Joan emerges from the bedroom to find Greg already at the table in uniform, and Gail, who tells her she's got breakfast. Joan, however, just wants coffee, adding that she barely slept, and without further preamble, she tells Greg that she's been thinking, and she wants him to go. Gail politely retires to the kitchen so the two of them can talk, and Greg's delighted, but Joan disabuses him of any notion she's taking any more of his insecurity-fueled bullshit: "I want you to go, and never come back." Greg tries to tell her they need him, but she's worked it all out in her mind: "Well, then, it works out, because we don't." And that's really the truth, isn't it? Greg grabs her hand, not without roughness, and tells her he's important there, he's got twenty doctors over there who rely on him, and look to him for his skill and leadership, not realizing, of course, that he's saying, almost without subtext, that he values and needs that approval and sense of importance more than he needs or feels any obligation to her and Kevin. But why should I talk when I can quote Joan: "I'm glad the Army makes you feel like a man. Because I'm sick of trying to do it." Greg makes his last mistake in glowering that the Army makes him feel like a good man, but she tells him he isn't -- he never was, not even before they were married. "And you know what I'm talking about." I can believe there were times she thought Greg loved her, and that she even convinced herself he was devoted to her -- after all, as stated earlier, this episode is definitely showing how little you may know what a person is thinking, even a person you're very close to. But whatever compromises and rationalizations she may have made for this relationship, I'm glad she got to get that out in the open, in the end. Him returning to Vietnam is in keeping with the episode theme, but it's the callback to the rape that really resonates on that level. Joan yanks her hand away for good measure, and Greg angrily grabs some of his stuff before threatening that if he walks out that door, that's it. And Joan has had some hellacious lines this conversation, but what she does here is even more powerful: She shrugs her shoulders, not without some sadness, and simply replies, "That's it." When Greg's gone, Gail emerges, and it's kind of inexpressibly dear that she's still holding the coffee pot in her hand; she stands uncertainly, waiting for a signal from Joan, who looks at her and tells her simply that it's over. Gail wordlessly sits, thinking about what this will mean for her, her daughter and her grandson, and it's another moment that's made ten times more powerful by the silence.
Episode Report CardCouch Baron: A- | 1063 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT