Army Wives Review: "On Behalf Of a Grateful Nation"

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If this was not the most frustrating beginning of an episode of Army Wives, I'd love for you to point me to another. To start right at the funeral, all wives in equal position (notably missing was Tonya) meant more drawn out anguish for this viewer.

When they flashed back to Afghanistan, I kept thinking back to the previous episodes when Trevor was less than satisfied with what the Afghan forces were showing in terms of capabilities. They didn't seem to realize it was a life or death situation, which was ironic since it was their own country that had been under siege for so long. Their sheer unwillingness to fight for their own freedom was going to cause the death of one of our own.

Flag-Draped Casket

We were seven minutes in before we finally saw the end of the line seated at the funeral. To Denise's right was Frank, and to his, Tonya. Jeremy was gone.

When Michael told Frank there were casualties, the look on the latter's face was tragic. Michael just walked away, leaving Frank in his grief. They were not only partners in combat but friends. At a time like that, what could have possibly been said to make the news any easier?

Given that the war is still going on, I was surprised our American troops had to lead in battle. I don't know what I expected, but that it didn't go the way of political correctness felt honorable. Trevor is going to take this very hard. He didn't have confidence in what they were doing, and this won't make his job overseeing the Afghan army any easier.

Where was Tonya's family? Granted, they never had the chance to meet Jeremy, but wouldn't they fly to be with their daughter at her fiancee's funeral? Perhaps they were setting the stage for our guess of her pregnancy and moving in with Denise. It didn't make me feel any better for Tonya. She was so alone, with only new friends at her side. What an awful position.

Roland took Jeremy's death particularly hard. He was the one who worked with him through his darkest moments to keep him alive after his suicide attempt. To then lose him in combat must have been especially challenging.

It was agonizing that it took the death of his son for Frank to meet his daughter for the first time. How such a moment could be so distorted with both joy and grief was nearly impossible to imagine.

"On Behalf Of a Grateful Nation" might be the turning point for TJ. He wanted to be there for Roxy in place of Trevor at the funeral. It might be the one thing that could knock him out of his stupor. To lose someone you loved and respected often brings out new qualities as people deal with their grief.

The episode was so tastefully done that there is really little to discuss. There is no doubt this will change the way our families deal with Army life, and we will witness many developments as a result. The episode itself was respectful of our fallen, honoring their memory. What else would we expect from Army Wives?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (172 Votes)

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


I cried and cried at this episode but it was so well done. My heart went out to Denise and Mr. Sherwood, it was just so sad and heart wrenching from beginning to end. I hope Denise does not go into a depression, I want her to be okay for Molly


I love Army Wives but couldn't stop crying yesterday nite.
Please bring Jeremy back, we can't afford to lose him.
Great show.


It was such a great episode but I'm so sad someone had to die. I was really looking forward to the Jeremy and Tonya storyline. As sad as it was, I think it helps us truely feel the impact of all the families who have lost a servicemember. The next few episodes look exciting - liked the preview of Pamela running into Chance's arms...Not sure about what is going to happen with Roxy and the old friend...


I never thought it was Jeremy because Amanda had already died and I didn't think they would kill off another child.


i cried the whole show too!!! saddest episode ever' if not one of the saddest on tv....i felt the pain like it was my own...became more than just a tv show for me...i love army love love love it!


I sobbed the entire show, definitely deserving of an emmy!! Gripping from start to finish!! Totally took me by surprise, never guessed that it was Jeremy who was going to be the one to die.


This episode was by far the best one yet but also the most heart wrenching. This show brings awareness to what is truly going on to many families. The writers and actors really due deserve an emmy.The way they played the roles and how everything was told ,did the moment great justice. I cried the whole time ! Not just because its a show but because this is such a reality in our country ! So many young/older heroes lose their lives fighting for our country


The best show ever but oh so very sad I cried through the whole show


This was a great episode, I cried the whole time. It brought back so many memories of when we found out my cousin had been killed. They portrayed the feelings of the family on point and really got down to how it really just rocks everyones whole world. Loved that they dedicated it to our fallen soldiers. R.I.P. SSG Christopher Michael Hake KIA March 23, 2008.


This episode was so well done - but too sad - It only reminds me, as I am reminded EVERY day - we need more Heroes coming home - we have ALWAYS had too many Heroes giving their lives for this country that I am SO lucky to have been born in - they are giving their lives every day - Every single one that signs on the dotted line is a Heroe - God Bless America and the Heroes that keep us free!

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Army Wives Season 5 Episode 4 Quotes

Roland: Joan! What is it?
Joan: Jeremy Sherwood was killed in action. I'm sorry Roland. I wanted to come as soon as I found out, but I had to wait until Denise was notified.

In keeping with our overall strategy, for the first time Afghan National Army units will take the lead, with American forces in support. This is why we're here gentlemen. This is their country, and I appreciate all you've done to get them ready. Now it's their turn to show us what they can do. Colonel Sherwood and I will be in the field with your, and I am confident of our success.

General Holden