Shonda Rhimes Talks Private Practice Twist: What Addison Did Will Bite Her In the Butt

For a stretch there, Private Practice fans were hearing plenty about the imminent arrival of new cast member Benjamin Bratt (if not a lick about the character he’d be playing). So it’d stand to reason if Addison (Kate Walsh) decided to take a cue from her fellow Oceansiders and cut bait, skip town and flit off to Fiji with the mystery man she met at the market and was quick to mack on.

And yet she didn’t. Instead, Ad got as far as the airport gate before wheeling around and taking fresh stock of her life. Next thing you know, she’s curled up in bed with — knock me over with a feather — ex-ish lover Sam (Taye Diggs), talking about how their being together and her want for a child are not mutually exclusive.

“I love that moment,” series creator Shonda Rhimes says of Addison’s airport epiphany, which was shot in a stylized manner with passersby blurring around her. “I was on set making the pilot [for ABC’s Scandal] and it was really late at night when I thought of that. I got really excited.”

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Taking TVLine inside Addison’s head at that pivotal juncture, Rhimes says, “She has walked past Violet, who is at the airport running away from her possibilities, and she’s walked past Naomi, who is heading toward new possibilities [with fiancé Fife]…. She’s realizing that everybody is just walking away – and that’s not her.

Addison “could walk away from everything,” Rhimes continues, “or she could actually go back to the things that she loves, which are her job and Sam. That’s what she says at the beginning [of the episode], that [living for her job] is her thing. So without that, who is she? She stays true to who she is by going back to the practice and going back for Sam.”

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With Bratt on board as a series regular, viewers (as well as Addison) have not seen the last of charming Conor by a long shot. With so much in flux in Addison’s life — namely, the investigation into Oceanside Wellness’ policies and the gang’s formation of a new practice — will the fact that she and her almost-fling conspicuously never shared names or occupations come back to ironically-slash-coincidentally haunt her?

“Yeah, I think so,” Rhimes teases. “I think it’s going to end up biting them in the butt pretty seriously.”

Speculate away, PPP fans — how do you think Bratt’s character will surprisingly resurface in Addison’s world?