Private Practice Review: "Pushing the Limits"

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Last night's episode of Private Practice was actually quite touching at times, despite a large dose of After School Special caliber cheese and some eye-rolling moments.

For the full rundown of what happened, follow the link for a recap of "Pushing the Limits." Now, here's our take on last night's episode, the fourth of the third season:

At times, watching Private Practice is like pulling teeth, as if they're trying to beat you senselss over the head tying medical stories into the characters' personal lives.

That said, it's what Grey's Anatomy used to be about, and if you like the characters, there is something to be said for this. Case in point? Violet's story line last night.

Working with a woman who had just been raped - and was carrying the rapist's baby, and whose husband wanted her to abort it - just hit too close to home for V.

The woman, who had been trying to conceive for some time, wanted to keep it. Violet went way over the line and told her it would be a living reminder of the rape.

Ultimately, she got a grip and told the couple they had to decide on their own. We don't know what they did, but it's network TV, so no way they had an abortion.

Side note: Why is abortion still taboo, even on ABC, the official network of hot same-sex couples? We're not implying this couple should have had one, just saying.

Homeless Mother and Child

The most touching moment of the night, even if the cheesy lines elicited some audible groaning, was when Addison reunited a homeless mother and her mother.

The two had been estranged since - surprise, surprise - the 13-year-old refused to abort her pregnancy. Now she's got a two-year-old of her own and needs help.

With the help of the sentimental doctors of Oceanside ... Pacific ... whatever the heck they want to be called ... the two patched things up and the boy was saved.

These stories were good and at least consistent with what Private Practice is all about, and made it more enjoyable than Grey's Anatomy last night in many ways.

Other things didn't quite work, though. Dell may be really cute, but seems to show up here and there and never really produce much in the way of notable stories.

Also, the job switching seems like forced drama. Pete's moving upstairs, Naomi's not being replaced, Charlotte's moving downstairs ... it's all a blur after awhile.

When Private Practice sticks with what it's good at, it can be downright enjoyable. They've got a good cast and good writing. They just need to trim the fat a bit.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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The whole trauma with Violet was a writers-mistake. It's too serious, and too horrible for a show like this one to deal with, which is at the same time trying to be sexy and witty. This will cast a shadow on the whole season and even into the next one. Violet wont be drinking cocktails at the beach, having sex, or a simple laugh for years to come, if ever. Actually I'll be surprised if the writers will be able to keep her on. Because Violets drama is like a heavy stone that will make the whole show sink. I just watched the starter kit and there you can see how everything went from a nice balance of lightness, and heaviness into just heaviness. I don't see how the lightness can come back now, unless Violet moves away to deal with her problems, hence leaving the show.

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I bet they will merge the two practices as well! I don't like the idea of Charlotte working at Oceanside and I DEFINITELY do not like Pete at Pacific Wellcare! I want him with Violet too much. Bring us some Pete and Violet action! I'm with all the other posts. And yes, Naomi needs more scenes. I want her back at Oceanside too. Seriously, bring Pete and Naomi back to Oceanside, kick Charlotte back to PW or St. Ambrose. And for God's sake, keep Violet and Pete together.

Paddisonluvr

Moving away from Pete and Violet for once, I miss Naomi. Audra is such a great actress and she's barely had any screen time this season. That NEEDS to change! And it would be great to see her sing on the show, though that would be very difficult to find a reason for . . .

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Okay, Pete going to Pacific Wellcare!! WTF? Now Violet feels like he abandoned her! And for Pete and Violet fans like myself, that is sad! I know he loves her and is trying to do what he thinks is best to make her better, but I think going to Pacific Wellcare was crossing the line, or going too far. That is too much space. I hope, since the next episode looks pretty emotional, that it will start to bring Violet and Pete back together. They are my favorites.

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I said the same thing! I bet they will merge too, gives Shonda an excuse to bring in more characters. I hate that. I only want a new guy for Addison. I don't want any more characters, that is one of the many reasons why I don't like Grey's. Too many people! I hate that! I don't want that happening on PrP...I like the main 6, or 8. And as for Violet and Pete, I want them back together so bad! They make such a great/attractive couple! I adore Pete and Violet! May they reunite as a family soon! And yeah, Pete better be back at Oceanside in like the next episode.

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Great storyline last night, except for Dell! What was that all about?
Anyhow, I think that eventually the two practices... Upstairs/Downstairs will merge.

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Violet has been through hell. She is trying. She needs her work and she fixed what slipped out. I do hope that she is better soon! And that she and Pete and Lucas can be happy together! And Pete going to Pacific Wellcare???!! I hope that ends by the next episode. I need Pete and Violet back together! Love those two!

Paddisonluvr

Who wrote this summary? I completely disagree that abortion is taboo on ABC - we know Violet had one, and Addie aborted Mark's baby and eventually confessed it to Callie on GA. So it's NOT taboo - PP last season discussed it with conflict between Naomi and Meg at Oceanside, and GA has had several episodes including abortion discussion. I agree, J, that Addie/Sam are fantastic. The parts with Addie realizing she can be an ass at times were amazing (KW!) and the beginning with the two of them hiking was hilarious. I miss the Naomi/Addison friendship, though. I really do. And what is going on with Pete going downstairs and Charlotte moving in? That's just weird. And the Sheldon thing was a little strange, but I'll let that go. Good acting last night, although I agree with this summary that Dell's plotline wasn't as good as it could have been. PP rocks! I can't wait to see the trial next week, and Addie is talking to the cat 2 (?) weeks from last night! That should be fun to watch.

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I love the Addison and Sam friendship. Best parts of the whole episode. Violet should not be allowed to treat patients. If she keeps it up, she will have another one try to kill her. LOL.

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