[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season premiere of Private Practice. Read at your own risk!]
Private Practice wasted no time in doing episodes that were outside the box, as executive producer Shonda Rhimes promised.
In its season premiere, Private went full Rashomon-style, telling the same story from different perspectives, culminating in several big reveals for the doctors of Seaside Wellness. Since the ABC medical drama split the premiere by character, so will we! Find out what happened to Addison & Co, including who she chose, what happened to Pete and the big twist involving Charlotte. Plus: The cast dishes on what's next!
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Violet and Pete (Amy Brenneman and Tim Daly): Pete died! While Violet worried that Pete had jumped bail, in fact he died of a heart attack while on a run. We'll see Violet lean on Cooper through this grieving process. "He's around for her a lot, especially in the first couple of episodes you see the intensity of that relationship, the intensity of her need with Lucas and her existential worry about what's going to happen, if something happens to her or Lucas, she's obviously rocked," Adelstein says.
While everyone's trying to fix Violet, Charlotte will be there in a different way, considering she feels some guilt for having put Pete in this position. "She takes it really hard," Strickland says. "There is an element of this that inherently feels like it's somehow her fault. He was there so much for her. He was her knight in shining armor when she was raped." Look for some particularly sweet moments when Violet gives some of Pete's mementos to the group.
Amelia and Sheldon (Caterina Scorsone and Brian Benben): She's all happy and sober and he's dating his ex! "She's had a year of sobriety and having a lot of self-reflection," Scorsone says. "The way she deals with Pete's death is that she becomes very concerned about Violet," Scorsone says. "Because Amelia has been through so much death and so much grieving, she's a bit of an authority in how it feels, and so she is trying to make sure Violet has as much support as she possibly can, so Amelia takes on that responsibility."
Addison and Jake (Kate Walsh and Benjamin Bratt): Sorry, AddiSam fans: She chose Jake! "We honestly had no idea, but we thought maybe she would go with Jake because she's been with Sam for three years, so it was maybe time to move on," Walsh says. "It's the first time Addison's in a grown-up relationship and she's confronted with her intimacy issues in an adult way." We'll see Addison continuously challenged with being vulnerable while trying to be herself around him.
As a result, Addison and Sam will have to figure out how to be just friends. "There's definitely tension there and they're trying to work it out, but like anything, time heals all wounds," she says. "She definitely misses her friendship with Sam. You see their dynamic shift and change in the first few episodes."
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Sam (Taye Diggs): Though Addison did not choose Sam, he's doing fine considering he has a new girlfriend of his own, a nurse at St. Ambrose named Stephanie (Justina Machado), who'll be sticking around for a bit. And Diggs promises that Sam really is OK with Addison's decision. "He's handling it; the writers said he's cool with it," he says. "I think Sam and Addison have been through so much that Sam is at a point where he's set on getting through this and getting to the other side. He's moving on and he wants to be happy and he's doing what he thinks he needs to." Diggs also promises that we'll get to see a fun side of his character in a Sam-centric episode.
Charlotte and Cooper (KaDee Strickland and Paul Adelstein): They're having triplets! "What's so funny is that of course all of the crew was like, 'Are you pregnant?' and I'm like, 'No!'" Strickland says with a laugh, noting that Charlotte will continue to maintain that she's unhappy with having children. (Even Mason calling her Mama last season hasn't softened her up!)
On the flip side, "He's psyched," Adelstein says. "He's always wanted kids. Charlotte is ambivalent about it obviously. He's very, very excited about it, almost to an insensitive degree. She's not thrilled. Being pregnant with triplets is a huge physical and emotional toll, so it puts a lot of strain on them." Strickland adds: "She's trying to find a balance between completely feeling like she's hijacked and her life is hijacked and how she can maintain this new life."
Pete's death will also make Cooper realize how important having a family really is. "He gets a sense of how quickly it could all end, and it makes him feel very protective of Charlotte and Mason, and of Lucas and Violet," Adelstein says.
What do you think of Addison's choice? And are you sad about Pete's death?
Private Practice airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.