Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?
Original Air Date: Nov 4, 2010
Farrah Kaye – Sr. Editor
This week was one of the most anticipated episodes in Private Practice history. It’s been talked about for weeks – months – and the cliffhanger ending from last week left us knowing what was going to come during this episode. Charlotte, a character who has had the most growth of possibly any character I can ever remember on any show, was attacked at the end of last week’s episode. Just the tiny bit we saw was brutal and the previews made viewers shudder.
The writers and actors promised the episode was well-researched and I knew Shonda Rhimes would hit it out of the park. What I didn’t expect was how amazing of a job KaDee Strickland would do. (yes, I’ve already watched it). For this special episode, I don’t want to miss a detail and am going back to my old scene-by-scene recap style. It deserves it.
**Warning: Adult content discussed in the recap & review to follow.**
Charlotte is gasping for air in her office, where her lamp is on the floor, flickering on and off. She is holding her bleeding arm and makes her way to her desk, where she locks her underwear in her top drawer and hides the key in her plant. Not wanting to be seen, she finds her way into the supply closet. Pete finds her and is in shock at the site of her. She demands he close the door so no one can see her. She collapses and he catches her.
He takes her to a room and everyone is watching. He kicks everyone out and closes the blinds. Charlotte tells Pete that someone robbed her (taking her wallet) and kept hitting her. He wants to examine her and she refuses to lie back. She’s in denial of how badly she’s been beaten. Pete tells her that her arm and wrist are broken, her nose and maybe even her eye socket. She reminds him she can’t take pills, wants a gown and asks for a specific nurse – Sheila – because she can keep her mouth shut. Pete begs Charlotte to lie back. When Pete goes to get Sheila, Charlotte makes a phone call. Pete has a nurse call the police while he tries to call Cooper or Sam, who are at a bar with Amelia celebrating Cooper and Charlotte’s recent engagement. Cooper is completely trashed. Sheldon is at the police station, called in to evaluate a guy who was brought in with someone else’s blood on his clothes walking around (and he kicked a cop). Sheldon asks the cops to turn off the cameras. Shall we assume the guy will be Charlotte’s attacker? When the cops come to question Charlotte, she can’t really remember much about the guy (or is pretending not to). Pete keeps telling the cops to leave her alone when Addison shows up out of nowhere. Pete wonders why she’s there when Charlotte gives her a look. She says she had a mom thinking she went into labor. Everyone is yelling – Pete, the cops – and Charlotte throws up. Addison finally tells everyone to get out and she helps clean up Charlotte. Charlotte says to Addison, “ain’t life a b*tch?” Meanwhile, Violet (with Lucas in tow), is walking into the bar where everyone else is (they still haven’t answered their phones). Sam can tell something is wrong but Cooper is drunk. Violet tells Cooper what happened (we see this happen from a distance) and everyone runs out. At the hospital, Charlotte is having her pictures taken by the forensic nurse and her clothes are taken as well. The nurse asks where Charlotte’s underwear is and she says she doesn’t wear any and Addison backs up her story. Addison tells Charlotte she will be there for her, whatever she needs and thanks her for calling her. Without saying the words, Addison goes over what Charlotte needs after being raped and Charlotte agrees.
Addison is attempting to perform a pelvic exam on Charlotte, who is shaking and crying. She stops and takes Charlotte’s hand, who squeezes it tight. Addison tells her what she has to do and that she has to complete a rape kit. Charlotte refuses and tells Addison she wasn’t raped, no rape kit. Addison is legally bound to do so, but after an emotional battle, Addison promises – no rape kit. Drunk Cooper comes in to the hospital demanding to see Charlotte and know what happened. Pete asks Amelia to look at Charlotte’s eye socket to make sure there’s no head injury while Pete and Sam have to subdue a raging Cooper (but he punches a wall anyway). At the police station, Sheldon is trying to get through to Lee but he is rocking back and forth and not saying a word. He tries to get Lee’s trust by telling him he’s not a cop and he just wants to help. Lee tells him he had a “bad night.” Lee is a mess. He’s shaking and crying and Sheldon offers him a handkerchief. Finally sober, Addison tells Cooper to be prepared because Charlotte does not look good. He rips out his IV and goes to see her. In their ironic relationship, Charlotte has to comfort Cooper who is a mess at the sight of his fiance. She promises him it’s going to be okay, SHE will be okay.
Amelia is doing the CT scan on Charlotte. She tells her she needs stitches and Charlotte tells her she doesn’t want plastics involved so Amelia offers to do it and reminds her, no drugs. They recite the NA motto and bond. Amelia admits to drinking and Charlotte gets on her for not going to meetings. She tells her she’ll go with her. Violet is with Pete (the nanny has taken Lucas home) and she is upset. She says they should pay the nanny more – the world is a dangerous place. Sam has let Naomi know what is going on but she can’t get home. Sheldon is unreachable because he is at the police station. Sam can tell something is wrong with Addison but she can’t tell him what’s really going on. He says he’s grateful it wasn’t her which bothers Addison. She runs away from Sam to have a moment to herself in the hall. At the station, Sheldon and Lee are sharing a burger. Sheldon gets Lee to admit his last name (McHenry), who just wants to go home. He just wants to go home and Sheldon says he can’t go home until he tells Sheldon what he did. Lee doesn’t like the room they’re in and Sheldon agrees. Back at the hospital, it’s time for Charlotte to get stitched up. Allergic to local anesthesia and refusing pills, she screams in pain with every stitch. Cooper tries to support her but he can’t stand to watch. They send him out of the room and Charlotte screams and winces in horrible pain.
Violet tells Cooper that there is no neuro damage and he says he’s going to get security at their apartment. He needs to protect her. It’s what he’s supposed to do. Violet tells him he doesn’t have to be tough, he just has to be there. At the station, thanks to revealing his last name, Sheldon has Lee’s file. No criminal charges and a dishonorable discharge from the Navy. He says it was a long time ago and he’s “normal” now. He has a job and a girlfriend, whom he caught cheating on him earlier in the night. Sheldon asks about the blood on Lee’s shirt again and he gets quiet. Addison talks to Charlotte about reporting the rape (or “this” so they don’t say the words) so the man who hurt her can’t hurt anyone else. For the first time, Charlotte says the word, to be snarky to Addison while she’s trying to help her (“Have you been violated? Have you been raped lately?”). Charlotte describes – in detail – what happened (“it’s nothing like a made-for-TV movie”) and that she doesn’t want anyone to know what she went through and doesn’t want Addison’s help if she’s going to look at her how she’s looking at her at that moment. Pete comes in to help Charlotte with her pain with his holisitc medicine. When he asks where it hurts the most, she responds “my soul.” Of course she quickly checks herself and responds again with her hand and her face, and Pete starts to take care of her, still with nurse Sheila in tow. At the station, Sheldon is grilling Lee and thinks he attacked his girlfriend. Lee yells that his girlfriend is “an emasculating b*tch” but says he didn’t do anything – not to her. Sheldon asks again – whose blood is it? “Not hers.” Sheldon walks out and tells the cops to turn the cameras on.
Violet and Addison are talking in the waiting room. Pete was successful in treating Charlotte’s pain and Cooper is with her. Addison asks Violet to suggest Charlotte talk to someone but Violet can’t bring herself to go in there. She can’t believe it’s happened to someone they know – again. Amelia and Sam come in with snacks and Sam wants to go home to sleep because he has a surgery in the morning. He asks about etiquette in this situation and Addison gets really upset. It’s 4 AM and everyone is tired but no one is carrying a burden like Addison is. She runs out of the room and Sam goes after her. In her room, Charlotte wants to write a memo about what happened. She’s the boss, it’s her job. Cooper says “but you’re also the victim” and she throws her water at him and vows that if he calls her a victim again their marriage is off. He runs out and heads towards her office with Violet following. He NEEDS to see it. Violet is in shock and Cooper breaks down in the office but knows Charlotte put up a fight. At the station, the cameras are on and Sheldon is grilling Lee about whose blood it is. It’s a woman who wasn’t nice, told him to wait his turn and “had it coming.” He says he hit the woman hard and “gave it to her.” Lee looks like a crazy person and attacks Sheldon, choking him while screaming “they’re all the same!”
Sam finds Addison sitting alone outside. He says he’ll wait and that he loves Addison. He asks Addison if she’s breaking up with him because she can’t tell him something. Addison bursts out laughing. She asks him to trust her and not ask questions, just be there. Cooper finds Charlotte trying to get dressed. She wants to go home. She begs him. Helping her get dressed, she thanks him for loving her. At the station, Sheldon tells the cops Lee was telling the truth and is also crazy. Despite him having raped someone, they have to let him go unless someone comes forward. “Ain’t life a b*tch?” says the cop to Sheldon.
As Charlotte walks out of the hospital, while everyone looking at her, there are flashbacks to her attack. She begs Cooper not to let her fall.
Next week: Everyone starts putting the pieces together and slowly figures out what really happened. When Sheldon figures it out, will he put Lee together with the incident?
This was possibly one of the most amazing yet disturbing episodes of television ever for so many reasons.
– Sheldon sitting in a room with the person who raped and beat the woman he loves (he always will)? Heartbreaking.
– Charlotte, the woman who has had such an openness with sexuality, to have hers taken from her? If this makes any sense, but it’s a perfect character choice.
– Everyone is touched in a way by the incident. Addison and Sam’s relationship will definitely be tested as she keeps this secret. Naomi is not even in the country as this is going on. When Sheldon gets out of that police station, his world is gonna be rocked. Violet is so traumatized by traumas around her (and done to her) that this may unhinge her. And Cooper? Well that doesn’t even need an explanation.
– What is Lee’s history with Charlotte?
– Will Pete have issues going forward having been the first to find Charlotte? How will that effect his relationship with Violet, which is always shaky?
**If your life has been impacted by rape, incest or other sexual abuse, reach out to RAINNonline or by phone at 800-656-4673.