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How Will Kate Walsh’s Departure Affect Private Practice?
When a series’ main protagonist opts to leave the show before the natural life of the show has run out, a lot of questions are raised. Will the series end once the actor or actress departs, or will the show continue on, putting someone else in the position of series lead? How do you write the season knowing you’ll be losing the star of the show? In the case of Private Practice, which is saying goodbye to Kate Walsh at the conclusion of its shortened sixth season, the question of what to do after she makes her exit is still up in the air, but the road leading up to the inevitable goodbye has been in answered in a big way.
With only 13 episodes ordered for Season 6, there is limited time to do everything the writers would like to do, so they’ve decided to go all out and do everything they have ever wanted to do on the show. First things first though: Addison Montgomery will need to make a choice between Sam and his proposal or her new fling with Jake. And we learned what her decision was in the season premiere earlier this week, which was a group-centric episode, giving everyone a chance to shine. We also learned the fate of Tim Daly’s Pete, who was on trial for mercy killing a patient. From there, the season will jump all over the place as it tries out new things. “This is our chance to really have some fun, be creative and really make every episode an out-of-the-box episode, which is what we’re doing,” executive producer Shonda Rhimes told TV Guide. Each script and subsequent episode will be an entirely different format while still staying true to the integrity of the series.
One gimmick you can look forward to is an episode that jumps back and forth in time, perhaps showing a scene from an earlier season, but from someone else’s perspective. The writers will be taking full advantage of this possible final season to take on riskier storylines that otherwise might not have been tackled. And you can bet one particular episode will be even bigger than the rest: Episode 100.
Whether or not Season 6 ends up being the last for Private Practice, at least we can be happy knowing it will be a memorable one. As for Walsh’s departure, there are no hints for how it will go down. Even Walsh isn’t interested in knowing, so long as it’s a good ending. “Either happily ever after or deeply tragic,” she says. What a bad ass.