The last thing I was expecting from Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes when a bunch of reporters descended on the Private Practice set on Tuesday was a spoiler. But she must have been feeling generous toward the TCA crowd, because we didn't even have to work for our news: Dr. Miranda Bailey of Seattle Grace (the Emmy-nominated Chandra Wilson) will be guest-starring on the third episode of Private Practice's third season.
I suppose it would be too much to ask, though, for Rhimes to reveal exactly why the crossover takes place. The most we could get was that she'll be "performing a very interesting medical procedure" and "will have her own comments about what's going on" over at Oceanside Wellness. I like the sound of that second idea: I think the Southern California doctors could use a patented Bailey smackdown every now and then.
The Bailey visit wasn't the only thing I learned on the set. What follows is spoilery, but if you want to hear details of Violet's fate after that freaky season finale and what's up next for Addison's romantic life, just
Amy Brenneman was on set, so it was clear pretty quickly that Violet survives the attack by her unstable patient. But that doesn't mean she's unharmed. "She gets hurt. Big time," Brenneman said. "She is saved — I mean, she survives. But she gets hurt. It's ugly." We won't have to wait long to find out the details: The first episode of the new season picks up just 20 minutes after the last scene we saw.
After that, though, the episodes will jump a bit forward in time, and things in Violet's relationship with Cooper won't be the same. "There is an emotional fallout for him," Brenneman said, explaining that not only are Violet and Cooper no longer roommates in the first part of this season, they haven't even really spoken for a while. Added Paul Adelstein: "Cooper is kind of avoiding her. He's avoiding going back to the house. . . . He's trying to pay a lot of attention to her, but he feels this guilt that he can't even quite identify, I think." Adelstein said Cooper thinks he's just giving Violet space to bond with her baby — which means, yes, there is a baby!
Some other hints about the new season:
- Cooper and Charlotte are still together and just as dysfunctional as ever — and the stress of dealing with their own reactions to Violet's trauma isn't doing them any favors.
- Naomi really has moved downstairs to the other practice (her on-set office was practically empty).
- "There's a lot of Pete" and Violet, Brenneman said — though Sheldon will also continue to appear. The first episode of the season involves a lot of flashbacks with Violet and Pete, including Pete's early days at Oceanside.
- Addison is going to start the season single. "And maybe to a comedic extent," Kate Walsh said. "There might be a pet cat involved."
Will you follow Bailey to Private Practice? Do you have thoughts on what's next for Violet? And are you glad Addison will try to be happily single for a change?