“Private Practice”, Season 5, Episodes 11, “The Standing Eight Count”, and 12, “Losing Battles”: Review

The Standing Eight Count

Pete, Violet, Sam and Addison adjust to their new, singles lives in different ways. Addison questions how much she wants a baby and confides in Jake, Violet considers an offer to go on a date with a young, hot paramedic, and Sam and Pete have a bachelors’ night at a local bar. Meanwhile, Charlotte faces a personal, ethical dilemma when Amelia uncovers a secret about Mason’s mom, Erica, and Sheldon refuses to bend to the pressure when an old friend from the police force wants him to rubber stamp a fellow cop suffering from PTSD.

Losing Battles

Just as Violet’s personal life takes a turn for the better with Scott, the paramedic, Joanna (the abused woman she met at the airport months earlier) arrives in need of urgent medical attention, being both pregnant and badly beaten; Cooper, Charlotte and Amelia all counsel Erica on the toughest decision of her life; and Addison and Jake meet with potential surrogates.

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The Standing Eight Counts is first post-Addison/Sam episode. Violet and Pete are working their way through their separation while Charlotte and Cooper are becoming actual parents to Mason.

I was disappointed by Amelia’s and Charlotte’s choice and means to illegally obtain Erica’s medical records without her approval. This seemed out of character for Charlotte. In spite of her being worried for Mason’s mum, I thought her morals and principles would have pushed her to find a different way to find out what was going on with Erica. Besides, doing something incredibly illegal or unethical is the last possible resort, but Amelia got a fairly calm no when she asked if she could examine Erica after noticing hand tremor. Finally Amelia also seemed too quick to decide there was nothing they could do for the brain tumor they found, without looking into whethere there were treatments that they didn’t know of yet and they coult attempt before deciding Erica is done for. I felt so sad for Mason… Luckily, he now has both Charlotte and Cooper to help him get through a very rough period.

The Standing Eight Counts is also the episode of the boys’ night out when the boys feel the need to let off some post-breakup steam and freshly single Sam and Pete got quite a night to remember. However, Sam simply couldn’t get Addison off his mind by sunrise and though got a bit hot and steamy in the elevator, Sam’s escapade seemed kind of awkward, too, almost as if he wanted to get a notch on his belt rather than really enjoy himself. BTW, being neighbors, coworkers and exes put Sam and Addison in a delicate (awkward?) position, in my opinion.

Sheldon get the only patient of the episode, a police officer going through PTSD after shooting an unarmed 19-year-old kid. He is obviously not ready to go back to work but the force is pushing Sheldon to rubber stamp him and the police officer himself wish he could be back on the job. Sheldon doesn’t choose the easy way out and doesn’t back down: he fights against his cop friend to keep him off the force.

Losing Battles left me all shaken up.

First, there is Joanna (the battered woman whom Violet met at the airport months ago) who shows up at the practice beaten up and pregnang, needing urgent medical attention. I feel like it was a bad idea for Violet to nurse Joanna back to health at her own home, thinking David (Joanna’s abusive husband) would never find her there. I wasn’t surprised when David’s showed up at Violet’s doorstep and shoved it to get his wife back. It was gruesome and brutal to see David attacking both Joanna and Violet and then Violet stabbing David to death repeatedly. I wonder if things would have ended differently if Violet had taken what Joanna said about wanting to kill Davind more seriously the first time around and reported it to the police, as Sheldon advised, and whether the the doctors should have tried harder to intervene or simply let the police investigate. Anyway, I guess it is time for Violet to move and leave a house where Pete had a heart attack and a murder was committed.

We don’t know how Erica broke the news of her illness to Cooper, but it was tough to watch her trying to decide how she should live her last few months (undergoing treatments with heavy side effects to buy more time vs a shorter but quality time to spend with her loved ones).

Meanwhile, Jake and Addison are trying to to find Addison a surrogate, but none of the candidates seem suitable in Addison’s eyes. Even Amelia volunteered her services which Addie declined, telling her that she needed to find out who she was. Addison realizing she needs a break from all of the baby stuff and wanting to focus on absolutely anything else was welcome news: perhaps, freed from the obsession of having a baby quickly will be more successfull in her next effort to become a mother.

The guys spending time together discussing where and how to find women – from working out at the gym to creating online dating profiles – provider some comedic scenes that were cute and funny as well as to be highly appreciated in a very dramatice episode.

“La Mission” at the University of Southern California Los Angeles

La Mission will feature in the event Surviving the Intersections: Filmmakers Take on Race, Gender and Sexuality, organised by the University of Southern California Los Angeles.

The event is scheduled on Saturday, February 4, 2012, 2:00 – 9:00 pm, at the University Park Campus / Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre and Tina Mabry’s Mississippi Damned and Lydia Nibley’s Two Spirits will be screened along with La Mission. A panel featuring filmmakers – including Peter Bratt – and scholars will critically reflect on family dynamics, cultures of violence and what it means to live at the intersections. Admission is free.

New Episode of Private Practice on TV Tonight

The twelfth episode of Private Practice season 5, Losing Battles, airs tonight on ABC, at 10/9 c.

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Synopsis:

Just as Violet’s personal life takes a turn for the better with Scott, the paramedic, Joanna (the abused woman she met at the airport months earlier) arrives in need of urgent medical attention, being both pregnant and badly beaten; Cooper, Charlotte and Amelia all counsel Erica on the toughest decision of her life; and Addison and Jake meet with potential surrogates.

New Episode of Private Practice on TV Tonight

The eleventh episode of Private Practice season 5, The Standing Eight Count, airs tonight on ABC, at 10/9 c.

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Synopsis:

Pete, Violet, Sam and Addison adjust to their new, singles lives in different ways. Addison questions how much she wants a baby and confides in Jake, Violet considers an offer to go on a date with a young, hot paramedic, and Sam and Pete have a bachelors’ night at a local bar. Meanwhile, Charlotte faces a personal, ethical dilemma when Amelia uncovers a secret about Mason’s mom, Erica, and Sheldon refuses to bend to the pressure when an old friend from the police force wants him to rubber stamp a fellow cop suffering from PTSD.

“Private Practice”, Season 5, Episodes 10, “Are You My Mother?”: Review

Synopsis:

Cooper struggles with whether or not to punish Mason after he catches him stealing; Pete and Violet find it hard to split time with Lucas now that they’re living apart; Addison makes changes in her home life to prepare for a potential new baby; Violet and Jake work with two women and a man involved in a polyamorous triad; meanwhile Amelia returns to the practice and realizes how badly she hurt Sheldon when she was abusing drugs.

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After a hiatus of almost two months, Private Practice was finally back on TV last Thursday. Last we saw Amelia had left rehab, Violet and Pete had agreed to split up, and Addison was staring at a pregnancy test. We pick back up with Pete and Violet still split up, Amelia still clean, and Addison… not pregnant. Some time has obviously passed, but I think the missing scene was needed, as it is, I feel like Addison moved on from trying to give birth to a baby to trying to adopt one (as well as meet with a social worker and even the birthmother) a bit too quickly and effortlessly.

However, we find Addison moving all of her things back to her place from Sam’s, sensing the social worker that is coming to visit would not understand her living with her boyfriend who does not want a child. Addison’s social worker gives Addison the third degree about safety locks and the dangers of the nearby ocean, and is seemingly troubled by an errant pair of men’s shoes, but she quickly approves Addison for adoption and Addison soon gets to meet a prospective birth mother, Melanie, a college student. Things seems to work out well between Addison and Melanie at first and I sensed Addison holding high hopes she would get the baby, but once the baby (a girl) is born, Melanie decides to go with a two-parent household from her church, with a stay at home mom, so the little girl will have more attention. I admit I was shocked by how the whole things played out. I expected Melanie to change her mind about giving her baby up for adoption and keep her, instead, but telling Addison she will give her daughter to someone else because, though she thinks Addison rocks as a person and doctor, she was worried about who would be there to look after her little girl is cruel and I can understand how Addison was crushed (she was basically told that she is a great person and an excellent doctor, but this won’t make her a good mother).

To make things worse for Addison, she and Sam ultimately broke up. This wasn’t surprising, the matter here was how long it would have taken them to realize and acknowledge that they just don’t want the same things, but I can feel Addison’s pain, left without Sam and without the baby she so much wants, at least for now.

Honestly, I didn’t care too much for the medical case of the week involving the “polyamorous triad”. I think it was random and their demise was predictable. The sub-plot was only interesting to highlight how judgemental all the Private Practice doctors can be when their own love lives are weird and to show that they are still doing what put them into trouble at the end of season 4; they just keep ignoring doctor-patient confidentiality. Only two doctors at the practice are treating the triad, so only two should be discussing them.

Meanwhile, Cooper caught Mason shoplifting some cards from a toy store and is unsure how to handle it. He wants to remain the cool guy in Mason’s life and leave the punishment and discipline to Erica. Both Sam and Charlotte point out that he can’t do that, if he wants to be an actual father. I felt like Mason is too young for the “You’re not my dad, your just a guy who got my mom pregnant” line that he used, but Cooper gets through to him and coordinates punishment with him, while promising to always be there for him. I think Mason is really helping Cooper mature.

Sheldon is having a hard time forgiving Amelia for crushing him. Charlotte takes him to a gun range and suggests to stay away from Amelia and get his feelings out via firearms. However, though Amelia is still re-learning the day-to-day and not ready to deal with someone else’s feelings and start a new relationship, I think she could really use a friend and isn’t in a good state of mind to be constantly rejected: hopefully, Charlotte will be there for her in the future as much as she’s been in this episode.

Separation seems like the best option for Violet and Pete at the moment and they are trying to set rules that will give Lucas some stability, but I get the feeling that they might be hoping they can get back together, one day.

“Modern Family” Season 3 Episode 11, “Lifetime Supply”, Review

Synopsis:

After having a doctor’s visit but then missing the call with the test results, Phil automatically jumps to conclusions and starts saying his goodbyes. Meanwhile Javier pops up unannounced again and takes Manny to the horse races for a belated birthday celebration, and a subtle competition ensues when Mitchell brings home an environmental law award and it becomes a game of who has the bigger trophy.

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Modern Family returned in the new year with an episode, Lifetime Supply, that perhaps lacked the humor that came to be expected of the show, but it had a focus that the show has been lacking lately, with three storylines instead of the usual four, one from each household (the Dunphys, the Pritchett-Delgados and the Pritchett-Tuckers), that brought everyone together in the end.

The story that will eventually brings all three plots together finds Phil at the doctor’s for a physical where he is told he needs further tests. The doctor tells Phil that he’ll call if there’s anything wrong and Phil freaks out when he misses the doctor’s call next morning and he can’t reach him. On the same day that Phil misses a call from his doctor he also runs out of what was supposed to be a ‘lifetime’ supply of razors that he won on a game show and he is convinced that the end of a lifetime supply is a sign that his life may be ending.

However, the episode is far more about competition than it was about the lifetime supply of razors that Phil won in the 1990s that gave it its title.

Jay and Manny are planning a golf outing when Manny’s dad, smooth-talking Javier, shows up. Javier wants to take Manny to the horse races, where Javier has a system for winning big, and Gloria insists that Jay accompany them. At the track Manny is caught between his two dads, each trying to give the boy life lessons through horseracing. Jay likes to make an educated bet by doing research and going with the horse favored to win. Javier’s method is to look the horses in their eyes and listen to them, a system is perfectly suited not only to win but to cause Jay endless irritation. Naturally, Javier wins big and Jay is left flabbergasted by his continued failures culminating in a dumb luck win that gets overturned. Jay is upset he realizes that impressing Manny was more important to him than the actual bet. While Manny isn’t really his son, with Javier very seldom around Jay feels like Manny’s real father and having Javier spending time with him and Manny reminds Jay that he is not Manny’s dad. The scenes at the track were bittersweet and gave Modern Family an emotional edge rarely seen in the show.

Meanwhile, Mitchell won an award for distinguished service in the field of environmental law and happily put his trophy on the mantleonly to find. Cam decides to put a fishing award from his teen years nest to Mitchell’s to showcase, too, because “it was a big deal when he won it.” Mitchell isn’t happy with Cam’s addition to the mantle, feels Cam is trying to upstage him and gets petty. Mitchell tells Alex his feelings about it, and she agrees with him completely. This helps him realize that he’s been acting like a teenage girl – “I’m so glad I spoke to Alex because she agreed with every single thing that I was saying,” Mitchell tells us, “which made me realize that I was acting like a 14-year-old girl!”. When Mitchell tried to make it up to him and celebrate Cam’s accomplishments by putting his trophies on the mantle (realizing that Cam had a large trophy collection), his plan fell apart when an errant mouse caused him to drop and stomp on some of the trophies. In front of Cam, naturally, who assumes the worst, and walks off as only Cam can without giving Mitchell the chance to explain.

Phil’s story plays out with the whole family on hand for the news. The whole family dropped in on Phil and Claire believing the worst, thanks to Gloria’s panic over Phil’s prognosis. The fact that the doctor was calling on a Saturday has them convinced that it must be bad news. Instead, the doctor is calling about a real estate listing; and Phil’s tests came back normal.

BTW, Lifetime Supply” was watched by 13.98 million people, up by almost 1.8m viewers from the last original episode. Modern Family finished first in the key adults 18-49 demographic with a 5.6/14 rating, up from the last episode’s 5.1/13 rating back on December 7th.

New Episode of Private Practice on TV Tonight

The tenth episode of Private Practice season 5, Are You My Mother?, airs tonight on ABC, at 10/9 c.

Sneak Peeks and the promo are available on YouTube:

Private Practice Promo – 5×10 – Are You My Mother?

Private Practice Sneak Peek – 5×10 – Are You My Mother?

Private Practice Sneak Peek #2 – 5×10 – Are You My Mother?

Private Practice Sneak Peek #3 – 5×10 – Are You My Mother?

Benjamin Bratt on Tonight’s Episode of “Modern Family”

Benjamin Bratt returns as Javier Delgado on Modern Family‘s episode Lifetime Supply, airing on ABC tonight at 9/8 c.

Previews featuring Benjamin can be viewed at

Modern Family Preview Clip of Season 3, Episode 11: Javier Surprises Manny in “Lifetime Supply”

Modern Family Preview Clip of Season 3, Episode 11: Manny Makes a Bet in “Lifetime Supply”

 

January Showings of “Abandon” and “La Mission” on Showtime

Abandon is showing on Sho Next on

  • Sunday, January 1, at 10:15 pm
  • Saturday, January 7, at 8:00 pm
  • Friday, January 13, at 11:05 am
  • Sunday, January 22, at 6:15 pm
  • Thursday, January 26, at 10:00 pm
  • Monday, January 30, at 11:05 pm.

La Mission is showing on Shotime Showcase on

  • Wednesday, January 18, at 12:25 pm.

All times are ET/PT.