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.
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?
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.