Losing Battles is the twelfth episode of the fifth season and the 88th overall episode of Private Practice.

Short Summary[edit | edit source]

Just as Violet's personal life takes a turn for the better with Scott, the paramedic, Joanna (the abused woman she met at the airport months earlier) arrives in need of urgent medical attention, being both pregnant and badly beaten. Cooper, Charlotte, and Amelia all counsel Erica on the toughest decision of her life and Addison and Jake meet with potential surrogates.

Full Summary[edit | edit source]

Addison smiles as she tells her therapist that her and Archer were terrible sailors. It broke the Captain's heart. Every time they'd turn the sailboat across the wind, they'd wind up in irons. The therapist asks what "in irons" is. Addison replies that it's when you're pointing straight at the wind. You can try as you might, but you are stuck.

Violet, in bed with Scott, apologizes for making him stay up all night talking instead of doing it. He says it's fine. She brings up the fact that he is very young. Scott, insulted, gets ready to climb out of bed and Violet stops him, inviting him to stay a little longer and eat some breakfast.

Amelia, sitting in the practice's kitchen, touches her father's watch on her wrist. Sheldon comes into the kitchen, sees Amelia, and leaves just as Addison enters with Jake, saying that she is cautiously optimistic. When Amelia asks, Addison confirms that today is the day that she meets surrogate candidates. Jake has narrowed it down to a few candidates. Amelia points out that what women want and what men think they want are - Jake cuts her off and lists several different requirements he has for the potential surrogate. He assures Addison everything will be fine. Yes, Addison says sarcastically, because so far getting pregnant, IVF, and the adoption have gone so well. It's been a smashing success. Jake smiles tightly in response.

Violet is unusually chipper, and it catches Charlotte's attention. Charlotte realizes that someone rang Violet's bell last night, and tells her to keep him around. Charlotte leaves just as the elevator doors open, revealing a badly beaten Joanna, a woman Violet met several months before in an airport who was stuck in an abusive marriage. Violet rushes to help her and Addison joins her just as Joanna collapses onto the practice floor. The doctors tell the nurses to set up an IV and to get a gurney ready. Joanna moans something about her baby. Addison concludes that it's likely that she's pregnant. Violet tries to get Joanna's attention to ask her about it, but Joanna is already unconscious.

Cooper and Charlotte are discussing Erica's condition. She went to two specialists and both said there was nothing they could do. Charlotte says that Amelia is a world-class surgeon, but Erica still refuses. Their conversation is interrupted when Charlotte receives a phone call. Before she leaves, she tells Cooper to think of something.

Joanna is being rushed into the ER. Violet tells Addison and the other doctors that her husband must have done this. They met in the airport six months ago and Joanna was afraid to go back to New York because her husband hit her during in argument. Addison, who's doing an ultrasound, says Joanna has blood in her belly and her baby looks about 12 weeks old. Abruptly, Joanna's husband David enters the ER and asks Violet what's going on. He sees Joanna and begins to approach the stretcher, but Pete stops him. Violet accuses him of beating Joanna, and he says that when she talked to Joanna at the airport, that was his wake-up call. He got help, anger management, therapy, and he's been doing really well. He makes another move to approach Joanna, and again Pete stops him, this time by shoving him out of the way. Charlotte breaks up the quarrel.

Sheldon is in Sam's office. He heard that they had quite the night out, which leads Sam to say that it was a one-time thing. He's just looking for something real. Sheldon agrees just as Jake joins the conversation. Sheldon wonders where they can meet smart, eligible women to take their minds off smart, ineligible women. Jake says he always loved the gym. If you don't have any luck, you at least get a work out in.

Addison informs David that Joanna's blood pressure is down and she's bleeding into her abdomen. She couldn't find a fetal heartbeat. Right now, though, he needs to make a decision. There's a tear in Joanna's uterine wall and Addison might have to do a hysterectomy to stabilize her, but if she can stop the bleeding, she might be able to save Joanna's uterus and her life. It's riskier but - David cuts her off and tells Addison to do the hysterectomy. Violet steps in and says Addison can't listen to him as he's the one who did this. David tells her to shut up. Charlotte determines that David is the husband. It's his decision. He says to take her uterus out.

Addison, in scrubs, is heading to the OR. Violet is trying to convince her not to do the hysterectomy, but Addison doesn't have a choice. The law decides. Charlotte points out that just because David hit Joanna six months ago, it doesn't mean he did it again. Violet desperately tries to reason with Addison just as she's about to enter the scrub room. Joanna told Violet that she wants kids. Addison says that taking out Joanna's uterus might just be the only way to save her. With that, she leaves to scrub.

Mason reads from "The Three Musketeers" to Cooper. He wants to read another chapter, but Erica says that that's enough for today and sends him off to clean the closet. After he leaves, Cooper hands Erica some papers from his lawyer saying that he's Mason's guardian in the event of the situation they're actually in. She doesn't want to deal with this right now and says she will sign the papers later. Cooper realizes Erica is not prepared, which means she has not given up and she still has hope. Don't waste it. She looks up at Cooper and asks if Amelia is really better than all those other doctors.

The police are taking a statement from David. Addison comes out and tells Pete, Violet, and Charlotte that Joanna lost a lot of blood, but she'll be fine. David comes over and Addison informs him that she was able to stop the bleeding without having to perform a hysterectomy. Violet is ecstatic, but David is furious. He deliberately told Addison not to take that risk. Violet accuses him of hitting Joanna again, which prompts him to demand that they move Joanna to a different hospital as soon as she's stable. David wants his lawyer involved as he's been assaulted by a doctor and treated like a criminal. Charlotte says they'll transfer Joanna as soon as possible. Violet turns to the officer, but he can't do anything as Joanna hasn't filed a complaint, David has no history of violence and there are no witnesses. 

Addison meets Jake and Donna in the conference room. Her husband is a navy pilot. They have two great kids and it's busy for Donna. She wants to be a surrogate for the financial aspect. Donna sees her uterus like a valuable skill set she's willing to put to use for Addison. Addison clearly doesn't like that.

Addison tells Violet the surrogate was business-like. Addison wants to find the right one. Violet asks if she knows this paramedic named Scott. Addison asks Hot Scott. Violet confirms and says she doesn't know what she's doing. Addison encourages her to have fun. She deserves it. A nurse informs them Joanna Gibson is awake.

Amelia tells Cooper and Erica that the gliosarcoma has grown considerably since the last scan. Surgical intervention is unlikely to succeed. Erica already knows that. The best they can do is aggressive radiation and chemo to slow the tumor's growth. That would give her 6 months of a rough life. Cooper says the most important thing is buying time. Erica doesn't think they'll find a cure in the meanwhile. Erica's done. Cooper asks what they did on Mason's last birthday. Erica answers go karts. Cooper asks about Mason's next birthday, and says that the extra time could give them extra moments together. It's not enough, but it would mean everything to him. Erica leaves.

Sam and Sheldon are at the gym, hoping to meet some nice women. Sheldon regrets not saying yes to Amelia when she wanted him. A woman comes over and Sam thinks she's interested, but she wanted to inform him it's time to get off the bike as there's a time limit on the cardio equipment.

Joanna tells Violet that David didn't want a baby, but she thought it'd help them to start over. She made a special breakfast to tell him, but he wasn't excited at all. She got up to get him more food, and when she turned around, she saw his fist coming at her. He killed their baby. Violet says the police want to build a case against David, but Joanna doesn't want to do that. Violet wants to help her, but Joanna says she can't. He punched her in the face and there was nothing she could do. She wants him dead. She's gonna kill him.

Addison and Violet enter the kitchen, talking about Joanna. Sheldon reminds Violet murder plans don't fall under doctor-patient confidentiality. Violet could be held liable. Addison thinks Joanna's allowed to react emotionally, but Charlotte agrees with Sheldon. Pete says Joanna's not Violet's formal patient as her license was suspended. They're just friends and those do not have a legal obligation. If David's life is really threatened, Charlotte thinks they have an obligation to protect him, even if he's a dirtbag. Pete thinks David may retaliate if he finds out. Addison wonders how they can protect everyone.

Jake tells Addison she has to go into this with an open mind. She sees her surrogate and immediately says she's not right. Addison will ask June what the best part of being a surrogate mother is, and she expects a hippie dippy answer about the magic of the experience. 

June tells them that the parents of her last surrogate experience gave her the placenta and helped her bury it in the garden. They planted a tree there.

Sam asks Sheldon what about church. Cooper suggests online dating, reminding them he met Charlotte there. By going online and stripping their preconceived notions, they found out they were very compatible.

David finds Joanna's room empty and asks Charlotte where his wife is. Charlotte released her per Joanna's request. David grasps Charlotte's arm, but she breaks free and says it's over. She tells him to back off before she has his ass dragged out of the hospital.

Joanna is sleeping on Violet's couch. Violet took her home to care for her. Violet asks Pete to take Lucas for a few days. Pete says there are shelters for women like Joanna, but those aren't ideal for recovery after surgery. Besides, this way, Violet will be able to really talk to Joanna to find out of it the threat is real. Everyone is protected this way. Pete doesn't like she's putting herself in the middle. She says he doesn't get a say about her decisions anymore, he can only decide not to have Lucas in the middle, too. Violet tells Lucas she loves him before Pete takes him with him. Violet asks Pete what he would have done, and he admits he would have done the same thing.

Addison meets Jake in the kitchen and he seems distant. She says she doesn't mean to make the process a pain, but he thinks she doesn't have to apologize. They should stop wasting time, because her heart is not in this. She's gonna find a flaw for everyone. 

Erica enters Amelia's office, looking for an honest answer. She promises not to tell Cooper. She asks if Amelia would put herself through all the side-effects if she were in Erica's shoes, for just a few months. Amelia looks at her watch and says she wouldn't do the treatment.

Sam and Sheldon are creating online dating profiles. Jake and Sheldon criticize Sam mentioning he's a grandfather in the first line. Jake tells him to be delicate with the truth. Grandpa means family man. Sheldon lists his biggest flaw as being too sensitive. Jake would say too passionate about his work. Cooper comes in and he's happy to see they're following his advice. Amelia comes in and laughs at what they're doing. Sam should just post a shirtless pic and he'll get a 1,000 dates, and Sheldon doesn't need the others to know what women want to hear.

Violet wakes up Joanna, who apologizes for being a bother. Violet says it's fine. Violet takes care of her incision and Joanna says she read her book. Violet overcame this terrible thing, but Joanna can't bring herself to get over David. Violet says she can correct that mistake. Joanna saw the victims of other cases on the stand. She's not a victim. Violet says being a victim doesn't mean she's powerless. Joanna says it's her own fault. Violet says it always feels like your own fault. She trusts people's capacity to change. When they don't, she assumes she did something wrong. It's understable to think that David would chagne. Violet says they need to talk about what she said. Joanna says she's not really going to kill David, she was just frustrated and hurting. Joanna starts crying. She can't believe Violet would think she'd do that. She wants to be somewhere where she feels safe so she can put her life back together. Violet says she is.

Addison sits down with Amelia on her deck. Addison tells her all the surrogates are wrong. It's a huge decision. Amelia says she could do it. Amelia knows she's the anti-surrogate, but she wants to do it. She wants to do this one completely self-less thing. Some people can't be helped, but bringing a life into this world could be the thing to make up for what she did wrong. She asks Addison to let her help. Addison is honored, but the most important thing she can do now is to figure out who she is. She's not Addison's surrogate.

Erica knocks on Cooper's door. She's signed all the documents, which should take care of all his concerns about the custody. This is acceptance. Cooper asks if she'd not even try the treatment for Mason. Erica says all she does is for Mason. She brought him here to meet Cooper, for him. She's changing his birth certificate for him. Erica doesn't want to fight when there's no chance of winning. She tells Cooper he now has to accept this. Before leaving, she says Mason wants to see the Grand Canyon for his next birthday.

Violet brings Joanna breakfast. Joanna feels spoiled. Violet opens the front door to get the paper, only to reveal that David is standing in front of it. She tries to close the door, but he forces himself inside the house. Joanna yells that she doesn't want to see him. Violet blocks him as he says he's not leaving without his wife. Joanna says she's leaving him as she could never love him again. He's a bully and a coward. David angrily tells Violet this is her fault and throws her onto the ground. He then grabs a screaming Joanna. Violet gets up and tries to pull him off of her, but he punches her in the face and she falls to the ground again.

Violet wakes up to Joanna screaming she hates him. She opens her eyes and sees David lying next to her as Joanna is repeatedly stabbing him. In order to get through to her, Violet screams he's dead and tells her to stop. Joanna comes to her senses and she can't believe what she's done. She says she had to protect herself and Violet. She asks if Violet's gonna tell the police that.

Jake finds Addison reading on her deck and says he was surprised that she called. She thanks him for coming. He sits down and she tells him he was right. There's something wrong with her. It's not his fault. She needs a break from all of it. Right now, she just needs to be for a while and focus on something else. He thinks that's smart and asks if she wants some company. She does.

The police are at Violet's house, where Joanna's arrested. The detective asks her if he was already dead when she woke up. She confirms this. She says it was self-defense. He broke into her home and attacked the both of them. Pete comes in and hugs Violet. She says she's okay. She needs him to keep taking care of Lucas so she can clean up.

Cooper tells Charlotte he really tried to get Erica to accept the treatment. She knows he did. He says he never would have met Mason if Erica hadn't gotten sick. Charlotte figures out he feels guilty for being so grateful that this happened. He breaks down and she comforts him.

Violet shows up Scott's place. He asks what happened, but she doesn't want to talk about it. They sit down and he takes a look at her nose. It's not broken, but he'll get her some ice. She lies down on the couch and he covers her with a blanket. He says he's here for her, whatever she needs. 

From his deck, Sam calls out to Addison. He asks what she thinks his biggest flaw is. She thinks he doesn't recognize how truly great he is. He's the perfect man but he judges himself so hardly and holds himself to such a high standard that he doesn't recognize that. He has to relax a little. Sam looks at Addison and wants to say something, but Jake interrupts as he comes over with beer. Sam greets him and goes inside.

Addison tells her therapist they'd sometimes stop for a minute to rest when they were stuck. They'd let the waves take them for a while. Even though they weren't going anywhere, it was still sailing.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Medical Notes[edit | edit source]

Addison Forbes Montgomery[edit | edit source]

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

Addison talked to her therapist about sailing with her father and brother when she was a kid and getting stuck. She said when they got stuck sometimes, they'd just let the wind take them because it was still sailing even if they weren't steering.

Joanna Gibbs[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Blunt trauma
    • Internal bleeding
    • Miscarriage
    • Uterine tear
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Joanna, 37, came into the practice severely beaten and pregnant. She passed out while Violet and Addison jumped in to help her. They rushed her to the hospital where an ultrasound showed blood in her belly and Addison determined that she was 12 weeks pregnant. She was later unconscious and Addison was unable to find a fetal heartbeat. Addison went to the husband, suspected of beating her, and said she had a uterine tear and that she might have to perform a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding. She said it was riskier, but she might be able to stop the bleeding without removing the uterus. However, David insisted that Addison do the hysterectomy. When Addison came out of surgery, she said she was able to repair the damage without performing a hysterectomy.

Erica Warner[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Gliosarcoma
  • Treatment:

Erica let Amelia run more scans and Amelia said there was very little she could do. The best they could hope for is more time, not a cure.

Violet Turner[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Bruised nose
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:
    • Ice

Violet was punched in the face by David Gibbs when he broke into her house. She put ice on it. Scott later said it wasn't broken.

Music[edit | edit source]

Song Performer Scene
"Skipping a Beat" I'm From Barcelona
  • In therapy, Addison talks about sailing.
  • Violet and Scott stayed up all night talking.
  • Amelia touches her watch as everyone enters the kitchen.
  • Addison is going to meet surrogates and she's a little worried.
  • Charlotte greets Violet.
"Cat & Mouse" Nikki & Rich
  • Sam and Sheldon try to pick up women at the gym, but they don't succeed.
"Words" Gregory Alan Isakov
  • Violet assures Joanna she's welcome in her home.
  • Amelia offers to be Addison's surrogate, in search of an identity, but Addison declines as Amelia's more than that.
  • Erica gives Cooper documents to cover his custody concerns. This is acceptance for her, but she won't try the treatment.
"A Lot of Things" Rosi Golan
  • Pete is worried about Violet after the attack.
  • Cooper feels guilty for being grateful that Erica is sick, because that got him to meet Mason.
  • Violet shows up at Scott's and he takes care of her.
  • Sam asks Addison about his biggest flaw.
  • Jake comes over with a beer.
  • In therapy, Addison continues to talk about sailing. 

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode scored 6.00 million viewers.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode Stills[edit | edit source]

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

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

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