Sunday, May 22, 2011

Private Practice: Season 4, Episode 22 "To Change the Things I Can" Finale - Good Bye Naomi

This means good bye to Audra McDonald who spent four years having us get to know Naomi. McDonald has taken this opportunity to spend more time with her family in New York, departing from her 'series regular' role. Although there may be a chance for use to see her again in season five, I doubt she would get much of a storyline. The real question remains, would this departure hurt the series?

I don't think it would, Addison has been the drive for this series' existence. Even though each character has grown over the past four years, Naomi's relative absence from the series this season didn't leave much of a dent. Her absence alone would however be missed. She became part of the reason Addison came over to the practice and now she's not even going to be around.

I was upset with Naomi mostly for the latter part of this season. Her spontaneous trip away from the practice, then she came back all judgy about her 'practice' family. She was once a part of their decision making and grew up with them, formed bonds with them. She angered me when she returned in 'What we have here' with hostility to Addison and Sam's relationship. 'Addison's Testimony' can shed some light on how Addison could react to that situation.

Coming down to the end, it felt like the writers were pushing story-lines her way. Fife following Naomi around until she agreed to travel with him and Naomi taking Betsey under her wing; as much as these both sound sweet, it felt rushed and unsettling. Betsey's storyline particularly felt like an easy way to get Betsey the home she needed and off the show fast.

Given the change in events had McDonald stayed on another season, they might have handled the Fife story better. They might have even removed the desperation attached to him and have him do something while he stayed to swoop Naomi away. I liked Fife as a 'mean a#^' and now he is just too soft and unlikeable as he was before. *Hmm* I liked him better when he was meaner, that's something.

For the rest of this episode Addison's new 'way of living' felt like she was in a crisis. I was happy that she and Naomi mended fences, so I was hoping Naomi would be the voice of reason. Unfortunately Addison had to deal with 'supermarket guy' alone. I call him 'supermarket guy' because I don't think we got his name. The guy gave Addison the option to travel with him and have 'hot sex'. I wondered how many times Addison met with this guy with no name, for a vacation like that to be an option. 'Supermarket guy' also looked a little creepy, don't let his apparently sexy voice fool you Addie, that's probably all that could be good about him.

What got me really upset was Addison and Sam taking one for the night. Sam admitted that he missed Addison and next she is seen in bed with him, has the 'wanting a baby' situation changed? They would only fight again if the situation is not resolved. I just figure they both do not want to be alone anymore and decided to shack-up. I don't blame them for wanting something together without knowing what could be apart, but Sam hurt Addie and right now I don't like him that much.

Another couple that is shaky right now is Violet and Pete. Pete just cannot accept any form of compromise, forcing himself to believe an ultimatum would work instead. Pete works himself up too much and is stubborn about it. Violet can be selfish and strongly motivated by her convictions and so could Pete, and there is where they clash as a couple. They are both controlling, but they could hardly control each other. It was heart wrenching watching Pete plummet to the floor in agony from what seemed like a heart attack. Pete has too much stress in his life, what was even worse was that poor Lucas saw the whole thing and couldn't do anything about it.

Everyone is having their own crisis, so who would think to make a stop by Pete just to check on him and get him to the hospital in time? My guess, Violet changes her mind and returns home in time. That might be a plot changer. Way to leave season 4, with poor Lucas traumatized. I didn't like one bit of it.

'To Change the Things I Can', is an interesting piece of advice to leave the season with. You can only change the things you are capable of changing. People try to over-exceed their limits and end up stressing themselves out. What's the use of wearing yourself down to complete a task when you could rest and live to do it another day? Charlotte had to face a past trauma, and she did it the best way she knew she could. Amelia is dealing with her drinking and she is crying out for help. Charlotte and Amelia have a close friendship and maybe she could help her, but the rest is up to Amelia.

So what can we expect next season? Who else didn't believe the words coming out Sam's mouth when he flat out told Naomi to leave and be with Fife? I expected Addison to say that, but Sam seems appropriate for the only one Naomi would listen to. Your ex-husband is telling you to run off with someone, maybe there is plausibility in that relationship right? I don't know. I am just happy that Audra McDonald would be spending more time with her family, the leave seems more worthwhile. I mean we all want her to be happy, but she will be missed as a regular cast.

Here's for a promising Season 5.


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To Change the Things I Can
4 Stars

Private Practice Season 4
4 Stars

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