Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 1 (God Laughs)

7 Oct


Another week, another season premiere! Out of all of the shows which I watch, Private Practice is my current favourite, and so this was the most eagerly-anticipated premiere for me. Of course, the massive cliffhanger which we were left on at the end of the last season, with Pete fighting for his life, only increased this anticipation, and when I looked for the new episode a week too early (assuming that Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice would premiere on the same day) and discovered that I had seven days still to wait, I nearly cried!

But still, premiere day rolled around soon enough, although the episode only produced new cliffhangers, whetting my appetite further for the rest of the season. And so, without further ado…


As in the last episode of Season 4, this episode started with Addison visiting her therapist. Given that Addison has been in need of a therapist pretty much since we first saw her in Grey’s Anatomy, this was a welcome development, and also helps to tie the episodes together. Also in this episode, it allowed Benjamin Bratt’s character to be introduced, in a way that didn’t detract from the rest of the episode (although I was a little unsure as to how much time was meant to have passed between Pete’s heart attack and Addison’s visit to her therapist). Personally, however, I found Addison’s discovery that her nameless admirer from the end of last season was also a fertility specialist the least engaging part of the episode, although this may have been because I had already known that it was coming, and therefore the shock factor was missing.

But Addison’s baby blues were tied cleverly into the rest of the episode, as she was the one to look after Lucas when Pete was admitted. She looks so comfortable holding that child that it makes your heart hurt for her, especially when she is continually reminded that Violet is who he really needs.


In order to let Addison have her moment with Lucas, Violet is kept out of the way for most of the episode, waiting at the airport for her delayed flight to New York. Even there though she still has her therapist’s hat on and ends up convincing the woman in the seat next to her to leave her abusive husband. This sub-plot is mostly a suspense-builder, drawing out the time between Pete’s scenes, and I found it difficult to concentrate on, although Violet did deliver one of my favourite quotes of the episode:

“Airports are like hospitals or high school dances. Somebody’s crying somewhere!”

Amelia and Sheldon

After an unfortunate accident involving far too much alcohol and a spot of bar dancing, Amelia calls Sheldon to be her knight in shining armour. Now, I know that alcoholism is a serious issue and should be treated as such, but I really hope that we’ll be seeing more of drunken Amelia because she is AWESOME! (Well, regular Amelia is pretty awesome, but thanks to this storyline she’s getting more screen time to showcase the awesome). After kissing Sheldon (because “I just need you to shut up so you can give me a ride to the hospital and I don’t bleed to death in the street”) she proceeds to go to the hospital and suture her own hand. She then considers herself to be sober (“Nothing sobers you up like repeatedly puncturing your flesh with sharp metal!”) enough to operate on Pete. The message is now clear, she has a problem, and it will be very interesting to see how it develops.

The fight to save Pete

Of course, this is the main focus of the episode, and Cooper, Sam, Amelia and Charlotte are all involved at various points. Cooper is the one to find Pete, after Lucas proves that he is not the kind of child that you would want to have around in an emergency (Pete:*collapses* Lucas:*stares intensely and continues to play*), but bows out as a doctor fairly early on after managing to get shocked by the defibrillator. (Interestingly, the only time I’ve ever seen that before was in Scream 4). Sam then takes care of the cardiac side of things, as Amelia operates, with grudging permission from Charlotte, operates on a bleed in his brain.

Charlotte is, of course, incredible, switching from cold-hearted to caring and back again in the blink of an eye. At the beginning of the episode, having seen straight through Addisam’s attempts to hide their rekindled relationship, she responds to the suggestion that Pete might have gone AWOL because he was upset over Violet’s departure by saying: “He could have been upset here. Lord knows there are enough people around to cheer him up.”

Then later, when Cooper asks her (in typical Cooper fashion) what she would expect him to do if she died, she tells him: “I’d want you to be miserable for the rest of your life…you asked!”

Thankfully, Pete survives both the heart attack and Amelia’s surgery, and is completely unaware of his argument with Violet when she visits him in the ICU. Oh, and he’s completely high. “I know it sounds odd, but I think I’m OK, I think that I can get up now,” he tells her, but luckily she manages to convince him otherwise.

So all’s well that ends well, but something (ie. the ABC Sneak Peek) tells me that there will be some drama next week – or rather in half an hour…

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