Previously on Army
Has Two Wives, Nicole (Kellie Martin) was nominated for a Bronze Star for heroic service in Africa. She also asked her girlfriend Charlie (Michelle Bathe) to marry her. Cool.
But after years of serving in silence under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Nicole is not in the habit of talking. And although I understand Charlie’s impatience, parts of the storyline this week didn’t quite ring true. Not that a few false notes kept me from crying like a baby at the end.
Charlie tries to get Nicole to talk about setting a date for the wedding without much luck. Finally, Nicole spills the news that her mom Lorraine is coming for the Bronze Star ceremony.
During that scene, lesbian couples all over the country looked at each other and said, “That sounds exactly like your mother.” Then they started fighting and missed the rest of the show.
When Lorraine (Patti LuPone) arrives, things do not go as Nicole planned. This is where the story get a little shaky.
That’s a whole lot of clichés for a two-minute scene.
I’m not surprised that Lorraine hadn’t acknowledged that Nicole and Charlie are more than roommates. The fact is that people, especially parents, see what they want to see. I was once at a friend’s tiny apartment when her folks came to visit and her mother actually said, “You’re lucky to have a roommate who doesn’t mind sleeping in the same bed as you.” Ahem.
But if Charlie and Nicole have been together long enough for Lorraine to know Charlie pretty well, surely Charlie understands the relationship between Nicole and her mom. I don’t buy the way Charlie somewhat rudely announces the engagement, especially after she and Nicole had talked about it.
Lorraine’s reaction was equally unconvincing — and very cliché. Sure, Army Wives is a soap opera, but this scene was so inorganic that it prompted more eye rolling than caring. (In my experience, mothers need a good two weeks before they ask what they did wrong.) I don’t fault the actors; I fault whoever allowed “You’re going to marry that woman?” to stay in the script.
Also: What are you wearing, Nicole?
Charlie and Nicole have another argument when Nicki returns from the hotel. Charlie is unrepentant and Nicole is pissed.
See what I mean about not believable? Real lesbians would still be sitting at the table processing their feelings.
We know by the number of lesbian platitudes per minute that Lorraine will come around. Nicole stops by the hotel on her way to the Bronze Star ceremony.
It’s a sweet scene, and I like seeing Martin and LuPone together. I just wanted more.
Still, I never get tired of scenes like this.
Excuse me; I have something in my eye.
Over all, Army Wives did a good job with this storyline. If Charlie and Nicole had better chemistry, I think the heavy-handed writing would’ve been easier to appreciate. Still, I am proud of the show for taking on a story about what life is like for the LGBT career military people after DADT, especially in the face of harsh criticism from conservative fans. Changing minds is often harder than changing policy.
What did you think about this episode of Army Wives? Am I being too hard on the writers? Do you think we’ll ever see Nicole and Charlie again?