The episode’s title, “Grand Canyon”, is relevant and apt. Still, it may be an understatement considering the depth of the canyon dredged between relationships in this week’s episode. Maggie and her mother, PJ and his “father”, Katherine and Eddie, the list goes on of the people who are facing a Grand Canyon of sorts, including decisions that have to be made and the repercussions of them. that will result from it.
Maggie’s mother Patricia (Melora Hardin) arrives in town for more of a visit. She abruptly informs Maggie that she’s left Maggie’s father, leaving her daughter in a state of shock. The two don’t have a close relationship; their struggles have been prominent since day one. This blow seems to have further strained whatever relationship they may still have. Not only this, but there lies the questions behind the sudden separation. Why did they split up? Was there an affair? Did they grow apart?
Maggie’s visit to a psychic in this episode may be part of the reason for the broken marriage. It looks like Maggie’s deceased brother, killed in a car accident years before, was trying to make contact with Maggie and give her some peace. Perhaps the loss of her brother was too much for her parents to continue being married after all. Plus, it dredged up further painful memories for Maggie. Just when she’s overcome cancer, it looks like family drama is next in the books. As if that weren’t enough, her mother seems to have an ambiguous connection with a mystery man (Jason Ritter), which was cause enough for Maggie to storm away.
Maggie was at the restaurant to begin with because Gary had convinced her to connect with her mother. With this fallout, will she blame Gary for the added heartache? Will her family drama affect her relationship with him? The two have been through plenty, that’s a given, and if anyone could relate to Maggie’s newly broken family, it’s Gary, who has an unsavory familial past of his own. This new test just may make them stronger, but it won’t come without its rough patches.
Conflict was at the forefront for Delilah this week as she faced the Grand Canyon of her own guilt over Jon, her husband. She struggles to forgive herself for not seeing his pain and doing something sooner. She even tries a psychic to connect with her deceased husband, hoping to get answers and forgiveness.
She doesn’t get anything from it, but her guilt over Jon seems to be pushed back with the presence of Andrew (James Tupper). Andrew was introduced last season, and he’s currently helping Delilah and Regina with their restaurant, trying to ensure its success. It seems like something is brewing between Delilah and Andrew; honestly, it’s too soon for something like this. Delilah just lost her husband and though it’s looking like Eddie’s gone back to Katherine, it’s still too soon to consider a new relationship, especially considering everything else in her life.
Speaking of Andrew, he and Regina engaged in something of a power struggle during this episode. Furious with his constant criticism and annoyed at the fact that he keeps making important decisions without consulting her, Regina confronts him. It seems he uses a scare tactic; while he may have good intentions, his threat of the restaurant going down without his help scares her enough to get her to call him and let him know she’s ready to listen. His approach was dreadful and I was more likely to side with Regina, though I can understand why she’s willing to at least listen, lest she lose another restaurant.
Rome seems to be the character holding it most together this episode, which is a good sign considering his immense struggle with depression last season. He’s even taken a step to volunteer for a hotline to help others like him. Almost like he’s trying to pay forward the support for others that he received himself.
His friendship with PJ further demonstrates Rome’s attempt to be there for someone regardless of how well he knows that person. Though, he does discover in this episode that to some degree the friendship was fabricated. Initially, PJ sought him and the rest of the gang out to learn the truth about Jon, who he believes is his father. Rome, who recently decided he wanted children, has been acting as a father figure to PJ and will likely help him find the truth. Rome seems to be living out his dream of fatherhood through PJ, which this could either be a very good thing, or a very dangerous thing considering how PJ factors into Jon’s past. Rome may not be able to handle PJ’s potential rejection of him too well, and it could send him back on the dark road of depression if he’s not careful.
Last but certainly not least, there is the Grand Canyon that is Katherine and Eddie. I have some inner conflicts of my own when it comes to these two. Katherine returns home in this episode, and it’s clear that she’s obviously still struggling, as she cries during Garden Day and practically runs away from the gossiping mothers. Her strength is dwindling, and she seems to be heavily relying on Eddie because of it.
I’m not so sure this is the best decision on her part. Relying on Eddie once before did nothing to benefit her; he cheated on her, after all. She seems to be shrinking back into herself and using Eddie as her shield to the world. This could be detrimental to her healing–while she apparently believes she and Eddie can grow from this and move on to be better people, it doesn’t erase the past. That’s exactly what she seems to be trying to do: erase her past and pretend it never happened. Katherine’s coping mechanism of avoidance just may be her undoing, and I’d hate to see her more broken than she already is.
While the Grand Canyon opened up, it swallowed both the audience and characters whole this week in a plethora of downfalls and emotions. It was a very realistic episode, but still depressing. That’s life sometimes, and we all make mistakes. However, too many mistakes were made in this episode for me to really feel for the characters, especially in the cases of Katherine and Maggie. I’m hoping for something more uplifting come the next episode.
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“Grand Canyon” wasn’t a bad episode. It was just one of those episodes where things get too realistic. When watching television, most of us are looking for an escape from reality. Going from reality to reality just isn’t part of our escape, which is why the premiere episode was more preferable than this one.
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