The newest episode of Lifetime’s Army Wives, which aired on the network April 22, 2012, breaks a whole lot of new ground in terms of the show’s political points.
First things first – when last we left Ft. Marshall, the husbands (at least most of them) were deployed to Africa, Claudia-Joy (Kim Delaney) was nowhere to been seen, Charlie (Ryan Michelle Bath) came out to Roland (Sterling K. Brown) and Roxy (Sally Pressman) was stepping up and taking charge of Bravo Company’s FRG.
“Non-Combatants” finds Roxy dealing with an unimaginable situation. Just as many thought based on the previous episode’s ending, Min-Ji took her own life and tragically Roxy arrived too late to help her. While Roland helps her process her feeling of guilt and blame for the loss, Roxy takes it upon herself to plan a memorial service, one which all the FRG wives attend.
In one of the episodes more political, yet emotionally touching, story lines, Charlie confides to Roland all her fears about the safety of her girlfriend – Captain Galassini (Kellie Martin) – and laments the current non-public state of their relationship. This is the first time in Army Wives history that the show has dealt with the heavy issue of the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and credit must be given for handling this weighty issue in a respectful, realistic manner.
Meanwhile in Africa, the situation is tense. Captain Galassini is brought in to help negotiate an evacuation of American medical workers who are being barricaded in a hospital by a group of armed and highly aggressive rebels. After successfully negotiating the release of the Americans, though not without a moment of pure bone-chilling punishment for one of the doctors, the convoy makes their way back to camp only to be ambushed on the road.
Galassini, among others, sustains injuries and is stable but evacuated to Germany. While working on the wounded the situation heats up for Tanya (Erin Krakow) and Army surgeon Dr. Hansen (Jason Pendergraft) leading ultimately to a passionate kiss and subsequent rejection of the part of Hansen.
A second group of American nationals needing evacuation are located and Frank (Terry Serpico), Trevor (Drew Fuller) and Hector (Joseph Julian Soria) set out with their men to complete the second evacuation. Upon arriving at the pick-up point the men learn that there are three American nationals to be returned to US soil and a group of African children, who according to the rules of engagement cannot be evacuated.
Ultimately, the American woman stays behind to protect the children from the tribal warfare that is certain to claim their lives. This is the episode’s second hot button political issue and although the on-screen moments are emotionally charged they are handled with grace and respect by the show.
By the final minutes of “Non-Combatants” all is well in the land of Army Wives. Frank, Trevor, Hector, and Captain Galassini return safely home – each one with a special someone waiting for them. In the episodes chilling conclusion Joan (Wendy Davis) and Michael (Brian McNamara) muse over the fact that a deployment was fully completed and the only life lost was that of one of the wives at home.
What’s up next for the Army wives? The nest episode, entitled “After Action Report” is set to air Sunday April 29 at P.M. In the next episode expect the characters who returned from Africa, particularly Frank, to have difficulty processing the decision to leave the African children behind. You can also look forward to the progression of Charlie’s relationship, which is for all intents and purposes public by this point, and a complicated situation between Tanya and Dr. Hansen.
The one question on every fan’s mind – will we finally see the return of Claudia-Joy? Only time will tell…