ARMY WIVES: 5.04 “On Behalf of a Grateful Nation”
If you haven’t yet seen last night’s Army Wives, you might want to hold off reading this.
The writers behind Army Wives owe me a roll of toilet paper. After I cried my way through a box of tissues, I then moved on to the toilet paper. Our home is now in dire straights.
Last night’s episode was so emotional that it’s a little hard for me to say that I called it. But I did. Note: I called it.
Not to say that the loss of Jeremy Sherwood was any easier to handle from someone who thought it might happen. That was one rough ride we viewers were on last night. And I must commend the show for how they made the big reveal. Not only did we see them in action, but there was a lot of suspense in this episode, really leading up to the big moment. In fact, for a while there, it was just a big guessing game.
TJ’s presence at the funeral did make you wonder whether Trevor made it through. Right after you saw the soldier thrown, the obvious focus on Roxy’s face during the folding of the flag was a great way of making us wonder if she would, in fact, be the recipient. Then, as it slowly moved over, we saw the crying Emmalin, the stop in front of what we thought would be Claudia Joy. After all, her husband was also out there on a mission.
Kudos to the cameramen and director who played with optical illusions. When the soldier appeared the be standing in from to Claudia Joy, he was in fact, in front of poor Denise. And a slight move to the left showed that Frank was with her. Jeremy was gone.
Jeremy had a pretty rough time during his presence on Army Wives. And don’t think the references to Amanda weren’t supposed to remind us that it was his breakup with Amanda that made him sign up to serve in the first place. He wasn’t supposed to be a soldier. Denise didn’t want that for him.
But he did, and he served, only to have his best friend killed, followed by Jeremy’s own suffering from PSD. Then came the suicide attempt, but finally, finally he became the well-rounded kid we knew this season. Happy. About to be married. It’s the perfect time for the writers to play with our heads — and our hearts.
And while Denise and Frank’s reactions were difficult to watch, I must take off my hat to the young Tonya, who lost her fiance. We barely knew Tonya, but she was captivating in this episode. This is based less on her reaction, which we’d predict would be rather upset, but how she handled the situation. To see her chase after the soldiers, asking what happened, only to have her ignore her since she wasn’t “family” was tough to watch. Her reaction to the army, now that her fiance was killed was great. It was natural, and it’s how anyone in this position would think. That’s something that I’ve always loved about Army Wives: they’re not afraid to show someone’s negative response.
I’m not sure where the show will go from here. Not all that much will change (after all, Jeremy wasn’t in every episode), but the characters sure might. This was a mighty blow for Denise, and while Claudia Joy was a strong column to lean on, methinks this is hitting just a little too close to home, and she might not be that way for all that much longer. As for everyone else, well, there’s not much more to say than kudos to TJ. This was the first episode all season where we actually respected the kid.
If you haven’t yet seen the episode, or you want to watch it again, check it out on mylifetime.com. It’s rare that I’ll ever end a post with a recommendation to watch it online, so you know this one had impact.
*image from Lifetime Television