Spun off from Grey’s Anatomy in 2007, ABC’s Private Practice tells the story of a group of doctors who all work out of the same medical practice. After six seasons, the series ended this past January. Now, those final 13 episodes are available on DVD.
As much as it has always presented itself as an ensemble, Addison Forbes Montgomery (Kate Walsh) has always been the star of the series. Her entire journey over the past six years has been to find herself, find her man, and find her family. It’s been a long, arduous road, full of plenty of screw-ups along the way. Season six concludes her six-year story arc, as she considers marriage to Jake (Benjamin Bratt) — who may just be the one — while facing motherhood for the very first time.
Addison isn’t the only one hoping to settle down. Sam (Taye Diggs) also is tired of dating, if he ever did like it, and now is ready to be married again. But who will be the girl for him? Stephanie (Justina Machado), his new flame, with whom things seem to be going well with? Naomi (Audra McDonald), his ex-wife, who returns late in the season after a long absence with a few surprises? Or could it be Addison?
Meanwhile, Charlotte (KaDee Strickland) prepares to give birth to triplets, and is not very excited about it, while her husband Cooper (Paul Adelstein) and their son Mason (Griffin Gluck) feel just the opposite. Cooper and Charlotte’s union has never been an easy one, yet the love between them is so strong that one knows they just have to work things out in the end.
Charlotte may doubt her ability to be a good mother, but watching her with Mason, we are confident that the new babies will be well taken care of. This may not be the way Charlotte wants her life to play out, but Cooper is sympathetic, and this story, while testing their marriage, could result in an even stronger bond betweeViolet (Amy Brenneman) tries to find a way to honor departed husband Pete’s memory and process the anger she still feels towards him. This is a very interesting take on mourning, since Pete and Violet are not exactly in a good place when he passes on. The story does as good job of presenting how someone might face the loss of a spouse not be entirely missed.
The rest of the cast have their stories, too. Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) builds herself back up from a painful low and Sheldon (Brian Benben) faces his own mortality while understanding he is not alone. Every one of the series story arcs is well served before the final curtain.
Creator Shonda Rhimes seems determined to bring each player full circle, completing the path they have been walking, and tying up the loose ends as neatly as possible. However, in doing so, season six has some weaknesses as well. Not every couple that ends up together feels as earned as they should. Things get a little too on the nose when Violet reveals in the series finale (SPOILER) that she has written a book called Private Practice. But compared with past seasons, which sometimes delivered not-so-satisfying arcs, this sixth one is stronger than most, and at least tugs at the viewers’ heart strings with aplomb.
The special features are light, the three-disc set containing only deleted scenes and bloopers. But since these are some of the best installments of the series, for the die-hard fan, the episodes alone should suffice.
Private Practice The Complete Sixth and Final Season is available now.