Life Sentence Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Wes Side Story

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There continues to be a sense of an impending shelf life to Life Sentence, and not just because the ratings for the series are far from stellar.

Rather, it's a show that exists in a vacuum, one where the most emotional beats are going to come from the aftermath of Stella being declared cured.

Admittedly, we're interested in the after, in the questions of what comes next. 

The curiosity starts to loose it's shine once her life settles and the lives around her continue to further implode. While Aidan is an interesting character (as has been shallowly declared here on numerous occasion) Stella is the lead and the one whose orbit we're caught in. 

Finding Their Romantic Groove - Life Sentence

What's more interesting, the idea that she never was allowed to be sexually curious due to her diagnosis, or those curiosities causing troubles for her and Wes?

In the same vein, while the storybook romance that is Stella and Wes, Wes and Stella, is at points stale because really, who has such luck, it's much more intriguing than the idea of Wes having used her as sorely a rebound. 

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Mind you, neither of which is actually the case in this weeks episode, but the teases of such plots are enough to cause some concern over the direction the showrunners are deciding to turn to. 

"I was supposed to marry her."

It's those pieces that make for both an engaging and frustrating episode as we watch Stella and Wes deal with issues that stem from miscommunication and bad timing.

Pippa, Wes's old flame who he clearly still harbors some sort of feelings for (be it love, embarrassment or resentment is up to the viewer but I vote a combo of all three because isn't that terribly human) showing up on his doorstep is obviously not a great sign. 

Read: Black Lightning Season 1 Episode 11 Review: The Book of Crucifixion 

However, her reasoning for being there to make amends and his reasoning to be shocked are totally valid. Of course after such a public rejection he'd still hold some feelings about it close to his chest. He loves Stella, but he also loved Pippa and he was feels betrayed wholly by the later. 

"If you're still upset it means you still have feelings for her."


Stella's inability to see beyond her own perceived rose tinted world view is growing to be a distracting character flaw. At first her naivete was charming but the way it puts a road block in the plot this week and how her refusal to try and understand what Wes went through and is going through is a deterrent to us wanting to know her better. 

It's an episode that inspires conflicting emotions because on the one hand we're frustrated with Stella's actions but who out of us wouldn't feel a sense of insecurity. 

"My mom told me the first thing you fight about when married is the thing you'll always fight about."


It's the only reason I'll stand by her intrigue in Will this week (and only this week) because she's feeling insecure and here's this person who thinks she's attractive and witty and wants to be around her and of course with her world view she'd be taken off guard. 

That's interesting. Execution on that curiosity would belittle her curiosity and strength of character. 

"Friendship is perfectly legal."


Meanwhile we continue to delve deeper into the Aidan was a problem child narrative. Following his mom outing the fact that he'd slept with his dads current fling, she soon reveals to Peter that their son has also been selling prescription medicine. 

Ida reveals that she never stopped to worry about Aidan selling pot because she was too concerned over a terminally ill child and it's another one of those moments that are recognizable but sad as we further understand Aidan's sense of neglect. 

It's a corner of the Life Sentence world that continues to be lightly touched on but not explored and it's an aspect of the series that could use that deeper examination.

His feelings of abandonment aren't easy to dismiss, even if we understand the parents actions, and if the show stopped to breathe and take that idea in, Aidan could continue to become one of the most engaging characters on the series. 

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There are baby steps taken, as Aidan admits he just sort of fell into selling drugs, but it's a conversation that's far from over as his and his fathers shared animosity and care for one another continue to be a thorough of the B plot of the series. 

Moving at an impressive clip, Life Sentence sped through a lot of important details tonight which caused it all to feel somewhat inconsequential except for the fact that there's no way Pippa isn't coming back at this point. I'd also wager a guess that she's hiding some big news.

Is it just the old Soaps fan in me that guesses she had a Wes's kid?

Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions but make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below and remember you can always watch Life Sentence Online (anytime!) here. 

Wes Side Story Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (1 Vote)

Allyson Johnson was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in May 2018. Follow her on Twitter.

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