The office secretary makes a big play for his boss after learning the value of fighting from his crazy grandpa; plus, Cooper and Pete try to teach men to be daddies

By Gretchen Hansen
Updated December 06, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
Chris Lowell
  • TV Show
  • ABC

”Private Practice” recap: Dell comes out swinging

Start here. Just wanted to remind you where to begin reading this TV Watch, because ABC reminds me where to start on a nightly basis. In other news from ABC: ”Santa’s left behind an all new Private Practice!” Of course, the network failed to mention that at the conclusion of the episode, Santa Rhimes went on strike. But fear not, Ari Karpel is not on strike. I’m just filling in for him this week while he’s off. (Celebrating the moments of his life, of course).

We began last night’s episode with the three stooges peering into a volcano. Sam, the keeper of his ex-wife’s happiness and high-school-science-project aficionado, was sure the volcano he built for his daughter would erupt. I wish I had known how to guilt my parents into doing my homework. In fact, I called my mom, who’s a fan of Private Practice, after this episode finished airing to see if she could provide any nuggets of wisdom or insight. ”It was all about sex and conceiving,” she told me. ”Interesting, I’d say. So many twists. Twists with emotion. How to describe it though? [(Long pause.)] Emotional. And I mean the sex, once you have sex with a friend, you can’t go back to being friends, and then sometimes you have sex with people who aren’t friends, which, actually, is probably a better idea. Not for you though. Sex with friends or strangers isn’t a good idea for you at all. Did you buy a warm winter coat yet? Oh, and then Addison. She’s in a tough spot. She should be in love with that guy from work. Sex with coworkers can end badly too though. You know what they say, love is blind. Ooh, use that for your review! Sex, love, friendship, and sperm. That’s what it’s all about. It’s, um, whatever the word is, oh, I know, it’s all entangled. Something like that.”

I just remembered why I don’t ask my parents for help.

My mother might not be articulate, but I can safely assume that when I was an infant, she never dropped me off the top of a skyscraper, fed me buckets of sand, or dunked me like a basketball into a laundry basket. (Unfortunately for their children, I can’t be sure that the soon-to-be fathers of Cooper and Pete’s parenting class won’t try all three.)

But going back to that volcano: As Sam, Pete, and Cooper gazed into the man-made natural disaster, we were smacked in the face with the overarching theme of our episode: eruptions of emotion! Pete, in an attempt to feng-shquash the foreseeable outbursts, noted, ”We don’t need any more office drama.” I guess we know what Pete wished for this Christmas: More drawn-out, Discovery Channel-esque artificial insemination sequences to melodramatic, throbbing background music. Come on, Pete! Private Practice isn’t about doctors practicing medicine! It’s about doctors putting their private lives on display for the entire practice! Every office needs a little Paw-Paw!

Of course, by Paw-Paw, I am referring to Dell’s grandfather (guest star George Segal). Channeling Brad Pitt, Gramps started staging boxing matches at his nursing home, where even the senile know that the first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. You certainly do not talk about it with your concerned grandson or your physician. But Dell was convinced Paw, whose real name is Wendell, was getting elder-abused, so he was rightfully shocked when Wendell turned out to be the next Million Dollar, er, Old Person. Paw and Wendell are both weird names, but his grandson is named after a computer, so I guess it?s all relative. Anyway, the underground gladiators were not the spry 64-year-olds they once were, and before Wendell even had the chance to victoriously prance about, Rocky style, Sam informed the arena that Nate wasn’t just down for the count. He might be down for good. Wendell never meant to kill anyone; it was just that those awful bingo nights were killing him! But Sam assured him that Nate’s death wasn’t anyone’s fault. ”He was living on borrowed time.” ”Hey,” I thought to myself, ”those sound like corny lyrics!” That was because they are corny lyrics. Other corny lyrics featured in last night’s episode: ”secret lovers” and ”second time around.” (John Lennon, Atlantic Starr, and Luther Vandross went uncredited — I checked.) ”You’ll wish you fought more,” Wendell told a somber Sam and Dell. Sam and Dell interpreted this to mean they should maul Naomi at the earliest possible opportunity. More on the fireworks later, back to the throw-downs!

In our next cage match, we had Jeffrey and Kathleen (two returning patients) vs. infertility. I knew the moment Naomi said it wasn’t possible for Jeffrey to have children that it was absolutely possible for Jeffrey to have children. The diagnosis was coming from the same specialist who conveniently forgot to mention that ”barren” Addison still had viable eggs. If Naomi thinks it’s unlikely you could conceive, you’ll probably end up with a family of eight. But before Jeffrey and Kathleen got their miracle, they considered alternative options. Luckily, they didn’t settle on Jeffrey’s brother Mike as a sperm donor. He wasn’t really an alternative option. He was what you’d call a worst last resort. When Kathleen halted the insemination procedure, Naomi and Addison exchanged a knowing look. The ”we probably should have mentioned this before, but actually there is another way you can have a child” look. Addison decided on sperm fishing and telepathically suggested this procedure to Naomi, who agreed. Who needs a written prescription or a verbal diagnosis when they can be communicated by a raised eyebrow, a head tilt, or a long sigh?

NEXT: Dell makes his move

Not so good at interpreting body language was everyone’s favorite wilting Violet. She believed Cooper’s outrageously bad lie that their relationship was totally fine. Not just fine, or even good. They’re ”great!” squeaked Cooper, averting his eyes and raising his voice a hundred octaves. His relationship with Violet was not great, but the sex he had with Charlotte sure was. Violet pretended Cooper’s life didn’t bother her by looking only faintly devastated. ”One of us should act like an adult,” Violet told him. Angry, dirty sex on a semi-regular basis. Gee, Cooper is growing up so fast.

While Cooper was fighting in bed, Addison was fighting to get into bed. ”You’re dry!” proclaimed Officer Kevin. ”Last time I saw you, you were all wet.” Shockingly, they refrained from tackling each other to the floor right then and there. If the ”sweet, uncomplicated cop vs. coworker with history and ruggedly good looks” story line seemed familiar, that’s because it is. The cop is to Private Practice as the vet was to Grey’s Anatomy. Pete inadvertently persuaded Addison to fight for Officer Kevin. ”Who will Addison choose?” I wondered. I also pondered which track by the Fray will play when Addison is torn between the doc and the cop in the season-finale cliff-hanger (if we’re lucky enough to even get one).

I thought the Dance War commercials had a lot of fireworks until I saw the last few minutes of Practice. Dell is ”dazzled” by Naomi! Sam is officially done with Dell! Dell is a man ready to fight for his woman! Sam loves his ex-wife and wants the world to know! You’d think I was hyperventilating, but in my opinion, Naomi can do better than either of the men wooing her. Sex with the ex and sex with the secretary? Natural disasters.

So what do you think? Would anyone like to see Pete and Cooper teach more parenting classes? Still laughing about baby myths and that Chucky look-alike doll? What was with the jackass executive’s transformation from stone cold to man with a heart of gold in under 60 seconds? Kevin consensus: Good cop or bad cop? Should Addison ask Meredith Grey for some advice on choosing between two men? And is it possible to stop comparing this spin-off to Grey’s Anatomy?

Episode Recaps

Private Practice

  • TV Show
  • In Season
  • ABC