Monday, July 13, 2009

'Army Wives' Monday: Family Readiness

* Warning, spoilers ahead from the recent episode of Army Wives *

While the title of this episode was "Family Readiness," I think a better title would've been "Power Struggles . . . and Hey, Denise and Frank Got Back Together." Other title suggestions could be, "Let's All Act Passive-Aggressively Toward Our Spouses and Didja Hear About Denise and Frank?" Speaking of which . . .

Denise and Frank

The reunion of Denise and Frank overshadowed everything else that happened in the episode. The way their story was built up, with the soft music and the longing, heartfelt glances, if those two had not reunited, I would've been mighty steamed.

There was Frank looking forlorn in his bedroom after Denise moved out, peering in her empty closet, handling the family heirloom locket he'd given her -- their wedding photo inside, and breaking into tears. Then there was the sadness that seemed to be oozing out of Denise's pores when she was packing up her things and moving out of the house. She told Claudia Joy, "I had this overwhelming desire to put on one of Frank's T-shirts and crawl into our bed and smell him on our pillows and to fall asleep feeling safe again."

I suppose it takes a serious threat to a marriage to make you realize the things that made you fall in love with the person in the first place, make you remember the good times. Will this saved-from-the-brink 20-year-marriage have a happy ending? Can it erase the difficulties that they've had, like for example, the disagreement over the changes in Denise's life and her desire to be more independent while Frank wanted her to remain the same gal he'd married?

At least we know that Denise'll be back in the Fort Marshall fold, but she'll need a job, as I don't think the hospital will be taking her back any time soon.

Chase and Pamela

Talk about lack of communication, the Morans were suffering from this in spades, as well as a major case of passive aggression.

Consider this exchange after Chase unilaterally announced that he was going to Texas for six weeks for a voluntary training session soon after he got home. When Pamela asked him why he decided to leave again so quickly when he didn't have to, he said, "It's pretty obvious I'm not really needed around here . . . Ever since I came home, everything I do is wrong. I throw bottles in the wrong trash can. I put clothes in the wrong part of the closet. . . I can't even find things in my drawer."

This set Pamela off: "Chase, I moved this whole house all by myself. Do I get so much as a 'thank you?' No! You just complain about the furniture."

"It's furniture that I paid for okay?"

"Oh," she said, "you do NOT want to go here."

"I can't even take my own son to football practice. I can't even control my own schedule," he said, referring to the fact that Pamela's now coaching football and he had to take his daughter to ballet class.

"You can't just come back in and take over," Pamela said.

In a move I completely did not buy, Chase apologized to Pamela in the middle of Roland and Joan's baby's christening. "It's gotta be hard to be both mom and dad when I'm gone," he said. "I called off my trip to Fort Hood." Something tells me that it just can't be that easy to paper over the Moran family power struggle with a single kiss on the hand.

Claudia Joy and Michael

Claudia Joy made a decision, get this, without Michael's advance okay. She agreed to have an injured Iraqi girl who needs surgery -- whose family risked and subsequently lost their lives via a bomb blast for serving as interpreters for the Army -- stay at the Holdens' house. Claudia Joy felt a special kinship to the lost girl and agreed to take her in, no doubt thinking about how she lost her own daughter in a bomb blast. When Claudia Joy first raised the subject to Michael, he vigorously objected, until she informed him that it was already a done deal. "Michael, it's the right thing to do," she said.

What did you think of the recent Army Wives' episode, particularly the Denise and Frank reunion?

Image credit: Lifetime.

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