Good Fries Are Hard to Come By is the eleventh episode and mid-season premiere of the sixth season and the 109th overall episode of Private Practice.

Short SummaryEdit

Amelia, now sober for more than a year and on the mend emotionally, goes on a series of disastrous blind dates set up by the other doctors at the practice. After vowing to be alone indefinitely, she teams up with James on a medical procedure, which leads to dinner - and the dinner leads to something completely unexpected.

Full SummaryEdit

Four months ago. Amelia is speaking at an AA meeting. She's been sober for 407 days. Charlotte was 8 weeks pregnant when she celebrated a year, so she uses her to keep track. If she were here, she'd be glad that at least someone was getting something useful out of the pregnancy. Amelia says it sounds less awful if you know her. She then says things are going good in her second year. She got herself an apartment and she's been trying to make it into a home. As she says this, we see Amelia walking around in an apartment with little furniture or decoration and an empty fridge. She says it's nice to be able to cook whatever she wants as we see her eat cereal. She also says she started working out again, which, in her case, means watching a fitness program and participate a little while eating ice cream on the couch. Year two is a challenge, but she's ready. It's all about growth, and she's set herself up to grow. She's really good. The audience applauds.

Amelia walks into the kitchen at the practice and greets her colleagues with a holla. They ask about her weekend. She replies she didn't leave her apartment in order to unpack. Addison remarks she's been there for three months, but Amelia says she's methodical. Violet says she should be out, doing stuff that makes her feel old. Amelia hasn't met any of her neighbors yet, claiming she's too focused on her recovery. Socialization is an important part of that, Violet says. She suggests that Amelia that, but Amelia says guys would run from her. Violet says they're all doctors with friends who don't scare easily, so she asks if Amelia would be open to dating someone of their choosing. Knowing it'll become a thing, Amelia agrees. She just hopes she won't regret it.

Amelia is sitting in a restaurant with a guy who says he already knows she liked the date. Almost as much as him ordering for her, she says. He wonders if it's sarcasm as the waiter brings the bill. Amelia wants to split it.

The guy on the next date is really interested in her professional life. His phone keeps buzzing and he keeps checking it, although he says it's not important. It's his ex-wife. He then tells her about the end of their relationship and he clearly still has feelings for his ex. He's gonna cry. Amelia pays the bill.

Amelia and her third date are sitting at their table. There's an awkward silence. At the exact same time, they decide it's been long enough and they suggest that they split the check.

Amelia and her female colleagues are in the kitchen, laughing at her date stories. Sheldon comes in. He thinks it's nice she's dating, but she says she's done. Amelia thinks of her parents, who locked eyes at a dance. Violet tells about the time she dated a terrible poet and Charlotte recalls dating a guy who was in a cult. Sheldon worst date was the time he went on a date with Charlotte, who got engaged with Cooper that very night. Amelia says this all makes her couch seem much more appealing. Amelia says she's seen what's out there. She thinks alone is better.

In the ER, James is stitching up Kaye Ramsey's forehead. She's an actress and she's come to L.A. to chase that dream. She knows she's about ten years too late, but her mother got sick after college, so she stayed with her. Six months ago, she finally decided to come here to at least try. Amelia walks in, having been paged by James. James says Kaye had a seizure during her first real audition. As Amelia asks her questions to find the cause of the seizure, Kaye has another one. The doctors give her another dose of lorazepam. Amelia takes her to CT. James asks her to keep him in the loop and reminds her it's Friday.

Amelia is working on her couch with the television on. A commercial about a french fries maker is on, which reminds her of the time James told her about the restaurant he goes to every Friday night because of the amazing French fries. As the commercial asks what the last time was she ever had really, really good fries, she remembers Jake telling her really, really good fries are hard to come by. 

Amelia finds James at the restaurant. She sits down with him and he offers her some fries.

Some time later, they're having a passionate conversation about women preferring Speed over Die Hard. He compliments her eyes and says she's smart and challenging. She asks if the aggressive flirting usually works for him. He says she's here. She doesn't think that answers the question, but he says only she can answer that question. He asks why she came. James knows it's not about their patient. Amelia says her TV told her to come. He asks if that happens often. She asks what time it is, but he refuses to check his watch, so she leans over the table to do it herself. Amelia says it's almost midnight, meaning she has to go. James says that's why he didn't want her to know what time it is. The waiter brings the bill. Amelia reaches for it, but James insists on paying it.

Outside the restaurant, James asks Amelia to thank her television for him. She wants to give him back his jacket, but he says she can keep it so that they'll have to talk again. Amelia notices the valet really wants them to go. James hugs her.

Amelia arrives at the practice and meets Jake at the reception. She says a girl has certain expectations when a guy buys her dinner. He asks what she's talking about. She says really, really good fries are hard to come by. She takes him apart and says that while she was fine on her own, nesting, now all she can think about is James not having kissed her. She's not the girl who unmixes messages, she usually the one who mixes the messages. Jake thinks he understands and advises her to let the attraction percolate. She thinks about playing hard to get, but then decides not to do that.

Amelia and James are studying Kaye's scans together. Everything is normal so far. He asks if she has plans tonight. She says she does. He says he'd love to take her to his favorite Italians place. She says she's pretty busy until next week. They suspect Kaye may have a fungal infection. James confirms the titers are high for cocci meningitis. She finds a lesion in the cortical area. She wants to plan a biopsy for tomorrow, but he suggests they start her on antifungals and watch her closely. Amelia's way is faster and more definitive, but James objects that it may take Kaye out of the auditioning process for longer than she can afford. He says it was a magnificent catch of hers. Amelia knows he's charming her to get her to agree, but she does agree anyway. He asks if she's really busy tonight or if she's just playing hard to get. She says she really has a lot on her plate. James was really hoping to spend some more time with her before next week.

Amelia and James are walking on the street, talking about how he got a tabe at the restaurant they just came from. He saved the chef's daughter. They arrive at Amelia's car. She thanks him for dinner and leans against her car as she says she had a wonderful time. He leans in, but to open the door for her instead of kissing her. He tells her to get home safely. 

Violet, Addison, and Amelia are having lunch in an office. Amelia still thinks it doesn't make any sense for James not to kiss her. She says he pursued her, and when she finally gives in, this is what she gets. Amelia says she got waxed and she spent a small fortune on underwear and heels, all for nothing. They wonder why women always do this. Violet guesses that maybe James is taking things slowly because he just got over a really bad break-up. Amelia thinks that only happens in movies and she decides she's done. Violet says the quest to find someone to spend your life with is not easy. Amelia says she was just looking to get out of her apartment. Violet then suggests she has another date, this time with an ortho surgeon. Addison thinks she should agree.

Amelia is finishing getting ready as there's a knock on the door. She opens, but is surprised to see James there. He notices she's going on a date. He says he can't stay another minute since he's in the middle of his shift, but the anticipation's been killing him. He kisses her and walks off, telling her to enjoy her date.

James and Amelia tell Kaye that the lesion is completely gone. The antifungals were effective, which means no more falling on her face during auditions. Kaye thanks them and quickly leaves to make it to her class in time. James and Amelia are full of energy and now that the patient is gone, they can finally kiss. 

Amelia enters Charlotte's office to ask her about condoms. She wanted to go and buy some, but there are so many different kinds that she's afraid to insult or embarrass him. Charlotte thinks she's feeling this way because it's her first time back in the saddle after a year rather than not wanting to offend James. Amelia admits it may be that. Charlotte is protective, knowing that sobriety can slip when you meet someone new. Charlotte reminds her that last time she had sex, she woke up to a dead Ryan, but Amelia assures her she's ready. Charlotte then takes her condom box and gives Amelia some to try out.

Amelia opens the door for James. Both are dressed up really nice. He says wow. He kisses her and drops the flowers he brought.

They enter the bedroom. He takes off his shirt and this time she says wow. They continue to kiss. She asks if he has a condom. He says he didn't want to be presumptuous. She says she has some. She tries to get up, but he holds her down and says she's gorgeous. As he continues kissing her face, Amelia remembers Ryan telling her the exact same thing. As he unzips her dress, she remembers it all. James notices something's wrong. She apologizes and asks him not to touch her. She leaves the room.

The morning after, she finds James in her kitchen. She's surprised to see him there. He says he has this thing where he can't let a date end in tears. He wanted to make her breakfast, but she only has salse, ice cream, and bread. He gives her some toast. She thinks she owes him an explanation. She says she likes him and she really wanted to, but it turned out she wasn't ready. Amelia says she hasn't had sex in a very long time and she's sober now, but in some ways she's still a mess. She's giving him an out. He decides to stay and asks if she wants salsa or ice cream on her toast. She puts the toast aside and starts unbuttoning his shirt as they kiss.

Amelia and James are in bed together. She notices he's looking at her freckle. He says it looks like Indiana. He kisses it and says he sees some more that require his attention. They rest in each other's arms. He asks what she's thinking about. She says she's not thinking about anything, which is good.

The two stay in bed for days. 

While still in bed, he asks why she doesn't drink. She says she's an alcoholic and that she also did oxy. She fell in love with an addict, or so she thinks. She's not sure she really was in love with him, but that sounds cold to say now that he's gone. She says she woke up from an amazing high only to find him dead. Then she discovered she was pregnant. She thinks the baby could've helped them stay clean. She's unsure about being in love with him, because that time in her life doesn't feel like her life. James thinks she did love him, because if it felt like love, it probably was. He tells her not to let the perspective she has now change the feelings she had back then. That wouldn't be fair. She asks if he's ever been in love. A couple of times, he says. She asks what happened. He wanted to see more than Dickson County, Tennessee. He says he can show her if she's got an hour sometimes. They start making out again.

James and Amelia are standing in front of the window, watching the rain. Amelia is still bothered by the fact that Kaye only had one lesion. She thinks there's more to it, but he thinks they handled it well.

Amelia and James are flipping through the channels. She wants to watch the news, but he wants to see something else. She asks how he keeps up with what's happening in the world then. He reads the paper. She jokes smartypants probably has a subscription to The Times, but he says he prefers objectivity in his news. He says the paper can't be objective when all of its reporters are progressives. She asks who he voted for in the last presidential. She figures out he's a republican. He refuses to say it, but he does admit he's conservative. She can't believe she's in bed with a republican. She asks about abortion. He says he's pro-life. She asks about the death penalty. He says the Bible says "an eye for an eye". Amelia says that logic drives her crazy. He says he's pro innocent life. She wonders whose job it is to judge innocence and guilt. 

After more days in bed, Amelia and James are eating fortune cookies on the floor. James' message reads that he's capable of being a great leader. Amelia's says you can't have rainbows without the rain. He recognizes it as a Dolly Parton quote. They talk about their siblings. James is an only child. Amelia says she has three sisters and a brother who's as close to perfect as a human can be. James says that she looks perfect to him as well. He says his parents are coming to town and he suggests they have dinner together. Amelia agrees.

Amelia and James are cuddling in bed and watch the sunrise together.

James catches up with Amelia at the hospital. His parents are in their hotel now. He wanted to check in with her, if she's really ready to do this. It's not like they'll never be in L.A. again. Amelia thinks he's changed his mind about her meeting them, but he says it's not that. He dreamed about the restaurant's roof collapsing. He thinks meeting the folks is a pretty big deal. She realizes he's freaking out a little. She says she's his girlfriend and she's totally excited to meet his parents.

James, Amelia and his parents are enjoying dinner. Stella, his mother, says she didn't expect to like Amelia as much as she does. She doesn't mean that in a bad way, she just always imagined James meeting a local gal to settle down with closer to them. Tom, James' father, suggests a toast to friendships in order to break the tension. Stella asks Amelia if she has any siblings. She says three sisters, one brother, all doctors. That probably came from her mother working in the navy as a nurse. Tom has no idea when or where his son developed interest in science, but he couldn't be prouder. Amelia says James saved her patient on the day they met. Stella is not surprised, but she admits she may be biased. Amelia says it's fun to see them so close as a family. Stella thinks that's sweet and says she suspects that is because she was a stay-at-home mother for James. She asks Amelia what kind of surgery she practices. Stella wonders if she could ever be a part-time neurosurgeon. Amelia wonders why she'd do that. Stella says it might be good if they ever have children. James reminds his mother they agreed not to interrogate Amelia, but Amelia is fine with answering the questions. Stella just wants to make sure James is being taken good care of. James says this not the place, not the time and surely not her business. They all get back to ordering their meals.

Back at Amelia's apartment, James says he thinks it went well. Amelia is mad at James for cutting her off. James says he only prevented his mother from asking things they hadn't even discussed yet. It made Amelia feel like he didn't think she had ideas about her own life or llike he didn't trust her to talk to his mother. He apologizes if that's what it felt like. Amelia says she won't be treated like a child who needs to be silenced. She says this is not working. She tells him to go, but he doesn't want to go just because they're having an argument. She takes her purse and leaves herself.

Amelia enters Charlotte's room at St. Ambrose. Charlotte says she doesn't look too good and asks what she's doing here at 2 AM. Amelia says she couldn't fall asleep in the on-call room and tells her about the fight with James, which caused her to leave her own apartment. She's really embarrassed about that. She was just trying to stand up for herself and now she can't go back. Charlotte tells her to sit down. So Amelia does, and they just sit and lie in silence.

Amelia walks into the kitchen at the practice. Violet's in there and asks her about James. Violet gets the feeling something's going on. Amelia asks why she doesn't get the feeling that she doesn't want to talk. She doesn't need a shrink, nor did she need a matchmaker, but that didn't stop Violet from shoving dates down her throat. Violet is visibly hurt and apologizes. Amelia realizes she was mean and apologizes. She didn't get much sleep last night. Violet says she's actually right. She's been spending a lot of time on her couch on her own, too. The thing is, she's not a young woman anymore, so sometimes she thinks she will maybe spend the rest of her life alone. Amelia notices Violet's opened up, just as she gets a call from the hospital. Before leaving, Amelia tells Violet she can always call her so they can hang out in sweats on the couch together. 

Amelia enters the ER and finds James with Kaye. She had another seizure. James is taking her to CT. Kaye thought the lesions were gone. Amelia says they were, but they'll figure this out. Amelia tells James she'll take it from here. He says he is glad she's okay as he was worried about her. She keeps on walking.

Amelia is staring out the window in her office. Sheldon comes in and Amelia asks him if he deserves someone. Sheldon says of course. Amelia can't seem to figure out if she and James can't work or if she doesn't want them to. At the end of the day, she's a recovering addict with a lot of baggage and the worst thing that ever happened to James was having to put down his golden retriever. Sheldon says she should give him some credit, because he's seen tragedies as a doctor. She says these were other people's tragedies, which doesn't prepare with someone day in and day out. Also, he's a republican. Sheldon sits down and says she's missing the point. She has been so strong for the last year that there's no doubt in his mind that she could work through this if she wanted. But what she's not seeing, and what he didn't see until recently, is that none of the things they argue about or would want to change about each other matters. The only thing that matters is if someone would hold your hand when you have cancer. She realizes he's talking about himself, but he says it's his prostate and that he's fine. Or he hopes that he'll be fine. He's never been happier because he's found someone who'll hold his hand, and that's all that matters.

Amelia meets James outside the hospital. He asks what that fight really was about. She says that all the men she cares about die. James says his people live a very long time. He says he loves her. Amelia then realizes it's Kaye's heart. The single lesion and lack of clusters and titers that aren't that high. There's something in her heart that's causing her to throw emboli, which are causing her to seize. They rush inside.

As they're Kaye to the OR, Sam tells Amelia and James that the echo he did confirmed a tumor in the left atrium of the heart. Kaye asks what that means. James says the tumor caused her to throw emboli, which caused her to have seizures. Sam says Amelia did a lifesaving catch. Amelia tells her Sam will remove the tumor, after which she'll soon be up and running again. As Sam has taken Kaye inside the OR, Amelia recalls Todd Reiter, the patient James saved on his first night in the ER. She says that despite all the knowledge they have, it sometimes still comes down to instincts. Sometimes, all signs point in one way, but sometimes you just gotta get in your car and drive and forget that you know what failing looks like. By that, she means that she loves him too. They kiss.

Amelia and James are making out in her bed again.


  • Addison Montgomery
  • Jake Reilly
  • Cooper Freedman
  • Charlotte King
  • Sheldon Wallace
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Sam Bennett (left)
  • Violet Turner
  • James Peterson
  • Stella Peterson
  • Kaye Ramsey
  • Tom Peterson
  • George Ellis
  • Marshall Hayes
  • Terrence

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Kaye RamseyEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Scalp laceration
    • Tonic clonic seizure
    • Cardiac tumor
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches
    • Lorazepam
    • Anti-convulsants
    • Anti-fungals
    • Tumor resection

Kaye came into the ER with a scalp laceration, which James switched closed. She had had a tonic clonic seizure and fallen. She had another seizure in the ER. Amelia ordered a CT. They looked at her scans and found a lesion in her brain. Amelia wanted to run a biopsy, but James wanted to start the anti-fungals immediately, since it was the most likely cause. Amelia agreed, but she wanted a follow-up. At her follow-up, there was no sign of the lesion, but she came back to the hospital later after having another seizure. Amelia concluded that the problem came from her heart. Scans confirmed a tumor in her heart and Sam took her into surgery to remove it.

Charlotte KingEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
  • Treatment:
    • Bed rest

Charlotte was on bed rest waiting for the delivery of her other two babies.


Song Performer Scene
"Travel Song" Evelyn Burke
  • Amelia and James eat fortune cookies and talk about their families. She agrees to have dinner with his parents.
  • They lie in bed as the sun comes up.
"Listen to Your Heart" Cuff the Duke
  • Sheldon tells Amelia he's found someone to hold his hand, which is all that matters.
  • Amelia and James talk outside the hospital as she figures out what's wrong with Kaye.
  • Sam takes Kaye into surgery.
  • Amelia tells James she loves him to.
  • They spend another night together.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Private Practice 6x11 promo "Good Fries Are Hard to Come By"

Private Practice 6x11 promo "Good Fries Are Hard to Come By"

  • This episode scored 4.01 million viewers.
  • This episode focuses on Amelia.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


Amelia: Who did you vote for? In the last presidential who did you vote for?
James: It's called a secret ballot, and it's the foundation of our democracy.
Amelia: You're a Republican.
James: Because I wouldn't tell you who I voted for?
Amelia: Because you ended a sentence with "foundation of our democracy"!
James: I'm a conservative.
Amelia: Just say you're a Republican.
James: No.
Amelia: Why?
James: Because you really, really want me to.
Amelia: I'm in bed with a Republican.
James: I'm pretty sure it's not the first time. Just think back to the best sex you've ever had.
Amelia: Not funny.
James: Deal breaker?
Amelia: Abortion?
James: Pro-life.
Amelia: The death penalty?
James: This is the sexiest pillow talk ever.
Amelia: Don't try to avoid it.
James: The Bible says "an eye for an eye".
Amelia: Ohh! (screams into her pillow) All right, that logic drives me crazy! You just said that you're for life, but you're for the death penalty?
James: I am for life, innocent life.
Amelia: Whose job is it to judge innocence and guilt?
James: Does the person who took Sarah Nelson deserve to live?
Amelia: Doesn't the Bible also say something about turn the other cheek and God's the only one who can judge and stuff like that?
James: Wouldn't have pegged you as someone who would quote scripture.
Amelia: I did not quote scripture. I paraphrased. And everybody knows that stuff.

See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

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