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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 11 (The Standing Eight Count)

24 Jan

Image: Hulu

The boys’ night out

Sam is dealing with his break-up really well, apparently he’s been dreaming about running Addison over in his car. I would suggest therapy at this point, but the other guys suggest a boys’ night out instead. Whatever floats your boat, I suppose… There then follows what starts off as an almost exact replica of the scene which we had when Sam had just divorced Naomi and wanted a new girlfriend, but with an important difference. This time Pete and Sam actually manage to get the girl (Pete in rather spectacular style), while Cooper is the one left alone. Despite the fact that he has Charlotte (and if I had that to come home to then I certainly wouldn’t be complaining) he gets all depressed about this, having to be comforted by his wife – and can I just say that Charlotte talking about hussies is one of the sexiest things I’ve ever seen? Soon he’ll have something bigger to be depressed about, and that’s…

Erica’s mystery illness

Amelia is testing Mason on his spellings for an upcoming spelling bee (in one of the most amusing scenes of the episode, I love the fact that old Amelia is back!) when Erica comes to collect him. Amelia quickly notices that Erica has a tremor in her hand, and when she drops a glass the neurosurgeon senses are triggered. She wants to check Erica out, but she refuses, so Amelia convinces Charlotte to abuse her Chief of Staff privileges and access Erica’s medical records. What they discover makes Amelia happy but no-one else – it’s a rare and extremely aggressive tumour! This prompts Charlotte to go for a chat with Erica, because it worked out so well last time she tried to interfere… Surprisingly though, this time their talk has the desired effect and, after initially telling Charlotte that if Cooper finds out then she’ll take Mason away forever, she appears at the end of the episode to break the bad news. With a surgeon like Amelia around though, I’m not so sure that the prognosis is as bad as it looks. There’s nothing this show likes better than curing incurable illnesses, after all!

The girls’ dating woes

Addison is also dealing with her break-up, albeit in a slightly different way: rather than committing homicide in her sleep, she prefers not sleeping at all, and spending the hours of darkness watching documentaries about shin kicking (maybe I should try that next time insomnia strikes?). Violet is sympathetic, and suggests that she try sleeping sideways (which I immediately want to try and become depressed when I discover that my bed isn’t wide enough). Violet is having her own relationship drama too, when a hot paramedic called Scott asks her out. Her response (“That’s very sweet.”) proves why men aren’t queuing up to date her, but she comes to her senses when she realises that Pete is moving on, and accepts Scott’s offer. She later discovers that she’s cradle-snatching, as Scott turns out to be a lot younger than her, but given how well the date goes, she doesn’t seem to mind.

Sheldon does also appear this episode, treating a cop who killed someone in the line of duty, but, as often happens in Private Practice, the patient storyline is shafted somewhat in favour of the doctors’ personal dramas. However, my favourite part of this episode has to be Jake making a beautiful speech to Addison about how he isn’t going to leave her or let her down, and Addison almost falling asleep. I’ve getting tired of the therapy sessions though. Are they really necessary?

TV Recap/Review: Private Practice Season 5 Episode 10 (Are You My Mother?)

8 Jan

Image: hulu.com

 

“You know what I do to alleviate frustration?”

“Frusturbation?”

“What are you, twelve?”

“Yes…”

This little gem of an exchange, between Charlotte and Cooper (because who else could coin the term “frusturbation”?), was undoubtedly the highlight of the latest episode of Private Practice, for me at least. It certainly provided some light relief, as the rest of the episode was chock-full of angst. There were…

 

Baby Issues

After weeks of being shockingly optimistic about the whole baby situation, Addison finally cracks this week. Although we’re never officially told, her pregnancy test in the last episode before the hiatus was obviously negative, as this week she’s moving back into her house (where Amelia has moved to I do not know) in an attempt to woo Social Services into letting her adopt. Despite the presence of men’s shoes under the bed, she impresses them enough to be meeting with a birth mother later in the episode, when she promptly develops verbal diarrhoea and spills all about her earlier abortion. “Way to win over a birth mother,” sigh hundreds of viewers, but it actually seems to have a positive effect, and soon after she’s delivering the baby as Melanie goes into early labour. It’s love the minute she claps eyes on the newborn, but sadly it’s not meant to be as Melanie decides to give the baby to a family from her church, where she’ll have not just a mom, but also a dad and a brother. All of this, plus her break-up from Sam (“Finally!” I cheer, doing a miniature victory dance at the end of my least favourite couple in television history), leaves her understandably bitter, and when her therapist tells her that she needs to deal with the disappointment, she responds petulantly “Don’t want to!”

Also having baby issues are a polyamorous triad (otherwise known as a threesome) who are visiting Jake in an attempt to get pregnant. The plan is that one mom will provide the egg, one will carry the baby, and the dad will provide the sperm, and there’s only one problem: one of the women is infertile and incapable of carrying a baby. As with all the patients who appear on Private Practice though, they’re really there for only one reason, to help one of the doctors come to a realisation about their own life. In this case it’s Violet, who realises that rules are important, and decides to ban Pete from the house when it’s her night with Lucas (although, to be fair, he did start it).

Bigger Child Issues

For the first time ever, Cooper is faced with having to play Bad Cope, after he catches Mason stealing from the toy store. This stresses him out for the best part of the episode (perhaps he should practice the frusturbation which he preaches) until he gets some sage advice from Sam (who’d have thought it?), and realises that parenting isn’t just about fun and games. This leads to a very sweet moment, when he tells Mason that he isn’t allowed out of his room for the rest of the week and, after his initial anger, Mason is just upset that he won’t be seeing his daddy at the weekend. All together now: awwwwwwwwwww!

Relationship Issues

As well as Addison and Sam (who have the least memorable break up ever, having finally realised that their relationship is in fact over) and Violet and Pete, we also have Amelia and Sheldon attempting to overcome the events of the intervention. Or rather, we have Amelia attempting to build bridges, and Sheldon staying as far away from her as possible, which, as you can imagine, does wonders for her fragile confidence. Luckily though, we have Charlotte floating around (and while I never thought that I would use that word to describe her, she really does seem like a benevolent force in this episode) doing her best to repair the relationship for them, or at least keeping any more damage from being done. She takes Sheldon to the shooting range to release his tension (which is where the frusturbation comment comes in), and seems to appear whenever Amelia’s feeling down, even managing to get her back into surgery. I have to say, I do love the relationship which those two have (not least because my inner femslasher is cheering them on), and I hope we get to see more of it as Amelia continues her journey of recovery.

I have no idea what the next episode holds in store for us (and the promo is spectacularly unhelpful in that respect), but I’m very happy about the return of my current favourite show!

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!