This is not the Civil War fight you would want to watch this weekend.
The last time this show did a dramatic courtroom episode, it was for Callie’s malpractice lawsuit (Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word) which was mostly a hit-and-miss. Sadly, the writers’ next attempt was mostly just a miss.
There are so many undeveloped plotlines that really bring this episode down, with Callie and Penny’s relationship certainly topping that list. There’s certainly no reason to get invested in this doomed pairing, there’s hardly any chemistry between the two, and Callie’s rationale continues to baffle me when it comes to her wanting to take her daughter away for a year. And other than the fact that we’re supposed to believe this custody battle got dragged out onto court (via a cringe-inducing opening scene depicting both sides unable to negotiate), it’s even harder to believe Meredith would side with Callie without blinking an eye, especially after issues of adoption come to light (remember that Zola is adopted).
It’s no surprise, then, that when Arizona wins full custody (after the show tries to keep us on our toes for no longer than 15 seconds), it’s more of a victorious win than a heartbreaking one. It feels satisfying and well-deserved for Arizona to have her daughter with her than with a woman Callie’s only known for a few months (all of which is off-screen too, making the viewers feel even less devoted to this relationship than ever). So if there’s something this episode did right, it’s that it gave us the conclusion everyone was hoping for.
Kevin McKidd (Owen) directed this episode, and he did his best to give it this “special hour” feel but it all seemed a bit too Ryan Murphy for my taste with the awkward long takes and the quick zoom-ins. It’s a bit distracting at times, but mostly just wildly unnecessary and ends up turning the scenes more caricature-ish and removes any emotional impact intended. And in an episode where the stakes weren’t that high anyway, emotion was all it counted on.
Bits & Scalpels
– I appreciate the “previously on” teaser being Calzona-centric, revealing only the significant moments of this couple’s life.
– Even the opening title credits were very Captain America-like, with Callie and Arizona’s faces on separate sides of the screen! Very cool though.
– The stuff happening at the hospital was even worse than the courtroom drama. The pregnant teenage daughter from a few weeks back returns to the hospital, and in very dramatic fashion Arizona’s OB replacement is not a very stand-up guy. It was all very season five-ish for my taste, with Alex trying to find another way to save the baby and Arizona coming to the rescue at the very last minute.
– So, DeLuca actually lives with Arizona? When did that happen? How did I miss this?
– Penny has officially become my least favorite character on this show right now. I want her gone before April, believe it or not.
– April and Jackson are co-parenting! Funny how they were at each other’s throats just a couple of weeks back.
– The best moment of the entire hour: Bailey on the stand yelling “Objection! Speculation!”
– Joe’s bar still exists! I miss that bar.
– I love that Meredith’s choice of drink is still tequila, after all these years.
– Loved the several Mark shoutouts during Meredith and Callie’s scene in bed. But it’s so hard to believe Callie when she says she’s in love with Penny.
– So, Kyle is admitted back in the closing moments of the hour. He is definitely going to die in the season finale, right?
– Loved that the show included a Prince song this week. Very bittersweet.
Meredith: I have to go, and this is getting harder to watch.
Meredith: Being a mom isn’t a job. We don’t punch in and punch out. There are no nights off. We are both single parents. That’s not a dirty word. But we do need help getting our kids to where they need to be with all of their limbs intact. So we lean on each other. That’s not a sign of weakness or bad parenting, if that’s where you’re going with this. It takes a village, and we have a village.
Arizona: I chose to be Sofia’s mother! It did not fall in my lap. There was a choice, and I could stay or I could run, and I chose motherhood. And it was the best choice that I ever made.
Arizona: I love my child, and I want her with me, but I know that no matter how this ends, she’ll survive. She’ll be heathy and safe and well taken care of and loved. Because…we are her mothers.
Nothing Compares 2 U by Prince & The New Power Generation
Rise Up by Andra Day
The verdict is in: this was a lackluster and unenjoyable hour.