“Private Practice” Season 5, Episodes 3 & 4: Review

Deal With It

Addison and Jake work with a patient who wants to have a baby even though she doesn’t have a uterus; Amelia, back in AA and seemingly back on track, treats a Parkinson’s Disease patient who habitually cheats on her husband; Violet, struggling to be a stay-at-home mom, attends a mommy group and finds it’s not for her; and Cooper receives the surprise of his life.

Remember Me

A woman from Cooper’s past visits the practice; a pregnant woman experiences severe memory loss after a car accident; Violet and Sheldon argue.

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The theme of trust defined Private Practice episode “Deal With It”.

Addison gets the sympathetic patient of the evening, a woman, Nina, a young woman, desperate to have a baby, but was born without a uterus. Nina enlists Jake’s help to transplant her grandmother’s uterus into her. The idea is gross and Addison is skeptical because of the risky nature of the procedure, but Nina’s genuine desire to have a baby and connect with her recently deceased mother is sweet and sways Addison. Unfortunately, Nina hemorrhages in surgery and the transplant fails. Initially Jake’s ego seems to hamper his acceptance of the failure, but later the caring doctor prevails and he talks to Nina and convinces her she’ll be a mother another way. Considering how quickly he persuaded her of this and how caring he proved to be with his heartfelt speech, I wonder if he couldn’t have set aside his ego earlier (performing surgery that has seldom been tried before must be an enticing challenge for a doctor) and tried harder to sway her before agreeing to perform the dangerous operation she asked for.

Amelia and Sam get the moral dilemma patients of the episode, Will and Laura. Laura has Parkinson’s and has doubled up on her Parkinson’s medications to control her tremors, but is experiencing a side effect of lowered inhibitions and impulse control, resulting in her cheating on Will and giving him gonorrhea. Will is understandably furious, but Amelia appeases him with the idea of a brain surgery that will control the tremors and alleviate the side effects. However, Laura secretly returns to Amelia and admits she doesn’t want the procedure and wants to stay on her medications, because her husband isn’t the greatest lover and she’s enjoying life and then resists Sam’s effort to get her to reconsider. Amelia and Sam seem bothered by covering up the continuing infidelity, though Amelia sees it as a parallel to her drinking issues – she keeps trying to stop, but she really finds it hard to -, while Sam uses it as a clarification reason to be honest with Addison and try to be open to listening about her IVF appointments.

Addison and Violet get the most honest moment in the episode, when they admit they’re not really friends. I liked it because every other character is just expected to become best friends because they work together, but that just doesn’t always happen.

Charlotte and Cooper have no patients of their own and are still having issues. I can’t blame Charlotte for still being angry at Cooper for violating her trust and Cooper isn’t doing a great job at apoligizing, coming across as insincere. Luckily, they make up by the end of the episode, but another issue is just around the corner. An old fling, Erica, comes to see Cooper the next day at work with her son, Mason, allegedly Cooper’s son. I couldn’t help but think “Poor Charlotte!”: loveable as he his, Cooper doesn’t seem to be able to hurt her.

Pete and Violet are still fighting. Pete is angry over Violet leaving and the heart attack, but Sheldon undestands he has deeper abandonment issues from his childhood. Violet is lonely and is at odds over being a stay-at-home mom. Violet finally admits she’s afraid Pet thinks she a bad mom and Pete admits he’s afraid of dying before he’s done raising Lucas. They lay in bed beside each other, but remain miles apart.

Memory is a funny thing. It can invite us to recall good times and bad times, or elude as altogether.

The patients of the week for Remember Me are a married couple, Jody and Zach.When they were having fertility problems, they were Violet’s patients, but Jody is pregnant and seeing Addison and Zach is having therapy sessions with Sheldon now. When she was one month pregnant, Jody had a car accident and suffered a brain injury that left her memory resetting every few minutes, so while she remembers everything from before her car accident, in the present day she forgets things as soon as you tell her, including the fact she’s pregnant, very pregnant. Zach tells Sheldon that as soon as Jody gives birth, he’s planning to take the baby and leave her; he even so much as admits that caring for Jody is like caring for another child. However, Addison and Violetact like he’s abandoning Jody and admonish him into staying. I can see where they come from (Addison is afraid Sam will eventually leave her and Violet is guilty over leaving Lucas and Pete), but it’s not them who have to live with with someone who will never know their child for more than a few fleeting moments, so I felt their indignation inappropriate and liked it when Sheldon stood up to Violed and told her not to confuse her won convictions with what patients need. There seems to be a happy ending,  when Zach eventually decides to stay with her “until he can’t” after the baby was born, but will there ever be a happy ending for a mother who can’t recognize her own child?

Meanwhile, Cooper is thrilled with the prospect of having a son and takes time to get to know him. As expected Charlotte does not handle the news very well and offers Erica $ 20,000 to go away, without considering the idea that Cooper could find out what she did because of either Erica telling him she had tried to pay her off (as it actually happened) or Cooper tracking Mason down, if Erica had accepted Charlotte’s offer. So Cooper (who really wants to believe Mason is his son) understandably goes off on Charlotte and reminds her that he put his desire to be a dad on hold because he loves her. Charlotte seems to see his point and got the paternity test and told him he is really Mason’s father. Though her waiting eight years before cluing in Cooper makes you suspicious that she had reasons to show up at his door other than Mason asking about his father (which I guess is why everybody was advising caution to Cooper), I’m happy Cooper gets to be a dad.

Pete and Violet’s relationship is frustrating, with Pete being a jerk and Violet being obnoxious. The bigger Violet issue in Remember Me is that she can’t let Sheldon do his job with her former patients, while Pete’s anger towars Violet worsens, getting him increasingly near to a breaking point. In this situation, I’m on Sheldon’s side, who’s trying to help them both while getting stepped on. I felt for him as he quickly he goes from understandably angry (and sniding) at Violet questioning his abilities at a therapist to genuinely concerned about her mental state in the face of Pete’s rage. I think Sheldon is right in addressing Pete’s rage towards Violet as possibly breaking the happy home he wants to provide for Lucas, saying the words that can really prompt Pete to address his anger issues. Pete is lucky to have Sheldon as a friend and needs a therapist not so tightly intertwined in his personal life.

New Episode of “Private Practice” On TV Tonight

The fourth episode of Private Practice season 5, Remember Me, airs tonight on ABC, at 10/9 c.

The promo and sneak peeks (sneak peek #2 focuses on Benjamin Bratt and Kate Walsh) are at:

Private Practice Promo – 5×04 – Remember me

Private Practice Sneak Peek- 5×04 – Remember me

Private Practice Sneak Peek #2- 5×04 – Remember me

Private Practice Sneak Peek #3- 5×04 – Remember me

Private Practice, Season 5, Episodes 1 & 2: Review

God Laughs

Sam, Cooper, Charlotte and Amelia team up to save the life of their friend Pete after he suffers a heart attack, while Violet, who was in the middle of leaving Pete and LA, is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Addison’s desire to have a baby leads her to see Jake Reilly, her recent mystery man, in a most surprising place, and Sheldon tries to help Amelia in her battle with alcohol.

Breaking The Rules

The Oceanside Wellness doctors interview potential replacements for Naomi, including Jake Reilly, and no one understands Addison’s resistance to hiring him; Cooper breaks the law and crosses his wife, Charlotte, in an effort to get cord blood for a young, sick patient; and Pete directs his post-heart attack frustrations towards Violet.

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Private Practice season 5 picked up right where season 4 left off, with Pete suffering a heart attack and Violet in the airport waiting out a flight delay. God Laughs finds Addison talking to a therapist about her life and finally making an appointment with a fertility specialist, who turns out to be Jake Reilly, the charming mystery man she had flirted with. However, the real action involves Pete’s heart attack, Violet’s encounter with an abused wife and her decision to return to Pete, and Amelia’s fall off the wagon into booze.

Stuck at the airport, phone battery dead, Violet overhears an argument between a husband and wife.  As the husband leaves to get coffee, Violet strikes up a conversation with draws the wife, Joanna, who confesses that her husband hit her during an argument, but he’s never done it before (it’s curious how it seems to be easier to tell a complete stranger about one’s troubles rather than a friend or a relative). Violet tells Joanna that even a single abusive incident is not okay and advises her to seek help and safety. She also stresses how important it is for her to talk to someone and not keep the incident to herself, but Joanna struggles with her husband’s plea to not throw away years of marriage over one incident. However, there are also things in the conversation that remind Violet that she has it good with Pete, and she shouldn’t leave him.

Meanwhile, Cooper stops by Pete’s house after he didn’t show up for his shift at the hospital only to find him sweaty and unconscious and gets him to the hospital in what appears to be the nick of time.  Sam and the rest of the team work to save Pete’s life.  His heart is in trouble and neurological problems ensue. A reluctant Charlotte has no choice but to let Amelia (whom we had seen drunk and dancing on a table in bar earlier in the episode) perform brain surgery while Sam does a quadruple bypass.

Luckily, Pete pulls through and Violet makes it to his side.  She tries to apologize for their fight and the way she left. He is in a state of post-surgery/recovery euphoria and tells her that everything is okay, but how willing is he going to be to forgive and forget once the loopiness wears off? Even Cooper tells her he’s angry with her for trying to run away from her husband and her problems.

In the waiting room, Addison shows her motherly instincts by cradling and feeding Lucas (proving she will make for a loving mother, if she ever gets to have the baby she so much desires, I guess). I found the conversation she had with Sheldon about what the consequences of seeing his father falling victim of a heart attack will be and what Pete’s possible death would mean for Lucas was surreal, or perhaps expressing their worries for the kid hides their bigger worries for their friend in surgery…

A final word on the title of the episode, God Laughs, which sounds like an excellent one, because it does looks like every time plans are made, reality (or God, chance, fate) will step in to mess with them, reminding us that life is messy.

The second episode of Private Practice starts with Addison back in the faceless shrinks office, setting what seems like an opening theme for this season. However, Private Practice returned with its second episode of the season suggesting that it isn’t always easy telling right from wrong and some of the Oceanside Wellness doctors were caught “Breaking the Rules” to help their patients

Carrie is a young leukemia patient of Cooper’s whose only remaining hope is a cord blood donor. As there is no match in the public record, Cooper sneaks into Charlotte’s office and hacks into her computer to find a private donor. Cooper visits a family to plead his case, but having lost one of their two children, the family isn’t interested in letting go of something that maybe could one day be there to help her other child. Cooper goes ahead with the transfusion, including forging the consent form. That’s just it, though. In the first episode, Amelia cut into Pete’s head when she clearly had a couple of drinks prior to the surgery. Both Cooper and Amelia were lucky and their patients survived, but I can see why Charlotte was livid and said she won’t let Amelia into an operating room unless she is sober or cover for Cooper again. I want to root for doctors saving lives, but Charlotte’s right: doctors can’t break rule after rule (and rules are there for a reason, often a good one) without consequence.

Meanwhile, Pete comes back to work early, obviously going stir crazy at home. But Violet doesn’t notice any of this, and is in hover/nurse mode over him. He shows sign of strain with the other doctors, but eventually snaps at Violet. Sheldon (who also stepped up and talked to Charlotte about her relationship with Amelia) tells her that he needs a therapist and it can’t be her. Violet tells the same to Pete, adding that she won’t be his punching bag (really Violet? After running from all her problems, it feels like she is really so self-absorbed as to not see anything being her fault).

The group as a whole is interviewing doctors to take Naomi’s place. It’s also the first time they’re realizing that Addison is technically the boss. I see that causing more problems down the line. Of course, Addison’s almost –Fiji-man, Jake Riley comes in to apply. All of the others like him for the job (no wonder about this, after a hilarious string of interviews with less than pleasant and a little stereotypical candidates – the aging doc, the doctor only concerned about perks), but Addison is reluctant to let him join the practice because of their near fling. He calls her out that it’s really about her relationship with her now cohabitant Sam, and she finally relents to hire him. And keep “them” a secret from Sam. Hmmm, considered the obviouse chemistry between Jake and Addison and the strain that Addison wanting a baby (though a baby is the only thing Addison has been wanting forever) and Sam not wanting another child, I see some problems ahead for the Addison-Sam couple.