over the summer break and we couldn’t wait until the season premiere to find out if more characters would die. Sure enough, Mark Sloan, would succumb to his injuries and poor Dr. Robbins was left without a limb. And here’s where things started to go way downhill for Calzona. Arizona was lashing out at her wife over the loss of her leg and was shutting Callie out of everything. This is where their disconnect began. Callie was busying herself with work and had to contend with Mark’s death on her own. The thing here that bothers a lot of fans is that she never went to Boise to be with Arizona after the crash. Why is that? She rushed to Sloan’s bedside in her pjs like a distraught wife when he was on the verge of death. Not only that, but in Eric Dane’s farewell episode, they filmed a new “flashback” scene that showed him and Callie in bed together. Mark wanted to make a sex tape.
Can someone please explain to me why that kind of scene was necessary? Callie was married to Arizona and Mark was in love with Lexie, but Grey’s felt the need to have the character of, Callie Torres, who happens to be bisexual, in a sexual situation with her friend with benefits and baby daddy? Some fans were already upset by the fact that he was always very much present in the Calzona relationship. It’s almost like they were using her sexuality to play both sides. Seems kind of messed up to me and just an excuse to titilate viewers. And isn’t it interesting the way in which they were able to show Callie in bed with someone else without making her disloyal to Arizona? Hmm, which brings me to the subject of infidelity. By the end of the 9th Season, series’ creator, Shonda Rhimes, told viewers she was taking her show back from fans and that she and the writers had made some very “bold” descisions. And when someone tweeted her about Calzona, she responded with this cryptic tweet, “I will be good to Callie.” “And I will be good to Arizona.” That sent fans in a tizzy because she referred to them as individuals, not as a single unit. What the hell did that mean, we questioned? I thought after a horrible season, post crash, Calzona were finally on their way to being better?
Remember, “Idle Hands?”
Nope, that was just a tease. Shonda came in with her wrecking ball and had Arizona cheat on Callie with visiting Doctor, Lauren Boswell, played by Hillarie Burton. Like they weren’t already hit with more drama than any other couple on the show. What was truly upsetting about this is that it seemed to come out of left field. But Shonda was telling people in interviews that she felt it was very much earned for that character. And they needed “fertile ground” for the writers. She also said we’d never seen Arizona in a relationship with anyone other than Callie. Um, okay, so that’s how you decide to explore Arizona with someone else? Take a married woman and have her step out on her wife? As if the audience wasn’t hating on the lesbian enough, the show goes and does this:
It was a little ridiculous and many of us felt it was very out of character for Arizona Robbins to do such a thing. And they just had to show it onscreen, albeit in the dark. Whereas when Owen Hunt cheated on Cristina we never saw it. Is this how the show would say they’re equal? Funny that they would leave an impression with viewers showing Arizona’s tryst, but kept Owen’s out of sight. So as to possibly keep Owen in a more positive light? Because it is quite interesting to hear fans’ slam Arizona for being a selfish slut. But they think Owen is so sweet, even though the sole reason he slept with someone else was to intentionally cause Cristina pain for aborting their child. And when he almost strangled her due to PTSD it was understandable. But when Arizona was experiencing post traumatic stress after the plane crash, she was told to just get over it and nothing can excuse her behavior. And people were sympathetic to Callie who had to go 5 months without sex and was going around blabbing to people at the hospital how horrible marriage is and that she had to clean her wife’s pee off the bathroom floor? And how you’re tied down for the rest of your life. But Arizona is the bad guy.
This was upsetting to many in the Calzona fandom. And things would really just continue to get worse, with a few glimmers of false hope thrown in just to string us along. After Arizona’s cheating, Callie and Arizona “tried” to work things out. They bought a house. Callie got Arizona a new ring and they planned on expanding their family. But as we were told in early Season 11, Callie & Arizona’s relationship had been nothing but a series of band aids. And either their marriage would work or they’d split up. It was 50/50, according to Shonda Rhimes. And as we learned in 11×05, their love wasn’t enough. Callie told Arizona she felt stuck and wanted so much more for them. That after she got to experience some time away from Arizona, she realized how much happier she was outside of the relationship. That she was laughing more and was able to do so much more. And that she, “finally felt free!” And that she wanted Arizona to “finally feel free too!” So, after their 40 day separation, Callie walks out on her marriage. But, not before she gets one more night with her wife.
Little did Arizona know that after making love with Callie, she’d be a divorcee the next day. And that we as fans would be left with the wind knocked out of us. That was it? That was how Calzona would end? Just one lousy episode where they were finally gonna rip off the band aids and talk about everything in depth. We barely got to hear anything. Just a lot of Callie cutting off Arizona and mocking her. Telling the therapist how freaked out Arizona is by her bisexuality, but never once got to hear Arizona respond. But yet, we were told by Shonda, Sara, and Jessica, that they “get to clear up a lot of that miscommunication.” What a joke. Then we hear after the episode aired that they would not have Callie and Arizona interacting onscreen because after a break up, things are messy, and you need your space. Hello, the two were married, have a house together, work at the same hospital, and share a child. But we are told this is “authentic?” So, instead, we see Arizona working with, Dr. Herman, played by Geena Davis and it’s supposed to keep us from missing that (Calzona) relationship. And while Arizona is getting her groove back as a surgeon, Callie is palling around with Owen, whining to anyone who will listen, that she is missing sex and how jealous she she is that everyone is getting freaky, while she’s the only one not getting any. I thought this was a story about growth? Granted, she never engaged in any one night stands, the way “old” Callie would, but still, this seems like they’re resetting her character to the person we met in Season 3. And they’re resetting Arizona back to who we first met in season 5. It’s like they’re erasing the relationship of Callie and Arizona from existence. And what they’re doing now is getting ready for Calzona to start a friendship. And having Callie move on to a new relationship. They’ve already had a woman hit on Callie. Then they show Callie approach a “hot” guy to dance. Now, they’ve shown Callie out on a date with a woman, who plants one on Dr. Torres, for all to see, including Arizona.
And so begins this new “redefined” dynamic for Callie & Arizona. We’re told by Shonda that they wanted to show where does the love go? And both Jessica Capshaw and Sara Ramirez have spoken about these two women becoming friends who co-parent. And that’s what we saw last night. Arizona was not jealous at all. She was merely concerned for Callie’s safety, since Arizona had dated this woman herself! Oh, how funny! This lady is a nut job and they’re playing things for laughs with these two.
I tell ya, if you were just tuning in for the first time, you’d never know that these two were once married. There’s nothing there. Where’s the angst? Where’s the longing? When the other couples parted, you’d always still feel some heat there. You’d always still feel some sort of pull. But not with Calzona. They made a decision to separate them. And now, they will fix their problems, but as friends. They had a very immature relationship as wives, and lost themselves in their marriage. Callie gave up pieces of herself. And now we’re seeing her come back, hence the return of her leather jacket. And Arizona is returning to who she is, the person who never wanted kids and is a kick ass surgeon, who has joy. They have found individual happiness and are now being able to find happiness together. The pain from their relationship is gone. So, now what? We know Shonda & Sara have had lengthy discussions on bisexual invisibility. And that Shonda is very excited for what comes next for Callie. I think it’s pretty safe to say, what’s next is a new love story for her. Sara has said, “she’s in it for the long haul. As long as there are more stories to tell.” My guess is that the new character slated to be introduced in the April 2nd episode is set to be Callie’s new love interest. His name is Jack Pruitt, played by Kevin Alejandro. And he’s described as a tall, rugged, hero, police captain. Not that I’m one for conspiracies…Okay, I am, just a little…but, don’t you find it interesting that this guy is a year younger than Sara, and he’s of Mexican heritage, and has played a gay character on True Blood? They seem to have a lot in common. He’s done a PSA to take a stand against bullying and to let LGBT youth know they’re not alone and that things will get better. He’s also very interested in the Latino community.
These are things that Sara is also very passionate about and that she has mentioned in her recent HRC speech. I don’t know. It just looks, to me, that having Callie be bisexual is a way that they can get more seasons out of the show. It enables Grey’s to have more to work with. More stories. And it makes you wonder, how far back was this character of Jack Pruitt thought up? And what comes next for Arizona? Something tells me that they will not take the time to build a new lesbian romance for her. What I’m seeing is they broke up Calzona early in the season, so they’d have time to heal, and they’ll come back and make peace with each other. They’d be given closure. So, that by the end of the season, Arizona could (possibly) leave Grey Sloan Memorial for a more prestigious position now that she is not only a Peds surgeon, but a fetal surgeon as well. And what makes me say this? A couple of things. Dr. Herman tells Arizona that she’s “very thick. Always left of the point. And that the point is, she (Herman) is alive,” after her brain surgery. And that “being alive is always the point. Something will always come next.” She also says, “To leave a legacy behind, you have to leave.” And she tells Arizona, regarding her friends who are Callie’s friends, that she needs to “let go of the ties that bind.” Hmm, I do not like the sound of that, especially seeing as though Arizona seems to be isolated from the core cast. The only real friend she’s had lately was Herman, who was a guest star. And now she’s becoming friends with her ex-wife. How long could this friendship actually last? You know darn well when Callie starts a new romantic relationship, they won’t waste screen time showing her with Arizona. The only time a 3 way “friendship” was allowed was when Mark Sloan was around. Which gets me to another theory. Can you imagine if Mark were still alive? Callie would have her former male eff buddy, who also happens to be her baby daddy, her ex-wife, who’s now her “bestie,” and her new boyfriend, hunky, Jack Pruitt? Yeah, as if, that would ever happen. It was totally fine to “ruffle feathers,” with the modern family storyline while Callie was in a lesbian relationship, which now looks like it was nothing but a facade, since their band aids didn’t really start until Mark was killed. And that’s when we first started reading in interviews that maybe someone lied about who they were when they “committed to this relationship.” It does make it seem like Calzona was nothing more than two girls playing dress up. That’s why their marriage was so easily discarded. Talk about an insult to same-sex relationships. It’s as though Callie was practicing for the real thing. And when she meets her new person, she’ll most likely be enlightened. And having learned from her mistakes, she’ll be able to have a mature relationship. It’s just one huge slap in the face to the fans who brought viewership to this show because they were sold a couple who was destined to be together. A couple that was a positive image for those struggling for acceptance in what still is a very homophobic world. Just look at what some of the fans on Facebook say about Arizona. They wish she had died instead of Mark because Callie should have a proper family. So much so that they want her with Owen, since he needs kids. And maybe Sofia can now be his child. Arizona did nothing but “bring her down” and “deprive her of children.” And Callie should have “guy sex” because she “glows from guy sex” and “needs the D like for real.” And now it seems that’s what general fans will get. It’s a way for the show to squeeze out more seasons. And to spice things up. More sex. It’s upsetting because we longed to see Callie & Arizona have another child. But this time, on their terms, with no third party involvement. But sadly, their love was no longer enough and that was not to be. So, what now? Callie will ultimately have another child, but with a guy…again? Is there a reason Callie can’t make it work with a female? Or is there something else going on here? Is there behind the scenes drama between Sara & Jessica as many fans have been speculating about since season 7? And perhaps when Shonda says, “maybe Callie stuck to something she shouldn’t have stuck to,” she really means, Sara got stuck with Jcap? And by breaking up Calzona, they’re both finally free of the confines of that relationship and what that means. Jessica no longer has to kiss another female. She’s been defending their love scenes for years! And in a recent interview with Shonda, she said, “she was reluctant to just stick them with others.” I’m not sure what that means. But it could be as simple as wanting to show Callie on various dates with both men and women, so as to illustrate an “authentic” journey for a recently divorced character, who happens to be bisexual, before she just slaps Callie with another partner. We’ll probably never know. But what we do know is Calzona, as a couple, is over. And the way they ended them is appalling. They’ve not been treated equally to the heterosexual couples. They have not been allowed the same depth as their straight counterparts. And they’ve been reduced to comic relief. And as a result, they have alienated a number of fans. Fans who are no longer willing to give this show more of their time, when time after time, they’re left with nothing but disappointment. It’s like that saying, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, we’re done being fooled. We’re onto their game. We’re done “trusting journeys” and we’re done being used. It’s time for us to finally feel free too! I have not watched an episode of Grey’s, since 11×08, and what I finally realized, is the more removed I am from this show, the happier I am. I find myself doing more! I’m more connected to who I am! I’m laughing more! And I no longer feel stuck! And I suggest you do the same! Get out there and enjoy life. Don’t let the pain from your toxic relationship with this show suffocate you anymore! Stop giving up your Thursday nights! You shouldn’t have to give up anything! You owe it to yourself to be happy! It’s time to love yourself again! And experience other shows.