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Chasing Life - A Bottle of Secrets - Review: "There Will Be No Secrets Left"


2.10 - "A BOTTLE OF SECRETS"
Directed by Norman Buckley
Written by Jeffrey Stepakoff
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

This is Gavin here with my last review of Chasing Life. Filled in for Aimee Hicks who will be back for the rest of season two! Hope you guys enjoy my thoughts on Monday's episode of the show.

'A BOTTLE OF SECRETS' REVIEW

Well this was a very important and big episode of Chasing Life. Not the scale of Leo's death a few episodes back, but it was perhaps more important in the history of April's life, especially in understanding her deceased father Thomas. It's something that has been circling the show since it premiered last year, but it wasn't exactly a topic that was addressed directly until this very episode. I never would have thought of it as being suspicious until Natalie found that manuscript in the season two premiere, and the season has slowly, in the background, built up to this episode. While April's cancer relapse and Leo's death have overshadowed the storyline, I must say this was one of my favourite episodes this season despite not being the epic swan song of the second season.

So the characters are sort of on lockdown in the Carver home due to a snow storm, one that also has Natalie, Beth, Uncle George and May in. So when you have all the main and recurring characters in one room, well, things are bound to happen. Things start of a bit slowly with just some speculations over George's lies - which we all can see through due to how suspicious he was acting - and a game of Celebrity. As the family get closer to the truth about Thomas, the patriarch, the situations heat up. As April is caught rummaging through Uncle George's luggage, a tree smashes through a window and injures George's girlfriend (or ex now?) May. It was very good timing by the way, and I still wonder how she got so injured from the distance and how the glass shattered. Never mind, I'm not the logistics police.

So tensions are high between May and Uncle George to begin with, so when he cleans her up, there's some attitude between them. I kind of wish May had of been more open and fun, instead of just wanting to run away from the home as quickly as possible. It was very clear she didn't want to be there. Anyway, we also see a bit more of a connection between George and Sara, but that sort of extinguishes by the end of the episode. Maybe if George is in more of the episodes, that will be explored, but I don't think he will be back until next season maybe if the show is renewed. And it did appear as things would get happier as Beth got the drink out, and even May was happy to have some, but Beth ended up going to bed as well as May. This left the Carver family alone for the awesome, awesome confrontation scene.

The confrontation, with all of them sitting down in very low light as George headed the story, was just a brilliant scene. It was so simplistic but so wonderfully written; I was just enthralled. It was very enchanting as Uncle George told the story of the past, and I literally could just sit and listen to the actor all day long - he just has that presence. Wonderful acting. On all parts, actually, as it did get emotional. So the girls found out the truth about Thomas - he had ALS and he wanted to end his life. He enlisted the help of George, but when he wouldn't, he took matters into his own hands by driving into a tree. George helped to cover it up by moving the body and pretended he drove the car, all to ensure the Carvers get the life insurance money for the roof over their heads and medical expenses.

I was really satisfied with this explanation. I knew that Thomas would turn out to be sick and dying from an illness, which would explain why he acted erratically in his final year. I thought it could have been cancer, but it was a nice surprise of raising awareness for ALS. Also, it was amazing to see Adrian Powell as Thomas in the flashbacks. He really brought life to the role, one we had mainly just heard of rather than seen. I absolutely loved the flashbacks. It was also emotional to see how the girls silently reacted, especially when Sara reached out and held Brenna's hands. Poor Natalie too. I think the most silent of them all was April, who was very hard to read actually. Is it also interesting to note that April saw her father at the end, kind of like how Izzie saw her deceased fiance in Grey's Anatomy before she found out she was dying from cancer? Seeing dead loved ones could be a very bad omen for what's to come for April.

I also LOVED Beth in this episode. Hers and Brenna's scenes were on point as Brenna told her she was her sister, that she'd been there through everything with them. It was also good to see her progress with April, especially in sharing her life with her. I was laughing when she started gushing about her life and dropped the things in the dustpan without even realising - classic! April appeared really happy for her too, as I knew she would be. I really hope we see more open communication between April and Beth in the coming episodes. I love their friendship but it feels more like fighting lately, so maybe this was a step in the right direction. I'm also wondering where Natalie has gone as she has taken all her things and left. She obviously didn't take to George's news very well. Who is Beth going to roommate with now?

EPISODE VERDICT

I really loved this episode actually. The fact that we got so many secrets answered and real progression of the Carver family story was refreshing. It was nice to take a step away from April's battle with cancer and really focus on the family unit she's a part of. It allowed some great development on all fronts and will lead into exciting possibilities. What are they going to do next with the information they've been given? Where did Natalie go? I'm very excited about the last three episodes of the season and what could possibly happen next. This episode was a big step-up from the last episode, which I enjoyed still, but I loved this one more. It felt very stripped back and the storm was a perfect set-up to keep them all locked inside. It was an episode with a different feel to the norm, and I would welcome more episodes like this.

EPISODE AWARDS

Best Character: Going to say April for being so pushy and insistent with George.

Most Interesting Character: Uncle George. I was just engrossed in his story.

Naughtiest Character: May. That was some sass she gave.

Best Moment: The confrontation with the whole reveal. "There will be no secrets left when I stop talking."

Best Line: "Death used to be my greatest fear. But now it's such a real possibility that if I don't, it's a bonus."

Best Pairing: April and Natalie. I always love when they team up and I want more of this. They just mesh well together despite being so different.

Shadiest Moment: Asking if George can go to jail if the secrets ever get out. Makes me wonder if somebody is going to spill...

Did you guys enjoy 'A Bottle of Secrets'? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Chasing Life - September 14th on ABC Family!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Devious Maids, The Flash, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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