That was an absolutely awesome episode! Now that's how it's supposed to be done! Thank you Kathleen McGhee-Anderson for writing such a fantastic epi. Where do I begin? Let's start with my favorite lovebirds: Chassie : )
I Love You But I'm Leaving
Charles couldn't bear the thought of having to see Cassie everyday in school without them being together, so strapped for cash, and feeling limited in terms of options for his future, Charles decided to enlist in the Army. He told Cassie of his plans, and though she attempted to talk him out of it, he basically let her know that he had already made up his mind; that being an army brat anyway, he was accustomed to living on bases; and finishing school there meant nothing to him if they weren't together. Cassie told her parents about Charles's plans. Eddie bucked, at first, at the idea of "saving Charles" yet again, but with Jenn's subtle influence, realized that talking to him was the right thing to do. (I love how Jenn gently nudges Eddie in the right direction.) Eddie caught Charles before he walked into the Army recruiter's office, and let him know that he had other options, such as working his way through school, as Eddie did, and that although he and Cassie weren't together, Charles had people who cared about him-- Eddie cared about him. Charles, however, was determined to follow through with his course of action, and went into the recruiter's office and enlisted. : (
Blood Money & Atonement
Eddie searches all night for Syd, with no success, but once Lizzie tips him off about the diary she gave her, belonging to her Aunt Minnie, Eddie knew where she had gone. As expected, he found her with her Aunt Hazel at the convalescent home, reading her passages from the diary in an attempt to jog her memory. Just as Syd was getting frustrated, Hazel starts to remember an incident in which a man paid her father "blood money" for the murder of her twelve year old sister Minnie (killed when someone burned a cross in front of their house). The father put the money in a wall in the attic and never used it, but it tore their family apart. After hearing the story, Eddie was satisfied that the money belonged to Syd and the Glasses, however, Syd also wanted justice for her aunt whose murder was never solved. She and Eddie went back to confront Mr. Crawford, to get him to confess to the murder. It turns out he didn't commit the act but knew who had. Eddie and Syd convinced him to reveal the culprit, and do the right thing by accompanying them to bring the person to justice. He did so, and the person turned out to be the Commisioner. When Eddie confronted him, in his office, the commissioner told him he had been a stupid kid and didn't intend for the girl to die. Eddie told him he needed to do the right thing and pay his debt by taking responsibility for what he had done. The commissioner laughed and told Eddie that wasn't happening, because after all, who was going to believe Eddie over him? What he didn't realize, however, was that Eddie was wearing a wire, and when he opened the office door, cops were standing outside of it stunned at what they had just heard. In a scene reminiscent of "Cold Case," Eddie read the commissioner his rights as he was escorted away in front of the entire precinct.
So, an old wrong is righted, and as a murderer is brought to justice, atonement is made for the blood money, and the Suttons' luck changes. I like how the "Glass House" s/l that began last season was brought to an interesting and satisfying conclusion. It also seems they may want to incorporate Syd into the cast, as the Sutton's seem to have developed a soft spot for her after witnessing her character and change in temperament (her sharing the money with them notwithstanding), and I still have a theory about their plans for her and Nate. She did tell Eddie that the Suttons and the Glass's are connected...I think the writers were letting us know that Syd Glass will continue to be a part of the Suttons' lives, and maybe we should expect another chair at the table next season.
Antonio & Julie: A Modern Romance
Lizzie & Andy's modern-day rendition of Romeo & Juliet was halted due to some kids attacking Andy on account of his relationship with Lizzie. The principal (who I enjoyed in his role on "Samantha Who") would only allow the production to continue if the song featuring them kissing was removed. Lizzie decided to step down from the play due to censorship, Andy followed suit, and the rest of the cast did as well. The principal and drama teacher attempted to force everyone to participate in the play by putting them all in detention and threatening to extend it for a month if they didn't comply. The kids didn't budge on their principals, but through their own impromptu high school musical scene, convinced the principal and the teacher that Lizzie & Andy's number should remain in the play because it celebrated love & unity, and despite the ignorance of naysayers, a show presenting a message like this must go on. I liked how Lizzie & Andy's play was used to make the case regarding the significance of dramatic media in bringing light to social issues, and that the backlash that often follows should not be allowed to quiet the voice of truth and freedom. Lizzie & Andy grew on me a little more in this epi...probably because they got more screentime, and perhaps the actors are getting more comfortable with one another. Andy's smile was so cute when Lizzie told the drama director he was her boyfriend in real life.
We Are Family
I thought it was sweet when Jenn sat with Nate Ray in the beginning of the epi. She was concerned for him because the Army was denying Nate coverage for treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, although he had been on two tours of duty in Afghanistan. It was refreshing to see her mothering instinct kick in for him after all the conflict they've had in the past (due to Jenn's struggle to accept Eddie's having another son by someone else). Tay composed a tribute to Nate Ray for his sacrifice in fighting for our safety in the war. Jenn set up a venue for Tay to perform the song in front of an audience, honoring Nate and other soldiers for their sacrifice. Nate was deeply touched, and emailed the link of the performance to his fellow veterans, who in turn, emailed their families and friends, which ultimately resulted in the local news station receiving the link and airing the performance during the evening broadcast. When Nate saw the story on TV, he excitedly called Jenn in to see, and she called Tay to let him know. Tay, who was walking home with Lizzie, was happy about his star turn, but that excitement was cut short when Lizzie informed her mother of Charles & Cassie's plan to elope. :O
A Lovely Union
Cassie's proposing to Charles was so sweet...although I had seen Cassie in all-white before the epi aired, I was still taken by surprise when she proposed to Charles. I assumed Charles would be the one doing the proposing, so that was a nice twist. Cassie realized that achieving your goals, in the end, can be empty and meaningless without the one you love to share the success with. She understood that it wasn't space she and Charles needed, but togetherness, because he is the love of her life. Charles & Cassie looked beautiful in their wedding attire. Cassie's ensemble was simple, yet elegant and Charles was so handsome. Seeing them together like that brought a big smile to my face (I think it remained there until the end of the epi. : ) I was upset with those cops at the courthouse for slowing down the fam as they raced the clock to make the impromptu wedding. I was glad that Cassie & Charles decided to wait for their family's support and involvement, because that is, after all, the backbone of this show.
I Love Happy Endings : )
Chassie's impulsiveness forced Charles' parents to make amends, which resulted in his father coming to the "unwedding party" and making amends with his son, giving Charles three of the best gifts ever: fatherly love & the freedom to pursue his education, debt-free, while living his life here with Cassie and those he loves. Thankfully, he didn't have to run away, but can stand with his feet firmly planted in this soil, and continue to grow into the man he is supposed to be. It was so sweet to see Chassie, their parents, Tay and Nate in their group hug/love huddle...don't ya just love LOVE? : )
So, I suppose, all's well that end's well: Syd & the Suttons split the cash; Nate Ray begins to heal with the help of his family; Tay moves along the road to stardom, Lizzie & Andy, the wonder-duo, get a little closer; Charles gets the father he always wanted; Charles & Cassie are engaged & in love and all is right in the world :D
Lizzie & Andy's s/l in this epi, parallelled Chassie's relationship as well. Woudn't it be interesting if Lizzie's response to her drama teacher: "no it isn't, he's my boyfriend in real life" was really a statement about EH & RA? Hmm...okay, maybe I'm reading too much into it, but if it were true, I'd have to say it was ingenious how their truth was brought into plain view, being worked into the storyline in that way. I think their being together would be absolutely fantabulous : )
While I was glad there was an immediate follow-up to Episode 9, I couldn't help feeling disappointed that the season was ending so soon...I thought I had another week to adjust. : ( Wouldn't it be great if they could bring it back in the spring? Anyways, here's to hopin'...until then, we have Hulu, eh? Until next year fellow LH fans...