Army Wives Review: Always Together

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"From the Ashes" will arise an entirely new Army Wives.

I read your comments, and I know how that makes many of you feel. I'll tackle my thoughts about the regeneration of the cast and the series in this review, as well as the episode itself. Rebuilding a foundation can be tricky business, but it appears the pros at Lifetime gave the creators of Army Wives just the right amount of leeway to get it right.

Did you wonder, like I did, where the tears were in the Army Wives Season 7 premiere? Found 'em! They were at the celebration of Claudia Joy's life. As each friend took turns reading the letter she wrote the night before her kidney surgery (just in case) each, in turn, broke down into sobs. Me, right along side them.

Finally, the tribute I was awaiting. It was a worthy send off not only for Claudia Joy, but for disintegration of the friendship of the core characters from the first six seasons of Army Wives.

Befriending a New Wife

Let's make no mistake. Army Wives Season 7 is unlikely to be like any other we have watched. Pamela moved away from Fort Marshall after Season 5 and Roxy and Trevor made their move at the end of Season 6. Although Claudia Joy was missing for much of that season, she's gone for good now.

We lost another friend tonight, as Roland announced to Denise he would be moving, temporarily, to take a job at Johns Hopkins. We all know how temporary works on Army Wives. When he finally spoke about it with Joan, he was talking about their future, not their present. Her hesitation was apparent, but she's been thinking about their life after her enlisted career for some time and encouraged him to pursue the opportunity.

Brian McNamara knocked it out of the park with Michael's grief, especially his sobbing as he tried to deal with the loss of his wife. He mentioned some of the things that I did in my review of the premiere, "Ashes to Ashes," that she never got her chance. She put her life on hold for him, and now it was too late.

I loved that Michael talked about Claudia Joy being his life for 30 years, but needing to move forward. Emmalin almost stayed home from college, but Michael knew it was the wrong thing for both of them. They had some extremely touching and very real scenes to play out their new beginning.

Oddly enough, in the span of about five minutes we met virtually every other new character coming onto the show this season. Ashanti as Latasha, lives in Roxy's old house. Elle McLemore as Holly a wife experiencing her husband's deployment for the first time wants to sell pies to Gloria at the Hump Bar and Torrey DeVitto stepped in as a formerly enlisted new wife and mom of a blended family, Maggie.

That left only two new characters left to arrive. First, Brooke Shields as Col. Kat Young to appear, and I figured it might take a little while as I fully expect her to be a new love interest for Michael. That soon? In my mind, indeed. Finally, Brant Daugherty as Patrick Clarke, son of Jackie and Kevin, and a recent graduate of West Point. They're building up the Clark family and I cannot wait. Considering the love/hate relationship I had with Jackie when she first arrived, I can't believe how excited I am for an expanded storyline for her character.

Together with these newbies and last year's recruits, Gloria (Alyssa Diaz) and Hector (Joseph Julian Soria), it's from this group that our new beginning will be born.

Roxy got into a bar fight with the new faces; sort of a going away present bringing them all together. The friendships on Army Wives always start in dramatic ways. Our original group started with Pamela going into labor, and this group found each other in a bar fight. Either way, you just know they'll have each others backs for a long time to come.

This early in the game, I'm most intrigued by Maggie and her unique circumstances and fierce attitude. I look forward to what kind stories she'll have as a formerly enlisted woman turned wife. She should be a strong presence, but I wouldn't rule out Latasha or what we might get when we meet Kat, either.

Instead of choosing a group of unknown actors and actresses to buttress the fort that is Army Wives, they've chosen from a proven pool of talent. Ashanti brings with her an audience from her singing career and a handful of successful movie roles, Torrey DeVitto has starred in The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars, Brant Daugherty has starred in Pretty Little Liars and Days of Our Lives and the career of Brooke Shields speaks for itself. My point is, they are bringing with them a ready made fan base.

Don't count out the success of this show, don't delete it from your DVR and don't turn the channel. These actors have talent and if the writing staff can give them material much like that we experienced from the start, you will not be disappointed.

Think about the end of the episode. It ended with one of my favorite scenes from Season 6, from the episode "Fatal Reaction." In the scene, Claudia Joy was looking for reassurance from Denise that they had made the right decisions in life, that they hadn't given up too much to be the wives they were. I quoted part of it during the original episode, but never thought then they wouldn't be there for each other for as long as the show aired. Lesson learned.

Denise: When I married Frank, I chose a course for better or worse, and I've been through both. But either way, up or down, it's been my choice. I'm an Army wife, and I'm proud of it. | permalink


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (50 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


In my opinion Brooke Shields was a poor choice for the role she's portraying. She just doesn't fit......


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Having read through all your reviews, I am glad that I made a decision to stop watching the show at the end of Season 5. I felt season 5 could have a perfect conclusion to the story we've all loved all these years, but you know these producers, they never know when to quit!!! I watched the first few episodes of Season 6, until Pamela left and so did I. What a shame that the writers and producers abandoned what made the show originally fantastic, -the enduring friendship between the leading Army wives. Goodbye Army Wives.


You cannot replace seasoned characters with 12 year olds. Last night was the final night for me. This show is so over!


I told my family that I would give tonight, 3.31.13 one final chance. Sorry, producers; it's terrible. You'll never be able to replace the phenomenal actor skills and personalities of Claudia Joy, Roxy, Pamela and Trevor.. Now your booting Roland? Seriously? Why not get rid of Joan? She has hardly played a role.. I could continue to be fan, if you would have least kept Roxy. You could have had huge success of 20 Seasons keeping on the regulars... I see this the final. Producers made a huge mistake...I'm sure high ego's played a role..... How can you ever replace the pack: Claudia joy. Roland, Roxy, Pamela and Denise.... Boot Joan and Jackie! Sorry, I gave it another chance tonight.... No more. Good luck AW. Bring back the originals and your fans will return. No one can replace Pam and Roxy.... Maggie and Latasha can't touch the skills of Pam and Roxy. They MADE your show. Anyone know of another good show on at 9:00PM Sunday's? Oh, what happened to the 2 lesbian gals, again?


*every other


I know that it's the army and you need to be realistic. But really this show has been unrealistic in many ways....i.e. all of season 6, were something huge happened everyother episode. So I don't really think that being unrealistic with the cast is too much to ask. Even so, I stuck with it through Pamela, because honestly you can't keep everyone on but almost the entire cast is not something I want to watch. It sucks because I really loved this show....but I'm done.


This show is about army wives people. People don't remain at the same post forever. For you who are upset that the 'regulars' are leaving think about the 'real' army wives/husbands. Constantly moving, setting up households, losing/making friends, children changing schools. This is the real army. Perhaps that is the message of this program. Give the new people a chance.


On Feb.12 ,2013 my sister had a birthday,on Feb.20,2013 on my mother's birthday she died.Her name was Claudia, herhhusband name was Michael .she was found laying across her bed dead.. she also had a heart condition and had been a diabetic since she was 10.she had 0ne living child. Just like Claudia joy,she had many friends,but four best friends ,like Claudia in the show .all the good things they said about Claudiain the show were the same things they said at my daughter's funeral,she called an Angel by everyone who spoke about her.her husband is at such a lost,they had been together over 20years.Watching. we remember Claudia Joy was like sitting and watching what we were and had been going through. It was so unbelievable the same story and people match our family...Sad,but. So helpful......


I have been so depressed over the characters who will no longer be regulars on this wonderful show. I understand that military families come and go...I have some very good friends who were once in the military and yes, they all moved away eventually. But these characters leaving the show broke my heart. I will continue to watch for awhile. Just don't feel the excitement I once had for the show. It's very sad....

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Army Wives Season 7 Episode 2 Quotes

(as read by Denise) If hands can reach out from beyond this world, mine will always be in yours.

Claudia Joy

Look, I know Claudia Joy was your best friend and no one can replace her, but I'm here for you. Just remember that.