"Hearth and Home" was another Army Wives episode where we split the time between Fort Marshall and Afghanistan.
While Hector and Tim would have given anything to be at home with their loved ones, Joan was angry to be back with her family. Could she chalk it up to a recurrence of her brain injury or is she just human? Let's find out.
I always assumed that when Joan gave Roland the okay to go to Johns Hopkins, she was thinking long-term, and would one day be ready leave the Army. She hasn't been happy in her position in a while, and being sent home wasn't her dream career move either, but the way she behaved when she learned Roland was still on board with his assignment surprised me. When it comes to commitments, Joan shouldn't have a problem understanding them.
Roland's honest discussion with Denise at the hospital about his refusal to leave David and Sarah Elizabeth with Joan even through she's back from her tour of duty didn't paint their marriage overall in a positive light.
It was obvious he's been carrying a bit of a grudge with her about raising the children on his own and he doesn't trust her with them. With everything they were arguing over as a couple, Joan should have jumped at the opportunity to take days off when Michael offered them to her. That she didn't spoke volumes of where her family sits on the scale of importance in her world.
Denise's advice to Joan to talk to him as a wife instead of as a soldier finally broke through her crusty demeanor. She asked Roland to please leave the kids with her while he heads of to Johns Hopkins. It turned out she had become afraid to share how she felt and good at hiding it, but being at home without them all would crush her. We'll see how that plays out soon.
The Jackie of today is such a different woman than the one we met in Army Wives Season 6 that it amazes me. The way she handled the situation when Michael couldn't make the community leaders event was so kindhearted and stress free. Try to remember back to the brazen woman who first set foot on Fort Marshall and how angry she would have been to be stood up, even if General Holden just lost his wife. This Jackie is caring and beautiful. Next week we'll meet her son. I wonder how she'll hold up under that stressful reunion as he joins the Army rather than playing at it in West Point.
I mention how much she has changed to give you all your weekly booster shot of enthusiasm for the new cast. Admittedly, I need it too. Holly's artificial sweetener can peel the paint off the walls. She's like a combination of the worst fairy tale character and .... hell. My apologies to all of the Jesse McCartney fans, but Tim Truman as Holly's husband is no better. We can only hope that putting their characters with Gloria and Hector will toughen them up just a bit. Being sweet is one thing, syrupy is another.
At the very least, forcing them all together got Gloria back on base, as she'll be moving in with Holly. Unfortunately, that also guarantees Holly more airtime.
Latasha was dropping hints about Quincy being a chef before joining the Army, but I didn't think much of it. I guess people hear the calling to service at many different times in their lives. I didn't expect to hear they decided to join the armed forces as a family due to their medical care. One of their children, Gabe, has Cystic Fibrosis. That put a new light on the family and her hard-ass stance toward the world. When you're looking after your children, especially one who needs special protection, you don't often have time to use the soft touch.
Despite the fear that they were going to force Latasha and Maggie on us as the new Pamela and Roxy, I feel nothing forced about their friendship. They both have assets they provide to the relationship that make it very natural friendship. They are, by far, the best addition to the series this year.
For the first time this season in a while, I wasn't watching the clock wondering what time it was. The show ended before I wanted it to, and that's a fantastic sign. Things are on the uptick. A couple things that hit me tonight were what ever happened to Nicole Galassini and Charlie? We even met Nicole's mother but they've been wiped off the map without a word. We know Tanya had her happy ending, so she's accounted for. Who else was on last season and hit the road without even a backward glance?
Comment away - and bring some positive this week. Let's get on board, soldiers!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer 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.