For those Grey’s Anatomy fans that hoped (or maybe prayed) that Callie and Arizona would find a way to get past the latter’s infidelity in the Season 10 premiere, sorry, but it’s going to be a tougher journey than that.
When the ABC medical drama returned, Callie (Sara Ramirez) immediately showed just how hurt she was by Arizona’s (Jessica Capshaw) cheating by moving out of their apartment and taking baby Sofia with her. Will the two be able to work through this? TVGuide.com turned to Capshaw and Ramirez to find out what’s in store:
Can Callie and Arizona recover from this?
Jessica Capshaw: Last year, Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) went through the infidelity, and I think this infidelity is different. Arizona has done something so terrible and so tragically divisive that there’s really nothing that she can do besides be penitent and present and say everything she can to try to rectify it. But there’s just a gross and deep amount of pain and hurt. She is doing the best that she can to show up for the relationship and give as many answers as Callie needs. But, at this point, Callie’s nowhere near being able to really get past what happened at the end of last season.
Could we see them go to therapy?
Capshaw: Callie is not interested in making this better. She’s not there. What Arizona has done is too bad, it’s too horrible, it’s too unimaginable. She’s not in a place where she can entertain that.
What is it like now that Callie is living with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey)?
Sara Ramirez: Now you’ve got a house full of three adults and three children, which is hilarious and makes for some fun scenes that we got to shoot. There’s some comedy in there, but [she won’t be there] very long. I think that because of all the life changes that they’ve all experienced including almost dying, near-death experiences, buying of the hospital, being on the board of the hospital, they have more things in common than they used to, specifically Meredith and Callie, now they’re both mothers. There is a moment when Callie confided in Meredith early on and it’s a moment that surprised me because I don’t see a lot of that with Callie and Meredith, but it made sense. In a sense, Cristina and Meredith are two people that Callie is close to during this. Interestingly, Callie feels betrayed by them at one point.
How is Arizona processing Callie being out?
Capshaw: She has her relationship with Alex (Justin Chambers) and she has her relationship with medicine as a doctor. That’s the only time you see her paying attention to herself. Most of her energy is being put on being able to say she’s sorry. Everyone, at the end of last season, was saying she went from being the good man in the storm to the bad man in a storm, but I think who Arizona is still remains. She did something horrible, but she’s trying to be a good person through it. She’s not denying it, she’s not being angry about it. She’s trying to deal with it, but something’s are undealable.
Will Arizona have anyone to lean on?
Capshaw: It’s not a matter of who so much as is it what. She’s not going to deal with why she ended up in that room. She’s going to keep trying to be the good person and say how sorry she is. But she’s not really ready to deal with why it happened. Why it happened is probably going to spin her into doing a whole lot of other things before she figures out what’s going on.
She’s not going to cheat again, is she?
Capshaw: They’re not in a good place. They’re not together. I don’t think Callie has seen them together from the season finale. They are not on the same page. The infidelity didn’t happen for no reason. For them to be able to find out why might be the best direction for each of them to step for themselves.
Are Callie and Arizona back to step one?
Ramirez: I would say last year it was progress in the midst of denial. The foundation for how they move forward in their relationship was denial. It wasn’t diving into Arizona’s process of healing truly; not just the leg, but her heart, herself, her whole being. Clearly there were things going on. Now, this season is all about uncovering what that is about. Who is Arizona now? And what does she really want? And what does Callie really want now? Now that this infidelity has occurred, now that all this pain and anger and frustration of the past is resurfacing, how do they make sense of their connection? Not to mention how do they raise a child together?
Capshaw: If they could get back to the beginning that would be great. They are in such a deficit. I feel like you can trace the steps back to all the times when Arizona took it on the chin to make other things happen. The plane crash happened and Arizona became a completely other person, and most righteously had the PTSD that she didn’t deal with. At this point, I don’t even think they are the same people who showed up for each other in the beginning. Besides looking at them as this couple that you root for and want to be together, if you really look at the last time that they danced; the first time they danced on the show, it was a long time ago. That’s been their story. If they were to have a chance, it would certainly be having to repair all that, all those bridges and all that work to even to get back to the square one that they started at.
Will it be a slow process?
Ramirez: I think this time around … what we’re going to see is removing the veil of denial, absolutely aware and acknowledging that things are not OK. Maybe even going in the opposite direction of just really reactive behavior and reactive words. That is naturally what comes out first is words that come out of anger and pain to then hopefully get to where we do hear from Callie what she’s thinking and what she needs in order to move forward. And she asks Arizona to do the same. It’s just Callie’s juggling her reactive emotions and her need to act out occasionally with her need to move forward. Meanwhile, Arizona is juggling her need to engage Callie along with her process of moving forward herself. It’s messy.
This has happened to Callie before. Because of the pain and frustration of the entire year where Callie really devoted herself to helping her partner heal, she’s now not as willing to be as giving as maybe she was before. I think that makes sense. She’s pulling back quite a bit. It’s about the trust being broken. And when the trust is broken as much as it is, how do you reengage with your partner? How do you trust them with something as simple as taking care of their child?
Will Arizona be facing her PTSD head-on?
Capshaw: I think that she will, yes. I don’t think it’s the infidelity that brings her to that sort of reckoning. I think that she’s got a bit further to go down the rabbit hole.
Do you still think they’re made for each other?
Ramirez: I don’t know what to think based on what’s unfolding, and I think that’s not an accident. When things get this messy, it takes time to unravel what’s happened and what’s behind it. What’s truly underneath it all? What we’re exploring in these first four to five episodes is the messiness, the reactions, just the gut reaction that you have in the beginning that’s not necessarily thought out before we get to more thought out decisions.
Capshaw: I can’t speak as Arizona. I can speak as Jessica — where being in a marriage for nearly 10 years now and having an awesome husband who we’ve had highs and we’ve had lows and there’s been deaths and everything else — you’re in a relationship that’s a choice and it’s how you show up in that relationship that defines how and what your relationship is made of. Who knows if they’re made for each other? Right now, they’re not making decisions that would indicate that. I certainly wouldn’t want to be made for someone who was able to sleep with someone so callously. They’ve got some stuff to do.
Do you hope Callie and Arizona will be able to repair the damage? Hit the comments!
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.