'Grey's Anatomy': Amelia's 'Private Practice' Past Is (Finally) Resurfacing

"Her trauma is hijacking her plans," Caterina Scorsone tells THR about Amelia's emotional struggles. Plus could Kate Walsh return?
ABC
Scorsone, left, Kate Walsh and Taye Diggs on 'Private Practice'

Amelia's past on Private Practice is finally starting to catch up to her present on ABC's Grey's Anatomy.

After joining the flagship Shonda Rhimes medical drama in season 10 following a more-than-three-season run on spinoff Private Practice, Caterina Scorsone's Amelia Shepherd is starting to find out that she can't distance herself from her past.

Last week, Amelia was overjoyed when she thought she was pregnant — a thought that warmed the heart of new husband Owen (Kevin McKidd), whose desire to have children has been no secret on the ABC medical drama. 

Instead, Amelia wasn't pregnant and that has brought her past right back to the present. For those who don't recall, Private Practice finally gave Amelia her happy moment after the former drug addict got pregnant and gave birth to a baby with no brain that she dubbed her "Unicorn baby." She ended the Grey's spinoff engaged to James (Matt Long), and as Scorsone told THR in January 2013 after the Private Practice series finale, "She was healed and ready to give and receive love." In typical Shondaland fashion, that didn't last as she broke off her engagement to James before moving to Seattle.

This season on Grey's, she has told new hubby Owen about her history with substance abuse — but not about losing a baby. That may now become an issue for the happy couple, Scorsone tells THR. Read on for more from Scorsone about why it took Grey's three seasons for Amelia's past to come back to haunt her, as well as her hopes of seeing former Private Practice star (and Grey's Anatomy regular) Kate Walsh resurface in Shondaland.

It's so interesting how the past continues to inform the present on Grey's. How much more of Amelia's history from Private Practice will we see?

It's exciting that they're starting to crack it open. When Amelia first came to Grey Sloan Memorial, she was fleeing her past life — she had broken up with fiancée and was leaving that whole identity behind and almost starting new here. I thought we would go into the Private Practice stuff earlier but we didn't because there was so much story to play with Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and the brother-sister dynamic, her becoming chief of surgery and then Derek dying. There was so much to play that we didn't have to go here. She was so busy and could pack it away and not deal with what she went through in Los Angeles.

Naturally now that Amelia is happy with Owen her past is finally starting to resurface …

Now that she has fallen in love and got married and is in this wonderful golden time in her life, here comes the rain (laughing). She's realizing that she can't quite leave that past beyond. Now we're exploring a lot of that Private Practice story and I don't know how deep it will go. She told Owen a couple episodes ago about Ryan dying and that was the first time she told him about that. Post-pregnancy test, a lot of the emotion from her — the trauma she experienced in L.A. regarding her previous pregnancy and "Unicorn baby" — are coming to the fore. So here we go, we're about to start looking pretty deep into that stuff.

Has there been any talk of bringing in anyone from Private Practice to guest star as part of Amelia's journey? She was so close with everyone there? Why isn't Kate Walsh coming back? Rhimes told us she'd love to see Kate back at some point

I know! You should call Kate and tell her to come, I would love it if she would come and do an arc — I bet she would. It would be fantastic if she came and visited for a while. Maybe she could do something with Arizona since they both do neo-natal surgery. We are about to do some of the Private Practice stuff, which is challenging stuff but nice for me to feel that integration between the two shows.

Amelia had a son on Private Practice, a "Unicorn baby" who was born without a brain. How is this informing how she responded when she thought she was pregnant?

She is as shocked at her reaction as anyone. She really was so excited, earnestly, to be a wife and a mother and this integrated, healthy member of society and she was very serious when she was telling Owen that she was in to having kids. She did want to re-create some of her family origin — she had this big bustling family and it was great before her father was shot and everything got really sad. I think there is a big part of her that wants to have that and re-create that. When she actually thought she was pregnant, I think the flood of emotions, fear and panic about the trauma that she suffered is as much of a shock to her as anyone else. She doesn't even know what to do with it. Part of why she's distancing herself from Owen a bit is because she's desperately trying to figure out how to put these feelings away and manage them and get back to the happy newlywed romance that they had just started. She really wants this and her trauma is hijacking her plans. 

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. What are you looking forward to seeing with Amelia? Would you like to see Walsh return to Grey's? Sound off in the comments section.

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