Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

A Death in the Family is the season three premiere and the 32nd overall episode of Private Practice.

Short Summary[]

After Pete discovers Violet dying on the floor of her home, having barely survived a violent attack from her patient, Katie, he rushes her to the hospital where Addison and Naomi fight to save her life. Meanwhile, the whereabouts and condition of Violet's stolen baby are unknown.

Full Summary[]

Pete is staring at the coffin at a funeral. Sam and Naomi are there, too, and seem to be worried about him.

In a flashback, Pete enters Violet's house and finds her bleeding out on her living room floor. He starts applying pressure as Naomi comes in, shocked to see her. Pete instructs her to elevate her legs and call 911. Violet is still alive, but he can barely palpate her pulse. Naomi wonders where the baby is, before finally calling the ambulance.

Violet is taken into the ER, where Addison takes over from Pete. Naomi informs her there's no baby. Pete hates that he doesn't know Violet's blood type. Cooper says he was right at Violet's door, but left. Addison assures Pete she knows what she's doing and instructs Cooper to hold Pete back. Naomi and Addison start treating Violet.

In another flashback, Cooper and Violet are in the practice's kitchen to unpack boxes. Cooper is happy to finally have a kitchen at his workplace. Violet asks what he thinks of Sam and Naomi. Cooper likes them because they hired him, but Violet says they're happy people who are in love. She wonders if it's real. Sam walks in and says it's real. Violet apologizes and Cooper tells Pete, who was with Sam, to come work here if that's why he's here. Pete says no, because he has own practice in Beverly Hills. They greet each other. Sam says Pete is the friend he talked about earlier. Pete is supposed to be a patient, for Violet. His wife died four days ago. Naomi comes in and says she come up with a name: Oceanside Wellness.

Sam, Dell, and Betsy arrive in the ER and Cooper informs them someone stole Violet's baby. Pete says it must have been Katie. Pete wants go in as Violet just told him she wants to be with him. Sam instead takes Pete to get cleaned up, as he's covered in blood.

Flashback. Pete sits down in Violet's office. Pete tells Violet he heard from Sam that she's great. She says she is. Pete says Sam is great too, so he'll be a great boss. He's stalling. Pete is not comfortable with therapy, sharing all your personal thoughts. Violet asks if he did that with his wife. Pete says Naomi and Sam just don't understand he's coping. Pete says her name was Anna. She died of an aneurysm in her sleep, so no suffering. Pete respects what Violet does and he understands why Sam and Naomi are worrying, but he's feeling this in his own way. Violet says talking about those feelings will help. Pete says it was horrible, but he'll get through it on his own.

Pete is talking to a police officer about Katie. The officer assures him they're looking for her. Pete is frustrated. The officer asks about his relationship to Violet. Sheldon comes over and says Pete is her boyfriend. He introduces himself as a potential father of the baby. So does Pete.

Charlotte finds Cooper sitting in a hallway. She reminds him they have a waiting room with chairs. Cooper just called Violet's parents and they didn't even contemplate getting back from their vacation. Cooper is basically her only immediate family. Cooper's pager goes off, but he doesn't want to treat patients now, so the doctor on-call will have to take it. Cooper thinks he could have saved Violet if Charlotte hadn't called. Not that he blames Charlotte, but he might have had a chance. Charlotte says the only person who deserves to be blamed is Katie. Cooper says he's Violet's family. Charlotte comforts him.

In the OR, Addison says they'll be treating Violet by stopping bleedings and repairing organ damage, then get out as fast as they can. She asks Naomi to scrub in as she needs her hands. Naomi says she was going over to Violet's to tell her she was leaving the practice, after 9 years of working together. She leaves to go scrub in.

Cooper returns to the waiting room, where no one has received any news. Pete says Violet knew something was wrong with Katie, and he laughed at her for wanting to get Katie committed. Sheldon says they did. The both of them are in love with Violet and they both didn't believe her concerns about Katie. Pete points out Violet chose him. Sheldon wants to attack Pete, but Cooper stops him. Sheldon quickly calms down. He doesn't understand how something like this can happen. Sheldon then hugs Pete. Dell gets up and leaves.

In the OR, Violet is using blood faster than Addison can transfuse it in. She's bleeding from everywhere and Addison can't get her blood pressure up. They need to extend the incision to find what else is bleeding and tie that off. Dell comes and says they need answers. Addison and Naomi find out one of the mesenteric arteries is bleeding. Dell approaches and tells Violet they're all pulling for her. Addison wants him to shut up, but Naomi urges him to go on. Dell says he got Betsey back, which was hard. He didn't have a family before Betsey, except for his colleagues. Violet is his family, so she can't die on him.

Flashback. While they are all unwrapping, Sam informs them their supposed dermatologist got sued as he couldn't control his feet fetish. Sam suggests they give the open spot to Pete, as infectious disease is even better. Naomi says he also does critical care, so it's two in one. Violet points out he can't come work here because he's her patient. She doesn't believe Pete is fine. Naomi wonders if it's just because Pete's a patient, or if there's an actual problem with Pete. Sam says Pete is both a good doctor and also someone they get along with personally. Violet says there's something there with Pete, and until she knows what it is and he's ready to face it, he shouldn't be working here.

Pete gets up. He hates the waiting. He should be looking for Katie or the baby. He wonders what if Violet dies. Sheldon says he had a patient, an old woman. She was the strongest woman ever, and a minivan drove into her car as she was being taken to the hospital for chest pain. She lost her husband, her sons, a grandchild. Her heart was fine, it was just indigestion. Sheldon asked her how she was coping, and she told him God would provide. His point is they should have faith. He doesn't have faith, but he's pretending he does.

Addison and Naomi are still clamping. Naomi thinks Violet can't take much more and suggests they take out her uterus. Addison thinks she can save Violet without doing that. Addison wants to give Violet another chance to get a baby since they may not find her baby. Dell wonders what Violet would want. Addison instructs Naomi to keep applying pressure on the uterus and leaves the OR.

In the waiting room, Addison needs a decision. Pete wants them to save Violet. Sheldon agrees with him. Addison also wants to hear Cooper's opinion as he's Violet's best friend. He says she'd want Addison to save her uterus. Addison decides to embolize, thus saving the uterus. Cooper's pager goes off again and he angrily leaves.

Flashback. Pete is back for another session with Violet. He knows about the job but working with friends seems good. He thinks Violet doesn't want him at the practice. Violet just wants to help him. Talking about the job instead of his wife is just another way to avoid his deeper feelings. She wants to know what he is feeling. He's holding things in and eventually, it will explode. They need to attack his problem for his sake. Pete asks if she's ever been married. If she hasn't been married, she's not qualified to tell him about it. Violet says she just wants to listen. He says she's judging his grief and he doesn't think she's qualified.

Cooper arrives in the ER and wonders why they're constantly paging him. The nurse says he's the only pediatrician this woman wants. Cooper then sees Katie in the waiting room with a baby. Cooper tells the nurse to call security. Katie says she heard on the news that Violet is still alive. She says she had her baby and that he's beautiful.

Katie hopes Violet's better, because she wants Violet to see her baby. Violet will be so surprised. Everyone thought she was getting a girl, but it's a boy. Cooper asks what the doctor who delivered the baby said about his health. Katie says the doctor said he was healthy, but Cooper asks if he can check the baby, because he looks pale. Pete comes by and angrily approaches, but Cooper quickly interferes and says Katie had her baby, which is great. Pete plays along and says the baby indeed looks pale, which might indicate hemolysis. Cooper says it's treatable now. Katie is hesitant to let someone touch the baby. Pete says he knows how much Katie wanted her baby to be healthy. Pete tells her she needs to let Cooper check her baby. She hands the baby to Cooper, and the cops arrive moments later. Katie screams that is her baby as they arrest her. Cooper gives the baby to Pete and rushes off.

Addison is inserting a catheter into the uterine artery. Cooper comes in and says they have the baby, so Addison can take out the uterus. Addison says it's too late to start. Charlotte comes in as they need Cooper for Violet's baby. Addison decides she's also needed elsewhere and leaves Naomi to finish, much to Naomi's objections. Addison says she's better than the peds surgeon Charlotte paged, and that she can save them both.

In the other OR, Cooper wonders how much time he wasted if he had answered the pages earlier. Addison is scrubbing.

Flashback. Sam notices Pete's session went bad. He tells Sam not to listen to Violet. He doesn't want to trash her, but he doesn't like her. Pete then sees Naomi reading with Maya in an office. Pete tells Sam he's a lucky guy. Sam agrees. Maya and Naomi wave at him. Sam says they have a perfect life. Pete says Naomi is the love of his life. That's not luck. Pete assures him he's going to be fine as Naomi comes out, saying Maya wants him to read for her, too.

Naomi is closing up Violet, but her pulse ox drops. Violet's tachycardic, and suddenly goes into V-fib. Naomi shocks her once with paddles, but it doesn't help. As she's performing CPR, she wonders what could cause this. She remembers and instructs to turn Violet on her side, and asks for a syringe. She uses it for drainage and uses the paddles again. Violet's got a rhythm and a pulse. Naomi says she did it, but then sends Dell to get Addison immediately, because Violet's heavily bleeding from her nose.

Addison informs Charlotte that the baby has grade IV splenic laceration. Dell comes in and informs Addison they need her now. The peds surgeon says he can take over for Addison. She clamps something and leaves instructions for the surgeon before following Dell.

In the hallway, she refuses to answer Pete's questions. She starts scrubbing again. Pete knows he should have faith, but he works out his anger on some supplies.

Addison enters the OR and Naomi informs her that Violet is not responding to platelets or FFP. Addison orders an anti-coagulant. Addison explains her coagulating system is working overtime, and hopefully the anti-coagulant will stop that cascade. Naomi says it could also kill her, but Addison says it's their only shot. She leaves Naomi to administer the meds and returns to the baby.

Flashback. Pete enters Violet's office and says he had a really bad fight with his wife, the night before she died. They said things they couldn't take back. He turned off her alarm the next morning, and she was just ignoring him. That pissed him off. He went to brush his teeth and she was just lying there, ignoring him, so he called her a bitch, but she still wouldn't react. He ripped the covers off to make her get out of bed and talk, but she wouldn't talk to him. She was dead. For 5 minutes, he was arguing with his dead wife. Violet says he didn't know she was dead. His anger didn't kill his wife. Pete says he hated his wife. He wonders what that says about him. He can only think he can breathe again now that she's dead, and that's why he didn't want to talk about it.

Naomi walks into Addison's OR. Addison asks if Violet died. Naomi says no. The bleeding stopped. Addison says that's good, and continues to work on the baby.

Flashback. Violet joins the other doctors as they're trying to figure out who can fill their empty spot. She thinks they should hire Pete. She referred Pete to someone else. She thinks Pete is ready to start doing the work, and Pete was Sam and Naomi's friend long before he became her patient. It'll be good for the practice.

Addison finds Naomi outside Violet's room. She did her best on the baby, but time will tell. Naomi says Violet's not waking up. She says Addison chose for the embolization and the antithrombin, and then left her alone in there. Addison says Naomi left her alone first. Addison did what she could. Violet and her baby are her people, her responsibility. They're not Naomi's responsibility anymore, because she quit and walked out on them. Addison has to do everything now. Addison has screwed up every relationship she's ever had and she's clearly not good at keeping friends since she screwed up with Naomi, but she is very good at surgery. That's what she has to give to her people. She was scared to death the entire time, so Naomi doesn't get to lecture her for not wanting to lose another friend. Addison feels abandoned. Naomi tells her she's not alone. They sit down on the ground. Addison says it's on her if Violet or the baby doesn't make it. Naomi says she'd never leave Addison alone. Addison breaks down and Naomi comforts her.

Addison is sleeping on a gurney in the hallway. Pete is sitting by Violet's side. Sam and Naomi are watching them from outside the room. The baby is touch and go, like Violet. Sam hopes Pete won't have to go through this again.

Flashback. The coffin is lowered into the ground. Violet joins her colleagues and takes Pete's hand. After an encouragement from Violet, he takes the shovel and throws earth on top of the coffin. Sam tells Naomi he doesn't know if he could do it, if something happened to Naomi. Naomi says she's not going anywhere.

Naomi brings up the practice, but Sam says it's okay. People move on. It's what they do. They can do this. Naomi seems convinced they're all going to be okay.

Betsey is sleeping on Dell's lap in the waiting room. Cooper sits down with him. Dell says Betsey was crying when he returned from the OR. He shouldn't have brought her, but he didn't know where to take her. Dell wonders what he's doing. He's got her back, but he doesn't know what to do. Dell doesn't feel okay worrying about this now. Cooper says Betsey should be his priority. Dell wonders how he can raise Betsey as a 25 year old single father without screwing up. Cooper says he can ask them for help and advises him to take some time off to settle down. Cooper offers to watch Betsey so Dell can go check on Violet. As Dell leaves, Charlotte joins Cooper. She wonders why he's not with Violet. He's good here. Charlotte sits down with him.

Pete is with the baby in the nursery. Sheldon comes in, too. He'd like to sit with the baby, too. Sheldon thanks Pete for letting him. Sheldon asks what his name is. Pete says they'd have to ask Violet when she wakes up.

Flashback. Pete is settling down in his new office. He's also ditched the suit. He's thinking about switching to alternative medicine, to find ways for the body to heal itself. Violet asks him how he is. He replies better. Since he wondered what kind of man he is to hate his wife, Violet says he's the kind who married the wrong person. Pete thinks maybe his wife was. Maybe he's just not the type to get married. Violet says he's a good man. In time, he'll find someone to love. Pete hopes so.

Violet finally wakes up, where her colleagues are surrounding her. She wonders where her son is. Pete is holding the baby and shows him to Violet. He lies the baby down on her body. Violet didn't expect him to be so beautiful. Naomi takes Addison's hand as a relieved Addison is crying. Violet admires her baby boy.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Violet Turner[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken nose
    • Hypotension
    • Severe blood loss
    • Stab wounds
  • Treatment:
    • Saline
    • Central line
    • Blood transfusion
    • Surgery
    • Anti-thrombin

Violet was found by Pete and Naomi who worked to stop the bleeding and called an ambulance. Addison met them at the hospital. They rushed Violet into surgery and repaired the damage as quickly as they could. In surgery, Naomi suggested doing a hysterectomy in order to stop the bleeding, but Addison said she could stop the bleeding without removing her uterus. After Addison asked Cooper, she was more firm in her decision to try to save Violet's uterus. She did the embolization to save it. When Violet's baby was brought in and needed surgery, Addison left Naomi to close and went to him. Naomi had almost finished closing when Violet crashed. Naomi was able to resuscitate her, but Violet started bleeding from her nose. Addison said to give her antithrombin in the hopes it would reset her body's natural clotting system. It worked and she survived the surgery. She later woke up asking about her baby.

Pete Wilder[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Talk therapy

Sam had Pete talk to Violet about Anna's death. After a few sessions, he finally opened up that they'd had a fight the night before she died and he didn't immediately realize that she was dead when he woke up in the morning. He hated her, he admits.

Violet's Baby[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Grade IV splenic laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Katie brought Violet's baby to the hospital and had Cooper paged to see him. Under the guise of checking the baby out, Cooper got Katie to hand him over. He was anemic. Charlotte suspected that his spleen was lacerated from his delivery. Addison worked on him and was able to save his spleen. She left the pediatric surgeon to finish while she went back to Violet. He finished the surgery and the baby was fine.


Song Performer Scene
"Chasing Dragons" Gemma Hayes
  • Pete, Sam, and Naomi are at a funeral together.
  • Pete finds Violet in a pool of blood. Naomi comes in and calls 911.
  • Naomi asks where the baby is.
"You Will Know What To Do" Home Video
  • Pete cries.
  • Addison operates on Violet's baby. Naomi comes in and tells her Violet's bleeding stopped.
  • The doctors debate which new doctor to add to the practice. Violet comes in and tells them to hire Pete.
  • Naomi and Addison look into Violet's room. They start fighting over what happened with Violet.
  • Addison sits next to the wall and says it's her fault if Violet or the baby dies.
  • Naomi says Addison's not alone.
"Mmm..." Laura Izibor
  • Sheldon holds the baby's hand.
  • Pete unpacks his office. Violet comes in to talk to him.
  • Naomi holds Violet's hand as she wakes up.
  • Violet asks about the baby and Pete brings him to her.
  • Naomi takes Addison's hand.

Notes and Trivia[]


Private Practice 3x01 A Death in the Family Promo

  • This episode scored 11.58 million viewers.
  • When the main cast credits appear on screen, a long pause is taken before Amy Brenneman's name appears. This is most likely to tease the viewers about Violet's suggested death.


Episode Stills[]


Violet: What do you think about Sam and Naomi?
Cooper: They seem nice. I mean, I like 'em 'cause they, you know, hired me. Why? What do you think?
Violet: They're happy. They're happy people. They're happy people in love with each other. It's creepy. Do you think it's real, the love?
Sam: Oh, it's real.

Pete: I get that Sam and Naomi think that I'm not showing the right emotion, I'm in denial or I'm not talking enough, but I'm a private person. It's not that I'm not feeling this, that I don't miss her. Maybe I'm not displaying my emotions, but I'm feeling this in my own way.
Violet: I understand that. I do. But I still think, as a professional, talking about those feelings will help.
Pete: I just don't really have anything else to say. This, what happened, is horrible. But I'll get through it, in time. On my own.

Cooper: I had to call Violet's parents. Those people are... Okay, yes, they're worried, but they're on vacation in London and they didn't even contemplate getting on an airplane to L.A. They didn't even think about it. She was raised by wolves. By intellectual, snooty wolves. I'm basically... I mean, I'm her immediate family.

Cooper: If she'd had the baby yesterday like she was supposed to...
Charlotte: She doesn't do anything like she's supposed to. Yeah, she's a real bitch that way. Just making a point.
Cooper: Which is?
Charlotte: She's not to blame. I'm not to blame. You're not to blame. The only person who deserves blame is that woman who attacked her and took her baby. You're not a superhero, Coop.
Cooper: No, I'm her family.
Charlotte: Just take my hand and breathe.

Dell: I got Betsey back. Which was maybe the hardest thing I'd done. Before Betsey, I didn't really have a family. You guys, you're my family. You're my family, Violet, so I'm sitting here, selfishly telling you not to die.

Sheldon: I had a patient. An old woman. A Southern woman, Southern Baptist. Strongest woman I ever met. And they were having a party for her 90th birthday. Only she was having chest pains, so they took her to the hospital. A minivan T-boned her car on the way there. She lost her husband, two sons, a grandchild. Her heart was fine. It was indigestion.
Sam: Is there a point or are you just spouting random crap?
Sheldon: She came to me because everyone was worried that she was so devastated, she wouldn't be able to go on. So I asked her. I asked her how she was coping, and she said to me: "Son, God will provide."
Cooper: That's it? She loses everything and God will provide?
Sheldon: My point was, we should have a little faith.
Pete: Do you? Have faith?
Sheldon: No. But I'm pretending I do.

Sam: I'm a lucky guy. It's luck that Naomi was my lab partner, luck that she went out with me for that first time, luck that she said yes when I proposed. I'm just lucky that Maya's healthy and we're happy. That we have this life, when you're... Yeah. I'm a lucky guy. It's just luck.
Pete: She's the love of your life. That's not luck. That's something else.

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, 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, I 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 lay 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. Five 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. And 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 wanna know why I didn't wanna come and talk to you about it, it's because my wife is dead, and all I can think is, I can breathe again.

Naomi: How's the baby?
Addison: I did my best. Time will tell. How's she?
Naomi: She's not waking up. You made the choice to do the embolization. You made the choice to give her the antithrombin. You left me alone in there.
Addison: You left me alone first. I did what I had to do. I did what I could to save... 
Naomi:  But you didn't have to operate on the baby. Charlotte had a peds surgeon right there.
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 do everything. Me. Do you know what that's like?  Do you know the weight that is pressing down on me? If she had died... If that baby had died... I know how to do one thing, Nai. Okay, I have failed at every relationship I've ever had. I'm clearly not good at keeping friends since I screwed up with you. But there's one thing I'm good at. I am good at surgery. I am a brilliant surgeon. That's what I have. That's what I have to give to my people, all right? And I was scared to 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 of the practice and you left me alone. I'm exhausted, Nai. And you left me alone.
Naomi: You're not alone.
Addison: I did what I could. If she doesn't wake up, if that baby... That's on me.
Naomi: You are not alone. I would never leave you alone. You're not alone.

Violet: You know, you asked me what kind of a man you are. Do you wanna know what I think? I think you're the kind that married the wrong person.
Pete: Maybe she married the wrong person. Maybe I'm not cut out for all that love, marriage. Maybe it's just not in me.
Violet: It is. You're a good man. And in time, eventually, you'll find someone. You will. You'll love someone.
Pete: I hope so.

See Also[]

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.