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


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.


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.

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