Shonda Rhimes’ ending drama series returns for its final three episodes ever.
And it is Amelia’s turn to shine in the eleventh hour of Private Practice’s sixth and last season. Surprisingly emotional and very personal this episode really gets up in Amelia’s business as she attempts to move on from her very troubled past. Sober for a year now, the Shepherd sister is on back on track to living her life to the fullest again. Amelia, being one of my favorite characters and this being the final season ever, it would be totally ideal to see her finally happy and not floundering to stay sober and find someone who she is comfortable and happy with. And it’s great to have that wish come to fruition in the latest installment…
In all honesty, this should have been a rather boring episode, in which Amelia finds happiness with a man she previously despised. That man being James, the new ER doctor. This season has been building up this coupling and I didn’t really expect to like--love these two together as much as I do now. They have a special, subtle chemistry that is undeniable, yet has quite a few obstacles to overcome. Amelia’s got baggage. A lot of baggage, and yet James has near to none. These two people have little in common, and they are not particularly on the same level. The differences between them are tall and wide, and yet they work. How so?
Amelia and James have fallen into one another through a worldly circumstance of fate, it seems like. These two doctors are a perfect mix of fun, romance, spontaneity and really, really good fries. This episode truly gives us fans a look into our favorite neurosurgeon in L.A., who has for the most part, been in the background all season. Congratulations on Amelia’s continued sobriety. Her journey on this series has been anything but easy and her rough exterior is only a testament to that. A rough exterior that James must slowly and steadily penetrate in order for them to move on into a good place. After a few disastrous dates, watching working out tapes while eating ice cream, and vowing to be alone for the rest of her life, Amelia slowly gets her groove back as James moves in on her.
It’s hard not to like James in this installment. He’s just so genuine, charming, romantic and again, a surprisingly great yet challenging match for the spunky Amelia Shepherd. As these two spend days, nights, and even weeks together, they grow in some great ways. From the physical aspects of their relationship, to the emotional. And there are a lot of emotional aspects. The best moments of the episode are the ones in which Amelia and James spend time alone. My personal favorite moment of the episode is when Amelia and James are freely talking under the covers about Amelia’s past. It’s honest, heartfelt, and raw, as she reveals the darkest and most tragic facets of her life. Even of her drug addiction, her devastating pregnancy, and her previous lover, Ryan’s death.
From the emotional and physical aspects to the occasional trivialities that often hinder two people from getting together. Amelia and James even end up conversing about politics, ethics and morals. James is a religious, conservative Republican who is pro-life and believes in the death penalty, while Amelia is pretty much the exact opposite. Amelia’s disbelief at this is both interesting and a bit humorous. I loved this scene mostly because it highlights the fact that these two very separate and different people can engage in loving, bickering disagreements, and still be falling for each other at the same time…
Our society often finds so many ways to categorize others, by political beliefs, religion, race, creeds, and more, when looking for that “special someone” that we frequently miss out on a great person that is right in front of us. So I’m glad that Amelia and James did not decide to call it quits simply because they have some disagreements in certain areas. In fact, I’m one to assume that it makes their relationship that much more interesting. Amelia and James are both smart and challenging individuals, and they should have a lot to converse about. I also admire James’ strength and open-mindedness to stay with a woman who has had such a messy, distressing past. A lot of guys might run after hearing all of the crazy things Amelia has gone through, but not James.
Amelia even gets to meet James’ parents, which goes more smoothly than one would think. That is until a question of the future comes up. James’ parents, especially his mother, seem more traditional, in a sense when it comes to relationships, marriage and children. James’ mother spends the entire dinner passive-aggressively hinting at Amelia spending more time at home than at the hospital doing what she loves. James attempts to soften the situation, but only makes Amelia feel as though she cannot answer for herself. It’s a small disagreement, yet given Amelia’s previous concerns of being with another person, it’s not hard to see why she reacts so angrily about it. Amelia finds that she actually loves James and she’s scared of that after how her last lover came and went. Therefore, it seems easiest for her to dismiss James over such a seemingly small concern.
Throughout the episode Amelia takes advice from a myriad of her friends. Henry leads Amelia to James in the most vague way as possible (think really good fries). We find that Violet is so adamant about helping Amelia find a new love mostly because she, herself is worried that she won’t be able to find love after Pete. It’s weird that I have not thought about what Violet’s romantic life has turned into after Pete’s death all season, but I do truly hope Violet meet someone and can move on and be happy too. Charlotte definitely helps out Amelia in the best ways, from picking out condoms to helping her realize that she is dodging happiness. And Sheldon, the wise sir of the practice, continues to be one of Amelia’s shining knights when he reminds her that just because she and James are so different, doesn’t mean they can’t work.
All of the trivial, petty crap we use to separate ourselves from another person that we love is downright foolish, keeps us from connecting with other people and truly does not matter. This is a romantic, emotion episode that focuses on one of my favorite characters of Private Practice, and it does not disappoint. Lovely, frank, fun and delicately exciting, as we see two very disparate individuals come together by what seems like fate. I’ve loved these character study installments and it’s sad to know that there are only to episodes left before the series’ end. But on the good side, Amelia has found herself some really, really good fries, and that’s worth celebrating. “Good Fries Are Hard to Come By” gets 4 out of 5 stars!
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