Last Thursday Shondaland finally delivered to us the long awaited Calzona- centric episode. We were taken for a devastating spin, on a daredevil ride. Even the added pinch of humour didn’t manage to lessen the painful blow. The writers didn’t spare us anything; they cut deep to the bone, stuck the knife into our hearts, twisted it a few times and put our hearts through the shredder to make their statement clear. We were left among ruins of bleeding pieces of shredded hearts.
“Uncontrollable bleeding. Acidosis. Cold. We all know what the combination means. We call it the triad of death, the point of no return. It’s the moment in the OR when you turn to damage control. You stop. You step back. You let the body rest and see if you could find a solution to the chaos that’s happening inside.”
Dark and haunting, yet hopeful and full of expectations words. Words, describing a very critical and delicate situation in an OR. However, we knew Arizona Robbins’ voiceover wasn’t going to give us a crash course in damage control. We have seen it in the early seasons of Grey’s Anatomy how this damage control thing works and sometimes the outcome is a fatal one. Sadly, behind the medical meaning of this narration, Arizona Robbins lifted the curtain and exposed a deep wound, the harsh reality of a dysfunctional marriage. Visually, through a series of flashbacks and verbally, through another series of accusations, disagreements and arguments during therapy sessions, Callie and Arizona reminded us why they are where they are. It was obvious they were going nowhere; they weren’t able to reach a common ground but rather one dead end after another, running in circles, crashing into each other’s walls. A solution was offered- a 30- day break.
“Once the chaos subsides, we have to go back, take another look. We have to ask ourselves ‘can this body be put back together?’ If we’ve done our jobs right, it can. We stop the bleeding. We sow up the damage. We make the body whole”
Most of the hour was dedicated to this 30- day break. It was trying to answer the question ‘can this body be put back together?’ or in other words ‘can Callie and Arizona’s marriage be saved?’ Everything was going seemingly good, apart from a few derailments. The whole 30- day break experience was different for Callie and for Arizona.
From the very beginning Arizona was open, willing to participate and followed the rules very strictly. She was completely devoted and committed to this arrangement. Without a doubt she was all in and ready to pay the price for the sake of the marriage. All her strength, energy, concentration and self- control were intact. She was so dedicated to the cause, that even when Callie first initiated sex she managed to restrain herself and not let things go any further.
What’s intriguing and speaks volumes here is the small incident when she broke the rules and questioned Callie about her whereabouts from the previous night. Arizona is not just afraid, she is scared to death of the possibility that Callie might cheat on her; that she might lose Callie. This reaction nicely corresponds to the previous Arizona’s requests spilled around through the seasons: ‘please, don’t ever leave’; ‘please, don’t run’. Also this terror of fear of losing Callie streams from the past experience when they weren’t together. And if we have to go even deeper, Arizona lost her brother, something that affected her deeply and profoundly. Remember Nick, Arizona’s best friend with cancer, supposedly he is already an angel. Then she lost her leg and the baby. We know that Arizona can’t handle well losses of things and people, near and dear to her heart.
Maybe, learning how to deal and accept losses in an easier way is part of Arizona’s growth. Something that will make her realise that she doesn’t have control over everything; that some things and people have to be let go and create room for new and more exciting things. Things that will lift her up and set her free.
Without a doubt, Arizona needs something, someone to keep her grounded but not in a dependant kind of way rather more in way of not floating and drifting. The woman, who was unable to commit, who used to move from one place to another in her childhood, has finally found her home with Callie, a harbour. And Callie is the person or the anchor that prevents her from running. That’s what Arizona has come to realise after the 30- day break. She told us where she stands in terms of Callie, their marriage and their family.
What’s more, at work things aren’t any rosier. Arizona’s new professional endeavours are like shifting sands. The whole situation with Callie was distracting her and affected her performance at work. Since she couldn’t control what Callie does and doesn’t do after work, she decided to exercise her control rights with Alex, which came back at her and bit her in the ass. To make matters worse, things with Dr. Herman weren’t going exactly smoothly as well. Arizona has lost her mojo of professional awesomeness and Dr. Herman’s tough love is certainly the right thing to shake her up. It was like a wake- up call for Arizona and she has to respond to this call. After all, she was the one who chose to advance her career and improving her performance is something she certainly can control. Dr. Herman’s speech and acknowledgment of Arizona’s surgical skills is a reminder, to the audience and Arizona, of how great and brilliant surgeon Arizona is, how much more she can achieve and accomplish and not using her potential and skills would be a waste.
For Callie Torres the 30- day break started with resistance, denial and false assumptions, later mixed with excessive binge drinking, serious Arizona withdrawal and a pinch of some fun. Somewhere in between the tequila shots and the patient with a mysterious arm pain, Callie Torres had an eye- opener moment. Her words struck Arizona and the fans like a lightening out of a clear blue sky. Arizona and the entire fandom were left breathless, out of words with sinking hearts, crashing on the therapist’ couch.
“I should love me.”
Callie Torres has travelled a long way and finally decided to grow up. The once needy, clingy and dependant woman, finally set herself free. The woman, who was constantly jumping from one relationship into another, seeking happiness in the wrong places realised that love and happiness start with her. She realised that Arizona and their marriage are not a patient to fix and trying to change a person to fit your own mould and vice versa, certainly is the most devastating and toxic approach. Approach, that sets one on the path of losing themselves into another person.
After the plane crash both Callie and Arizona lost themselves and kept dragging each other into a vicious circle of fear, guilt and resentment. In the process Arizona lost her voice and her ability to speak her mind and to decide what’s best for her. The entire ordeal of fixing, the fear of losing each other and the constant pushing and struggling to get to a happy place, Callie lost Callie and Arizona lost Arizona. They became two people who don’t recognise not only themselves, but each other as well.
“But no matter how hard we try, we have to realise, some things just can’t be fixed.”
Sad and liberating were those final words. Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins closed the vicious circle of their messy relationship and put an end to this killing and consuming agony. The end of the relationship marks the new beginning for the person Callie Torres and for the person Arizona Robbins. Separately, they will be fighting their own demons, tend to the wounds and grow some scar tissue. It’s ironic, isn’t it? People hurt us, but another human being can’t heal our own wounds. Healing is an individual process, healing takes time.
If Callie and Arizona are meant to be together, they will find their way back to each other. The love is there. Sofia is there. For now, let’s take a deep breath and try to see the beauty among the ruins.
Callie Torres and her loving heart set herself and Arizona free. To hope. To want. To thrive. To achieve. More. So much more….