Private Practice‘s Amelia Shepherd is quickly approaching her rock bottom heading into Thursday’s two-hour “Intervention” episode, but sobriety won’t come easy, Caterina Scorsone says.
After helping her terminally ill friend Michelle commit suicide, Amelia began a downward spiral that culminates in Thursday’s two-hour special where the doctors at Seaside Wellness confront their friend and colleague after she returns from a 12-day bender.
“There are some members of the doctor team who don’t think it’s the best idea and there are some who insist [the intervention] is what they have to do,” Scorsone tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Notably, KaDee Strickland‘s Charlotte and Brian Benben‘s Sheldon have rallied the practice — and Amelia’s former sister-in-law Addison (Kate Walsh) — and sounded the alarm that Amelia is in trouble and needs their help, but Scorsone says Amelia may not be ready for the group session.
“[Amelia] is hardest on the people she loves the most,” Scorsone says of the “vicious” confrontation that comes when she shows up to work. “She’s quite defensive and belligerent with just about everybody and burns bridges all over the place and then attempts to isolate herself and remove herself from their love.”
Scorsone noted that series creator Shonda Rhimes took particular care to tell the addiction story from everyone’s point of view, including the friends and family who are most hurt by their loved one’s behavior.
“Most of the people at the practice are heartbroken, particularly Addison, Charlotte and Sheldon,” she says. “Watching someone you love systematically destroy themselves is a terrible thing to witness and that’s what she’s going through — and it has a ripple effect that rocks the entire community.”
With Sheldon going all out to care for Amelia, Scorsone says the duo’s feelings for one another are “very confusing.”
“It’s a complicated relationship: Amelia is struggling and suffering and needs help, while Sheldon is someone who is in the helping profession and is drawn to people who are broken, both personally and professionally,” she says, noting that their relationship will serve as a way him to explore what that attraction is about.
Among the obstacles Amelia will have to overcome is breaking from her “companion addict”/new boyfriend Ryan (Wes Brown), who “have taken each other hostage in a way” in their “drug-induced utopia,” Scorsone says.
“She’s rapidly approaching her rock bottom and is bombarded with the love to the point that she can’t stand it,” Scorsone offers. “[Ryan and Amelia] feel really misunderstood by the world and they’ve found this beautiful pocket of understanding with each other … but it’s not real; it’s cut off from the rest of the world and reality. So whether his presence is going to speed up her journey toward recovery or not …”
Meanwhile, Scorsone hopes that with recovering addict Charlotte taking such a vested interest in her substance abuse problems, Amelia will put the pieces back together again in a similar fashion.
“Charlotte is suffering watching Amelia go through it but she had a happy outcome and is now with Cooper and having this lovely family and running a hospital,” she says. “Hopefully Amelia can get on that train.”
Private Practice‘s “Intervention” two-hour special airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC.