Episode: Army Wives 4.05 – “Guns and Roses”
Original Air Date: May 9, 2010
Screencaps from thisyearsgirl13.
It’s Mother’s Day at Fort Marshall, and this week did not disappoint with a wonderful episode, paramount in Army Wives fashion with smiles and tears the whole hour long. I’m calling it the best episode of the season so far! Spoilers from this point on!
Seriously, what a tear-jerker! I lost track of all the scenes that made me well up, and at about the half-way point I felt like I was just dabbing nonstop. Am I the only one? Maybe I’m just hormonal or sensitive or something, but this week really got me. Everyone on post is gearing up for Mother’s Day, and each couple in the main cast really came through with the sweetness this week, even things didn’t pan out as they each intended.
Trevor and the boys had me genuinely cracking up (for once) as they were plotting their big surprise for Roxy. A simple, and almost tacky necklace is going to be the crowning glory of their mom’s day present for Mrs. LeBlanc. Trevor, in over-achieving recruiter mode, tries to balance going to a potential recruits ball game out of town in between a breakfast-in-bed surprise for Roxy and dinner plans with his family and the Morans. The Mustang breaks down, and things don’t go as planned, but it’s Army Wives, and everything works out okay. The LeBlanc gang is always a little cheesy for me, and sometimes their storylines are just plain stupid. But I liked this week’s dialogue, and they really kept me smiling.
The main wrench in the wheel this week was an unexpected visit at the Holden household. Michael’s Aunt Edie unexpectedly pops into town and throws off all the plans the family had in store for Claudia Joy. After the shocking death of oldest daughter Amanda, I sometimes forget how hard it must be for Claudia Joy. This week really brought a real perspective to her grieving, and I found it to be very heartfelt and warm. Aunt Edie is also in grieving, having lost a son in Vietnam (MIA, assumed dead) and recently a husband. I love seeing the maturation of Emmalin, and how sweet she was to Aunt Edie in the end. Hokey as it may be sometimes, Claudia Joy’s do-goodiness is ever-present, and she pulls a pay it forward by arranging for Aunt Edie to have a memorial for her son. The tie-in with having a place to visit and remember, a grave, was very powerful for me. I love that Claudia Joy was able to give that gift to her husband’s Aunt, and in a way, to herself. A few of the scenes with Aunt Edie made me cry, but I especially get sappy at any footage of a military funeral or memorial. The whole yellow roses thing was super sweet too.
I love how far Frank and Denise have come. While their storyline was minor this week, I thought it was awesome that Frank and Jeremy gave Denise a motorcycle as a gift! I’m glad she didn’t give that up, despite the role it played in some of her past marital troubles. Jeremy seems to be doing well too, so maybe we are out of the woods with his recovery?
Pamela was also low-key this week, and I’m grateful. I know I go on and on about how a possible divorce between her and Chase makes me sad, so any staving off of that is a good thing for me. And with the whole coupon book present, was that a glimmer of hope? Was that Chase hinting at some romance? I really hope so!
And of course I want to talk about my favorite right now, Joan. Oh Joan, your little daydream homecoming scene totally fooled me! She has a vivid daydream of showing up at home and surprising Roland and Sara, and until the second she snapped out of it, I thought it was real! I was totally crying at the sweetness of a homecoming, and then as we realize she’s actually still deployed, I cried more because I was sad for her. She’s been through so much, and I just want to see her come home safe and reunite with her family. I think it’s cute when Joan shows her soft side, and seeing her so anxious for a Mother’s Day package to arrive made me smile. When she finally got it in the end, I felt so happy for her character. I kinda weird myself out sometimes with how much I feel for these characters, I get so caught up!
A big, powerful scene for me was the FRG Mother’s Day celebration. I love when Claudia Joy speaks so eloquently about the difficulties of military life, and the separation that duty brings. When she was talking about the holidays, birthdays, and special events missed, she got me. (I told you I cried pretty much during the whole episode.) Then she asks four special families to stand, and there’s a surprise homecoming that’s been arranged for four soldiers whose R&R leave lined up with Mother’s Day. Homecomings always make me sappy, but this scene was so great. On the one hand, you have this happy reunion, and you’re seeing loved ones reunited, arms flung around shoulders in desert cami. Then you see Roland standing, and smiling. He’s able to be so happy for others. I just found that look of real happiness on his face to be so moving. He misses Joan so terribly, but he’s such a great guy he is still able to put aside his own sadness and really share in the joy of others.
So I’m crying at this super happy moment, and then we see Aunt Edie. She’s having such a hard time staying in the room during the homecoming, that she breaks for the ladies’ room just to escape. Aunt Edie has never gotten the homecoming with her son, and that realization just broke my heart. Furthermore, her husband just died. There’s no man going to walk into the room and surprise her with a greeting. She won’t be getting to run up to her soldier and feel his uniform on her face as she hugs him so tight. Both of hers are gone. This sadness in the midst of such happiness was pretty big for me, and I think it was a beautifully constructed and strong scene. Army Wives sometimes hits the nail so on the head when it comes to portraying the harsh dichotomy of love and war, of feeling such extremes of happiness and sadness. Feeling such strong emotions of love and loss goes further than just military families too, it’s the core struggle of human existence and something I’m sure all viewers can relate to on some level.
Amazing episode this week! I really loved every storyline and every scene. Of course moments are cheesy and sometimes the dialogue is too. But that’s why we love it. In the grand scheme of things it’s so feel-good and its something that we relate to and experience ourselves right along with the characters. “Guns and Roses” happily gets a perfect five out of five stars from me. It feels good when Army Wives shows us what we know it’s capable of doing with an episode that hits strong on so many levels.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars