Let’s start with the good news. Anchored by the stellar performance of Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres), “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” was the strongest episode of Grey’s Anatomy in weeks. GA toys with format from time to time and did so again in this Callie-centric installment.
Indeed, Ramirez appeared in pretty much every scene and she was mesmerizing. Love her and love Callie. Having said that, the Big Twist revealed in the Calzona flashbacks portion of the story felt off to me. Thus, while this was a solid episode overall, my review is mixed.
May It Please The Court
For me the stronger portions of this episode revolved around the medical case and the court scenes that followed. In a nutshell, Callie performed a surgery on an Olympic snowboarder and everything went horribly wrong. In fact, the athlete wound up losing both of his legs and his folksy attorney presented a very damning case to the jury about Dr. Torres’ negligence.
Fortunately, Callie was finally able to present her side of the story and made a credible counter-case that while she was sorry for what happened to her patient, she was not at fault. The jury agreed, finding her not guilty.
I enjoyed the spiraling structure of the story as it related to these scenes. Watching the unfolding of this debacle through flashbacks with the benefit of hindsight worked really well as a story-telling device. It actually served the narrative to reveal information in this way rather than in a more customary linear fashion. This is important because the other portion of the episode didn’t fare nearly as well within this construct.
Things We Never Knew We Never Knew
I’ve never been a big fan of Calzona but, man, do I feel for their fans right about now. Embedded in the flashbacks of what led up to Callie’s court case, was an entire subplot about the Calzona marriage. Turns out that post-amputation but pre-cheating, Arizona proposed to Callie that they have another baby. She even offered to carry this child and became pregnant via sperm donation. But on the very day of Callie’s Surgery From Hell, Arizona lost the baby and decided she couldn’t handle ever trying again because she couldn’t deal with any more losses.
So here’s the thing. When we watch television, we buy into the natural limitation of the medium. As viewers we know that we’re only seeing snapshots of these characters’ lives and that there’s a lot happening off screen that we miss, narratively speaking. Yet there is a limit to what writers can drop in our laps without it feeling like a cheat.
I suspect this heretofore unmentioned pregnancy and miscarriage was meant to provide A) shock value and B) a justification (or at least an explanation) of why Arizona cheated on Callie. Yet this reveal felt hollow to me, as if the writers needed to retroactively try and make Arizona more likable and give some sort of reason why she could possibly cheat on her wife. It just didn’t work for me. Frankly, it felt more manipulative to me than illuminating. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.
Secrets and Lies
Still, this episode had a lot going for it, including the wonderful Hector Elizondo who returned as Callie’s father. It was all kinds of awesome that he rushed to his daughter’s side when she needed him the most and completely hilarious when he was biting his tongue yet still giving Arizona the stink eye.
Of course, being a dad, he had some strong opinions to offer, and offer them he did. Despite having some harsh words for Arizona (and how great was the reference to the Good Man In A Storm speech from a few seasons back?), Papa Torres ultimately advocated for Callie to give Arizona another chance. People make mistakes. He cheated on Callie’s mother long ago (!) but she forgave him and they’ve had a wonderful life.
Apparently Callie took his words to heart because she went to Arizona’s hotel room and invited her to come home. But Arizona wasn’t alone. Leah was with her. I wonder what will happen when Callie finds out that juicy little tidbit?
So what did you think? Did you enjoy Callie’s story? Did you miss the other characters? Should Calzona reconcile or is that relationship so over? Sound off in our comments and in our poll.
The next all-new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Somebody I Used To Know” airs next Thursday, November 21 on ABC.
(image courtesy of ABC)