Thanksgiving is a time for family. That's true even for the "Private Practice" docs who redefine family in nearly every episode. With all the makeups and breakups, they don't have one single traditional mom, dad and kid arrangement. The doctors make up for it with an extended mix of interesting friends, associates and lovers. The bonds they've formed are as close as any nuclear family, but just a bit more complicated.
Coop & Charlotte and Mason & Erica
Charlotte and Cooper were on again, off again, but they finally became a family of two. Then Erica came along with Coop's 8-year-old son, Mason. Things got pretty messy, but who could blame Charlotte for trying to bribe Erica to take "Mini Cooper" and leave town? They're all bonding now. Even Charlotte. Mason has absentee dad visits. Charlotte hangs out with her new stepson. She even sat through Mason's school play when Coop was a no show. The four of them have the makings of a real modern family. How long will that last?
Sam and Addison and a new baby, maybe
Sam Bennett is the head of a pretty complicated family. He was once married to Naomi, but now loves her best friend Addison. His ex moved on with wheelchair bound Dr. Fife. Twice. She adopted dead Dell's daughter Betsy, and the three of them headed for New York. That's where Naomi and Sam's daughter, Maya, goes to college and lives with hubby Dink and baby Olivia.
Sam's life has been rather laid back and mellow since his extended family left town. He and Addison reconciled, even though Grandpa Sam drew the line at babymaking, and she really wanted one bad. No problem. They cobbled together a deal that will make them a family of three one way or the other. Addison's doing it all by herself with in vitro fertilization. Sam is tolerating the process, just like he will tolerate the child from Addison's DIY pregnancy. Will their little family venture succeed? Good question.
Jake and Lily and her daughter
When viewers first came to know Dr. Jake, he was simply Addison's anonymous "Pineapple Man." Now that he's a full-fledged member of the "Private Practice," he's revealing his family ties. Jake has a dead wife named Lily who is still very much a part of his life. He has a stepdaughter away at college and she has a dad who is apparently not a very nice man. In the episode "Who We Are," while all the other doctors were pushing to get Amelia into rehab, Jake took Lily a box of donuts. He sat on her grave and spoke to her in a gentle and loving voice. He promised to take care of her daughter. He told her about the Seaside Health and Wellness docs. "I like these people," he said. They were his new work family.
Violet and Pete and Lucas
Sheldon once warned Pete about "burning down Lucas' happy home," but when a man feels like he hates his wife, that sort of advice doesn't do any good. Did Pete really hate Violet? That's what he said. He certainly didn't love her anymore so he let her go. In the episode "The Breaking Point," Charlotte packed her bags and moved to a hotel. Of course she'll be back with her hubby and son for breakfast the next morning, and for Thanksgiving dinner, because she didn't want Lucas' family life to change. Is that really a breakup?
Amelia and Ryan
Amelia hadn't known Ryan very long, but she loved him. They were going to get married and have six kids: three boys and three girls. They were going to be a family. That was reason enough to get sober together, but first they wanted to get high one more time. That last drug hit killed Ryan. It made Amelia bottom out enough to go to rehab, and it broke up their little family before it began.
The "Private Practice" Family
On Thanksgiving day the doctors gathered on Addison's deck. They put their issues behind them, left all their problems at the door and sat down to give thanks for a fabulous spread. They welcomed Amelia when she arrived freshly delivered from the dark side of drug abuse. It was a family holiday and they were together, because they were all family.