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TV Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 22 (Gone, Baby, Gone)

27 Jun

I’ve been falling steadily out of love with Private Practice this season, but I have been sticking it out, and given that the finale didn’t so much tug on my heartstrings as yank them out of my chest, I decided to recap it. I may recap the rest of the season at a later date, but this is going up first as I was practically writing it in my head whilst watching.

Gone, Baby, Gone features love triangles, court cases, impassioned speeches, and a lot of tears. And at the centre of it all…

Amelia gives birth

This was the cause of most, if not all, of the tears. At first she is determined to stick it out alone, refusing even to let Jake touch her in her determination to stay strong. I shed my first tear of the night as she tells him to take the baby away before he could cry, before remembering that brainless babies can’t cry. “Take him before he squeaks,” she says, and I let out a squeak of my own.

Outside of her hospital room, the rest of the doctors argue about her plan to donate her baby’s organs. Jake and Addison are supportive, but Sam is vehemently against the idea  and Charlotte is struggling, saying that she has to let the lawyers decide because she sees it as murder.  Addison is tasked with talking Sam around, but he isn’t interested, drawing parallels between the situation and their failed relationship. It’s Amelia who manages to persuade him, telling him about all the children that she’ll be able to save. “What I’m asking you to do is unimaginable,” she says. “But it’s also everything those other mothers can ever imagine. I’m his mom and I’m asking you to do this. If I can get there, why can’t you?”

Charlotte has a revelation of her own as she sits with Addison, both of them afraid to go into Amelia’s room, and both of them reflecting on everything that’s happened this year. “This past year you and I both became mothers without ever giving birth.” Addison muses. “She’s going to give birth and not get to be a mother.” This reminds me why I love the rare moments that these two characters share, and Charlotte why she has to help her friend. She agrees to fight the lawyers over the organ donation issue, and ultimately ignores their decision, allowing Jake to harvest the organs. Something tells me the hospital could be facing a lawsuit next season…

As Amelia enters the final stage of labour, Addison finally plucks up the courage to enter the room. She ignores Amelia’s attempts to throw her out, and holds her as she gives birth. Amelia goes back on her previous decision, choosing to hold the baby. “He’s the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen.” She says. He squeaks. I sob.

But the tears aren’t over yet, as the baby goes into respiratory distress, and for a moment it seems like Amelia’s going to change her mind about the organ donation. But no, she decides to give my heartstrings a little more of a battering by letting him go, telling him his father’s waiting for him. She then speaks to Sheldon civilly for the first time all episode, and the pair reconcile. It’s almost a happy ending, right?

Elsewhere, another child was playing with my already fragile emotions…

Mason

Having seemed to have turned a corner in the last episode, Mason is sullen and silent again at the beginning of this one, due to a Mother’s Day event at school. Cooper catches Charlotte watching him sleep, and she tells him how much she loves him and how sad she is not to be able to take away his pain. “You take away my pain,” he tells her, and I remember why they’re my favourite couple on the show. Later, having spent the evening at the hospital, Mason is looking at the babies in the NICU with Charlotte whilst she tries to explain what happened to Amelia’s. It’s touching (and possibly a little weird) to begin with, but then he suggests that he start calling her “momma” and I dissolve once more. To think that I don’t often cry at television! I’m blaming my hormones!

There were a few storylines that didn’t make me cry though. They were…

Love and Prison

Pete spends most of the episode behind bars, whilst Violet grows increasingly frustrated at his refusal to act even a little contrite. Eventually, after a few choice words from Cooper about missing his son growing up, he  does apologise and iss granted bail, even expressing fears for the future. Unfortunately, it may be too little too late.

The Jake-Addison-Sam love triangle also comes to a head tonight, as she arrives home after some comfort sex with Jake to find Sam waiting to confess his love to her. Despite her attempts to get rid of him (Jake’s on his way with takeout), he’s determined to let her know that he’s now all in. He wants her, he wants Henry, and if the ring is anything to go by, he wants marriage. Henry just wants to chew on his toy monkey. Personally, I think that the kid’s got the right idea.

TV Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 14 (Too Much)

15 Feb

“Lucas wanted to know if his truck could fly…and it couldn’t so I bought him a new one.”

Violet should think herself lucky that that’s the only parenting issue that she has to face in this week’s episode of Private Practice, although she does also have to contend with Pete attempting to veto her relationship with Scott.  Exasperated, she goes to Cooper to discuss the problems, who tells her to tell Pete that it’s just sex. She does, and he tells her it stills bothers him. I’m sure I’ve said this in reviews before (I’ve certainly shouted it at the television screen enough times) but it’s a bit late to start caring now!! I would choose Scott and his sexy bare chest over Pete and his anger issues any day of the week (sadly, neither of them are offering as of yet, but I remain hopeful). But even with all that, Pete and Violet’s issues are relatively minor compared to some of the other events in this episode, such as…

The Crack Baby

OK, it may not actually be a crack baby. It may be a heroin baby. Or a some-other-kind-of-drug baby. The point is, it’s a baby with a druggie for a mother, and a sister who wants to keep him away from his mother at all costs (unsurprisingly, given her childhood experiences). But then the real mother turns up, having apparently got clean by locking herself in a motel room for days, and suddenly it’s war. And not even between mother and daughter so much as between Cooper and Pete, who have each chosen their own mommy candidate to back. Addison has a more practical response, she’s calling Social Services. To make matters worse, the baby has a whole stack of medical problems (again unsurprisingly) and needs urgent treatment. It all ends happily though, as the mom decides to stick around and care for both of her children. The more cynical among you may ask how long it will last, but I’m just a sucker for a happy ending.

The Crazy Sister

Actually, Sam’s sister (Corrine) doesn’t exhibit much craziness in this episode, although Sam tells plenty of stories about her, but that’s probably due to the cocktail of drugs that she’s on. After speaking to her, Sheldon decides to wean her off them and make a proper diagnosis, and I spend the rest of the episode waiting for her to flip. It doesn’t happen (maybe she’s not as crazy as they thought), but she and Sam do share a moment at the end of the episode when she tells him that his house reminds her of a place where they used to go on holiday. All together now: awwwww!

To be honest though, I’m not especially invested in this storyline, particularly as it seems to be being used as an excuse to get Addison and Sam back together. This, as everyone at least ought to know, is a phenomenally bad idea, but it doesn’t stop them having very hot sex. Jake, with his spooky mind-reading skills, figures out that this has happened and gives Addison his disappointed face. Maybe he shouldn’t have rejected her last week…

The Clever Plan

Charlotte’s babysitting for a worried Mason while Erica rests after her first chemo session, and the kid has worked out that he’s being lied to. She tries to distract him with macaroni cheese but, despite containing both macaroni and cheese, it’s not good enough for him and he runs away, trying to get to the hospital to see his mom. This is enough to get them to take him to see her, but apparently still not enough to get them to tell him the truth (“Mommy’s gonna be just fine!” Erica promises, in possibly the biggest lie ever to escape her lips). But they may not have to if Amelia’s plan works, because she thinks she’s found a way to cure Erica. And of course, it involves what we’ve all been predicting, a trip to Seattle to see her brother. In other words, it’s time for another crossover!

TV Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 12 (Losing Battles)

8 Feb

Let’s begin with a random scene which had very little to do with the overarching story lines, but which made me giggle: Sheldon and Sam setting up on-line dating profiles. With input from the rest of the doctors. In my opinion, this episode is worth watching for that alone, but there’s also…

The surrogates

It’s time for Plan B in Addison’s quest for a baby, surrogacy. But she isn’t making it easy for herself, and Jake is annoyed with her for being unwilling to consider the potential surrogates (“Have you been giving yourself hormone shots again?” He asks). You can hardly blame her though, when you see the candidates who he has lined up for her. The first is admittedly not too bad, albeit emotionally detached, but the second is insane. When asked what her favourite part of the last surrogacy was, she replies that she was given the placenta, and then a tree grew over the spot where she buried it in the garden!

There’s a surprise twist in the surrogacy story when Amelia offers to be Addison’s surrogate. She wants to do a completely selfless thing, she says (which makes me start thinking about whether doing something because you think it’s completely selfless makes it less selfless, but I’m possibly overcomplicating things). Addison tells her that she can’t be her surrogate, as she hasn’t yet figured out who she is, but I can’t help thinking that this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this idea. (However, this may just be another case of me overcomplicating.) This is, however, the last we’ll be hearing of the baby storyline for a little while, as Addison tells Jake that she wants a break from the baby search.

The woman from the airport

Remember the woman who Violet was talking to in the season premiere? No, neither did I, but luckily Violet did, because she turns up this week completely battered after what they assume is a beating from her husband, David. He soon arrives on the scene, by which time Joanna is unconscious, and Addison is legally bound to give him a say in her treatment. He wants her to have a hysterectomy (she was pregnant at the time of the attack), and when Addison manages to finish the surgery without taking this step, he starts an argument, saying he wants her moved to a different hospital. Before he can have that arranged though, the doctors sneak Joanna out of the hospital and into Violet’s house.

Pete isn’t happy with this plan (finally showing some concern for his wife, perhaps?) but Violet is more concerned about a conversation which she had with Joanna just after she woke up. Rather than reporting the attack, Joanna has decided that a more logical course of action would be to kill David. And Violet is right to be worried because later, when David breaks into the house, she does just that, stabbing him multiple times until he’s dead. Violet saves her yet again though by telling the police it was self defence, and then sidesteps Pete (who seems to have finally realised that he cares about her), instead running straight into Scott’s waiting arms.

The treatment plan

After Erica’s revelation last week, Cooper is desperately trying to get her to fight, or at the very least to sign custody forms so that Mason isn’t taken away from him. When Amelia tells her that all she can offer is radiation, Erica rejects it outright, but Cooper tries to convince her, saying that six months would give her one more birthday with Mason. Erica goes to see Amelia privately and asks what she would do in her position, and Amelia admits that she wouldn’t take the treatment. Later, Erica gives Cooper the custody papers, telling him that she has accepted her diagnosis and he should too. With the help of Charlotte’s astute observation that he feels guilty for being grateful that Erica got sick because it brought Mason to him, Cooper breaks down. Harrowing stuff, and they haven’t even thought about telling the kid yet!

 

 

 

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

6 Jan

Image: hulu.com

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!

TV Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 4 (Remember Me)

29 Dec

Image: hulu.com

For me, the most important thing which happened in this episode of Private Practice was seeing Addison’s therapist’s face for the first time. Well, OK, perhaps not the most important thing, there was also…

Cooper’s kid

Both Cooper and Charlotte are scarily calm upon receiving the news that Cooper’s a daddy. In fact, Cooper seems very excited by the whole idea, having never had any biological family members before. But the more she thinks about it (and the more the gossip spreads around the practice), the less happy Charlotte becomes. And, being Charlotte, she takes matters into her own hands, offering to pay Erica to stay away. She’s more than a little insulted by this, and when word gets back to Cooper it results in a blazing row. Can the scriptwriters not let those two be happy for five minutes?

Violet and Pete

Another unhappy couple is Violet and Pete, whose marriage trundles on in the same unhappy state which it has been in since the end of last season. Pete is at work today, and Violet is definitely not babysitting him, not in the slightest. Pete’s also still seeing everyone’s favourite free therapist, Sheldon, and after being told that he’s being an ass he does at least make some effort to relate to his wife. Unfortunately the only way that anyone can relate to Violet at the moment seems to be by telling her that they like her new hair, which may say something about her character. As does the fact that not long before telling Pete to be nice to his wife, Sheldon was telling Amelia that he wanted to strangle her. Can I hear you say double standards?

The amnesiac patient

To fulfill the practice’s daily quota of patients (was anyone surprised when they started having financial problems?) we have Jodie and Zach. Thanks to a car accident, pregnant Jodie has the memory of a goldfish, having to be told everything (including the fact that she’s pregnant) over and over again. “Jodie is very sweet but it is kinda like living with a parrot.” Amelia muses, summing up the situation perfectly. Unfortunately, Zach is sick of taking care of his wife, and is considering taking the baby and leaving her. This leads to a lot of arguments, both with and about the couple, and culminates in Jodie going through most of labour alone and with no idea what’s happening, the thought of which is so terrifying that it makes me seriously consider wearing a crash helmet for the rest of my life. Zach returns at the last minute though, and, having seen Jodie holding her child, doesn’t know if he can stand to leave again.

And of course, we have Addison’s ongoing baby drama. Addison is panicking that Sam will leave her if she goes crazy on her IVF hormones, and the fact the Sam is already panicking about those same hormones making her crazy, I think she might be right to be worried. I live in hope that these two will wake up and see how huge the cracks in their relationship are, but I have a feeling that that’s no more than blind optimism!

Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 3 (Deal With It)

22 Oct

Image: hulu.com

Well, it’s official. Oceanside Wellness has been renamed…Seaside Health and Wellness. I wonder how long it took to come up with that name? And I understand Addison’s reasons for not naming it Montgomery Wellness, but honestly, that sounds a hundred times better than Seaside Health and Wellness. SEASIDE? It just conjures up images of ice-creams and donkey rides for me.

Also this episode…

Jake moves in.

Jake is moving into his new office, and his moving-in presents go down a lot better than Charlotte’s did back in Season 3, although given that they’re expensive bottles of wine, they may not be the best thing for Amelia. He’s also dispensing advice to Cooper on his relationship dilemma (sorely-needed advice, as Charlotte seems to see “you can’t stay mad at me forever” as a challenge), which would be great if he was married to someone with a lower tolerance for bullshit than Charlotte King. As it is, she responds to his claims to understand her with “What exactly do you understand?”, effectively catching him out. (Later they do manage to make up, after she explains to him what he should understand, that she doesn’t actually like being the bad guy, or the sheriff all the time.)

Jake also celebrates joining the clinic with a risky surgery. He wants to give a woman her grandmother’s uterus so that she can have a baby. Yes, her grandmother’s uterus. At least, as Cooper points out, she probably isn’t using it! Addison isn’t impressed with the surgery, but the patient manages to win her round by telling her that she wants her own baby – now I can’t think of anyone else to whom that might apply… Unfortunately, having got Addison on side, the surgery is then unsuccessful, although this does give Jake the opportunity to deliver a heartfelt speech and prove once more that he is God’s gift to the female sex.

Amelia’s back on the wagon.

Amelia starts this episode in an AA meeting, the first one we’ve seen her attend on-screen, and it’s powerful stuff. “I’m humiliated that it’s Day One again,” she says, and is adamant that she won’t drink any more. But her day is determined to test as, as she treats a patient with Parkinson’s who is having problems with compulsive behaviour after increasing her meds. She’s now addicted to having sex, mostly in supply closets, and has given her husband gonorrhoea. Amelia discusses this problem with the other doctors (innuendos abound, but anyone who has sex with a plumber is asking for it really), and ends up being tag-teamed by Charlotte and Sheldon. It also emerges that Amelia has a third addiction, Deep Brain Stimulation (“Why do you always want to do DBS?” Sheldon groans), which she wants to use to help her patient. Her patient isn’t sure that she wants to give up her addiction though, and I spend most of these scenes hiding my face in my hands and waiting for Amelia to take a drink. It’s not so much that I don’t have faith in her as that I can’t see the writers abandoning this storyline just yet.

Violet needs a friend.

Pete is still dealing with his heart attack by yelling (and telling the free Sheldon therapy service that he hates broccoli and that sleeping with his wife was like having sex with a prostitute), and Violet is bearing the brunt of his rage. This and staying at home all day are turning her too crazy even for Cooper to handle, and mommy group doesn’t help matters either. So she does what any sane person would do, cuts off all her hair and goes to talk to Addison.

Addison is busy dealing with her own mommy issues, and is slightly confused when Violet asks her out to lunch. She then says the words we’ve all been thinking: “But it’s not like we’ve ever been friends!” Within a scene though, they’ve realised that they’re both lonely and, via the most awkward of conversations (“Do you wanna be friends?” “I like your haircut.”) they are officially friends. I’m still not sure that I can see them as friends, but now at least it doesn’t seem quite so out of the blue. And with Naomi gone and Amelia and Charlotte at loggerheads, this show is in need of a good female friendship.

And finally…

This last point needs a category of its own, simply because of the huge ramifications that it’s going to have. Cooper’s a daddy! And Charlotte is not going to be amused when she finds out…

Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 2 (Breaking the Rules)

13 Oct

Image: hulu.com

This episode seemed a little disjointed in comparison to last week’s, although I was impressed with the way in which Amelia’s addiction storyline is being handled. A little more focus on patients and a little less on the doctors’ private lives would also be nice – I’d like to convince myself that I’m not watching a glorified soap opera!

Pete’s rage

A month has passed between this episode and the season premiere, and Pete is now back at work, although Violet is constantly hovering over his shoulder (whether through boredom or actual concern is anyone’s guess). He resents this, he resents the fact that Addison has filled his office with boxes, and to be honest, he resents everything and everyone. Later, Violet brings out the Oceanside Wellness doctors’ favourite word (mean) and tells Pete to get a therapist, because she won’t be his punching bag. He certainly needs something.

Charlotte and Cooper

Unsurprisingly, Cooper’s storyline for this week involves a patient with whom he gets too involved. This particular patient needs cord blood to keep her alive, but she can only get it from the private banks, which aren’t supposed to be accessed. Of course, when Charlotte tells him this, he goes behind her back, hacks into her computer, and visits a family in the hope of guilt-tripping them into donating their cord blood. Then, when they refuse, he simply forges the signature. Charlotte is understandably unimpressed, and tells Cooper that he has no self control. This message clearly sinks in well, as in the next scene a drunken Cooper is heard to exclaim, “Self control is overrated!”

Amelia’s addiction problems

Charlotte has other things on her mind apart from her husband’s law-breaking, as Amelia tells her that she has been sober for thirty days. “Good for you,” Charlotte replies, refusing to restore Amelia’s surgical privileges. Later, when Sheldon (who is doing pretty well in his role as her knight in shining armour) corners her in her office, she tells him that she resents Charlotte for not giving her a second chance. Last week, I found Amelia’s drunkenness amusing, now I feel genuinely sorry for her – imagine being judged forever for one slip-up! Sheldon does intervene with Charlotte, and Amelia’s surgical privileges are restored, but the stress has clearly taken its toll, as at the end of the episode we see Amelia sitting in Addison’s kitchen with a half-empty bottle of wine.

Addison and her men

This episode, Addison begins to deal with the repercussions of her ‘fling’ with Jake, as he interviews for Naomi’s job. Everyone else adores him, and rightly so, as he answers every question flawlessly and even gives the practice advice on how to deal with the law suit against them. At this point, Addison is forced to enlist Violet’s help to find a reason not to hire him, which of course involves telling her everything. Now, I’m sorry, but it’s going to take me a while to find these two believable as friends – four seasons of competition is hard to forget! But regardless, the only problem that Violet can find is that Jake isn’t a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a problem which, being the Teflon Man, he later rectifies. This storyline is a little too reminiscent of the first season of Grey’s Anatomy for my liking, although the number of times that Addison said “We were broken up!” (in a clear attempt by the writers to disassociate themselves from Friends) did amuse me.

Elsewhere, Addison and Sam have moved in together, although Sam has two problems: one is that Addison is now his boss, and the other is that Addison wants to use condoms. Cue the customary dancing around of issues which so often occurs between these two, until finally in one of their famous beach scenes, Addison tells Sam that she has hired Jake and Sam reveals that he’s bought condoms. Addisam are still on, for now at least…

In other news, Addison is still seeing her therapist, and the writers could really do with checking their fats, as any Grey’s Anatomy fan could tell you that it was poison oak which Addison got in Season 2 of Grey’s, not poison ivy. It would be nice if she could remember that herself…