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Private Practice Review: "A Better Place to Be"

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“Your do-over is not with Betsey. It’s with Lucas.” - Coop, to Violet

The stunning Private Practice spoilers we passed along earlier this week prove that the medical drama is only going to become more grim as November sweeps near.

As we've frequently pointed out, however, this is not a show to shy away from dark stories in general. "A Better Place to Be" brought back a painful reminder of that.

Betsey returns to Oceanside. This is the same girl whose mother perished after a homemade meth lab explosion and whose father died in a car crash last season.

Violet's Big Move

How far will Violet go to help the daughter of a dear friend?

As if that weren't bad enough, her aunt says she can’t care for her anymore and bails. Just like that. Betsey actually asks, “Where am I going to sleep tonight?”

Violet offers to take Betsey in for awhile, a decision that may have clear long-lasting ramifications, but in the short term, goes well. She wants to stay for good.

This idea is taken very seriously by Violet, although Pete is hesitant for good reason, and Cooper knows there's more than a desire to help Betsey at work here.

It hurts, but Violet knows he's right about her motives.

The Betsey also situation brings up questions about children for Sam and Addison, and for Cooper and Charlotte, who wonder if they should take the poor girl in instead.

But when Violet comes out and asks if anyone would be willing to take Betsey, no one says a word. Nobody takes that plunge for her. It may be the saddest thing ever.

You can see how her heart aches as Violet turns Betsey over to a social worker, then tells her co-workers that they did a bad thing, all of them. No one can say a word.

Another depressing story for Betsey, but probably more realistic than if any of the docs had take her in. You wonder if this plot line is officially over, of if she'll be back.

The little girl has nothing, then had the prospect of a happy, stable environment presented before her for a brief moment, only to have it torn away once again. It hurts.

Regardless, it was well-acted and well-written, but painful to watch.

Addison: Voice of Reason?

Can Addison and Amelia save the day?

Speaking of which, Addison and Pete treat a pregnant woman who suffers from a painful condition that never shows up on any tests. What is causing the pain? Who knows?

Amelia. Derek's sister discerns that the woman’s pain comes from pressure on her brain. Pete is against doing surgery because of the risk, but Amelia and Addison want to.

Pete bonds with the woman’s husband, having fallen hard for a woman in his life as well only to endure impossible emotional situations. Luckily, the surgery is a success!

Sheldon offers to help a bullied boy named Kenny, and learns that the boy’s mom puts him in a new school at the first sign of trouble. She’s an overprotective single mom.

Kenny tries to commit suicide, leaving his mom a wreck. But Cooper and Sheldon convince her to let the little boy stay in one place, to try to handle things for himself.

It's hard for any of us to let go, but sometimes it's what we must do.

What did you think of last night's Private Practice? Do you like the new season so far? What are you most hoping for next? Discuss in the comments.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.3 / 5.0 (78 Votes)

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

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I was appalled at the callousness of this show. I loved the first 2 seasons and most of the 3rd. It irritated me to lose Dell but to have every one of the staff sit there and let DCFS take Betsey was so horrific I almost puked. And for the people on HERE to say that it was realistic must live in a very sad world. First, I have an adopted child who was a drug-baby and I would NEVER let a good friend of mine's child go into foster care like that. The reality is there are VERY FEW good foster homes and most likely she would end up abused and/or in a group home. These characters sentenced that child to emotional death, there is no such thing as "a loving family who is waiting for and wanting you" THIS group should have been that for her. That is the reality. And for them to just go on like nothing happened showed complete emotional numbness and selfishness. I was sickened by this episode. It would have been better to leave this one out completely than to show the ignorance and complete lack of compassion these writers have shown. There is not even enough bad things I could say about this episode, the writers, and the cast for allowing this type of episode to be created.

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First of all its not about being , they all on the series as drs make great money Sam is a rea jerk , I hate private Practice all the little girl was to be loved, but the writers are to busy making storylines more about sex than human compasssion, I hope life dont imatate art
and one of the writers who love reallity so much dont get a dose of what we were exposed to.private practice your series lost me as a viewer.

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ALL OF YOU ARE COMPLAINING, SAYING YOU'LL NEVER WATCH AGAIN BECAUSE OF HOW REALISTIC THIS EPISODE WAS. IF IT CAME DOWN TO ANYONE OF YOU GUYS YOU ALL WOULD PROBABLY FIND IT HARD TO TAKE IT BETSEY AS WELL. HYPOCRISY. ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE NOT STABLE ENOUGH TO TAKE HER IN, AND THERE IS EXTRA AMOUNTS OF DOUBT BECAUSE OF THE TRAUMA THAT THE CHILD HAS SUFFERED. IT IS SUCH A "HOLIER THAN THOU" ATTITUDE. THE HYPOCRISY OF AMERICA!

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I was shocked that no one stepped up to take care of her, but I think there is a reason. If not then I am really shocked at the selfishness of the characters. Where is Naomi? Did I miss something last week? Did she leave? Hmm, then a guess they believe that they are not stable enough to take her in, and they may make her psyche worse...maybe? IDK...but it was a little depressing...but honestly rather realistic. I was surprised that Addison didn't say anything...after taking in Lucas last season...IDK what to think about the characters right now. So Betsy is like an orphan now...sad.

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This show make me sick too.. I cry.. If I die for to save a friend daughter and when I'm in heaven seeing down that my friend wasn't a friend. They can't even take my daughter in. Instead they want her to be with a stranger. They all have money to do something for this loving child. I don't think I will be watching this show again. I'm very disppointed. Even when Dell die that was so sad. ANd now Betsy.. That is to much. I guess real and fiction life is like this. Very cruel. I hate this show now.. hate it.

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Well Private Practice just hit a new low and I don't think I can follow them down any longer. I am at the point where I hate all the characters, except Violet is semi-redeemed. What a group of heartless whores. My guess is that Dell should have let the whole group die in a car accident. Dell should never have left his child an orphan to save the daughter of that selfish ass Sam. This show made me sick!

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i'm going to be the one fish goign in the other direction, but i think it takes guts to look something as daunting as adopting an orphan of a friend in the eyes and saying, "no, this is not for me." especially given the reaction that EVERYONE has given. they're selfish, they're rude, cold, insensitive. maybe.....they're just honest? and they know that what she really needs is someone who can give her undivided attention? and that if they were to take her in, they wouldn't be able to give her that?
and btw, naomi is going to come home and adopt her. i would put money on it. nay feels guilty about too many things and has no one to boss her around. it'll be her decision, and it'll be interesting to see how it pans out.

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I also am done with this show. This was the most mean-spirited show I have seen in a long time. Wht a bunch of selfish, self-centered people. I stopped watching Desperate Housewives after the episode where Bree left her son on the side of the road. This episode had the same effect on me. No more.

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A lot of people here seem appalled. Having been a child who was once in need, I'm pretty comfortable with the fact that most people will run as far away as possible from a child who has been damaged. Would any of you really take in a girl like Betsy? You think you would? Now ask yourself why you haven't yet. There are thousands of them in America, and they need your help. If you're that shocked by this episode, step up and help a child who has lost everything, or has been abused, or has been living on the street. Perhaps what everyone hates about this episode is that it reveals something true about themselves. Most people don't want to help kids like Betsy, or the child that I used to be. It's easier to ignore them. I'm glad they were realistic about it--somebody needs to be.

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After tonight's episode, I feel free of this television show once and for all. I've been teetering the past few weeks, but since I've watched from the beginning, I've been hopeful for a more rich storyline. Addison's character is getting tired and old. I have been hoping to see her in a new light, with promise of self actualization. Even her best friend Naomo told her off and called her a cheater (yet again... another old title for Addison - as if anyone else on this show has any morals, please) and Addison just took it. She is weak and I'm dissappointed. BUT TONIGHT with poor Betsy... I know this story is all too true for foster children but for these characters to shun their human responsibility as friends and collegues to the person (Dell) who helped them unconditionally is reprehensible. This episode showed me there is no hope in this world. And Shonda made that message loud and clear. Good work for a writer who made us all feel the agony of this truth, but I don't need to tune into this each week to be reminded of the shoddy world we live in. I think my days of viewing Private Practice are over. Thanks and goodnight.

Private Practice Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

Where am I going to sleep tonight?

Betsey

Your do-over is not with Betsey. It's with Lucas.

Cooper