Callie and Arizona will both have new love interests. Rhimes says both characters, played by Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw, respectively, will “definitely” have some new romances this season. “And some pretty exciting ones, too, which I think is going to be interesting,” says Rhimes, who noted she’s “intrigued” by what’s happening with both characters individually and admits she still “loves them together.” While Arizona — and fans — have expressed trepidation on if the bisexual Callie will go back to men following their split, Rhimes told THR that the “person Callie falls for and is in a relationship with is a woman.” “That felt natural and it’s what the story is about and how it plays out. I really tried to stay true to the idea that she’s bisexual but it’s literally what the story is.”
Arizona is going to find herself again. Though it’s unclear if Arizona’s famous roller shoes will return, Rhimes says the fun-loving character is going to experience some soul searching this season as she re-enters the dating community. “One of the hallmarks of this being a lighter season is a bit of Arizona’s response [to Callie moving on] is fairly comic, which I love,” she says. “I wanted to get back to the earlier seasons in which as I like to say, we’re leaving the serious pain to the patients. Our characters have suffered enough. But also, Arizona is searching herself. We wanted to see her delve into and figure out what she wanted and needed. We’re going to watch her try to find love, too.”
Callie‘s bisexuality will be further explored. While Callie’s new love female interest is “very surprising,” Rhimes said Callie’s bisexuality will be addressed but it won’t feel like the show is “telling an issue” story. “I like that we bring it up and I like that she has arguments about it. I like that Arizona always had a little bit of an issue with it, like, ‘When are you going to go back to guys.’ We’re going to really try to deal with it and make it a thing. We’ll be working it in but not as like an ‘issue,’ the way we never do issues and we’ll work it in and have it be part of her character.” To that point, Rhimes and Ramirez have spoken at length about the importance of Callie’s bisexuality and using it as an opportunity to shed light on part of the LGBT community that tends to be underrepresented on the small screen. “Sara feels a lot of people don’t take that seriously in the community,” Rhimes says.