“Private Practice” Season Finale: “To Change the Things I Can”

Addison is trying to make a change in her life. Her first order of business is flirting with the handsome man (guest star Benjamin Bratt) she meets in the pineapple aisle of the supermarket. Addison wants to live in the present with pineapple guy. He’s game, if living in the present means kissing a woman he just met. It does. Wow, Addy is really embracing that “change” philosophy.

Violet receives word that they are suspending her license for six months. Now the medical board is going after everyone else at Oceanside. The lawyers advise the group to either defend themselves or dissolve the practice and hope the board doesn’t go after them individually. Tough call. Tough call, indeed.

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It looks like there’s a lot happening to the practice as a whole and to all the character (it is a season finale, so I guess it was to be expected), the 12-step sobriety mantra could definitely come in handy for everyone at Oceanside in this season finale: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Violet has her medical license suspended, now she is under investigation as is the practice, and she thinks this is the perfect time to go on a book tour, despite Pete’s objections. Meanwhile, Naomi ponders a proposal from Fife, Addison considers taking a trip with a handsome stranger she has just met, Amelia slides back into alcoholism, Charlotte struggles to counsel a rape survivor, and Cooper talks down a father who wants to euthanize his daughter.

The practice is its own character in this episode, as the medical board is now investigating the whole group in light of Violet’s suspension. Only Sam appears ready to fight to preserve Oceanside Wellness, nobody else seems as convinced, not even their lawyers. Addison gave the practice a viable plan to survive. She suggests they dissolve the practice and, with her own money, she’ll put up the financing to restart it again under a different name. I wonder if it is reasonable to assume that the move will throw the medical investigators off will do anything substantial to get them (the doctors) out of trouble. I also wonder though if what Ocean Wellness is investigated for (a group of doctors working together consulting with one another about their patients) is something a practice would be investigated in reality (I wouldn’t, unless doctors shared information with someone outside the practice or the medical profession without their patients’ permission). However, the doctors seems to have been pulled in a variety of directions, and a crisis like this may be just what they need to refocus and decide what to do next.

Violet went through a horrific ordeal in the past and has a tendency to run away when things get tough. Violet sees leaving on a book tour as a way to keep busy in a professionally satisfying way in a moment when her medical career is stalled, but Pete’s point of view is understandable, considered Violet’s history (her leaving on a book tour in a time when she and the practice are under investigation because of her book, leaving her husband and kid behind can be seen as selfishly avoiding respobility, can’t it?). However, neither Violet nor Pete seem willing to look at the other side . As for the last scene (quite a dramatic way to end the season), Pete is showing signs of illness throughout the episode, and with the added stress of the procedure that did not go well on that little girl and of Violet leaving, that was the day, so it isn’t a total shock. Hopefully, Violet will give up her book tour and come home to care for her family.

Meanwhile, poor Amelia is back to alcoholism. Not only drinking, but drinking and cutting. At least Charlotte had the guts and good sense to revoke her hospital privileges, but as the last scene with her was in a bar playing pool and drunk, it does not appear that she will be attending the AA meeting Charlotte is pleading her to attend anytime soon. Charlotte, instead, comes through beautifully in helping a patient who’s been abused and raped, a case bringing back old demons for Charlotte, and giving some much needed advice to Cooper along the way, Cooper who is faced with a tough decision. Should he help a father end his daughter’s life, when she is comatose and doesn’t have much of a life left? It is a moral quandary coming after a failed procedure he and Pete performed that was supposed to give the girl more time to live. I like it when doctors try every avenue to help their patients, but isn’t part of their deal to do what is best for the patient? I feel like they might have lost sight of that in that case. At first, two additional years of life sounds like it is in her best interest, but then you look at the toll it is taking on her parents and even her and you wonder if she shouldn’t just be able to live her life out as it is. However, Cooper handles the father with grace and care, in a way few people could.

I admit being a little disappointed in Addison. During a meeting with her therapist, she acknowledges that everything in her life is fine, but she feels disconnected, depressed, and misses Sam. Her therapist told her to change and do something new, but I’m pretty sure he did not mean go to Fiji with someone you’ve just met and whose name you don’t know. It is a total mistake for Addison to fall back into Pete’s bed.  There is a good, solid reason why they ended their relationship, and it isn’t going away. At least Addison told Sam that she had every intention of having a baby whether she was with him or not. But it was good that Addison pulled herself together and gave the practice a viable plan to survive.

It was nice to see Naomi and Betsy together and how good they seem to get along, as it was nice to see Naomi and Addison back to being best friends. I was happy that Addisono and Sam managed to convince Naomi that if she has an opportunity to be happy, she should take it, because she deserves it, so Naomi decides to move to NYC with Fife.

“Private Practice” leaves us wondering whoAddison’s new friend is: a doctor (with Naomi gone, the practice might need a new doctor), a lawyer, or a medical consultant/medical investigator (Addison mentioned their possibly needing one in their new practice). Well, I guess that makes a suspenseful ending, so that people are back watching the series next autumn. Benjamin Bratt discussed playing the new character with TV Guide: Private Practice Finale Scoop: Who Is Addison’s New Mystery Man?

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