On "Reckoning," Army Wives fans were treated to pretty significant field scenes - and I think they will bring changes to the characters that will take a long time to settle. The ladies will look back on their party at Denise's and wish for the simple times once again.
The soldiers never seem as excited to leave for home as the spouses are to receive them. Except the last soldiers who are left behind. They are the ones who are most looking forward to getting home and are instead sitting back watching the youngsters wish they were staying on the battlefield.
It was pretty obvious as soon as Bravo was ordered home that tragedy was going to strike again. The potential for drama is too good and they've been spending too much time in Afghanistan for them to just go over, become combat buddies and come home. It was about to hit the fan.
Latasha's family dog got hit by a car this week, and when she went to pay the bill, she was shocked. It was essentially the same story in Afghanistan. As the battalion cleared out, they were caught with empty pockets at a time when they needed to pay up. You never know when something's going to happen, but you always have to be prepared. Their contingency plan wasn't good enough.
Unless I've forgotten another episode, this was the most intense fighting we've ever witnessed on Army Wives. In the past the majority of the action focused on the spouses left behind. I think these agonizing scenes were necessary to tell a story we've not seen a lot of focus on to this point - what happens to the soldier when he comes home after such an embittered and violent time in the field.
I'm thinking specifically of Tim Truman and Holly. High school sweethearts, newlyweds. They are so green they smell like grass. Yet Truman just strangled a man to death with his bare hands and watched his new best friend get shot before his eyes. All the advice the ladies gave to Holly about what to expect when he got back never took anything like that into consideration. Their story just got a lot more powerful.
We don't know who was killed or wounded. I'm guessing Latasha's husband was wounded and Hector was killed, paving the way for Gloria and Patrick to move on, but for the new obstacle to be her overwhelming guilt. They were doing a lot of work at redeeming Hector and his poor choices, so killing him off would be good timing for his character, Gloria and Truman. He was a perfect catalyst for many other stories to develop. Just a theory, of course, but it sure looked like that bullet took him in the side of the head.
Another option would be for him to be a non-walking wounded soldier and for Gloria to feel so guilty she went back to him to care for him, which would still put him in the path between she and Patrick, who I think are an end-game couple. Why was he standing up staring at Truman during enemy fire??
Enough about that. We have to wait and see. Let's quickly brush on the other stories of the night.
I'm so lost about the Maggie/Caroline situation. First of all, Maggie should not have been calling Caroline and leaving voice mails. No teen (rarely any human these days) answers their phone, but they will read a text. TEXT MESSAGE HER MAGGIE. Maggie is young enough to know that.
Secondly, Caroline's behavior at the party, timid and afraid of the world, was completely against the character they've written her to be so far. Yes, she's been riding on the coattails of her "friends," but that frightened girl didn't seem like the same Caroline who's been doing everything in her power to be the tough girl where Maggie is concerned. The few times we thought she was giving in turned out to be lies, as that's when we learned she was hanging with the wrong crowd.
Considering everything that happened, Maggie was amazing with Caroline after she was taken for a ride. I'm not sure Caroline deserved the chance she got, but Maggie gave it to her anyway. Time will tell if she learned a lesson.
I'm still extremely happy with the way the Jackie/Patrick/Gloria news was handled by Jackie and Gloria. Even when Gloria snapped a bit at Jackie, Jackie took it well. She was taken aback, but didn't hold it against Gloria. She was so understanding. Their open and honest communication with each other is refreshing.
Poor Holly and all of her shopping will likely be for nothing now, and it will be interesting to see how the actress who plays her, Elle McLemore, handles the weightier issue.
Joan made her decision about War College. What do you think it will be? Part of me thinks she wants to be with her family, but the other part says Wendy Davis isn't leaving the show, so say goodbye to Roland and the kids.
What did you think of the episode and do you think we lost anyone from the series in the fighting? What do you expect will be next for the ladies?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.