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Private Practice: Addison's Homecoming Is 'Powerful, Painful,' Says Shonda Rhimes

This Thursday on Private Practice (ABC, 10/9c), viewers will lay witness to the aftermath of the devastating blow dealt Addison (played by Kate Walsh) at the close of last week’s episode: that her mother, Bizzy, took her life in the wake of losing her wife Susan to cancer.

As one can imagine, “It’s a really powerful episode for Addison,” series creator Shonda Rhimes tells TVLine. Because while Ad mourns her mother and readies for the funeral back East in Connecticut, she’s also struggling to conceal — per Bizzy’s dying request — the circumstances of how her life ended. (“The truth… is too embarrassing,” the always proud Montgomery matriarch said in her suicide note.)

“Addison is keeping a secret at the same time as she’s dealing with [her loss],” Rhimes notes.

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Fortunately, though perhaps making the cover-up harder, Addison has a bevy of Oceanside Wellness friends on hand for the funeral, in addition to her father, The Captain (Stephen Collins), and brother Archer (Grant Show).

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Back in her hometown and surrounded by others who were intimately aware of the family’s complicated relationships, “You get to see where Addison came from and what her life was like back then, in a lot of ways,” says Rhimes. All told, “It’s a really painful, interesting episode.”

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Private Practice fans, are you looking forward to Kate Walsh tackling this material?