After her pregnancy scare, Amelia's revelation to her new husband that she doesn't want to have a child might make many think she's simply being as adamantly child-free as his former flame Cristina (Sandra Oh). But like Owen, most Grey's Anatomy fans don't understand the full weight of Amelia's first traumatic pregnancy.
That's because, without watching Private Practice, the Grey's spin-off starring Kate Walsh, it's impossible to understand how Amelia's first attempt at motherhood played out. Even though Amelia explained the story to Alex (Justin Chambers) in last Thursday's episode, the full chilling effect of what she went through can't be appreciated unless you actually watch it happen. Her three-minute speech in the Grey Sloan Memorial break room only relays the bare facts of what happened. To fully comprehend the emotional impact, you must watch the four episodes that build the arc.
The good news? You can, because all of Private Practice is on Hulu and Netflix. The bad news? This is going to be an emotional train wreck for even the steeliest of Grey's fans.
Here's where to start:
Season 5, episode 8: "Who We Are"
Grey's fans know Amelia is an addict, but this episode shows her at her absolute worst. Finally at their breaking point, her friends and coworkers stage an intervention to try and get her off the prescription drugs she's been popping like candy. She's completely off the rails, but the one thing that is clear is that she loves Ryan (Wes Brown). After the intervention, they make a pact that they'll have one more binge night of drugs, then they'll check into rehab, get clean and start a family. They do a line of drugs, go to bed and Amelia wakes up to find Ryan dead of an overdose beside her.
This is important because when Amelia finds out she's pregnant later (and now on Grey's) we know it wasn't an accident. She and Ryan really wanted a family together, just like she wants with Owen, but then the worst possible thing happened.
Season 5, episode 19, "And Then There Was One"
Skip forward a bit and Amelia has successfully completed a stint at rehab. She's sober, pregnant and ready to meet her baby with her first ultrasound. However, it's only a few moments of joy before Addison (Walsh) drops a massive truth bomb about the baby's development, and Amelia must decide what she wants to do with the devastating information.
Season 5, episode 21, "Drifting Back"
Fast forward a little more and Amelia is getting closer and closer to carrying the baby to term. She's decided that she will donate her son's organs to help save other newborns in need. However, each passing day of the pregnancy gets harder and harder as all of her coworkers hover over her to make sure she isn't resorting to drugs to cope. The desperate lengths she goes to in order to maintain sanity without slipping back into addiction are heartbreaking and will make you marvel at how one person can withstand that amount of pain.
Season 5, episode 22, "Gone, Baby, Gone"
If you can only watch one of these episodes, make it this one. Amelia finally gives birth to her son and gets to hold him for a minute before making one of the most painful decisions that any mother could ever make. What's even more heart-wrenching is the speech she gives to Sam (Taye Diggs) to convince him to do the surgery she needs to complete the birth plan. Stock up on tissues, because this episode will not only help you understand Amelia in a whole new light, but will make you astounded that Scorsone doesn't have all the Emmys.
Only when you've seen the full scope of what Amelia went through on Private Practice can understand why it took a pregnancy scare to bring up these latent issues. She was able to move on after the death of her son, but in a lot of ways Amelia has been able to survive by not opening herself up to that kind of pain. Perhaps she believed that she had completely moved on from everything that happened, but is it humanly possible to ever completely heal yourself after an experience like that?
Yes, Amelia may have changed her mind about wanting a child with Owen, but this is a completely different situation from Cristina not wanting a family. Cristina has always been a surgeon first, everything else second. That made her and Owen fundamentally incompatible. Amelia's hesitance isn't about her values, but about fear, and a completely rational one at that. Addison promised that her son's condition wasn't caused by the drug usage, which means it could happen again for no reason. We saw what happened when April (Sarah Drew) got pregnant again after her and Jackson's (Jesse Williams) baby died -- could you expect Amelia to do that same?
However, it is as important for Owen to understand the full spectrum of what Amelia has been through. It's only once he knows the whole truth that he can find a way to help Amelia. Don't give up hope on them yet. With some counseling and some patience, it's entirely possible that Amelia and Owen can have the family they have always wanted, together and happy.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.