Grey's Anatomy: Jessica Capshaw Talks Arizona's 'Exciting, Fresh' Start

Michael Ausiello

With all the Callie/Sofia drama behind her, Arizona burst back onto the scene in Thursday’s Grey’s Anatomy with a spring in her step and a big, beaming smile on her face. Her grin was temporarily turned upside down when she caught a first-hand glimpse of Andrew’s busted-up face, but the fact remains: This season, Arizona is back to being, well, Arizona.

“She is really, truly coming at her life with a fresh and excited perspective,” enthuses the doc’s equally sunny portrayer, Jessica Capshaw. “She’s looking for some of the fun and levity and excitement and humor that was the basis for [the Arizona character] way back when.”

RELATEDGrey’s Anatomy: Bridget Regan to Guest Star

The amicable custody agreement that Arizona reached with ex Callie (played by now-former cast member Sara Ramirez) in last May’s finale set the stage for Season 13’s clean slate. “There were so many things that Arizona and Callie went through,” Capshaw notes. “For her to come on to the scene this season with anything less than a brand new fresh, exciting feeling, would’ve been [unfair].

“And, quite frankly, I was excited to be back to work, too,” she adds with a laugh. “I came busting out of that elevator like, ‘Here I am.'”

RELATEDGrey’s Anatomy‘s Jessica Capshaw Teases Arizona’s New Love (It’s Not Mer!), Reflects on Sara Ramirez’ Exit

And Arizona is spreading that positive energy around. In Thursday’s episode, she extended an olive branch to a downtrodden Andrew in the form of a sweet, surprising embrace. As Capshaw sees it, that moment was about Arizona proving to her roommate that she’s taking a neutral stance in his war with Alex. “In the two scripts that exist before I came back, it was sort of implied that Andrew doesn’t know who is for him and who is against him,” she explains. “He’s sort of in this situation where someone on the ‘home team’ assaulted him. So [that hug] was her way of letting him know that she feels for him.”

Launch Gallery: <i>Grey's Anatomy</i>'s 20 Greatest Couples Ever

Related stories

HTGAWM's Five Wildest Moments -- Plus: Karla Souza Talks Laurel's Dangerous Duplicity

Grey's Anatomy Recap: True Lies

Designated Survivor Recap: Son of a....

Get more from TVLine: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter