Private Practice Premiere: A Family in Crisis (Already!)

updated 07/15/2010 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/02/2008 12:00AM



Hormones were flying last night in the season two opener of Private Practice. In quick succession, we learn the status of the main characters’ love lives: Dr. Pete Wilder (Tim Daly) is single, and asks Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) out on a date. She babbles something about cute cop Kevin Nelson (David Sutcliffe) from last season, but then admits it never got past flirtation. She promises to think about a date with the hunky doc.

Commitment-shy Dr. Cooper Freedman (Paul Adelstein) is going strong with his ice queen from last season, Dr. Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland), illustrated by some steamy action on Coop’s desk.

But what’s up with ex-spouses Sam (Taye Diggs) and Naomi (Audra McDonald), who ended last season with a very public kiss sealing their rekindled relationship? “Naomi’s giving me trouble,” Sam sighs. Ethics Shmethics: The doctors manage to fit some work in between the heavy breathing. Patients Aaron and Molly Madison beg Addison to induce labor … but Molly’s only six months pregnant. Addison’s hackles are raised when she learns why: Their son has leukemia and “The baby’s cord blood is the only thing that can save him.”



This sparks an ethics firestorm, with everyone in the practice chastising Naomi for not consulting them before helping the Madisons conceive. Addison contends Molly’s just “growing organs;” Naomi insists she’s saving a life, and wants Addison to induce.

Meanwhile, we know grumpy Naomi has a secret, and sure enough it comes out in dramatic fashion. Turns out Naomi took eighty grand from the couple to produce a match for their sick son -- because the practice is in jeopardy. “We are broke,” Naomi informs Addison in confidence. Isn’t it a bit early in the season for a complete meltdown?

Addison barely has time to digest that before dashing to the hospital, where Molly’s water has broken. Addison is fuming and forces Molly to confess she broke her own water -- “with a knitting needle.” We see strong Addison, the one from Grey’s Anatomy, back in action when she saves the baby's life.

A Non-Love Triangle: Coop’s irritated when Charlotte won’t make their relationship public. Plus, she refuses to go on a vacation with him, even as Violet (Amy Brenneman) nags him to go on their annual buddy vacation. Violet, apparently, wants to “touch monkeys” while Coop just wants to touch Charlotte.

Clueless Violet finally catches on at the hospital when Charlotte confides she’s tired of saving all these lives. Maybe, she muses, she’ll go to Africa and “touch monkeys.” In the end, Charlotte agrees to a short vacation but no big reveal.

Addison’s got more men than she can handle. The cute cop shows up on her doorstep and cajoles her into a date. The next day, Pete asks her out again, but Addison informs him she’s now “seeing someone.”

Turmoil and Betrayal: Tired of being the practice’s doormat (we guess), Dell (Chris Lowell) shocks Naomi … who he’s been crushing on since day one -- when he marches into her office, hands her the office keys and quits. It’s abrupt, but Dell offers a clue or two, telling Naomi he’s been “hiding your mistakes and keeping your secrets,” and that he finally gets that “there is no us.”

Things appear to be looking up for Naomi when she visits Sam’s house and pleads, “Can we just be us again?” while Sam scoops her up in his arms. But the next day it all goes south when Sam humiliates her, relieving her of her duties and taking charge of the practice with no warning. Sam also hands out bonuses -- envelopes containing $100 each (from his own checking account no less) -- and says if they want more, they need to “earn it.”

Sam’s not the only one in trouble. “You do what you have to do to save your family,” Addison tells Sam behind Naomi’s back, echoing what Molly said to her after giving birth.

Naomi stalks out of the meeting and heads for the elevator, while an advertisement she’d commissioned plays on the wall. “We’re a family and this practice is our home,” she’s saying onscreen. A home that appears very much under threat. --Sara Hammel

Tell us: What did you think of the season premiere? Will Addison and Pete find romance in season two? Will Naomi and Sam get back together?

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