Private Practice‘s fifth season finale was much quieter than that of its past finales, and much quieter than Shonda Rhimes’ other series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal‘s finales. The episode itself wasn’t something I was actually expecting. The title of the episode, “Gone, Baby, Gone,” had me waiting for the other shoe to drop and Henry be taken away from new mom Addison. Yet it never happened, thank god for that. Instead, what we were presented with was an episode full of indecent proposals.
I was actually shocked when I realized that the finale was revolving around the birth of Amelia’s baby with no brain. I knew that it was happening in the episode, and that it was most certainly was going to be an important event for the episode, but I didn’t think it would actually be the through-line for the episode. It just seemed too morbid. Too disturbing. And that’s the thing: it was morbid and disturbing. I couldn’t believe how much was shown. Watching the doctors harvest the organs of Amelia’s son was almost too much to bear, and I almost couldn’t watch it. I didn’t want to watch it, a sensation I don’t find myself normally feeling when I am watching television.
Amelia has had an incredibly tough year, what with her spiral into drugs, her intervention, the deaths of both her best friend and boyfriend, and then the subsequent pregnancy that resulted in a baby with no brain. I guess it never really clicked with me that there was an ethical dilemma at play here. It seemed simple enough: the baby had no brain, so it couldn’t live because you can’t live without a brain, but it was still developing as a normal baby otherwise, so Amelia would donate the baby’s organs upon birth.
Turns out, it was actually a little bit more complicated than that. There’s no brain, but there is a brain stem, meaning the baby is, technically, alive, despite the fact that it will never gain consciousness. Thus, harvesting organs for donation means technically killing the newborn baby.
So, basically, Amelia made an indecent proposal to that of her fellow doctors, the ones she has shunned for weeks on end: kill my baby and harvest his organs so that he can save the lives of countless other babies. I was actually surprised to see Charlotte so against the idea, though I suppose it made sense in light of Pete’s current situation. Most likely, she simply didn’t want to bring on more issues for the hospital. Of course, Sam was against harvesting the baby’s organs – it seems like Sam is against most everything these days. Addison and Jake remained on Amelia’s side, wanting to save other babies’ lives, and I found myself siding with them, as horrified as that made me feel.
Ultimately, everybody came around. Yes, even Sam. The birth, and subsequent life and death, of Amelia’s son may just have been one of the most hauntingly disturbing things I have ever watched. So much so that I couldn’t bear to look away even though I couldn’t bear to watch. In the end, I think the doctors did the right thing. They no doubt saved many lives. I just wish it hadn’t been so hard to bear witness to. And I sincerely hope next season finds Amelia healing, happy, and moving on. It’s about time for Amelia to find some happy.
Pete offered Violet up an indecent proposal: What if he goes to jail? What if he’s there for a long time? It sure seems like Pete has really screwed himself over this time around, and it still remains unclear how everything will work out for him. It was so frustrating to watch him be so stubborn with the judge, knowing that it will most likely lead to just more legal trouble for him down the road. Of all the doctors on the series, and as much as they push the limits of their rights (or lack thereof), it makes most sense that such an event would happen to Pete, who always seems to take things just a bit further than anybody else.
But will Violet and Pete finally be able to put the past in the past and move on in terms of their relationship? Their future still remains frustratingly unclear. It has been surprisingly refreshing to watch the two of them try to repair their relationship and find out that it isn’t always so easy to do so, even if you want so badly to rekindle those feelings. And as much as I loved seeing Violet with Scott earlier in the season, I have actually found myself rooting for Pete and Violet to work things out.
Charlotte and Cooper have been on an amazing journey this season. I was skeptical at first when the storyline of an unknown illegitimate child popping out of the woodwork began, but I think it is safe to say that it turned out differently than anybody ever expected. It has been really fascinating to watch Charlotte become a mother and Cooper a father to one of television’s decidedly least annoying children ever. The scene between Charlotte and Mason while watching the newborn babies was heartbreaking in a bittersweet kind of way, as both Charlotte and Mason came to terms with Erica’s death and what that means for them and their relationship. I look forward to seeing Charlotte and Cooper continue to navigate parenthood together next year.
And, finally, we come to Addison.
It took a long time to finally get there, but I think it is safe to say that this was her year. She finally (after years spanning between two different series) became a mother. We may never get to see a pregnant Addison, but she still became a mother, which is all she ever wanted. And it is fantastic that it has finally happened, and before the series has come to an end as well, so that we actually get to see Addison be a mother.
But, of course, there is still the matter of her personal life to work out. Sam or Jake? The Private Practice fans are passionately split and not afraid to show it, and I can’t seem to decide myself just how the Private Practice writers actually feel towards the matter. But for me, personally, I want nothing more than to see Addison and Jake end up together. He’s the first guy in a long time that actually has felt good enough and worthy of Addison, and I’ll admit it, I squealed when they finally had sex following the birth of Amelia’s child.
Something has never felt quite right to me about the relationship between Sam and Addison, and while it is obvious that there is something there (otherwise why would they keep going back there?), I’ve never been able to jump on board with the idea that Sam is who Addison is destined to end up with. The idea just does not sit well with me.
So color me surprised – no, make that shocked – as the episode wound down to its final moments and I found myself watching Sam actually propose to Addison. Propose! Marriage! To Addison! The blasphemy! He’d spent all season denying her because he didn’t want to be a father again and now it’s ok? Now he wants to do it all over again? To me, it’s just simply too little too late.
Or is it?
An indecent proposal, to be sure. And I find myself waiting with baited breath to see what Addison’s response will be. Because as desperately as I want her to say no and fall back into Jake’s arm – Jake, the guy who’s good and who’s there and feels so right for her – I could just as easily see her saying yes.
But would it be for all the wrong reasons?
Private Practice returns for its sixth season this fall on ABC.