7th Heaven
The Prodigal Father

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admin: F | Grade It Now!
Love conquers all
I complain a lot in other recaps I write about endless "previously on X Show" scenes that start off every episode. Mostly I find them a) insulting, since they don't seem to give regular viewers enough credit to remember plotlines from week to week, when in fact viewers seem to remember plotlines better than forgetful and revisionist writers; and b) unnecessary, since despite the annoying "previously on" scenes, most shows find ways of reminding people of ongoing plots within the episode itself (usually clunky, contrived dialogue). So it was weird for me to be kind of hoping for "previously on" scenes for 7th Heaven, but only because I've never seen the show before. I've read some of the recaps, and there was a momentary interest in checking out the show thanks to Jessica Biel's infamous Gear photo spread, but something always prevented me from watching the show. It might have been the lack of a gun pointed to my head by someone hell-bent on making me watch, which was the only scenario I could envision in which I'd subject myself to it. I mean, I knew Jessica Biel wasn't going to be topless on the show. Did you see those pictures?

Anyway, no "previously on" scenes. Good for 7th Heaven, I guess. Besides, to be fair, there'd have to be a lot of them to get me caught up on seven and a half seasons' worth. But the first line of dialogue? Not so good: "He asked me for the one thing I wanted to do even less than those things." Ohhhh-kaaaaay. And "he" is? And "those things" are? And "the one thing" is? The "he" is Vic, and "the one thing" is being a part of Paris and Peter's lives, but it took me a little while to pick up on that, since as soon as we see Paris in the church talking to RevCam, I was saying, "Hey! It's that woman who tried to break up with George but he wouldn't let her do it, so she had to do it through Kramer!" You know, where she calls George and he doesn't pick up the phone and his answering machine has the "Believe it or not, George isn't at home..." message? Hee! I love that! RevCam doesn't say much. Judging from the look on his face, it's because he's trying to pass a kidney stone. Paris's expository dialogue is that painful, as she explains that Vic is sober and went into rehab and hasn't had a drink in three years, and even has a job teaching art at a small college. It doesn't pay much, mind, but enough to pay back child support. "He wants a second chance," she says. "What do you want?" says RevCam. Paris says she wants to go back in time and to not have answered the phone and gone out for a cup of coffee. RevCam says God can do that, but Paris runs the risk of screwing things up in the past so that her parents never meet and she's never born and starts to fade from existence while playing guitar at a sock hop unless she sets things right. "But that's not going to happen. What do you really want?" he says. "I want Vic to be someone other than Vic," she says, not grasping the idea that maybe she should confine her wishes to the realm of the physically possible. She says Vic is still the irresponsible, angry, annoying guy he always was. "I thought it was the alcohol, turns out it's him -- I don't like him." RevCam shifts around stiffly. Almost got it! Since he's not saying anything, Paris has to babble on about how it doesn't matter what she thinks since they have a child together (call me nuts, but I think it still matters what she thinks), and that she "stupidly" gave him visitation rights but he never requested them until now, and she's pleading with RevCam, actually clasping her hands as if in prayer, for RevCam to do something so that Vic's reappearance doesn't ruin their lives. Unbidden, the image of Don Corleone pops into my head, slapping Johnny Fontane and shouting, "You can start by acting like a man!" Lord. Two movie references and I'm less than a minute and a half into my recap. Can you tell I wish I were doing something else?

Anyway, what does RevCam suggest? Nothing. He scratches his chin with his thumb. Thanks for the guidance, "Reverend." Paris says she's going to talk to Peter and Chandler. Finally, the almighty RevCam speaks. "Chandler seems to be getting very close to Peter." It'd be nice if he could have said that without having it sound, to the 7th Heaven viewing-virgin, like there was a Michael Jackson insinuation in there somewhere. But I guess not. "Are you and Chandler considering...marriage?" Paris is quick with the "No...no..." and then adds that even if they were considering it, this "turn of events" would have her reconsidering it. Wuzzah? She doesn't want her asshole ex-husband in her life, but she'd let Vic's presence scuttle a potential marriage? Sounds logical. Anyway, she then starts extolling Chandler's virtues and goes on about how he's the best thing to happen to her and Peter in years, and this would be when Chandler ambles on in, wondering if he heard his name. RevCam excuses himself to go grimace and scratch his chin and be of absolutely no use to anyone elsewhere. After Chandler and Paris cheek-kiss and exchange "I missed you"s, Chandler says that when he heard her talking, he assumed she was waiting for him, but that's not why she's here, is it? The whole while, he's doing this weird shifty-eyed thing, glancing off-camera like he's worried that the onion rings on the craft services table are going to be gone before they nail this scene. Paris says she wasn't, but she does want to talk to him. Chandler gets even more shifty-eyed.

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7th Heaven




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