The Way We Were is the second episode of the third season and the 33rd overall episode of Private Practice.

Short SummaryEdit

Violet is physically recovering from her violent attack at home, but the emotional trauma she suffers from isn't going away, despite the best efforts of Pete and her other friends to help. Meanwhile, Addison and Naomi try to mend their tension-filled relationship, as Sam and Cooper treat a father, who has allegedly attacked his family, after he is stabbed by his wife.

Full SummaryEdit

Violet's looking at the spot on the floor where she almost bled to death. She unrolls a rug to cover it. Pete is on the phone while carrying Lucas and says he'll be back in the office today. Violet's surprised to hear that. Pete reminds them they talked about it, and it's been a month. She says it's fine. The rug he got is also fine. It's to cover blood, so it doesn't have to match the drapes. Pete asks if she wants to hold her son, but she declines. The doorbell rings. Violet drops her mug and starts to have a panic attack. She flees into a closet. Pete puts Lucas down and opens the door for Sheldon. He wants to see the boy who might be his son and say hi to Violet. Pete says this isn't a good time and closes the door. Violet comes out of her closet and starts to clean up the mug. She assures Pete she's fine, but he disagrees. She never leaves the house, she can't answer the door and she won't hold her son. She then asks him to give her the baby. While she holds him, she tells Pete her behavior is in line with that expected from trauma victims. However, she's not cognitively altered or utilising unhealthy outlets for her emotions, and she has acknowledges her condition and has a normal amount of concern for her wellbeing. She displays few signs of improvement, but also no signs of disintegration. Plus, the baby can fit in the closet with her. She's a medical professional, so she can tell him she does not have crazy head. They'll be fine while he's off to work.

Addison gets on the elevator as Naomi joins her. They compliment each other's shoes. They talk about life on their separate floors. Naomi asks about Noah. Addison says she did the right thing. Naomi gets off on the fourth floor and says she'll see Addison later.

Addison joins Sam and Cooper in the kitchen as they're discussing hiring a new doctor. Sam doesn't want to rush it. Cooper says he has to let go of Naomi. He notices something's up with Sam and Addison. They state they have made a pact to ignore all of their problems so they're in denial, but strong. Cooper says it's stupid. Sam asks him how Violet's doing then. Cooper says she's fine. He's sent her e-mails and gifts, but he's just giving her space. He then gets paged to the hospital.

In the ER, Charlotte informs Cooper one of his patients broke her arm after her dad threw her across the room. Her mother then stabbed her husband. Cooper recognizes their Tammy Larsen's name on the chart and asks her to page Sam and Addison, because Michelle is pregnant. Michelle admits to having stabbed her husband.

Cooper is tending to Tammy's arm. She can't talk about what happened. Cooper tells her there are a lot of people that want to help her. He tries to talk about soccer, but she's worried about her father.

Sam orders a head CT for Darren and tells him he's lucky he only got stabbed. Darren asks about his wife and family. Sam says it's a little late to start caring about them now.

Naomi joins her colleagues in the lounge of her practice. The conversation drops dead and all the doctors but Sheldon scatter. Sheldon says even really smart people feel the urge to flee once the boss enters the room. Sheldon asks her about Violet. Noami says the people upstairs aren't really talking to her. She hopes things will get better soon. Sheldon says it might not be that easy.

Addison gives Michelle an ultrasound. She asks if it happens often that Darren hits her and Tammy, because the stabbing could have been self-defense. Michelle says it wasn't like that. She and Darren started arguing and Tammy got in the way, and Darren pushed her. She had a knife in her hand because she was cooking and she overreacted. She wants to be with Tammy. 

As Addison's wheeling her down the hallway, two police officers arrive to arrest her. Addison tries to explain the situation when Cooper comes over with Tammy. The officers put Michelle in cuffs and take her away. She tells Tammy she loves her and that it'll be okay as Addison and Cooper hold Tammy.

Cooper is trying to convince Charlotte to admit Tammy to the hospital. She tells him to go shower and take a nap. Cooper says he should've known what was happening in the Larsen family. He could have stopped this. Charlotte asks when he's going to Violet's to get his stuff. Cooper says this isn't about Violet. He claims he's fine, despite his appearance. Charlotte wonders why he doesn't just go by Violet's house to pick up a clean shirt or why he won't talk about it. He wonders why she won't talk about getting fired. She says her problems don't interfere with doing her job. Cooper says he has a patient and goes to see Tammy.

Violet's startled by the phone as she's watching television. It's Pete calling to check up on her. He was hoping she'd be out. Violet says the baby is sleeping so she better go and try to catch some sleep herself. She hangs up.

Addison and Naomi are on their way to Violet's house. They talk about the Larsens, who started out as Naomi's patient when they wanted a sibling for Tammy. Addison thanks Naomi for coming with her. Naomi says this have been a little awkward lately. Addison says it's nice to see her outside the office. Addison calls Violet so they don't have to ring the bell. Violet drops keys through the mail slot. Addison and Naomi let themselves in. From the closet, Violet asks them to close the front door and lock it with both locks. Addison does so and Violet comes out of hiding. She's happy to see they brought food. Naomi goes to pick up the baby and Addison comes over to snuggle him. Violet watches from a distance.

Darren understands Sam thinks he's a monster, but he swears it was an accident. Sam says he won't give him any sympathy. Sam looks at the scans. Darren says he's a good man. Sam says hitting children and women doesn't make him a good man. Sam says he's a good man, and if Darren says one more word, he'll show him what a real good man does to men like Darren. Charlotte overheard him and calls him on his bedside manner. Darren starts to seize and they rush to his aid.

Addison tells Violet her incision is healing well. She advises Violet to get some light exercise, to get out. Violet recognizes Pete's words. Violet says she's doing the best she can. Naomi is loving the baby smell. When Maya was little, she used to just watch her breathe. She loves babies, but it's Addison's turn to hold him now. Lucas smiles at her.

Pete finds Sheldon and says he wants to talk about Violet. He admits he may have been overprotective, or territorial as Sheldon calls it. Sheldon told him it was a mistake bringing Violet back to her house. He would've liked to tell her that himself, but Pete wouldn't let him. Pete says he needs Sheldon's help. Sheldon will stop by this afternoon.

Sam gives a nurse some instructions to try and get the pressure in Darren's brain down. Addison comes over and he informs her Darren has a cerebral contusion, so he had to induce a coma. Since they can't get the pressure down, Darren might die. Sam says it's justice. Addison points out Michelle can be charged with murder if he dies.

Addison is in Michelle's room, asking her to tell the truth. Addison doesn't buy the whole accident story. She asks Michelle to think about Tammy. Michelle says she is.

Cooper tells Tammy that her father's in a coma. It's really hard, but her mother's in trouble with the police. Her mother says it's all her fault, but they need Tammy to say what really happened. Tammy says it wasn't really an accident. She was cutting a cantaloupe and her dad came in and acted all funny as he sang along to the radio. For some reason, Tammy got enraged, which sometimes happens to her. Her dad saw what was happening and held her to calm her down, but she bit him. He yelled for her mother, and they both tried to stop her. She had the knife in her hand, so she stabbed him.

Sheldon's visiting Violet. She refuses to be shrinked and tries to deflect. He wants to know how she's feeling. She gives him the baby. Violet asks Sheldon to watch the baby so she can go take a shower. Sheldon says confusing him with the baby won't work, but he then tells the baby he has his ears.

Addison is with Michelle as the handcuffs are taken off. Addison understands the urge to lie for Tammy, but they couldn't let her take the fall. Michelle says it is her fault, because she was on drugs when she was pregnant with Tammy. These sudden rages are all her fault. Tammy's been tested and no other possible cause was found. Addison knows Michelle feels guilty and wants to change the way she's feeling, but sometimes, you gotta push through. Michelle says Darren is the strong one. She can't do this without him. She's losing everyone she loves.

Sheldon goes to see Pete and tells him he had a therapeutic fencing match with Violet, and she won by distracting him with the baby. Sheldon decides to ignore Pete's anger and says that Pete told Violet he'd go, but he never did. Violet is smart. She knows she does not have to walk out the door because she knows Pete will always walk back in.

Cooper finds Charlotte and asks her again to allow him to keep Tammy in the hospital so the juvie officer can't take her. Charlotte thinks Tammy shouldn't be protected after what she did. Cooper did his job, now it's up to social services. Cooper is frustrated that it doesn't seem to bother her. It's like nothing bothers her, ever. Like she's heartless, Charlotte finishes. Cooper gets paged away.

Pete finds Violet in bed. He lies down with her. He tels her he loves her. She says she's really tired. He says before all this, they had a real chance and then Katie attacked her. He's done everything to help her get past this, but it's not working, so he's gonna go. Violet says he can't leave Lucas alone with her. Pete says Lucas doesn't care that Violet needs time. He needs her now. Pete has to do what's best for Lucas. He can't make Violet leave the house, she's gonna have to do that herself. He walks out.

Cooper enters Tammy's room and finds her attacking a nurse. Cooper restrains her and orders lorazepam. Michelle comes in and tries to get her daughter to calm down.

A nurse uses the intercom to page Noah Barnes, making Addison turn around and walk away. Cooper follows her and asks her to talk about Tammy. He thinks the cause of her rage episodes is physiological, not psychological, but he can't find anything. Cooper asks Addison if everything's okay because she seems sad lately. She says she is, but she can't talk about it. She tells him she has a hunch about Tammy and tells him to order an abdominal MRI and a urine catecholamine.

Violet wakes up on her couch as she hears someone in her house. She grabs a baby toy to defend herself and goes to check. It's Charlotte. Charlotte apologizes. She came her to get Cooper's clothes. Violet thinks she's also here to check on her and the baby. Charlotte asks if she's breastfeeding. Violet speeches about not needing to breastfeed and being sick of people telling her it's wrong to feel what she's feeling. Charlotte only asked because Violet looks like she needs a Martini and she can't have one if she's breastfeeding. Violet would like one.

Sam finds Naomi on the fifth floor. Naomi was looking for Addison, but Sam tells her she's not here. Sam says it's been a tough couple of days with the Larsens. He's gonna get back to the hospital. He leaves as Addison comes back. She tells Naomi she's waiting for the results of an abdominal MRI for Tammy. Naomi doesn't understand what's going on, but Addison says she can't tell Naomi everything all the time.

Charlotte and Violet are drinking Martinis. Charlotte asks what's wrong with her, other than the whole baby thing. She won't judge, but she figures Violet won't open to her. Charlotte understands, as she got fired for being heartless and Cooper seems to agree. Violet says it's the baby. He's perfect, but she feels nothing when she looks at him. She can't feel anything ever since the attack. There's all this pressure to be a mommy but she doesn't want to deal with her baby. She wants to stick him in the freezer until she's ready to deal with him. Charlotte says that's horrible to say, but even horrible things need to be said. Violet asks Charlotte where Cooper is. Charlotte says Cooper is busy saving a patient, trying to make up for the fact that he didn't save Violet. He also blames Charlotte because she called him that night. She was the reason he wasn't there to save Violet. Violet finishes her Martini, and tells Charlotte she owes her while handing her the glass for a refill.

Addison tells Michelle they found a very rare tumor on Tammy's ovary, which releases an excess of adrenalin, which leads to the sudden rages. Nothing that Michelle did during her pregnancy caused it. Addison can remove the tumor laparoscopically and the sudden mood swings will stop. Michelle is happy to hear that Tammy will be okay, but Tammy is sad that her father won't be. Cooper says she doesn't have to feel guilty because she couldn't control it. Tammy says she still feels guilty anyway, and taking the tumor out won't change that.

Sam tells Cooper and Addison that nothing's working on Darren. Cooper wonders if there's someone keeping score so that when you die, they tell whether your good deeds outweigh the horrible things you've done. Sam says you can only hope for the best. Addison thinks they just do what they know to do, and it can hurt.

Charlotte leaves Violet's house with Cooper's shirts and finds Cooper standing in front of the front door. She tells Cooper Violet's in the kitchen. She leaves and he closes the door behind him. Cooper picks up the baby as Violet enters the living room. Cooper tells her about Tammy and her guilt. Violet suggests Tammy needs more time. She says there's no magic pill. You might be able to fix bad things, but that doesn't mean they didn't happen. Cooper says he should've seen it. Violet says he's not responsible for that girl any more than he's responsible for what happened to her. Cooper says he's sorry for not having come sooner. She says he came when he could. He's here now.

Cooper enters Tammy's room. Tammy ignores him. Cooper says he can't change the fact that a bad thing happened, and sometimes it sounds stupid when people try to make you feel better, so he asks Tammy to tell him what she needs. Tammy wonders what'll happen if her father dies. She wants to tell him she's sorry.

Back at the practice, Sam and Addison are staring at Naomi's empty office. Addison says she's wounded, even though nobody stabbed her or stole her baby. Her heart is broken over Noah and she shouldn't complain about it because nothing happened. She's almost jealous of people with visible injuries, because they have the right to be messed up. She sent Noah back to his wife, which was the right thing, and now her heart is broken. Sam says Naomi would know what to say. Addison says she can't talk to Naomi, because it's like she's not their Nai anymore.

Violet picks up the diaper bag and what appears to be an overnight bag and leaves the house with Lucas.

Cooper's taken to her father. Tammy tells her father she's really sorry.

Naomi ends up on an elevator with Addison. Naomi says she hates they only talk about shoes. She misses Addison. Where did Addison go? "Like I said, nice shoes," Addison says before getting off the elevator.

Violet shows up on Pete's doorstep with Lucas. She needs Pete to listen. She wants to be a good mother so badly and she's trying to figure out how to do that. Katie changed her and she doesn't know how to change it back. Pete was right, it's not just about her and Pete anymore. This is about doing the right thing for Lucas. Pete may not understand this or forgive her for this, but this is best for Lucas. Pete is what's best for Lucas. She puts the baby in his arms and puts down the diaper bag. This is her being a good mother. She walks off as tears roll down her face.


  • Addison Montgomery
  • Pete Wilder
  • Naomi Bennett
  • Cooper Freedman
  • Charlotte King
  • Sam Bennett
  • Violet Turner
  • Sheldon Wallace
  • Michelle Larsen
  • Darren Larsen
  • Tammy Larsen
  • Nurse Danielle
  • Policeman
  • New PWC Doctor
  • Trauma Doctor (right)

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Pete's PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Back pain
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:
    • Supplements
    • Exercises

Pete spoke on the phone with a patient who had back pain. Pete told the patient to keep doing the exercises and take three supplements per day to help with the pain.

Violet TurnerEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Panic attacks
    • Sleeplessness
    • Agoraphobia
  • Treatment:

Violet was still having panic attacks following her attack. She wasn't improving, but also wasn't getting worse, so she wasn't concerned. Addison examined her and said her incision was healing well. She later confessed to Charlotte that she didn't feel anything for Lucas.

Tammy LarsenEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken arm
    • ADHD
    • Ectopic pheochromocytoma
  • Treatment:
    • Splinting
    • Casting
    • Lorazepam
    • Tumor resection

Tammy, 11, came into the ER with a broken arm. Cooper wrapped the arm and said they'd cast it later. She later confessed that she had stabbed her father because she got angry. Her mother said she just went into these rages. When she raged at a nurse, they gave her lorazepam to clam her down. Cooper went to Addison to talk about possible physiological causes for her symptoms. An abdominal MRI revealed an ectopic pheochromocytoma. It was causing her rages and Addison said she could remove it.

Michelle LarsenEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Black eye
    • Head contusion
  • Treatment:
    • Ultrasound

Michelle, who was 10 weeks pregnant, came to the ER with a head contusion and a black eye. Addison did an ultrasound and said the baby was okay.

Darren LarsenEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Stab wounds
    • Seizure
    • Cerebral contusion
  • Treatment:
    • Mannitol
    • Drug-induced coma
    • Steroids

Darren had been stabbed in the abdomen. Sam checked him out in the ER and ordered scans to assess the damage. He later had a seizure because he had a cerebral contusion that caused his brain to swell. They gave him mannitol, but the swelling didn't come down. He remained in a coma.


Song Performer Scene
"I Can't Fix Us Two" Katie Costello
  • Sheldon updates Pete on Violet. He suggests that Pete leave.
  • Cooper asks Charlotte for help with Tammy.
  • Violet tries to sleep. Pete comes in and says he loves her, but he's going to leave.
"Make a Name for Me and You" Rachael Cantu
  • The doctors agree that they do all they can do.
  • Cooper sees Charlotte leave as he goes to Violet's.
  • He picks up Lucas and talks to Violet about Tammy.
  • Cooper says he's sorry he didn't come sooner when Katie was there.
"Song for the Waiting" Aron Wright
  • Addison and Sam talk and look into Naomi's empty office.
  • Violet takes Lucas out of the house with her.
  • Cooper takes Tammy to visit her father. She tells him she's sorry.
  • Naomi gets on the elevator with Addison. Naomi says she misses Addison, but Addison just walks out.
  • Violet gives Lucas to Pete, saying it's what's best for him.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Private Practice 3x02 Promo

Private Practice 3x02 Promo

  • This episode scored 9.50 million viewers.
  • This episode's title is likely a reference to the 1973 movie title The Way We Were.


Episode StillsEdit


Charlotte: Do I look like someone who wants to hold a baby? I’m wearing silk.

Charlotte: What you do with your boobs is your business.  I only ask because you look like you need a Martini.  And if you are not breastfeeding, you can have a Martini.  One Martini? 

Violet: I just... I don't... I don't want to deal with him. I just want to stick him in the freezer. Maybe thaw him out later when I'm ready to deal with him. That's a... that's a horrible thing to say, isn't it?
Charlotte: Yes
Violet: Oh.
Charlotte: But the horrible things, they're things that need to be said.

Violet: Bad things happen. You can fix them, maybe, but it doesn't mean they didn't happen.

See AlsoEdit

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

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.