ABC’s Private Practice: “The Letting Go

Heavy, heartfelt decisions fueled last night’s Private Practice, as three characters said goodbye and plenty of tears were shed.

Private Practice

It had been three weeks since our last visit with the medics over at Private Practice, and Thursday night’s return welcomed them (and us) with some intensely personal drama. Forgoing the patient-of-the-week format, “The Letting Go” focused heavily on our regular players and found each of them preparing for uncertain futures.

For much of the episode, Sam remained committed to caring for his bipolar sister, Corinne, at home and on his own. But by the end of the hour (after an intense altercation in which he physically tried to force her to take her meds), he realized he just can’t provide Corrine with the medical attention she needs. Even in the face of her protests and promises to change, Sam decided to check Corrine into an in-patient facility.

Meanwhile, Scott, having been badly beaten while intervening in a domestic dispute, was wheeled into the emergency room and deemed in need of immediate care. Pete took on the case and performed like a pro, but the situation proved challenging for Violet, who wrestled with feelings for both Scott and Pete. From his hospital bed, with his face all bruised and battered, Scott broke up with Violet after recognizing her affections run deeper with Pete than with him.

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Amelia struggled with some deep feelings of her own, spending much of the episode trying to decide whether to go through with her pregnancy (brought about by her drug-addled, deceased fiancé) or to pursue an abortion.

The final verdict: Amelia is going to be a mom. And, for her part, Addison seemed genuinely pleased at the prospect of becoming an aunt.

Jake spent his section of the hour connecting with step-daughter Angela at her college campus, where she informed him she’d recently lost her virginity. Though this revelation felt monumental to Jake, it fueled the episode’s lightest storyline — one that seemed to exist primarily so Jake could come to view his relationship with Addison through clearer eyes.

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The clear knockout punch of the night came from Erica, as she was abruptly admitted to the hospital after vomiting blood. Without fanfare, she and her young son Mason were informed that cancer had metastasized to her liver, gastrointestinal track and spinal column. Erica, with a week left to live and with her focus on her son, remained adamant that Mason be kept blind to the ravaging effects of her illness.

So Mason delivered an early and final goodbye to his mom — a goodbye, he was proud to note, that leaked no tears at all. But once he was out of Erica’s view and into Charlotte’s arms, Mason let the full force of his emotions be felt. A lot of Private Practice fans were no doubt feeling them, as well.

Images courtesy of ABC