Private Practice Review: "All in the Family"

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Some think they take it a little far, but say this for Private Practice: Much like its parent series, Grey's Anatomy, it's not afraid to push the envelope with weighty topics.

Fans were promised the darkest story yet - PP already featured an unborn baby being cut out of its mother and stolen, mind you - and last night we saw the start of it.

We'll get to Charlotte in a bit, but there was plenty of other drama leading up to the shocking conclusion of "All in the Family," and most of that was pretty heavy too.

Lovely Addy

Addison's the type who takes work home with her. Sam? Not so much.

Addison and Sam treat a comatose patient who's ... pregnant. Because that happens in real life, right? In any case, they learn that it was her husband who impregnated her.

The woman is rushed into surgery and loses the baby. When Addison overhears the man telling her "they" will keep trying to have a family, she calls the authorities on him.

Sam doesn’t go as crazy over all of this as Addison, which really riled her up, even leading to a threat of withholding sex. Yeah, she seems like the type who would pull that.

It did bother him, though, he just wants to let it go while he's at home. Tonight the man wants to get down with his girl! Hey, gotta separate business and pleasure, right?

In the second wildest medical story line of the evening, a car accident patient, Jacob, tries to peace out of the hospital almost as soon as he's admitted. Definitely sketchy.

Pete realizes why. His co-passenger was male prostitute. Meanwhile, Charlotte informs her patient, Angela, that she’s well enough to have kids with her husband ... Jacob.

Oh, and he's HIV positive to boot.

Charlotte and Pete debated whether to tell Angela outright or let Jacob do it. He later does, introducing her to Evan the prostitute, who also happens to be the man he loves.

Angela knew deep down he was gay and was practically grateful to have this secret out in the open, but when Jacob told her he’s HIV positive, it was like a stomach punch.

Pete, Violet, Lucas

Speaking of secrets, Violet's trying to unlock Pete's. Through prying and using Google, she's figured out that his brother doesn't even live too far away. Why not reach out?

Finally, Pete comes clean about his "garbage" family, his mom who was a drunk, and the brother who covered it up when she stabbed one of her lovers to death. Holy cow.

One can certainly understand Pete's hesitance to bring that up, or try to reconcile with them now. But his mother and brother have been cast on the show, so he will soon!

Cooper and Charlotte's feud of the week is about whether to have kids. As we know, he wants them and she's balking. Tragically, it's the least of their problems right now.

After staying late to do admin stuff on a busy Halloween, Charlotte shuts down her computer and steps outside her office. Someone is waiting for her. It's beyond scary.

Poor Charlotte doesn't even have a chance as her attacker hits her in the face and stomach before throwing her stunned body back inside the office and closing the door.

If it weren't obvious enough, this is not going to end well. In fact, it's only the beginning of a tragic story line for Charlotte we will watch unfold next week and long after.

We imagine this will give more than a few female viewers nightmares, and while we applaud Shonda Rhimes for taking risks, it left us a bit uncomfortable just the same.

Is this the kind of thing you want to see on TV? Do the execution and the drama make up for the upsetting subject matter? We'd love to hear what you think about this.

Have at it! What did you think of last night's Private Practice? Discuss!


Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (71 Votes)

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


i just want to say i am truly tired of addison and would like for them to redeem her character


I think that the charlottle story line is really good because you see rape plot lines in a lot of teen shows but rarely with adults!


First, let me say that Charlotte is my favorite character on this show. While Addison began as a strong, kind of wandering and searching yet frightfully intelligent character, she's really disappointed me in the past and this season. Her mopey, moody, disappointed and victim mentality is just gross for a character of her calibre. Charlotte, however, is simply amazing. And I think if done correctly, while terribly traumatizing, she's going to only allow this sickening event to make her stronger as an already admirable woman and not let it destroy her life. At least, I truly hope that's where this show will go with it. If they mess up Charlotte like they are continuing to mess up Addison (even with the badly matched Sam/Addison relationship), I'm done.


I can tell Shonda is going to tell the story realistically and truthfully, and I think that is very good. You never know if someone who watches the show has gone through something like this and is helped by it. It happens all the time. Yes it was violent but it wasn't that graphic, watch crime shows or cable shows then talk about graphic. It’s going to be a good story and great acting.


I'm life has sufficient drama. I have been a fan of both Grey's and P Practice since their inception. But I had it last night. Both shows go too far for me. However, I am just one shocked fan........


I for one am getting sick of all the man on women violence. If you thought that ten seconds was bad then you didnt see last seasons premiere of Sons of Anarchy it was a graphic gang rape, i get that it's a catalyst to a dramatic storyline but I'm just getting tire of the rape on t.v.


I honestly don't think I'm gonna watch next episode... I'm already so shocked by those 10 seconds, I don't think I'll be able to watch the actual scene and Charlotte broken face. Too much violence is not needed. Topics are already heavy on Private Practice but I actually liked it betther than Grey's because of the characters, their relationships... And too much drama is going to kill it.


U know at first (as sick as this might seem) I thought maybe it was Cooper tryin to be play rough and work and then when she got punched in the stomach, my thoughts turned to horror. It takes genius to instill that much fear into your viewers for all of 10 seconds and yes I will be traumatized for the next few days. The reality is that these things occur and believe it or NOT because Charlotte is so MEAN, this tragic event may provide an unfortunate twist in humbling her personality. Yes they could have done it another way but I will definitely be watching next week although I PRAY that what we saw LAST night was the worst of it. I think it said enuff about what will possibly transpire.


I for one am proud of a show like Private practice for bringing these stories to light! we can't just sweep domestic violence under the rug and ignore the real trauma this causes. The more we ignore it, the more it happens. Also, PP does a great job of showing all sides of an issue regardless of society's opinions. I love that they aren't afraid to tackle the hard, unsettling stories. It creates discussion, gets people talking.


You think this was graphic?? You should've seen the rape scene on This Is England. Honestly I was dreading it and I still am but it's not a big deal!!! At least it's realistic and not sugar coated like everything else on TV. Private Practice has overtaken Grey's Anatomy in regard to controversy and I totally love it.

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