She came into our lives on Grey’s Anatomy dancing in her underwear, living in the hospital as the great and independent bone-fixing Calliope Torres. After ten years on the show, Sara Ramirez’s character has left a completely different person.
Needless to say there has been uproar on social media about Ramirez’s decision to take a well-deserved break from her navy scrubs. But the door has been left open for a possible return in the future. For fans, we hope Sara, and Callie, return half-way through the upcoming season having returned to Seattle after chasing girlfriend Penny to New York. Fans wanted a happy ending for Callie and in some ways she indeed got that – it’s just not in the way we wanted, or with who we want. I digress.
For the beloved character of Callie Torres she has been on an emotional rollercoaster only to be expected on a Shonda Rhimes show. She fell in love with George, married him and was cheated on; she helped shape Mark into the man and father he became before his death; she showed us that you can have it all – career, family and marriage; she built bones out of thin air; made the tough decision to cut off her wife’s leg, and finally, and most importantly, helped all of us come to the realization that one day you may in fact just fall in love with someone of the same sex, and that doing so is perfectly okay.
We could assume though that Sara Ramirez will be back. After all she didn’t get an official “I’m leaving” episode. If you hadn’t have already known that Ramirez was leaving the show you could have thought she was going to New York to visit Penny rather than pack up her life completely – but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. After all, who gives up a hospital they own, their friends, family, and being head of orthopedic surgery to chase a three month old relationship to the other side of the country? Grey’s Anatomy characters do!
ONE DAY YOU MAY IN FACT JUST FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX, AND THAT DOING SO IS PERFECTLY OKAY
In light of Ramirez’s departure there are many things to be thankful for over the past ten years that may not have been possible without the character of Callie. The one that stands out the most to myself, and the Grey’s Anatomy universe, is the on screen and off screen relationship of Callie and Arizona – or Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw. From my perspective I took their relationship and chemistry to heart. It wasn’t until I saw how realistic, and normal, a same-sex lesbian relationship could be that I began to come to terms with my own sexuality. With Callie defiant that she is a bisexual this became a first for TV. Bisexuality is something that is always overlooked and society expects you to either be straight or gay – but not in the world of Grey’s Anatomy, it’s 100 per cent okay to be in the middle and proud about it. This really helped me in the beginning as Callie hadn’t expected to fall for a girl, first Erica and then Arizona, let alone marry one and raise a daughter together. This was the first instance that being slightly different doesn’t mean things won’t work out in the long run. You can still have the kids and the family you always wanted even when you thought you could only have it if you were straight. But Callie defied all of this showing us that her sexuality doesn’t define who she is as a person, both professionally and privately.
There is hope though. Last year when Shonda did the unthinkable and split Callie and Arizona up during an intense episode centered around couples therapy – you know the episode where our hearts were ripped out – Rhimes did say she was rooting for Calzona in the end. “I’m always rooting for Arizona and Callie to be together,” says Rhimes, who notes that she has the couple’s wedding cake topper in her office as a keepsake. “For me, I think they’re the perfect couple, but that’s not to say they’re going to be together. For me, they’re the perfect couple. It would make me very sad if they were apart. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to be able to work out their problems and get it together in time, for when ever the show is going to end. But I hope so. If they can, I think it would be amazing. But until they do, there’s other people to explore.” Does this mean the end goal of the show is everyone gets a happy ending? I sure hope so.
FOR ME, THEY’RE THE PERFECT COUPLE. IT WOULD MAKE ME VERY SAD IF THEY WERE APART
When Arizona showed up at Callie’s front door in the season 12 finale last night, all bets were off. It could have gone either way in my opinion. Seeing Callie so sad could have made Arizona realise that she’s still in love with her, but instead Arizona did the opposite – she gave Callie plane tickets to be with her new love Penny in New York. This is a complete 180 since their therapy episode in season 11 where we saw Arizona’s repeated co-dependency on Callie; she’s finally letting Callie go. But with Callie chasing after Penny after having only just found herself again, doesn’t that suggest that Callie is falling into old habits? Perhaps even chasing a relationship that would make her feel a fraction of what she felt for Arizona? Sure Callie gets a fresh start, but if this were real life the odds wouldn’t be in her new relationships favour. Is it wishful thinking to hope that the relationship fails and Callie will come back? Or is that just the thought on every die hard Calzona fan who hopes to one day have a relationship like theirs?
Nevertheless, despite the drama and the emotional investment, both Sara Ramirez and Callie Torres have been an asset to the Grey’s Anatomy family – an asset that will be missed greatly. I feel as though I’ve grown up with the character of Callie as she came into her own, and throughout it all we’ve both come to grow as people in the discovery of ourselves. As ridiculous as it is to say, people do have an emotional attachment to their favourite tv shows, and I will forever be invested in Grey’s Anatomy. Whether old characters go, and new ones come in, there is always a story to be told and tears to be shed as Rhimes tugs at the heartstrings. But one thing’s for sure, Sara Ramirez brought life and personality to the show that it didn’t have before.
Thank you Sara for all you’ve done on the show in the last ten years. Thank you for all you hard work, and the emotional performances you’ve given. Thank you for bringing same-sex relationships, and marriage, into the norm. Thank you for showing us it’s okay not to have your life together all the time, and thank you for taking the time to give the Grey’s Anatomy fans a show worth watching.