Your long and arduous wait is finally over! Last night’s 7th Heaven premiere was everything it should have been: terrible, squicky and confusing.
But first, time for personal announcements. Howdies and hosannas to Roxanne, Rowena, Stephanie, Tricia, Amy, Emily, and Jen. The eight of us spent Saturday night in Atlantic City for Roxanne’s bachelorette festivities. Highlights included a Donald Trump sighting (dude needs a haircut), and my first experience with going to nightclubs as the Married Chick. I have a new Favorite Thing That Was Ever Said to Me: “Is that an engagement ring? It’s very nice…I find you very attractive. Can I buy you a drink?” That is just too cool for words, and no, I did not accept the drink.
“An Early Fall, Part I”, Airdate 9.15.03
Remember all the way back in May, after Deacon Lou and Detective Michaels showed up on the Camden porch for a cliffhanger ending? My exact words: “If prior 7th Heaven cliffhangers are any indication, we’ll find out that a tertiary character no one cares about has died.” I was wrong. A tertiary character no one has even HEARD OF died, in an all-new low for chicken-hearted writing.
We open with a Camden summer vacation, which primarily consists of frolicking on the beach fully clothed. While there isn’t a single Camden I’d want to see in a swimsuit, that’s just odd. Various Camdens and Peter (why anyone would bring the random neighbor kid on vacation is beyond me) play Go Fish and gossip about “the accident.” And in a new level of Poddler neglect, the twins are left sleeping on kitchen chairs for over four hours before anyone takes them to bed.
Apparently Simon hit a motorcyclist named Paul with his car, killing him and spreading brain matter across the roadway. All of this has made Simon very broody, which is quite sexy. He should kill people more often. David Gallagher acts the hell out of his scenes, because, as long-time readers remember, he is the only member of the cast who bothers to act anymore. Poor David Gallagher.
Over the course of the episode, Simon dumps Cecilia (hooray!), broods (sexy!) and wanders around on the beach. When the vacation ends, the Reverend and Annie get in a hilarious kitchen battle. Annie says it’s time they got in a fight about the accident, and the Reverend delivers a soliloquy about how he should have been the one driving. Annie turns away from him to face the camera and look pained as he talks, creating one of those tableaus only seen in dinner theater and Lifetime “Mommy May I Sleep With Danger?” movies. At the end, Annie says, “I just wanted to say, I wish his parents had told him to wear a helmet!” Huh? As Mike pointed out, it’s not like the Reverend would have argued AGAINST the wearing of helmets. So why did she want to fight?
Over the course of the episode, we also learn that Simon is going to go to trial for the accident, and that Paul’s brother Justin has been stalking Simon and vandalizing the church. Simon also runs away to New York to see Matt and Sarah, and Annie tries to order the Reverend to go get him. How does this family afford all of these last-minute flights to New York? At 8:53, Paul’s parents show up at the Camden residence and tell the Reverend that they are dropping the case. It turns out Paul was on the drugs, thereby completely absolving Simon and chickening out of a remotely interesting plot. However, they don’t specify what the drugs were. Was it the ganja, the cocaine, the crack rocks or the high-powered cough syrup?
However, the episode wasn’t completely Simon-focused, because there are 28 people in the credits now and at least half of them need something to do. Chandler and Woefully Miscast Rachel Blanchard bicker and smooch (fully clothed, on the beach), and Chandler threatens to dump her if they don’t get married. Who in hell issues and engagement ultimatum six months into the relationship? The Reverend also asks Chandler if he and Roxanne are doing the funky monkey. What kind of boss can ask that of his assistant and NOT get his pants sued off?
Lucy and Kevin, who are slightly likable so far this season, decide they need to do something “life-affirming”, like have a baby. Because being a newlywed simply isn’t affirming enough. In a new gross-out moment, Lucy tells the Reverend that they are going to skip church in favor of said affirmations. So, Lucy basically announced, “Daddy, we’re going to go upstairs and have unprotected sex!”
We also discover Mary’s mystery from the season finale when Carlos shows up on the front door. Carlos is another Camden Pet Minority Character, this time in a sassy Hispanic flavor. Camden tertiary characters are frequently racial minorities whose lives are improved merely by the Camden aura. They met Carlos a few seasons ago, when the show wasn’t completely terrible. He was homeless, and the Camdens gave him a plane ticket home to his family. Well, it turns out he’s Mary’s husband now. And Coincidence completes its metamorphosis into Contrivance.
Intentional humor: 2 Unintentional humor: 4 Preachiness: 9 Histrionics: 7 Items thrown at television: 5 Emotional Trauma: 7
And, a poll in honor of Carlos: