Monday, June 22, 2009

'Army Wives' Monday: Moving Out

*Warning: Spoilers ahead from the recent episode of Army Wives.*

Roland actually DOES still work as a psychiatrist. Denise pined. Claudia Joy seemed to have lost her on-post cache. And Pamela ran into a former listener whose life she'd changed for the better.
See Roland Work

Last week Roland was distinctly unhappy and disillusioned, feeling as though he was wasting his professional life and expertise ("I wrote books, damn it! I had a career!") by being an at-home dad married to someone in the Army who could be deployed at any moment.

This week Roland was a hero during one of his shifts at the hospital. Roland stuck his neck out for a patient who needed someone at the hospital to take that extra step and advocate on his behalf. After helping a patient who'd experienced brain trauma following time in combat, Roland was so pleased by his professional achievement that he was actually humming as he was making dinner for his wife. It was refreshing to see him striking his own kind of work-life balance. Of course it didn't hurt to have Denise around to babysit for free.

See Denise Pine

Speaking of Denise -- who's still socially ostracized and has no friends other than Roland who are reaching out to her in the wake of the incident where Frank went missing while on a dangerous mission -- she had a dream that she called Frank, apologized to him for the fling and said, "It's over. I don't know what I was thinking," as she professed her love to him and how much she wanted them to make their marriage work. He agreed. Then Denise woke up. And reality wasn't quite what she expected it to be.

Frank was informed that he was being sent back to Fort Marshall to run war game exercises on the base and to expressly repair his fractured family life. Humiliated that his commanding officer knew about Denise getting fired from the Army hospital for having an affair with a former patient, Frank called Denise only to inform her he was coming home but specifically said he didn't want her to pick him up. I think Frank would've been willing to patch things up before everyone knew about Denise's love affair, but now that everyone DOES know, I think the likelihood or their reunion has greatly diminished. I think Denise had best start looking for another place to live. Maybe there's an available unit in Claudia Joy's new building.

See Claudia Joy Try to Exert (Non)Influence

The big surprise of the episode was seeing Michael back home with Claudia Joy -- previews indicated he was back to stay, but what job he'll take is an open question as the post commander spot is already taken. However the more interesting storyline to watch unfold is Claudia Joy's. Here's a woman who devoted her adult life to following her husband's career, helping bolster it through volunteer work, and taking care of her children. When her husband was in Brussels and she was in the States on the post, she discovered she lost some of the cache of her husband's title.

While weathering a stream of sarcastic jabs from her angry teenaged daughter, Claudia Joy realized that she was no longer the post commander's wife anymore when she attempted to help Pamela move up a few notches on the wait list for a three-bedroom house at Fort Marshall. She was met with blank stares when she invoked her and her husband's name, and her husband's rank, and told that the contact she had in the office had just retired. Claudia Joy's influence on the base: Greatly diminished to non-existent.

See Pamela Inspire

Pamela hasn't been given a whole lot to do during the first two episodes of Army Wives other than be a judgmental meanie who blew off her "friend" Denise. But in this recent installment Pamela learned that, although she'd been on Fort Marshall's wait list to get a three-bedroom house, she'd actually fallen down the list in the past year because higher ranking officers' families had moved onto the post. She was getting nothing but lip from the gal behind the counter and Claudia Joy proved useless. It was a housing office employee, who was a former listener of Pamela's on-base radio show, who wound up saving Pamela's day. The listener -- who was having immense difficulties in her marriage when she learned she was pregnant -- told Pamela that Pamela's encouraging on-air words for Army spouses to tough it out and find their inner strength eased her and made her feel supported through a challenging time.

How this affects Pamela -- whether she feels the calling to return to radio to help other spouses cope, seeing that she was unceremoniously axed from her radio show at the end of last season -- is unclear. I'd like to see more of the butt-kicking version of Pamela. The one we're seeing right now seems muted, only letting her passion seep out in the form of judging her former friend.

What did you think about episode three?

Image credit: Lifetime.


Jennifer said...

Hi - just stumbled on your blog looking for Army wives who blog.

As an Army wife, I'm grateful the show has such a great following, but unfortunately I am not one of them.

I live my own Army life everyday & just can't bear to make myself watch the pop culture version it. I hope you can understand.

But if you're interested in following the trials, tribulations, lives & loves of a real Army wife, you can follow me at:

Wishing you continued success on your blog,

Our JennEricLife

Anonymous said...

Ciao! I watch AW from Italy and I like it a lot!
I think the lot is being very mean to Denise, I mean they are supposed to be her friends but are giving her the cold shoulder! What kind of fair-weather friends are they?!? They may not be happy with what she has done but they shouldn't leave her alone all the same!
Emmalin is just being obnoxious, I wonder why they aren't stricter with her.
What will happen to awful Evan and Jennifer now that Michael is back? will they still be there? I fear so!
Will Joan still be deployed? I hope not. Let's wait and see!
Ciao for now!
Alessandra (Milan, Italy)