Depending on your tolerance for emotional pain Shonda Rhimes is either a total sadist or an evil genius – probably both. After a long summer and about 56 minutes of excruciating television viewing during the Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 premiere Thursday, which left anxious viewers wondering what happened to Arizona in the plane crash and what would become of Callie and Arizona, the most beloved lady doc couple in TV history, Shonda finally gave a glimpse of just what went down. And, The Hollywood Reporter has some details on what’s going to happen next!
Grey’s season 8 finale treated viewers to a horrific plane crash involving six of Seattle Grace’s finest including Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Cristina (Sandra Oh) , Mark (Eric Dane), Lexie (Chyler Leigh) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw). While Shonda and company sadly dispensed with Lexie rather quickly in that episode, they left Arizona and Mark with life threatening injuries.
Over the summer it was announced that Dane would be exiting the series, leaving writers with the task of either killing Mark –baby daddy to Callie and Arizona’s Sofia—or giving him a more peaceful exit a ala Izzy Stevens (Katherine Heigl).
Fast forward to the 9th season premiere and Shonda and company have actually fast-forwarded Grey’s clock to reflect that Callie (Sara Ramirez) has sort-of repaired Derek’s hand that was severely injured in the crash, Christina has moved on to a hospital in Minneapolis where she’s miserable, Meredith has garnered the nickname Medusa among the new batch of interns and Mark is in the final throws of a heartrending coma. Meanwhile, a new peds attending appears on the scene to take Dr. Arizona Robbins place, sending Callie into convulsive crying.
Not until the final few minutes of the tumultuous show did Shonda and Co. reveal that Arizona is indeed alive, although not exactly well. As we saw immediately following the crash, Arizona suffered a severe leg / bone injury that likely only her wife, the brilliant ortho surgeon Callie Torres, could have repaired, but alas, Meredith did reveal Thursday that the plane crash victims were lost in the woods for a solid week, which would not have boded well for the injured.
Once the plug was pulled on Mark and Callie bade farewell to her best friend and the father of her child she burst into her bedroom to reveal a bereft Arizona immobile in bed as her right leg had been amputated.
The course of lesbian love never did run smooth in Shondaland considering Callie and Arizona have endured a move to Africa, a break-up, an unplanned pregnancy, a three-way parenting situation, a car crash that nearly killed Callie, the premature birth of their baby and a musical episode, but Capshaw did give an interview to The Hollywood Reporter offering up some insight into Calzona’s future.
Regarding being told of the amputee storyline Capshaw said she was shocked at first as it’s something you never see and something that had never entered in to her head to happen to a character on the show.
On whether or not Arizona holds Callie ultimately responsible for not saving her limb Capshaw told THR:
“It's a very complicated reckoning. If you lose something that's that important to you like a limb -- and it's the only thing that Arizona said in the preview: "Don't let them take my leg" -- she sees Callie as her guardian. It's really hard: the worst thing that's ever happened to this woman is going to come as the hands of the person that's supposed to be the best thing in her life. That's a very rich dilemma.”
Capshaw also said that Arizona will be on a journey to come to terms with losing her leg and how Callie figures in. “How do you come to terms with something that devastating happening to you at seemingly the hands of the person who is supposed to love you and take care of you the most?” she told THR. “She'll be figuring that out.”
At the end of the day though, when asked if Callie and Arizona are strong enough to work through this last devastating event Capshaw replied emphatically, “Of course!”
For those of you chomping at the bit to know just what happened after the crash next week promises "The Whole Story." Here's the teaser.
Read The Hollywood Reporter's full interview with Capshaw.