“Private Practice”, Season 5, Episode 17, “The Letting Go”: Review

Sheldon warns Sam that he may be in over his head when he insists on releasing Corinne from the hospital and caring for her at home; a badly beaten Scott arrives at the ER and is placed under the care of Pete; Amelia is encouraged to make a decision about her unborn child; and Jake’s daughter grills him on his love life when he visits her at college. Meanwhile, Erica’s health takes a turn for the worse.

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Interestingly, although a large part of The Letting Go takes place in the hospital, there is no formal patient in this episode, that is no one-off stranger whose medical crisis amazingly relates to whatever crisis the treating doctor is going through in their personal life, but rather only familiar faces were the patients.

The Letting Go is a moving episode, with the most heartbreaking scene when Mason and Erica say their goodbyes to one another, and then Mason runs out of the room breaking down in Charlotte’s arms. I can entirely understand Erica’s wanting her son to only remember her at her very best and wanting to protect him, so she couldn’t handle having him be there as her body shuts down. Meanwhile, Cooper and Charlotte are amazing with Mason and incredibly honest with him about his mother’s deteriorating health. Poor Mason is lucky to have them at his side to help him pick up the pieces.  I only wonder… when Amelia told her she was full of tumors and only had few days to live she seemed sad and apologetic, but not overly surprised. Was Erica being monitored? If they thought the cancer could spread, why didn’t they follow up the tumor removal with chemo and radiation?

Elsewhere, Jake pays visit to his stepdaughter, Angela, at college and I couldn’t help but smile at how awkward their conversation is, with Angela telling him about losing her virginity and grilling him about his love life. How many girls would be that excited to share and seem to expect their father to be excited about their budding sex life? Few, I suspect. However, much as Angela was honest about her sex life, Jake was honest in describing Addison as beautiful but even a bit frustrating.

Honestly, I feel like they dragged Sam’s storyline with his sister a bit too long. Corinne throwing herself through a plate-glass door was a pretty strong warning that he couldn’t care for her without help, but Sam is still determined to be there for his sister, in spite of that and of Corinne confessing she is having suicidal thoughts: his love and fear of abandoning her prevent him from putting her in a care facility. It is only when he has to shove the pills down her throat that he decides to do what he knows is right for his sister.  Corinne begs, pleads, and promises to be good, but, in the end, Sam, although despondent, has her hospitalized in an in-patient facility.

Amelia decided to keep her baby and tell Addison about her pregnancy. Sheldon was helpful as ever and stated again how he wanted to be there for Amelia no matter what. I feel it was not nice (not sensitive?) of Amelia to repeatedly say you’re having the love of your life’s baby to a different guy who clearly loves you. You could see that every time Amelia repeated “Ryan’s baby,” it was a stab for Sheldon His offer of baggy clothes and a hideaway so Amelia wouldn’t have to tell baby-hungry Addison she’s pregnant was sweet, but just acted as another example of how poor doormat Sheldon seems determined to put himself in situations that get his heart trampled on. On the bright side, in spite of Amelia’s fears, Addison is genuinely happy for her, once she learns Amelia is expecting a baby.

Finally, as he watches Pete and Violet interact after he was brought into hospital and placed under Pete’s care, Scott realizes Violet is only there for him out of a sense of responsibility, so he tells her he doesn’t want to stand in the way of Violet’s family with Pete and, therefore, that their relationship is over, proving to be the only adult in the whole Violet-Pete mess.

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