Marriage and relationships require a lot of understanding.
On Good Witch Season 5 Episode 7, marriages were put to the test during the Tinstale's stacation at Grey House.
What got revealed is that if you look outside of your relationship and your partner for answers about why you are or are not satisfied, you might as well be chasing rainbows.
Have you wondered whatever happened to Tom Tinsdale?
Tom used to be a more frequent participant in all things Good Witch, but he's often left behind while Martha barrels through Middleton with her shenanigans.
Putting them front and center during an episode about successful relationships was a lot of fun, especially because it proved that even the most enduring relationships hit turbulence.
What makes the Tinsdales' marriage long-lasting is that they never give up.
They've been together 35 years, and even though they know each other like their favorite book, they're also continually discovering unread pages.
That keeps their love alive, bonds them together, and keeps them from getting bored with one another.
Can you imagine a life with someone that crossed decades if you always knew what the other was thinking?
That's something to ponder. Without a fresh perspective every once in a while, your world would get incredibly dull.
Then again, life with Martha could never be dull. If nothing else, she keeps Tom on his toes cleaning up her messes!
Martha: Sam, what on earth did you get into?
Sam: Oh, the fire your husband requested in the living room.
Tom: Oh, that was just a suggestion.
Martha: I smell cedar. I prefer a fruitwood fire.
Tom: Enough requests, Martha. We have our cocoa and a fire. All we need now is a good book.
It's not unsurprising to find out Sam considers Tom an extension of Martha, even expecting his simple suggestions to be demands.
Tom probably said, "Oh, wouldn't a fire be lovely," or something similar in passing, but knowing Martha as he (thinks he) does, Sam hopped up and made a fire.
That's why playing the game with newlyweds proved so illuminating to the Tillsdales who thought they would easily trounce the recently married Cassie and Sam.
And, they did, to start. The Tinsdales read each well, but that doesn't mean everything is on the table.
The way Good Witch circles topics that viewers often contemplate in their real lives is so refreshing.
Something I complain about often and which came to a head recently with the disappointing Veronica Mars Season 4 is that it's too easy for writers to force life-altering drama onto couples instead of daring to write a couple willing to be happy with their significant other.
"Grey-Cation" proved that couples can get into tough spots, learn together, and grow closer as a result while still being entertaining to watch.
With all the madness in the world, why does entertainment so often tear happiness from end to end instead of showing the beauty that can come with the momentary pain kerfluffles in love provide?
Cassie and Sam dated for years, but their time together sharing a household and parenting responsibilities is quite new.
Sam isn't used to checking in with someone if he's late going home because of an emergency any more than Cassie is carving out time to spend with her husband.
Their answers to simple questions during Spouse Trap (really, can you think of a better name for a couple's game??) revealed their growing pains, but instead of worrying about their condition, they turned to each other and talked about the game.
Tom: Let me ask you something. Are you married to the love of your life?
Sam: I am.
Tom: Then you've already won.
Sam: I guess I have.
Tom: So take your time. Have fun. Marriage is an adventure.
I know a lot of people look down on Hallmark Channel because of it's positive stories and romantic nature, but what does that say about us as a people?
Why is it more entertaining to watch characters suffer and their marriages end than it is to get inspiration from a fictional couple who we'd like to emulate?
It's a very odd situation considering nobody I know who is in a relationship believes they need murder and mayhem to help them grow as individuals. And they definitely don't want turmoil that takes a tumultuous relationship and flays it alive.
Generally, people in love want to stay in love, and watching couples triumph as a result of maneuvering through the trickier waters has a much greater impact on real-life than does watching a character add a new layer after her husband gets blown to bits.
Martha: What could your wife do to improve. Oh, thank goodness. An easy question.
Sam: No pressure...
Martha: Oh, no, no, no, no. We've got this. [writes her answer on the board] Are you ready, Tom?
Martha: One, two, three! Nothing! [as Tom says]: Take it down a notch.
Martha: Aaah! Tom! Exactly how much is a notch, and what would I even take down?!
So much entertainment is insulting. It's sad that some people frown upon sharing beautiful stories of everyday courage to embrace darker portrayals and then can't figure out why their own connections suffer the consequences.
The Tinsdale/Radford Spouse Trap battle proved that even when you've been at it a while, there is so much to gain by just listening to your partner and addressing bumps in the road head-on.
Watching Sam make Luke squirm when he arrived to pick up Grace was adorable. It was even better that Cassie approved.
Cassie: I heard you playing protective dad.
Sam: Not cool?
Cassie: Very cool.
And this is the part where I admit I have a bone to pick about the Luke/Dottie reveal.
There's a huge problem with it, even if I love how it all ties together and right back to the theme of the episode.
Abigail and Donovan have been worried about the part their ancestors play in their present since they discovered they are poised to inherit a rather ugly part of their family history -- a curse against Davenport/Merriwick lovers.
"Grey-Cation" tied together the earlier battle between Davis Davenport and Abigail as Davis wanted to tear down a well on land he purchased in Middleton even as it addressed the secret Luke has been keeping.
All of that got bundled with Abigail and Donovan when the two met Dottie Davenport and agreed to share a meal with her.
Abigail: It's just dinner.
Donovan: With Dottie Davenport, it's never just dinner.
Abigail and Donovan have strong feelings for each other that they don't take for granted. They're not rushing things, and they've decided it's worth the effort to see where their attraction takes them even in light of the curse.
But even while Abigail always takes the honest approach and prefers not to sugarcoat her viewpoints, she's still got a nagging feeling that the curse could be real.
It goes from a small niggle to a pulsating wound by the time Abigail and Donovan have finished their visit with Dottie.
Dottie makes it a point to drive home to Abigail and her son that the curse is real, and the only way her marriage to Davis has survived is because they tossed a coin into the well years earlier, solidifying their happy future.
But revealing Luke is Dottie's nephew and that he's trying to get inormation on Abigail doesn't fly.
Luke was Abigail's intern. Surely, being the mayor of Blairsville and his cousin, Donovan would have mentioned the connection to Abigail even if only in passing.
Sure, it's possible the only conversations Abigail and Donovan have had have been on the air, but I don't buy that. Revealing Luke as nephew to Dottie is too complicated for such a simple story.
It also begs the question: why is Dottie so interested in the curse? If she wasn't so aggravating with Abigail during dinner, I'd think she wanted to break the curse to protect her son. Donovan likes Abigail, so Dottie wants to break the curse so they can have a future.
But it doesn't speak to why Abigail bringing up the wishing well or Davis' desire to tear it down without Dottie's knowledge might be relevant. Does the curse affect Dottie and Davis? Is her marriage suffering, so she's trying to break the curse for the sake of her own union?
I'm open to suggestions here, because something doesn't seem right.
And now that Abigail and Donovan tossed a coin into the well to make her feel better about the curse (at Cassie's suggestion), it only makes me feel even stronger about Dottie's fears about her future with Davis.
But how would a Merriwick/Davenport curse affect Dottie and Davis if one of them wasn't from each side of the family? I worried Luke might be a member of the Merriwick family in an earlier review. I thought it was to his detriment if it was the case. Maybe it's a weaker link through Dottie's side?
And if Luke were an intern with Abigail before she met Donovan, then Dottie wouldn't be looking into the curse for Donovan's sake at all because it was a nonissue at the start.
It seems as if all of the marriage talk will lead to Abigail and Donovan realizing (as we know) that a curse isn't a curse unless you place yourself in the path of it by believing in it and playing into it's hands.
And by the same token, if Dottie is having trouble with Davis (and she clearly is given the wishing well situation), she shouldn't be looking to break a curse, but she should be talking with her husband so she can understand what's driving a wedge between them.
If I'm right about any of it, the curse wouldn't apply to Luke and Grace because Luke would be of the Merriwick lineage, and Merriwick/Merriwick is OK.
Sheesh. I fear I may overthink things. Do you think I'm nuts?
As we sometimes do in our reviews, I have some outstanding thoughts.
Adam and Stephanie are growing closer, and that's all well and good, but where did Vincent go? Was he introduced only to create a little obstacle for Adam and Stephanie while offering a member of Cassie's family for the wedding?
Has Sam quit his private practice? When he was playing protective dad with Luke, he said he was a surgeon. Which he is, sure, but he also consults in a private, small-town practice. At least he used to.
During Good Witch Season 5 Sam hasn't been seen at his office once. He's always at the hospital. Is this to give Adam a bigger presence on the show, or was there another development I'd completely forgotten?
Why does Nick have a new school friend every episode? He never seemed all that active, but suddenly a new kid is visiting Grey House every time we turn our heads.
All of that said, what are your thoughts on romance on television? Is there enough of it? Do you wish other dramas could better incorporate love and lasting commitment?
What's the deal with Dottie's worry over the curse? How is it all connected?
Well, you can watch Good Witch online and get back to me with your thoughts. Please/
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic 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.