GREY’S ANATOMY: The Calzona Diaries 11×01


In an attempt to kick my horrible writer’s block, I bring you the first entry of  “The Calzona Diaries”, a feature that will essentially recap Grey’s Anatomy episodes, focused solely on Callie, Arizona and their storylines. Even though I may deny it, who am I kidding – I’m only watching because of them. Reader discretion is advised. If you do not like snark, you may want to skip these.

Last season, Calzona (and their fans) were on a never ending roller coaster ride. Season nine ended with Arizona’s (Jessica Capshaw) one-legged body being invaded by an alien and she cheated on Callie (Sara Ramirez) during a wicked storm. (Okay, that may be partly false but since they never fully explained her actions, I’m going with that reason). Season ten explored the aftermath of Arizona’s actions, albeit poorly executed. The beginning of the season had them apart, while they tried to move on. Callie became sister wife to Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and reclaimed her independence by dancing in her underwear. Arizona drowned her loneliness by boinking Intern Leah (Tessa Ferrer).

Courtesy ABC

Courtesy ABC

Near the midpoint of the season, Callie asked Arizona to come home and they walked on eggshells for a few episodes before they made up by making out, did some other stuff offscreen, and decided that not talking would be best. (These two really should write a book about healthy marriages). The second half of season included buying a house and Arizona having an epiphany that all she needed to be happy was Callie and their daughter Sofia. They later decided to add to their family, but then Callie continued her horrible, no good, very bad year(s) by discovering she couldn’t have anymore children. Arizona, who we discovered earlier in the season through a flashback, recently had a miscarriage and did not want to get pregnant. During a heartbreaking scene, they decide that having each other and Sofia was enough. But in the finale, one of the patients of the week made them realize there were other ways they could have a baby. Because you know,  the thought of adoption, surrogacy or fostering never came across their minds. It’s not like they’re doctors or have friends who went through their own adoption drama three seasons ago.

Courtesy ABC

Courtesy ABC

Which brings us to the premiere of season 11. During one of their now  frequent hallway walk and talks, Callie and Arizona are still discussing surrogacy, although Callie is hesitant. It turns out that the scars she sees in the mirror remind her that she couldn’t keep their own daughter safe, so how is she to trust a surrogate? Their conversation is put on hold when Owen (Kevin McKidd) interrupts, needing their assistance because a gurney has fallen off the roof of the hospital. Yes, that really happened – it’s a miracle this hospital is still functioning. The idea of surrogacy is brought up again while they’re watching a surgery, and Callie still seems to be on the fence. But after seeing a mother and son interact, she has a change of heart and tells Arizona that they should explore the idea of surrogacy. Everything should be just dandy, right?

Courtesy ABC

Courtesy ABC

Oh, if only. While surrogacy was the main Calzona storyline, the episode also seemed to be setting up a potential arc for Arizona. Dr. Herman (the fabulous Geena Davis), who may or may not be a new doctor to the hospital, suggests that Arizona should apply for her fellowship in neonatal (I think?), because then she “could learn to do something that’s actually hard.” Apparently being the head of pediatric surgery is a job anyone can do. Unless Arizona isn’t in charge anymore, which is entirely possible –  who the heck knows these days? What seemed like a casual conversation may have been something more because at the end of the episode when Callie tells Arizona she’s all in with surrogacy, Arizona tells her that she’s actually considering going for Dr. Herman’s fellowship. Callie brings up the fact that that means she’ll essentially be a student again. There are long hours studying and exams to prepare for. And a new baby on top of that? Arizona seems to think it’s no big deal, but the look on Callie’s face says everything. While they may have been in sync for most of the episode, the last scene suggests that perhaps more drama is on the horizon. Duh, duh, duhhhh (That’s my dramatic music sound effect).

Quick thoughts:

For an episode where not a lot happened, I was pleasantly entertained and the hour flew by! With new head writers this season (Stacy McKee and William Harper), I’m hoping there’s more continuity in story lines, especially when it comes to Calzona.

It was refreshing to learn about the characters in a more natural way. We gained insight into Callie’s hesitation through her talk with Arizona and it didn’t feel like a “let’s feed the audience what they need to know” conversation. And while it turns out they weren’t on the same page, it was nice to see them actually talking! I would have liked to see Arizona acknowledge Callie’s fear, instead of brushing it off, but overall, it was nice to see them interacting. Here’s hoping it continues throughout this season and they don’t revert back to their old ways of suppressing and then blowing up at each other.

It’s exciting to see that Arizona may be getting a storyline outside of Calzona. We know she’s a great teacher, but since Alex’s (Justin Chambers) been an attending, we haven’t really seen her in a professional role. It would also be interesting to see her in a student role. Is she going to be a perfectionist, wanting to impress her mentor? Is she going to back down from challenges or have the confidence she’s displayed as a teacher? And being a neonatal specialist would open more storylines for her, as Alex seems to have taken the peds ones.

Favourite interaction:

Callie: Oh god, oh god, I sound like my father when I was a teeanger. What is, what is wrong with me? I love him, but I don’t want our daughter to have my father as a mother.

Arizona: I don’t know what you just said. But it’s nice to see what our kids have in store for them someday.

Not only was this Classic Callie, it was also just a really nice moment for the two of them. There was nobody else in the room, and like my previous point, the conversation felt natural. Between Arizona’s look of confusion while Callie continued to babble, and the delivery by both actresses, it almost felt like we were eavesdropping on an actual couple’s conversation.

The groundwork for season 11 has been set and on a Calzona note, it looks promising. I’m pretty sure their screentime in the premiere was more than the first five episodes of season 10 combined (okay, that may be a slight exaggeration). But bring it on!

[Nels edit: WOOHOO! Congrats to Lucie for her first “real” post!]

Lucie was a classic 80/90s kid that grew up with the television as a babysitter. As she’s begrudgingly becomes an adult, she sadly can no longer enjoy television as mindless entertainment and subconsciously starts analyzing shows, specifically in the context of race and gender. She enjoys police procedural, strong female leads, and political dramas. She’s sarcastic and snarks a lot which may be mistaken for bashing, but it’s not…usually. She longs for the days where she can just watch TV and not parse it for subtext.

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