I’m not sure if my expectations are lower or if this episode was better, but I found much to like in this week’s Army Wives.
Before we look at “Thicker Than Water,” though, I have some news for AW lovers. First of all, the show has been renewed for a third season. This is quite a coup for the show, since we’re just six episodes into Season 2. But even with scripts that are a bit weaker this year, the show is still a ratings winner for Lifetime. I’m hoping that the extension will give the writers a broader canvas and result in more depth. (And we’re all hoping that this means Katherine Fugate will resurrect the lesbian storyline for Renee O’Connor.)
We also learned this week that Goodbye Girl Marsha Mason will guest star as Claudia Joy’s society mom, Charlotte Meade, later this summer. We already know that Charlotte and Claudia Joy are not exactly close, thanks to C.J.’s choice to drop out of law school to marry Michael. Interesting that Claudia wasn’t at Amanda’s funeral.
I think this week’s episode was stronger because several of the women had an opportunity to be true to who they are — and they took it. That hasn’t happened often enough this season and it was good to see.
The episode opens with Emmalin and her friend Sarah getting stopped by security in front of the PX after Sarah shoplifted a bottle of booze. (Shoplifting at the PX? Seriously?) Em, of course, was innocent and blames Sarah’s crime on the fact that her mom Claire is a few days away from deployment. With Sarah’s dad already in Iraq, Sarah has no place to go when mom leaves. I always thought that the military had some policy that keeps both parents from being deployed when they have kids, but Army Wives takes care to be accurate about such things. (I could easily go into a rant here about how pro-war people usually are all about “family values.” But instead, I’ll post a picture of a very sincere Emmalin.)
This sets up a less-than-believable storyline in which Claudia Joy takes on Claire’s situation. (Would a post commander’s wife really get so involved in an enlisted soldier’s life?) In any case, C.J. goes on Pamela’s show to discuss dual deployment and ends up crossing a line that gets the broadcast cut off. Pamela promptly storms into Joan’s office, demanding to know why. (Would Pamela really be able to just march in like that?)
Turns out, Joan had no clue about the broadcast. The evil Evan takes responsibility and, in explaining himself to Pamela and Joan, wins the Condescending Jerk of the Week award, knocking Roland off the throne. (But would Evan really have the authority to take the show off the air until he actually steps in for Joan?) In any case, I wish Joan had been stronger in her response to him. Come back, Joan. We miss your studliness.
Pamela quits and decides to take a job she was offered hosting a talk show in Atlanta. Unfortunately, once there she learns that the station doesn’t want her to talk about Army-related issues, but prefers topics like celebrity gossip — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Pam turns down the huge salary, despite having to be a surrogate wife last season to earn money, and returns to the base. Fortunately, by that time Michael has, to Joan’s amusement, cut off Evan’s gonads and sends him to apologize to Pam and ask her to return. Despite the holes in the story, I’m glad to see Pam standing up for herself.
Roxy’s life continues to center on Trevor and the Hump Bar. (Great porn title, if anyone’s interested.) Trevor’s a Pouty Petey and wants to go back to Iraq with his unit, um, company. He tells Roxy she can’t possibly understand since she’s not a soldier. Maybe if you tried to explain it, Trevor, she could.
But Roxy does have a proud moment in her Hump Bar rebuild when she catches the contractor trying to overcharge her and fires him. As she gets the project back on track, Betty reveals that her cancer has progressed and she needs to focus on treatment, not the bar. She turns over half ownership to Roxy. I knew it was coming, but it was still sweet. Then it’s goodbye to Betty — she’s headed to California in her new Warriors in Pink Edition Mustang. Now that’s product placement I can support. Bye, Betty.
What about Denise? I’m glad you asked. As the previews suggested, Denise is the subject of hospital gossip because she rode in with Getti on the back of his motorcycle. She avoids him until he confronts her and she explains that they can’t really hang out together “for the good of her family.” Getti is underwhelmed, but Frank inadvertently saves the friendship when he calls to apologize to Denise for asking her to sell the motorcycle. Just when we see a glimpse of why Denise might love him, he says, “I let you be a nurse so I guess I can let you ride a motorcycle.” Oops. Nobody “lets” Denise do anything. She cuts the conversation short.
The next morning, she goes to the pancake house to find Getti and “have breakfast with a friend.” I’m sure the gossip will keep flying, but at least Denise has decided to be true to herself, no matter what Frank thinks.
What did you think of “Thicker than Water?” Is Claudia Joy getting too involved in other people’s lives? Can Roxy handle managing the Hump Bar? Will Pamela regret turning down the money in Atlanta? By the way, to see the Warriors in Pink commercial by the Army Wives cast along with some very sexy pictures of them in Warriors tees, go here. Fighting breast cancer is one war I fully support.