Private Practice Review: "War"

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That sound you hear is of it being ON.

Emotionally charged events that had been building all season long came to a head last night on Private Practice, as Pete and Violet waged a courtroom battle for custody of Lucas.

The title, "War," certainly seemed appropriate much of the time, as their colleagues were forced to testify, and endure their own lives being scrutinized on the stand.

Sometimes, Private Practice story lines seem trivial, but the myriad issues above and beneath the surface made this a compelling episode from beginning to end.

Some of the most stirring moments from the trial:

  • Amelia Shepherd and Naomi actually having Violet's back
  • Sheldon opining that Violet's PTSD is a chronic affliction
  • Charlotte dubiously proclaiming that Violet hates babies
  • Cooper of all people questioning her parental ability
  • An all-out character assassination on poor Dell
Pete Takes the Stand

Pete takes the stand in an effort to keep Lucas.

Perhaps our favorite scene/line of the night belonged to Addison: "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."

Responding in such fashion as her own past was being exposed and lambasted under oath took courage. Also amazing? Sam confiding that he's in love with Addy.

The task of testifying takes a toll on him on a personal note. He admits that if he had said what he wanted to, he’d be attempting to take the baby away from Pete for the wrong reasons.

What a tangled web these doctors weave.

That's not the only such confession made that day, either. Violet admits to Sam that she’s still in love with Pete ... a revelation that it was he who leaked the details of Violet’s abortions. That's a decision likely to haunt him for years.

Another layer was added to the already strong episode courtesy of flashbacks to Violet’s time in NYC. She had a job interview to replace Ellen, a psychiatrist about to take maternity leave.

Ellen's pregnancy alone shook Violet up.

Later, we start to see Violet in a different light when Ellen helps her reveal the graphic details of her attack, including how she aided her assailant in removing Lucas so he would survive the mangled c-section. In Ellen's words, she chose her baby over herself.

Perhaps it was this inner revelation that helped her testimony hit home with Pete, even after the judge deems her unfit for custody. He allows Violet visitation rights after all.

A fitting resolution, albeit a little predictable. The way they arrived at the ending, via flashbacks and a lot of moving developments, made for a solid episode, we thought.

Whose testimony was the most moving? Did the judge make the right decision - and did Pete? What did you think of last night's Private Practice overall?

Vote and comment below!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Kudos to the writers! I just loove this episode.everything just fell into violet time to heal without jeopardizing the baby, pete letting go of his bitterness and being with addie...Yay! naomi realizing her mistakes and moving on as well, cooper and charlotte getting back together....everything just felt, just give sam an appropriate partner and finally put a stop to his attraction with addie so she won't be eternally made out to be a husband stealer( it's hard to like a lead character when she's always made out to be a horrible person) and everything will be just perfect.they can concentrate on medical drama instead.


This episode was phenomonal. Every time there's a case on this show, or Grey's, or any show, it's easy to sympathise and take a side, whether it's the patient or the doctor. In most cases, there is a certain emotion the writer wants the viewer to have, and it usually sticks true to that. The beauty and brilliance of this episode is that I never once could choose a side. Both parts were equally as compelling. When Addison gave her testmony, I couldn't be more on her side. But when Violet broke down in the office in new york and again when she gave her testimony, i couldnt be more on her side. The mixed emotions about the case, and Lucas, and the relationships and who should have custody and who shouldn't...well, it all makes for excellent television. Kudos on this episode.


Addie's speech was beautiful and I am not saying that she didn't mean all that, but... well Violet did things that made her look like the worst person on earth (she thought herself she was poison and she had helped Katie to cut the baby off her because she was a bad person and didn't car for her child) just to protect her baby. I mean, Addison's speech applies also to Violet! I loved the episode. I always be on Violet team, but I think that the decision was reasonable. She can keep on getting better, she can keep on loving Lucas, she can keep on trying to be there for him, and finally, she can keep on fighting for his custody. Greetings from Spain :-)


I hated that Violet lost the the case. That she was punished for finally doing what they all wanted her to do in the first place. She went through a traumatic experience and she had not dealt with it. The best for her son was to be with the father. She did not abandon her baby, she gave him to his father. She is now in a better place to reclaim her place in her son's life and for her so called friends to have said what they did was just wrong. Addison does not deserve to have Lucas, she still has feelings for Sam and is with Pete because she does not want to hurt her Noami and because of Lucas; She sees Lucas as her only chance to be a Mom.


as someone in a similar situation as Addison, being the girlfriend on someone with a child by someone else, this quote "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" really hit me hard because of how TRUE it is. beautiful episode. Private Practice has really come back


Does anyone know the song that was played at the end of this episode?? Thanks


Anyone know what the song was played at the end of this episode?? Thanks


To me this episode just made it even more obvious that Addie and Pete don't fit together at all. How creepy was the last scene? It looked like Addison didn't want to let him into the house at first. And only when Pete held Lucas out to her and the baby smiled at her, she let both of them in. Very telling!
Also, I hope Addison realises that Sam would never treat her the way Pete treated Violet in this episode. Even though he hates her (especially the fact that she's with Pete) and had the perfect chance to destroy her life with Pete, he kept his mouth shut and walked away. He's a good guy and Addison deserves a good guy!


Loved this episode and agree - Grey's went down the drain years ago. I don't think Pete hates Violet either; however, I definitely would start to question how much he loves her and whether they could ever be together again. I think Pete, like he said will always love Violet, but there's so much between them now - time can only take away so much. And to try for lucas ain't a good reason enough at all. I do feel like this episode shows that Pete & Addison have a real chance at being together. Just watching Addison fight for Lucas' best interest (I know that there is some criticism towards what she said about Violet but as harsh as the phrase came out, I'd still have hesistations about Violet's ability as a mother), seeing Pete listen to Addison's wake-up call, there's something so natural about those two that I can't help routing for them. I know that there's a belief that Addison is in it more for Lucas than Pete but I disagree. Lucas just happened to be a part of the package and now she loves him dearly. I hope they work out together. Regardless though: this whole Sam/Addison/Pete/Lucas/Violet thing needs to get resolved by this season finale. It's been dragged out LONG enough that it's started getting excruciating. Sam pretending to try to get over Addison but failing. Addison and her constant insecurity of being pushed out of the picture by Violet. And then the Naomi factor. Pete and Addison loving each other but stil unable to put that last percent in to shoot for the long run. Violet and her crazy. Ah - the storylines justs need to be resolved!!


Kudos to Addi. She did a great job standing up for Lucus and to Pete. She cares a lot about people and her friends. I love the part when she spoke to the lawyer, letting her know this case is not about her and it is what's best for Lucus. I know addi misses her bf Naiomi and she wish if things could be back together. I just want to see them happy again. Amelia stood up to Pete. He had no right to order her out of Addi's house. Good job Amelia. Addison knew it was Pete who gave the lawyer info about Violet. Good for her to stand up for herself.
Addison, I think she cares about peoples feeling and is a good person. Would I want to see her with Pete or Sam I do not know but what I want is for her to be a part of Lucus life. This show is so much better than Grey's. Greys is too immature and her ex is a jerk.
P.S. Just want to say when Addi was on Grey's it was good and so much fun to watch. I watch a couple a seasons after and realize how immature the show is. I cannot stand Derek and his chauvinist character. I just don't like the way he treated addi when she was his wife and after he left her. He is a cheater just like her but she is nicer and he is what I should say a Jerk but I still feel he is still in love with Addi although we never heard any mention of this because of his love for his immature wife Mer who he sometimes treats like crap. I believe she will leave him soon.

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Private Practice Season 3 Episode 21 Quotes

You want to fight dirty? Let's fight dirty.


I do not believe Violet Turner is a fit mother.