By Nancy Kiu, Director of Medical Research
Welcome to Season 6! As you might have already noticed with this first episode, we're going about our storytelling a little differently: the bread and butter of Private Practice will still be the ethical debates, but we'll be playing with time, structure, and expectations throughout the season, and each episode will either feature an event or be told from the point-of-view of a specific character. Big things are coming this season for all our characters, and we wanted to find a big way to tell these stories. We're excited to share these episodes with you, so let's get started!
In Los Angeles, we're always holding our breath for "the big one" β be prepared, because you never know when it'll hit. But sometimes, it's not the big moments that can change your life the most β it's the little ones you never see coming.
Violet certainly didn't see it coming when Pete didn't show up for his court date, prompting every one of our characters to question whether in any given situation you run, or you stay and fight. Or, if your inclination is to do one thing, is it ever too late to change tactics and do something different? This episode questions whether Pete is a runner or a fighter, and by extension, who each of our characters are.
Pete certainly has reasons to flee β he's facing trial for the death of Troy Davis (episode 521), and he could lose his family, his medical license, and his freedom if he sticks around. By running away, he can still help people and save lives. But, should you ever give up and run from the tough problems? Is it better for a child to grow up with no parent at all, or a parent potentially in jail? Or, as Violet posits, is there ever a situation where you leave your family behind?
The idea of fight or flight pertains to our medical story as well. Ed is a recovering alcoholic, and, a father who ran his whole life. He claims it was to give his daughter and wife a better life without him, but what kind of life is it for a child raised without a parent? When he tries to make amends, Debra, who understandably has been hurt and abandoned by her father her whole life, pushes him away. But when the universe conspires to give Ed a second chance, he realizes that it's never too late to stay and fight. There's always a chance to start again.
If there's one person who has proved that you can start again, it's Amelia. Given all that she's gone through, she of all people has reason to cut and run, be it running away from the people in her life or running back to drugs and alcohol. But she's grown up, and is finally starting to come out on the other side, so much so that she now counsels and helps others. And so, as she tells Debra: for Ryan, and her baby, it's too late. But Debra and Ed are still there, and maybe it's time both father and daughter fight for their relationship.
Poor Sheldon. While Amelia is making her amends to everyone, including Sheldon, he sees Sam for an ordinary physical that causes him to reach for a stiff drink by episode's end. What happened during that physical that would cause him to go to the bottle? Whatever it was, chances are Sheldon wishes he ate that slice of cake now.
Addison, Addison, Addisonβ¦ Addison's traditional response is flight. When her marriage to Derek wasn't working out, she fled into the arms of Mark Sloan. When Derek left, she tried to fight for him by going to Seattle. When that didn't work out either, she left to start a new life in Los Angeles. As a doctor, Addison will always fight for her patient, but in her personal life, Addison's traditional response is flight, and so she needs someone who will fight for her and make her stay. Sam wouldn't fight for her or the life she wanted with a baby; at least, not until it was too late. Jake, on the other hand, knows exactly who she is β brilliant, charming, neurotic, has to get up at five a.m. so she can be stunning in the morning, has a tendency to run - and he has been willing to fight for her and Henry this whole time. He proves it by moving in with Addison, as opposed to running for the hills when Addison gives him the chance. Even if it means he won't sleep as well at her place.
Welcome Stephanie! Stephanie has made her choice β she would save the juice over the pancakes (in order to actually save the pancakes!). And Sam has made his β he's moved on from his failed proposal to Addison, and is even making Stephanie breakfast in bed. But is a relationship real if your friends don't know about it? There are different ways to run β you can hide from the truth or deny something exists. As Stephanie says, "When a guy doesn't tell his friends, you don't know where you stand." But if a relationship is out, then it's real. Well, now we know where she stands, and we're excited to see more from her in the coming episodes!
Charlotte has gone from never really wanting to be a mother to being a happy mom to Mason, but now she's pregnant β with triplets! Cooper is predictably ecstatic, but Charlotte wants to run away from additional motherhood; it's not for her. And while there is a chance that removing an IUD can cause a spontaneous miscarriage, unfortunately for Charlotte, it doesn't happen in this case. After all, her doctor is Addison Forbes Montgomery. Will Charlotte stop fighting the inevitability of her situation and come around to the idea of more kids? After all, Cooper's Phelpsian swimmers beat the big bad IUD to the point where it's not one, not two, but three towheaded Charlies that Charlotte is carrying. Much like in Ed's case, somebody out in the universe really wanted this to happen.
But when the universe gives, it can also take. And it took Pete from Violet, and from our Practice. Pete, who proved ultimately that he never fled β he stayed and fought for his family, his freedom, and the right to defend his actions. But that wasn't enough, and the universe had other plans for him. And with every new beginning comes an ending.
Sometimes, it's the little earthquakes that can rock your world the most.