"Charlotte, out of respect for Pete, hasn't replaced him in the ER," Brenneman tells TVGuide.com. "She's pregnant and working herself into the ground and I say to her, 'It's OK. You need to replace Pete.' I see the new doctor (played by Matt Long) and it's like I'm seeing a ghost because he's like a young Pete."
In the season premiere, Violet learned that her husband had died of a heart attack, leaving her alone to raise 3-year-old son Lucas. But Brenneman says the way Violet grieves won't be clichéd. (See: Episode 2, which began with a Bali-style life celebration and ended with a high Violet screaming at the company.) "I said, 'Let's write something very specific to Violet and Pete.' And the truth is they had a very problematic, passionate relationship, and they hadn't resolved their stuff by any stretch when he was taken away from her," Brenneman says.
Watch the interview below to find out which Seaside Wellness colleague Violet surprisingly turns to for support. Plus: Brenneman says Violet finally moves out of the cursed house!
Private Practice airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.