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Chasing Life – The Age Of Consent – Review: “Take Charge”



Last week launched the season and set the tone of an emotional ride ahead. This episode didn’t disappoint as we got to watch April’s turmoil over the events of the season premiere grow and escalate. Aisha Dee got to do some great stuff this week with Italia Ricci. They have such a natural best friends vibe that it makes all their stuff incredibly believable and relatable.

The episode opens with Leo and April thinking they are going to get their marriage license and having an adorable moment of banter. They are having a bit of a disagreement as April plans to keep her last name and Leo would at least like her to hyphenate it. She is a Carver woman through and through and refuses to give up her name. April finally drags him away from his cereal and as Leo is looking up information about marriage licenses he realizes that if they get it now they have to get married within sixty days. This worries him because of the uncertainty of the trials April may get into. He doesn’t want anything to get in her way, even their wedding. They postpone the license much to April’s disappointment. It is a great character moment for Leo as he shows that no matter what he will always put her first, even over his own wants and needs.

April meets with Dr. Hamburg to figure out what treatment trial they are going to try to get her into. It is sort of a one sided conversation as Hamburg tells April what trial she wants to put her in. I get that April should trust her doctor, but she also needs to take charge as well.

Sara is sifting through a mountain of bills when her mom comes in. Motherly intuition kicks in and Emma knows her daughter is having a problem. Charton has raised its tuition and it is looking like Brenna is going to have to be moved to public school so Sara can keep helping to pay for April’s medical care. At the mention of Brenna we get some insight from Emma that indicates Brenna may actually be quite similar to her mom. Sara was apparently a wild child herself and Emma isn’t afraid to call her daughter out on it. Looks like Brenna didn’t fall to far from the family tree after all.

Natalie was serious about breaking up with Dominic and no matter how convincing he tries to be he can’t make her change her mind. She is done playing second best and I can’t blame her. It is time she takes a page from April’s book and takes charge of her life.

April goes to hang out with Vanessa and Meg, who are “drinking buddies”, and they convince her she can’t let the doctors make all the choices for her. For someone who plans everything this is going to be hard for April, but I agree with them, April must take charge of her own care and be involved in what comes next.

At Charton, Brenna is pitching a film about two guys who are secretly in love. Does this sound sort of familiar to anyone else? The guys are a bit hesitant, but Margo is on board and incredibly supportive of Brenna. There is definitely a romance brewing here given the way those two were looking at each other. Brenna is finally fitting in at Charton, just in time for Sara to have to pull her from the school. That news is going to be earth shattering for Brenna. She’s finally found a place and a group to be a part of and now she’s going to have to start from scratch again. At least it’ll set her up to meet some new people and bring in other characters for her to interact with.

While at work Dominic gets a call that his most recent book was sold to a publisher and when Danny finds out they plan a night out to celebrate. After all Dominic is single now, so the guys can get into some single guy shenanigans. I wonder how many different ways this can go wrong.

After everything that has happened April needs a break so she shows up at Beth’s and tries to convince her that they need to finally take that trip to Bermuda. Beth is a bit hesitant to leave because she has a very important conference call to take for her boss. It isn’t until she sees how badly April needs this vacation that she caves. Being the amazing best friend she is Beth drops everything and heads off on a very impromptu vacation with April. I nominate Beth for the Best Friend of the Year award.

In Bermuda, Beth wants to keep up with her work, but April wants to drink and go out. After finally dragging Beth out, April meets a guy at the bar while Beth is nearby on the phone. The guy April meets is at the bar celebrating his friends bachelor party, so o f course he invites her to join. April gave off some serious vibes of flirting and the guy thought she was single. When he notices she is engaged things get awkward and she makes a hasty exit from the group.

Sara awkwardly ambushes Brenna as she gets out of the shower and wants to talk to her. Brenna is getting ready to head out to meet Ford for dinner. Sara is fishing for information about how Brenna likes Charton with Greer gone. She tries to convince Brenna that it may be good for her to get a fresh start at another school, but Brenna is actually really enjoying Charton now. That is not what Sara wanted to hear and it’s going to make breaking the news all that much harder.

For the second time in one day April’s engagement ring proves to be a hindrance, so she does the illogical thing and removes it. Oh April, this is not how you live life in the moment when you have a great guy like Leo waiting for you at home. Vacation April needs to be a tiny bit more like normal April and think through her actions before she gets in serious trouble. Beth decides to let loose a bit and takes a shot over to a guy April noticed was checking her out. They have a nice chemistry, but I really wish they’d give Beth a compatible steady boyfriend. After how loyal she’s been to April she deserves a little happiness of her own.

At the party April steals a joint from a random guy and they hit it off. He starts flirting with her and she drags him off to dance along Beth and her guy. With no ring on and serious flirting going on it would be so easy for this guy to get the wrong impression.

Brenna and Ford are at a folk concert when they run into Margo and her friend Jesse. Surprisingly Ford seems to be checking Margo out just as much as Brenna is. Am I the only one that got a tiny vibe of jealousy from Ford?

Danny and Dominic return to Danny’s place with two girls. For someone who pretends to have so much game with the ladies Danny does not do well when left alone with one of the girls. The girl takes charge and plants a kiss on him. Dominic on the other hand is simply trying to get over the pain of losing both Carver women, so he takes his girl to his room for some fun times.

While playing pool it is confirmed that Margo is gay, but come on we already got that vibe from her the moment we all saw her on screen, right? This definitely gets Brenna’s attention and she too reveals her love of women. The chemistry between them was leaping off the screen. What surprised me was when Ford told Brenna to take a chance with Margo for both of them. Seriously, Ford, is there something you’re not telling us? The promos for the season and this interaction would seem to indicate that there is more to Ford then meets the eye.

April’s party date walks her home and ends the night with a kiss. She quickly breaks the kiss and confesses the truth about her engagement, but the damage has been done. April looks horrified at what she did and she finally comes back to reality. I know this is all part of her trying to live her life to the fullest, but this was not one of April’s finer moments. It does do a great job of portraying how confusing and life changing a serious diagnosis can be. Everything April wanted and dreamed of was put on hold as she fights for her life. I think it was important to see this self destructive behavior, but I’m glad she’s coming back to herself as events unfold.

In the morning April puts her ring back where it belongs and promptly calls Leo to tell him she misses him. Their call is interrupted when Beth shows up at the villa and is pissed off because she missed her conference call. April tries to explain everything by putting her reckless behavior down to confusion over what to do about her treatment. Beth can’t compete with matters of life or death, so she lets April know that she is putting work over her like April used to do before the cancer. Even if it costs her April she has to go on with her life. It’s heartbreaking to see these two fight, but I believe this bit of tough love from Beth was necessary. April needs to find a balance between living her life in the moment and being true to herself.

At home Sara is folding towels after washing them three times after they were used to clean up the remnants of the toilet that exploded. Emma helps Sara come to the conclusion that it’s time to talk to Brenna about what is going on. I feel bad for Sara, because we as the audience have watched her struggle this entire episode, but Brenna is simply going to feel ambushed as this will seem out of nowhere for her.

On the beach Beth says goodbye to April and the rift between them right now is firmly holding in place. They have an incredible friendship, but Beth has to keep living her life and unfortunately she can’t live it the same way April is living her life now.

All alone April has plenty of time to think about how wrong this vacation has gone. The moment is quiet, but poignant as you can see the turmoil boiling to the surface.

Danny enjoyed his night out with Dominic, but Dominic wants a steady relationship. He’s over the whole one night stand thing. Leo had better watch out because I think Dominic is gearing up to fight for April, engagement or not.

Brenna is directing a scene between Ford and Hunter, but Ford takes things a little too far and straight on kisses him. It is a really awkward kiss, but it’s a fun scene to show how serious Brenna is taking her newfound passion for film.

April comes home early and falls in Sara’s arms crying. She’s been trying so hard to get control of things and instead her life just keeps spiraling out of her control. The fight with Beth had a profound impact on her and if nothing else comes of it, at least it helped April make some critical decisions. Sara does what any good mother would and orders pizza and binges on junk food with her daughter. Sara is still not entirely onboard with the Leo and April marriage, but she is still standing by her daughter. The mother and daughter scenes between Sara and April have been really great so far this season. I’m hoping we’ll get to see more moments between them as the drama of the season progresses.

After the fight April is trying to desperately reconnect with Beth and leaves her a long message. In true Beth fashion she is waiting outside April’s place to talk to her. The look of relief on April’s face really showed how important Beth is to her. I don’t think April could keep fighting this fight so valiantly without people like Beth standing by her side. As with any friendship they had a fight and thankfully, this time anyway, they were able to overcome it. I just hope April has learned to respect what Beth and the others need to do to continue on with their lives as they support her in her fight.

The time has come and Sara finally tells Brenna about the school situation. She wants to be honest with her and it’s not an easy conversation for either of them. As soon as Sara starts to talk Brenna realizes what is going on and you can see the anger and frustration rapidly boil to the surface. She is angry at her mom for making another decision without involving her. Brenna is also angry that she has to keep changing for the family. You can’t fault either of them for their reactions in this situation. Sara wants to help April and make sure Brenna gets a good education, even if it isn’t at a private school. From Brenna’s point of view she just wants to have some kind of control over her own life. She’s a smart girl and she’s been making good choices lately, so I hope she and her mom find a middle ground on all this.

Natalie finally reveals the manuscript to Beth and wonders aloud if this was more of a autobiography then a story. Beth tries to talk some sense into her, but you have to give Natalie some points on this subject because that book does seem to be modeled on his life. By the time we got to this part of the episode I was starting to think we’d have to wait another week for more details about the book, so I’m glad they gave us at least this little bit. I’m really curious to learn what else is hidden within the story of that book.

The trip did April some good and she’ decided to take charge of her medical care. She has found the treatment she wants to do and she holds her own against Hamburg. It’s a great defining moment for April and I love how supportive Leo was to stay by her side.

This episode was a great follow-up to the season premiere and nicely setup some new storylines for everyone. The drama and acting was spot on, as usual, and the entire cast delivered strong performances. This was definitely Aisha’s week to shine and she deserves a lot of credit for the emotional journey she took Beth through this week.

Next week more secrets come out and Brenna’s relationship with April is tested. Tune in to ABC Family at 9/8C on Monday night then return to SpoilerTV for my detailed review.

About the Author - Aimee Hicks
Aimee works for a local newspaper and has a BA in Broadcasting and Cinema. She has been a TV lover since before she really understood what TV was. She has a long list of shows that she loves to watch and can be found on twitter (@ahicks83) live tweeting about each new episode whenever she can. A list of her favorite shows includes (but is not limited to) the following: 12 Monkeys, Orphan Black, Outlander, Chasing Life, Scorpion, The 100, The Night Shift, Bitten, Black Sails, 2 Broke Girls, Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Continuum, Lost Girl, Faking It, Falling Skies, Finding Carter, Once Upon A Time, Orange Is The New Black, Switched At Birth, The Fosters, The Flash, The Originals, Teen Wolf, Under The Dome, & Z Nation. The upcoming shows she is most excited about are: Supergirl, Dark Matter, UnReal, Blindspot, Lucifer, Legends of Tomorrow, Stitchers, Recovery Road, Shadowhunters, Quantico, Code Black, Heartbreaker, and Chicago Med. She has a large and passionate dislike of ""reality"" TV, espeically ""reality"" dating shows, but has a weakness for Americas Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance. But those two don't really count as ""reality"" shows, at least that's how she justifies those guilty pleasures. She was the original creator and co-founder of LOST Video Island (lostvideo.net) which is still operting under the management of the very capable and skilled group she turned it over to.
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