Army Wives Season Premiere Review: The Next Divorce?

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The season five premiere of Army Wives, "Line of Departure," got off to a slow, but heartfelt start. I'm used to the seasons coming in and going out with a bang, so this was a bit of a change from the familiar. Each of our spouses were dealing with their own issues, and they seemed more alone than usual.

So far, we have had only one marriage fall apart on Army Wives. However, I can't help but question the future of Joan and Roland. It seems every time they are on the same page, it turns so fast that their entire relationship takes on a new dimension.

Roland has one of the most difficult roles, married to a strong, forceful Army Colonel. Even being a house husband, he loves his wife and daughter so much he hopes for another child and, in his heart of hearts, that Joan will want the same and to take a step back from the Army. By the end of the episode, he's sitting at a dinner table, very much alone. His view of marriage differs so greatly from Joan's that I would not be surprised if they were the next couple to possibly split.

Army Wives Season Premiere Pic

Roxy is really missing Trevor, and being tested every day by their eldest son, TJ. He's unhappy, unruly and disrespectful. It hurts to watch her struggle to keep it all together. She got a little breathing room and some perspective when Finn's father visited. I enjoyed seeing her with someone from her past, slipping into memories of Alabama and realizing how far she has come. I really appreciate the strength we see in Roxy and have no doubt TJ will soon be towing the line.

I was disappointed in the story of Denise and Tonya meeting for the first time. Perhaps it's just the overload of being a new mother, along with her husband getting deployed, which caused Denise to seem so judgmental. It honestly didn't feel like her. She's been through so much in these four seasons and I just didn't buy the story of her doing to Tonya what she suffered herself. I expect more from her.

At the end of last season, there was a possibility that Pamela would get an Army Wives spinoff, so now that the door closed on that opportunity, she's instead deciding between taking the job we know she won't take, and going back to Chase. That is, until one of my favorite guys, Boone (played by the ever lovable Lee Tergesen) tosses himself into the melee by kissing her and expressing his feelings for her.

I have enjoyed Tergesen in every role since HBO's OZ and I hope there is a possibility of him staying on the show. He thinks so much more of Pamela than Chase ever did, and while the easy road would be to have her and Chase reunite, it would be much more satisfying to have Pamela enter a supportive relationship.

Finally, I am shocked at how well things went with Claudia Joy taking Emmalin to college. The last time she was getting ready to take a daughter to school, that child was killed. Looking at the photos of her family as it once was, when they were all together, was a nice touch. She didn't even break down and cry. Maybe she's in shock, or she has come a very long way in dealing with her grief. I figure she's going to be hot in her pursuit of her law degree as she faces "empty nest syndrome."

I was a little underwhelmed with the premiere, but I will give it props for setting up what I expect will be the tone of the season. There is some concern, based upon this effort, that they may have run out of stories for our friends. But I will keep hoping for episodes that feature these women spending more together than apart, as they get the support from one another that solidify the feeling of friendship that makes Army Wives so special.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (50 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Please tell me that if this Pamela spinoff is not going to happen.. That they will find a way to bring her back. I am an Army wife and I love this show!!!


Being a mother of an US Army Officer, I am very proud of all the men and women that are serving our country. Although some don't agree that the show tells How our servive men and women and their families live at their appointed stations, I think that the show does give the public some kind of ideal of what the spouces and children go through on a daily schdule. This indeed is not the exact siturations, but ley me tell you, the wives and husbands of our Miltary Service Men and Women are Stong individ
ules. I love the show, and all the actors.


It's not just the TJ storyline -- it's the actor. It is night and day physically -- and (sorry) his acting is horrible! It's too much of a difference personality-wise also. Next week's previews show bad news arrives -- I say it's Chase and then Pamela won't have to decide! I (personally) think it's crazy that she gave up the chance of a lifetime to believe his promises again (been there, done that). He never comes through and I wish she had gone to be a detective. Last year there were rumors that she would have her own show with Gabrielle Union.


Call me crazy, but I don't hate the whole TJ acting out storyline. That's probably because I am a real life Army wife and my son has been acting out since his dad has been gone, though not in the capacity that TJ's character is. I feel like this is one of the most realistic storylines in the show, a lot of the other storylines are a little far fetched compared to real Army life.


Pamela Moran looks pregnant!


I agree!! The new TJ was a horrible idea. Also, the characters have changed too much for the show to be realistic. The show is going down hill fast. Did they get new writers?


I too was so disappointed with the premiere. Joan flip/flopping thats nothing new, she always going choose career over Roland. I do like the twist with Roxie though. She's a tough Bama girl and like how they're making us wonder what's going to happen there with her reliving single parent with Trevor gone. Denise- well Denise gets on my nerves. I still havent gotten over her cheating on Frank and now they have her being the judgemental mother-in-law, doesnt fit to me. Claudia Joy, well we all know she's the strongest of them all. But I tell you, this whole thing with Pamela has got me all beside myself. Does she really qualify as an 'army wife' if they have her no longer with Chase. The whole possibility of their reuniting is the only thing that made sense of that story line at all to me. Now they've thrown in Boone. I mean I already got aggravated when Pamela told Chase he had to choose when it was her a season earlier telling her listeners on the radio show that this is the army life for a wife and they had get used to the sacrifices they make. But they keep leading up to losing someone and that's got my nerves all torn up because if that's Chase, then that frees Pamela and then really she doesnt qualify for 'army wife' anymore right?


I thought the whole thing felt a bit forced and too predictable. To have Joan flip flop in one episode about retiring v staying felt wrong. Another star for the Holdens with a potential move has been done before. When Jeremy's girlfriend said Denise's baby might be sick I was thinking -watch,she really will be sick. I don't understand why they changed the actor for TJ. Does anyone know why?


Pamela is definitely not leaving. I was on a conference call with Bridgid B. yesterday. She said for once Pamela will be happy, as she has choices between jobs and men and will take time to explore her options. So, at least for her, things will look up!


I wasn't happy with the actor change for TJ but all else was good. I haven't missed an episode yet and it only left me wanting more.

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Army Wives Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Michael: Should we be insulted that she's so happy to leave home?
Claudia Joy: Michael, it's the natural order of things for kids to want to be as far away from their parents as possible.

Denise: Are you ready?
Claudia Joy: No. You?
Denise: Oh God, no.
Claudia Joy: It's gonna be a hell of a year.

Army Wives Season 5 Episode 1 Music

  Song Artist
Bright morning stars Bright Morning Stars Abigail Washburn iTunes
Song Seize The Day Shelly Fraley iTunes