Decision time! Grey’s Anatomy’s Thursday, May 5, episode brought the epic custody showdown viewers have been waiting for. It was Team Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) vs. Team Callie (Sara Ramirez) facing off over custody of their daughter, Sofia Robbin Sloan Torres, complete with a roster of Grey Sloan doctors set to testify.
Arizona vs. Callie
Arizona and Callie, with their equally aggressive lawyers by their sides, failed to reach an agreement that would keep their custody case out of court — and out of a judge’s hands. Before the proceedings began, the judge asked: “Are you both sure you want to proceed?” They said yes, with their best battle faces on.
Callie’s side started with Owen (Kevin McKidd) testifying on her behalf, singing her praises as a mom and adding that she had already found a school for Sofia in New York. But Team Callie didn’t stay strong for long. When Penny (Samantha Sloyan) took the stand, the questions quickly got trickier. Callie’s significant other stumbled on questions about Sofia, like what grade she was in and what she was wearing that morning. As it turns out, you can’t learn everything about a kid in just a few episodes. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) said it best while watching the scene: “This is getting hard to watch.”
Bailey (Chandra Wilson) took the stand, and in a typical Bailey way, she instantly began to run the courtroom, acting like a lawyer by saying “objection — speculation” in response to the lawyer’s incessant questioning. But during her testimony, it became clear that Arizona’s professional schedule as a surgeon was less predictable than Callie’s. While Callie had 27 emergency procedures, Arizona had 92. Arizona’s career was particularly grueling, and although Bailey quipped, “I would never put a woman’s success in the con column,” the pediatric surgeon’s unscheduled procedures were indeed a major drawback.
Meredith was next to testify on Callie’s behalf. Arizona’s lawyer trapped Meredith into a single-parent corner, having her state that it takes a village to raise a child, with Sofia’s village located in Seattle. Another point to Team Arizona.
Alex and April Don’t Like It
Meanwhile, with all the court drama, Arizona wasn’t available to treat a patient, Jenny, the 24-weeks pregnant teenager who was readmitted after falling. With Arizona out of commission, Dr. Russo (Stephen Mendel) was put on the case, alongside Alex (Justin Chambers) and April (Sarah Drew). Russo had the final say on Jenny’s treatment, despite Alex and April disagreeing with his every decision.
Time for a Cold One
Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton), Jo (Camilla Luddington) and Warren (Jason George) couldn’t be further from Callie and Arizona’s battle. Actually, the three of them hit up the bar, where Stephanie was nursing her breakup with one too many beverages. Eager to drunk-dial her ex Kyle Diaz (Wilmer Valderrama), Jo stopped her. And just a few tables over …
April and Jackson (Jesse Williams) seemed to be making some real progress as part of their new, fight-free coparenting mantra. Over drinks (water for her), the duo negotiated how they wanted their future to look. Jackson wanted to be in the room when the baby was born, which April OK’d. April wanted Easter, while Jackson got the Super Bowl and Halloween with the baby. And for Christmas, they decided to alternate. Luckily, at least one couple on this show can discuss custody issues without an epic court showdown.
Back to the Courtroom Drama
Richard (James Pickens Jr.) — Arizona’s bestie, wingman and trivia partner — took the stand next. But his well-intentioned testimony turned dark very quickly, as Callie’s lawyer argued that Arizona and Richard’s many nights out together implied Arizona’s willingness to go out rather than spend the night with Sofia. Between the trivia nights with Richard and the number of times Arizona asked Callie to cover her childcare duties and switch nights — which was proven with text messages between Arizona and Callie — Callie’s lawyer argued that Arizona was rarely with their daughter at night. A dirty trick, but a point for Team Callie.
Next up were Callie and Arizona themselves. Callie’s testimony was tearful and weepy, remembering the day she gave birth to Sofia after her car accident. She added, “Being a mother is the reason I’m still alive today.” When Arizona took the stand, she made it clear that although she is not Sofia’s biological mother, she is as dedicated as possible. But while Arizona was testifying, her phone rang nonstop, and Arizona knew it was important. And it was — April and Alex were calling Arizona about Jenny, after Russo decided to deliver the baby at only 24 weeks. Knowing the significance of the case and the added significance of her current testimony, Arizona took the phone to see April’s “911” text. Arizona had to go, leaving court in the middle of her testimony and giving proof to every argument that she worked too much and too hard. But before leaving, she said, “I love my child, and I want her with me, but I know no matter how this ends, she’ll be OK.”
Arizona rushed to Jenny’s side, kicked Russo out of the operating room and swiftly put Jenny’s baby back where she belonged at 24 weeks — in her mother’s belly. Arizona was doing what she does best.
Meanwhile, Stephanie saw Diaz’s name on the ER board and rushed to find him. There, she discovered him after he had passed out and potentially had meningitis. But he wasn’t thrilled to see her, and kicked her out of his room. Harsh.
Finally, it was decision time for the judge. After a dramatic trial, Arizona and Callie shared a moment outside the courthouse. “No matter what the judge decides, I know that you’re a good mom too, and I want you to know this doesn’t change that,” Callie said. Too true.
The verdict was in, and we only saw the result when Meredith walked Sofia to the front door. “The true mom would rather give her baby up than see her ripped into two,” the Grey Sloan surgical chief said. Meredith opened the door to Arizona, who was awarded sole custody. She and Sofia happily headed home.
Back inside, Callie was distraught. “How the hell did this happen?” she asked Meredith through tears. Meredith replied, “What happens when there are two true mothers? That’s a no-win situation.” As Meredith consoled Callie, Penny appeared, looking concerned. Callie brushed her off, making it clear she didn’t want to see her right now. After all, Penny’s plans to move to New York ignited the whole custody debate in the first place. It seemed like this would be a new storm brewing for the couple as the show heads into next week’s season finale!
Tell Us: Did Arizona deserve to win custody of Sofia?
Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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