In a Balinese style affair hosted by Addison, everyone gathered to reminisce about Pete and help their friend and co-worker through the tough time. As Vi stood by and listened to stories of patients grateful to Dr. Wilder for saving their lives she clearly wasn’t entirely comfortable with this sort of ‘funeral.’ It was obvious that a melt down was coming, the only questions where when, and how?
While Violet struggled with the challenges of becoming a widow, we saw that Charlotte is still far from being happy about her pregnancy, snapping at both Addison and Cooper for hovering and insisting that she should be excited. So, of course, when a shaken Violet asks Cooper to take Lucas should something happen to her, the wave of nerves and uncertainty that passes across his face is completely justifiable.
One of the most touching moments of the hour was the scene in which Violet, taking a break from the festivities, finds Mason sitting alone on the beach. Seeing as Mason is no stranger to the death of a loved one, he has the rather simple yet honest view that it “really sucks that he died,” and sympathizes with Violet that it’s lonely, being the one left behind.
Throughout the episode the other doctors of Seaside Health & Wellness also thought back on their memories with Pete. For Addison, Pete helped her realize that she could raise a child, for Sam, a memory of strained joking the night before the planned court hearing, Jake, chats of a trip that Pete wanted to take his family on and how he wanted to learn to surf, and Charlotte, a wish that someone would have done for Pete what he did for others.
Violet’s break finally comes after finding a bag of marijuana in one of Pete’s jackets, and she sneaks off to Addison’s upstairs bathroom to take advantage of it (never actually shown in progress). The scene gets rather amusing after Cooper joins her laze in the bathtub, Addison sitting watch, and the patented “say no to drugs” speech from Sam, but turns solemn with more succinct memories of Pete.
The mortality theme of the episode is reaffirmed after Addison gets the call fro Seattle that Dr. Mark Sloan had been taken off of life support (see Grey’s Anatomy). When the room turns into tears, Violet reminds everyone — yelling, rather — that Pete wanted a party with music and singing, and sadly attempts to sing before breaking down, angry that Pete has left her alone.
And where was Sheldon during all of this? At the practice, dealing with a patient who comes into his appointment to say goodbye, planning to commit suicide. The man considers himself a monster for his sexual feelings towards young girls and believes the only way to make things right is for him to die. We can see Sheldon’s internal struggle over whether or not to save this man’s life — which he ultimately does — and can feel for his upset over a man like his patient living and Pete dying.
In the final moments of Private Practice‘s 100th episode Cooper stands by Violets side as she honors Pete’s last wish, to have his ashes scattered in the ocean. The image is almost haunting, their two silhouettes black against the water as Violet mourned.
All in all, the episode reminded everyone that they’re only human and are not immortal. It gave an insight into the heart of the show – that these characters all care about each other, and clearly their patients, almost no matter what. To me, the 100th episode of Private Practice stood to differentiate the show from other medical dramas, and gave a heartfelt overview of the complications of life and death.
Private Practice airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.