Grey's Anatomy's Jessica Capshaw Teases Arizona's New Love (It's Not Mer!), Reflects on Sara Ramirez' Exit

After sitting out the first two episodes of Season 13 to spend a little extra time with her newborn daughter, Jessica Capshaw returns to Grey’s Anatomy this Thursday (ABC, 8/7c) and, man, does she hit the ground running. Not only is Arizona caught in the middle of the still-simmering Alex-Andrew drama (the former is her partner in pediatric crime and the latter is her roomie — awkward!), but she finds herself strapped into the driver’s seat of the episode’s main medical story. On the bright side, all the chaos leaves little time for her to dwell on the fact that her ex-love and baby mama Callie (Sara Ramirez) is now living 3,000 miles away in the Big Apple with their daughter Sofia.

Below, Capshaw previews Arizona’s calamitous comeback, drops a hint about her new onscreen romance, and reflects on the departure of her longtime leading lady.

TVLINE | You missed the first two episodes of the season. Did it feel like school had started without you?
[Laughs] It did! It absolutely did. I was texting them, “What’s going on? What’s happening now?” They would still send me the scripts, though, so I remained tethered.

TVLINE | Was it weird to come back and not have Sara there?
Yes. To your analogy, it does feel like you’re going back to school, and there are things that are a bit different from the way they were before. But, obviously, [Sara leaving] was a bigger one. So definitely you feel the absence of any incredibly strong performer who is no longer there anymore.

TVLINE | Did you know she wasn’t returning when you shot your last scene together in the finale?
No, I did not.

TVLINE | Do you feel like you need closure on the Callie/Arizona storyline? Or are you content with how it ended?
I don’t know. It was left open-ended. In the Shondaland world, there is still a character named Callie who lives in New York City. But I don’t know what the closure is yet.

TVLINE | The preview for this week’s episode confirms that Arizona is pissed at Alex for assaulting Andrew. Is there more going on there than her just looking out for her roommate?
It’s funny, when I read the scripts that I wasn’t in, I felt like I wanted to know what Arizona was doing [when the Alex-Andrew melee went down]. Outside of Callie, Arizona has been closest to Alex. So I was kind of wondering if Alex would [reach out] to her. We find out in the episode that she heard what happened [while in NY], but she has no idea just how bad it is [until] she returns to work. And, when she sees just how bad it is, it really fires her up. And it worries her. Because anyone who can do something like that needs some help. Needs some assistance. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Does she feel caught in the middle?
She gets to sort of ride the middle. There’s an understanding that she might be able to both be upset at Alex and sad for Andrew.

TVLINE | Shonda Rhimes has said Arizona will be getting a new love interest this season. What are your sources telling you about when we’ll meet her?
[Laughs] My sources are telling me that it’s not going to be too far away. We had to wade through a little muck first. But I do feel that Arizona has certainly waited long enough.

TVLINE | Is it going to be a new person or a character already on the show?
I think it’s got to be a new person, right? What am I going to do, start making out with Ellen [Pompeo]? [Laughs]

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  1. Dominique says:

    i’m looking forward to arizona’s storyline, it will sure be interesting to see her take on the whole alex/de luca situation, given that both are her friends (though alex probably a better one).
    i have to be honest i haven’t missed callie at all these last two episodes, and i’m excited to see where arizona’s story will go now that she’s got other things and people to focus on.

  2. Maggie says:

    Gah! I was hoping that cheating, holier than thou, egotistical, and better than everyone Arizona was off the show for good. I’d much rather have Callie, who is actually likable, than Arizona who is just a bitch.

    • Ellen says:

      Oh, you mean the Callie who cheated on Erica, twice?! Callie hasn’t been likable for at least the last 2-3 seasons. People who really love her are obviously unable to see her faults. She won’t have Penny much longer If she treats her the same way she treated Arizona. We’ve actually seen some of it already, not listening to Penny (at Mer’s dinner party), and blaming Penny for losing Sofia.

      • Lorna says:

        Umm, who did Callie cheat on Erica with? Erica is the least likable GA character, and was the nastiest one as well. Funny you seem ok about Arizona cheating. And actually, Callie ended up on the wet drip’s side. And how would you feel if your friend’s life was gone and the pathetic person you crushed on was involved? Meredith was too nice to Penny.

        • Ellen says:

          Callie cheated on Erica with Mark. It doesn’t matter whether WE liked Erica or not, Callie did, and she cheated on her. Callie said so herself. I’m most definitely not ok about Arizona cheating, but she made a mistake, I’m over it. Making a mistake doesn’t make her a bad person, there is way more to her than her mistake(s). What I don’t understand, is why so many people hate Arizona for cheating, when just about every other character on the show has done the same thing. Or been the one cheating with, which is almost just as bad IMO. Arizona cheated once, and gets a lot of hate. Owen cheated twice, and I don’t see anybody nagging about that.

    • Eran says:

      Psst…Maggie…Arizona? Not a real person.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Oh wow, you protest too much. Whining she thinks she’s better than everyone when you clearly have the same problem. Find a mirror and take a breath.

  3. tahimar says:

    Calzona fizzled long time ago. Making these interviews serve no purpose, other to give Calzona shippers some hope for a reunion which may never happen…it’s time to move on.

  4. Matt C. says:

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but Arizona is one of my favorite characters. I can’t wait for her to come back and see her reaction to the Alex/Andrew mess. I also can’t wait for her to get a new love interest! It’s so long overdue!

  5. Frannie says:

    Why is this show still on? Everything wonderful about it, all the beloved couples with the exception of one Jackson and April, no longer exist. The fun is gone. Change isn’t always a good thing when it comes to a television show you’ve loved for so long.

    • Nashia says:

      Yes! Exactly how i feel. It took me a while to start watching season 11 because I was upset about christina yang leaving. And then derek shepard was being killed off in the end of season 11…I just completely gave up and stopped watching.

  6. Amanda says:

    Arizona is one of my favorite characters and I can’t wait to see what’s in store with her. She lost the love of her life her daughter so she deserves and needs someone she can really love right now and that would love her back.

  7. kn1231 says:

    I would be totally down for a Meredith and Arizona pairing, just saying! Meredith can’t love another man like she loved Derek so she turns to women, I’m all about that! I feel like this one will definitely remain a pipe dream though

  8. patsy says:

    Callie should return, she and Arizona added so much to the show, it is not the same, and I also miss Sandra Oh tremendously!!!