Charlotte returns to work and pretty much tells everyone to stay out of her way. Ignoring the request, both Addison and Amelia try to buddy up to her. It doesn’t go well. Sheldon believes the reason she’s so reluctant to accept Addison’s help is because she saw Charlotte at her most fragile state. He suggests finding a more indirect way to help her.
Speaking of Sheldon, he meets with Nick and Rachel, a seemingly happy couple. Rachel has had her health issues over the years, but Nick has always been there for her. Like we said, they seem happy. But then Sheldon catches Rachel physically beating on Nick. Addison believes Rachel’s raised testosterone level could be the result of a tumor. Operating is risky, but Rachel doesn’t care. She just wants to stop hurting her husband.
Rachel’s surgery doesn’t go well. She’s going to die. And if she doesn’t go into hospice care, her elevated testosterone will cause her to continue hurting the man she loves. Nick desperately wants to keep caring for his wife. He doesn’t care if she hurts him. The problem is Rachel does. She wants to take care of Nick for a change. It’s a heartbreaking decision, but one that needed to take place.
[break]Pete and Cooper treat Elisa, a girl battling lymphoma. Her father, Diego, asks a shaman to intervene with her treatment. Pete and Cooper attend the religious ceremony and must intervene when Elisa takes a bad turn. She’s rushed to the hospital where surgery saves her temporarily. She needs time to recover, but her father wants her discharged immediately. Pete believes alternative therapy may work. Cooper doesn’t. He wants a judge to decide. Pete says, “If you take them to court to force chemo, I’ll testify on their behalf.”
Pete suspects Elisa is holding something back. He’s right. As a judge listens to arguments in her hospital room, Elisa says that she doesn’t want chemotherapy. It’s not because she believes the shaman can heal her. She doesn’t want the treatment because her illness is bankrupting the family. Elisa doesn’t want her struggling father and siblings to live their lives around her treatment. She basically says she’s ready to die.
The judge has heard enough. She orders that the patient receive chemotherapy which should fully heal her. Cooper is happy, of course. But to prove that he’s not completely unreasonable to alternative medicine, he arranges for a shaman to do her thing as well. Who knows? Maybe Elisa will recover twice as fast now.
[break]Addison has a secret that’s been eating at her. Even though Charlotte didn’t want a rape kit, Addison gathered DNA evidence anyway. She labeled it Jane Doe and locked it in the hospital refrigerator and didn’t report it. Sam eventually realizes the reason Addison broke the law is because Jane Doe is Charlotte.
Charlotte tries to put up a tough exterior, but it’s obvious she’s hurting physically and emotionally. She’s barely able to hold it together as Pete examines her wounds. Sam hints to Violet that she needs to talk to Charlotte. She tries, but it doesn’t go well either. Only Sheldon seems to be adhering to Charlotte’s request to be left alone. He says, “I’d do nothing for you anytime.” Though it doesn’t read that way, it’s actually a very sweet thing to say and Charlotte truly appreciates it.
[break]Slowly but surely, Charlotte’s friends start to suspect that she may have been raped. After initial trepidation, Charlotte finally gathers the courage to step back into her office. Later, Violet tries again to have a heart-to-heart with her. This time, however, Violet details the time she was violently raped in college. She just wants Charlotte to know that she gets it and that she’s there for her.
Charlotte finally lets out her emotions after Violet leaves. Elsewhere, Sheldon steps into the police station to tell the cops that he now knows the identity of who was attacked by the suspect he’d been counseling. Addison also contacts the authorities to let them know she has pelvic washings from a rape that need to be processed.
Back at Oceanside, Amelia is working late when an emotional Charlotte staggers into her office. She needs someone to take her to an AA meeting. With Amelia right behind her, Charlotte King heads out the door. It’ll be a long road to recovery. This is just the first step.