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.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (212 Votes)

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


I have been a big fan of PP for a while and think that this episode was phenomenal in its acting and portrayal. However, given the severity of the issue portrayed, PP should have done more to educate on what should be done in event of a rate. It's television, and likely, the perpetrator will be caught and punished. In real life, this would never happen. As soon as Charlotte left the hospital, without a rape kit, she lost all evidence in her case. Yes, we should be happy that Charlotte remains strong and brave. But isn't it more brave and strong to report the rape? We need to take the stigma away that being raped means that women are weak or are victims. What this episode should have done is empowered women to have a voice and fight their attackers. I'm sure this will be resolved in a later episode, but I'm disappointed in the writers for not doing more.


ok. some of you guys are just being ridiculously critical. Unless you have been raped and/or attacked, how can you possibly even begin to know how a victim should feel or react? you cant. So stop being so critical of the way that Charlotte responded. KaDee did an outstanding job portraying Charlotte in this episode. It was such a powerful episode!
btw..@Samadoo....if you listen carefully to the dialogue they said that Charlotte is allergic to local anesthetics. (such as lidocaine) and the way that she reacted or was portrayed does not, or should not, send a message to all rape victims or women. People react to things in different ways.
@SerenaVDW...the Serenity prayer is not "poor dialogue". Its the prayer that is recited before every NA and AA meeting as a tool of strength for the addicts. Also, Charlotte said that the man slapped her so hard she "saw God". It was a figure of speech. And her soul is hurt because her pride is hurt. i thought this was an amazing episode and portrayal. People really should stop being so critical. If you don't like the show...then dont come to the web site and comment.


I am going to agree with Amelia's post and go even further. I actually feel like writing to ABC about this episode. Not about the graphic episode, it could have been very good until it was reduced to idiocy. First of all, the rape as Addison said, LEGALLY needs to be reported. But what was even more disturbing to me was so much more. Charlotte and Amelia are both in NA? and yet throw down booze? NOT the way it works. and along that line, there were a number of things that could have reduced Charlotte's pain without pain medication..such as lidocane? anyone ever hear of that? That's what they usually use when administering stiches, it's NOT pain medication it numbs the area so one does not feel pain while having needles stuck in their bodies. She could have been given a local anesthetic easily. and again, I know personally that it is NOT condoned for anyone in narcotics anonymous to drink just as it is not ok in AA to take pills UNLESS there is a medical reason. There were so many ridiculous plot scenerios in this episode that I deleted it from my dvr. I know it's TV, i know it's fiction but I have had enough of the ridiculous storylines. This one could have been good, it could have perhaps helped some women, instead the message seems to be that if you are attacked and raped you should be ashamed and suffer more than you already have. and oh yes, as was stated, a doctor operating while drinking? sure, I'll go see that doctor tomorrow. Bye Bye Private Practice. One last thing, why does Kate Walsh have her eyebrows waxed in triangles?


@SerenaVDW The serenity prayer is apparently something that is taught or shared or something within the AA/NA. By saying the prayer Amelia communicated to Charlotte that not only did she understand why Charlotte refused pain medication (we learned already in 1x06 that Charlotte has had to deal with a drug problem), but that she, too, is dealing with a drug problem (which we learned in 3x22 and in Amelia's Grey's episode). It was a bonding scene between the two women.


Actually, I was very frustrated with the handling of this storyline. All of these highly educated, powerful women who see this type of horrific crime in their careers and advise multitudes of other women on how to deal with serious issues, yet suddenly, they've all lost their brains and real strength. It doesn't take strength to deny it happened; the reality is Charlotte IS a victim of a crime; it doesn't mean she becomes an insipid person by acknowledging that someone else committed rape against her. By not reporting it, they become the weak ones here, and actually give the rapist more power. And a couple of other nitpicks...surely, despite her NA status, they could have put her under or done some other type of pain management that wwhen they gave her the stitches? And letting a drunk Amelia "operate"? C'mon. And in a city the size of LA, the only shrink that gets called when they've got a bloody detainee at the jail has had a sexual relationship with what turns out to be the victim. Good acting, some sloppy storytelling.


That was the most gut-wrenching episode of any show I have ever seen about rape. Period. And, Cooper, completely unable to deal with the assault on "his" woman; making her take care of him. Gut. Wrenching. I watch this show for its frivolity, not to wind up a weeping mess. Never a dull moment, Shondra.


Great acting by Kadee, Kate, etc. intense episode that this series needed!
Still can't stand Sam and Addison together or the superfluous and redundant character of Amelia....neither gel togther for me!


Fantastic Episode! A lot of depth in the characters being explored. A real tear jerker


Also if I were Addison I would have told the police. Yes, it is not what Charlotte wanted, but it was the right thing to do... and I don't mean right in a general kind of way, but right for Charlotte. Besides, last week Ade was all about reporting a crime to the police.


Kadee's acting was excellent but it was the dialogue which I didn't like at some parts. Like when she talks with Amelia and they say that line which goes something like "God give me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference". It felt kind of out of place, like the whole interaction with Amelia. Then, when Charlotte talked about seeing God when she was raped. And also when she told Pete that what hurt the most was her soul (I know it probably is true, but I don't know if anyone would say that and I found it so cliche that I even imagined that was what she was thinking/going to say).

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