Contamination is the eleventh episode and mid-season premiere of the second season and the 20th overall episode of Private Practice.

Short Summary

One of Cooper's patients contracts the measles and forces the quarantine of all those at Oceanside Wellness, while Naomi pressures Addison into working with her cocky rival, Wyatt, on a fertility case. Meanwhile, Violet and Pete wonder if their friends-with-benefits relationship should move to the next level, as Dell fights for sole custody of his daughter.

Full Summary

Pete and Violet finish having sex and Pete asks if they should talk, but Violet says that they shouldn't.

Naomi and Wyatt examine their patient, Claudia Jenkins. Naomi says that there is not enough blood supply to her ovaries for her to have a baby and suggests to Wyatt that they should try to implant ovarian tissue in a place where there is a good blood supply and Naomi tells Claudia she has someone in mind that can do it.

Back at Oceanside, Cooper brings a woman named Arlene and her three children Michael, Will, and Jeffrey into his office. Arlene says that she took Jeffrey to Switzerland to treat him for autism and that Michael has caught a cold. Cooper checks his temperature and sees that it is quite high and becomes worried. Naomi meets with Addison and says that she needs a favor for one of her patients and Cooper barges in and says that one of his patient has measles and all of the patients at the clinic are at risk so they have to quarantine themselves.

Arlene tells Cooper that she doesn't want her kids to get injected with the measles vaccine because she believes that a vaccine may have caused Jeffrey's autism and she doesn't want to risk Michael's future.

Later, the staff notices that there is a cup from Charlotte's coffee bar in the office. Addison realizes that Charlotte's clinic might be exposed and says that Charlotte has to shut down too. Cooper goes to Charlotte's floor and tells her that he has exposed her clinic to the measles.

Wyatt meets with Addison and says that he wants her to perform surgery on Claudia. Addison says that she wants to follow up with Claudia after the surgery. Wyatt says that would be even better. Wyatt tells Addison to read Claudia's file before saying no.

Cooper notices that Violet looks happy and asks her if she is having sex with the same guy. Violet says yes and Cooper asks who she is sleeping with. Violet says that she already told him who she is sleeping with. Cooper says that he doesn't believe that she is sleeping with Pete and Violet says that she can prove it to him. Later, Cooper goes up to Pete and asks him to lift his shirt. Cooper sees that he has a tattoo and gets angry at him for sleeping with Violet.

Addison tells Naomi that she will take on Naomi's patient only if she agrees that she no longer work with Wyatt. Naomi says that she is being blackmailed, but agrees to Addison's terms.

Sonya Nichols, a CDC agent, arrives and says that she is there to pick up the practice's measles records. Sam is unable to answer all of Sonya's questions about how the practice responded to the measles and she asks if he is aware of the recent changes in the government mandated protocol to treat a measles outbreak. Sam takes Sonya around the office to show her how they dealt with the outbreak.

Cooper examines Michael at the hospital. Michael begins to cough and Arlene asks why he is so sick. Cooper says that measles is a serious condition that might lead to other problems. Later, Cooper meets with Arlene and says that his fever is down but he has trouble breathing. They look at Michael and see that he is breaking out. Arlene refuses to give Michael vaccinations and says that he doesn't want Michael to go through what Jeffrey is experiencing. Arlene blames Jeffery getting vaccinated for his autism.

Cooper returns to the practice and the staff has a meeting. Sam tells Cooper that he should call child services to force Michael to be treated. Sonya arrives and tells Sam that she needs to talk to him. Cooper blurts out that Pete is sleeping with Violet. Pete says that he is an adult and that it is his business that he is sleeping with Violet.

Sonya asks Sam how they disposed of the equipment used to treat the measles outbreak. Sam says that he sends off his waste to a company but is not sure how they dispose of the items. Sonya asks to see the practice's procedures manual and Sam says that he doesn't have it with him because they just moved all of their files.

A woman enters the practice and asks to Addison and Naomi where she can find Dell. She says that her name is Heather and that she is Betsey's mom. Addison and Naomi tell each other that Heather is not who they expected.

Violet tells Cooper that he wasn't supposed to tell anyone about Pete. Violet says that her relationship with Pete is just sex and that they both had an itch that they had to scratch.

Heather meets with Betsey in Dell's office then steps outside to speak to Dell alone. Dell gets upset at Heather for not calling. Dell asks Heather if she is using. Heather says that she didn't want to blow her interview and that she knew that Betsey was safe with Dell. Dell asks if Betsey has been vaccinated and Heather says no.

Pete meets Addison on the boardwalk during her break. Addison teases Pete about Violet. Pete says that it is no big deal because he does not have a relationship with Violet. Pete tells Addison to ignore any advice that she gets from anyone. Pete says that Cooper is all over Violet for having sex with him. Pete says that he gets along with Violet and they laugh and share some of the same goals. Addison says that it sounds like there is more to their relationship than sex.

The next day, Violet meets Sheldon in the elevator. They ride up and Sheldon says that he misses seeing her. Pete arrives and they all ride in the elevator together. Sheldon looks at Violet and asks if she did something different, then says that she looks great. Pete says that she did something different. Sheldon says that she should keep on doing what she is doing.

Addison starts her surgery on Claudia while Naomi and Wyatt watch. Wyatt harasses Addison and Naomi tells him that Addison is dating a cop. Wyatt says that cops usually end up having personal problems.

Heather goes to Dell's office and says that she is angry that she just received a letter saying that Dell wants full custody of Betsey. Heather says that she got a job and stopped using. Heather tells him not to forget who got her to started on drugs.

During surgery, Addison has problems operating. Wyatt says that they should continue with the implant. Addison says that Claudia will bleed to death and that she wants to stop the implant procedure.

Charlotte tells Cooper that he made a mess when he exposed her practice to the measles. Arlene shows up and says that Michael can't breathe. Cooper runs to Michael's room and sees that he is in danger. Cooper looks for a scope so he can clear Michael's blockage in his throat, but there is none available. Cooper is about to perform a trach but a man arrives with the scope. Cooper uses the scope to remove the blockage. Arlene asks if Michael is going to be okay. Cooper walks out of the room, sits down with Will, Arlene's other child, and rolls up his sleeve. Arlene tells Cooper to get away from her son, but Cooper injects him with a measles vaccination. Arlene says that Cooper assaulted her son and that she is going to sue the hospital.

After surgery, Wyatt tells Claudia that he will not give up. Wyatt tells Addison that he blames her for the failed surgery. Wyatt says that Addison didn't push hard enough. Addison says that they all understood that the surgery was experimental and that she chose to save the patient instead of completing the surgery. Wyatt says that Addison chose not to proceed because she hates him. Addison says that she made the right call.

Sonya meets with Sam and says that it is okay that he doesn't have a manual. Sam says that he thinks that she knew that he didn't have the manual and that she is a bully. Sonya says that he doesn't know how it is like to be hated by everyone he meets. She says that she is a real doctor and chose her job at the CDC to help people save lives when it came to outbreaks. Sam says that she hasn't even looked at him the whole time since they met. Sonya gets close and says that she has wanted to kiss him ever since she met him.

In the breakroom, Violet tells Dell that he made the right decision to try to take full custody and that he wants what is best for his daughter. Pete overhears her conversation and says that he wants to have a relationship beyond sex. Pete tells her not to think about what other people think and to make her decision for herself.

Cooper and Charlotte find that Michael's heart stopped beating. Charlotte tells Cooper to call his time of death. Cooper says that he won't give up and continues to administer CPR. Arlene tells him not to stop, but Cooper knows that it is helpless and calls his time of death. Arlene cries and holds her child. After Arlene leaves, Charlotte tells Cooper that he did everything he could.

Pete finds Violet in Addison's office and Violet tells Pete that he can change. Violet says that he messed up with Meg. Pete says that he knows that he screwed up. Violet says that she likes what she has with Pete and is not sure if she wants more.

Dell meets with Heather at her apartment. Heather opens the door and Dell sees Betsey. Dell says that he is there to apologize for getting her addicted to drugs in the first place. Heather says that she is doing better now. Dell tells Heather that they might be able to work things out outside of court.

Addison's elevator stops at Charlotte's clinic and she finds Naomi with Wyatt. Wyatt tells Addison that he respects that she helped in the operation and that he should have been more gracious. Addison tells Naomi that if she wants to work with Wyatt again, go ahead. Addison says that she should think of herself and make her choice.

Sheldon meets with Violet and says that he wants to go out with her as a friend without the pressure of sex and dating. Violet agrees.

Later, Sam and Sonya go to the club and dance with each other. Addison calls Kevin and says that she wants to see him. Kevin agrees and they talk on the phone for a while.


  • Addison Montgomery
  • Pete Wilder
  • Naomi Bennett
  • Cooper Freedman
  • Charlotte King
  • Dell Parker
  • Sam Bennett
  • Violet Turner
  • Sheldon Wallace
  • Arlene Perkins
  • Sonya Nichols
  • Heather Parker
  • Claudia Jenkins
  • Wyatt Lockhart
  • Betsey Parker
  • Pregnant Woman
  • Michael Perkins
  • Will Perkins
  • Jeffrey Perkins

Main Cast

Guest Stars


Medical Notes

Claudia Jenkins

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Naomi had implanted ovarian tissue into Claudia's abdomen, but it didn't survive. Because they only implanted half the tissue, they agreed to try again. Naomi wanted to implant it deeper, giving it a better chance to survive. To do this, she called in Addison, who attempted to implant the tissue, but found the surrounding area to be too prone to bleeding. She closed without implanting the tissue.

Michael Perkins

  • Diagnosis:
    • Measles
  • Treatment:
    • Intubation

Michael came into the practice with a fever. His mom believed he'd picked up a bug on the plane back from Switzerland. When Cooper examined him, he determined that he had the measles. He had not been vaccinated because his mother wrongly believed that vaccine had caused his older brother's autism. His mother took him home, believing he'd be fine, but his fever spiked and she brought him to the hospital, where he was placed in isolation. He continued to decline and had to be intubated when he stopped breathing. He continued to decline until he died in the hospital.

Pregnant Woman

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Exposure
  • Treatment:

A pregnant woman was concerned about her exposure to measles. She asked to get the vaccine right away, but because it contains live virus, she couldn't get it during pregnancy. They had to test her blood and give immunoglobulin if it came back low.


Song Performer Scene
"Something's Got a Hold on Me" Etta James
  • Violet and Pete finish having sex.
  • Addison and Naomi work out and Addison talks about the one sock Kevin left behind.
  • Naomi talks about her work with Wyatt.
  • Naomi examines Claudia.
"Gone Away" Lucy Schwartz
  • Cooper tries to save Michael.
  • Charlotte convinces Cooper it's time to stop.
  • His mother holds his body and cries.
"Seconds Ago" Bryn Christopher
  • Naomi and Addison go to get a drink.
  • Sheldon tells Violet he likes her. Pete sees this.
  • Sam and Sonya dance at a club.
  • Addison calls Kevin and tells him she misses him.

Notes and Trivia

  • This episode scored 8.98 million viewers.


Cooper: Are you still having sex with the same guy? With the same guy, huh? Gonna tell me with who?
Violet: I told you whom it was and you didn't believe me.
Cooper: Who it was, and you told me Pete. Which is obfuscation. Lying, really.
Violet: It's Pete, Cooper. I'm having sex with Pete.

Cooper: I need you to lift up your shirt. Trust me. I'm a doctor.
Pete: A pediatrician. That's like half a doctor.
Cooper: Lift.
Pete: This isn't one of your weird...
Cooper: There's a tattoo. You're sleeping with Violet? Do you have to sleep with everybody?
Pete: I don't sleep with everybody, and I...
Cooper: You sleep with people and they leave. You want Violet to leave the practice?
Violet: I'm not gonna leave.
Pete: You told him?
Violet: It's just sex.
Cooper: Oh, no, you're not capable of just having sex. You are a relationship junkie. And Pete is the anti-relationship. Pete is the ruiner of relationships. Pete is...
Pete: Is right here.
Cooper: And you know it's true.
Pete: Isn't that, like, the proverbial pot calling the kettle...

Arlene: Look at him. Don't you remember when he was 2? That smile? He'd light up the room. And then you vaccinated him and that kid vanished. Those vaccines took him away. I don't care what you know. I know what I know. I know what I lost. I can't risk it again.

Pete: Violet's right, you can't fault the mother because she chose not...
Cooper: Of course you're gonna agree with Violet. You're sleeping with her.
Pete: I agree with her because she's right. I'm sleeping with her because it's part of the fun of being an adult. We can do whatever we want, with whomever we want, however much we want. So if everyone would just relax, and let us be adults about this.

Naomi: Violet has got to know that this is not good for her or the practice.
Addison: Oh, says the person who slept with my brother.

Violet: Are you jealous of Pete? Is that it?
Cooper: No. No. Okay, maybe a little. Look, you have what Charlotte and I had. The just-sex part. Before it got all messed up with emotions and feelings and betrayal, which is where the just-sex train ultimately leads. I don't want you to get hurt.
Violet: This is not Romeo and Juliet, Coop. There's not some tragedy looming. We had an itch. And we scratched. And scratched. And scratched.

Pete: You want my advice?
Addison: Please.
Pete: Ignore all advice. Cooper is all over Violet about how I'm gonna destroy her life. I just think people should be left to decide things for themselves.
Addison: What do you think?
Pete: About you and Kevin?
Addison: About you and Violet.
Pete: Oh. Well, the conversation is easy, the sex is good. We laugh a lot and it's no big deal. We're just similar, we want the same things, so it's working out. What?
Addison: You've got all that, and it's no big deal? Isn't that what a relationship is?

Wyatt: I can see how a cop fulfills some kind of base fantasy for a woman like you.
Naomi: Wow, did you miss the sexual harassment seminar?

Heather: I got the job, Dell.
Dell: Okay, but how long until you blow it off because, you know, you hate it or you're bored, or you start using again?
Heather: I got the job. And then I got home and got this letter. And you know what I wanted to do. But I didn't. Okay, I freaked out, but then I looked at Betsey and I didn't use. I came here to talk to you about what's best for her.
Dell: I'm glad you didn't get high. But it doesn't change things.
Heather: All you see is that girl from the valley that you used to get high with.
Dell: I stopped.
Heather: Well, you might have been stronger than me then, but don't forget who got me started, okay? Because I wasn't always like this. Just don't make me spend every last dime that I have trying to fight you. It's gonna push me back over the edge.

Pete: I don't think it's ridiculous. The idea that you and me that we could be more than sex.
Violet: Pete...
Pete: Don't think about what Cooper would say, or Sam, or Naomi or anybody. Just think about what you think. Why does it have to be a crazy idea?

Violet: I was thinking about the two doctors that came before Addison. About you. And them leaving.
Pete: People can change, Violet. Isn't that what you told Dell?
Violet: Yes. You can change. I don't know if I can change what I know about you. How I look at you.
Pete: What about what you feel?
Violet: Well, I can't separate that out. What I feel is a combination of all of those things. And I can't help it. Look what happened between you and Meg.
Pete: I screwed that up, but it was wrong before I screwed it up.
Violet: I like what we have, Pete. I mean, I love what we have. But I don't want it to be more.
Pete: Wouldn't that be a good thing? What we have but more?
Violet: I don't know.

Sheldon: I wanted to finish the conversation. From the elevator. I meant what I said, Violet. I like you. And I'd like for us to be friends. And I'm not exactly sure how one goes about doing that because I'd like to get to know you better. Not go out on a date, but just go out as friends. And without all that pressure of sex and dating and I just... I think we'd be good friends.
Violet: I think you're right.

See Also

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

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