After a rocky start last week, Army Wives was back on track with an excellent episode. I was genuinely concerned with the odd character reactions to situations on the premiere, and I'm very happy my fears were unrealized.
That doesn't mean everything is coming up roses. Trevor somehow found out about Whit visiting and TJ shoplifting and blamed any and everything on Roxy. Apparently, not a week will go by without me being unhappy with one of our leads.
If there is one thing Trevor cannot do, it's treat Roxy as if she is a bad wife and mother. Roxy works so hard to keep their family afloat, always so strong, but remains compassionate to the needs of her extraordinary family.
It was certainly awkward for one of Joan's first duties as Garrison Commander to reprimand TJ for the shoplifting. I do think she was being unnecessarily harsh in light of her personal relationship with Roxy. She doesn't want to look easy or to play favorites. But as strapped for cash as the LeBlancs always are, a $100 fine for each item stolen, especially when they were returned, seemed a bit steep. If she says it's base policy, though, who am I to question?
I don't know what possessed Roxy to go to Roland to complain about the hearing with Joan and TJ, but it was very awkward and I realized Roxy's strength may be a hindrance to her in the long run. Why did she turn down his offer to talk to TJ? The kid obviously needs help he isn't getting from his parents.
The discussion between Joan and Roland about it afterward was even more distressing. I'm still not sure Joan and Roland's marriage is going to to survive the stress of this new position. Roland is not himself. He seems unhappy, especially when he realizes that supporting a commanding officer requires him to be a "Command Presence." The many functions they have to attend, including interactions with dignitaries like the Governor, will make working on their family situation even more difficult.
As beloved as Claudia Joy is, it was heartbreaking to see her walk out of her law school graduation ceremony completely alone. Professor Chandler, who has been kind of sleazy in the past (meaning, I haven't always believed his motives to be free of feelings for Claudia Joy), was right there, taking her to lunch to celebrate. He also offered her a job. How very convenient. The self-satisfied nod of his head when she accepted didn't give me the warm fuzzies about their future relationship.
Michael forgetting about the graduation? Hello... it's the military! Everything is so regimented that there is absolutely no way he could have forgotten. These deployed men are going to be the bane of my viewing this season! Her extraordinary accomplishment went unnoticed, and it worries me that his distance will only bring her closer to Chandler as they work together.
Something is going to happen. I believe it will either involve Chase or Jeremy. With as much as Denise and Frank have been through over the years with each other and with Jeremy, I really hope it's not him, but I had a feeling of foreboding as Tonya went to sleep with Jeremy's picture on her lap. Other than that, I was just happy that Denise apologized to Tonya and asked her to come visit Molly. Finally, Denise is acting like the woman I know her to be, accepting and loving of Tonya. Even though she knows little to nothing about her, she does know her son, and trusting his judgment is our Denise.
Then there's Chase. Now that we've learned to live without him and Pamela together, she has chosen him over Boone, and called to tell him as he is riding out to what might be his last Delta mission. A lot happened in a very short time, and I have a bad feeling that either he or Jeremy will end up dead.
If it's Jeremy, it means Denise will forge a closer bond with Tonya (who will probably also be pregnant). If it's Chase, it means that the entire life Pamela gave up and chose again will again be thrown into turmoil. Both of these scenarios would lead to incredible story opportunities, as much pain as they might bring. The reality is that army life is dangerous, and to expect all of our characters to come out unscathed every year is a bit too optimistic. Both Jeremy and Chase are expendable at this point in the series.
Are you happy that this episode picked up the pace and brought us back in touch with our beloved characters? Do you have the same feeling of impending doom that I have? I know any tragedy will only bring our friends closer, but it's still difficult to image. After all, they're our family.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.