“Army Wives” mini-cap: When bad things happen to dramatic people

This week wasn’t the season finale after all. In fact, depending on the source, the finale could be anytime from next week to mid-October. All I know is that the longer this season continues, the closer it gets to being Desperate Army Wives.

When we last left the wives, Denise wanted a separation, Joan was recovering from a baby shower, Pamela and Roxy were freaking out, and Claudia Joy was happy, if not gay. Let’s look at each storyline in terms of its dramatic escalation score.

Denise and the shrinking family

I hate that the hottest woman on the show has the least interesting story. Sure, the decline of a marriage is standard Lifetime Drama stuff, but this has gone on way too long. I mean, we know the marriage isn’t going to end because that would mean Denise would have to leave the base and the show. So I’m afraid what will happen is that Jeremy will get killed or seriously wounded in Iraq, and Frank and Denise will get back together as a result, thus never addressing the reasons why the marriage faltered in the first place. In any case, this week, Jeremy leaves and Denise is terrified.

She tries to talk about her fears with Frank, but he is even less accessible than usual. He has decided that he needs to go ahead and move out for the few weeks remaining before he returns to Iraq, and his main goal is getting on with it. To be honest, I feel the same way.

Dramatic escalation: 4 to 5

Pamela and the stalker

Pamela is still on guard this week, and overreacts when an innocent good Samaritan offers to help her with a flat tire. We soon find out, though, that Tim is actually a stalker, not an overzealous fan. He leaves creepy pictures of Pamela on her front porch; obviously, he has been watching her every move.

Being the ex-cop that she is, Pamela attempts to set Tim up by offering to meet him at the park while disguised MPs look on. He doesn’t approach Pamela, but does give her daughter Katie a rose to show he’s been there. OK, now I’m a little freaked out, too. Pamela is through playing games; she heads to the shooting range for target practice. Hopefully, Tim followed her there and will get a clue before he loses his head — literally.

Dramatic escalation: 4 to 7

Roxy and the drug addict

Trevor’s pain-pill addiction (another story that has gone on too long) finally seems to be nearing some kind of resolution, but not before Roxy confided in Roland about Trevor’s problem — and Roland told Joan, resulting in Trevor being reassigned to a desk job. I understand that Roland was worried about Trevor driving Joan around, but he seemed to break Roxy’s confidence too easily. From what we know of Roland, I would think he’d find a way to resolve the situation without betraying Roxy. (Character consistency is not Army Wives’ strong suit.) In any case, Trevor puts two and two together and comes frighteningly close to hitting Roxy before he storms out.

The next day, Trevor calls Roxy to apologize and say he’s coming home. But when we next see him, the car is wrecked and he seems uncertain of what happened. Can we all ask our TV good fairies to make this Trevor’s wake-up call? I want happy, silly, inappropriate Roxy back.

Dramatic escalation: holding steady at 6

Joan and the new kid

Since Joan has been having a problem pregnancy, we weren’t surprised that she went into labor prematurely. The baby girl is a few weeks early, but should be OK. Joan, however, is bleeding uncontrollably. The gang gathers at the hospital to wait. Roxy forgives Roland for telling Joan about Trevor’s addiction.


Joan will be fine because, as in Denise’s case, her death would mean Roland gets kicked off the base. At least we have a nice moment when the characters come together to support their friend.

Dramatic escalation: 3 to 3.5

Claudia Joy and the pig

Wow — this story came from nowhere, didn’t it? Claudia Joy and Michael host a Latin American dignitary, Paulo, who is also a longtime friend. Paulo represents a country that leases land to the U.S. for a military base. But the mystery country is not exactly pro-U.S. at the moment, so Paulo needs incentive to convince his president to extend the lease.

Paulo shows his true colors early, asking Michael to convince the Pentagon to give a valuable supply contract to Mrs. Paulo. As uncomfortable as the request makes Michael, he complies. But Paulo has more than graft in mind. He comes on to C.J. with increasing aggressiveness throughout the episode, culminating in attempted rape. Yep, rape. C.J. grabs a broken champagne bottle and bashes Paulo over the head. And scene.

Hasn’t C.J. been through enough this season? I see no happy ending for this arc: Either Paulo rapes her and claims diplomatic immunity, or C.J. seriously hurts him and causes some kind of international incident. Maybe she’ll wake up to find Amanda in the shower and realize this season has been a dream. With all of the convoluted storylines this year, I don’t think I’d mind.

Dramatic escalation: 0 to 60 in 42 minutes. We have a winner!

I almost forgot to mention the other scene with all of the main characters together having a drink at Betty’s. Denise explains that she and Frank have decided not to tell Jeremy about their separation until he returns from Iraq. Pamela says, “I still can’t decide whether to tell Chase about my taste of a woman.” Finally, she mentions it again. Denise and C.J., in particular, can’t wait to hear details. Listen and learn, ladies.

That aside, I’m ready for this season of Army Wives to be over. These people wear me out. How about you?