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'Chasing Life' recap: Keep swinging

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “The Family That Lies Together” | Aired July 8, 2014

It happened, guys! It’s a bit of a morbid topic to be excited about, but we have all been waiting for April to finally drop the news to her family, and she did. This episode was chock-full of surprises: Aside from April spilling the truth about her leukemia, she also got to work on the Natalie Ortiz Post-it, and Brenna found comfort where she least expected. But let’s be real, seeing Grandma back was the true joy of the episode.

First things first: April has sister(s).

As if Brenna hasn’t charmed us enough with her annoyed-at-life attitude, there’s another Carver sister out there, Natalie Ortiz. April uses her reporter skills to investigate the name on the Post-itm only to find out Natalie Ortiz lives on the same street as her father’s writing retreat. Guess someone needed a muse when working on a book. The picture she finds of Natalie with her father and Uncle George leads her to George’s office. He confirms that Natalie is her sister and assures April that the affair hadn’t been an “ongoing thing.”

She leaves her office like someone sucker-punched her in the stomach, acting way more distraught than she did after her cancer diagnosis. Until now she’s been able to choose not to let her cancer be a reality, but with George admitting the truth about Natalie Ortiz, having another sister isn’t a truth she can choose not to believe anymore.

Poor Uncle George not only gets bombarded with April’s interrogation about Natalie, but receives a visit from Sara, April’s mom. Sara demands answers about April’s health, assuming she has some sort of drug problem. Then Sara sets up an intervention, forcing April to reveal what is actually wrong with her. Based on Sara’s reaction, I don’t blame April for holding off on telling her about the leukemia as long as she could. “This is a nightmare!” was Sara’s reaction. No shit—don’t you think she’s aware? Grandma handled it with poise and was the first to throw out the “D” word, telling April, “There’s no damn way I’m letting you die before I do.”

George receives the results from the lab in the midst of all of this and informs April she has acute myeloid leukemia. Her chances of remission are 75 percent, but treatment needs to get started. Her overbearing mom kicks into overdrive trying to control everything and sends April running out the front door. Seriously, we know that as a mom it’s scary, but imagine the person dealing with it. Get it together, Sara! Thank goodness for Grandma, who is the only grounded one in that house.

The whole “really sick sister thing” has gotten to Brenna. After a conversation with Kieran about it, in which he sounds really dumb with his response, she finds no relief. Beth tries to cope with it by asking Brenna and Kieran to accompany them to a screening of Pretty in Pink, where they bump into Greer. Beth picks up on what the rest of us have too: Greer and Brenna have a connection, and it seems like a positive one.

After the intervention, Brenna needs an escape. It’s Greer who meets up with her and gives her comfort. I’m Team Grenna. Brenna has her own dark and rebellious feelings and Kieran doesn’t pull her out of that. Instead, Greer makes her laugh and see life a little brighter. This love triangle could get interesting.

The episode ends with April seeking refuge at Dominic’s place. He thinks she’s showed up crying because of the truth about Natalie being her sister, which is partially what’s devastating her … but it’s also that she just told her family about the leukemia. Dominic is still in the dark about this, though, so she just vents her feelings about being betrayed by her father and who he led them to believe he was.

The flashback from the beginning of the episode returns. This time, we get to hear the piece of advice her father was giving her back then. She realizes it was like he was trying to tell her the truth about his mistakes, but the advice also serves her current health crisis. Her dad’s words resonate: “Life is always gonna throw you curve balls. You can’t control that; all you gotta do is keep swinging.”

Chasing Life, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 9/8C on ABC Family.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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