“Chasing Life” recap (1.6): Brenna and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad friend


Previously on Chasing Life, April found out she had cancer, and as if that wasn’t enough, she also found out she had a secret sister. Meanwhile, April’s not-secret sister, Brenna, found out that there is more to her classmate Greer than meets the eyeand she might just LIKE like it.

Cold open on a shaky camera that implies blurry vision and a paramedic demanding to know WHAT IS YOUR NAME. We hear April cry out her name but then we’re shot back through time to yesterday morning faster than The Tenth Doctor can say “allons-y.”

April wakes up to Dom watching her sleep, which is sort of sweet and sort of creepy but mostly sweet, I think. Also kind of eerie since we know she has leukemia but he doesn’t and for all we know in three months’ time he could be watching her sleep to make sure she’s still breathing instead of just admiring the beauty of her stillness.

Random side note about the opening sequence of this show: I love it. I honestly didn’t notice it until last week for some reason (I guess I generally tune out title sequences) but this one is simple and cute. I especially like that every cut stems from someone palming the camera, but no matter which character’s turn it is, no matter who reaches out to touch the camera, it’s April who appears after the cut. A beautiful metaphor of how this show is about April and all the lives she touches, and all the lives affected by her illness.

ANYWAY, when April comes home, her mother is sleeping on the couch, wanting to talk after the way her daughter stormed out of the house. April admits that she’s scared, and sobs into her mother’s arms that she doesn’t want to die.

CL 106-1April’s tears, they hurt!

When April goes to have coffee with Beth, she admits that coming out to her family (as being sick) has taken some pressure away in that she doesn’t have to keep a secret anymore, but has also added to the pressure since now she has to deal with their anxiety about it on top of her own. Beth tries to take her mind off of it by letting her know that SHE’S not anxious; in fact, she’s started up a new business! The first product of which is a jacket she gives Aprilwhich is misshapen and overall just terrible. Perhaps time to find a new hobby. Solid effort, though, Beth.

At school, Brenna is listening to her annoying friend ramble on about her recent shenanigans when Greer strolls on over, causing Brenna’s expression to brighten considerably. Greer asks Brenna how April is doing, and then tells Brenna and her horrible friend that she’s having a party and they’re both invited. Brenna’s awful friend talks to Greer like she’s a dumb blonde, but Greer’s dimpled smile never falters and she says she knows when people are making fun of her and they think she doesn’t understand.

CL 106-2Can’t Ford this river.

Greer tells them to wear blue to the party and walks away. Brenna’s terrible friend says of course they’re going to the party, Greer lives in a castle. She asks Brenna if Kieran would come, but she says he’s working so he wouldn’t be able to anyway. Still impressed by the smackdown Greer laid on her tiresome friend, Brenna watches her walk away. Greer throws back a smile and Brenna looks downright smitten.

CL 106-3I see Tennis Love in her eyes!

April goes to her cancer support group and confesses that she’s starting to feel out of control. She’s losing something every day; her strength, her appetite. Soon it will be her hair. Leo sneaks in late, but it seems like he might have heard her concerns.

Brenna and Kieran are at a coffee shop and Kieran gets jealous because Brenna got hit on by the barista. This surprises Brenna, she didn’t think him the jealous type, but he says she inspires it in him. Brenna looks a little worried, like maybe the scale of this relationship is a little off-balance.

April goes to work and her boss tells her that she’s been specifically requested to interview Leo’s father, which has made said boss insanely jealous, and has made April rather giddy. She skips off to Doctor Uncle’s office and they talk a bit about her treatment. April’s mother wants to know every last detail and has been researching things ad nauseam but April doesn’t want to hear it. She wants to take it as it comes, no more, no less. She leaves, but Sara stays to get more details, which is when she finds out that chemo can cause infertility. Uncle George says he’ll tell April when it’s time, but Sara begs him not to. She’s afraid it will make April have second thoughts about starting treatment, and she can’t have that.

When April gets home from a food tour that came up about as fast as it went down, she finds her mother, Brenna, and Beth in a meditation circle. Sara read that stress can worsen the symptoms, so they force April to join them. April tries, but is distracted by Brenna, who is texting and smirking. April eventually gets fed up and tries to run up the stairs, but is quite winded.

Later, Brenna is making out with Kieran on her bed when suddenly she pulls back. He asks if she’s over being friends with benefits and wants to make it boyfriend/girlfriend official, but that’s not it. She has other things to worry about besides their relationship status. Also she’s not sure she’s ready to be exclusive because a certain tennis player keeps darting around her head. Kieran tries to make her feel better about April’s condition with a Socrates quote that basically says she’s dumb for being afraid of death. Okay, that’s a super loose interpretation, but either way, Brenna is neither appeased nor comforted by the thought.

CL 106-4And that’s supposed to be helpful…how?

April goes to Leo’s father’s commercial shoot and Leo is not making things easy for his father. April starts to interview his father, but his agent doesn’t let many questions get asked, so she goes outside to talk to Leo, who isn’t the trust fund baby she thought he was. He used to live on his own, earn his own money, but then he got a tumor and came home to have his medical bills paid for. He says he would never raise his children the way he was raised…then drops the bomb about chemo possibly taking that chance away from him. April is a little shocked by this news, since no one told her. She eyes his motorcycle as he starts to leave, and he convinces her to take control of her own life and hop on.

They take the motorcycle to a Maserati dealer and take a car for a test drive…without the employee that’s supposed to tag along. April freaks out and begs him to pull over, and he does, but he calls her uptight. To prove she isn’t, she gets behind the wheel and zips along in the stolen sports car.

Brenna and the worst friend ever show up to Greer’s party. Brenna is wearing blue, but her obnoxious friend isn’t. At this point I’m running out of negative adjectives so I guess I’ll call her by her name. Her name is Ford. And she’s the worst. Anyway, Ford says she’s an oil spill and I think that’s the smartest thing she’s said so far. Brenna puts money in the donation jar and Ford almost steals a handful of it until she sees Brenna’s horrified expression.

They explore the house a little and Ford wants to try on clothes in the closet and take pictures, but Brenna doesn’t want anything to do with her shenanigans.

CL 106-5This is the face of someone of someone who is over your shit.

She stupidly leaves her phone with Ford (because her camera is full) and Ford immediately texts Kieran to tell him to come to the party.

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