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

Breaking the Rules is the second episode of the fifth season and the 78th overall episode of Private Practice.

Short Summary[]

The Oceanside Wellness doctors interview potential replacements for Naomi, including Jake Reilly, and no one understands Addison's resistance to hiring him. Cooper breaks the law and crosses his wife, Charlotte, in an effort to get cord blood for a young, sick patient and Pete directs his post-heart attack frustrations towards Violet.

Full Summary[]

Addison tells her therapist about the time she lived in Derek's trailer and the poison ivy. It was a failed experiment in pushing her boundaries, but in some ways, she's proud of that chapter. She really fought for love, even though she lost. Her therapist asks if she's afraid to lose again now. She sighs.

Addison and Sam are panting on the floor after sex. She says she likes living together. He likes her. They kiss, but Addison says she has to go since she's the boss now. She gets up, but he gets up after her and pulls off the sheet she's using to cover herself up. They start kissing against the window. He shuts the blinds as he tells her she's not the boss in here. Addison says she likes that. They hear a noise outside. They peek through the blinds and see a guy leaving Addison's house. Sam says Amelia's housewarming party must finally be over. Amelia appears in front of the window right across from them and waves at her naked friends. Addison and Sam duck for cover.

Sheldon, Sam, and Addison are interviewing people for Naomi's job. The first doctor brings up the medical board's investigation and doesn't believe it was all exaggerated. The second doctor doesn't understand when Sam asks if she's a team player. The third doctor doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic about being a doctor and the fourth one appears to be hyperactive. They all thank the candidates for coming in.

Charlotte is looking through the applications. She doesn't think they can all be that bad, but Addison reminds them there are still more people to be interviewed, and she's confident they'll find someone. Pete enters the kitchen, followed by Violet. Pete's ready to go back to work. Sam says it's fast, which is also Violet's opinion. Pete says he'll ease back in and promises Sam to follow rehab protocol. Violet offers to help with the hiring as she doesn't want to be at home. They agree to her request. Pete walks off in silence and Sheldon notices something's wrong between them.

Cooper brings a TV and popcorn into a patient's room. They're gonna watch the musical Oliver tonight. A nurse delivers labs and Cooper takes the parents outside. He tells them the results aren't good. The leukemia's back. Sometimes, even a good match doesn't work. The mother wonders about their options. Cooper says they need a cord blood transfusion, and soon. They can't use Kerri's own blood because it already contains the genetic precursor for the leukemia, so they'll need the hospital's database of the cord blood donor bank.

Amelia catches up with Addison and Sam. She jokes about this morning and walks off with Addison. Addison brings up the noise from last night, but Amelia promises it's not a weekly thing. Addison tells her to be careful. Amelia says she's not drinking. Addison believes her and asks her about the guy she saw sneak away this morning. Amelia says he's a painter with an amazing sixpack.

Cooper is hovering as Charlotte searches the database. There's no match in the public donor bank. Cooper asks about the private donor bank. Charlotte reminds him they're private because the family's saving it in case they'll ever need. Cooper says 99% never gets used and that Kerri will die without it. As Chief of Staff, Charlotte can't allow it, as there are 1,000 Kerris out there that physicians wanna break the rules for.

The next applicant shows a lot of interest in Sam. Addison thanks her for coming in. Next up is Jake Reilly. While the two men think his resume looks great, Addison says she'll sit this one out, but Jake already enters the room. "Have we met before?" Jake asks, and Addison sighs.

Sam says they absolutely have, but he can't remember when. Jake then does: at intramural basketball. Sam explains to Addison when they met. Sheldon brings up he played field hockey. Addison asks Jake why he's double board-certified in general surgery and OB/GYN. Jake explains he went for surgery because it's hard, but he also likes the caring about the patient in OB and the hands-on approach in fertility. Jake says he could do both, so he did. Jake states he's also a team player. Jake says he's glad they're not running away from that. He admits he knows about their problems with the medical board and says there's nothing more that they can do. He thinks the medical board just hasn't heard all sides to the story. He would start to play a little offense, if he were them. They're all under suspicion so he advises them to find out who left the medical board most recently, because Jake is sure they're back in the private sector and for hire. They can bring them in as consultants and share with them all their success stories so they can sell them back to their friends on the board. That way, everyone wins. Jake says they'll also be advised to change the name of the practice, so they might want to start thinking about that now.

In the lobby, Violet bumps into Jake and drops her paperwork. He recognizes her from her book. He says she should be proud of it, because it takes courage to put it all out there. There's no knowing how many people she's helped. He introduces himself and reveals why he's here. She recalls his resume and calls it impressive. He asks to put in a good word for him and leaves.

Violet comes in and she advises Sam, Sheldon, and Addison to hire Jake as she feels like he'd be a good fit. The next candidate arrives.

Pete takes Addison into his office, which is filled with boxes. Half of them aren't even his. Addison apologizes, but Violet said he wouldn't be back for three more weeks. He asks if she also told her she's put in shower bars or that she lays out his vitamins or checks his breathing every ten minutes. He starts moving boxes. She objects and says that it'll piss her off if his stitches tear and he'll bleed out all over the floor of her practice. She's okay with him returning to work early, but she doesn't want him to be a complete idiot about it. She promises to have his office cleaned out by the end of the day.

Violet and Cooper sit down with a drink. Violet tells him he can't expect Charlotte to break the rules because she's his wife. Cooper says Violet would do it for Pete if he asked. Violet says that won't happen since it would involve communicating with each other. For the last few weeks, he's never looked at her. She thinks his return to work might have more to do with her. Cooper says Pete loves her, but also hates her. He saw how she pulled out a chair for him and told him what kind of coffee he can drink in front of all his colleagues. Violet says she's worried. Cooper understands, but she has to understand Pete doesn't like that.

Addison asks Violet if she's found anyone good. Violet says the front runner is still Jake Reilly. Violet wonders why Addison doesn't like him. Addison confesses Jake is the Fiji guy, so she doesn't want to hire him and she's running out of excuses not to. Violet can only think of the fact that he's not a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, but that's his only shortcoming. Addison also admits that Sam doesn't know, as she only went to the airport and kissed Jake more than once. She didn't go to Fiji and that's what counts. Violet wonders why they can't hire him then. 

Kerri tells Cooper she's a little tired and asks if they can watch the musical tomorrow. Cooper says he can come on Saturday. Kerri asks if she'll still be alive then.

Cooper sneaks into Charlotte's office and hacks into her computer.

Cooper is talking to a couple in their home, telling them about Kerri's disease and shows them a photo. Robert wonders what this has to do with them. Cooper says that they decided to store the cord blood when their two boys were born. Their oldest son is a match for Kerri. Robert says that database is supposed to be confidential. Their youngest son Matt comes in to inform his parents that he's going to play basketball. Ellen explains that their son Kip died in a car accident when he was 6. They kept his cord blood in case Matt ever needs it. Cooper says Matt is a teenager now, so the odds of him ever needing the blood are miniscule. Robert says it's easy to talk about odds when you've never lost a child. Cooper can't imagine how painful that's been, but they have the opportunity to spare another family the grief they've gone through.

Amelia shows Charlotte her chip that proves she's 30 days sober. Charlotte says she'll think about putting her back on the surgical rotation. Amelia reminds her she saved Pete's life. Charlotte says that was a one-time exception and recalls that Amelia cut into a patient's head after she'd been drinking. Amelia says both that patient and Pete are alive because of her. Charlotte says the next one might not be so lucky.

Addison is staring at the coffee pot as Sam enters the kitchen and kisses her. He likes that she's just herself and not rubbing her authority in anyone's face. Addison says she's doubting on whether or not to have another cup of coffee as there are studies about caffeine and getting pregnant. Addison tells Sam she's gonna go off birth control, so she needs him to start wearing condoms. Sam's face tells her he doesn't like it.

Amelia is sitting in her office. Sheldon comes in and says that there's debate happening inside his head. One side says Amelia is hiding from him personally, the other side says she's hiding from the entire world. Charlotte still has her banned from surgery. Sheldon asks if she's getting help, because Charlotte's generally not like that. Amelia gets up angrily and says Charlotte's a bitch and a control freak. In AA, they all tell her not to tell anyone about their admission of addiction at work because people don't understand. Amelia opened her mouth when Charlotte needed her to. Amelia's been sober for years and she's sober again, but she doesn't get any credit for that from Charlotte because she told her. She's benched, without gratitude or credit. So the answer is that she's hiding from everyone.

Cooper is administering the cord blood to Kerri. Kerri says it feels weird. He tells her she'll start to get better. Charlotte appears and asks what he's doing. She wonders where he got the cord blood. He lies that a donor came through. She says she's glad it all worked out.

Addison and Jake end up together on an elevator at the hospital. Addison says he's got nerve to walk into her practice when he's clearly got ulterior motives. Jake says it's truly convenient. The practice is already affiliated with St. Ambrose, where he sees most of his patients and it's close to his house. Jake says he's a catch. He didn't do all that just to get a date with her. Though, having a friendly face around is a bonus. Addison says they're not friends, but he was talking about Sam.

Pete enters the kitchen and asks how the hiring's going. Sam says they found a great guy, but Addison doesn't like him. Pete asks since when she makes the final decisions, as they're still a cooperative practice. Charlotte says that officially, they work for and answer to Addison. Pete says they only agreed to that on paper, but he refuses to roll over and be pushed around. He says Addison doesn't respect any one of them. Sheldon says that aside his physical health, he's also facing mortality and an emotional overload. He's clearly angry, a typical response after a heart attack. In time, he'll find his equilibrium, so they just need to give him time.

Jake sees Sam in the hospital and asks about an inside scoop on the hiring. Sam says they're still hiring and invites Jake to join him and a few colleagues from the practice for a drink tonight. Jake accepts the invitation.

Robert walks into Charlotte's office and asks her how they dare to use his son's cord blood without his permission. Charlotte says they have his signed consent and shows him the document. Robert says that's not his signature. They told Cooper no, but after he left, Robert was concerned and called the hospital. Charlotte promises him she'll deal with this and Dr. Freedman. Robert says his lawyers will too.

Robert spots Cooper in the hallway and starts screaming at him. Cooper talks about Kerri and how they saved his life. Robert says Cooper stole the only thing left from their dead son and just gave it away. He walks off angrily.

Charlotte walks into Cooper's office, who happily tells her the treatment worked. Charlotte asks if he really thinks he'd get away with it. She checked her computer and knows he hacked her computer. Charlotte says they've been through this. He can't just make up the rules when a patient needs it. They all love their patients, but he broke the law and her trust. He's a doctor, an adult, and her husband, and he didn't act like any of those things when he made the decision. He has no self-control and she's tired of it.

The men at the bar are talking about Sam's family while playing a game of pool. Jake says he's never had time to make kids. Cooper yells they love to try, and adds that self-control is overrated. Cooper decides he likes Jake and wonders why they haven't hired him yet. Jake asks what he has to do to convince Sam to hire him. Cooper says he'd start with Addison, Sam's girlfriend. Sam takes Cooper's cue. Sam says they don't have a non-fraternization policy at the practice. Jake says she seems great. 

Sheldon asks Charlotte if she has a minute. She's had it with doctors playing with the rules. Sheldon says Amelia is an excellent surgeon. Charlotte doesn't want to talk about it. Sheldon says she has to stop punishing her and start forgiving her at some point. Charlotte says she can't make exceptions to the rules because she likes someone. Sheldon says she can do it by the book, let Amelia take the test. Charlotte says she's an addict, but Sheldon questions if Charlotte's holding Amelia to the same standards as she would any other surgeon.

Sam comes home and kisses Addison. She says boys night out must have been fun. Sam says they had to drop off Cooper at home. He mentions Jake is cool. He knows she thinks he's not a good fit, but he's a good doctor. They all work long hours and having someone around they like can be a good thing. He climbs into bed with her and starts kissing her. She asks if he's bought condoms. He says he doesn't like to wear those. He promises he'll be careful and continues to kiss her, but she says they're not in high school. No glove, no love.

Sheldon finds Violet organizing pills in her office. Pete has to take them for an entire year. Sheldon says it must be terrifying to the both of them. Violet says it's just life-altering. She wants to talk about something else. Sheldon came in here to talk about the fact that Pete's not ready to be here, but Violet says that's all she can think about. Sheldon asks if Violet's heard about Sam and Addison. Violet can't believe Addison's going through the entire baby process on her own all the while taking over the practice. Violet says Sheldon should've advised her. Sheldon says they tend to that because they think six steps ahead, but they have to let their friends make their own decisions, even though if they can predict it'll end poorly. If they weigh in, they do what they're going to do anyway because human beings require pain to grow and because they're in love. If they talk about every shrink thought they have, they'll become the "I told you so" friend. So, they won't help anybody.

Jake finds Addison at the hospital and says she doesn't want him to join the practice because Sam's her boyfriend. Addison wonders who told her, but he says it doesn't matter and he didn't say anything about Fiji. Addison tells him they were broken up at the time. She says this is not easy for her; the fact that she's not using him as her fertility doctor despite him being the best should tell him that. Jake says he likes her practice and the people there, and he promises not to hit on her if they hire him. He also joined the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, so they're out of excuses not to hire him.

Violet walks into the kitchen with pills and finds Pete drinking coffee. He immediately says it's decaf. She says it's time for his meds. She asks how he's doing. She can see he's physically fine, but she wants to know how he's feeling. He says he's feeling like she's smothering him. He doesn't need her to be his shrink and tells her to go home to be with their son. She has no business being here. Cooper, Sam, and Addison are standing in the doorway, shocked. Pete leaves.

Charlotte brings Robert and Ellen to the peds ward. She wants to assure them things like this won't happen in the future. Robert says that doesn't make any difference for them. Kerri's father comes over and thanks Charlotte for everything she's done for Kerri. He asks if she has time to see her. Charlotte says she'll come once she's shown the Westons out. The father hugs them and thanks them for what they did for his family. He says Kerri would love to meet them and takes them into her room. Cooper comes over, but Charlotte says she's got nothing to do with this, but he sees through her. Charlotte tells him he was wrong, regardless of the outcome. He better pray the Westons never need the blood. She made this go away because she loves him, but if he crosses her again, she'll report him to the cops. Cooper looks at Kerri and smiles.

Pete is playing with Lucas. Violet sits down and tells Pete she doesn't know what her job is anymore, neither as his wife or as a doctor. She says he's right. She can't be his therapist, but he needs to get one because he's really mean. She'll be his wife and a nursing maid, but she won't be his punching bag. He needs help to talk about what he's going through. She says it's bed time and picks up Lucas. He wishes his father a good night.

Charlotte walks into Amelia's office with a breathalyzer. The test proves Amelia is sober and Charlotte tells her she's back on the schedule. Amelia thanks her. Charlotte offers to go to a meeting together, but Amelia says she'd rather go solo.

Addison is sitting on the deck. Sam picked up some dinner. Addison says she hired Jake. It's the right thing to do. Addison also finds condoms in the bag with food. It's the right thing to do. She kisses him. It's quiet next door, which means Amelia must have had a long day. They're happy to finally have some peace and quiet.

Inside the house, Amelia has finished an entire bottle of wine by herself in front of the TV.

Addison tells her therapist she cheated on Derek. He caught her with his best friend, physically removed her from their apartment, and then moved to the woods. Addison is not scared now, because she didn't cheat on Sam. There's nothing to confess about Fiji, as they were broken up. She may be delusional, but first time since a long time, she's happy.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Addison Forbes Montgomery[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Doctors:
    • Therapist
  • Treatment:
    • Talk therapy

Addison talks to her therapist about the last time she lived with a man, with Derek in the woods. Now she's living with Sam and she says she's not scared.

Kerri Gilbert[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Leukemia
  • Treatment:
    • Cord blood transfusion

Kerri was in the hospital. Her labs revealed that her leukemia was back even after a bone marrow transplant. He told her parents that the only option was a cord blood transfusion. They checked the public donor banks and there was no match. Cooper asked her to check the private banks, but she said those are for families to use for themselves. Cooper went into Charlotte's office late at night and logged into her computer to check the private banks for himself. He found a match and contacted the family. Their son, who had died in a car accident, was a perfect match for Kerri. They said that their other son might need the blood, so they wanted to keep it. Despite this, Cooper used the blood to perform the transfusion, faking a consent form. The treatment went well and started working right away.


Song Performer Scene
"The Balcony" The Rumour Said Fire
  • Addison tells her therapist about living in the trailer with Derek as an experiment in pushing her boundaries. She's proud of that chapter as she fought for love.
  • Addison and Sam pant after sex and go again against the window.
  • Amelia waves at them.
"Free" Plan B
  • Charlotte is tired of covering for Cooper.
  • The men hang out and play a game of pool. They talk about work and women.
  • Sheldon talks to Charlotte about Amelia.
"Telegram" Buried Beds
  • Violet takes Lucas to bed.
  • Amelia does a breathalyzer test, which is negative. Charlotte puts her back on the schedule.
  • Addison decided to hire Jake.
  • Sam bought condoms.
  • Amelia is drinking wine inside the house.
  • Addison talks to her therapist about cheating and finally being happy.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • This episode scored 6.06 million viewers.


Episode Stills[]


Addison: For the first time in a long time, I'm happy.

Charlotte: You were wrong, Cooper. Breaking into my computer and stealing that cord blood, you were wrong. You better pray Matt Westin never needs that blood because you're not God. It's not your job to play God. I made this go away because I love you. If you ever screw with me again, if you ever cross me like this, I'll report you to the cops, let them take your sorry ass to jail.

Pete: You want to know how I feel? You want to know how I honestly feel? I feel like I can't get away from you. I feel like you're smothering me. Isn't it enough that you're my wife and nursemaid? You want to be my shrink? Go home, Violet. Go home and be a mother to our son because I don't want you here. You don't have patients. You don't have a license. You have no business being here. Go home.

Jake: Look, I hate to burst your bubble over there, Dr. Montgomery, but I'm a catch.
Addison: And so humble.

Addison: In some ways I'm proud of that chapter. I fought for love. I had poison ivy. You know, I lost, but I really fought.

See Also[]

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