Good Fries Are Hard To Come By
Original Air Date: Jan 8, 2013
Karen Belgrad – Senior Editor
With two episodes remaining, my fingers are crossed that Shonda’s experiment of character-centric episodes has ended. Because while I like Amelia, and James has a pretty torso, tonight’s episode was a pretty big letdown after all of the Cooper/Charlotte drama we left off with before the holidays.
I’d give the character episodes a mostly passing grade, as I liked more (Charlotte, Cooper, Sheldon) than I openly disliked (Sam!). But tonight didn’t feel like an episode of Private Practice, it felt like a Kate Hudson romantic comedy (with very little comedy) movie. And with the series winding down, it felt like an hour squandered.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like the character of Amelia and Caterina Scorsone sold every one of her varied emotions tonight. But last season, we saw her hit rock bottom and pick herself back up, with the help of a strong support system. And after her addiction, Ryan’s death, and the unicorn baby, she was due for some good old fashioned loving. And she and James are perfectly serviceable as a twosome, but the medical drama was strongly lacking, as was any real check-ins with other characters. Except for a scene where Violet made it all about herself (shocking) and Sheldon revealed his cancer, everyone else was reduced to completely bit players. I only hope the show course corrects for the final hours.
At the beginning of the hour, Amelia speaks at an AA meeting. She was 407 days sober, and thinks she is setting herself up to grow. But we quickly see she’s rather stuck in standstill mode, with a sparsely furnished apartment and minimal nutrients. When Violet reminds her that recovery involves socializing, she allows the other doctors to set her up on some generic bad blind dates. But watching television at home, alone, she sees a French fry commercial and is reminded of James’ standing offer to join him on Friday nights for French fries at Billy’s on Cannon.
Their impromptu date goes well enough, including a Die Hard versus Speed debate, but Amelia is confused when he doesn’t move in for a kiss at the end of the evening. After their second date, she leans against the car, again expecting a kiss, but he just opens the door for her. Confused, she allows another blind date, but as she’s leaving James shows up at her door (unannounced) for the desired first kiss. She goes to see (a still pregnant, damn timeline) Charlotte and has an amusing condom conversation which nets her supplies in case she and James take the next step; which comes pretty quickly when she answers the door in a smoking hot green dress. But her past comes back to haunt her, as Ryan flashbacks fill her mind and she bolts from the bedroom.
The next morning James is still there trying to make breakfast… err… offering toast with either ice cream or salsa. She offers him an out, admitting to being a mess, but when he only restates the meal options, it’s finally sexy time for the new couple. They spend the next few days in bed, learning about each other’s lives, including his Republican political views. Amelia opens up about Ryan, including wondering if her feelings were real or just drug induced. Ryan smartly advises her not to let her present perspective diminish her memories.
As soon as they’re out of bed (seriously, how many days did they have off work?), they’re at dinner with his parents (played by Lee Garlington and Ron Perkins). His mother gets in a few digs about working mothers, and while Amelia is all set to defend her career choices, James shuts the conversation down. Amelia is livid and dumps him on the spot, storming out of her own apartment. She goes to see (now in the hospital, seriously the timeline was wonky) Charlotte, and just sits by her bedside, clearly resisting temptation to use.
Amelia takes a moment to rail at Violet for being pushed into dating, so (naturally) Violet takes a moment to talk about her own fears of growing old alone. Sheldon reminds her that the petty things don’t matter, but it’s just important to have someone to hold your hand when you have cancer, thus revealing his own diagnosis to a surprised Amelia. And when James tells her he loves her, Amelia chooses that opportune moment to correctly diagnose their seizure-prone patient Kay (played by Kimberly Hebert Gregory). After sending Kay off to heart surgery with Sam, Amelia confesses that she is going with instinct and she loves him too.
And with that, we can send Amelia off into the Private Practice sunset with a happily ever after, although I still think she’d be a great fit on Grey’s Anatomy (her Derek worship not withstanding). And now that you have my TwoCents on this episode, share your TwoCents, comments, and feedback below!