Claudia Joy’s annual Fourth of July picnic was the center of “Independence Day,” but this episode of Army Wives was more about rite of passages than independence.
As newlyweds Roxy (Sally Pressman) and Trevor (Drew Fuller) count down their final days until their first separation, they both learn a few lessons of from veteran couple Chase (Jeremy Davidson) and Pamela (Brigid Brannagh) who are dealing with a potential separation themselves.
Roxy learns about the Army wives’ code when she has dirt on Marilyn (Kate Kneeland), one of the busybodies always pestering her and Pamela. And I think she’s glad she didn’t blab when Marilyn confesses to her about the nature of the affair and when Roxy meets Marilyn’s husband.
Meanwhile, Trevor seeks advice from Chase about surviving his first deployment. Chase’s response — “don’t hurt your girl.” Man, Chase is really starting to grow on me. I thought he was a heel at first. But I think he’s learned from his mistakes and is starting to really appreciate his wife. It nearly broke my heart to see him leave the picnic for Delta Force duty, blowing Pamela a kiss on his way out.
And although we are guessing that Chase is headed to Iraq, we know it’s not to find Frank (Terry Serpico). Denise (Catherine Bell) and Jeremy (Richard Bryant) received the news that Frank is safe and on his way home.
But the experience of waiting and wondering seems to have been a turning point in Denise and Jeremy’s relationship. First, she shared precious memories with him of how she first met Frank. Then Jeremy finally apologizes to his mother for hitting her and tells her that he admires her. Things seemed to finally be back on track for Denise and Jeremy — at least until Frank returns and finds out his son has been beating Denise in fits of anger.
Another relationship that has reached a turning point is that of Joan (Wendy Davis) and Roland (Sterling K. Brown). The hostage situation — or a career in jeopardy — seems to have been the trigger for Joan to realize she has a problem. Not only does she recognize her drinking problem, but she enrolls herself in a 30-day treatment program for PTSD. She and Roland never seemed happier together than during the picnic.
In the end, Joan doesn’t lose her career. I’m not sure if it was Roland’s visit to Col. Holden (Brian McNamara) to plead his wife’s case or Joan’s recognition of her problem that saved it. I actually think it has more to do with Claudia Joy (Kim Delaney).
I think it was Claudia Joy who had the biggest rite of passage this episode. A career military wife, she has been through a lot, but for the first time the hostage situation made her deal with death up close and personal. She not only witnessed Belgrad’s death, but she met his wife and learned the repercussions of the situation for the family.
As a result she pleads the widow’s case to her husband who initially rejects her request, but in the end changes his mind.
At the end of the episode, Claudia Joy gives this beautiful speech about being an Army wife and what it means, but I think she summed it up best when she tells her daughter “you don’t choose who you fall in love with” when Amanda (Kim Allen) says she’d never marry a soldier.
And finally, the sparks are really starting to fly as Amanda and Jeremy’s relationship heats up. I bet the kiss they shared this episode is just the beginning of more to come and I can guarantee that Col. Holden isn’t going to be happy about it.
Overall, another solid episode. I haven’t been disappointed by one yet. No wonder this series is getting top ratings for Lifetime. I can’t wait for next week.
For more articles on Army Wives, click here.