It’s been a big year for our favorite adorable docs Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) on Grey’s.
Early in the season Arizona won a grant that would send her to Africa to help the “tiny humans” but would cause her to leave her true love Callie behind, Callie realized she didn’t want to be without Arizona and decided to ride Zona’s white coat tails to Africa, that is until Callie’s incessant whining drove Arizona berserk and spurred her to dump Callie in an airport before boarding a plane to the other side of the world. That’s just cold.
Callie accidentally-on-purpose retaliated and licked her wounds by hopping in bed with Old Faithful lothario Mark (Eric Dane), resulting in a pregnancy that Arizona became aware of when she returned from Africa to win back her lady love.
Callie relented and took Arizona back, Arizona decided to accept the Mark / baby daddy thing, Mark and Arizona bickered, Callie was injured within in an inch of her life during a car accident just after Arizona proposed and she had baby Sofia (born at just under two pounds). That brings us to this week’s episode, and Calzona is about to walk down the aisle, but not without the hour-long rollercoaster ride that has become the hallmark of a Shonda Rhimes show!
White Wedding, Ep. 7:20 SPOILERS
This week we find the betrothed seated at the dinner table with their mums, dads and the ever-present Mark.
Before Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) traditional opening voiceover has barely ended Mark dings his glass with a knife to propose a toast. And Arizona’s dad articulates what Arizona and likely tens of thousands of fans have been thinking for months.
“Why is the sperm donor here? I thought tonight was a family dinner,” says Arizona’s Marine colonel dad. Arizona makes a half-hearted attempt to protest her father’s bluntness but Mark just keeps going with the toast.
“To two extraordinary women. May your lives be overfilled with love, happiness and joy. To Callie and Arizona, the mothers of my of my child,” Mark says, causing the colonel and his naysayers to grumble.
Everyone starts to dig in when Callie, in hyper-accommodating to her mom mode, suggests they forgot to say grace, eliciting confused looks from I’m guessing the mostly secular Arizona and Mark. Solipsistic Mark takes a bite out of one of those delicious spiral cheese sticks during Callie’s mom’s grace, causing Callie to shoot him a killer side-eye.
Just then baby Sofia cries and Callie goes to pick her up. Arizona’s mom jumps up to get a closer gander at the wee one while Callie says to her mom, “Mom, you haven’t had a chance to hold her yet.”
“No, no that’s all right. Thank you though. I’m eating,” Callie’s mom says, slowly and painstakingly crushing Callie. Arizona shoots an “I’m so sorry hon,” sort of look but the damage is slowly being done.
It’s the next day and “The Colonel” as Arizona’s dad has said he is sometimes called, has put together a minute-by-minute schedule of the two days leading up to the wedding that would have a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants girl like me flushing my head in the toilet.
“By the hour, military time. Thank you Colonel,” Callie’s dad says. Meanwhile, Arizona’s mom interjects excited about a gift she’s bought for baby Sofia.
“Mom, baby clothes later… Wedding rehearsal now. I’ve got 20 minutes before I have to get back to the hospital,” Arizona says. “Dad! Where’s the moment of silence?” Arizona demands, wanting to know where the homage to her brother, killed in the line of duty in Iraq, was placed in the ceremony. Her father responds with the lame excuse that time is tight and he couldn’t find time for a moment of silence during the ceremony.
“We have to light a candle for Timothy. It’s two minutes,” Arizona says. “DAD!” But Mrs. Robbins and Callie shift the conversation back to focusing on the rehearsal.
They determine the lamp will stand in for Father Brooks, making Callie’s mom look hopeful when she asks if Father Brooks is the priest. But Callie explains he’s a minister.
“No, he’s not Catholic but he practices at a very big church,” Callie says, attempting to assuage her mom. “It’s old and drafty. You’ll like it. It’s very churchy,” she adds.
But mom is a tough nut. “I see,” mom replies.
Just then Mark barges in like the fifth wheel that they’ve all accepted he just is. Zona’s dad flashes a “don’t even try to come near me look” that causes Mr. Torres to pull Mark over to his side.
“At least one of my fathers-in-law doesn’t hate me,” Mark says.
“Your Sofia’s father. I love Sofia so I’m going to at least try to like you, but if you call me your father-in-law again I’ll knock you out,” Mr. Torres (Hector Elizondo) says, before Callie brings it back to the rehearsal again.
Finally getting to the rehearsal part, Arizona walks down the aisle that is their living room, followed by Callie, who attempts to hand the practice bouquet –in the case baby Sofia—off to her mom. But her cold-ass ideologue of a mom excuses herself to go to the “powder room” rather than hold her grand daughter. We haven’t seen this level of implacability from a TV parent since Bette’s dad on The L Word.
Later, our favorite lovebirds catch a rare, private moment without the folks, or the ubiquitous Mark Sloane.
“Two more days,” they say, while sitting on the end of the bed. “No more brunches, no more praying…” Callie and Arizona say thankfully.
“We just need to focus on the big picture, which is, you and I are getting married,” Arizona says, with that endearing Capshaw grin. Callie picks up her hand and kisses it, eliciting collective “awwwwws” from couches nationwide.
“We’re getting married,” they say, giggling.
Next comes the inevitable knock down / drag out with Callie and her mom, although it’s so civilized and polite. Callie really is a good daughter. She comes out in her veil with her hair perfectly coiffed, holding her mom’s wedding picture. It’s clearly an homage to her mother. But mom is not enthused.
“Okay, what? What? Mom?” Callie says, knowing that she going to have to go down the road whether she wants to or not.
“I’ve been bending over backwards to make you feel comfortable. I’m getting married in a church for you,” Callie says, and the gauntlet is thrown.
“Don’t you dare imply that there’s anything about a wedding to a woman or a baby out of wedlock that’s for me,” mom says.
“So what bothers you more? My bastard child or my lesbian fiancée?” Callie asks, pulling out the stops, but very politely and without raising her voice.
“Do you know devastating it is to raise a child, to love a child and know that you won’t see that child in heaven?” mom says. “You’re not a bride and I am not the mother of a bride,” she says, twisting the verbal dagger in further. After her nasty, although restrained, little remarks Callie’s mom decides it’s time to leave.
That evening Callie and Zona are on the couch with Mr. Torres, who’s apologizing in torrents for his wife’s bad behavior. Apparently mama Torres has been sitting in the car since she dropped her vial of bitterness on sweet Callie earlier that day.
“Daddy, you need to go,” Callie says, to his dismay. But she assures him it would be the best move for the moment.
Later, Callie, the baby and a giant set of rollers on Callie’s head are strolling around the apartment when Mark walks in with more shit news. Father Brooks’ wife was in an accident, which means he won’t be able to officiate.
That’s the straw that breaks Callie’s back. She tells Mark to forget trying to find a minister who’ll officiate a lesbian wedding at that late date – although, they are in Seattle. It’s not like they’re in Missouri. I’m sure a quick Google search would turn up about 600 lesbian ministers happy to perform the ceremony.
When all else fails send in Chandra Wilson, who not so incidentally directed the episode. She’s like the Grey’s “Cleaner,” who fixes all problems.
Callie’s crying on the couch when Bailey walks in.
“I know why they sent you… It doesn’t matter what you say. The wedding is still off,” Callie says. “My mom’s right. It’s a joke. It’s not a wedding. I can’t have a priest. I no longer have a minister. I’m not being given away by my dad, the wedding isn’t legal. What’s the point? This isn’t a wedding. It’s just two girls playing dress up,” Callie says. It’s two hot girls who love each other playing dress up but that eludes Callie at the moment.
Here comes Bailey’s “snap out of it” speech to Callie!
“First of all you do not need a priest, or the law, or your mother to make your wedding real. The church can be anywhere you want it to be… In a field, on a mountain, anywhere. Where do you think God is? He’s in you,” Bailey says.
“You’re church hasn’t caught up to God yet, you’re mother has not caught up to God yet. If you are willing to stand up in front of your friends, your family and God and commit yourself to another human being. To give of yourself in that kind of partnership, for better or worse, in sickness and in health… Honey, that is a marriage,” Bailey says, and by then she’s got Callie smiling.
“Besides, I got legally married, to a man, in a church. Look how well that turned out,” Bailey says, putting things in perspective.
Once she’s brought Callie around to her senses – who wouldn’t marry Arizona? – Bailey swings by the O.R. to give Mark the thumbs up, indicating he’s the one who orchestrated Bailey’s visit.
It’s the day of the wedding and Mark knocks on Arizona’s door to get her to the proverbial church on time but Arizona walks out of the bathroom, hair soaking wet and sans fards (makeup) and puffy from crying.
“Robbins, you okay?” Mark asks. Arizona shakes her head no.
“When I came out to my brother he asked me if that meant that I was going to marry a chick, and when I said yes he got this big smile. And he said, ‘I’m gonna dance so hard at your wedding,” Arizona says through her tears. And now I’m crying for the second time at this scene. Damn you Jessica Capshaw for pulling the heartstrings.
“My dreams are coming true. Dreams I didn’t even know that I had. But my brother’s not here… He’s missing it,” Arizona says, acknowledging that she knows she’s late. “I need a minute to miss my brother,” she says.
Mark saunters over and hugs her, and even the most hard-boiled cynics must agree that he’s not a complete narcissist.
The big moment arrives and Bailey – looking pretty in purple — is wandering down the aisle prior to the ceremony mumbling, “It’s my own damned fault. If I had minded my own business the wedding would be canceled and I’d be looking at TV by now.” It turns out Bailey serendipitously stepped in to officiate the wedding and save the day. Is there anything this woman can’t do?
But before we get to the actual ceremony, I should back up with some back-story on Derek and Meredith, who’ve decided to adopt one of the sick babies from Africa that Karev – taking a cue from Arizona — brought to Seattle Grace for surgery. But, in order to adopt the adorable little girl they need to be married. So, under time constraints, Derek and Meredith have skipped the Calzona wedding to head down to City Hall for a quickie wedding by a J.O.P.
At first I was pissed at Derek and Meredith for stealing the Calzona thunder but smart pant suit lady Shonda Rhimes and company devised a brilliant, socially-conscious cross-cutting section between a lesbian couple enjoying their more traditional, emotional vows and a straight couple – who obviously love each other — engaging in a cursory marriage and signing on the dotted line to achieve a specific goal.
Back to the lesbian wedding of this decade… I must admit I was hoping they would savor the moment longer but with several stories to tell per episode and only an hour in which to do it the Calzona wedding happened on a bit of warp speed with Arizona’s dad – in dress blues – whisking her down the aisle. Taking a cue from Friends’ lesbian wedding 15 years ago when Ross’ ex-wife Carol’s dad refused to attend her wedding and Ross saved the day, Mark walks Callie down the aisle.
“Don’t trip, don’t trip,” Callie says to herself while walking down the aisle to a glowing Arizona.
Bailey asks, “Who gives this bride to this bride?” And Mark replies, “That’d be me,” with the sense, for the first time, that he’s really going to step back and allow the ladies to have a relationship primarily without him.
“I take you Calliope Torres to be my wife,” Arizona says. And we know from experience that Arizona only uses Callie’s full name when it’s important….
“I choose you to be the one with whom I spend my life,” Callie says.
They place the rings on each other’s fingers and whisper, “I love you,” and I’m tearing up again.
“I hereby pronounce you wife and wife,” Bailey proclaims. And Callie and Arizona share their first kiss with their hot new titles.
Later, at the reception, it feels like that time of night when all the early risers have gone home to bed and all that remains are the drunks trashed on Veuve Cliquot and wedding cake because Callie and Arizona are slow dancing by themselves. But it turns out it’s just the beginning and their guests just aren’t really big dancers I’m guessing.
The DJ gets on the mic to say it’s time for the father / daughter dance.
“Oh crap. I forgot to take that off the schedule. I meant to. I’m sorry,” Arizona says.
“No, no. Of course you should get to dance with your dad. It’s okay. I’ll just sit this one out,” Callie says generously.
But here comes Mark the white night to save the day! “No you won’t. I’m a father. I can dance, so let’s dance,” he says.
Before long Mark receives a tap on his shoulder from Callie’s dad asking to cut in.
“I was driving to the airport with your mother and it hit me. I’ve been looking forward to dancing with you at your wedding since I first held you in my arms, so I turned the car around and came back. So, here I am. To have this dance, with my daughter,” he says.
The camera pans to the two brides atop the wedding cake and Callie and Arizona’s wedding enters the annals of lesbian television / pop culture history.