Private Practice Review: "Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?"

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Private Practice picked up right where last week's episode terrifyingly left off, and the immediate aftermath of what Charlotte endured was extremely difficult to digest.

The aptly-titled "Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?" did not focus on her long road back from this tragic assault (we're sure that will be shown down the line).

Instead, it focused on the hours that followed, and the characters' different reactions to the events. It was almost like Law & Order: SVU, with events unfolding in real time.

The Devastation

KaDee Strickland was terrific as Charlotte in this powerful episode.

There was both a criminal aspect to the episode, as well as a medical one, but mostly it was about emotion. How the victim responds. How her fiancee, friends and doctors respond.

You might criticize Shonda Rhimes for pushing the envelope with such dramatic story lines, but it was compelling TV, thanks primarily to terrific performances by the entire cast.

We begin just minutes after Charlotte's rape, hearing her gasping breaths. She staggers into a supply room and when Pete finds her, we finally see her face. It's a stunning image.

Pete tends to her injuries, of which there are many. When he steps away, she makes a phone call that you knew would be to Addison. She's going to be her lifeline of sorts here.

It was typical of Pete to protect her, but only Addison can get through to her. Charlotte won't admit she's been raped, she's too strong. She doesn't even want Addison to say it.

Meanwhile, Sheldon is called down to the police station and asked evaluate Lee, a disturbed man who was brought in with blood on his clothes. You know where this is going.

The rest of the doctors are at a bar celebrating Cooper’s engagement. That party comes to the worst possible end when Violet comes by to deliver the news about Charlotte.

Cooper's an emotional guy anyway, but the weight of what happened and his alcohol consumption were a bad combination in this case, and he puts his fast through a wall.

After The Attack

Sheldon interviews a suspect as the police look on.

Typically for these two, Charlotte is somehow the one to comfort Cooper when he sees her. He loves her so much, he can't even bring himself to grasp that someone could do this.

Pete continues to treat his battered colleague and Addison makes little progress in getting her to admit the sexual assault took place. She's thrown up a wall. More like a fortress.

Probably the most intriguing part of the episode was the fact that Sheldon is oblivious to all that’s happened to Charlotte as he interviews Lee, the blood-covered criminal suspect.

Sheldon gets Lee to admit that he attacked and raped a woman, but he attacks Sheldon before he can get a name, and the cops are forced to pry him away. The interview is over.

Sheldon still has no idea that the woman Lee attacked was Charlotte.

Unless the victim comes forward, there will be nothing to charge him with and legally he will have to be set free. It's painful to watch, knowing Charlotte isn't about to come clean.

One thing she was able to do was show her face. Charlotte breaks down and insists she and Cooper go home. With the attack happening at the hospital itself, we can understand.

The stares from everyone as she walks down the hall hurt, but were unavoidable. KaDee was so good, and the pacing of the episode so perfect, it felt like we were there with her.

What will happen next? How will Cooper come to grips with what happened, and how will their relationship be affected going forward? Will the attacker be brought to justice?

Next week, appropriately, is called "What Happens Next." Tell us what you think will, and what you thought of last night's Private Practice, by commenting below.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (210 Votes)

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

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Recovering drug addicts DO NOT DRINK.
Alcohol is regarded as a drug.
Like the series, but it's all wet in terms of addiction and 12 step programs

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I just started watching private practice on Netflix. So far its been really good! however, Charlotte King is a fucking idiot for not pressing charges and letting the police know she was raped right out of the gate! This episode made women look like weak little idiots!! I was brutally raped when I was 28, and doing the rape kit and pressing charges was the first thing I did! I will always have the scars from that night, but I did something about it! I was very disappointed in this episode! He would have gone straight to jail if she hadn't waited so long! If she had done it right away then she wouldn't have had to worry about her sexual past getting thrown in her face and her rapist getting away with it!!

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Charlotte stated "the only thing he took from me was my wallet", I can't say I blame her. Victims get pitied and looked at differently, especially from men. I honestly don't blame her for this decision.

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I am really dissappointed in the story line of charlotte not reporting the rape.It makes me really angry.When evidence is lost, thats it. And the writers had an opportunity to show that rape should not be the shame of the victim, but of the rapist.I struggled to watch this episode, thinking, why why why. Report the rape, that is what charlotte should have done.This just perpetuates the idea that why bother reporting the rape?Yes its unfair that she has to think of others, but she SHOULD.I felt quite betrayed by this part of the storyline.

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the should just can this show. absolutely rubbish.

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I know that everyone is focussed on Charlotte and that is wonderful but I'd really just like to put it out there that Addison and Sam should stay together for the long haul. It makes the most sense for this show.

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As a recovering alcoholic and addict in my seventh year of sobriety, I am particularly interested anytime 12-step programs are portrayed onscreen. I read the comments here before I watched the episode on DVR, so was actually pleasantly surprised by the way the the episode played out. The Serenity Prayer ("God, grant me the serenity...") is indeed a cornerstone of 12-step programs. It's often the first prayer an addict every says. When Amelia said it to Charlotte, it was sort of like she was using code. My perception (which is confirmed by her statement-one I've repeated many times -"Well, it takes one to know one.") is that she knew as soon as Charlotte so determinedly said, "No drugs for me," that they had this in common. It's not difficult to spot another addict in recovery. In addition to abstinence from alcohol and drugs (club soda with lime=the recovering alcoholic's standard drink at a party) there's often a common outlook on life. As for the alcohol, the basic text of Narcotics Anonymous states, "Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse. Before we came to N.A., many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the disease of addiction who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover." Most addicts in recovery stick to the theory that if you abstain from drugs but still drink alcohol, it doesn't count as sobriety. However, it's also a disease of denial, rationalization, and high relapse rates. That Amelia would reach out to a fellow addict and admit she was drinking, and Charlotte would encourage she attend more meetings and offer to go with her is exactly what happens in the program every day. The support we get and give in the program is the main way we stay sober. As one who can speak with some experience, I felt the interaction between the two women was quite realistic and authentic. I like to think that something as simple as this could be enough to inform a suffering addict about NA, and maybe they will find their way.

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excellent episode. kadee was magnificent and should put this eppy up for pre emmy nods, if thats how it works. I was mesmorized by the tv screen, hated the commercial breaks, and felt so empathetic and horrible, like it was my own friend/co-worker/neighbor that was going through this. i do think she should have reported it, but we all know how tough charlotte is and how stubborn. great writing, great acting.....5 stars for this show tonight.

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They made me f**king cry! Unbelivable , how they made Chatlottes pain real! That is what I love about this show!
I dont know who to give the Emmy Sandra Oh or KaDee Strickland.

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Pam, The piece played on this weeks was not Ave Marie. It was Bach Prelude No.1 from the well-tempered cavalier.

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