Private Practice

Season 3 Episode 1

A Death in the Family

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Oct 01, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
156 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Violet is rushed to the hospital unconscious and severely injured, after the violent attack from her patient Katie. Addison and Naomi fight to save her life. Meanwhile, the whereabouts and condition of Violet's stolen baby are unknown.

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  • Enough already. "God" Addison amkes another preachy announcement that she- and only she- have the skills to save Violet and her baby while the other docs stand helplessly by.

    Enough, enough, enough. Every episode of this series serves to reinforce Addison's delusion that she is on a mission from God to save the world. Her pronouncement at the surgical suite doors that only she could save Violet AND her baby was over the top melodramatic. This show has run off the rails catering to this belief. While some of the shows characters and storylines are well-written and humorous (i.e., Coop) when the show features Addison it becomes heavy-handed. While I personally have difficulty believing that Violet has the wherewithall to have two men fighting over being her lover, the writers at least gave her stories pathos and charm- unless we ventured into the whole baby-snatching arena. No one could have lived through a eight inch gash slit into their abdomen and lived to tell the tale unless Pete happened to be holding the door open for the amateur surgeon on her way out. Even two minutes later (the length of time it would take for the abductress to be out of sight) and Pete would have found Violet's lifeless body on the floor.... unless perhaps Violet lives next door to the hospital?

    This show, which I previously liked, slid right off the scale of implausibility and crappy writing this week. And lost itself one viewer in the process. I get enough sermons on Sunday morning.moreless
  • That's the way to start a Season!!

    A think this episode was one of the very best Private Practice has ever had.

    The acting was incredible! That Addison/Naomi scene near the end That's what we're talking about, that's the show we wanna see!... Even though it felt a LOT like Grey's Anatomy Season 3 premiere (I mean because of the flashbacks) I loved it, we finally got to know some background about the characters... about Pete and why he is the way he is...

    I was scared the whole time thinking Violet or/and the Baby wouldn't make it... it was such a relief when she woke up and Pete hand her over the baby boy (who was soo cute)...

    Overall I think it was an AMAZING episode! I like mostly everything about it, I'm really hoping this season to be as good as it started...(YAY for Shonda Team)moreless
  • amazing season opener


    Pete finds Violet just as Naomi arrives at the house. They call an ambulance and she is rushed to the hospital where Charlotte, Cooper and Addison are awaiting them. While Cooper blames himself for not entering the house (seen in the season 2 finale) and therefore maybe causing Violet's and her baby's death, Addison is busy trying to save her in surgery with Naomi's help. The rest of the Oceanside Wellness staff is worried sick outside the ER, waiting for news and remembering how Pete came to the practice which is shown throughout many flashback scenes in which we see him interacting with the different members right after his wife's death.

    In the present an increasingly annoyed Cooper is being paged by a nurse. When he goes to the reception desk to tell her to stop paging him it turns out that the patient who requested him as pediatrician is Katie - with Violet's baby, who she thinks is hers due to her delusion. Cooper manages to get the baby from her but it turns out he is bleeding internally.

    In the end Addison is able to save both Violet and her child. Dell thinks about taking some time off to take care of his daughter.


    This was a great episode. I was so scared that the baby would die (I've accidentally spoiled and read somewhere that Violet would stay alive). The actors did great, the music was well-chosen and the writing was good as well. I really hope PP can keep this up. And at the final scene, when Pete put the baby boy next to Violet in the bed, I was so overwhelmed with joy and relief and all other sorts of emotions that I actually cried. The Addison/Naomi conversations were also really well done. Definitely one of the best episodes I've seen lately (and I watch a LOT of shows).moreless
  • Another occasional home run from Shonda...

    If Private Practice delivers at least 90% of its total episodes with such brilliant writing and acting, I wouldn't be surprised if it gave other dramas like Grey's and Mad Men a run for its money at the Emmys.

    Season 3 opener was brilliantly constructed with two tracks from two different timelines. One was the flashback sequence, which goes on to show how Pete came to work at Oceanside after dealing with his wife's death and Violet's role in it. And the second was of course the present sequence showing Violet's rise from the dead, after being attacked by Katie. Tim Daly and Kate Walsh have given some really powerful performances that we rarely see in TV these days. Of course, once PP returns to a normal storyline after the drama of Violet's incident settles down, I guess it would be tough to expect such awesomeness.moreless
  • Private Practice 'A Death In The Family' Review

    Pain is like having a knife stuck in your back and having someone rip your guts out until you meet a slow death. Imagine that, then you would get an idea of how Violet felt when she had her baby ripped out of her by a psychopath and left for dead.

    The season premiere of Private Practice was long awaited, ever since last season where we saw a mad Katie claim Violet's baby as her own and daring her destructive tool to remove what she thought was hers. How can anyone claim a baby unless they were completely nuts? She could have easily waited until the baby was born to save herself the whole mess.

    Though Violet barely gave birth, death could have easily met her side. Pete's destined save was a matter of some intervention and the only hope Violet had of living.

    This was a sad day for everyone. Even the flashback which crossed everyone's mind of the first time they met Violet, when the Practice initially started. The funeral service at the beginning was a throw of, because the thought which passed through everyone's mind was 'Is that Violet's funeral?'

    Pete's deceased wife was the big giveaway and they deliberately omitted Violet from the service to sway us, but I somehow knew. The entire basis of the flashback was to give us an understanding of the early impact Violet had on others, but it was also a decoy plan used many times before on television. Still it was equally entertaining to admire the years they took off of Violet in the flashback and Naomi's short bob which came off as a horrible wig, as well as Sam's glasses. They all carried a different way about them in the flashbacks. I admired how the writers delivered the transformation of the current time compared to what was past. Equally effective!

    Each character faced a dilemma, but I hardly saw the value of Sheldon and I believe the only thing that would keep him in the picture was if he turned out to be the father. I believed Addison faced the most daring dilemmas of all time; splitting herself in two and acting autonomously. It all made sense why she left Violet's life into Naomi's hands, who seemed more like an intern in training than the real deal. They put too much pressure on Addison to be the 'best' neonatal doctor, but what about the pressure Addison placed on herself?

    Violet was pale in the operation room and her lifeline looked pale in comparison and death itself seemed to overcome her. Mostly everyone that cared for her suffered despair and disgust towards anything they could have done to prevent the very state Violet was in.

    Cooper believed he could have stopped everything before Charlotte called him, Pete believed he should have listened to her about Katie, Naomi's decision to leave the Practice weighed down on her heavily and Addison began to feel more alone than she's ever felt in her lifetime. Even Charlotte had her fear of guilt and Sheldon his feeling of isolation.

    What would have happened had Cooper answered his pager, maybe Violet would be without a womb, but Katie would have also been caught sooner. Returning to the scene of the crime is always the best way to get caught, but showing yourself to the person that wants you dead for putting their loved one in harm's way, is just as good as selling yourself out. Obviously Katie was truly nuts to page Cooper, Violet's best friend, what was really running through her mind? At least Violet's child was recovered and an entire mystery was solved.

    The flashbacks gave us more insight into what exactly made Pete the person he is. It also gave us an early hint towards Violet's relationship with Pete and their attraction towards each other.

    Drama is one thing, but when you get the addition of action, adventure and great execution, it places Private Practice on a new level.

    Kate Walsh was exceptionally talented in 'A Death in the Family' and Amy Brenneman added a certain level of equal talent which sealed this season premiere into being one of the best for Private Practice. Shonda Rhimes set the limit high this season and now that Katie is apprehended I would love to see how they spin this storyline.

    Watching Pete mourn his wife at her funeral was deep, but it leaves you wondering how he could despise the one he once loved. Pete argued with his wife even after she passed on, such that it left an unnoticeable scar on his heart and his character.

    Violet's sharp recovery was no surprise and her request to see her son also sealed the deal. What would have happened if Katie did not bring the baby, what would they have told her? Maybe Violet sensed her child was in the room. Sob.

    Katie was the villain of the Practice taken out with one final blow, but this episode makes you shiver to the thought that she was ever a patient and not ready in an institute.

    Lexa Reviews

    Read More Here:


    Five Stars

    Grade A-

Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh

Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery

Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald

Dr. Naomi Bennett

Kadee Strickland

Kadee Strickland

Dr. Charlotte King

Amy Brenneman

Amy Brenneman

Dr. Violet Turner

Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs

Dr. Sam Bennett

Paul Adelstein

Paul Adelstein

Dr. Cooper Freedman

Amanda Foreman

Amanda Foreman

Katie Kent

Recurring Role

Brian Benben

Brian Benben

Dr. Sheldon Wallace

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Pete: We had a fight. The night before she died. Well, we had a fight almost every night but the night before she died was our worst fight. She said things.. we said things, that you can't take back. I woke up the next morning and the alarm went off - her alarm went off - I was still pissed. I turned it off and she was just laying there ignoring me. And it pissed me off. I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. I was trying to get her to talk to me. And she was just laying there. So I called her a bitch. I called her a bitch and still she just layed there, silent. So I ripped the covers off, I ripped the covers off to make her get out of bed and talk to me. She wouldn't talk to me. Because she was dead. For 5 minutes I argued with my wife, and she was laying there, dead. And I didn't know it.
      Violet: Well you just said the most important thing, Pete. You didn't know. Your anger, it didn't kill your wife. It didn't change anything. People fight--
      Pete: I hated my wife. See that's the thing. I hated her. I don't know what that says about me, I don't know what that says about what kind of man I am, what kind of husband I am. Was. But, I hated my wife. So if you want to know why I didn't come and talk to you about it, it's because my wife is dead. And all I can think is, I can breathe again.

    • Dell: I am a 25 year old single father. How am I gonna do this right without screwing her up?
      Cooper: You just love her. And you ask for help. You ask us for help.

    • Addison:It's Violet! It's Violet's baby! They are my people, they are my responsibility. Not yours, not anymore. You quit. You quit on me. So I have to take care of them. I have to take care of everything, me. Do you know what that's like? Do you know the weight that's pressing down on me... if she had died.. if that baby had died. I know how to do one thing Nae. Okay? I have failed at every relationship I have ever had. I'm clearly not good at keeping friends since I screwed up with you. But there is one thing I'm good at, I'm good at surgery. I am a brilliant surgeon. That's what I have. That's what I have to give to my people. I was scared to the death in there. The entire time, I was scared to death. So you don't get to lecture me. You don't get to fault me for not wanting to lose another friend. You walked out on the practice and you left me alone. I'm exhausted Nae. And you left me alone.

    • Sheldon: My point was, that we should have a little faith.
      Pete: Do you? Have faith?
      Sheldon: No. But I'm pretending I do.

    • Dell: You are my family Violet. So I'm sitting here, selfishly, telling you not to die.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Air Dates:
      Denmark: October 12th, 2009 on Kanal 4
      Australia: November 3rd, 2009 on Channel 7
      Sweden: November 12th, 2009 on TV400
      The Netherlands: December 21st, 2009 on Net5
      Saudi Arabia: February 3rd, 2010 on ShowSeries
      Norway: March 9th, 2010 on TV2
      Germany: April 7th, 2010 on ProSieben
      United Kingdom: June 17th, 2010 on Living TV
      Finland: August 7, 2011 on MTV3

    • Featured Music:
      "Not While I Am Around" by Barbra Streisand.
      "Chasing Dragons" by Gemma Hayes.
      "You Will Know What To Do" by Home Video.
      "Mmm..." by Laura Izibor.