Army Wives: Independence Day

Last night's episode of Army Wives began as a new day. As the sun rose over Fort Marshall I found myself discussing what has happened and what will happen today. How are Claudia Joy and Roland dealing with their hostage experience? Are Joan and Roland doing ok and did the hostage incident bring them closer together? How is Chase doing; he is the one who took the kill shot at Belgrad. How is Roxy doing? Trevor's deployment is only days away, are they both prepared for this? Are Denise and Jeremy doing ok or is Jeremy going to have another episode and lash out at his mother? Most importantly would Frank be found alive?

Early in the morning Claudia Joy left her house to gather her thoughts about what had happened to her, Roland and Peter Belgrad. When she returned home Michael was waiting for her, concerned because she was not in bed when he woke up. They were able to talk briefly about what had happened and how she was feeling but since there is nothing that can make it easier all Michael could do was hold her.

Later that morning Roland arrived at his office to find Claudia Joy sitting on the couch staring at the blood stain on the carpet. They started talking about things and were soon interrupted by a woman knocking on the door, it was Peter Belgrad's widow, Sarah. She wanted to see where everything happened. She talked a lot about what led up to Belgrad's death. She talked about how he had come back different and that she knew something was wrong, that something really bad had happened "over there". She blamed herself and talked about how she should have tried harder instead of quitting and leaving. Roland and Claudia Joy could only stand there and listen, still in shock themselves they were not able to comfort her or give her peace. Sarah shared with them that Peter would not be given a military funeral because his death was not considered one to be in the line of duty. He was considered to be a criminal for what he had done. With that she would also lose her medical insurance, tuition for her kids and the benefits she was entitled to as a military spouse. With that she turned and left in tears.

Joan reported to Colonel Holden's office where he informed her that her actions violated protocol and that as her superior officer he was going forth with and Article 15. (An Article 15 is a non-judicial punishment, she could be fined or confined as punishment.) When Joan returned home she informed Roland about the Article 15 and that since she was no longer promotable she was not going to write a defense statement and instead she would take her punishment as is. Roland was shocked to hear this because Joan is not the type of woman to just give up.

Meanwhile Claudia Joy returns home to meet Michael, who she phoned to have come home. She told him about what happened with Sarah Belgrad and how she found it unfair that he had chosen not to give Belgrad the proper military funeral that she thought he was entitled to. He was very upset with her that she would tell him to come hom for this reason and that his decision was made and his mind would not be changed. Michael told her that in all their years of marriage he had always listened to her advice but in this case his decision was final. He told her, "There is a line that divides me as a soldier and you as a soldier's wife. You never crossed that line until now."

Do you remember Marilyn Polarski? She was one of the snotty wives who put Pamela through hell. Well last night we got to know her a little better, ok maybe a lot better! Marilyn was at the Hump Bar with a man named Eddie, who turned out to be a man she is having an affair with. While in conversation about their feelings they were interrupted by Roxy who came to see if they wanted a refill on anything. The look on Marilyn's face was priceless! She had no idea that Roxy worked there and it didn't take Roxy too long to figure out what was going on. Marilyn ran out of that bar so fast, leaving Roxy with a great piece of information.

The next day Jeremy and Denise were putting groceries away when Jeremy finally apologized to his mom for his behavior and violent attacks on her. He told her how sorry he was and that he admired her for how she was dealing with everything going on. Denise told him for the first time she was glad he was not going to WestPoint because no one should have to go through what they are dealing with, ever. I really think that Denise and Jeremy made it over a big hurdle because finally he admitted what he did and apologized for it and Denise can now start down the road to forgiving him.

At Pamela's house Trevor and Chase discuss deployments and Trevor asked Chase for any advice he could give. Meanwhile in the kitchen Roxy told Pamela about Marilyn and her affair. Pamela is shocked and called Marilyn a hypocrit. Then she asked Roxy why she didn't tell her sooner. Roxy laughed and told her she worked until midnight, the response she got was that Pamela's phone works 24 hours a day and so does her front door. Then Pamela shared with Roxy that she couldn't tell anyone else. That no matter what she had to protect Marilyn. Roxy didn't understand why Pamela would say this especially after all the things Marilyn put her through but Pamela said in the civilian world you could tell about infidelity but not in the military world, especially since Marilyn's husband was being deployed with Trevor. It's not something you do.

Roland met with Colonel Holden and asked if there was anything he could do for Joan. He revealed that Joan is suffering from PTSD and that he has tried everything he can to help her. Colonel Holden informed Roland that he is following protocol, that Joan committed a critical error and that he couldn't do anything for her. With that Roland thanked him for his time and simply said "If it was your wife you would fight for her integrity too." When he got home, Roland found Joan filling out an application for voluntary separation from the army. She then reveals to Roland that she is going to go to a treatment center in Vermont that deals with PTSD and she will participate in a 30 day in patient treatment program. Roland asked her if she was sure that this is the route she wanted to go and when she said yes he took her hand and as always was there to support her decision.

That evening back at the Hump Bar Marilyn returned to talk to Roxy. She came in very defensive and assumed Roxy enjoyed seeing her squirm. She asked that Roxy keep her secret. Roxy, being who she is said she would keep her secret and that no she did not enjoy seeing Marilyn squirm. Marilyn was both surprised and relieved that Roxy was there for her. She revealed that no one knows about her affair and that it just happened. Eddie was a friend who she met during her husband's last deployment and she was in love with him. She told Roxy that Eddie phoned her and broke it off after they were caught and now that it is finished with Marilyn realized how much she loves Eddie, that it wasn't just a fling to her. This really showed a little more to Marilyn, how even her friends aren't really friends because she couldn't even confide in them what was going on with her. It was nice to have this in the episode because one of my biggest fears was that we would have soap opera like cat fights in this show and I really would hate to see this show move in that direction.

At Denise's house Jeremy was in the middle of washing the car when a car pulled up. He yelled for Denise to come quick. She ran out of the house and was met by Colonel Holden and Claudia Joy. The look on Claudia Joy's face said it all, but she did confirm to Denise that Frank was alive and he was coming home! I was so happy for Denise. In this episode Denise shared some stories with Jeremy and we were able to see how much they truly love eachother and how real their love is.

The next day was the big 4th of July party at the Holden house. Over 75 people gathered to celebrate Independance Day. Trevor and Roxy were talking when Sgt. Polarski approached them. Trevor introduced Roxy to Sgt. Polarski and only when Trevor asked if Marilyn was his wife did he introduce her. In that moment Roxy said she knew Marilyn and that they were friends. Surprised by this statement Marilyn realized that Roxy was telling the truth and that she was someone who could be considered a friend. Roxy invited them to sit with her and Trevor for the pageant. Pamela and Chase joined the table shortly after. A surprised Pamela gave Roxy the questioning eye about Marilyn but did not hesitate to sit down with them. The pageant started with the children who sang "America the Beautiful". During the song several of the soldier's cell phones went off, this included Chase's, and they quietly slipped away unnoticed. It wasn't until the song was done that Pamela looked over at Chase to find him gone, she stood up and looked around and saw him running to the parked vehicles. Chase turned around and their eyes met. He blew Pamela a kiss and with that he was gone. Pamela realized that this was it, her husband and the rest of Delta Force were gone.

The episode ended with Claudia Joy giving a speech. She started off in the traditional way reading a little bit of the history and meaning of Independance Day. Not long into her speech she put her prepared notes aside and talked about what life was like that week for her how she questioned whether she had said or done enough to change things. She talked about how she was devestated and elated at the same time. She went on to talk about life as a spouse and life in the military. While we heard her talking in the background the show itself started fast forwarding to the next couple of days. The basic summary we were given was that Peter Belgrad did indeed get a military funeral. Whether Claudia Joy's speech or just a change of heart by Colonel Holden is what did it I don't know but he was honored in military fashion. Colonel Holden denied Joan's application for separation. He ripped up the paperwork in front of her and so Joan will continue to be a soldier, hopefully she will still seek help for PTSD so that she can get better. Pamela came home to an empty house and for the first time realized that she will be sleeping alone, Chase is really gone. Roxy packed Trevor's backpack with his ACU's and the realization that he would be leaving really hit her and Denise and Jeremy anxiously await Frank's return home.

I really enjoyed this episode. Sure there are things that aren't realistic but it's a tv show it is not a reality show. I'm really glad that they created this. Now if anyone out there can tell me what the name of the song was at the beginning of the episode and who sings it I would be ecstatic! I've been googling all day long and I can't find anything yet.

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