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Chasing Life - First Person - Review: “Changing Perspective”



Things are changing rapidly in April’s world and she’s doing the best she can to keep up with all the changes happening around her. In fact the life of every character is in a state of flux as things are rapidly changing and evolving around them.

When the episode opened the Carver family was trying to recover from the aftermath of the events in last week’s episode. Trapped in the house the secret of how Thomas ended his life was finally revealed and it shattered the lives of every member of the family. It shattered Natalie so much that she took off without so much as a goodbye. I’m glad they showed everyone trying to reach out to her. Yes, they don’t want her to go to the cops about George and she is April’s donor, but they were also worried for her on a personal level. She is April and Brenna’s sister and nothing will ever change that. It was a really nice touch for Sara to reach out to Natalie as well. They’ve bonded since Natalie came to stay in Boston and while Natalie isn’t her blood I do believe Sara fully embraces her as a part of the family.

As the family tried to find Natalie life went on and as usual the Carver women just can’t have an easy day. April took many meetings with agents about her book and the only one to give her good advice wasn’t even an actual agent. He told her she needed to make the book more personal and first person and while she was annoyed to find out he wasn’t a true agent his advice struck a chord with her. After many less than stellar meetings and an emotional trip to the opening of Leo’s camp she finds herself right back with the assistant. They can help each other and I think this will be a great partnership.

April had a lot going on this week and to top it off she is invited to go and cut the ribbon at the opening of Leo’s camp. When Dominic finds out he offers to accompany her and cover the opening for the newspaper. April’s time comes to cut the ribbon and say some nice things about Leo. As she is speaking about him her emotions are running high and she can’t articulate quite the way she wanted to. I think this is the moment when she realized what the assistant agent was trying to tell her. She needs to face down her pain and eulogize Leo and their love in her book. No matter how much it hurts she owes it to Leo’s memory to tell her story from her heart. It was an epiphany moment for April and I think it was the overwhelming realization of all that which sent her running for a moment of solitude. The true irony is her finally revelation wasn’t found in solitude, but in the innocence of youth. The boy she talks with was exactly the person she needed in order to process recent events. He was innocent, yet wise beyond his years, and he was a stranger to April, yet he helped her open her heart to the pain of Leo’s loss. That is something she needed to do in order to start moving forward with her life while still honoring the memory of her late husband.

Had I written this review before interviewing Richard Brancatisano I would have probably questioned the writers for sending Dominic with April on this journey. However, after speaking with him I believe Dominic did need to be there and support her as a friend. Yes, he has feelings for her, but he also knows she needs to mourn Leo and respects that. I have great respect for how much effort Dominic is putting in to just be a good friend to April despite his obvious feelings for her. I’m confident one day they’ll put these two together, but I also believe that when it finally happens Dominic will have earned it. The writers, and actors, seem sensitive to the fans and understanding that the audience needs time to get over Leo’s loss and find acceptance in Dominic and April being together. Check out my interview with Richard to see his very articulate answers to my questions on this topic.

Speaking of Dominic and Richard, I can’t review this episode and not address that song Dominic sang. I have long known Richard had a musical background and given Dominic’s profession I wondered if the show would ever write it in, so I was glad when they finally did. Dominic’s song was from the heart and so obviously directed at April and it was also made apparent that April was painfully aware of that. I am interested to see where these two characters end the season. Richard did a phenomenal job performing that song and I hope they keep evolving that part of his character.

While Dominic and April were busy at the camp everyone left back in Boston was busy trying to deal with fallout from the events of the storm and Natalie’s abrupt departure. Beth is trying to figure out what to do about her roommate situation while also dealing with fallout from the exposure she got at Jaclyn’s (Nora Kirkpatrick) expense. While Jaclyn tries to pretend like she’s angry at Beth she also sees the value in her talent and tries to sign her to a less than fair contract. Thankfully Beth has new boyfriend Josh on her side and with his guidance she basically told Jaclyn to stuff her promotion and she quit her job. This was a necessary move for Beth’s character and I love how supportive Josh was throughout the whole process. Josh is by far the best match for Beth to date and I hope he sticks around for a long time to come. He cares for her with no expectations and supports her for no other reason than his love for her. They could have a beautiful romance if the couple is allowed to continue developing.

As everyone else is trying to accept changes in their lives Brenna is desperately trying to run from all the changes. By run I mean she wants to join George in California as soon as she can. Since that isn’t in the cards she’s trying to take control of other things, like the fundraiser Sydney is putting on to help Finn get a better running leg. A bit of old Brenna, pre-Greer Brenna, came out and she dealt with her feelings and jealousy through confrontation. She put Shakespeare to good use and used one of his books to book slap Sydney when she makes her own feelings for Finn known. It was an epic moment, but it did end with Brenna’s suspension from school. By the way, has anyone else wondered why April hasn’t offered to use some of her inheritance to get Brenna back into Charton? If Brenna keeps up like this April may just have to volunteer some money to get her sister back there.

The book slapping incident was just part of a bigger problem and one she had to deal with to move on. After having dealt with their own issues April and Sara came together in support of Brenna. It is obvious how much Brenna is hurting and as a united front they were able to get Brenna to open up. Brenna’s confession was heartbreaking and a powerhouse performance by Haley Ramm. The Carver family has been through a lot and that has caused Brenna to have to deal with a lot of change which has caused a fair amount of instability in her life at a time where a teenager needs the most stability as they are trying to make decisions about the future.

Mary Page Keller and Italia Ricci did a phenomenal job supporting Haley’s performance. As fans we just watch in awe of the performance being portrayed to us, but the actors involved had to do this scene time and time again. Haley would have had to tap into that emotion over and over and to keep hitting that she would have had to be given equally strong performances from her scene partners. All three actresses worked together flawlessly and delivered a scene that hit hard and showed why they were perfectly cast to play family. By the end of the scene the Carver women were finally in a good place after several episodes of trauma and upheaval in their lives. From previews it looks like Brenna is in for some relationship drama and given the kiss she shared with Finn at the end of this episode I can only imagine whatever is going to happen will hit her hard. Finn is no Greer, but he has been good for Brenna and I do look forward to seeing how this relationship ends the season. With the signs obvious that something big is coming her way I think she is going to need her mom and sister more than ever to get through whatever is going to happen.

Given all the big moments in this episode I was expecting a benign ending, but instead two big moments occurred. We finally found out that Natalie is alive and well in Florida with her mom, who she apparently told about the Thomas drama, and even more revealing is that Natalie’s mom is apparently in possession of a complete copy of Thomas’ last book. Natalie made it clear she will support April if she’s needed for her bone marrow, so it’s obvious she’s not abandoning her sisters and given the book revelation I imagine we’ll see her back in Boston at some point in the not so distant future. I really like Jessica Meraz and I think she’s done such an amazing job showing Natalie’s evolution. Natalie is a Carver and no matter how far she runs she will always have a place in Boston. I hope Natalie doesn’t stay away for long and when she returns to Boston she’ll stick around on a more permanent basis.

The final big moment of the episode was April moving in with Beth. I have wanted these two to be roommates since the beginning. I can only imagine the shenanigans these two are going to get in to as roommates and I think it’s going to make for some great television.

This was a big episode with a lot of story evolving moments. With only two episodes left in the season I imagine a lot will be crammed into them, so hold on because I think the drama is about to ramp up to a whole other level.

The MVP of this episode has to go to Haley Ramm. She embraced the pain Brenna was feeling and made all that emotion explode off the screen. Life has not been easy for Brenna and Haley always rises to whatever emotional moment the writers throw at her. She nails the emotional moments as well as she does the lighter moments. Brenna may be dealing with crazy changes, but Haley has to guide her through this emotional journey. No easy task for any actress yet Haley has been flawless in her portrayal.

Next week Brenna and Finn go to a dance, Beth faces a crisis, and April realizes Dominic still has feelings for her. Tune in to ABC Family at 9/8c on Monday to find out what is going to happen leading up to the season finale.

I have to take a minute to thank Gavin for stepping in for me and reviewing the last two episodes. He has a busy schedule and was so generous to help me out when asked. He did a beautiful job with his reviews the last two weeks and I am grateful for his help.

Hit the comments with your thoughts on this episode. Can you accept Dominic with April? What do you think Beth’s future will hold now that she’s unemployed? Will Brenna and Finn make the leap to an official couple?

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, especially ""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 operating under the management of the very capable and skilled group she turned it over to.
You can email her at aimee@spoilertv.com.
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