Could Shonda Rhimes actually be offering up two happy endings in one night?
After Callie and Arizona get hitched over on Grey's Anatomy, our favorite gal Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland) is supposed to get married to longtime boyfriend Cooper Freedman (Paul Adelstein). Do those two escape their meddling would-be in-laws, not to mention their own inner demons and recent dark past, and actually managed to become husband and wife? Plus, how does Thursday's installment set up the big finale (including a new character)?
Here's what we learned about "Shondaland Weddings Night, Part Two," from KaDee Strickland, aka one of our very favorite TV ladies ever:
Q&A With Private Practice Star KaDee Strickland
What are we going to see in this episode?
Charlotte and Cooper's worlds collide when their parents meet, and everything that represents what they've overcome—it's that moment that every couple has where they're not sure what's going to happen when their parents meet, but they're so hopeful. And, oh my god, Charlotte has had a need for hope this year, and I think we see her in a space we haven't seen her before. When the parents do in fact meet, they are not as supportive as we would anticipate they might be. And there are reasons for that—reasons that are beyond the obvious.
We're getting a whole new look at Charlotte and Cooper from this, aren't we?
You learn a lot about that the relationship that Cooper and his parents have, because you've heard allusions to how our parents are for seasons now, and to actually put the faces to the stories is really great.
What was it like shooting the whole wedding episode?
We just had the best actors play our parents. I mean, my god, the scene where they first meet—and I keep referencing that because it's so stuck with me—it was the most horribly uncomfortable thing I have filmed in some time. More than some emotional stuff, because there's something where you're in a room full of people who are all completely committed, stuff can just happen. And we were laughing between every take, but my god, when those cameras rolled...Those actors are such pros—they've been doing it for so long, and so wonderfully—we were all like, 'Dang.' We were all relieved when the cameras were turned off, because we were like, 'Ooh!' I can't wait to see the scene myself, because if it's half as good as it was being with Cristine Rose and with my mama, man those women really just get in there.
Given all this conflict, will we see Charlotte and Cooper lean into each other a little bit and support each other?
One thing that's developed this season is that Charlotte and Cooper have leaned into each other better than we've ever done before. And definitely see the traditional Charlotte-Cooper dynamics—because you know that stuff definitely comes out right before you get married—and you see where their growth has been, and it's pretty great. Yeah, it's a big old roller coaster.
Is a lot of what happens a consequence of their dramatically different personal styles?
Yes. He's a pediatrician, and I run a hospital. Those things will probably always be true of our characters, and the balance struck is what makes these things work. There's always the lure and the romance attached to the odd couple, and I think for Charlotte and Cooper, it just makes sense. Their dynamic is superstrong and supergrounded.
Is the end of this episode a cliffhanger or more clear-cut?
There's a lot of stuff that's open-ended for different characters at the end of this episode, and that's what's so exciting about it. It's going to lead us to what I'm anticipating is one heck of a finale. Does that answer your question?
Private Practice finales are usually pretty dramatic; we lost Dell last year, and Violet was assaulted the year before. Does this season finale follow in that tradition?
Can you deny the drama of adding even a single Benjamin Bratt to an episode? Right there you know something is about to happen. I will tell you, I was so surprised by the very very end. A lot happens to different characters in the finale, a lot of good stuff in there. The final scene of the episode surprised the hell out of me when I read it.
What are you most excited for people to see?
I think true friends of Charlotte and Cooper are going to be really tickled with the way things shake down. I can't believe the episode is actually airing, and I'm looking forward to coming home and watching my DVR with the Grey's Anatomy-Private Practice wedding double-dang-er.
Private Practice airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on ABC.