Private Practice Review: "War"

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That sound you hear is of it being ON.

Emotionally charged events that had been building all season long came to a head last night on Private Practice, as Pete and Violet waged a courtroom battle for custody of Lucas.

The title, "War," certainly seemed appropriate much of the time, as their colleagues were forced to testify, and endure their own lives being scrutinized on the stand.

Sometimes, Private Practice story lines seem trivial, but the myriad issues above and beneath the surface made this a compelling episode from beginning to end.

Some of the most stirring moments from the trial:

  • Amelia Shepherd and Naomi actually having Violet's back
  • Sheldon opining that Violet's PTSD is a chronic affliction
  • Charlotte dubiously proclaiming that Violet hates babies
  • Cooper of all people questioning her parental ability
  • An all-out character assassination on poor Dell
Pete Takes the Stand

Pete takes the stand in an effort to keep Lucas.

Perhaps our favorite scene/line of the night belonged to Addison: "I just want Lucas to be happy. So, if that means you tearing me apart and making me look like the most horrible person on Earth, then please go ahead and do it because Lucas is worth it to me."

Responding in such fashion as her own past was being exposed and lambasted under oath took courage. Also amazing? Sam confiding that he's in love with Addy.

The task of testifying takes a toll on him on a personal note. He admits that if he had said what he wanted to, he’d be attempting to take the baby away from Pete for the wrong reasons.

What a tangled web these doctors weave.

That's not the only such confession made that day, either. Violet admits to Sam that she’s still in love with Pete ... a revelation that it was he who leaked the details of Violet’s abortions. That's a decision likely to haunt him for years.

Another layer was added to the already strong episode courtesy of flashbacks to Violet’s time in NYC. She had a job interview to replace Ellen, a psychiatrist about to take maternity leave.

Ellen's pregnancy alone shook Violet up.

Later, we start to see Violet in a different light when Ellen helps her reveal the graphic details of her attack, including how she aided her assailant in removing Lucas so he would survive the mangled c-section. In Ellen's words, she chose her baby over herself.

Perhaps it was this inner revelation that helped her testimony hit home with Pete, even after the judge deems her unfit for custody. He allows Violet visitation rights after all.

A fitting resolution, albeit a little predictable. The way they arrived at the ending, via flashbacks and a lot of moving developments, made for a solid episode, we thought.

Whose testimony was the most moving? Did the judge make the right decision - and did Pete? What did you think of last night's Private Practice overall?

Vote and comment below!

War Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

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

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Private Practice Season 3 Episode 21 Quotes

You want to fight dirty? Let's fight dirty.


I do not believe Violet Turner is a fit mother.