Monday, October 12, 2009

Lifetime’s Army Wives: Now that is how to conclude a season finale

I just finished watching the season finale of Army Wives on the Lifetime Television Network. Clearly there is going to be a fourth season, beginning next summer (presumably) to answer the questions posed by the finale’s hooks. What questions?

Did Lt. Col. Joan Burton survive an ambush on patrol in Iraq shortly after meeting with the local tribal sheik? (In her final scene, she is seen helping another soldier move a wounded member of her unit to safety. Then an insurgent fired a shoulder launched mortar round (I think – I’m no military munitions expert) at a nearby jeep, which explodes).

Did PFC Jeremy Sherwood (troubled son of Major Sherwood and his wife, Denise) commit suicide right when they returned home in the evening after attending Brig. General Holden’s promotion ceremony and following festivities?

Is Pamela’s marriage to Chase permanently over? (It’s clear that she does not understand the nature of Delta Force and its effect on its members. I don’t either, so I am clueless about the accuracy of this sub-lot.)

Will Roxy be able to keep the Hump Bar open now that it is in an off-base area that has been declared off limits to all soldiers for the next year. The reason? The night before a high-level staff meeting, Jeremy (who, at 19 was both drunk and under age) appeared to provoke a fight there, and broke the nose of the son of a local City Council woman. This while a three star general is visiting Fort Marshall.

Near the end of Season Three (this year), Fort Marshall’s commander, Brigadier General (and, at season’s end, Major General) learns that Fort Marshall is on the Pentagon’s short list for the next round of base closings within 18 months. Will Fort Marshall survive?

Season Three has been well populated with surprising plot twists and satisfying developments. Chief among the former was the single vehicle accident involving Denise and Claudia Joy (Claudia Joy was driving). Both were dinged up, but survived. During routine post accident blood work, the medical staff discovers that Claudia Joy is a type 2 diabetic. This is a valuable plot twist because it helps illustrate the all too often overlooked fact that it is possible to be in top physical condition, to be following a program of regular exercise and still be diabetic.

Perhaps the major satisfying development arose out of the almost completed divorce between Denise and Major Sherwood. Right at the last moment, he realizes that he is still deeply in love with her, and that they are about to make a terrible mistake. So he does not sign or file the final divorce papers, thereby saving their marriage. While home from Iraq to deal with this matter (and oversee a war game simulation at the base), General Holden seizes the opportunity and appoints him as the permanent replacement for Lt. Col. Burton, who is shipping out with her battalion to Iraq. Through the rest of Season Three, a softer, more well-rounded side to newly promoted Lt. Col. Sherwood emerges.

I’ll admit it – I have been hooked on Army Wives ever since I caught up to Season One on DVD courtesy of Netflix. Now begins my season of impatience – I can’t wait for next June to arrive, along with the premier of Season Four.

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