Shonda Rhimes & Co. apparently got the message that in May's back-door pilot of Private Practice, Addison acted like too much of a whiner and wimp.
As a result, two changes were made by the producers late in production of the season opener last week, "In Which We Meet Addison ..." They were:
1. The opening scene where Addison resigns from Seattle Grace. This was going to be, initially, a casual little chat over coffee with Dr. Richard Webber in the Chief's office, instead of the more heated confrontation you saw. This, in fact, was such a last-minute change that the photos released by ABC (and posted on this site) depict the original version of the opener. See below:
2. Addison's big speech to the other doctors, which originally was to end with her admitting that she didn't have a big finish, which was to be followed by much mockery from the other docs. In the end, they added the big finish, including the whole "world-class surgeon" bit that left the other Oceanside Wellness doctors practically kneeling in her presence.
Small changes, to be sure. But what they have in common is that Dr. Addison Montgomery seems far more confident, aggressive and in control of her own destiny - in other words, the Addison everybody liked enough to make her deserving of her own Private Practice to begin with. And those changes suggest that someone finally got through to Shonda along those lines.
Baby steps, but steps in the right direction.