Private Practice

Episode Report Card
Mollie: D+ | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Paw-Paw Says Knock You Out
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Tonight's episode was preceded by a showing of the second-tier Rankin Bass holiday special Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, and as the end credits roll, the ABC announcer says, rather perversely, "Santa's left behind a brand-new Private Practice, starting now!" Gee, ABC, not even a patronizing "Time to put those kids to bed" warning? I mean, stop-motion holiday specials are disturbing in their own way, but no child should be exposed to the dizzying, sex-filled "Previously on..." sequence we're about to watch. In rapid succession, and in no chronological order, we see: Addison downgrading Pete to "acquaintance"; cute Officer Nelson asking Dr. Montgomery out for a drink; Sam and Naomi getting it on in the conference room as Sam's voice declares their sex "not a sin"; Dell telling Naomi all his hard work is for her; Charlotte and Cooper enjoying their internet-facilitated sex; and finally (and most jarringly), Addison and Pete getting credit, at the end of episode 3, for saving the marriage of those two newlyweds who couldn't manage to have sex on their honeymoon. I think that whole sequence may have obscured more than it clarified.

Now we're on the beach outside Sam's house, where Cooper and Pete have joined him (for reasons unknown) to test a science-fair volcano diorama. I was hoping Sam would turn out to be a diorama-building hobbyist -- maybe he has a really elaborate model train set up in his basement! -- but actually, it's a science project for Maya. I guess Sam is one of those parents who does their kids' work for them. There was a girl in my grade school class whose mom always did her projects. And yes, she won the science fair every year, but did she really learn about why white carnations turn green when you put them in green water? No, she did not. ["Seriously. And making an electromagnet out of a potato is impressive once, not every year." -- Joe R] This particular diorama includes a golf course, built in the shadow of the volcano, which is a wonderful touch. That oblivious little golfer is about to be swept away by lava...well, he would be, if the volcano worked. But it doesn't. Guess Maya won't be winning any prizes after all. Sam tells Pete that he's doing this to make Naomi happy, prompting Pete to point out that this seems contrary to the spirit of divorce. Cooper, ever the gentleman, inquires, "Are you trying to get back in Naomi's pants?" Sam protests (a bit too aggressively) that he is not. Both Pete and Coop order Sam not to sleep with Naomi: "We don't need any more office drama," says Pete, as Cooper nods. To quote Dr. Freedman himself: glass house, stone throwers! Sam thinks they're just jealous of him because of their respective failures to "seal the deal" with Addison and Violet. "I seal the deal," he boasts. Then he remembers to add, "...I'm not sealing Naomi." Cooper dispenses some typical wisdom: "Casual sex with virtual strangers. That's the way to go." His phone rings at that moment, making his point for him. He dashes off to answer it, and Pete and Sam agree that he might be smarter than they are. Guys, there's "intelligence," and then there's "lower standards." Let's not confuse the two. Anyway, Pete and Sam gaze back down into the volcano. We see them through the opening via volcano-cam. It would be appropriate if it erupted in their faces, proving them stupid, but it's probably more symbolically appropriate that it fails to erupt. Even the volcano can't quite seal the deal.

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Private Practice

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