Thursday night's Private Practice blew the roof off. The two-hour episode claimed the life of Dell's new wife, Heather, in a meth-induced explosion, sending him into a rage. TVGuide.com caught up with Chris Lowell to get the scoop on what happens now that Dell's a single father and if his character will ever be able to trust anyone again.
TVGuide.com: The explosion in Thursday's episode really brought out a side we've never seen before in Dell.
Chris Lowell: What's so nice about this episode, in terms of that specifically, is that it's finally when you see a darker side of Dell. Up until now, he's always been searching for the good, and the right, and the positive and he just got freaking ugly. He just wanted her to die. It was horrible. Some of the stuff I got to say was crazy. It was a lot of fun. You would've expected to see some mercy, but a wall went up with Dell.
TVGuide.com: How will Dell deal with being a single father?
Lowell: I think the biggest challenge for him now is that his daughter — who has always looked up to him as being this heroic, positive figure in her life — now she can't forgive him because she knows that he wouldn't let her see her mother. The struggle now is having to earn his daughter's forgiveness and try to redeem himself in her eyes, which is obviously a tough thing to do. On top of that, he doesn't have a home anymore. He's starting back over when his confidence, morale and ideals have been shattered. It's a low point. Part of his recovery depends wholly on being carried on the shoulders of the other members of the show.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think Dell always ran back to Heather?
Lowell: Dell is a blind idealist. He really tries to see the good in everybody, which is one of the virtues of his character. Unfortunately, it's also one of the major faults because he doesn't ever seem to learn his lesson. As much as we need someone who is constantly seeking out the positive, you always need someone who has been matured by the experiences. Dell, for some reason, keeps falling into the same traps. Heather was a big trap; a big, beautiful trap.
TVGuide.com: Can Dell ever really trust women after this?
Lowell: I guess the one saving grace is his daughter who serves as the diamond in the rough. Even in Episode 8, he revealed his disrespect in many of the decisions made by Violet (Amy Brenneman), by Naomi (Audra McDonald), and of course, freaking Addison (Kate Walsh), who has slept with every doctor in America. He definitely becomes very reserved and untrusting of the women in his life. The only thing that is going to hopefully pull him out of that paranoia is Betsy.
TVGuide.com: The emotional turns in this episode are very different from where Dell started off. Do you feel like you've grown with Dell as he has evolved into this stronger character?
Lowell: That's actually a great question. I think that Shonda Rhimes has definitely taken this character from being this shallow, surfer eye candy to a very legitimate character on the show with very heavy emotional moments and scenes. It really is just the greatest compliment to receive as an actor from the creator of the show, to be given material as heavy as this.
TVGuide.com: We should leave this interview on a high, happy note. What good things can we look forward to for Dell?
Lowell: I think that the most important thing that's going to come out of this for him is that Dell needs to learn a little street smarts. He needs to realize that not everyone is entirely good or bad. Ultimately, despite the fact that he's always being burned for his philosophies, it's what makes him who he is and what everyone loves about him. It's one thing he really knows to be true about himself. Even in the darkest hour, he still can't deny that in himself.
Did Thursday night's two-hour episode of Private Practice blow you away?