Charlotte (KaDee Strickland) and Addison (Kate Walsh) both face the unimaginable in this week’s all-new ‘Private Practice’ episode. Charlotte’s attacker, Lee McHenry, beats his girlfriend, she stabs him and he is admitted to St. Ambrose with the knife sticking out of his abdomen. Charlotte and Cooper (Paul Adelstein) would like nothing more than to see him die after what he did to Charlotte. But crossing the line to be involved in killing him goes against everything they are as people and as doctors. Susan (Ann Cusack) is also admitted after collapsing at her wedding to Bizzy (JoBeth Williams). She ends up with a clot in her lung. She signed a DNR and tells Addison not to do any heroics to save her. Flint area fans who have watched Charlotte’s story unfold were riveted to this week’s episode. One local viewer told me last night, ‘It took a lot of strength for Charlotte to do what she did. I cannot even imagine facing someone who attacked me or someone I loved without being crazy with rage. Hopefully, she is on her way to permanent healing now.’
Sam (Taye Diggs) is in charge of Lee’s case. Once Charlotte finds out, she pleads with Sam to let him die. Sam tells her he took an oath, but he will do what she wants. She is torn and talks to Sheldon (Brian Benben). He tells her he can’t be objective. He says:
‘I’m just gonna tell you what I think. You make life and death decisions for patients every day, and I see you do it. You’re logical and brilliant and dispassionate and if I ever had an emergency I would want you to be my doctor. If you saw him on the street and he tried to attack you again I believe you could kill him. But when he comes into your hospital needing help, that’s different. He took a lot from you Charlotte. But you can’t let him take what makes you you.’
The icing on the cake is when Lee’s girlfriend apologizes to Charlotte because he told her that he’d raped Charlotte and she didn’t report it. Charlotte advises her to take her son and run. Lee wakes up from surgery, cuffed to the bed to find Charlotte watching him. She tells him his girlfriend told the police he admitted raping her. She also tells him he has no power over her, she is not afraid and she forgives him. Finally, it seems justice will be served and Charlotte can continue on toward total peace.
Meanwhile, Susan develops a blood clot in her lung and as she’s gasping for breath she tells Addison to enforce the DNR. When Bizzy arrives, she’s frantic and begs Addison to save her. Addison tells her she can’t. Susan dies. Addison breaks down and tells Naomi (Audra McDonald) that her mother lost the love of her life and now she’s lost her mother. Naomi says Bizzy will come around in time.
Addison goes to Bizzy’s hotel, offering her support, offering to let Bizzy stay with her. Bizzy declines, and says she doesn’t know how to go on without Susan. Addison pleads with Bizzy to let her help figure it out. She says, ‘In spite of everything, even though you can’t say it, you never said it, I love you and I am here!’ Bizzy hugs her and whispers, ‘Thank you.’ She tells Addison she is exhausted and urges her to go home to Sam. She says, ‘He’s a nice guy. Stick with him.’ They agree to meet in the morning. Addison leaves, but then returns to say that she is just going to stay there. She finds Bizzy dead on the bed with empty pill bottles on the nightstand. She finds a letter from Bizzy on the stand, in which she says, ‘When people ask, tell them she died in her sleep. The truth is too embarrassing.’
Now Addison must face a future without her mother, never truly getting the parental love or acceptance she always wanted, that every child longs for. Walsh’s raw emotion, as she conveys Addison’s pain, yearning and desperation for her mother’s love is a deeply honest and real portrayal. This episode proved to be another fine example of Rhimes’ ability to touch on deep matters of heart, with a stellar cast’s ability to bring them vividly to life. Charlotte and Addison both take the high road in impossible situations. Both walk through yet another fire as Charlotte forgives Lee and Addison goes out on a limb to tell Bizzy she loves her and is there for her. Charlotte seems to be moving forward toward total recovery. For Addison, though, Bizzy’s suicide only makes her lifelong heartache much, much worse.
‘Private Practice’ airs in Flint on WJRT TV ABC12 on Thursdays at 10 PM EST.
Click here to find a RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) partner crisis center in the Flint area.