Amelia just can't catch a break this season on Private Practice.
After having reservations about becoming a mother, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) finally let herself enjoy the little miracle growing inside her. She even let Addison (Kate Walsh) do the first ultrasound, which is when everything went downhill; the baby growing inside her was developing without a brain.
"She's almost short-circuited by the information," Scorsone, who also happens to be expecting in real life, tells TVGuide.com. "She's faced so much tragedy in her life, especially this year, that this new terrible revelation is almost enough to break her." And break she did. Her fellow doctors had already been concerned about Amelia closing herself off, but now she revealed to happy new mother Addison that even hanging around her and witnessing her joy was too painful.
During the current season, Amelia has spiraled into drug abuse, went through rehab and came out the other side a different person. "There's probably a part of Amelia that isn't surprised that something so terrible is happening to her and to her baby," Scorsone says. "The tragedy is that even after all of the hardship and the heartache that she's been through, she was still open to this miracle, and hearing that the baby is not OK, it seems like the world is nonsensical and a terrible place for her."
The outcome adds to the piling tragic moments in Amelia's life. "It's almost as though death is hounding her," she says. "She witnessed her father's murder when she was a child. She overdosed as a teenager, died and had to be resuscitated. Who knows how many friends she lost during that period of drug use in her life? Her best friend died of suicide this year. Ryan died in her bed this year. And here, once again, the person that she loves is being taken by death. It's all Amelia can do to not believe that it's somehow her, and that it's somehow personal, and that she is doomed to lose everything that she loves."
Still, Scorsone believes that Amelia's tenacious spirit will help see her through. After struggling through a case in Tuesday's episode in which a young child ended up brain dead, Amelia decided to make the most of her unborn son's life by consenting to donate his organs once she reaches full term "so something life-giving and miraculous can come out of this terrible situation," she says.
This selflessness will create an additional burden however. "It's very hard for her to carry the baby the whole time, and she goes through many different emotions about her situation," she adds. "There's this goal of making this baby's life matter that is keeping her going."
Amelia will give birth in what Private boss Shonda Rhimes calls "a really breathtakingly painful moment" in the season finale. "It really serves as a lovely backdrop for our characters, especially for Addison and for Charlotte [KaDee Strickland], to reflect on how far they've come and how much they've changed," Rhimes says. "In the past year, both Charlotte and Addison have become mothers in completely different ways, neither of which involved giving birth. And here's Amelia giving birth and she's not going to get to be a mother. So we have some really beautiful moments that really culminate in big changes for some of our characters."
Private Practice airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.