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After last week’s tear-inducing season premiere of Army Wives, I was really looking forward to seeing this week’s installment in this highly addictive series. In tonight’s episode, titled “Strangers in a Strange Land,” Roxy looks in on the still hospitalized Betty, Claudia Joy deals with her grief over losing Amanda, Pamela adjusts to Chase returning home and Joan makes a decision about her pregnancy.
Claudia Joy’s trying to keep it together and be strong, which basically means holding her breath and going about her daily business in an attempt to restore some sense of normalcy. This results in her having a breakdown at the PX. Following this, she and Michael have an argument over their grief, with Michael having to remind Claudia Joy that he was with Amanda when she died and he couldn’t do anything about it. Once he started to tear up, I did too so I was kind of relieved when Emmalin came in and broke the fight up. She decides to give her parents some space and goes to stay with Denise for a few days.
Claudia Joy has a talk with Pamela and we learn that Pamela lost her brother when she was a teenager and he was only seven. He was shot and killed during a convenient store robbery. The key message in their conversation is what everyone who has ever lost someone close to them knows. You don’t ever get over the loss, you just learn to live with it. Claudia Joy won’t ever fully get over Amanda’s death but life goes on and she’s got people who love her. I’m glad the episode ended with her looking around at the people who care about her because I’m guessing this means we don’t have to worry about her spiraling out of control with grief throughout the rest of the season. I'm sure this isn't the end of her grief but she’s got a strong support system and it’s good to see that she realizes she doesn’t have to go through this alone.
Joan’s still on the fence about this whole pregnancy thing. On one hand, she’s softening to the idea, especially after hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. On the other hand, she’s still worried about how the baby will impact her career. She feels even more pressure when she learns that Roland told his friends about the baby. Fearing that Holden might find out that she’s pregnant, she confesses to him. He congratulates her and tells her that even with what happened to Amanda, if he had to do it all over again knowing the outcome, he would. He also assures her that her job will be waiting for her when she gets back from maternity leave. But Joan’s still undecided and she asks Roland if her choice would affect whether he stays or leaves her. He gives her the perfect answer, telling her that he loves her and what they have together and regardless of her decision, he’s not going anywhere.
Joan goes to the doctor’s to get the abortion but she inevitably changes her mind. She still has doubts about her own parenting abilities but she tells Roland she knows he’s going to be a great father.
Roxy’s still waiting to hear from Trevor but most of the initial worry seems to have passed and she’s keeping busy by visiting Betty, who is still recovering from the explosion at the bar. When Roxy learns that Betty is going to be moved out of the Army hospital and over to the county hospital with the rest of the civilians, she decides to do something about it. Now I’m not all that familiar with military procedure and all that and I can understand why an Army hospital wouldn’t need to provide (free) care for a civilian - however - Betty got hurt because an Army guy showed up at her bar with explosives (that he stole from the base). So why shouldn’t the Army give Betty, and everyone else who was injured in the explosion full medical care for their wounds? That was the first thought that crossed my mind when it came out that Betty was being moved to County.
It took Roxy a little bit longer to come to that conclusion but she eventually did and got Betty an extra week at the Army hospital. She later told Betty that once she was released from the hospital, she could come live with her until she gets back on her feet.
Meanwhile, Trevor couldn’t send a letter to Roxy all week because of security issues but throughout the episode we see him writing the letter, piece by piece. At the end of the episode, Roxy receives it (and some Iraqi sand for the boys) and everyone’s happy.
Chase returns home and Pamela’s less than excited to see him. She’s upset that he’s always coming and going and it causes her to push him away. The two finally talk it out, with Pamela expressing her frustrations over having to take care of the kids by herself and barely ever seeing him or knowing when he’ll be back and Chase talking about how the explosion at the bar affected him. He couldn’t deal with not knowing whether or not she was ok. Pamela gets over her annoyance and the two get cuddly.
That about covers it for this week. Here’s a few final thoughts on the episode: I’m glad to see that Joan’s decided to keep the baby, though I doubt this is the end of her reluctance. Emmalin’s grief was nearly as heartbreaking as her mom’s and it was sad to hear her say that she thought her mom loved Amanda more. I’m interested to see how Amanda’s death continues to affect Emmalin's relationship with her mom. I’m also curious to see how Betty adjusts to living with Roxy and the boys. She already expressed her dislike of kids in general. I give it an episode or two at most before things fall apart with that living arrangement.
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