Army Wives, 7×07 "Brace For Impact"


Army Wives is show primarily about women. We know and love the men at Fort Marshall, but it is the women whose lives have always been the central focus. This week we had the opportunity to explore some current and pertinent issues facing women today. One of the big questions posed by Brace for Impact is the same question that’s been posed by women for decades, and has become particularly relevant over the course of the last year: Can women have it all?

Colonel Joan Burton is really trying. After coming home from Afghanistan early, Joan couldn’t handle the thought of Roland taking the kids with him to Baltimore. Roland couldn’t fathom leaving the kids on post with Joan who would be working her full time job. Joan explained that she hasn’t been clearly expressing her love of motherhood, but that leaving the children made deployment the worst it’s ever been this time and she couldn’t bear being home and not being with them. Ultimately Joan made a convincing case and, despite Roland’s hesitations, here we are.

Joan is struggling with work/life balance the same way that many of working mothers do. In Joan’s case she is doing it as a single parent and a Colonel in the US Army. At one point she asks LaTasha how she manages to balance all her responsibilities, which is just silly because LaTasha doesn’t work, so it’s not even worth comparing. Joan is so proud of herself when she is able to squeeze in a visit to David’s basketball game in between Army obligations. She puts her phone away so as not to miss the important moments and manages to miss a very important phone call, screwing things up royally for a plane crew that is waiting to deboard on the base. Joan eventually arrives, but she is an hour late and Colonel Kat Young (Brooke Shields) is not happy.

joan kat

Kat Young is not one to mess around with. She has already called in General Holden to deal with the delay. Needless to say, he’s sufficiently pissed off at Joan, who has seriously let him down. Joan is not one to make mistakes like this and she is mortified and angry at herself and having to explain her mistake to her boss and friend just makes it worse.

Later, Kat comes to see Michael to talk to him about having the Army purchase land outside the base as a preemptive strike against the possibility of office space being built and restricting her airspace. Kat poses another question that faces women in the work force: can women in positions of power have friends and still be effective leaders? It is pretty clear hat Kat Young does not care about her personal relationships with the people at Fort Marshall. She cares about getting her job done efficiently. When Michael turns down her proposal she gives him a little taste of what things might be like if she doesn’t get her way. Michael assures her she hasn’t helped her cause at all. I’m not so sure.

Meanwhile, speaking of being friends with women in powerful positions, Gloria and Jackie have a conversation about Gloria’s relationsdenisehip with Pat, who just happens to be Jackie’s son. Gloria thinks it’s not a good idea for her to be dating a general’s son, and Jackie makes no moves to make her think otherwise. It’s interesting because as I noted in my recap of season 7 so far, there is a contrast between what is happening in Afghanistan and what happens on the base. Dating back to when Roxy and Pamela became friends with Denise and Claudia Joy, the army wives have made it a point not to pay attention to the class system that exists within the army ranks. Jackie has had no problem having Gloria as a friend, but when faced with the prospect of Gloria dating her son, suddenly Jackie isn’t so cool with it.  What’s great about Jackie is how she manages to convince herself that she had nothing to with Gloria’s decision. It was what Gloria thought made the most sense and why should she get involved? Thank goodness for Denise and her awesomeness. Denise manages to help Jackie see how not saying anything was really making a pretty big statement, but she does it while also managing to seem supportive. It’s a pretty classy move and ultimately Jackie tells Gloria that she should make whatever decision she wants regarding Patrick but that it shouldn’t be based on Jackie at all. (Side note: Patrick is adorable AND he’s still seriously interested after getting laid on the first date – I would have been shocked if Gloria could really have resisted for much longer)


Some other notes from this episode:

-Whoa. Eddie Hall is a tough guy. Who saw that coming? I did not. Was it me or did he purposely wait for Patrick to leave before pulling that hardcore attitude? Does that suggest it was a little over the top and he knows it? Thoughts on Eddie?

-Oh Caroline. You can’t possibly think getting in a car with that girl is a good idea. Poor Maggie’s in for a quite a shock. If only Eddie talked to Caroline the way he talked to his soldiers.

-What do we think about Holly? She’s obviously sweet and I know she means well, but if a friend of mine was all up in my business like she’s been with Gloria, I’d have thrown her out the window by now.

-How bad is it going to be when Hector realizes Gloria is dating his new Lieutenant? Bad, right?

-More Frank, please!

A recap is only as good as it’s comments. Let me know your thoughts!



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