Monday, July 6, 2009

'Army Wives' Monday: Disengagement

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

The gals made up. Joan felt spiritual. Roxy resurrected The Hump Bar. Pamela moved furniture.

The Gals Made Up

You knew this Cold War wouldn't go on forever. The show IS called Army Wives. And if a bunch of the wives are acting like knuckleheads and ostracizing one of their own -- a star of the show -- you know that, eventually, they're going to have to make up. Just like you know that Denise isn't really going to go to Denver to work as a traveling nurse. Like the Holden family didn't really move to Brussels. The mere suggestion that one of the main characters will go anywhere other than to the front lines -- the show has two locales: Iraq, where the spouses are serving and Fort Marshall -- is, to me, simply an attempt to provide dramatic tension. Let's face it, Denise isn't going anywhere and it was only a matter of time before those unfaithful, intolerant friends of hers came to their senses. (If Denise does move away, I'll be shocked.)

Anyyyway . . . The apology Claudia Joy, Pamela and Roxy gave Denise for their collective cold shoulders (prompted only AFTER Roland called BS on their behavior and abandonment, which they continued to defend) was lukewarm at best. "The last few weeks have, um, they've been hard on all of us," said Claudia Joy, who irritated me with her disingenuousness, particularly when Denise is living in a hotel, lost her job and her life is in tatters. "Maybe we could've done things differently. I know I could have. I'm sorry."

Pamela came the closest to truth telling when she said, "We're pretty much idiots."

This "apology," along with the group hug that concluded the fifth episode, was the only bright spot for Denise who had to watch her husband Frank sign their divorce papers (effective in 30-60 days) without blinking. She'd been hoping he'd change his mind, rip up the papers and declare his love for her. But he and his pride simply signed on the dotted line. Previews for next week hint at a possible warming of relations between the two, but it's hard to tell if they'll reconcile. If they don't, as far as the storyline is concerned, Denise will have to move off the base and find work nearby in order to remain in the loop with the other Wives. My bet is that she and Frank will eventually reconcile in order to keep the core group of wives together. But I could be wrong, it's been known to happen. We'll see.

Joan Felt Spiritual

I really like the way the writers have been quietly and gracefully depicting Joan getting herself emotionally and mentally prepared to redeploy to Iraq. Now that she has a baby, everything about her deployment is different than her previous tour of duty, and Joan realizes that, hence her determination to get her baby baptized and find her a spiritual community before leaving for Iraq. And by portraying Joan as someone who's not a church-goer -- though her husband is -- but who feels strongly spiritual, I think nicely dovetails with all the emotions she's feeling right now as a loving mother and wife who willingly chose to go to a war zone out of duty.

Roxy Resurrected The Hump Bar

Betty's -- which looked like a suburban chain restaurant with tasteful, multi-colored walls and a slightly upscale menu -- has been transformed into a skankier version of The Hump Bar, particularly with the creepy new "chef," named Chief. Peanut shells are on the floor. Tin buckets serve as centerpieces. Beers are in plastic cups (which reminds me of college keg parties). A Ladies' Night with a free drink to women has been instituted and a hot waitress in a tight shirt has been selected to work the tables. That's all quite a bit of change in a small period of time, not all of it desired or approved by the bar's actual owner, Roxy.

What puzzles me is how and why Roxy is willing to continually allow people she barely knows to assume such big roles in her life. Roxy, a mom of two, married Trevor after knowing him for all of four days. After the original bar owner Betty died and left Roxy her bar, Roxy let someone who claimed to be Betty's "nephew" assume half of the business -- almost let him buy "her half" from her for a song -- only to later learn that he was a con artist. Now has Roxy befriended Viola, who seems nice and pleasant and has an economic hardship story (her son invested her life's savings in hedge funds, the money's gone and she's about to lose her home) and who has begged to work with Roxy. Roxy handed her the keys, then, in a matter of hours when Roxy was attending her kids' school play, Viola made unauthorized drastic changes and got ticked and huffy when Roxy balked at Viola's ballsy power play. This is no way to run a business, especially with someone you barely even know but in whom you've already pledged your faith. Maybe I'm just being cynical.

Pamela Moved Furniture

Just how many times did Pamela move the living room furniture back into a family-friendly arrangement to make it easier for she and the kids to watch TV together while sitting on the sofa? How many times did her husband Chase -- who just returned from duty to the new home Pamela had gotten for the family -- selfishly rearrange the furniture to assert himself as the head of the household by relocating his recliner right in front of the TV and the sofa off to the side of the room?

"So Chase is gone for weeks at a time," Pamela fumed to Roxy, saying Chase complained about the sofa, the new dishes and how she throws the football. "I look after the kids. I look after the house. I move the damn house. And he comes in and he thinks he can change everything. He even hates where I keep the toilet paper."

Between the battle over the furniture and over who's teaching their son how to throw a football the right way, clearly there's a huge blow-out argument in the works as Pamela and Chase are not dealing with one another directly and are simply behaving passive aggressively. Plus, Pamela's not big on tact.

Are you satisfied with the "apology" given to Denise? Do you think Joan will actually go overseas? What do you make of Roxy's new bar? What'd you think of the episode?

Image credit: Lifetime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like you, I had a problem with the so-called apology from the other wives to Denise. First Roland had to "shame" them into it and even then they resisted him. "What were we supposed to do," one of the wives asked. Um, listen to your friend's side of the story and then decide whether or not you were gonna support her as a friend? Is there some law that says you can't support a friend even when you don't support (or approve of) their actions?

And CJ - yeah, she needs to just shut it. If I were Denise, I'd be re-thinking the whole BFF thing with her.

As for Joan, I think she will deploy and I'm liking the realistic way this storyline is being handled. Let's hope the powers that be don't screw it up by making her stay home at the last minute. *coughMichaelcough*

I'm sick of Roxy and her bar. As far as I'm concerned, she can hand it over to Uncle Sam, go home and procreate.

And finally, Frank has lost me. First he tossed Denise out - his wife of some 20 years - with little more than a few words. Then he signed off on the divorce papers without much of a thought. I think it's pretty obvious from the preview of next week that Frank is going to have second thoughts and will approach Denise about possible reconciliation - and I think Denise should back away from him - slowly.