Altered Perceptions
Title: Altered Perceptions
Author: Sucimejaka
Rating: T (for now)
Summary: What happens after 9x23. Following the train of thought I had in the theory, and after seeing the sneak, this is what played out in my head. Depending on what happens in the finale and certain other factors, this could become a multi-chapter fic. COULD.
A/N: Okay I’m honestly a teensy bit irritated (read: REALLY) that someone over on swooped on in and ran with this before I got the chance to do so myself. But, since certain parts of what were posted over there actually DID come from me, verbatim, originally, I do feel like it’s okay for me to use it in my own story. Right?? I skimmed over that one, and while one particular part DOES match, the rest of it differs.
A/N2: It's not great. The tenses are a little screwy. I wrote this at like 4am because I couldn't sleep. It's very possible I could end up making changes here and there to amp up some things, make them more visible in the reader's mind.

Just The BeginningCollapse )

My Theory
Hopefully this is okay since the mods aren't responsible for dealing with my own journal.

I had no idea which thread to put this under and it turned out too long for a comment, anyway, so I thought I’d actually do my first ever community post and just put this out there for debate and speculation. Or have everyone tell me I’m nuts. But that’s okay, I’m still pretty much in denial and clinging to my very last life raft for this ship.

I have been processing and processing and processing and oh yes, processing some more. Before Thursday night’s episode, I was 100% POSITIVE that Arizona would never ever cheat on Callie. Yeah, their marriage isn’t what it seems on the surface. Yeah, there are issues. Yeah, Callie takes her for granted, and Arizona lost her voice 2 seasons ago and has since made every decision based on what is best for Callie. Not saying this is Callie’s fault, don’t get me wrong. I don’t view Callie as this malicious, cold person who knowingly puts her wife on the backburner. I do, however, see that Callie can be incredibly dense and often doesn’t see what is right in front of her face until she nosedives into it and invariably swallows a foot or two. I don’t doubt that Callie loves Arizona. I don’t doubt that Arizona loves Callie. I don’t doubt that they are MFEO. Thursday night, my conviction in each of those points was stood on its head and I have been left a confused, crumpled mess of a fangirl.

It doesn’t make sense.

Even if PTSD is the reason, it still isn’t enough to even come CLOSE to justifying infidelity on Arizona’s part, and total character assassination on Shonda’s part. No way in hell does saying “Oh she’s suffering PTSD that she hasn’t dealt with” fly with me.

It doesn’t make sense that Shonda would say she will be good to both of them. Even if they work through this and end up stronger than ever, NONE OF THIS is good for either of them. Let us not forget that that tweet was in response to a question regarding the finale, not the endgame.

It doesn’t make sense that Shonda Rhimes, notoriously known for being tight-lipped and keeping a short leash on her cast regarding spoilers, would go out of her way to warn the Grey’s fandom at large that Arizona is gonna cheat.

It doesn’t make sense that arguably the most honorable, loyal character on the show next to Bailey falls to infidelity after a measly two days of harmless flirting. Because that’s exactly what it was. If you watch each and every scene, it’s perfectly clear that it is just harmless, lighthearted flirting. Yes, clearly, Lauren makes Arizona feel something that she hasn’t felt in a long time about herself, but the flirting that went on in and of itself was nothing even close to a predatory pursuit by Lauren. Not at all.

It doesn’t make sense that the cast would gasp and be shocked at any possible reaction from Callie to the cheating, because any possible reaction would be fully expected. Horrible, yes, if some theories are to be believed, but not unexpected or shocking.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. Everything we know about this character, everything that they have already been through in the past, the fact that “cheating” and “Callie” has already been used in a SL sense to me whatsoever. How do they go from Callie showing off her wife’s hot ass a few episodes ago, from that amazingly intimate x-ray room scene, to ARIZONA CHEATING??

The woman may be a lot of things, but stupid definitely isn't one of them, so how the hell does Shonda think that spouting “grief” and “PTSD” is supposed to make it all okay??

I don’t think she does. I had a bit of a come to Jesus moment while chatting with Funky about all of this.

The following is our theory.

We think, she DIDN’T cheat.

We think, she was in that on call room alone and what we witnessed between her and “Lauren” was actually the beginnings of a full on mental breakdown.

We think, Lauren reminded Arizona of who she is at the core. Of the woman she was before she started letting pieces of herself go. Of the strong, confident, hot woman that had “women lining up for her.”

We think, all that talk throughout the episode about control was the catalyst for Arizona to realize that she’s STILL IN THERE and that she can’t keep trying to control the emotions she has bottled up, in the process essentially destroying herself, leaving herself a shell.

We think, when the lights flickered, the breakdown began with a flashback and her psyche cracked, projecting this image of Lauren who, as many have mentioned, IS Arizona season 5, right down to the hair. Something inside her snapped and she projected this image as a way for her brain to deal with the overload of emotional insanity that would flood her mind at that moment.

“You are allowed to lose a little bit of control.”

She lost control, and THAT is how it was shown to us, and it had to be something that was going to kick us in the gut and make US feel what ARIZONA feels. What better way to do that than to show Arizona doing something that completely goes against who we have always known her to be? What better way to have Arizona reclaim herself than to LITERALLY show her grabbing onto herself (Lauren)?. (Sidenote: we haven’t seen sexually dominant Arizona since the elevator kiss. I don’t think it’s coincidence that she was very much present Thursday night)

We’ve never seen Arizona’s account of those four days. We’ve never seen Callie’s. We saw everyone else deal with it, but not them, not really. All season long, they have seemed to skip right over so many important things, things that would have shown us how they were both dealing with the aftermath. Yeah we saw Arizona being cruel and stone cold with Callie and Alex, we saw Callie break down crying in the shower, but after that? It was immediately neat, step by step forward movement from Arizona, quick pecks on the cheek and Callie burying herself in her work and fixing everything she could get her hands on. It happened TOO quickly, TOO neatly, and then was seemingly dropped in favor of the lawsuit and ensuing buying the hospital SL. It was overshadowed and, for most fans who aren’t Calzona fangirls first and foremost, probably forgotten about, seen as ‘oh, they didn’t feel like they needed to show us HOW, just what IS’. I think a lot of us even fell into that, too, just assuming that oh well, lets just enjoy what we got because it’s clearly been swept away again.

Looking back with this breakdown scenario in mind, EVERYTHING makes sense, even things that I didn’t even realize before made no sense! Throughout the season there were so many little things placed throughout their story, things that didn’t really seem necessary, and they were all signs pointing to the underlying turmoil, brewing beneath the surface of their relationship.

We all know how much Shonda loves to portray emotional trauma and the mystery that is the human brain. What better way to bookend Callie’s physical brain trauma in the musical episode than with a very in-depth portrayal of Arizona’s emotional brain trauma? What better way to show us that emotional trauma than to lay out this fandom wide mindfuck on us all, make US feel betrayed, only to reveal somehow in the final moments of the finale that it was all in her head?




Provocative and deep?


Emotional death?

Shonda and Jessica set us all up with the warnings, the spoilers, the interviews, EVERYTHING, to suck us into it, make us BELIEVE it, only to have it be nothing is what it seems. It’s the only logical reason for why Shonda would break her cardinal rule, and to me, at least, the only way that PTSD could REALLY come into play regarding the cheating.

What else would be truly gasp worthy and shocking? What could possibly be either of those things about a cheating SL?

What could be more shocking to us and the cast and the Grey's fandom as a whole than to learn that it was all a severe mental breakdown from the resident "good man in a storm"? During a freakin' Superstorm, no less.

What would be a better way, not just for Calzona fans, but for Grey's fans in general, to really "get" what their season long journey has been about?

Oh and hey, remember how Shonda tweeted that a certain part of the finale was so top secret that she had to whisper it in the director's ear instead of writing it in the script?

Take a minute. Think about it all. Reread the interview from Jessica with this possible scenario in mind.

Capshaw: “I know! I know! Listen, it's really important to remember — and I so understand the investment in TV characters because they're in your home every week — but this is a challenge and it's part of a story. Nothing is written in stone and I don't know that anyone knows exactly what's going to happen, but I can almost guarantee that whatever happens is going to still be, as Grey's Anatomy is, thrilling, exciting and heartbreaking.

Wishful thinking? Maybe. Grasping at straws to make our hearts hurt a little less? Possible.

Plausible in Shondaland? Absolutely.


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