“Army Wives” mini-cap: Breaking through the comfort zone

Army Wives returned this week with a new episode, which happens to be the next-to-last one before a brief hiatus, if the schedule I read at the beginning of the season still holds true. In any case, the writers sure tried to pack in a lot, as every main character had some drama this episode.

As I’ve said before, one of the weaknesses of this season (compared to Season 1) is that the women have less interaction. This episode illustrated my point perfectly. With the exception of one wasted scene, each wife was in her own world. Where’s lesbian processing when you need it?


Scene: Roxy comes home to find Trevor passed out from an overdose with the kids trying desperately to wake him up. Oops, it’s a nightmare. I’ll take Contrived Writing for 100, Alex.

Trevor’s drug dependency is in full bloom, complicated by the fact he gets word that his buddy Dalton — the soldier who was with him in the market the day he got shot — has been killed in action. Understandably, Trevor’s depression deepens. Now, however, he can no longer keep a lid on his anger and flies off the handle at Roxy several times.

I still don’t buy this arc. Trevor has declined this much and Joan still hasn’t noticed he has a problem? Not a chance.

Claudia Joy

Mom Charlotte (Marsha Mason) is still in town, fixing pancakes that no one eats, when Dad Randall (Len Cariou) shows up to “get my life back.” Raise your hand if you think he originally said, “Get my wife back.” Me, too. The women in the family are not exactly of one mind about his appearance.

C.J. temporarily forgets last episode’s moment of enlightenment about her father’s gambling problem and readily accepts his claim that he’s sorted out his finances. To me, this is another case of a character behaving contrary to what we know of her. C.J. has always been the one who speaks the truth and doesn’t take B.S. from her friends. She’s sure willing to take it from Dad, though. Soon enough, we learn that Randall has sorted out nothing when he asks Emmalin for a loan from her college fund. Good move, Grandpa.


The decline and fall of Frank’s empire continues this week. Denise makes an appointment with a base chaplain for marriage counseling, much to Frank’s embarrassment since he and the minister attended school together. (The chaplain actually looks much closer to Jeremy’s age than Frank’s.) The session does not go well.

Frank blames the marriage crisis on the fact that Denise is working — a familiar refrain, if you’ve been watching the show. As Denise points out, she’s been married to Frank since she was 19 and needs her own identity. Frank needs things to stay the same. Denise asks for a separation. Frank tells Denise that she has to “tell the boy.” Let’s hear it for the boy.

Unfortunately, the boy Jeremy has news of his own — he’s going to Iraq in three days. I do not see good things in Jeremy’s future. But at least his parents decide to keep the separation between them for now.


An admirer, Tim, calls in to Pamela’s talk show and tells her she’s beautiful. Then he sends her roses. Pretty roses with baby’s breath in a nice vase. I’ve called U-Haul for less than that. Not Pamela — she knows a stalker when she sees one. Or, in this case, when she doesn’t see one. More to come, I’m sure.


Finally, some comic relief and character consistency. Roland comes home to find the entire house baby-proofed — and Roland-proofed, apparently. Joan is preparing for motherhood in true Joan style, by stocking the cupboards and planning a defensive strategy. A baby shower definitely is not part of that plan. She agrees to play along, however, once Roxy assures her that they will play no baby shower games. You go, Joan.

Joan is as confused as I would be by the baby paraphernalia, but she’s a good sport. And the gift of baby doll earrings is the kind of joke close friends play on each other. (Hey Army Wives writers, can we see more like this please?)

Next week is the last show before the hiatus. Does anyone care?