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October 10, 2015

'Army Wives' Season 5, Episode 7 Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 18th 2011 4:00AM
army_wives_pamela_chase_wedding_lifetime_2011['Army Wives' - 'Strategic Alliances']

Watching this episode of 'Army Wives' reminded me of 'Fiddler on the Roof.' Don't laugh; I'm serious. It was that blend of the bitter with the sweet. The joy mixed with sorrow. For fans, most of the show was joyful, although hard reality hovered over the proceedings from start to finish.

After the sadness of Jeremy's death, happiness was expected in the form of Pamela and Chase's wedding. The tribe spoke and they wanted Pamela to have a real wedding, not a quickie "I do" at the courthouse that was what she was contemplating.

Roxy, especially, was pushing for a lovely wedding. Maybe it was because she and Trevor had never had one ... but even more, I think Roxy was speaking for the others when she said they deserved a wedding. It was true. The tribe needed a festive event.

In typical TV fashion, all of Katie's big dreams for a picture-perfect wedding came to be in less than a week. Sure, there were some obstacles, but it all fell into place, right down to the twinkling candle lights after a storm knocked out the overheads.

Denise alluded to 'Project Runway' and re-worked one of Claudia Joy's dresses when Pamela's wedding gown went to the wrong Charleston. The Hump Bar was redressed into a wedding venue, and the cook doubled as a minister. Yeah, it was just that simple.

Actually, one of the best parts of the Chase/Pamela union was before the wedding when Chase said to her, "All that matters to me is I get to wake up next to you for the rest of my life." Hopefully, Chase meant that as well as when he said he was the luckiest man in the world. If Delta comes calling again, Chase better not be tempted to return to the special ops missions and abandon the family he's worked so hard to rebuild.

The Burtons babysat for Molly, and it seemed like Roland's way to reignite Joan's interest in having another baby. This was an "up" week for the Burtons, when everything was peachy keen. Joan's job wasn't overwhelming, and caring for another person's baby was a piece of cake. Molly never cried; it was a glorious 24-hour visit.

How different it might have been if the writers chose to show a day when things weren't so perfect. Ultimately, though, there was a damn good reason for all that happy-happy joy-joy with the Burtons. They reconsidered waiting to have another baby and decided to go for it. Good for them!

Trevor and Roxy are the perfect example of how not to make an Army marriage work. I was really hoping that Trevor's reaction would not be so predictable. The moment Roxy happily told him about breaking ground on the truck stop, Trevor went negative and hung up on her.

Trevor really should know better than that, just like Roxy should have known better than to plan a future without his support. The LeBlancs are falling apart, and it's only going to get worse when Trevor hears about Whit living in Roxy's parking lot.

Grant and Claudia Joy picked up a really interesting case involving immigration. A friendly waitress at the diner was about to be deported to El Salvador, despite having an Army husband in Afghanistan and a baby on the way.

Claudia promised that the U.S. Army would never let the soldier lose his wife in an immigration snafu, but politics played a role in the form of a judge who was up for re-election and didn't want to appear soft on illegal aliens. It looks really bad for Elena.

Elena's situation remained unresolved for now, as a more pressing problem befell Claudia Joy. The moment she said she hadn't been feeling well and had pain on her side, I suspected a cancer scare. Sure enough, she has a mass.

Director Melanie Mayron fumbled the reveal, however, by having Claudia standing on a ladder in the law library when she told Grant. It was awkwardly staged and felt off to me. I also wondered if Claudia Joy would really pick Grant to be the first person with whom she'd confide. Wouldn't she call Michael or speak to Denise?

As I mentioned, Mayron (of 'thirtysomething' fame) directed the episode, and there were some really nice funny touches that reminded me of that wonderful series. She captured a similar tone. The lights going out just as Pamela was walking down the aisle, and Roxy's reaction. The minister saying, "By the power vested in me by UniversalMarriage.com, I now pronounce you husband and wife." Even Denise's 24-hour virus was comically done. Except for the misstep in Claudia Joy's last scene, Mayron did a great job.

Watch 'Army Wives' every Sunday at 9PM ET on Lifetime.

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