Chasing Life: In need of some Christmas cheer

ITALIA RICCI, SCOTT MICHAEL FOSTER

April Carver is almost done with her first chemotherapy treatment, and one of her best friends is about to have life-saving surgery. Who can blame her for not feeling particularly upbeat and happy with life at the moment? Luckily, her sister Brenna, along with the rest of her family, is there to surprise Christmas freak April, by making the holiday come alive in the chemo ward in May!

But first things first. There’s the small matter of resolving last season’s cliffhanger, and finding out what the aforementioned friend/sometimes lover, Leo, said on the voicemail he left April. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long to find out that he has decided to get the surgery to remove his brain tumor, despite there being a 50% chance that something could go horribly wrong. Leo is by far my favourite character on Chasing Life, and I love the easy going and comedic nature that Scott Michael Foster brings to the role.

As usual, Leo uses humour to cope with the obstacles life has put in his way, but I was glad to see April push through his facade and make him talk about his fears, something we’ve rarely seen him do. That’s why later on when Leo later kidnapped April and the two went to the kids’ wing of the hospital and just had fun with each other you couldn’t help but smile. It was evident how important these two are to one another, as friends, beyond anything physical they may have shared in the past. Their bond is one that cannot be matched by any friend or family member, simply because they both “get it” when it comes to dealing with illness and surviving it.

We were privy to a very intimate moment when Leo later shaved April’s head. She had started losing her hair, and it was amusing to watch her try on different hairstyles on her way to going completely bald. It was a little surprising in the end that she picked Leo to do the honour, but really cemented the bond these two share. When Leo, who doesn’t like goodbyes, hugged April right before he headed off to surgery, I could feel the tears start to well in my eyes.

Thankfully Brenna and the rest of the Carver family was there for April. It was perfect timing and she really needed the pick me up. One thing April sure has going for her is a supportive family, even though they all may not show that support in the best way. I was starting to get just as annoyed with April at her visiting grandfather, and gave a little fist pump when she finally stood up to him. Of course, the man had a point. Cancer is one of the scariest things out there, and I would want to hang onto anything I could to make me believe that we have power to affect the outcome of it all as well.

April wasn’t the only one annoyed by her visiting grandparents. They managed to rub each member of the family wrong at one point or another. First up was Brenna, having to dodge questions and comments about her love life and lack of a boyfriend. As she was initially worried about coming out to her grandparents, I knew it was just a matter of time before she blew her top at their constant nagging and comments about her love life.

MARION ROSS, REBECCA SCHULL, HALEY RAMM

When she finally did announce that she was bisexual they could have cared less, in fact they were only upset that they were the last ones to know. Chasing Life continues to deal with Brenna’s journey with utmost respect and is something I really love about the show. They’ve made her consistent in that it’s not about whether or not she’s a lesbian or heterosexual. She’s not interested in labels. It’s all about the person for Brenna and right now that person still seems to be Greer. Unfortunately, Greer’s been shipped off to Oxford for the summer and we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out when the show returns.

Another relationship still in question was what is going on between Sara and George. George clearly wants to pursue this further but Sara seemed to be pulling back. I think these two make a good fit, but there’s obviously a lot of complicated issues that need dealt with if they do decide to make a go of it. Hopefully they’ll learn from what happened in this episode and be open and honest with everyone from the get go. I think if they do that they’ll receive everyone’s support, because at the end of the day, this family just wants whatever makes each other happy.

This time there was no voicemail left by Leo, but his fate is still up in the air as his surgery began. It’s very risky and there’s no certainty that once he has it everything will be ok. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best until the show returns for the second half of the season!

Moments of Christmas Cheer:

  • I completely agree with Grandma Emma. There is NO competition when it comes to cool grandmas, she’s the best one on TV and I can never get enough of her.
  • Case in point, hilarious observations from her such as this one: “He should’ve came a few weeks ago, then you could’ve told him you had a girlfriend AND a boyfriend.”
  • There wasn’t much of Dom in this episode as he still seemed mad at April. I suspect things will be more than a little awkward when he and April return to work together.
  • Beth is really a great best friend! All signs sure point to her and April living together next season which could be a lot of fun to watch.
  • Where can I get my hands on some of that bacon jalapeno chocolate? I can’t be the only one who wants to try it.

Will Leo survive his surgery? What about Dominic? Are you still hoping April will reconcile things with him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Chasing Life moves to Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET when it returns to ABC Family and ABC Spark on Jan. 19.