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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 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 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…