TV Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 5 (Step One)

6 Jan


This is one of those episodes which makes you want to scream at the television set.  Well, it made me quite  literally scream at the television set, and although I will admit to doing that on a fairly regular basis, I think that this episode made me do it more than usual.

So what was it that made me react so strongly to this episode? There was…

The return of Michelle

Otherwise known as an imminent train wreck. The moment she appeared, fresh back from Italy with stories of great sex and symptoms of Huntingdon’s, I just knew that it was going to end badly. And, as expected, we spend much of the episode focusing on Amelia’s dilemma as she struggles to fulfil the promise which she made to her friend when she was first diagnosed. She seeks support from Sheldon and Pete, which does not go according to plan as they are horrified at the thought of her risking her career, and she can only respond with a childish but entirely accurate “He did it!” Pete is not impressed that his secret has been revealed, and later speaks to Amelia alone, warning her that Michelle is not ready for death, whatever she may think. And he is proven right when, partway through the assisted suicide attempt, Michelle has an allergic reaction to the benzo and starts begging for it to stop.

And that could have been the end of that. But as soon as Amelia visits a convalescing Michelle in the hospital, suggesting that they move in together and form “some kind of messed up buddy system” (“I won’t drink today if you don’t kill yourself.”), I know that it’s not going to last. Sure enough, the episode ends with Amelia finding Michelle’s body, and then drowning her sorrows with a glass of wine and a handful of pills. This may have been coming for a while, but I still wasn’t expecting it when it actually happened (cue shouting at the TV).

Violet’s crazy patient

One of Violet’s former patients resurfaces in this episode, and he could give me a run for my money in shouting at inanimate objects. He’s off all of his medication (as well as mental heath issues, he also has a heart problem) and when Violet comes to talk to him (as you can imagine, Sam practically has to drag her kicking and screaming away from her mommy duties) he tells her that she’s been taken over by a machine. This encourages Violet to rage against the medical board (and at Addison, who gets caught in the crossfire) and to, shockingly, come close to rekindling the dying flame of her relationship with Pete. It’s Pete making the effort though, telling her “This is my favourite thing about you,” when he catches her skulking outside Wes’s room. “When I get the crazy eyes?” Violet responds, followed by: “Well I’m glad you’re remembering things you like about me!” Are you aware that both parties are expected to work at a marriage, Violet…?

The woes of parenthood

Addison and Cooper are both experiencing parenthood woes, Addison with her ongoing failure to have a child of her own, and Cooper with the child who he unknowingly created. The episode starts well for Cooper, as he goes fishing with Erica and Mason, but Mason is far more astute than the adults give him credit for, and is soon refusing to see his mom’s “new boyfriend”. As a result, Erica agrees to actually let the child know who his father is, and the two end the episode watching Phineas and Ferb together. (Relatively little shouting about this one, although I was cheering for Charlotte when she gave Cooper some tough love.)

Addison has her first dose of IVF hormones today too, and medical correctness is sacrificed in favour of a shot of Benjamin Bratt rubbing Kate Walsh’s ass (who can blame them really?). Hilarity ensues as the hormones take effect, and Addison comfort eats (force feeding Violet doughnut holes when she comes to see her about the problems with Wes), throws all of her paperwork on the floor, and threatens to rib Jake’s face off. Blithely unconcerned by his new boss’s behaviour, Jake suggests that she walk away when things are bothering her, sparing us all a few minutes of Sam’s whining (I appreciate the writers’ efforts to give him some back story, but I honestly cannot summon any sympathy for him while the saga of Addisam continues). At least she’s now given up the pretence of having another fertility doctor now though, everyone knows that the Oceanside Wellness doctors exist in a bubble!


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