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.


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.


@Val Violet had to say something and she never promised Betsy that would happen, she said "this is what I *hope* will happen".


I have watched this show from the very first episode and I am now officially a non-viewer. I guess this really touched a nerve because I have been a foster parent, and we adopted our last foster child. After the things I've seen in the system, I could never willingly let a child that I know enter it! And being doctors I am sure they know what children go through, especially older children. Violet made me sick when she made her speech about a family that was going to want her. There aren't exactly a plethora of people looking to adopt foster kids at all much less older ones. And even if it were true, a child can only take so much heartache before they just break. She lost both of her parents, and her last 2 caregivers gave her back like an old dog. Now she's going to have to go to who knows how many foster homes before finding an adoptive one? I am SO disappointed in these characters that I have come to care for. I can no longer watch this show and watch them all have fun and sleep around after they have decided to basically sentence this child to a life of pain and misery. Those are not the kind of shallow characters I can care about, what a waste of TV.


This was a sad sad episode. I was really disappointed. I do not know if the writers intended for this to happen. This was just so sad. I was extremely mad when i realized that no one was going to take her in. I guess it kind of makes sense. Addison and Sam are have complications(I have always preferred Addie and Pete). Amelia is living with Addie so it is not her choice to make. Pete and Violet are not ready, though they could have taken Betsy in. And then Charlotte and Cooper could have taken her in too. And what about Sheldon? I mean he is single but I guess he does not really know Betsy and he didnt really know Dell. Dell never would have left a child of a close friend. I hope that when Naomi gets back, the plot line will return and she will take in Dell's kid. I mean the kid is only 10 and has already lost both parents to an explosion and a car crash. Cut her some slack!!


I am so disappointed with how this episode turned out. These are professional well-off adults who could have easily taken this child in, I couldn’t believe how they turned their backs on Betsey, its so very sad. I rate the episode a 5 because of Amy Brenneman’s performance (Violet), she actually had me in tears. All the sleeping around with each other – actually bothered me in this episode when I saw how self-centered everyone is. The Adison-Sam relationship has yucked me out from the start. I have actually stopped being a faithful fan and have started skipping episodes. I just think that with Adison being Naomi’s best friend – and Sam being Naomi’s love, that would have been a sacred relationship. Not that I expected Sam and Naomi to reunite, I especially would hate that NOW, after this Sam & Adison mess. This is what this episode has done to me, make me reevaluate everything that they supposedly stand for and everything they actually do. My family (a large family) is working class, yet in my family there have been deaths of friends who have left orphan children that members of my family have raised as their own. Having grown up in an environment like this, I just cannot imagine how they could turn their backs on this child, its just so sad. I was really hoping there was a better resolution to this situation and that this episode was not going to brush this off forever. However, I just looked as the previews for the next episode and it looks like everyone went on with their cushy little lives. I deleted this season pass from my Tivo today.


This is the worst storyline EVER!!! To have done this to Dell after he gave his life for Maya and her child! How dare the writers do this! They seriously need to revisit this storyline and CORRECT the problem ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is absolute and total bull$h*t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


ughhh!!!i am really disappointed with the way these doctors behaved.addison has to be the most selfish bitch i've ever seen on tv and (borrowing a leaf from arizona in last night's grey's anatomy episode)biology helped her by making her barren...she just sleeps around but can't deal with real issues. and this episode just went to prove me right in thinking sam is a complete tool. he goes on about how dell was there for his child but he didn't even spend anytime with betsey let alone offer to adopt her. i give the two of them til the middle of this season before they break up..can't say i care too much for them as a couple anyway..i alsoexpected more from cooper at least but charlotte was her usual cold indifferent self so no surprises there ..i am so uninvested in these two and after last night's episode i could care less for her upcoming rape storyline


Heartless. I'm so over Addison. She was my fav from Grey's and now her character is so annoying, ugh poor little rich girl nobody loves me. . . why would they?
I love Violet, Pete's being kind of a looser. Cooper has no substance. Dell was my favorite character ;( I was disappointed when they killed him although they said they where his friends they didn't treat him that great while he was alive he always seemed like 'just the help' because he was the young assistant/midwife not a 'world class neonatal surgeon'. Rich Spoiled Snobs.


This is absolutely ridiculous. I AM SO DISGUSTED! People are right, Dell would have NEVER done this- he would have stepped up and taken any of these selfish doctors' children if they had died. These people are selfish. Sam is acting not himself, Addie acted like she didn't have a care in the world (besides herself), Pete was making up lame ass excuses (we need time? what?), Charlotte was being a bitch (just when I think she got nicer/shows she has a heart, her character regresses)and Cooper- i was just so disappointed with him. I was almost proud of Violet but she caved, but she realized how wrong she was. These are SELFISH people. Period. I wish Naomi was here. She would have done something. One thing I was surprised about: the drs kept saying the foster care system would be good for Betsey, when in reality, being an older child would decrease her chances of adoption. They should know that. Perhaps they were just saying that to have reason to back out. Absolutely disgusting. I almost do not want to watch the show again- I might continue to see if they realize that they have no heart and see if Shonda gives us a happier ending to Betsy's story.


I can't call myself a Private Practice fan but I've watched a good share of episodes. But after watching the last two episodes, I dont think I ever could be. Addison was always very flawed, after all the first thing we knew of her was her cheating... but she was fun and had a heart.
I am disappointed to see her with Sam. I would have liked to see more for her but it feels like she's regressed into a self centered selfish.. I feel like it would've been more true of her character for her to kick Sam to the curb, no he is not a good man at all! and stepped up and taken Betsey.
I feel that people convinced Violet that she was wanting Betsey just to compensate... and I see it but I really think that a good chunk of it was because she really wanted to do right by Dell. I would have liked to see Violet toughen up her backbone, but she caved though it kinda figures she would have.
None of these characters are incapable of taking that child and I'm disgusted with all of them.
I dont understand why any of them couldnt have called Naomi, she would have been on the first flight over.


Brian: if the "this is all fictional" argument is what you're going by, why do you even bother commenting? Of course everyone knows this is just a TV show and no one from the cast was "actually" hurt. We're talking about the storyline here. Get a grip.

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Private Practice Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

Where am I going to sleep tonight?


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