‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Are Still Mad That the Calzona Custody Battle Was All for Nothing

Of all the tumultuous events Grey’s Anatomy writers threw onto  Dr. Callie Torres and Dr.  Arizona Robbin’s relationship, it might seem surprising that a custody battle is the event fans simply cannot abide. 

Leg amputation, a car crash, a musical episode, and co-parenting with Mark Sloan (Eric Dane),  all of these incidents were mostly taken in stride, yet it was the contentious custody battle between the longest-running LGBTQ couple on network television that caused fans the most distress.

Callie and Arizona’s parenting roller coaster

According to Autostraddle, “[the]romantic pairing, dubbed by the fans as ‘Calzona,’ aired for 133 episodes — counting from their first kiss through their divorce.” That’s a long romantic arc for any couple, but it wasn’t always a monogamous one.

Sofia Robbin Sloan Torres was the result of Callie’s one-night stand with her then-best friend Mark Sloan. Though Callie and Arizona were on a relationship break during the infidelity (Robbin was in Africa on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save kids), she was understandably upset when Callie revealed her pregnancy.

Arizona did some soul-searching and ultimately decided to marry Callie and raise their child with Mark Sloan. Unfortunately, Arizona proposed moments before the car she and Callie were riding in slammed into the back of a logging truck. Callie ended up giving birth to Sofia while in a coma but ended up recovering from her injuries.

During the crisis, Mark and Arizona gained a better understanding of one another and the resulting co-parenting scenario between Sofia’s three parents was sweet and caring.

Like all things Grey’s Anatomy, the happiness was short-lived. A plane crash destroyed one of Arizona’s legs and ultimately led to Mark’s death. Sofia Robbin Sloan Torres lost her biological father and was being cared for by two mothers who found their own relationship challenged by the stress of lingering injuries.

Calzona deserves to be happy.

When questioned about their least favorite Grey’s Anatomy plot points, one Reddit commenter expressed their doubts about the custody episode, “The Calzona custody battle was unnecessary and didn’t really fit. Felt super rushed and in the end, was pointless.” Other fans noted that Penny Blake was a plot point and not even a real character.

There’s no doubt that the custody battle was ugly. Both sides of Calzona revealed their imperfections to fans. The surgical staff split into odd lines that didn’t seem to make sense, with many choosing not to take sides at all. One thing most doctors agreed on was that Mark Sloan would have been disgusted that no one was placing Sofia first in the debacle. When they finally do, current viewers will know it’s because Mark’s spirit yelled in their ears.

In today’s Grey’s universe, Sofia is living her best life with her mom, Callie, in New York. Arizona, who always places Sofia’s needs first, has decided to relocate to the Big Apple. She is doing this for the sake of optimal co-parenting, of course, but a flirtation between the exes was teased at the ending of season 14.

It seems unlikely that Dr. Torres and Dr. Robbin will return to Seattle’s Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Fans might be angry that they had to endure the roller coaster that the Grey’s Anatomy writers developed for Calzona, but it seems the couple has found a happy ending somewhere in the Grey’s Anatomy universe.

Callie decides to follow Penny Blake to New York.

After a  30-day trial separation prompted by Arizona’s affair with a visiting doctor, Callie decides to end the relationship because she realizes that she has spent most of her time loving Arizona and not enough time loving herself. 

Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw smiling at each other in a scene from 'Grey's Anatomy'
Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw | Scott Garfield/Getty Images

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Callie does not stay single for very long. She begins dating fellow doctor Penelope Blake (the doctor who failed to save Dr. Derek Shepherd’s life). When Penny gets a job offer in New York, Callie falls back into old patterns. Instead of loving herself, she decides to follow Penny to New York and take Sofia with her, but she doesn’t include Arizona in her decisions. Fans were not very happy with Dr. Torres during this time, with many wondering why the prominent orthopedic surgeon would follow a young doctor to New York.