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The Telefile
Private Practice: A Surprising Death in the Family

This show is not, nor will it ever be, Grey's Anatomy. However, last night's episode, which I primarily watched because it featured the return of Xander the rapist, delivered a major shock that I totally didn't see coming. And that's saying something because when visiting Shondaland, I almost always have a hunch of what's coming (except for Dell's demise, because that was just mishandled and I still can't really talk about that). Anyway, this twist threw me for a loop... and in a good way. [Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't watched.]

In an episode that was filled with the usual heaping of moral dilemmas -- from whether blind people are fit to be parents to whether the doctors should treat the wife-beating guy who raped Charlotte after he had been stabbed with a kitchen knife - the whopper at the very end is all I can think about.

Basically, Addison had to let Bizzy's wife Susan die and then all hell broke loose. The couple had just gotten married in the previous episode, but the poor woman had cancer and signed a DNR without telling her new bride. But that's not the surprise, because we saw her collapsing and being rushed to the hospital, and they'd shown the DNR discussion previously. So that part was really just a matter of time. Of course, Bizzy being Bizzy (she's a super ice queen, for those who haven't followed the history of this character), she completely blamed Addison for doing her job. Not much of a surprise there, either, since Bizzy had slapped Addison across the face a few weeks ago when Addy said that Susan's cancer was terminal. (Hey, she's a baby doctor. Why are you asking her to try to cure cancer in the first place?)

Anyway, Addison tried to explain things in the hospital chapel and got shut down, and then tried again at Bizzy's hotel. Mommy Dearest explained that Susan was the love of her life - which makes sense considering that Susan was her mistress for years while Bizzy was married to The Captain -- and now she is all alone in the world. Addison desperately told her mother that she loved her and was there for her and that she wasn't alone... and then offered to help her pack up and get out of town. Such a sweet daughter, right? Still, the two shared a rather nice moment (for them) and agreed that Addison would come back the next morning.

At this point, I thought that this was just an excuse to get Addison out of Bizzy's hair so she could cry and then take off in the middle of the night. After all, I know I wouldn't want Addison and her needy self trying to re-establish a relationship with me when I was in the midst of mourning. So I was completely caught off guard when Addison returned to the hotel later that night (because she can't listen to anyone else ever) to find her mother dead on the bed, seemingly of a prescription-drug overdose. A suicide note had been left behind, which we then heard read in Bizzy's voice while Addison just sat and cried.

Yes, they apparently killed off Bizzy, just when things were starting to get interesting for her character. And judging by the previews for next week's episode, it looks like Addison does not handle this well, at all, which is going to make for more compelling viewing. Now if Private Practice could just cut back on its preachiness, self-righteousness and wildly inappropriate behavior by medical professionals, I could go several weeks without wanting to throw things at my TV set while watching this show.

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