While Private Practice may have begun as a spin-off of Grey's Anatomy, it quickly found its own footing as a great drama in its own right. The story follows McDreamy's ex-wife Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) as she moves to California for a new life. The show aired for six seasons from 2007 and 2013 and had a following of its own, although it doesn't get the same attention as Grey's.
Any series has some amazing moments that wowed fans... and some that don't live up to the rest of the storytelling. Here are the five best and five worst episodes of Private Practice.
10 Best: "In Which We Meet Addison, a Nice Girl From Somewhere Else"
You would hope that a show's pilot would be great. In many cases, like Gilmore Girls or Game Of Thrones, the first episode succeeds in letting viewers get to know the characters and the universe. And in the case of Private Practice, the pilot is one of the best episodes.
Even the title is great and really does sum up the plot. Addison has to get used to working in a, well, private practice, and it's interesting to see how she fares. She even has an awesome, spirited quote here: she says, "No NO! I do have a big finish. If I hadn't been here today, if you had someone else than that girl would have died delivering her baby. I saved her life. I saved your asses. I'm a world class Neonatal Surgeon- and I'm here to stay. Welcome to the new Oceanside Wellness."
9 Worst: "The Next Episode"
Many fans would probably count the sixth and final season as the show as its worst one, and the episode called, well, "The Next Episode," proves that theory.
Sam Bennett (Taye Diggs) is going to have his own reality series so he has cameras around him. Whenever this is used to tell a story, it's pretty lame, and the same thing is true here. It feels like a filler episode with no purpose.
8 Best: "Step One"
Although many shows start backsliding in quality toward the end of their run, that wasn't always the case here. The fifth season episode "Step One" is really good. The main reason? Its portrayal of a very difficult situation: someone asking a doctor to help them kill themselves.
Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone)'s pal Michelle (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) has a disease called Huntington's that will eventually ruin her quality of life and since no cure has been found, it's a really scary illness. Amelia and Michelle decide that Michelle will stay alive and Amelia will abstain from drinking. This episode deals with intense, tough subjects such as alcoholism and knowing that your disease is fatal, and the show treats this material so well. When Amelia realizes that Michelle has overdosed on purpose and is now gone, it's devastating.
7 Worst: "In Which Cooper Finds a Port In His Storm"
The first season of this TV drama is fairly short (only nine episodes) and not all of them are as strong as the pilot. This episode, "In Which Cooper Finds a Port In His Storm," is one of the worst as it's hard not to find it pretty silly.
There are two major plotlines that are tough to take seriously at all. In one, Addison dates someone who has come to the practice who is obsessed with shoes (and put it in a truly gross place). In the other main storyline, co-workers Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland) and Cooper Freeman (Paul Adelstein) have been chatting on a dating site, and once they discover that, start sleeping together. Wasn't there a better, more interesting way for these two to get together?
6 Best: "In Which We Say Goodbye"
The Private Practice pilot is awesome, and so is the series finale. So many good things happen to the characters: Addison and Jake Reilly (Benjamin Bratt) tie the knot, and most importantly, Naomi (Audra McDonald) and Sam Bennett get back together. They even decide to get re-married, which is what fans were waiting for.
Violet also pens a book called Private Practice, and while this storytelling device can be a corny way to finish off a TV series or movie (fans are pretty divided on Rory Gilmore doing the same thing in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life), it works really well here.
5 Worst: "Love Bites"
In the season three episode "Love Bites," Naomi and Sam aren't pleased that their daughter, Maya ((Geffri Maya) wants to get married. This alone makes it a pretty bad episode.
It's hard to imagine a teenage girl actually wanting to have a baby and a wedding when she's in high school. This is yet another example of a TV drama with a storyline that doesn't make sense at all.
4 Best: "Yours, Mine And Ours"
The second season finale is also one of the best episodes of Private Practice. It delivers a truly terrifying storyline: a pregnant Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman)'s patient, Katie Kent (Amanda Foreman), is literally trying to take Violet's baby out of her stomach.
This moment has definitely stayed with fans since it's hard to imagine something more horrible, heartbreaking, and totally unbelievable. Private Practice excels when it doesn't shy away from really tough topics and hard times.
3 Worst: "Aftershock"
There's one moment in the season six premiere "Aftershock" that makes it one of the show's worst episodes. Charlotte is expecting a baby and tells Addison she should basically suck at what she does so she can lose the baby.
What?! This isn't funny... or sensitive to women who have suffered miscarriages or had a difficult time getting pregnant. For a show that often talks about very difficult and disturbing things, this seems like a mistake.
2 Best: "Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?"
The best Private Practice episode is the worst thing that Charlotte has ever experienced. At the end of the season four episode "All In The Family," Charlotte is raped in her Oceanside Wellness office.
The following episode deals with the aftermath in such a respectful and detailed way that it deserves a lot of credit. In fact, the writers and producers talked to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (also called RAINN) to ensure that it was realistic. Charlotte shows her vulnerability and strength, and it's a real stand out of an episode. It can definitely be considered the show's most well-crafted one.
1 Worst: "The End of a Beautiful Friendship"
Of all the Private Practice episodes, this is the worst one because it's when Dell Parker (Chris Lowell) passes away. Dell is adorable and a really popular character, and this felt like another character biting the dust because Shonda Rhimes shows always feature a lot of character deaths.
"The End of a Beautiful Friendship" isn't a great episode. First of all, it doesn't seem like there's any reason for Dell to die. Second of all, it's not even well done. In the third season finale, he gets into a car accident that ends up being fatal. It's supposed to be courageous because he helps Naomi and Sam's daughter Maya get to the hospital to have her baby, but honestly, it feels too overdramatic.