Private Practice

Episode 3.21 : War

  • Private Practice
    • Episode Premiere : April 29, 2010
    • Distributor : ABC
    • Genre : Drama, Comedy
    • Seasons : 3
    • Show Period : 2007 - 2013
    • Production Company: ABC, ShondaLand
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

"I do not believe Violet Turner is a fit mother." These are Addison's words as she testifies in the custody trial over Lucas. All of Violet's friends and colleagues also take the stand. The questions are brutal and some of the answers are surprising. And at the end of it all, a judge will decide if Violet can have her son.

Before we get to the trial, we flashback to Violet's time in New York. She has a job interview with Ellen, a psychiatrist who needs someone to fill-in during her maternity leave. Violet is shaken when she meets the pregnant Ellen. This prompts the psychiatrist into asking Violet if she'd like to talk. More on that later.

In court, initially well-meaning testimonies from Dell, Sheldon and Charlotte on Violet's behalf don't go well. Cooper testifies, too. Here are a few lowlights:

- Dell's character is called into question when it comes out that he wouldn't let his daughter see her dying mom.

- Sheldon believes Violet's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is chronic.

- Charlotte accidentally blurts that she hates babies, and so does Violet.

- But the lowest blow comes when even Cooper admits that Violet may not be fit to care for Lucas.

Violet needs someone on her side. Thankfully, Naomi gets back just in time to testify. She was there when Violet was attacked. The image still haunts her dreams. She can't imagine what it would be like for Violet. She has compassion for her. Amelia Shepherd is also called to testify. She also helps Violet's case by saying Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be treated with something as simple as beta blockers.

Sam has trouble with his testimony, so much so that he can't even respond to the questions. Sam tells Violet that he's in love with Addison. If he had said what he wanted to say about Pete and Addison, he'd be attempting to take the baby away from them for all the wrong reasons. Saying nothing was his way of trying to be a good man.

When it's Violet's turn to testify, the subject of her past abortions comes up. Only two people knew about those procedures, Naomi and Addison. And Violet is sure Naomi wouldn't betray her. When she runs into Addison in the courthouse bathroom, Violet says, "You want to fight dirty? Let's fight dirty."

Things get nasty fast. During cross-examination, Addison is portrayed as an adulterous, husband-stealing, barren woman. She looks like she's been punched in the gut, but only for a moment. Addison quickly owns up to her past. She says, "I just want Lucas to be happy. So, if that means you tearing me apart and making me look like the most horrible person on Earth, then please go ahead and do it because Lucas is worth it to me." It's compelling testimony. Inspiring, too.

Outside of court, Violet admits to Sam that she's still in love with Pete. Violet later confronts Pete to ask if he's still in love with her. His angered response is not what she was expecting. Pete has shut down during this case, becoming extremely cold. Addison realizes that he's the one who spilled the news about Violet's abortions. She tells Pete that, one day, Lucas will be ashamed of him for what he's doing just as she is right now.

Flashing back to New York, we see that Violet has a breakthrough when Ellen gets her to spill the details of her attack. Violet helped her attacker take Lucas out of her. Had she not done so, Lucas would have been cut. Violet says, "I chose Lucas over me." She brought Lucas into this world safe and unharmed even as she was bleeding to death. Ellen says, "You saved your little boy." And she did so again when she gave him to Pete.

In court, Violet testifies that she knows with every fiber of her being that she's ready to be Lucas's mother. And when she wasn't ready, she gave him to the one person he knew would put Lucas's life before his own: Pete. Her testimony hits home with Pete, who believes they have a chance to raise the happiest, most loved little boy in the world. But he wants her to be ready and that's up to the judge, who deems that she's not.

Outside the courthouse, Violet tells Addison that she believes she had something to do with Pete's change of heart. Even though she lost, Violet still gets visitation rights. She says, "I'm going to see Lucas and I'm going to be happy." She then asks Addison if she's going to be happy. Addison's reply: "I don't know."






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