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'Grey's Anatomy' Gay-Cap: Don't Call Me Dr. Robbins!

'Grey's Anatomy' Gay-Cap: Don't Call Me Dr. Robbins!

While last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy featured Calzona blowing fans minds with a darling make-out scene on a softball field, this week offers a sweet story arc involving Callie (Sara Ramirez) learning to come out to someone from her pre-Arizona past. The brainy and beautiful orthopedic surgeon also learns not to refer to her wife as “Dr. Robbins.”

TracyEGilchrist

While last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy featured Calzona blowing fans minds with a darling make-out scene on a softball field, this week offers a sweet story arc involving Callie (Sara Ramirez) learning to come out to someone from her pre-Arizona past. The brainy and beautiful orthopedic surgeon also learns not to refer to her wife as “Dr. Robbins.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) gets busy showing prospective peds fellow Polly Preston (Vedette Lim, who played Tara’s girlfriend on True Blood) the ins and outs at Seattle Grace.

In the episode entitled “Heart in a Box” Arizona begins her shift kicking Karev (Justin Chambers) to the curb on a few surgeries in order to give Polly the “red carpet” tour of the hospital in hopes she might want to land there, all much to Karev’s chagrin.

While Karev’s bemoaning the state of his surgery schedule, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) is introduces Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) to the hospital’s VIP patient – George O’Malley’s mother. Grey’s aficionados – not folks like me who admittedly only started watching when Dr. Erica Hahn stole Callie’s heart for a hot minute -- will recall that George (T.R. Knight) was Callie’s ex husband who died after being hit by a bus saving someone. Bailey explains that Mrs. O’Malley (Debra Monk) lost both her husband and son on the operating table at Seattle Grace and she’ll basically be damned if George’s mom doesn’t get five-star treatment.

Later, in the hallway, Mrs. O’Malley’s begins to ask Meredith what she’s been up to for the past few years but stops to shrieks with happiness at the sight of her former daughter-in-law Callie rounding the corner (with Arizona by her side).

“Mama O’Malley!” Callie lets out, in what appears to be a mélange of surprise, disbelief and joy. She hugs her former mother-in-law saying it’s great to see her. But clearly Callie’s distracted with her lesbianism on the brain. How is she going to explain away the adorable blond with the matching wedding ring?

“Why are you here? Are you okay? Is she okay Grey?” Callie asks Meredith, looking to shift attention away from Arizona for the moment. But Mama O’Malley cranes her head toward Arizona and lets out a cheery “Hello.” Meanwhile, Arizona’s flashing her dimples and gloating with a “how’s Callie going to dig her way out of this?” look.

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“Right, sorry, this is, ahem, Dr. Robbins, mmhmm,” Callie stumbles. Mrs. O’Malley and Arizona exchange hellos and Meredith rolls George’s mom off for some tests.

“Are you okay?” Arizona asks Callie, but she hardly waits for an answer before running off to meet with her peds fellow.

“I’ll see you later Dr. Torres,” Arizona says, before turning on her heel and leaving Callie in the dust of her hospital clogs.

A little while later Callie sheepishly approaches Arizona, who’s mid-tour with Polly.

“Oh hey Dr. Torres,” Arizona says dripping with sarcasm.

Callie clumsily apologizes to Arizona saying, “I’m sorry, I guess I didn’t know how to say ‘Guess what Mama O’Malley? I’m into girls now,’ and ‘oh, and this is my wife”

With Polly within earshot Arizona bites her lip in Callie’s general direction telling Polly she’s going to need a minute.

“Coming out is everything with your family and your friends. I’d kick your ass if you tried to hide me from them,” Arizona says. “But coming out to your dead, ex-husband’s super-Catholic mom? Not necessary, not for you, and certainly not for me. It’s okay.”

Still, Callie doesn’t appear satisfied. Now she bites her lip. I must admit all of this lip biting is pretty cute.

Later, Meredith’s explaining to Mrs. O’Malley that a cystic duct, left during a prior operation at another hospital, is what’s causing her problems, but Mama O’Malley’s got other things on her mind.

“I saw a ring on Callie’s finger when we ran into her. Did she get remarried?” she asks Meredith. Mrs. O’Malley then asks if Callie’s happy and Meredith says that she is, but without mentioning any names or pronouns.

Callie flips out a little when Meredith admits she told Mrs. O’Malley that Callie is indeed remarried, but Meredith’s a demure little Honey Badger who’s unfettered by Callie’s mini freak out.

“She’s going into surgery and she’s scared, and she’s alone and she misses you. I know it’s complicated but I don’t think it would be a bad thing if you were there to hold her hand when she woke up,” Meredith says before turning on her heel. There’s a lot of heel turning for dramatic effect on the show I’m noticing.

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Mrs. O’Malley’s surgery goes off without a hitch, and Callie, ever the girl who, in the end, does the right thing, is there holding her hand when she wakes up.

Following a brief but inspired foray into paying some attention to Mrs. O’Malley’s surgery Callie begins a blurting spree.

“I like girls,” she says before Mrs. O’Malley can see past the haze of anesthesia. “As in, romantically… It turns out I like girls – uh – women! And I met the most amazing woman.” Meanwhile, Mama O’Malley’s peering at Callie with a difficult to discern look on her face that really could just be post-surgery lethargy.

Callie continues, “Do you remember Dr. Robbins from this morning? Yeah, we got married. Before that we got in a really bad car accident and I almost died, but I didn’t. And, uh, Sofia, neither did Sofia our baby, our perfect, beautiful baby.”

Following her nearly full minute blurt Callie finally pauses.

“I know this is a lot, and I understand if this is too much for you to handle. Believe me, my own mother practically disowned me,” Callie says becoming a bit emotional.

Mrs. O’Malley begins to cry before smiling through her tears and asking, “You have a baby? Do you have any pictures?” And just like that Callie’s flipping through her phone showing Mama O’Malley the Sofia Torres-Sloane-Robbins (or whatever iteration they came up with) brag book.

And that’s it for this week’s Calzona. Thanks to Shonda Rhimes for telling wonderful stories of acceptance, but can we please see the scenes at home where Callie and Arizona are dressed in sexy doc wear and calling each other Drs. Robbins and Torres? 

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.