The Husband:

Whenever Grey’s Anatomy is in doubt, it always returns to one theme — family. In a lot of ways it’s the basis of this show, and it’s incredibly smart as a backup in case things get a little too wild at Seattle Grace. Because, with very few exceptions, those who become doctors are usually either following in their parents’ footsteps or they’re pressured into the field by the same people, and especially in the case of these residents, they often cannot escape their parents’ shadows no matter how hard they try.

While Callie deals with last week’s visit from her dad and his ultimatum that she either leave Seattle and her gay lover and move back to Miami or lose her trust, that parent hole is filled not once, not twice but thrice this week in various forms.

You still get breast implants, even if youre dying of skin cancer!

You still get breast implants, even if you're dying of skin cancer!

First up is Sharon Lawrence, done ruining everybody’s life over on Privileged (I swear I’ll get to a wrap-up on that show one day, especially if it gets renewed), showing up in all her crazy glory as Izzie’s ignorant trailer park mother. She’s completely baffled that she had to come all the way up to metropolitan Washington just to hear that he daughter simply has skin cancer — which she mistakenly equates as “just a mole” and not at all fatal like breast cancer — until Izzie lets her in on a few pretty well-known facts about tumors, the fact that the skin is indeed an organ, and that cancer spreads. To get her off Izzie’s back, Bailey comes in and tells the both of them that the cancer is disappearing, but once Ms. Lawrence is gone, informs Izzie that no matter how hard they try, this cancer doesn’t seem to be going away. The show did a good job of making Sharon Lawrence just annoying enough so that we appreciated her appearance but probably never want to see her again.

Meredith and Lexi, meanwhile, have some major family damage control ahead of them as their father, now out of rehab and dealing with his alcoholism, is trying to ask their forgiveness for all the horrible things he has done to both of them and their respective dead mothers. But this is too tough for Meredith, and so she takes out her aggression on the Case of the Week.

But what is this case of the week? Well, imagine a three-person family. Now imagine the father continually beating the mother and sometimes the under-ten-years-of-age daughter. Now imagine the daughter getting cut on the face and also watching her father break her mother’s arm, and then proceeding to grab his gun and shooting him 17 times. At the hospital, it doesn’t take long to figure out that the shooting wasn’t an accident, but the wife is such a pushover that she tries to get the daughter to apologize to the [slowly] recovering dad for her reaction, when she was just defending herself. Meredith can’t have this, not another woman in her life getting bullied around, and so she berates the mother for not standing up to the abuse and setting a good example for her daughter. Finally, the mother gathers the courage to say goodbye to the father forever, and that they would be too far away once he recovered for him to find them.

But Meredith’s outburst has consequences, and the Chief gets on her case for being unprofessional and getting her feelings involved in something that doesn’t concern her. This nearly leads to Meredith’s firing, but Derek has a one-on-one with the Chief and makes him painfully aware that he is treating Meredith not like an employee but as a daughter, as the Chief had a decades-long affair with Meredith’s mother, one that didn’t really lead to anything but confusion and emotional messiness.

I like how this episode dealt with the old GA notion of family. Not that it was great, because it was just a-okay. But at least it wasn’t like season 3 when it seemed that everybody’s parent was dying, first Meredith’s crazy mother, then Lexi’s mother, then George’s father, until it just seemed like cheap soap opera tactics. Unfortunately, the familial focus pushed the Owen-Cristina drama to the side to a point where even their emotional conversation at episode’s end, where Owen reveals that he’s been seeing a shrink to get to a place where he could be the right man for Cristina, didn’t really hold a lot of weight. Oh well, only two episodes to go, and it’s pretty damn clear that it’s all going to be about the Meredith-Derek wedding and Izzie’s cancer. Who knows if anything will get solved other than those two things. And who knows if George is going to be given any figment of a story this season.

But it’s season finale time on Private Practice, and they’ve got a doozy of a Moral Quandary with which to contend. (My wife is right; this show should absolutely be renamed Moral Quandary.) When two women have their embryos planted, Naomi makes the horrible discovery that they’re carrying each other’s babies, which at the very least is no good for the struggling practice. But even worse is that the embryo that belongs in Robin Weigert’s belly is her last egg and the last bit of sperm from her dead husband, and the woman carrying this last effort baby wants to terminate it as it doesn’t feel right, and doesn’t want Robin Weigert carrying her baby. For once, I’m with the decision to actually keep the damn babies where they are and not terminate, because they’re both going to come out anyway, and they’ll still be the baby you, non-Robin Weigert, wanted as a result of your money and your effort with this in vitro fertilization. You’ll still get the experience, you’ll still get the genetic connection, and you won’t fuck with Robin Weigert’s poor brain. Fortunately, the non-Robin Weigert finally comes to her senses and realizes how ridiculous she and her husband are being.

But this is the season finale, and you want to know how it ended, right? I’ll make it easy for you.

Dell: His baby mama comes back into town with their daughter demanding $10,000 for the child, but even when Sam gives Dell the money, Dell takes his child and shames the mother into not taking the money, something that would just wreck her drug-addled brain even more. And finally forgiven for his attitude over the past few weeks (and the mistake that led to the embryo switch), he is absolved and given back his patients and his midwivery.

Addison: Still trying not to get it on with Dr. Swingtown despite her attraction to him, she convinces him to stay with his wife, but right before his wife is to give birth, they have a near-fucking until both their pagers ring. As far as I could tell, their relationship is still up in the air, which is difficult especially now that his wife is starting to grow suspicious.

Pete: Finally wins Violet’s heart as she chooses him over Sheldon as her man, despite Sheldon’s marriage proposal.

Sam: Declares that he is still in love with Naomi.

Naomi: After much inner debating, she takes the job as director of Pacific Wellcare.

Charlotte: Is fired as director of Pacific Wellcare for, basically, not having a heart, which finally breaks this very strong woman.

Cooper: Is about to take care of a ready-to-burst Violet, when he gets the call from Charlotte that she desperately needs him now. He is unaware of the horror that is about to occur on the other side of that door to Violet’s house.

DOOM AWAITS YOU!!!!!

DOOM AWAITS YOU!!!!!

Violet: And what horror? It seems that that bit of insane psychology I bitched about a few weeks ago in re: Amanda Foreman’s character, the crazy lady who tried to continue on with her pregnancy despite the baby being dead inside of her, finally returned to bite everyone in the ass, as Ms. Foreman comes to Violet’s door, knocks her out with a quick syringe to the arm, and then proceeds to tell Violet that she stole her baby out of her and was gestating it herself. In short, Amanda Foreman gon’ cut that baby out of Violet. Violet, realizing that she is finally trapped at without question at the end of her life, tells Ms. Foreman how to give a C-section correctly, which while killing Violet, would save the child. And as the scalpel is about to cut into skin, the season ends.

Ahhhhh Private Practice. How shameless you are. And how shameless and fascinating and sad of a cliffhanger to go out on. We have at least four months to figure out what’s going to happen — I’m just gonna guess that come September, Pete or Sheldon is going to bust through that door and knock that bitch out, but it seems that you never know with Shonda Rhimes. I never grew tired of PP this year (while I did at least three times with GA), so that bodes well for this addictive trifle of a primetime soap. Do I realize that this show is pretty ridiculous and probably bad for my brain? Yes. But will I apologize for watching, nay, enjoying it? Hell naw.

Oh Shonda Rhimes, how will you try to hurt me next season?

The Husband:

We hit a hiatus, y’all, with this here Shonda Rhimes Land, a world of moral quandaries, career-threatening neuroses and, basically, patients behaving right on the edge between extreme human behavior and outright lunacy. Would we want it any other way?

I don’t know if it was the break, or the fact that I watched Grey’s Anatomy on a Friday night after a very long and confusing week at work, but I had an extremely tough time re-entering any of the various stories tossed my way. Every once in a while, something happens with a show like this or, say, Numb3rs or Criminal Minds or Castle, where things get so repetitive, in dialogue and/or stories, that I will catch myself near the end of a scene literally being unable to understand words that are coming out of the actors’ mouths, as if they aren’t saying words but are actually droning “manananananananabloobloobloo” on and on. At least with Criminal Minds, the show is so fast that if I come across one of these scenes, I only need to wait a few more seconds and the BAU team will be in a completely different location staring at some other unsub. But with this week’s GA, there were at least five scenes of brain gibberish, and I draw the line at three. The silly feud between Derek and Mark, especially, devolved into gibberish, as I stopped listening once they were bickering over an open body during surgery. Good one, guys.

And it’s not like the director was making sure I gave a shit, either, because he took a scene that could have been harrowing (a suicidal patient running amok in the hospital, and then running through a window and smashing the car below him) and made it the funniest scene of the week via godawful special effects, rendering what should have been a great stunt into a digital mess that clearly involved no actual human beings. Even the glass breaking was fake. Really? You can’t afford some goddamn candy glass? I can give you an actual address if you need some.

Haaaaaave . . . you met my lesbian lover?

Haaaaaave . . . you met my lesbian lover?

The only story that seemed to really be worth a damn this week was the reappearance of Hector Elizondo as Callie’s father. There to give George a piece of his mind for cheating on his daughter and thus ensuring their divorce, he is surprised to learn that while, yes, Callie has found a new partner, she is now a raging lesbian, going to town on Jessica Capshaw’s Arizona. This devolves into a Spanish language shouting match, as Hector gives his daughter an ultimatum – come home to Miami and do your practice there, or your gigantic trust fund is completely gone. Callie’s decision is tougher than one would expect, as her father has 100% paid for her entire education and has ensured that she would focus entirely on her career and never have to scrounge for cash. He even tries to bribe the Chief with a generous donation in order to remove Callie from Seattle Grace. But Callie’s a grown woman now, and no old-fashioned, archaic bigotry is going to let her give up somebody she truly loves.

At least on Private Practice, I was thrown some shameless ethical dilemmas. How big of a deal is it that a female high school teacher starts banging a 17-year-old student only a month away from becoming an adult? Hell, at least the dude wasn’t 14. What was the problem with this arrangement was that she was giving her lover some of the medication Sam prescribed for her, and said medication had a terrible effect on the boy/man, as he was allergic to sulfa. And as my wife is allergic to sulfa, I now have a general understanding of what external symptoms would arise if she was accidentally given it. Technically, she doesn’t have whatever disorder the dude had, but that was still a narsty enough rash all over his neck and chest that I will make sure to be very clear with any doctor in the future should my wife ever need to go to the emergency room, jeebus forbid.

(Wife’s note: Yes, I have had that nasty rash more than once as a child. It’s totally unfun. And, if I recall, the anti-rash medicine tastes like cat hair. Thanks for teaching my husband to inform the ER of drug allergies, Private Practice!)

But the major, central ethical dilemma arose when a woman, 20 weeks pregnant, came into St. Ambrose with a weak heart. Flanked on both sides by her diabetic husband and his brother (who is also the woman’s nurse), she refuses to listen to Addison’s suggestion to terminate the pregnancy, even though that would be the best solution. (Basically, at this point it’s either lose the baby and live to try again, or keep the baby and tempt fate with potentially dying later on if a new heart cannot come in on time.) But a day later, her husband turns up brain dead after overdosing on insulin, and just happens to have a heart and the proper blood type to save his wife. Now, let’s ignore the fact that, after Charlotte comes in with some CSI people and halts the transplant at least an hour to make sure that the husband did not commit suicide or that the nurse (who allegedly is in love with the woman) murdered him, it comes to light that the overdose was accidental. Because that’s too coincidental, and Addison knows it.

My issue is this: whether it was a suicide or a murder, having her dead husband’s heart inside of her body in order to save a fetus is just going to fuck with the woman’s brain even more, and will definitely affect the child as it grows into a mentally damaged teenager with abandonment issues. When I told my wife of this storyline, she had very strong words to say about the woman’s original choice to keep the child, so if she wants to write a follow-up after this post, that’ll take care of discussing this particular focus on the episode. But from a strictly psychological point, it pretty much seems like bad decisions all around.

(Wife’s note: All I’m going to say is to rehash something my husband said a few weeks ago in one of these Shonda Rhimes post. You can make another baby, but you can’t make another Jennifer Westfeldt.)

Yay!

Yay!

In other Oceanside Wellness news, Naomi is being tempted to leave the practice she started to work at a better funded practice with research teams and scientists by none other than actor James Morrison, having just blown up on 24 merely a couple months ago only to reconfigurate, T-1000 style, as somebody with the same goddamn first name (Bill), and Pete realizes that he has to break up with hot single mother Idina Menzel because Violet is soon to give birth, and no matter who the father turns out to be, Pete is going to have to be there both for Violet and the child. And so, unfortunately, Ms. Menzel’s stint on Private Practice comes to a close, but at least we Rentheads got to experience a little in-joke when Idina walks through Oceanside Wellness, and Taye Diggs turns and watches her, proclaiming, “I like her.”

The Husband:

Since this isn’t technically a recap site, despite how much my wife writes recaps, that’s more of her personal stylistic choice than an agreed-upon structure. I’m more into critique, and sometimes I feel myself moving away from this stylistic choice in instances where I just have to get an article off the ground in a restricted amount of time (usually at work when I’m super-busy), or when my brain just isn’t working, because as long as you have a good memory, recapping isn’t hard. But since I’ve been way behind on both Shonda Rhimes shows, thanks to a four-day weekend in Arizona as well as me having a month-long coughing fit that has forced me out of the office and into the world of work-from-home, I think I can easily jump back into the showrunner’s world without completely overwriting anything.

First, things that have been on my mind over the last three weeks of Grey’s Anatomy.

Karev

Formerly my least favorite character on the show (and aside from Tommy Walker, perhaps of all the ABC shows I watched), I am amazed to declare that he has, post Elizabeth-Reaser-needs-a-face drama, grown into maybe Seattle Grace’s most emotionally and intellectually interesting. Who knew that banging Izzie would bring out his tender side (when that happens, that character either dies [Denny] or becomes a whiney joke version of his former self [George]), which does wonders balancing out his friendly but professionally stern bedside manner? He has become the resident you want to have next to you, thanks to his major leaps and bounds in his own medical prowess as well as being able to completely control any case that comes his way. His immaturity that completely turned me off to him has been replaced by some residual charm left over when Addison left Seattle Grace right around the time she and Karev shared a couple kisses here and there. He’s the one character who seems to live by my sister’s all-time best words of advice – “just handle it.” He has Sloan’s swagger without his dickishness, and he has Meredith’s heart without her…Meredith-ness.

Derek

So I get the whole what-does-my-life-and-my-job-mean freakout that Derek had after losing Jennifer Westfeldt and being called a murderer by Ben Shenkman, and I get that it’s a terrible thing to stack every single one of his medical cases next to each other and realizing that he has “killed” more people than he has “saved” (kind of a given when you’re a neurosurgeon, though), his mobile home drunken nonsense was just that – nonsense. Killing brain cells and getting all up-in-a-bitch’s-face with Meredith, ending with him ultimately taking the engagement ring he bought for her and smacking it into the forest thanks to a handy nearby baseball bat, was emotional, yes, but it was also completely not-Derek. Way to create some random drama for no real reason, writers. We viewers already declared that we are no longer into a will-they-or-won’t-they with Deredith, so it was just a complete waste of time. And the only thing to get him out of the drunken funk? Izzie having metastatic melanoma in her briz-ain. Which moves us into the next category…

Derek’s Proposal

I seem to be disagreeing with a great deal of people here, but I found Derek’s ultimate solution to proposing to Meredith to be remarkably creepy. What he did was take an elevator at Seattle Grace and put it out of service, and he then lined the walls with C.T. scans that chronicled his case history with Meredith’s services, right from the beginning all the way to their current Izzie-has-melanoma case, and then told her he wasn’t going to “pop the question” so much as just mumble some stuff about destiny and hospitals and junk. A.) the hospital probably needs that elevator because…well…they’re in a hospital; B.) those are scans of dying people, an oddly terrifying display of the morbidity that defines Deredith. But hey, at least they’re engaged now. That ain’t no problem.

Izzie

Just quit whining and accept your treatment. Jesus Christ. First you took all the interns and focused them all entirely on your case, then you complain about how far the melanoma has traveled, even though you basically just should have opened up immediately about her hallucinations months ago, and then you whine some more. People say Meredith is the whiner. No sir. That honor belongs to Isobel Stevens. But at least this story is progressing. And unless we want Derek to completely lose his shit for letting a good friend die, she is going to be fine by season’s end. She may not be capable of being a doctor anymore, which makes it easy to write her out of the show, but she will live. Just like Penny IS NOT DEAD on Lost, because those writers are basically hopeless romantics at heart, Izzie has to live.

Owen & Cristina

No, for the last time, your name is not Dan Vassar!

No, for the last time, your name is not Dan Vassar!

Hey Cristina, did you think you’d be able to actually sleep after getting nightmare-strangled by your PTSD-ing doctor boyfriend? I appreciate the effort to keep y’all together, but sometimes your head does stupid things…like letting the man who almost unintentionally killed you spend another night next to you in bed. I still think they are one of the show’s perfect couples, so now that Owen is actually dealing with his army past, we may be in for some very nice final episodes to this season.

Guest Stars

This is a complete throwaway section, but I was just happy to see a nice mixture of guest stars in one episode. This was the three siblings whose family had a big history of nearly everybody suffering from cancer, and those three siblings were A.) Heather Mosby from HIMYM, B.) the jailbait-loving English teacher from Swingtown and C.) the woman who voiced both Jane and Quinn on Daria, all together in one room. (So hey, MTV, when are you going to release full seasons of Daria on DVD aside from the occasional special. We’re waiting.)

Now onto Private Practice:

Addison + Men

Man, people online are really turning on Addison. Why? Because she’s interested in a married man. You see, she was scrubbing in at St. Ambrose at the same time that a cute male doctor was scrubbing out, and this became a major back-and-forth bit of flirting. And since it’s Josh Hopkins from Swingtown, and I always forget his character’s name, I refer to him as Dr. Swingtown. At the end of Dr. Swingtown’s first episode, we find out that he is not only married, but he is actually married to Amanda Detmer (from Saving Silverman and What About Brian?), a major patient of Addison’s, being a pregnant woman who keeps losing her pregnancies. Addison has so far resisted Dr. Swingtown’s advances post-discovery, but this dude is really setting her loins on fire, and she really isn’t going to last much longer. Now, the online bloggers and commenters are really getting on Addison’s case for being an adulterer yet again. But here’s the thing: this time she’s not being the adulterer. That would be Dr. Swingtown. She’s just the other woman, and IMO that’s really not on her. She’s not married to Derek and cheating with Sloan, and she’s not dating SWAT guy and banging the dude from Better Off Ted. Call her a homewrecker, and that’s fine, but this is a new Addison, who just happens to have some bad luck in love. But this is not her up to her old tricks, because she’s not. Got it?

(And yes, I realize that Grant Show, who plays Addison’s brother Archer Montgomery, was also on Swingtown playing the über-swinging airline pilot Tom, but Archer Montgomery is too good of a name to deny, and so Josh Hopkins, who played the far more conservative character Roger who by the end of that dearly departed show was heavily lusting after Susan, another redhead, is now labeled with the moniker. Just FYI.)

The Show’s Actual Concept of Psychiatry/Psychology

Okay, I get why Violet had to really get inside Amber Benson’s brain a few episodes ago in order to rejigger her repressed memories about when she was carjacked and beaten to a fucking pulp, because she was using some basic Psychology 101 for that. But during the next episode, I really started to question her actual methods and if any of them work. Amanda Foreman (the goth roommate from Felicity and the bartender wife from What About Brian?) had struggled to get pregnant, and now that she had, she’s unwilling to deal with the actual truth – the fetus inside her is dead, and the longer she keeps it in her, the more susceptible she is to sepsis and all other kinds of ookiness. No matter what Violet told her, Amanda Foreman just simply wouldn’t accept the truth. Until Dell shows up. You see, Dell has been dealing with Baby Mama Drama, which ultimately results in said former drug addict Baby Mama taking their daughter and moving to Missouri. And so Dell, saddened by this news, stares at the wall and mutters something about losing children with Amanda Foreman nearby, and it’s this speech (and not any of Violet’s tactics) that gets her to accept that she needs to get that dead fetus outta her body. Nope. Nothing that Violet did. Just some mumbling from a bleached-out surfer boy midwife. Me? I don’t think that’s how it works. I’ve been in enough therapy to at least reach some opinion on that.

Taye Diggs

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Actually, I’m fine with everything Taye has been doing, and I very much like his interplay with his ex-wife Naomi (Audra McDonald) as they rejoin the dating world. I just bring him up because of something Vanessa L. Williams said to Marc on a recent Ugly Betty:

“What is it with white people and Taye Diggs?”

Good point, Wilhelmina. Good point. I guess it’s his sweet lovin’ marriage to the awesome Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel that attracts us to him. Or it’s just because he’s awesome. (Btw, good job, Shonda, for finally bringing Idina onto Private Practice as a single mother and potential love interest for Pete, who is so over which sperm, his or Sheldon’s, got Violet pregnant.

The Husband:

So, here’s what went down: last Thursday, at some point during the work day, our power went out at our home briefly, coming back on some time during the afternoon. Our living room DVR handled the power failure admirably, getting back up to speed with all of our season passes and the TV grid. Our lower model bedroom DVR, however, I suppose needed to be actually turned on again (even though technically it can record when off), so it really screwed the pooch (oh noes! Pooch-screwing!) when it came to all those shows my wife does not watch. This would include Survivor, as well as ABC’s female-driven block of Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. So that’s why these reviews are going to come late, and perhaps in briefer form.

Sigh…the woes of technology.

But what’s been going down at Seattle Grace?

Cristina gets all responsible-like, even going against the wishes of some of her elders, when she learns of a patient that would have been getting out of the hospital just fine had the hospital’s oldest attending surgeon not made a careless mistake. But who is this surgeon? Why, it’s Faye Dunaway. Where the hell has she been all this time? Judging from her appearance, underground amidst the rock creatures in The Descent. Now, I’m not normally the type of person to really call out somebody’s appearance, but oh man has Faye Dunaway fallen, looking like whatever reanimated zombie the world has been trying to pass off as Peter O’Toole for the last decade. Going back into surgery, Cristina mouths off at Faye and gets tossed, but Cristina is able to present the case to the Chief that Faye is just too old-fashioned, unwilling and unable to use the newest medical technology, to continue working at Seattle Grace, and she’s right. A weird guest appearance that at least gave Cristina less whininess and more chutzpah.

Izzie finds out that the newly fired Sadie may have accidentally mixed up Izzie’s medical reports, giving her the anemia diagnosis and a poor woman a death note of cancer. And so the Izzie mystery continues. Until some real news comes through about Katherine Heigl and whether or not she’s actually leaving the show, I’m going to ignore all that hubbub and just say that while this is-Izzie-sick storyline has been going on for a very long time, I don’t consider it boring by any means. What happens when a talented doctor becomes ill herself, and how does it affect her work? This are good questions to ask, and spending a season dealing with the answers is definitely compelling.

Dr. Bailey continues her interest in pediatrics, and so she spends the entire episode obsessing about letters of recommendation, becoming quite pissed that, when pressed for time, the Chief merely gives Dr. Bailey a form letter, describing her as a “fine doctor.”

“I am Dr. Bailey. I am better than ‘fine.'” — Bailey

When she finally goes head-to-head with the Chief, who is already embroiled with both the Faye Dunaway situation and the scalpel Mexican standoff (more on that later), he admonishes her for not going along with his plans for Dr. Bailey to replace him as Chief somewhere down the line, and asking for his help for her to get a job in a field he does not want for her. Every single bit of Bailey’s story is wonderful and wonderfully acted, and it’s still the biggest crime ever that Katherine Heigl has an Emmy over the outstanding Chandra Wilson.

Seriously, yall, wheres my damn Emmy?

Seriously, ya'll, where's my damn Emmy?

Derek and Sloan get into a fistfight about Lexie-banging.

Okay, so the big three-episode story finishes here, as Jennifer Westfeldt went into seizures last we saw her, mixed with mirror syndrome and her unborn baby’s health and all the stuff that was going wrong in her brain. (I’m just going to say this now. I think losing one’s ability to make sense as far as language is concerned may be the most terrifying thing I can think of to happen to a brain. It may not be the worst, but goddamn is it scary for somebody like me who relies on words.) (The Wife seconds this opinion.) As she is to go into surgery once again, her husband Ben Shenkman gives them very specific instructions to save his wife over his baby.

“We can make another baby. We can’t make another her.”

During the surgery, Westfeldt keeps having small strokes, so Derek has to make the harrowing decision to take out her temporal lobe to keep her alive. When this doesn’t work, he decides that he wants to take out the frontal lobe, too, but Addison (yes, she’s still up in Seattle) says that would be creating a monster and not a human, and that she needs to do an emergency C-section and take out the premature baby right now. Doing this surgery, however, would take away the blood in the body needed to power the brain, which would kill Westfeldt. As Addy and Derek both stand over the body holding scalpels and telling each other to stand down, Karev has to bring the Chief in, who of course goes with Addy’s plan. Westfeldt dead, Shenkman takes his grief out on Derek, calling him a murderer for all he had done, and for the entire staff choosing the baby over his wife. At least the baby is alive, douche.

[catching breath] This show has been getting wilder and more complicated by the week (I didn’t even mention much about Lexie, or Callie’s continued lesbo-confusion), but I will agree that this was one of the best episodes in a long time. Previously I’ve complained that the show hasn’t been honest with us about their three-episode arcs, but that does not mean I don’t like them. I’d just prefer to know when they are happening, so I can prepare by brain for them. It’s frustrating when you think you’re at the end of the story, only to have something drastic happen and the episode ending with a “to be continued…” so I can understand people’s problems with these arcs, but I’ll be damned if they weren’t quite good.

Lesson: Never trust Melissa George.

After all that madness, nothing on Private Practice could even come close to something as gripping down at Oceanside Wellness, so let’s just get through them quickly.

  • Sam accidentally calls his new girlfriend Naomi.
  • Archer, now recovered from his brain parasites, goes back to being a complete man-whore and cheats on Naomi, who is technically his girlfriend. Addison finds out and tells Naomi, and it’s sadness abound.
  • Violet and Sheldon decide to co-run a group therapy session of married couples, and in dealing with all the lunacy of the various couples (with varied success), they grow closer while also learning of some of their major differences, information that will be useful when she gives birth to her own child. No word on whose baby it is yet. Or I missed something. I didn’t, did I?
  • Charlotte is still angry about boyfriend Cooper moving in with Violet to help her take her of her unborn child, and Cooper is still right to support his friend. No progress is made.
  • Anyanka from Buffy and Sgt. Scream from Over There give birth to a baby who is genetically both male and female, and although they are informed that in these cases, only 30% of the children affected by this end up identifying as male, Sgt. Scream’s machismo gets in the way, and he is certain that the baby must become his beloved Matthew that he has been dreaming about for so long. Addy and Naomi argue over this, but Addy makes the final decision, in the OR, to not make the baby male, for it would just be wrong to make the decision so early. Sgt. Scream leaves Oceanside Wellness in a huff, not wanting to deal with a “freak baby,” but Naomi, now pissed and on the warpath after hearing that Archer is cheating on her, goes to his workplace (he’s a cook) and chews him out for being so myopic. Sgt. Scream comes back and loves on the baby as much as he can, for he knows that had he not, he would suffer at the hands of the vengeance demon Anyanka. Had they gone with assigning the child to being a male, just fast-forward 13 years and you have this week’s episode of House.
  • Continuing my plea for ABC to be honest with us viewers, I can’t help but point out that this Private Practice episode was not a crossover, but just a regular episode. So we had more like a 2.5-week crossover, and I can’t help but think that people who were watching PP over the last couple weeks may have been very let down by this episode.

Lesson: All babies need love, even if your stupid male pride is telling you otherwise.

The Husband:

Almost the entirety of last week’s Grey’s Anatomy-Private Practice crossover took place at Seattle Grace, so let’s get the miniscule amount of what went down at Oceanside Wellness out of the way:

  • Charlotte is still mad at Cooper for moving in with the pregnant Violet, because the one thing she doesn’t totally have from Cooper is an emotional investment, which Violet is getting in spades.
  • Violet is not being very honest with Pete about her feelings, and that makes Pete sad.
  • The care center is thrown for a loop when a new mother comes in with her nearly drowned baby, and everyone quickly realizes that something may be very off about her. They chalk it up to lack of sleep, but soon discover that the woman is suffering from postpartum psychosis, and that she herself had attempted to half-assedly drown her baby just to make the crying stop for a bit. She stopped herself from going through with it, though, and with some help from Oceanside as well as a supportive husband, gives the whole baby-raising thing another shot.

But now let’s reeeeeeeeewind and get into Seattle Grace. What kind of shenanigans are going down in the good state of Washington?

  • Dr. Owen Hunt comes face-to-face with his past when terminal cancer patient (Sam Anderson of Angel and Lost, perhaps suffering from a combination of death-by-vampire-massacre and the time-travel sickness) turns out to be the father of his former fiancée, who is also at the hospital. Much to Cristina’s dismay, she learns that they Owen and this other woman were way into each other, until one day he shot the woman a two-line e-mail (which I don’t believe was ever spoken to us) breaking up with her and disappearing for good. But he hasn’t been honest with her since then either, because she has still been worried sick about his time in Iraq, not realizing he’s back in the states and working, nursing some PTSD, and has found another woman. C’est triste.
  • Izzie doesn’t want to think about whatever it is that’s going on in her brain to make her see ghosts that are telling her she’s gonna die, and she’s not happy about the interns being all dumb and impulsive, so she sets up a day-long race with them involving fake bodies, how to set up surgeries, diagnoses, etc., with the winner (Lexie, no surprise there) getting to scrub in on some very cool surgeries. Unfortunately, this test exposes Sadie for what she is – street-smart but not very book-smart, stubborn, and a danger to her patients. After a terrifying fight with her old friend Meredith, Sadie realizes that she is simply not right for Seattle Grace, and leaves to that fabled parking lot, never to return. (I assume, that is.)

    This whole brain worms thing worked out a lot better on Futurama.

    This whole brain worms thing worked out a lot better on Futurama.

  • A good chunk of Oceanside Wellness is now at Seattle Grace tending to Archer Montgomery’s brain parasites (more on that later), so we get some sweet Addison, Naomi and Sam disrupting the natural order of SG with their own relationship problems. Addison is amused to find that Sloan was also sucked into dating another Grey (just as Derek left Addison for Meredith) and isn’t the lame lothario he once was, and that Archer’s reign of emotional destruction knows no boundaries. Sam does have a terrible asthma attack at SG, but it turns out to merely be a misunderstanding with Dr. Bailey with his newly refilled inhaler, with Bailey not knowing that he was allergic to corn-based inhalers. His joyful reaction to this news (and that his illness was not related to a continued emotional connection to Naomi) was the best thing about the episode.
  • Derek tends to a pregnant Jennifer Westfeldt and her accidentally run-over-with-a-car husband Ben Shenkman, who has had to wait for the operation on her brain (aneurysms = bad) because Derek has had to tend to the parasites in Archer’s brain. Finally, though, she gets her surgery (although the questions involving whether or not to put a pregnant woman under anesthesia for surgery seems to have been glossed over if I’m not mistaken) but when she tries to speak post-surgery, the words aren’t coming out quite right (or aren’t the right words at all) and goes into a seizure. To be continued.

    But I cant die! I have Jon Hamm to live for!

    But I can't die! I have Jon Hamm to live for!

Okay, now, Archer gets by okay as Derek, despite hating his ex-brother-in-law with a fervent passion (which is to say, a passionate passion) and despising his snarky neurologist ways, get all dem bugs out of his brain. While Derek finally tends to Jon Hamm’s John Hamm, Archer takes a look at his CT scan and tells all the Oceanside Wellness people that there are still some problems left, and that he could die at any minute. He then tells Sloan of having slept with several of his girlfriends in the past and also having wrecked his car, just so he could get all of these items off his chest before he dies, until Derek comes in, looks at the files, and says that Archer is perfectly fine and is simply being an ass.

[Tries to catch breath] So yeah, that’s part 2 of the cross-over. A whole lot of crazy is going down, and we have yet another week of cross-over next week. While I dig the stories, I wish they had told us up front that the GA-PP event would be over three weeks (at least, I assume it’ll stop at week 3) so my mind could have been better prepared. Besides, much of the emotional issues involved with the marriage of both shows have been dealt with, so I’m not sure how much they have left for next week. But hey, I’m not a television writer (well, not yet), and I’m sure there’s something kick-ass in store for next week. At least the three-episode-arc patient story is being done by some sweet character actors much beloved by me, so that’s not too shabby.

The Husband:

Far more likely by coincidence than by design, Thursday night’s two-hour block of Shonda Rhimes messing with your emotions dealt with the same issues for its entire running time — to what distance should a doctor follow their Hippocratic oath, do they have the ability or even the right to choose who to help in times of crisis, and the amount of creepiness Joel Grey emanates? Okay, that last one was only during Private Practice, but seriously, he has become progressively creepier each year ever since winning both a Tony and an Oscar for his role as the Emcee in Cabaret. (See his appearances on Buffy and this week’s PP for further evidence.)

On Grey’s Anatomy the show decided to finish off its three-episode Eric Stoltz-versus-that-kid-with-major-liver-and-bowel-problems, picking up right where the last episode left off — that is, with Stoltz using Meredith’s advice to make himself completely brain-dead by smashing his noggin on the headboard. Meredith and Miranda reluctantly decide to not page Derek immediately, but Cristina comes in and makes the call for them. Derek, upon being paged, is extremely upset with Meredith for waiting so long and thus ignoring her duties as a doctor, even if a dead Stoltz means sweet new organs for Jackson the sick dying boy. As Derek operates on Stoltz’s brain, Miranda comes in and tells Derek that against her better judgment, it’s her duty to tell him to stop operating on the death row serial killer, only to finally relent when Derek poses to her the ultimate question — is he a surgeon or an executioner.

Stoltz now saved, he tries to save face by telling Meredith that this was all a set-up to ruin her career, which she wisely does not believe. Despite this, though, she accepts his invitation to be present at his execution, and upon seeing his useless body be destroyed — chock full of useful organs she could have harvested for better purposes — she goes home and completely collapses emotionally in front of Derek. Their fight and ethical conflict unresolved, Derek learns to accept Meredith for what she is, especially since Mama Tyne Daly gave over a ring for him to give to Meredith when the time was right. In addition, Derek finds a way to unite Meredith and Cristina again after several long and obnoxious weeks of them giving each other the silent treatment, allowing Cristina to be a proper best friend and console Meredith’s woes far better than Derek, presumably because he’s a man, could ever hope.

But what of Jackson? Well, there’s another brain-dead man in the hospital, having just been the victim of a horrible car accident, whose wife simply can’t pull the plug, but just as Jackson is about to die, the brain-dead man’s organs finally come in, thus saving the day once and for all. I look forward to a Dr. Miranda Bailey who’s once again very sure of herself and her skills as a doctor, because having her act like Meredith was really starting to wear on me. There’s only room for one Meredith on this show, Chandra Wilson, and her name’s the title of the show.

In smaller, less relevant and more trivial stories, Lexie, upon getting some good lovin’ in the on-call room, accidentally breaks Sloan’s penis (penis fracture OH NOES!) and has a very tough time trying to keep the secret from her fellow interns that she’s Sloan’s new lover. After throwing hissy fits at all of them for butting into other people’s business, Sadie takes the fall for her and claims that she is the Penis Fracturer (a.k.a. either a really sweet new Vertigo comics supervillain or a really bad Quentin Tarantino character.) At the same time, Cristina and Owen come to an understanding about their relationship, that they both have a fuckload of their own issues to deal with, and that dealing with them together might not be such a bad idea.

Ah…but over in Izzieland, Izzie and Denny’s story culminates in what is probably the most frustrating conversation on television in a good long while, all boiling down to the true reason why Denny has been haunting her — he’s not “here for her,” but he’s “here for her.” What is obnoxious and cryptic becomes not-so-apparent to a regular viewer (and somebody who’s not the show’s writers acting like they’re all clever), but the gist, from what I can gather, is that Denny has been around in order to escort Izzie into heaven, which makes her realize that she’s sick.

Seriously, no one likes you. Thats why Ive got to get you off this fucking show so you can continue to make shitty romantic comedies.

Seriously, no one likes you. That's why I've got to get you off this fucking show so you can continue to make shitty romantic comedies.

Oh, you’re sick? Really? We could have told you that very thing six episodes ago. Is that the only reason Denny was around? Because I wasn’t hating their stories so much as simply confused by it, but now it just seems so completely patronizing and kind of a waste of everybody’s time. Now he promised that he’s going away, though, so we can now finally deal with what the hell is actually ailing Izzie.

Lesson: If Jeffrey Dean Morgan starts following you around, punch that bitch in the face, because he’s actually the Grim Reaper and specializes in frustrating you to death until you’re enough of a corpse to be brought into the afterworld.

On Private Practice, Addison FINALLLLLLLLLY breaks up with S.W.A.T. Guy after becoming guilty about her kiss with Dr. Wyatt Lockhart — S.W.A.T. Guy’s mental torture upon her really didn’t help, either. This finally frees her up to be more of an adult character, something this show struggled to achieve in its first season, even if she is pining over yet another immature douchebag (Wyatt). It’s funny that the most stable man she’s ever been with is ex-husband Derek Shepherd, and she fucked that relationship up by having an affair with Sloan. Actually, that’s not funny. That’s actually very depressing, because even as Grey’s and PP fluctuate and quality, I will always be terribly attached to Dr. Addison Montgomery. Me and my redheads.

No matter how big PP could try to be this week, it couldn’t really match up to the amount of drama over on Grey’s, so what’s the use in even getting in-depth with any of the  stories? A surrogate mother comes in to give birth to her child — there are so many damn surrogate mother stories on this show that I’m not entirely sure if this is a character we’ve already seen or just yet another pregnant woman — only to find that the baby itself was very ill with something to the effect of a diaphragmatic hernia. The new parents, afraid for the child’s health, decide to not, in fact, accept the baby, leaving the worried birth mother in a very tough position. She accepts taking care of the baby, but then the parents think twice about their decision and now want it back, only to not be allowed to. Blah blah blah…the surrogate mother finally decides to give them the baby, which is good because, as my wife pointed out, you might want the baby to grow up with somebody who actually has health insurance.

As for Joel Grey, he’s an old queen who is suffering from pancreatic cancer, so he invites Pete over to basically help him die. It’s against Pete’s oath to allow him to kill himself, though, but he’s not sure of his position, because that tharrrr Emcee is in a whole lot of pain. He calls Sam over, who berates him for even considering helping Joel Grey die, but then they both decide to just kind of keep quiet about it. Pete returns to the hospital, steals some morphine, and gives it to Joel Grey, who uses it to finally die. Case closed.

But what’s going on with the personal lives of Oceanside Wellness? Well, Violet finds out that she is pregnant — she’s had a tough time with the concept, considering she’s been raped once and had three abortions — so it’s especially tough when she’s unsure of who the father is, Pete or Sheldon. Rough times. As for Cooper and Charlotte, she proposes to him and decides to elope in Vegas, but after reluctantly saying yes, Cooper decides that Charlotte deserves her wedding to be the best day of her life, even if she can no longer have her father walk her down the aisle. They’re a surprisingly sweet couple, and it doesn’t hurt that she is absolutely “slammin'” — to use a description my sophomore year roommate used quite a bit — when unclothed, which on this show is quite often.

And who should show up at the end of the episode nailing Naomi in the middle of an office but Addison’s brother Grant Show, fresh off the cancellation of the dearly departed Swingtown. I know he’s a major focus in the upcoming Grey’sPP crossover, so be prepared for some major awesomeness.

Lesson: If Joel Grey offers you a bowl of what looks like something covered in sugar, don’t take it. It’s actually a ground up concoction of suicide pills.

Are you sure you dont want any? Its really good pudding!

Are you sure you don't want any? It's really good pudding!

The Husband:

Usually I would take it as a bad sign that, less than a week after the airing of both of these episodes, I would have forgotten so much about the episodes that I would be forced to view the recaps on ABC.com simply to remind myself of all the events that took place during Thursday’s Shonda Rhimes Wants To Hurt You Extravaganza. But I’m not going to do that (take it as a bad sign, that is), because I felt that both shows – especially Grey’s Anatomy – made some very interesting choices in both their cases as well as their advancements of several plots. And, basically, I’m pretty connected now to the Eric Stoltz organ donation story and all of its little strands, helped along by memories of how nice he was once in stuff like Some Kind Of Wonderful, where I can assure you he was not – I repeat, not – a serial killer.

So memory loss or not, I’m going to run through a few things I liked from each show and things I didn’t like. Breaking up the monotony with a list style, mofos.

Grey’s Anatomy 5.12: “Sympathy for the Devil”

Good Things:

  • As aforementioned, the Eric Stoltz serial killer arc. I’m always appreciative of a serialized story, especially when it comes to the medical cases, and the ethical dilemmas faced by his character and all those around him are pretty darn good for a show that tends to cross the line between professionalism and individual stupidity. Despite his evil nature, he would still like his organs to go to the dying boy but cannot make it happen through the proper channels. And while Meredith’s final decision to tell him exactly how to kill himself post-brain surgery – a Derek decision to make Stoltz pay for his crimes and not take the easy way out by dying on his own terms – crossed the line in its own way, I think we can excuse her simply for the fact that the ends justify the means, and as a result the child, whose promised organs were faulty and unusable, will now be able to live. Sure, he’ll have serial killer organs, and as we know from the movie Body Parts that means he will become evil. Whatever.
  • Tyne Daly as Carolyn Shepherd, a.k.a. Derek’s mother. Her presence threw everybody for a loop, helped Sloan continue his understanding that he is an immature, horny jerk, got Derek to talk about his father’s murder, and even got Meredith to wear a very silly ponytail. She is definitely the best Grey’s parent in a long time, and the first good one since Burke’s mother had a heart-to-heart with Cristina post-canceled wedding.
  • Cristina verbally addressing why Dr. Hunt has been so “hot and cold” with her (after weeks of them making out, and then the next week him ignoring her), leading to Hunt’s PTSD-like freakout while standing, fully clothed, in Cristina’s shower, telling her about a horrible wartime memory.

Not-So-Good Things:

  • I’m more than fine with Denny being around as far as stories are concerned, but when he’s just basically taking up space in scenes without an actual purpose, it’s just goofy.
  • Dr. Bailey’s sudden bout of Meredith whininess about her dying child case. For once, her strength completely fell apart, and Dr. Arizona Robbins was right to take her to task for being so untrustworthy at such a harrowing time.
Lesson Of The Week:
Tyne Daly should be feared, lest she go all Cagney & Lacey on yo ass. [A note from The Wife: Um, I’m afraid of Cagney & Lacey‘s Sharon Gless because she murders people and stuffs them full of teddy bear innards over on Nip/Tuck. Clearly, the entire cast of Cagney & Lacey should be feared.]
Fear me, or I will call my friend Sharon to stuff you like a teddy bear.

Fear me, or I will call my friend Sharon to stuff you like a teddy bear.

Private Practice 2.12: “Homeward Bound”
Good Things:

  • The fact that immediately upon Charlotte mentioning that she refers to her father as Big Daddy, both Cooper and myself both formulated a Tennessee Williams joke in our heads.
  • The cystic fibrosis story. Even though I don’t 100% agree with the man’s decision to die along with his daughter instead of letting her die alone so he can take care of his also-afflicted young son, I understand the motivation and emotion behind said decision. That’s a rough one, man.
  • The Violet-Pete-Sheldon love triangle. While I know many viewers don’t like Violet and Pete together, I think it’s brought out the best of both of their characters. And I’m always game for more Brian Benbenbenbenbenbenbenben on this show. (It’s just really fun to imagine, as with his character on Dream On so many years ago, that his thoughts are still represented by clips of old black-and-white movies and television shows.)
  • Charlotte and Cooper’s embrace on the plane ride back from whatever “Southern Gothic” mess of a state she’s from.
  • Dr. Wyatt finally opening up and becoming an actual character. I actually like where his relationship with Addison is going. Except………

Not-So-Good Things:

  • ……..the fact that S.W.A.T. Guy is still around. Me, I thought he and Addison broke up, but I guess they got over their fights while he was on bedrest after being ambushed at his job. I didn’t like S.W.A.T. Guy before, and I don’t like him now. Sorry.
  • The actual amount of knowledge I gained from the cystic fibrosis case, which was absolutely zero. All I really know about the disease is what I gathered from the recently departed Frankie from The Real World: San Diego and the documentary Sick: The Life & Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (a great Kirby Dick documentary, but I warn you – it is not for the squeamish), and that’s about it. Usually I get a little bit of info every week from PP, but not this time.
  • Charlotte’s comparison of cancer being like “the chickens coming home to roost.” Neither my wife nor I have any freakin’ clue what the hell that means, nor do we really care to find out. WTF?
These aint his chickens. Theyre my chickens.

These ain't his chickens. They're my chickens.

Lesson Of The Week:
Taye Diggs only dates ridiculously attractive women.

The Husband:

In a continued effort to combine similar stories into one to save time, energy and blog space — and since more television and more day job equals me having a harder and harder time to find enough minutes to write about television — I bring you the first edition of the Shonda Rhimes Wants To Hurt You Extravaganza. Since Private Practice has been shifted on ABC’s schedule to air right after its origin show, Grey’s Anatomy, thus leaving their Wednesday schedule wide open for some awesome science-fiction in the form of Lost‘s fifth season (w00t!) and the continuation of Life On Mars‘ first (double w00t!), it’s only sensible that two female-aimed doctor shows from the same producer be stuck together. This is especially true when I have less and less to say about both show each week. I will also end each section with the lesson I have learned from each episode.

Over at Seattle Grace, Sloan and is dealing with his pre-winter break hookup with Lexie, finally realizing how much of a he-bitch man-whore douchebag he is. Callie helps him along his path of trying to just ignore the situation and simply act like a professional, but she is one to talk, since she is suddenly lusting after Sadie, having continued down her natural path of lesbianism that was jolted into existence when Dr. Hahn was still around (and not forever lost in the Seattle Grace parking lot). I’m not sure if I’m any happier about Sloan hooking up with Lexie — I think she’s better than that — but if it makes Sloan a better overall character, I’m all for it. As for a Callie/Sadie liaison, I’m still completely on the fence, not because I don’t like either one of them (because I do, in fact, like them both) but because the show is actually treating the story with grace and patience, not jumping directly into any hanky-panky. (What a novel concept!) By episode’s end, Callie was still holding back in declaring her lust, much to her own inner turmoil.

Bailey, meanwhile, faces a crisis of both faith and science when a cardiac surgeon, who Bailey has helped in taking care of a sick little boy, suffers a fatal heart attack, and becomes very worried when she begins to disagree with everything about the new cardiac surgeon, one Dr. Arizona Robbins, and goes directly to the chief with complaints. He responds that she has never liked any attending physician immediately, and that the problem was her and not Dr. Robbins. By the end, Bailey finally admits to having doubts about herself, and the sick child is now finally able to be put on a transplant list.

Hmm . . . how the hell do I get myself back to San Francisco? This has been the longest fucking quantam leap Ive ever taken!

Hmm . . . how the hell do I get myself back to San Francisco? This has been the longest fucking quantam leap I've ever taken!

But the big case involves the usually sweet little Eric Stoltz (of Some Kind Of Wonderful, Mask, Killing Zoe and, a personal favorite, Showtime’s Out Of Order), playing against type as a death row inmate brought into Seattle Grace as there’s a big and sharp shank stuck into his spine, thus rendering him partially paralyzed. While Meredith rightly follows her Hippocratic oath to do no harm, Derek is of a different mind and grumbles having to treat such a monster and denies him some necessary morphine. When Stoltz finally reveals his crimes, involving slitting the throats of increasing amounts of women during one “fun” week, Meredith finally begins to understand where Derek is coming from. At episode’s end, Derek reveals that his father was murdered by two thieves, thus informing his inability to treat all patients the same. Then he and Meredith dance. (Hu-wha?)

I’m not really sure what was going on with this week’s episode. It was pretty much just an hour of people bitching and complaining, even more so than normal. (C’mon, Dr. Bailey. You’re better than that.) And while I still seem to like Meredith as a character more than anybody, I am sick to death of her and Cristina bitching about how they are no longer friends and why they are no longer friends. I’m even pretty much done with the love dance between Cristina and Dr. Hunt. Either do it or don’t, but this is the fourth time they have had a romantic tryst, and then the next episode are back on the outs. Make a move and stick with it, McKidd.

And as for Izzie’s ghost problems, I have my first lesson!

Lesson: Having cunnilingus performed on you makes your ghosts disappear.

And on Private Practice, Oceanside Wellness continues to treat people who would have far less problems if they weren’t MORONS. (See my previous PP post for this show-specific phenomenon.) Arlene, a recurring character — well, this is her second time, so that’s recurring to me — is back at Oceanside Wellness. Having given birth to at least four boys, she, the last time she appeared on the show, gave birth to a fifth much to her dismay, and one of the sons was autistic, so she and her family moved to Switzerland in order to put the son in a special school. Now they’re back, and while she catches up with all the doctors, they discover that one of her middle sons has the measles. Why, do you ask, would an American child in this day and age has the measles? Well, other than they spent the last year in neutral Europe, the mother blames her other son’s autism on the vaccination he had received years earlier. To her, one moment he was a normal kid, and then suddenly after the vaccination he become a “special child.” Cooper is insistent on giving her ill child the vaccination, as well as her other sons, but she adamantly refuses, saying that she will sue the practice if he proceeds with his doctoral duties.

Here’s the thing, though. There is no proven link between vaccinations and autism, as the point a child is supposed to be vaccinated for the illness is about the same time one starts to notice autism in a child. It’s a very controversial subject — the AMA forced ABC to put a disclaimer last year in front of the pilot episode of Eli Stone for this very reason — but I tend to think of the whole deal as an old wives’ tale. Take the damn medication. Western medicine = good. Vaccinations are proven to be the best measure for a child, and to ignore this is to make the problem even worse.

As Oceanside Wellness (as well as Pacific Wellcare downstairs) are forced to lock down their practices due to the measles contamination (which they fix quite quickly), Arlene, her children, Cooper and Charlotte go to St. Ambrose to treat the ill child, who is becoming quickly and horribly close to death due to his mother’s ignorance. Cooper fixes an early internal problem with said sick kid, and finally fed up with Arlene, he forces a vaccination on one of her other children. She cries foul, until she turns around and sees that her ill son, his face red with disease and his throat closing, has finally died.

So parents, give your children vaccinations. They do not cause autism. I don’t need a show to tell me what I already know. And even if you, like you believe that the moon landing was faked, continue to believe this falseness to be true, think of it this way: would you rather have an autistic child or a dead child?

Meanwhile, Naomi ropes Addison into helping out the egotistical but supposedly brilliant Dr. Wyatt at Pacific Wellcare, as he needs a neo-natal surgeon to help him with a woman who has so little ovarian tissue that she cannot produce eggs. The surgery doesn’t go as planned, though, and Addison and Wyatt clash while she saves the woman, who still can’t have babies, from bleeding to death. Wyatt finally becomes a true character by episode’s end, though, as he finally admits his wrongdoing with the procedure. The impending hook-up that will inevitably happen between Addison and Wyatt holds a lot of promise, as she can finally have something in her personal life — not her brother, not that S.W.A.T. guy — who might share some of her darn interests.

As for the rest of the practice, Violet and Pete make their relationship public while Brian Benbenbenbenben from downstairs realizes he shouldn’t have broken up with her, we finally meet Dell’s Baby Mama (who is not on drugs anymore, but still a shitty mother), and the professional brought in to inspect Oceanside Wellness post-contamination, after fight-flirting with Sam, reveals that she wants his cock real bad (and that she imagines that his lips taste like chocolate).

Is it weird that I’m more personally involved, at least now, with the trifle known as Private Practice than I am with the far deeper Grey’s Anatomy? I have no real reason for saying this, because I know implicitly that GA is a far better and less annoying show, but for this week at least, I was emotionally involved with the vaccination case and was absolutely not with the death row inmate story on GA, despite Eric Stoltz’s effectively creepy performance.

But only one thing really matters: Shonda Rhimes wants to hurt you.

Lesson: VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN!

The Husband:

There are now officially more episodes in season two of Private Practice than what made up the entirety of the first season, so I say congratulations to Shonda Rhimes’ spin-off for lasting this long and doing a fair amount of soul-searching in order to achieve this pivotal number. Not everything is working perfectly this season (I’m so not behind the Addison-S.W.A.T. Guy romance, but hopefully that’s done after this episode) and some characters are still absolute ciphers (the only real noteworthy thing about Violet is that she has had two abortions and was once viciously raped in college, which doesn’t really affect anybody else), but I just wanted to give props where props were due.

Why? Because while I watched this episode I drifted in and out of sleep, having been out late with my wife to see Bruce Campbell present his most recent film My Name Is Bruce in the city and then coming home to watch the extra long Top Chef episode last night, and so the plots kept on dropping out of my mind only to confuse me upon me waking up every couple minutes during the second half of the show. So I feel like I must apologize to Shonda for doing so, hence the given props.

So how did this episode fare for someone that without question needs more sleep? Well, all the stories still worked, although I may have to read a recap for Naomi’s story about her consultation with the hotshot doctor on the fourth floor, because it was during those scenes that I intentionally closed my eyes and chose instead to merely listen. (This, readers, is a bad choice when one is tired.) Also, I believe that Addison and the S.W.A.T. Guy are breaking up because he was pissed that she sent her maid to clean up his apartment in the Valley, which he took as her lording her wealth and higher social/occupational standing over him. Whatever, douchebag. She did you a favor. Eat shit. Now she’s gonna bang that fourth floor doctor. And Jayne Brook found out about Violet and Pete banging, but I’m not really sure where that ended up.

Addison had an interesting story that wasn’t simply about her breaking rules about how far she can go as a doctor or limiting herself as a doctor because of an internal moral conflict, so that’s a plus. One of her patients, a very intelligent medical student, admits to Addison that she is paying her way through college by being a high-priced call girl, making, as one of my acquaintances would say, gobs of money by simply having fun with a lot of very nice, sweet guys. Addison is, of course, worried about the girl’s health, her having had sex with 11 different men in the last month, but the student says she’s fine, having made more money as a call girl than her parents would probably ever make (and, needless to say, more than a minimum wage job). The student doesn’t want to hear it, though, and instead wants Addison to give her attention to a few other call girls, who may have picked something up during a big honking call girl party time in Dubai (which my closed-captioning delightfully thinks is spelled “Dubayy”). Addison [presumably] treats them, but later gets a call that the student has just had her face and ribs beaten in by a John, which is cutting off her air supply. After Addison saves her from death, she tells her, during recovery, that she can no longer be her doctor. You see, Private Practice, you can have Addison stick by her morals without compromising the potential health of patients.

Is it just me, or does this outfit seem like, oh, not at all what a high-class call girl would wear to meet a client?

Is it just me, or does this outfit seem like, oh, not at all what a high-class call girl would wear to meet a client?

Cooper, once again, had the best story. I think Cooper’s are the most effective because Paul Adelstein plays the role with such conflicting emotions that his mixture of sweet and serious, kid-friendly and sexually deviant, that it makes the storylines a bit more multilayered. It also gives the weekly child actor just long enough to prove himself or herself as a great talent in the 10 or so minutes devoted to their character, and I personally like to see young acting growth. In this episode, Cooper deals with a diabetic young boy, Porter (Joey Luthman, who apparently was on this year’s season of Weeds, which I will be unable to watch until it comes out on DVD), and his father, and learns that they have been struggling to get by and have been living in their car for some time. Cooper understands that this is the reason that the boy’s infections haven’t been getting cleaned well enough, but he soon learns a further, more serious secret – upon inspecting Porter’s insulin pump’s serial numbers, he finds that the boy’s name is actually Evan, and that he has been reported as kidnapped. The father really is his father, we find out, and that Evan/Porter chose to run away from home as his mother’s boyfriend was abusive and the only person to believe him was his estranged father.

After I drifted in and out of sleep again, I saw that the Evan had fainted from complications due to diabetes and was rushed to Saint Ambrose, where Charlotte chewed Cooper out for not going directly to the police with the information about the kidnapper/kidnappee’s whereabouts. Choosing to continue following his heart, he tells Evan and his father about a way to escape from the hospital without being seen (the service elevator, as usual) and tells them some basic-level tips on how to take care of Porter’s problems. I don’t know if Cooper ever confronted Charlotte again, but I’d definitely like to see more of their fallout in upcoming episodes.

So yes, it seems Private Practice still works well when you freakin’ miss about 10 minutes of material. Go figure.

The Husband:

There’s a pattern, much like the one on Fringe, here on Private Practice that has a strong influence on all the show’s characters, one that seems designed to wreak havoc on the good doctors on Oceanside Wellness. No, it’s not scientific anomalies fabricated in order to cover up vast conglomerate conspiracies such as time travel and the literal breakdown of physical space. No. It’s that the clients of Oceanside Wellness are fucking idiots.

I think this is a major factor of what makes Grey’s Anatomy work so well and Private Practice kind of hit the middle of the road. On Grey’s, all the stupid shit the patients have done were before they were received at Seattle Grace, where the doctors will do everything they can to treat your presumably fatal illness/dismemberment before it’s too late. On PP, it’s a clinic with expertise in fertility, psychology and new age medicine, created to suggest medical procedures to their predicament, pressing or not, before the worst is yet to happen. (Another major difference is that GA usually takes place over one or two days, while PP, with few exceptions, spreads out its episode timelines through several days.)

So what am I talking about? Well, in the last three episodes, the patients/clients of Oceanside Wellness have made some very stupid decisions, and it’s those decisions that have been driving the medical drama on the show. Me? I find it highly problematic, because I would rather see the doctors have to deal with inevitable consequences despite a great deal of intelligence and know-how instead of stupid-ass blunders.

How is it that every patient we see is a complete and total moron?

How is it that every patient we see is a complete and total moron?

Two weeks ago, a highly religious couple came in because, after experimenting with some fertility drugs (good!), they have been experiencing issues during their pregnancy. Specifically, they have triplets, two of which (the identical twins) suffer from TTTS Syndrome, wherein they share the same placenta and blood vessels and will die unless surgery is performed (bad!). Unfortunately, the religious couple believe that this affliction is God’s way of punishing them for using fertility drugs, so after telling Addison they need help, they refuse any surgery and hope that it will all be sorted out by the Almighty. When it nearly becomes too late, Addison has no choice but to do surgery (after the non-afflicted baby has died) to snip the vessel connection between the twins. I forget if one of the twins died in the process, but I know at least one lived. But hey, maybe that baby wouldn’t have died if you just listened to your doctor who you went to in the first place.

In last week’s episode, we met a man whose pregnant wife was in an irreversible coma due to kidney failure and Wegener’s Granulomatosis. The baby is nearing birth, so Addison suggests (rightfully so) that  they perform a C-section so the baby will be born without complications (good!), because if they do it the natural way the baby could easy suffocate on the way out (because the mother is in a coma!). However, because the man had heard of one (read it: one) case of a comatose woman waking up while giving birth, he refuses the C-section and demands that his wife gives birth naturally (bad!). This leads to major complications in both mother and baby, and so the surgery happens too late (also after finding out that the man wasn’t married yet to the woman, so he had no say over her parents’ decision). The baby is born, but due to medical issues the comatose woman dies! Yeah, that’s a major fail.

This week we have two blunders. The first, a famed but retired bicyclist goes to the fourth floor practice (where Charlotte has set up a competing clinic), but is stolen away by Sam and Pete. The bicyclist has a SoCal race that weekend and would like to stage a comeback to make big bucks to support him and his wife (Ione Skye still as beautiful as ever). Sam and Pete work on helping his knee recover in time, but then it comes to their attention that he retired not because of a bum knee but because he was suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the muscle of the heart contracts under extreme pressure (see: hardcore bicycling). The doctors don’t want the bicyclist to compete, but he says that it’s his choice once they fix his knee. So they fix his knee, he wins the race and dies at the finish line. Great job, asshole.

Addison’s case this week involved a woman who was dying of stage 2 ovarian cancer, but she wouldn’t let Addison remove her ovaries and uterus (or, you know, the things that were killing her) because she was dead set on having a baby the natural way, even if she was going to be a single mother. The issue was that a hotshot doctor on the fourth floor had an experimental trial that could potentially remove the tumor without surgery, but by the end of that very day parts of her reproductive track had collapsed on her colon, so surgery was needed anyway. Fail.

So there you have it. Oceanside Wellness gets its business from morons.

Hello, Audra. It is I, Grant Show. Ive come to ask you to join me and Lana Perilla at a key party. Jack Davenport and Molly Parker will be there. Maybe even Miriam Shor. Wont you join us?

Hello, Audra. It is I, Grant Show. I've come to ask you to join me and Lana Perilla at a key party. Jack Davenport and Molly Parker will be there. Maybe even Miriam Shor. Won't you join us?

So what’s been going on other than idiotic clients? Pete’s former and now regained lover (Jayne Brook) started working at a free clinic, but had some of her clients come to Oceanside (because it’s awesome), where she started allowing abortions. Naomi, being the owner of the fertility clinic, refused the procedure to be done under her roof (which I think is actually an offense worthy of a steep fine in California), but then relented. Violet started dating fourth floor psychiatrist (Brian Benben from HBO’s gloriously filthy comedy Dream On, an actor who once told Letterman in the early 90s that Brian Benben was just his stage name, and his real name was Brian Benbenbenbenben…), but then he couldn’t get it up so they broke up. Violet then made out with Pete, leading to presumed bitchin’ sex. Addison’s brother (Grant Show from Swingtown, which you should buy on DVD right now) came into town and banged Naomi, and then Sam punched him in the face. Cooper and Charlotte broke up because she lied to him about starting up the fourth floor competing practice, and then had a false pregnancy scare. Addison is still taking care of her injured S.W.A.T. boyfriend. Dell loves his young daughter.

That’s about it.

And Cooper uttered one of the most unique sentences I’ve heard in a good long while:

“Oooooh…unlimited spanikopita!”