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Grey's Anatomy - Episode 9.23 - Readiness Is All - A Look at Arizona's Cheating by Spartigus15

This was sent in to us by a former SpoilerTV writer, Spartigus15, who asked if we could post it on her behalf.

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You want to piss off an entire fan base- have one of their favorite characters cheat on their other favorite character for no rhyme or reason. Or is there?

After last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy I was annoyed and pissed and angered that Arizona cheated on Callie. As I’m sure everyone was. But now that I have calmed down I realize it’s not as far fetched as it seems.

On the surface we see Arizona cheats, but we also see who Arizona is cheating with. Lauren is a strong, accomplished, type A surgeon. Lauren is also blond and an attractive female- sound familiar? Lauren is Arizona pre-plane crash. Lauren is who Arizona desperately wants to be again. It is my belief that this situation has NOTHING to do with Callie. It reads as an individual selfish moment for Arizona. People will say you can’t separate the two they are married it all comes back to Callie, I would agree. However, I believe if it had anything to do with Callie the simple physical aspect of the person Arizona cheats with would be drastically different, which would have made the affair more personal. Last season we were given insight into Arizona’s past and from that we know that Arizona has a type and that’s a dark haired brunette. Something as trivial as hair color speaks volumes to me to let me know that this affair is just another vehicle for Arizona to try to find who she once was. It’s devoid of emotion it’s just pure animalistic sex, nothing more.

Who was Arizona and who is Arizona now?

She was this strong willed, kick ass, loving adorable surgeon you couldn't help but love. Now she is this one legged, angry bitter adulteress that we are all hating. But didn't we see this manifestation, couldn't we have predicted this could have happened, were the signs there and we just didn't take the time to see?

Callie- “I want a baby”
Arizona- “I don’t want children”

And so it begins- Looking back we never saw a true dialogue between Arizona and Callie regarding this major issue (much similar to Crowen). However what we do see is Callie wanting a child and Arizona being against the idea and at the moment they should have the conversation- Tragedy strikes- there’s a shooting in the hospital. Then magically Arizona is gamed for having a family with Callie to include a child. Next we see Arizona and Callie essentially getting along, loving each other and what not and suddenly there world is rocked again when Arizona gets the offer to go to Africa. Callie takes this news hard and again with no real conversation we see she is just whimsically willingly ready to give up her life and follow Arizona to Africa, no questions asked. Both Arizona and Callie have displayed instances of going all in for the woman that they love regardless of how they truly feel. As a result, they both internalize their true feelings. Now we all know what happens when you do that, it eats at you like a cancer. But we continue along their journey and Arizona returns and eventually Callie welcomes her back hesitantly but not because she is fully invested in the relationship again but it’s because she got knocked up by Mark and now wants a partner to go through this journey with. Instead of discussing what this means for their relationship and them as individuals the two of them embark on making this impending family dynamic “blindly”. The story progresses we see Arizona’s frustration with being the third wheel in her own relationship, this issue comes to a head at the baby shower but instead of exposing her feelings she accepts Callie’s B&B gift and they head on the road, literally.

Once again Arizona is confronted with the third wheel feeling in the car but instead of truly talking she makes this overture decision to propose to Callie right before they get into this major car accident. Yet again another life altering catastrophe occurs and yet again previous issues are swept under the rug because “life is too short to dwell on perceived trivial problems”. As a result, the cancer continues to grow.

Throughout Callie’s recovery Arizona is there as her rock and support which is beautiful and expected. But we don’t see them work through or talk about what occurred, much similar to the fact that we did not see them confront or discuss what they felt during the shooting. They just someone went back to the happy land they were used to being in. The next speed bump in the Calzona express is the wedding, everything that could go wrong went wrong- they have no priest and Callie’s mother is against the nuptials. But they persevered without so much as having a discussion with one another about two major issues that affect their wedding and ultimately their family. And the train keeps moving until the next hurdle Arizona’s best friend enters the picture dying of cancer and is completely out of options. We are to believe that he dies but we don’t know Arizona’s reaction our how she copes with this loss considering she is now in a plane crash herself. The aftermath of the plane crash for Callie and Arizona is extremely trying but it’s very much again internalized within them especially for Arizona because we don’t see her having an outlet or a confidant. While we root for her recovery we don’t realize we are just rooting for her physical relief. Then we are thrown a bone to the intimate aspect of Arizona and Callie’s relationship being affected and we receive solace when they finally reconnect. However, in none of Callie’s or Arizona’s storylines do they deal with the root of their problems as individuals or as a couple. That’s when we have this manifestation of what Arizona has done.

Arizona and Callie have been trapped in their own little bubble accepting things and moving on since the beginning of their relationship. As fans we cheer, we think wow they are so evolved and awesome and understanding. But we failed to acknowledge the many holes in them as individuals and as a couple. Arizona said to Mark during the wedding episode “I just need a minute to miss my brother.” I think her romp with Lauren is her moment to miss herself. She is not who she was, this was not the life she set out to have. By not being honest with herself and her partner about her true feelings the cancer has metastasized and wreck-havoc on every part of Arizona’s existence to make her go so far as to cheat on the woman that she loves.
It is well documented and expressed in the series that Arizona doesn't really show emotion or allows herself to be vulnerable and transparent, we didn't even know she had lost her brother let alone that she had a brother until a dramatic incident (George= Bus). She is the queen of internalizing her feelings because she was raised to be the “good man in the storm.” Arizona was never allowed to loose herself she always had to be the strong one for everyone. As with everyone we come to a point where we break and that manifests its-self in different ways, some people abuse drugs, some people abuse alcohol, some people turn to religion or some people just cheat.

So while on the surface Arizona cheating seems like it came from left field it didn't it was just festering right below the surface waiting to escape and Lauren giving her the ammunition and the permission to lose her-self, released all of the unresolved, unrealized issues Arizona and as an offset Callie have bubbling for quite some time.

So with that said the question remains- what is the end game? Can they as a couple come back from this major betrayal?


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