The title may have been "Losing Battles," but our characters were really winning wars tonight, as each made great progress toward some pretty impressive goals.
There was a lot of emotion taking place with Denise when she remembered Claudia Joy, Maggie and Eddie as they realized they may lose Caroline and Joan in her continued battle to be a single mom. All around, a top notch episode that harkened back to Army Wives Season 5 and earlier.
I thought it was kind of funny that Maggie saw herself as the tourist of Army wives, just moments before she learned Eddie was to deploy the next day. How real did she need it to get outside the housing issues, the fighting kids and the constant struggles on base before she realized she wasn't just passing through? It never hit me that her casual attitude about everything could be what's been driving Caroline away from her as a mother.
Caroline needs someone who is really in it with her. Moving to a new base, far away from her birth mother, having a new brother - these are big changes.
For as much as I've enjoyed Maggie as a character so far, I've finally realized her fault. She's not all in. Now that Eddie is deploying we're going to find out what she's really made of. If it's anything like the smart-ass side of her, she'll be an amazing Army wife and mother once she accepts that's who she is now.
When Eddie had to tell Caroline about her mother, and Maggie begged her to stay, you would have thought Caroline might have a change of heart. Especially after her birth mom was arrested for DUI on the way to pick up her daughter to live with her. Maggie finally found her feet in the relationship, but it's going to take a while for Caroline to get on board. When it comes down to it, she's just a little girl who wants her mommy.
Have you noticed that Holly is a little less grating after just spending a few days living with Gloria? Maybe being shown just a glimpse of the seedier (or, exciting) side of life was enough to change her. Even her voice isn't as high and nails-on-a-chalkboard seeming when she's discussing Gloria's life instead of her own. There's hope for her yet!
I hated hearing Gloria saying she thought she was just a piece of ass before Pat went off to war. That was really unfair because he gave her absolutely no signals to that effect. Granted, considering where their first date went, it could seem that way, but I recall her grabbing him for that long and luscious kiss that got things started, not waiting around for him to make the move. The speech he gave her in her kitchen was swoon-worthy. You knew it was written for television because nowhere in real life are you ever going to hear those words. You just aren't.
Gloria really kicked around the idea of letting him go off to war without another peep, but she showed up to say goodbye. Just as they were kissing, ole Jackie walked up and realized the girl Pat had been talking about at dinner was Gloria. Not one of the three really knew what to say and all scattered into the wind. It was an amusing scene, and even though I know it's going to be tough for Jackie to accept Pat with Gloria, I think having someone to worry about him with back at base will give her some relief.
Michael deciding to take donate Claudia Joy's clothes to the FRG clothing drive was his way of making a negative, feeling sad every time he saw her clothes, into a positive, donating her clothes because he knew she would want her clothes to keep other Army wives happy. As Denise struggled with the loss of her friend, it was Michael who helped her find a way to take her sad thoughts of her best friend and make something beneficial out of them.
Together they decided Denise would head up a committee to honor Claudia Joy with a garden on base. She didn't have a grave and it would be someplace for people to visit and think about her, especially those who loved her the most. What I loved most about the storyline was how it trickled around base that Denise was having issues and got back to Frank who contacted Denise and then Michael so they could do something to help. Just like I said last week, being far away doesn't mean love stops, it means you have to find different ways to express it.
Frank and Denise are now the epitome of that type of enduring love on Army Wives and the many ways Frank's expressing it this season are really impressive. I'm going to tell the writers this - lay off of Frank and Denise. No more tragedy for them. We need a constant. They have had heartbreak and strife and marital troubles that came so close to breaking them up. They survived and their love is stronger than ever. It's beautiful. Do. Not. Mess. With. It.
Joan was still struggling to be a single mother this week and had another roadblock thrown in her way. David's HIV medications stopped working and he had to switch. She couldn't even stay home with him as he adjusted. She called on Latasha for some help and advice about how she deals with her kids as a single mom, and especially with a son with cystic fibrosis. Joan learned she needed to look at David's calendar as well as her own before making appointments. I thought that was a pretty decent compromise.
Things are moving along quite well right now for this viewer. I'm enjoying the characters and they're natural to the feel of the show. They're not forced in any way. What did you think about tonight's episode?
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.