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''Private Practice'': Addison can't be alone

Violet and Naomi have to coach the new kid on how to deal with her romantic frustration with Pete; plus, little Maya thinks she has a sexually transmitted disease

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”Private Practice”: Addison can’t be alone

Last night, we went to Ladytown.

And it turns out Addison had never been there before. She’d never gone downtown. Y’know: to Miami.

South. Of. The. Border.

Yup, believe it or not, Addison had never paid herself lip service. She hadn’t dialed the rotary phone. She didn’t know how to do the two-finger taco tango!

High five!

Okay, you get the point.

Now, Addison claimed it’s because she’s from Connecticut. If that’s true, the governor of that cross-legged state ought to declare Masturbation Mondays, or Jill-off July. They need to get somethin’ going on over there. Where’s Eve Ensler when you need her?

But by the end of the episode, Addison and her shower nozzle were about to get to know each other intimately. Score one for Cali!

I’m proud of Addison. Maybe this has been her problem all along. She spent so much of her life getting ”double board-certified” that she has neglected to go down there. This woman didn’t have enough Georgia O’Keefe posters in her dorm room, did she?

But let’s go back to the beginning. The episode opened in an elevator (going down? Okay, I’ll stop) in which Pete admitted to Addison that he couldn’t continue working with her — that her red hair, her face, her brain were too hot for him to handle. Ding! It’s a dream!

So it’s not original — the dream sequence — but it could provide ”shower-nozzle masturbation material for weeks” (thank you, Heather Chandler) if Addison would just let it.

Violet shared her Bill Clinton fantasy, leading Naomi to the false conclusion that Violet is over Allan. Oh, poor Violet. First she was saddled with the name Violet, and now this. At least her parents didn’t name her Petunia.

Speaking of parents, we finally got some action from Sam and Naomi’s daughter, Maya. Sadly, it’s because she was getting some action — at 13! Yup, little innocent Maya thought she had gonorrhea. (First thing I thought: Do people still get the clap? Um, actually, yes, they do.) The kid smartly turned to Aunt Addison, the doctor, who, in turn, handled it horribly.

Now, I’m not a doctor, but I watch them on TV, and I know that if a child comes to you claiming that she has a sexually transmitted disease, you take the child seriously, but you must also be skeptical — perhaps she doesn’t know what she’s talking about or has some bizarre ideas about sex. Or she’s covering for a friend. (Bingo!)

Speaking of children, last night was Dell’s chance to shine. And shine he did! Speculum in hand, he had the womens fawning over him. He inspired the evening’s best line, about not letting a child go to Ladytown! In turn, Master Dell had his Addison Moment. He bumbled through a terrific self-empowered rant about how he’s old enough to go down…to Miami. To get acquainted with Hannah and Her Sisters.

Anyway, what’s refreshing about all of this is that Dell is the most interesting character on the show and, for once, it’s the guy being objectified. He’s not taken seriously, and women don’t want him examining them because he’s too young and too cute. All that’s because we are officially in Ladytown. Here on ABC, the men are either puppy dogs or scoundrels and the women are sex crazed or repressed. Or they’re rape victims who cannot act. Sorry, but the woman who had the most serious story line of the night just failed Acting 101 with her stiff line readings. (”I survived.”)

Meanwhile, Violet clearly flunked Psych 101: Violet, you don’t tell the patients how they feel or, worse, how they should feel; you have to allow them to go through the process of figuring that out, while you guide them to understanding. Of course, we don’t have that much time when there are three extraneous story lines every week, in addition to the regular characters’. But Violet had an important insight of her own last night: ”I’m sorry,” she said. ”As in, I’m pathetic.” That’s right, sister, let it out.

NEXT: Addison likes cowboys. Or is it gladiators?

Pete let it out. He got in touch with his anger and punched the coach-guardian of the Olympic-hopeful runner. Again, not a good idea for a doctor, but I do think Pete needed to express his feelings.

I wonder what Addison is expressing when she wears those funny surgical caps. (What do I Google to get a funny hat like that? Oh, ”hospital hats.”) She came through for Maya’s friend, but I couldn’t help thinking that she’d have figured out that the friend was pregnant if she had simply asked some probing, but appropriate, questions of Maya.

Still, Addison sure did express herself to Pete: She caressed his hand as she learned that he’d hit someone ”like a cowboy, like a gladiator.” She gave him a little too much information, and off she went to get busy by herself. Go, Addison!

So, TV Watchers, what happened to Coop’s much-heralded Internet whoring? Is his one-note character adorably nebbishy, or is he just the poor man’s Bradley Whitford? Is Violet finally going to get over Allan? Did he string her along horribly enough last night? Could two now-divorced doctors really fail to speak to their daughter about sex, each thinking the other one was doing it, and then blame each other with ”but you have the right parts”? Now that’s pathetic. And, finally, is the suggestion of female masturbation really what passes for racy on network TV nowadays? Because it seems kind of tame to me. Or maybe I’ve just been watching too much Tell Me You Love Me.