The fall television schedule for me was always synonymous with back to school. The horror of beginning another school year was always offset by the return of my favorite shows. Now, for the first time in 16 years, I don’t have to go back to school. I have mixed feelings about that, but at least fall television is back! While everyone else is preparing to study for tests and sitting through lectures all day, I get to replace after-school homework with after-work television watching. And I couldn’t be more excited about that.
I watched the very first season of Private Practice, Greys Anatomy’s less popular yet just as good spin off. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t continue watching seasons two and three. So I spent the summer catching up, and now I am excited for season four to begin on September 23. So since it’s fresh in my head, I am going to recap what I feel are the five best episodes of this medical drama, and get more prepared for the season premiere.
5. Season 2, Episode 4 “Past Tense”
This episode was big for three reasons: one, Cooper and Charlotte’s relationship moves from just sex to having an actual conversation, which was big for both of them. Second, Pete’s ex-girlfriend Meg shows up, and their relationship picks back up. In later season two episodes, Pete cheats on Meg with Violet, and they start a relationship. Because of Meg, however, Pete realizes his feelings for Violet, so she’s important to the tone of the show. Finally, everyone at the practice wants Sam and Naomi to decide once and for all who should run the practice. Instead of reaching a decision, the two of them decide to put it to a vote. At the end of the episode, Addison is chosen to run the practice instead of Sam or Naomi, further straining Addison and Naomi’s friendship.
4. Season 2, Episode 19 “What Women Want”
On this episode of Private Practice, we meet Katie, a seemingly nice pregnant girl. Katie had some bad things happen in her life, so she was a patient of Violet’s even before she got pregnant. She is very excited to be giving birth to her baby girl. When Addison looks at the ultrasound, however, she discovers that the fetus has died. Convinced they are lying, Katie runs away. At the end of the episode, Katie leads everyone to believe that she has accepted the fact that her baby is dead. Three episodes later, however, she believes that Violet’s full term baby is her own, so she drugs Violet and cuts the baby from her. That season ended on a cliff-hanger, all dealing with Katie’s various psychological issues and Violet’s life hanging in the balance. Another important part of this episode is Addison’s feelings for a fellow doctor, whose pregnant wife happens to be her patient. So she tries to break up with her patient because she doesn’t feel right about the fact that they have feelings for each other. The wife convinces her to stay, however, because she has already suffered two miscarriages, and needs this baby. Addison agrees because she genuinely cares about this woman and her child.
3. Season 3, Episode 19 “Eyes Wide Open”
This was a great episode for many reasons. First, Derek Sheppard’s (Patrick Dempsey’s character in Greys Anatomy) little sister Amelia is introduced. She used to be the wild child in the Sheppard family, and now she is a brain surgeon, just like her older brother. She is on the team of a world famous neurosurgeon who was brought in to continue the three episode link of Kayla, a surrogate mother pregnant with triples who is now brain dead. Her husband wants to pull the plug on her because he believes that she would not want to live this way, but the parents of the triples want to keep her alive because of the babies. In the previous episode, he illegally pulled the plug, but she was breathing on her own. There was still a shot for her to live, so she had brain surgery performed by Amelia against everyone’s objections. All turns out well, however, as the babies are healthy and Kayla wakes up. Addison also decides that while she loves Sam, she can love Pete too, so they decide to try and make it work both for them and for Lucas. Then, Violet returns from her open-ended Costa Rica trip and decides that she wants to be Lucas’s mom again. She is shocked to find Addison currently playing that role. This was good because while it signaled a breakthrough for Addison and Pete, it also marked the beginning of the end when Violet showed up.
2. Season 3, Episode 23 “The End of A Beautiful Friendship”
The season 3 finale was an incredibly emotional one, and a bookend hospital trip to match the premiere as another one of their own was in trouble. We saw Violet come full circle by getting over the trauma of being attacked a year earlier and her and Pete finally able to raise Lucas together. Addison got with Sam, something that had been promised for the second half of the season. Cooper proposed to Charlotte, and she accepted. The pivotal story of the episode, however, was how Naomi was ready to be there for Maya when she needed it most, as she fought for her life and the life of her baby. Maya and Dell were in a car accident on the way to deliver Maya’s baby, and she suffered a spinal injury. Had it not been for Amelia, both could have died. Instead, the baby was healthy and Maya will walkt again. Unfortunately, in the midst of worrying about Maya, everyone forgot about Dell, and he suffered major brain bleeds and died. There were several heartbreaking scenes involving Dell and his daughter Betsey, but in the end, the character development in this episode was off the charts. I feel like everyone became who they were supposed to be after three seasons on the air, so I’m excited to see how much farther they will go in seasons to come.
1. Season 3, Episode 7 “The Hard Part”
It was a toss-up between this episode and the season 3 finale, but I liked this episode best out of the series so far because we saw an emotional aspect to Addison that we hadn’t seen yet. She dealt with horrible parents, a strained relationship with her brother, cheating on her husband, being cheated on, and huge fights with her best friends, etc. But through it all, she never seemed to actually lose it. She can be emotional at times; she’s not a robot, but she doesn’t lose her cool. But in this episode, she and Sam were hiking when they came across a terribly injured man and his pregnant wife trapped in their totaled car. There was no one around for miles and they were more than three miles away from civilization. And to top that all off, the wife was going into labor. Addison eventually got trapped in the car with the pregnant wife, and they bonded. Addison ultimately delivered the baby, though it was very difficult. In the end, however, the wife died in Addison’s arms. She was distraught by this, and she did indeed lose it. It showed that despite her very complicated and often disappointing personal life, her patients mean the most to her. Being a doctor is what is important in her life, above everything. I found it as kind of a personal breakthrough for her.