After last week's premiere of Army Wives, I was anxious to see the second episode. How would the storylines and characters develop? The second episode did not disappoint. I thought the topics that were addressed were important, and realistic. This week, Army Wives was short on sensationalism, and long on substance.
The relationship between Pamela and Chase is difficult to watch. Unless Chase has an about-face, he's one of the characters that we're going to love to hate. Well, he and Lenore Baker, the snooty, busybody wife of a General. Other than Pamela's drama, and the drama involving Denise and her son Jeremy, I thought that this week's storylines were substantive and extremely relevant to the modern-day reality of many Army wives.
LTC Joan Burton's PTSD is making life at home strange and uncomfortable for she and her husband, Roland. I'm having a difficult time trying to figure out if Joan and Roland's story is one of PTSD, reintegration or both. PTSD is real, and I do understand that those who experience PTSD deal with it in different ways. Whether or not Joan and Roland's story seems realistic, it's still refreshing to see that PTSD is being addressed, but I hope this storyline becomes more clear in future episodes.
This week, Roxy learned that Trevor would be deploying to Iraq. She has a brief amount of time to process the reality, get Trevor ready to deploy and deal with her feelings about the deployment. Roxy tells Pamela, "I thought marrying a soldier would be romantic, but instead it's...worrying about if he's coming home."
Pamela, the veteran Army wife, tells Roxy that she has to be strong and keep it together for Trevor so that he can focus on his mission and be free of distractions. We've discussed this very topic here at SpouseBUZZ, and at our LIVE events. Most of the spouses we've heard from go out of their way to conceal their stress so that their spouse has one less thing to worry about while he/she is deployed.
There was tension between Roxy and Trevor as they began to prepare for Trevor's deployment. At one point, Trevor confronts Roxy and says, "it's like you're trying to pick a fight with me." It's been my experience, and that of others I've talked with, that a certain gulf between husband and wife often forms just before a deployment. Sometimes it's unintentional, other times it's by design. I was happy to see Army Wives deal with that strange period before deployment when you can't decide if you want time to stand still, or speed up.
I think many new Army wives can relate to Roxy as they watch her learn the ropes and adjust to life in an always-unpredictable Army. ArmyWifeToddlerMom and I have had several discussions on how impressed we are with the young, new wives who are thrust into a continual cycle of combat deployments. Both of us have come to the conclusion that the ones we've met and interacted with are beyond impressive, just like Roxy.
In my opinion, the best scene of the entire series (so far) came last night when Claudia Joy asked Roland how Joan was doing. Roland was reluctant to answer, knowing that Joan reports to Claudia Joy's husband. After Claudia Joy assures him that their conversations don't include her husband, Roland asks, "has Michael ever had any problems after a long deployment?" To which Claudia Joy replies, "of course he has, they all do. It's the part no one really talks about. On TV you see flag waiving and big reunions, but it's later, when it's just the two of you and you're looking at someone you love and you realize years have gone by, years you'll never get back, and during that time you've both grown, changed, but not together.
When I first heard Claudia Joy utter those words, they were so dead-on that I felt I could have written that scene. Actually, I did write that scene a while back, just not for television.... Outsiders often believe when the buses are unloaded and the troops are home, all is well. In reality, many military families have to learn how to live together again. As crazy as it may seem to some, that's not always an easy adjustment to make. Remember this soldier's story? Claudia Joy was right, we can't reclaim what's been lost, it's part of the sacrifice that soldiers -- and their families -- make on behalf of their country. Proudly, I should add.
Last week, it seemed that most people focused on the sensationalism/entertainment aspect of Army Wives, and not the substance. Some thought there wasn't any substance to focus on. I thought substance was on full display this week. As for Army Wives, the series - so far, so good.
Now you've read my opinion, let's read yours. Discussion thread is open. What did you think of the second episode of Army Wives?
Army Wives Discussion Thread (premiere episode)