The fifth episode of “Private Practice” is all about Sam and is captured on film as a crew follows him through his day for a pilot episode of a reality series he hopes to sell to a network. “The Next Episode” aired Nov. 13 at 9 p.m.
Sam is doing a pilot of a reality TV series because he hopes it will help dispel myths about medical issues and help people leave healthier lives. What he doesn’t bargain for is a major family drama unfolding before the camera’s lenses.
His mom, Dee Bennett (Alfre Woodard) comes to town with a favor to ask. Her boss, whom she has worked for since before Sam was born, is ill and she wants Sam to treat him. Her boss, Raymond, and his wife are long time family friends. Sam discovers the man had blood clots in his lings which are causing his fatigue and difficulty breathing.IN addition to medication, he will need surgery and without it, he is waiting for his heart to give out.
Raymond’s wife is upset and steps into the hallway with Sam. Dee is caught first on film kissing Raymond and then by Sam. At dinner that night, Sam is furious that she is having an affair with a married man. He just spent his morning extolling her virtues to the film crew, giving her all the credit for the man he turned out to be and he is bummed to learn she is sleeping with a married man.
For the benefit of the film, Sam hosts a barbeque in his backyard. Raymond, his wife and Sam’s mom are in attendance. Sam has words with Raymond about the affair and tells the man to get out of his face. Raymond collapses and has to be rushed to the hospital where Sam is forced to revive him with heart paddles.
When the crisis is over, Sam tells the women that Raymond needs a new lung and there is no time to wait for one on the donor list. He needs one from a live donor. Dee says it’s time to pray but Raymond’s wife says there’s another option – Sam needs to be tested. Moths around the room drop open as Dee realizes that the woman has known all along about her affair with Raymond and Sam realizes that Raymond is his biological father.
It turns out Corrine and Sam are Raymond’s kids and Dee has been in love with Raymond for more than 40 years. Sam presses her to explain why she lied about it and she tries. When she got pregnant, she told Raymond if he was going to be in the baby’s life, then it would be as a family, together or not at all. Times were different and divorce was a big deal. Raymond did the honorable thing and stayed with his wife. Sam learns that it was Raymond who gave him his first toy stethoscope and later paid for his first year at Georgetown University. Sam is furious that all his beliefs about how his mother had made him who he was were untrue.
Sam decides to get tested and learns he is a match. He goes to see Raymond but it is to tell him that Sam believes he would have turned out to be exactly who he is even without Raymond. He still credits his mom with teaching him values and ethics, with being there for him every step of the way, something Raymond didn’t do. He is willing to give him a lung because that is the kind of man Dee raised him to be.
Raymond tells Sam about attending a play Sam was in during 4th grade, how he watched from the back of the auditorium and saw Dee and Corinne in the audience and longed to sit with them as a family but couldn’t. He tells Sam he is still proud of him and Sam can’t take that away from him. He doesn’t want Sam’s lung. He wants to go home.
Raymond’s wife apologizes to Sam for exposing the secret and crushing him. He understands that she is a victim too. She says she isn’t because she made the choice to stay but Sam had no choice. Raymond is wheeled out to the transportation vehicle to go home and Sam thanks him for the stethoscope in a sign of acceptance.
At the end, the interviewer asks Sam on camera how he’s doing. Sam is uncertain. He thought this show might be the next chapter in his life but now, he isn’t sure what he wants to do.
Southern Illinois fans can tune in on ABC’s channel 3 WSIL at 9 pm on Tuesday nights to watch “Private Practice.”
You can subscribe to this column at the top of the page so you don’t miss any television news. Or check out the latest in movie news at:
Southern Illinois Movie Examiner
If you are looking for things to do in southern Illinois or have an interest in self-sustained living, check out my other columns:
· Southern Illinois Day Trip Examiner
· Southern Illinois Self-Sustained Living Examiner
Got something to say? Say it on Examiner by following this link to sign up.