Like watching women give birth? Then you'll love this episode of Private Practice! It was baby boom time around the Oceanside Wellness Group this week, as three sets of doctors got to deliver three babies with three different guest-starring patients, including Sara Gilbert as a pregnant woman who held up a convenience store. There was a lot of contraction-groaning and baby-wailing, in the midst of which came a proposal by Violet to have casual sex with Cooper, so to talk about all the drama, just
From the very beginning, Private Practice has put a lot of emphasis on its medical cases, and this episode struck me as another instance of letting the guest stars carry the show. That was fine by me — I'm fond of Sprague Grayden, who played the widowed Susan, and Sara Gilbert does that crazy/damaged thing so well these days — but it's a curious choice. At this point in the series, I wish I were marveling at how Kate Walsh or Tim Daly or any one of the show's big names played a scene, but the guest actors stick with me a lot more.
I wonder if this episode would have been better with just one subplot in addition to Sam's holdup in the convenience store. That's one of the first big, dramatic main-character-in-danger plots this show has tried, but I never felt the tension; it seemed like a given that Sam was going to find a way to calm Gilbert's character down, deliver the baby, and help her and the baby's father reconcile. It had a couple of nice moments ("Dr. Feel," not "Dr. Phil"), but it didn't carry the episode for me.
On the other hand, I was surprisingly touched by Addison and Pete's story with Susan, who'd lost her husband and couldn't relinquish control of her child's birth. Her life was already one big plan B; she clearly didn't want her labor going down that path, too. Addison climbing in the birthing tub with Susan was a moving scene; it reminded me that Oceanside is a chance for Addison and the others to do more personal medicine. (I also liked the small army of LAPD cops showing up to support Susan, even if she didn't want to see them.)
Some other thoughts:
- Oh, Addison and Pete: Destined to screw each other over, yet be magnetically drawn to each other anytime they're in the same room. They're really stretching out the reveal of Pete's backstory, but I also think that's true to his character — reserved on the surface, deeper underneath. Addison, meanwhile, might be feeling some sparks with this David Sutcliffe character. I wonder how they'll be keeping him in the story.
- Meanwhile, I'm still struggling to get invested in Sam and Naomi, but that last scene with them hooking up was fantastic. Can anyone out there persuade me to love them?
- The woman who was so upset over having a boy was the lightest of the plots, and as such, it had some of the best lines. I liked this exchange with her husband: "I hang with the boys." "Upside down! Out windows! That's not any help!"
- Cooper! Good for him for not giving into the easy, but certainly heartbreaking, temptation to have casual sex with Violet. Best exchange:
Cooper: "I'm getting laid tonight!"
Pete: "Congratulations! What's your screen name?"
- I'm still not feeling the best-friendship between Addison and Naomi, but I do like the little touches the writers are giving their relationship — like Naomi cautioning Addison that being with Pete wouldn't be changing.
What did you think? Were all the baby stories sweet or just too much? And do you think any moments will end up locked in your version of the "Dell vault"?
Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.