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Playing House - You Wanna Roll With This?/Ride the Dragon - Review: "The Lengths She'd Go"


Cancer sucks. But Maggie and Emma? They're gonna roll with it.

This week's episodes pick up right after last week's revelation- that Emma has breast cancer. And in the style that Playing House does best, this obstacle isn't just treated as a plot device, but as a real, genuine issue that has to be faced. "You Wanna Roll With This?" and "Ride the Dragon" gives viewers a look into how one family chooses to do that.

As Maggie and Emma prepare to visit the oncologist, Emma's trying, but understandably failing to hold it together. Maggie's attempting to comfort Emma the only way she knows how- by visiting Paper Source in the middle of the night and making cancer binders. Fortunately for them both, they hit it off with the pair of doctors who will be responsible for Emma's surgery, and slowly but surely, get a little more confident.

As the group prepares for Emma's surgery (double mastectomy, on the advice of Dr. Rollins), Emma tells Mark that she doesn't want him there for the surgery. Seeing him there will make her cry and she doesn't want that to happen.

Mark, of course, finds a way around this. As a nervous Maggie walks into the waiting room after seeing Emma off to surgery, she finds not Mark, but the rest of the Pinebrook PD there in his place. Although the guys maybe aren't the best at comforting and reassuring her, she does run into Dr. Erikson, who doesn't do a half-bad job at it!

Eventually, Maggie finds Mark hiding outside and halls him in anyway. Shortly after, they get the good news. The surgery went almost flawlessly. The one small hitch? Emma's boobs are now a bit bigger than expected. Finally, a drowsy Emma wakes up to Maggie and Mark, ready to face the next steps with her.


Observations:
-Emma referring to Charlotte as her daughter was heartwarming.

-Charlotte's doctor outfit was adorable!

-Hands down, best line of the episode- "Emma and I taught the police force how to strip tease. No big deal."

"Ride the Dragon" tackles life in the middle of Emma's treatment, by looking at the challenges of trying to stay the same in the middle of something so life changing. Emma doesn't want anything to change. To make sure of that, she makes Maggie continue on with Craft Night, which Maggie had originally intended to cancel, as it falls right after Emma's treatment.

Maggie reluctantly agrees, and Zach, who's back from Greece, having brought with him a bit of ancient Greek wisdom, steps in. He'll care for Emma during Craft Night, and they won't be binge watching the Bridget Jones films like Emma had planned. No, Zach's going to impart his newly gained wisdom onto Emma, which involves some creepy stares and way too much soul-searching for her taste.

So, despite her hate of crafts, Emma goes downstairs to escape Zach and join Craft Night. Emma has the group, which includes Maggie, Bird-Bones, Gwen, and Cookie, bust into the baklava Zach brought her from Greece.

After they've already started eating, Zach walks in and freaks out. As it turns out, he got Emma that baklava for a specific reason. It's made with a "special recipe." The main ingredient?- medical grade marijuana so strong it apparently wigs Willie Nelson out.

As it's too late to turn back, the girls (plus Zach) decide to "strap in" and "trip balls." They lay on the floor and watch a star projector (probably stolen from Charlotte). Gwen decides to tell them about how she "once rode a dragon into the golden sun," but falls asleep before she gets past the first sentence. Maggie talks to an owl statue and "paints it into reality." Emma and Cookie have a heart-to-heart about cancer, and Cookie reveals that she herself is a breast cancer survivor. Cookie councils Emma and tells her to not hold back and take chances after cancer, which she refers to as her "hell yes life." Zach and Bird Bones have a heart-to-heart about Socrates and souls that ends with them making out.

Although Emma's a little unsure of the "hell yes" post-cancer lifestyle, Maggie reassures her that she's already doing it. She joined in on Craft Night. Pre-cancer Emma wouldn't have done that. So, yes, things are changing since cancer became a part of their lives, but not in a bad way.

As the group prepares to part ways the next morning, Emma unintentionally invites Bird-Bones to join her party-planning business as the caterer. Old Emma would have run as fast as she could in the other direction. But, in an attempt to embrace her new positive outlook on life, Emma decides to go for it. Before leaving, Bird-Bones makes out with Zach one more time.

While Maggie, Emma, and Zach clean up, Charlotte finds Gwen's Jefferson Airplane record, and they realize what Gwen meant about "riding the dragon." There on the back of the album cover is a painting of a naked, young Gwen- riding a dragon into the golden sunset.

Observations:
- I love "canceroles!"

-Best line of the episode goes to Gwen. "I was following Jefferson Airplane around the country and that white rabbit, he don't let nobody ride for free!"

-Of course Mary Pat rides a casino bus!

-Who else is interested to see where this Zach and Bird Bones thing goes?


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