Last week on Grey's Anatomy, Derek Shepherd stepped into the spotlight, saving a co-worker's legs and life. This week, Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) steps into it, testing her ethics while trying to save a patient — a 10-year-old whose parents have millions to donate to the hospital. Could Arizona bring Seattle Grace out of economic turmoil? Capshaw tells TVGuide.com about the challenges her character will face, the upcoming speed bumps for Arizona and Callie (Sara Ramirez) and the possibility for wedding bells at Seattle Grace...
TVGuide.com: What can you tell us about the Arizona-centric episode?
I have a patient who I fight very hard for. Everybody feels strongly about it and it's a very high-stakes episode. It's life or death. The episode speaks to the whole idea that money runs a hospital. The chief [James Pickens Jr.] is having a hard time figuring out how to make the hospital ascend the ranks of the numbers game, [and] money helps make that happen. Arizona's case happens to be with a set of parents who have the ability to give or not give in a very consequential way.
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TVGuide.com: Arizona seems to have a pretty straight moral compass. How will she feel in making these decisions based on money?
Yeah, she's a little perfect that way [Laughs]. This episode has all of that in mind, but at the same time, we are all only human and we can all only ever do the best that we can. Sometimes the best we can, in her case, leaves her a little more vulnerable to the elements and to the story and what's happening. She has to make choices that are very hard as a surgeon, but also as a pre-eminent doctor in a hospital that is part of the reason that people are giving money or not giving money.
TVGuide.com: This episode also features Arizona's birthday.
She has a birthday and very in line with Arizona's character, who is not about herself and just very clear about who she is, she's not the one to be asking for balloons and candles. She thinks it's a day like any other day. There is a party, but it's not one that she knows about. Given that in this particular episode we've centered on her professional and personal life, the two definitely crossover. She doesn't have the typical reaction to someone going out of their way to throw them a big party.
TVGuide.com: What's in store for the future of Callie and Arizona's relationship?
This season has been about cementing a very mature and grounded relationship and taking it forward. This is a drama, of course; there will be conflict, but for the time being, they're enjoying being in a relationship that seems stable.
TVGuide.com: We have not seen Callie and Arizona get intimate this season. Sara Ramirez said they probably are. What's your take on that?
Definitely, of course it's happening. They're in a committed relationship. It's like the beginnings of any relationship, but I think they're very much together and all of that is happening. I'm sure that we'll have our time.
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TVGuide.com: Callie has vacillated about her sexuality. Could that be an issue that comes up?
There's definitely ample opportunity for that to happen. Obviously the halls of Seattle Grace have been well known for missteps. These are doctors, they're in intense situations and their personal lives follow suit. They make mistakes. They kiss the wrong people, they sleep with the wrong people, they sleep with the right people, they kiss the right people. We get to see how things unfold and if there's forgiveness. Callie could find another guy or girl. Her playing field is vast.
TVGuide.com: Will Sloane (Eric Dane) and Arizona butt heads because they've slept with the same woman?
In a way it's implied that they might. Whenever there's been a chance to play that I am intimidated by him or being standoffish, I've always chosen to make it very playful. It's much more Arizona's style to find it very amusing.
TVGuide.com: Could there be wedding bells for Callie and Arizona?
There's probably a lot more stuff that has to happen before that happens. Listen, being that I've been married for five years now and I've been with my husband for nearly eight, you have to make sure you're with the right person and you need the groundwork to be laid. I don't think they're going to get married just to get married. As Arizona goes, I think she has incredible discipline and she does, as you said, have a very strict moral compass and marriage would not be something she would jump into without giving it a great amount of thought.
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TVGuide.com: Arizona refers to her family a lot. Will we meet her dad?
I hope that we do. They've certainly set it up that we could and it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of.
TVGuide.com: Arizona has been much less fazed by the merger. Is she just superconfident?
It's sort of funny, she never thinks she's wrong and you don't hate her for it. There's no ego though, she just always thinks she's right and she is. Cristina wanted to get on my service because no one was going to let go of the person that saves babies, so maybe that's part of it. In Thursday's episode, it will be revealed whether or not she's worth her weight in gold and how important she is.
The Arizona-centric episode of Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday, Nov. 5, at 9/8c on ABC.