Full Release/In Which We Say Goodbye
By Nancy Kiu, Director of Medical Research
Every single character started out this season facing big changes in their lives, and each episode that followed showcased a character and how they dealt with those changes, specifically in the time between when Charlotte finds out she was pregnant in episode 601 and when she finally gives birth to the CoopLettes in episode 612. The penultimate episode brings all the stories back together, and in the final episode, the show jumps ahead 3 months to find out, well, what a difference a year truly makes.
But let's back up for a moment. All season long we've been waiting to meet the CoopLettes, and for a time the goal was to make sure they didn't come out prematurely. How ironic, then, that once Charlotte's water actually breaks, the kids are now taking their sweet time coming out into the world. This break turns out to be a boon for everyone else though, as it gives all the characters time to put closure to everything they've faced this season.
Addison learned to stay and fight for the relationship she wanted without compromising herself and her needs, and she found herself with a man who loved her so much that he would leave if it meant that it stood in the way of Addison getting the one thing she wanted more than anything else: to be able to legally adopt Henry. Luckily, it didn't come to that, and Addison finally gets the family she deserves. Violet started off this season with the surprise of Pete's death, and she's spent the time in between trying to find a way to move on with her life; after her life-changing encounter with the bookstore owner, it looks like she's finally ready to move forward in life and love. Cooper grows up from the man-child who used to spend all his time and money on porn and expensive gadgets to a father who does what it takes to provide for his family, while Charlotte grows from a woman who never thought she'd be a mother to a fierce loving mother of triplets. Amelia finally and truly shakes off the demons of her past, which allows her to look forward to a future with James. And Sheldon… that fateful check up that Sam performed way back in the beginning of the season, brought both the most terrifying reality check in Sheldon's life and also the best thing to ever happen to him. Because if Sam didn't do that test ,and if Sheldon didn't decide to face his fears about his own mortality, he never would have met the love of his life. Everyone's come a long way since the beginning of the season, and the series!
So now that everyone's in a good place, where do we go in the finale?
To truly come full circle, we have to look at the relationship that started it all – Addison and Naomi. Addison may have gotten her happy ending, but she and Naomi have unfinished business left to tend to. When Addison first moved to Los Angeles, she discovered that Sam and Naomi's relationship had dissolved; Sam gave up, was unwilling to fight for it. And so it's only fitting that Addison, who this season truly learned herself how to fight for something you care about, is who ultimately unites Naomi and Sam back together, and brings her best friend home to the family that they've made here at Seaside Health and Wellness. And with that, everything may have finally come full circle, but it is not the end. Because as Sam tells Violet: the story of all their lives is not yet finished, the book that is their lives is a work in progress. And so Private Practice ends, as a work in progress - this show and these characters, they live on, loving, fighting, meddling, over sharing, and endlessly debating, like the family they've grown to become and the family we've grown to love.