To quote TV Squad blogger, Allison Waldman: “If there’s one thing about Army Wives that bothers me, it’s that life is rarely this tidy.” So true, especially in this episode, titled “Leaving the Tribe.”
Tidy story #1: The War Hero
We knew when Trevor was deployed that he would be injured, especially since Roxy has fretted about it in just about every scene. So, when he and his buddy were innocently roaming around the market, I braced for a bomb. Instead, Trevor became something of a hero by spotting a man with a rifle, presumably a terrorist, and getting shot in the process of warning those around him.
Roxy, of course, freaked, but Trevor wasn’t hurt badly and, by episode’s end, he called with news that he’s coming home. Don’t worry, Roxy will find something else to freak about. I mean, she’s so good at it.
I have to be honest — this week I fell in with those of you who say Roxy gets on your nerves. She seems to have a habit of bursting in on people to get her way. This week, Pamela was on air interviewing Leah, a woman who thought the Hump Bar should not be rebuilt in favor of a memorial on the site. Roxie storms into the booth and tells off Leah, only to discover that she is the bomber’s sister. Oops, awkward. I bet Roxie really learned her lesson. Not.
Tidy story #2: The Post Commander
Now that Claudia Joy’s angelic encounter has brought her a degree of peace, it’s Michael’s turn to stress out. He blames himself for the bombing because he didn’t lock down the post after he learned about the missing explosives. Now he’s worried about himself because he’s having a hard time signing an order to deploy one of Amanda’s friends to Iraq. I’d be much more worried if he didn’t hesitate to send kids to war, but I’m funny that way. In any case, Leah, the aforementioned bomber’s sister, somehow is able to wander freely on base and shows up on the general’s doorstep.
Granted, I don’t have much experience with military matters, but I did accidentally drive up to an Air Force base once and was not exactly given a warm welcome, even pre 9/11. Anyway, after about 20 minutes of soul-searching, Michael tracks down the strolling sister, tells her he forgives her brother and gives her a big hug. Mm-hmm. The most believable part of this storyline is the expression on C.J.’s face.
Tidy story #3: The Happy Husband
Who knew marital bliss could be so boring? Roland and Joan, who started the season on the verge of divorce, now are all smiles and love and sex, sex, sex. You know, I think heterosexuals have the same rights as everyone else, but do they have to so flagrantly flaunt their sexuality? Roland decides he wants to be a high school counselor, so he applies at the base school. Although the school doesn’t have an opening, the principal offers him a job teaching English and tutoring GED students. So all it takes to be a teacher is to want to work with kids? Excuse me while I step back and let the educators and school counselors in the AfterEllen.com community answer that one.
Tidy story #4: The Pregnant Lt. Colonel
I know that pregnancy has a dramatic effect on a woman’s system, but Joan’s has made her all but disappear. The Joan I know and love would never tolerate a condescending Roland laughing at her hesitancy to tell the soldiers under her command that she’s pregnant. Silly girl, she’s not worried about her military career, it’s just the hormones talking. Sure enough, when Joan does tell her staff the news, they clap and hug her and are über-supportive. I was actually relieved that all that warmth made her uncomfortable — maybe Joan still is in there after all.
Untidy story: The Not-dyke on a Bike
Fortunately, the one story that was not so neatly packaged was Denise’s. She meets a new coworker who happens to be a motorcycle enthusiast, a fact I mention so I can show you this picture of their meeting.
Someday, somebody will smile at me like that and I will melt happily away. The biker is Ghetti, a new doctor at the post hospital. Recognizing Denise’s love for her motorcycle, he encourages her to allow herself some fun, which she does. Whatever happens to Ghetti, I am eternally in his debt.
Frank, on the other hand, is predictably grumpy and confused about why his wife would even want a motorcycle. First, he expresses safety concerns, but then the truth comes out – he thinks it’s just not appropriate for an officer’s wife to zoom around the base on a motorcycle. Denise doesn’t seem inclined to heed Frank’s wishes, though, so he hangs up on her. She responds by rounding up her friends to show off her new toy. Things aren’t looking good for Frank. They are, however, looking very good for us — or at least she is.
Shortly after I finished this mini-cap, I read that “Leaving the Tribe” is the first episode written by Nick Thiel, Army Wives’ new showrunner. Given that, perhaps the tidy wrap-ups are an indication that Thiel plans to take the show in a new direction. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a return to Season 1 form.
What did you think of this episode? Do you expect Denise and Ghetti to get it on?