If you’ve never functioned as a caregiver for an adult loved one then you might not get it. It’s tough. Grueling in a way few other things can be. It drains you emotionally and tears you down spiritually, and sometimes all your physical strength goes too. Sometimes it’s your money. You give pieces of yourself over to prop up another person. Piece after piece until just the shell of you is left. In the best of circumstances they give back what they receive. They turn around and prop you up and you both become stronger for it. But a lot of times you’re a shell and they’re a patched together person trying to be whole and there’s not enough between you to get things back to normal. They die or the descend into their own heads or they walk away and you’re crumbling because they took every bit of you. Callie gave every single piece of herself to Arizona. She tried to put Arizona together as best as she knew how, and Arizona, for her part, tried to help sometimes. But there wasn’t enough between them was there? Callie became a shell and the woman she put back together wasn’t quite the woman she lost. And tonight she realized that as long as she kept putting pieces of herself out there for Arizona to use she was just gonna keep being a shell and Arizona was just gonna keep being the creature Callie propped up. So she stepped back. She stepped back two weeks ago–but tonight she cut Arizona off completely. And then she started putting her own self back together and filling that shell and she danced in her underwear. That was the Callie we all met years ago. The bad ass in a leather jacket who fell in love with a goof and lived in the basement and danced in her underwear because she was proud, strong and unashamed of herself. And after year after year of the Callie Torres Pity Party it was damn nice to see her again. And it’s damn nice to meet Arizona Robbins. I didn’t really know her–not beyond her massive control issues. I mean how could we know this character? Her every scene for the last five years has been opposite Callie or Mark or Alex and her every moment has been in aid of their stories. Even her losing a limb was seen through the eyes of Callie (a particularly unlikable Callie I hope was sloughed off with them pants she was wearing tonight). Tonight she had about one or two seconds of screen time, but we got to see this chick never lets on how bad she’s hurt, makes good grilled cheeses, watches surgery videos when drunk because she’s a workaholic, and flirts like crazy not just with that sad ortho surgeon who needed a knight in shining armor back in season five. We can hope, as this particular writer often does, that this will lead to an exploration of Arizona Robbins. And seeing as she and Murphy have got some mad flirtin’ mojo going on that just may happen. This show loves nothing more than cracking open reticent and private characters with a love triangle (see nearly every major character on the show). It is often only when a character on Grey’s is truly torn and presented with options that we get to see who they are. So while the episode ended with Callie’s dance of self-affirmation it begins a new story. Who will Arizona Robbins be when obligation isn’t bearing down on her from all sides? That’s not the only new story. Meredith gets a doozy of a one that starts off like a season five redux with her and Cristina fighting, and then quickly transforms into something that could become a thesis for these later seasons. A woman can have it all, but each woman’s all is different. This is a show about women struggling at home and at work and its fascinating in its diversity and not just its gall to focus on the ladies. There’s the Cristinas who will put aside everything for their jobs and the Mama Averys who appear to have cracked the code and the vast score of women in between. Losing their kids for Christmas or their wives forever or just a really cool surgery one afternoon. Meredith has managed to avoid addressing the thesis. Until tonight she’s appeared to achieve that Second Wave dream and “has it all.” But she really hasn’t. She’s instead in an all too familiar position. Hungry for work and finding herself on the outside–lagging behind her peers because she went and had a kid. Any working mom will tell you it’s hard to come back to work. There’s a pressure a guy doesn’t get. Guys can not answer their phones. Guys can shrug and duck their heads and get back to work. Women are expected to put the kids first–or be a monster. Meredith actually supports that expectation, and as she finds that double standard forced into practice it stings. (Seriously Derek why did you not answer your phone?) Dude actually told her he didn’t ask her to choose between family and career. DEREK NO. She and Arizona embarked on big new storylines this week. Divest of the past and the support systems they’ve accrued they have to sink or swim in a much changed world and they have to prove that you can have it all–whatever that all is–and be happy. Notes Jo tried to fix Alex and his dad. Alex rightfully told her to stay out of it and we all sighed because dang, girl was just putting her own expectations onto her boyfriend’s life and that ain’t cool. If Arizona dates Leah I will finally get what I’ve wanted for a while. One of the women attendings dating an intern. GET IT GIRL. Mama Avery and Stephanie nearly killed each other and then bonded and I know people are mad that it came at the expense of other storylines, but I am sorry, it was a wonderful little one-off storyline that made me want to hug someone with joy. Callie and Meredith made out. Owen is getting banana bread delivered. That neo-natal surgeon is smooooth. Cristina and Bailey sat on wise old high horses. No but Leah and Arizona. I must be terrible fickle because I was all for it? It can be temporary or forever. I’m not picky. Just as long as Arizona and Callie always have something between them. Webber stood up! Apparently getting electrocuted is, like, REALLY bad for you? April and Arizona as sober friends? Did not suck? I especially liked her being all “But Callie your place is handicap accessible and your wife got no leg.” Next Week: Callie sees Arizona talking to a blond and frowns. Cristina sees Owen talking to a brunette and frowns. Derek frowns because his wife yelled at him but he totally deserved it. Anatomy J Lol “Callie and Meredith made out.” steamforged I love your analysis! There’s a major quibble I had with the episode, though. We DIDN’T actually get to see Arizona make good grilled cheese, watch surgery videos, etc. Callie and Arizona were together for years, and Leah is perhaps the intern we know least well. It’s really not enough to just handwave it and tell-not-show and expect the audience to like them together. I want to SEE them flirt, I want to get to know Leah, and most of all I want to feel like this has some kind of weight to it. Ah well. Hopefully next episode. All I really needed this episode was Callie dancing joyously in her underwear. Amanda Alex Cranz, you are bitchin’. Thank you. “Your wife got no leg” lol I now read this every week.