Private Practice: The Hardest Part preview

Mar 31, 2011 at 6:29 p.m. ET

Pete is rocked by his mother's illness, Sheldon continues to court Violet's nemesis and Cooper tries to save the gifts of a prodigy on tonight's Private Practice: The Hardest Part. Paul Adelstein (Cooper) takes the director's chair and Louise Fletcher returns as Pete's mother.

Pete (Tim Daly) thought he was through dealing with his rocky past, but this week on Private Practice, he's sucked right back into his family drama. His mother Frances shows up in need of medical assistance and Pete learns her decline was no accident.

Tim Daly in Private Practice

It seems his brother (Kyle Secor) played fast and loose to get their mom out of prison, with disastrous results. With Frances fighting for her life, however, there may not be time for finger pointing.

Violet is blown away by her hubby's situation, but she has her own bit of drama with which to contend. Her new book is a big hit, but it's making life complicated. Sheldon maintains the tell-all is "a problem" professionally, because it reveals too much about Violet to her patients. Violet thinks she can make it work, but he's concerned she's no longer a "blank slate," as therapists should be.

Sheldon's opinion might take a hit, though, because Violet catches him on a date with Marla (Alex Kingston), the shrink who slammed her book. The reveal that Sheldon and her nemesis are an item will surely put to test Marla's critique that Violet is self-involved and lacks boundaries.

Meanwhile, on the heels of the Grey's Anatomy music event, Cooper and Amelia try to save the music at Oceanside Wellness. Cooper's tasked with helping a young prodigy who has a brain tumor, so he calls on brain diva Amelia to salvage the patient's astonishing piano skills.

Private Practice: The Hardest Part airs March 31 at 10:01 p.m. on ABC.

Private Practice preview clip!