Grey's Anatomy recap: 'Bend and Break'
Callie and Arizona try to fix their relationship by taking a 30-day break from each other.
Everyone is always breaking up or, at the very least, struggling through their relationships on Grey’s Anatomy. It’s something we expect from the show and almost as much a part of its DNA as its hospital setting. But somehow, despite all the devastating splits—Burke and Cristina, Izzie and Denny, Cristina and Owen—each new one still hurts. And tonight’s was no exception.
Callie and Arizona kick off the episode yelling at each other in a therapist’s office. There’s a lot to yell at each other about: The leg, the pregnancy, the cheating—essentially, the first few minutes serve as a reminder to viewers that these two have gone through a lot of bad stuff. Between this scene and Arizona’s opening voice-over where she discusses the point of no return, we know things probably aren’t going to end well for dear Calzona.
But yet there’s hope, because they’re in therapy. Therapy solves everything, right? (If only.) They start taking the lessons they learn to heart, adopting awkward-but-healthy language so that every sentence they say to each other begins with “I feel like.” Really, they have an entire conversation where each sentence starts with some variation on that phrase. I feel like it got a bit annoying, but whatever works for them.
The thing is, it wasn’t working for them, so their therapist suggests they take a break. Arizona is all for it; Callie doesn’t want to do it because she feels like taking a break translates to giving up. Now, this isn’t a normal break. Usually when you picture a break, you think of the two people living apart for a bit and really testing out what it’s like to live without each other. But Callie and Arizona don’t technically start living apart—instead, they just move into separate rooms of their house. Feet away from each other. That alone isn’t that weird, but the therapist also makes the two vow to not talk to each other (except for emergencies) or have sex for the 30 days they “live apart.”
So here are Callie and Arizona, living in the same house, using the same kitchen, raising a daughter together, and yet… They have to completely ignore each other as if the other is invisible. Which doesn’t seem helpful at all. And isn’t helpful at all: On day one, Callie starts blabbing to Arizona as Arizona coldly glances at her before silently continuing to make toast. This is about the point in the episode when I first thought, “Maybe they need a new therapist.”
Outside of their terribly chill home, Arizona isn’t doing so well at her new fellowship. She’s not confident and she’s not trusted, so it’s basically an all-around bad situation—not made any better by perpetual suck-up Graham. Callie is also kind of freaking out at work and runs into Meredith in the supply closet, which is convenient because both Callie and Meredith are having relationship struggles. So, naturally, they head to Joe’s.
NEXT: Shots, shots, shots
What follows is a silly scene in an otherwise dark episode: Mer and Callie knock back shots and trade woes, including Meredith’s worry that Cristina is her one true love. Callie asks if Meredith ever wanted Cristina’s vagina, to which Meredith replies no before singing “vagina.” Callie joins in, and the two end up singing the word over and over in a moment of beautiful, weird, comical bonding.
If you couldn’t tell by the “vagina” song, Callie is very drunk. Very. So she gets home and ends up making out with Arizona, which is against the (very, very stupid) rules. Like, honestly: If they want to make out, shouldn’t they be able to make out? Isn’t the point of going to therapy and fixing their relationship to get to a point where they can make out?
The therapist scolds them, but Callie isn’t phased. She continues to hang out with Meredith and, during one of their hangouts at Joe’s, they come up with a tactic to save one of their patients. It works, and Callie’s winning at this point. She’s having fun with Meredith; she’s doing well at work. Arizona even shows jealousy when Callie doesn’t come home one night because she stayed up late working with Meredith, which Callie takes as a sign that she cares. She’s not wrong—Arizona definitely cares—but this realization foreshadows a happy moment that’s not going to happen.
It’s not going to happen because the break showed Callie she’s done with Arizona, while the break showed Arizona all she wants is Callie. The tables have turned: Arizona wanted the break, and the break saved her side of the relationship. Callie, however, never wanted the break, yet the break proved to her how much better life could be if she wasn’t constantly stressing over her relationship. “I want so much for you Arizona. For both of us,” Callie says in their tearful final therapy session. “So much more than this. More than being stuck with someone who feels stuck. I want you to feel free, too.”
So, this is it. Even though their end has been coming, in a way, since the plane crash—maybe even before then—Callie’s final words were still a shock. What came as even more of a shock was the ending voice-over, shared between Arizona and Callie, that declared, “Some things can’t be fixed.” Concluding the episode with such a definitive claim shows that maybe this really is the end. Maybe they’re not going to be like every other couple on Grey’s who break up only to get back together, only to repeat the process again and again. Maybe they’re right: Some things can’t be fixed.