Grey’s Anatomy season 12 episode 22, “Mama Tried,” is almost entirely about Callie and Arizona’s custody battle for Sofia. Their friends take the stand for them, their lawyers battle it out and Arizona is forced to choose between staying in court or saving her patient and her baby. She chooses the latter. Some good does come of this custody battle, as seeing it leads to April and Jackson having a very civil discussion about their child’s future.

Here are the important moments in “Mama Tried” leading up to Arizona getting custody of Sofia.

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Arizona and Callie Can’t Come to an Agreement Outside of Court

Greys 1222 1.jpg
Callie’s Lawyer Uses Owen to Show Callie is Caring and Is “Making the Best of a Tough Situation”

Arizona’s Lawyer Has Andrew Talk About Life at Home

The place is happy, he says. “We see so much dark stuff every day at work, it’s really nice to come home to a happy kid.”

Penny Starts off Strong on the Stand but Then Falters

Yes, she’s come to love Sofia and she knows all her favorites, but she can’t say what she was wearing that morning or remember what grade she’s in.

Callie’s Lawyer (Eventually) Gets Bailey to Admit Arizona’s Schedule Is More Unpredictable Than Callie’s

Greys 1222 2.jpgHowever, Bailey doesn’t hide how offended she is by this line of questioning. “I would never put a woman’s success in the con column,” she argues, pointing out Arizona was saving babies and parents from losing their own children all those times the lawyer says Arizona was choosing work over her child. “Would you ask that if she were a man?”

Callie’s Lawyer Has Meredith Do Damage Control About Penny, While Arizona’s Gets Her to Admit What Sofia Would Lose Moving to New York

“Penny is a very good person,” Meredith says. She and Sofia get along “great.”

However, as Meredith admits, “it takes a village” to raise a kid, especially for single parents. “We have a village.” Yes, it’s here in Seattle. Sofia’s friends, school, teachers, her home, that’s all in Seattle. It’s what Sofia would be leaving, right?

Richard Praises Arizona as a “Role Model Parent,” but Then Callie’s Lawyer Brings up Their Trivia Nights

According to the record she has, Arizona has asked Callie to swap nights with Sofia 34 times. They swap all the time, Arizona tells her lawyer, but it’s not looking good when combined with her “unpredictable” work schedule.

Arizona Begins Losing Hope

“They’re making it sound like a working mom is a bad mom,” she tells her lawyer. “We just lost in there, right? Because they made me sound like I was a selfish, irresponsible, sex-crazed – ” Her lawyer tells her to take the stand and tell the truth and she’ll win this.

Callie’s Lawyer Has Callie Speak About the Day Sofia Was Born

Greys 1222 3.jpgShe was in a car accident and though she doesn’t remember much, Callie says “being a mother is the reason I’m still alive today.” She knew she couldn’t give up because she was pregnant with her and she’d die if she did.

Callie’s Lawyer Tries to Argue That She Was Late to the “Parenting Plan,” But Arizona Defends Her Role in Sofia’s Life

She says that Callie and Mark were Sofia’s parents and then Arizona “came around.” No, Arizona argues. “I’m Sofia’s mother. I legally adopted her. … You’re not going to imply that I’m any less Sofia’s mother because we don’t share the same DNA. Because that would be offensive. It would be offensive to anyone in the room who has an adopted child or is an adoptive child. I chose to be Sofia’s mother. It did not fall into my lap. There was a choice and I could stay or I could run and I chose motherhood and it was the best choice I ever made.”

Arizona Makes the Tough Call to Go to Work When a Patient Needs Her

Greys 1222 4.jpg“I love my child and I want her with me, but I know no matter how this ends, she’ll survive. She’ll be healthy and safe and well-taken care of and loved because we are her mothers,” Arizona explains. “But there’s a child at the hospital who will not survive unless I am there so I have to go.” 

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The Brief Exchange Between Callie and Arizona Before the Judge’s Decision Shows the Damage Done

Callie: “No matter what the judge decides, I know that you’re a good mom too and I just want you to know this doesn’t change that.”
Arizona: “The things that you let them say about me, I would never have done that to you. Never.”

“How the hell did this happen?”

Greys 1222 5.jpgCallie cries to Meredith after Arizona is granted sole custody of Sofia.

Grey’s Anatomy season 12 airs Thursdays at 8pm on ABC.

(Images courtesy of ABC)

Meredith Jacobs

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

If it’s on TV — especially if it’s a procedural or superhero show — chances are Meredith watches it. She has a love for all things fiction, starting from a young age with ER and The X-Files on the small screen and the Nancy Drew books. Arrow kicked off the Arrowverse and her true passion for all things heroes. She’s enjoyed getting into the minds of serial killers since Criminal Minds, so it should be no surprise that her latest obsession is Prodigal Son.