One of the strengths of Season 1 of Army Wives was its exploration of the dynamic within this group of unlikely friends.
This season, however, has focused on individual drama. But instead of giving the characters more depth, the approach has weakened them. This episode was no exception. In the midst of a lot of dramatic tension, I found myself not really caring what happened.
Denise and Frank
You don’t have to read many of these mini-caps to know my feelings about Catherine Bell. In a word: yowza. She is one of the sexiest women on TV. And her character’s relationship with Claudia Joy is always a highlight. I was hoping that Denise and C.J. would regain some of their, um, closeness in the aftermath of Getti’s death. Sure enough, we got some nice moments of subtext.
Unfortunately, C.J. advised Denise to go home to Frank. Denise doesn’t exactly seem thrilled with the prospect. But, seriously, if you had the choice between Kim Delaney and Frank, which would you prefer? Yep — me, too.
As if Denise wasn’t conflicted enough, Getti’s dad asks her to meet him at the Julep, where he tells her how much Getti loved her. Dad is happy his son was in love when he died. Is it just me, or do you think it was kind of mean to tell her that? Especially so soon after the funeral.
The information does, however, prompt Denise to admit to Frank that she kissed Getti and that she’s not sure if she was in love with him or not. Frank decides that she’s worth fighting for (duh) and agrees to go to couples counseling. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that Denise is in a towel when she suggests it.
Claudia Joy and Mom
C.J.’s mom, Charlotte, who didn’t come to Amanda’s funeral, shows up unexpectedly — and alone. Although Emmalin is thrilled to see Grams, C.J. expects nothing but trouble from her overcritical mother. As she puts it, “Grandmothers are fun. Mothers are not.” I don’t know that I’d agree, though, if my mom were the Goodbye Girl herself, Marsha Mason.
But Mom’s not there to harass C.J: She left her husband and has come to tell C.J. in person. Trouble is, she forgot to tell him. C.J. is livid, assuming that it’s her mom’s fault. The problem, however, is not Charlotte. Dad has a gambling problem and has lost their substantial savings. Mom has been hiding it from C.J. for years to preserve the Dad/Daughter relationship. C.J. has a lot to digest. Hopefully, she’ll turn to Denise for comfort. In any case, I think Mom might be around for a while.
Joan and Roland
Joan apparently is very sleepy, because she’s in bed the entire episode. I’m a little unclear what Roland is doing, job-wise — he’s home in the middle of the day and he seems to have revived his Hoops & Hope on-court counseling service. This week, he gets too close to a student who’s grieving the loss of his dad and he deftly brings the boy and his mother together. I don’t want to be callous, but I was totally bored with this storyline.
Pam and, uh, no one
Pam needs something to do, and I don’t mean making out with another straight woman (which wasn’t mentioned at all) or pontificating on her radio show. She’s an ex-cop, she’s smart and she’s cute. Give her a story, Mr. New Army Wives Showrunner, m-kay? Preferably, one that involves the other wives so we can see the camaraderie we saw in Season 1.
Roxy and Trevor
Trevor’s painkiller addiction plot line went wildly off-course this episode. A guy in the gym tells Trevor about an off-post doctor who will prescribe painkillers without asking a lot of questions. Do we really believe that Mr. By-the-Book would risk his career to get illegal drugs? I’m not buying it. Besides, Trevor is too alert and perky to be taking so much Vicodin. And while I’m nitpicking, would the Army really assign a wounded soldier on prescription pain medication to be a driver?
Roxy finally took (and passed) her GED. The wives throw a surprise graduation party, ending the episode with the group as it should be: together.
Army Wives is in reruns for the next week or two, but the plan is to have 13 episodes before the show takes a break, so we can expect a couple of new episodes soon. I hope we start to see evidence that new writers will take the show in a positive direction. Meanwhile, let us know what you think of this week’s show. Do you think Trevor will come to his senses before he gets into serious trouble? Will Denise and Frank make it? Do we know the whole story with C.J.’s mom yet?