Army Wives Recap, 7×08, Jackpot

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After last week’s episode, which focused on Joan and her struggle to manage her job with her role as primary caretaker and introduced the no-nonsense Colonel Kat Young, it was nice to find ourselves having fun this week – and lots of it!

The ladies are moving full speed ahead with Michael’s idea to build a garden memorial for Claudia Joy, but they are a few thousand dollars short of their fundraising goal. With only three days to go, their only option is scaling back the details, which nobody wants to do. They all agree to give it a few more days and see if they can figure out how to make up the difference. As luck would have it, Holly picks the exact right time to start showing off about her savant-style math skills. With the help of a passing remark from a customer at the Hump Bar, Gloria has a brilliant idea ala Tom Cruise in Rain Man – take Holly to a casino! Aside from the facts that a) this is highly illegal and unlikely something officers’ wives would participate in and b) counting cards is a bit more complicated than being really good at adding numbers in your head, the ladies all agree that this is the best option they have.

AW casino 2The storyline gives us an opportunity to see all the new wives out and about having a good time, something that we’ve desperately needed to see. As Denise and Jackie are getting comfortable with the new women on post, so are we. And with the season starting off so sad with the death of Claudia Joy, episode 8 felt like the perfect time to allow everyone – onscreen and off – a chance to have some fun.

The plan starts off great, with Holly winning nearly enough money to make their goal. But when she gets left alone for a moment and whisked away to a high-rollers table, things start to go awry. Innocent, sweet and naive-to-a-fault, Holly thinks a Long Island Iced Tea is just a special iced tea from New York. By the time the other women realize what’s going on, she is too drunk to count and has lost a thousand dollars. Her sober companions have enough sense to pull the plug before she loses the rest, but they’re still shy of their goal. Latasha reminds them that they’ve come here to do this for Claudia Joy and rather than walking away up $1200, they decide to play some craps. And they win! Thank goodness. Gambling plotlines always make me a little queasy.

Meanwhile, Michael is approached by a student, Jordan Young (Kalye Ronayne) who wants to fly planes for the Army. Her problem is that she comes from an Air Force family and her mother isn’t going to be so understanding of her switching to a different branch of the military. She wonders if Michael would come with her to talk to her mother. Michael agrees, and only after doing so realizes that the mother in question is none other than his new nemesis, Kat Young. As you may imagine the meeting does not go very well, with Kat feeling attacked and angry that her daughter would bring an outsider into a family private conversation. Kat has been depicted up until now as being a very strong and assertive woman, and I think maybe we were supposed to feel sympathetic towards Jordan for this predicament, but Kat certainly had a point. Try with your mom first, if it doesn’t go well, then bring in the three-star General. But not before.

Later, Jordan explains to her mother that she couldn’t come to her alone, because she knew she wouldn’t have listened. It is here that we start to see the softer side of Kat. She goes to thank Michael for the favor he did for Jordan and they bond over having daughters the same age. We also find out that Kat’s husband had been at the Pentagon on 9/11 and was killed. As Kat leaves, she tells Michael that she knows their relationship didn’t start off great, but she’d like to change that. Perhaps it is this gesture that gets Michael to find a solution to her problem, but the episode ends with Michael seeking out Kat to let her know that he’s discovered an endangered bird living on the land she had seen him about last week. He assures her there’s no way the EPA will allow building on the habitat, meaning they’ve solved their dispute without either having to compromise. AW Kat YoungHooray!

Most importantly, now that we’ve established that they are both widowed, this relationship is definitely moving in a romantic direction. My gut instinct is to not love the idea, but the truth is, it was evident in Michael’s relationship with CJ that he is the type of man who functions best with a woman around to look out for him. I love Michael, and if this will make him happy, I see no reason not to go for it. But good luck telling Emmalin.

And finally, this week the real drama was happening with the men for a change! Gloria sent Patrick a letter as he’d requested and Hector ended up seeing it while sorting the mail. Hell hath no fury like Hector Cruz on a good day…and on a bad day, watch out. He completely loses it and seems to forget that the Army has a very clear hierarchy and he is the low man on the totem pole in this equation. He also seems to forget that he’s divorced. Even so, Eddie agrees that this could be a very bad situation – the men need to trust each other or everyone’s safety is compromised – and recommends to Patrick that he end it.

Eddie facilitates a heart-to-heart between Hector and Patrick and though Hector loses control and runs his mouth again, they reach an understanding when Patrick assures him he’s already sent a letter ending it. (Has he really?? What do you think? I’m not so sure…) Right as this conversation is ending, a series of explosions go off in their camp. No men are injured but they lose all their chickens, a particularly sad realization for Tim who had become attached to them.

Eddie and Patrick agree something must be done to retaliate and Eddie convinces the LT to take the men on patrol and take care of the people who are bombing them. It is against the orders of the mission, but Eddie insists protecting their men can never be the wrong decision. They gather the troops and head out, successfully killing the men who have been attacking them. Back at camp, Eddie congratulates Patrick on a job well done. I’m not so sure that disobeying orders is going to be so readily accepted by the higher-ups though. And one of those Generals is Patrick’s father, so I’m anticipating some father-son conflict. What do you think?

Final thoughts:

-Joan is still struggling at home, and her children are having a hard time accepting the amount of time she has to spend working. Even David who’s older and who Joan hoped would be more understanding seems hurt by the time away.  I’m interested to see how she proceeds going forward.

-Quincy is a great character who I’d really like to see more of. He did a great job cooling Hector off and conveying the situation to Eddie. He’s the platoon mediator. I like it.

-Again. Need more Frank!!!

Thoughts? Leave them for me in the comments! Til next week.

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