Season 1 | Episode 9 | “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Chemo” | Aired Aug 8, 2014
With the summer finale approaching, we have reached the turning point in the show. April seems shocked when her plans to go about living her normal life for the two days pre-chemo don’t pan out as she expected. Come on, April, you should have an eye for those curveballs by now. This episode was emotionally loaded for just about every character in the show, as we see April’s family, friends and coworkers deal with her pending monthlong stay in the hospital.
Grandma is always finding a way to insert her youthful humor into tense moments, and she didn’t disappoint. She kicked off the pun on eggs by asking if April wants her breakfast eggs frozen. Brenna continued by asking April how she feels about her eggstraction, and Sara jokes that she’s looking at the “sunny side of all this.” It’s great to see how far this bunch has come with their family interactions from when the show began. The cancer has been a gift to the family in uniting them unlike anything else could; however, like April expresses to Beth, it’s a gift she’d totally return if she could. But since she can’t, might as well start looking at the cup as half-full. Sara has even traded in her overly neurotic behavior for that of a supportive party planner.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for the Carver women. Brenna is still torn between her boyfriend and Greer. Sara catches her daughter and Greer in some steamy action during a slumber party. Luckily Sara doesn’t make an awkward situation more awkward; instead, she gives Brenna advice on the vulnerability of young—scratch that—all hearts. It’s commendable that Brenna shares the truth with Kieran, and ballsy when she asks if he’s willing to allow her to date them both. He agrees to try, but after Greer spends more time with Brenna and her family, Kieran starts feeling like a neglected third wheel, along with Brenna’s best friend. So, naturally, what do abandoned boyfriends and best friends do? They make out in your bedroom, duh! Brenna isn’t too thrilled when she catches them, and it’s time she makes her decision. Team Grenna is here to stay.
April is set on attending the Bruce Hendrie debate, partly because she’s a workaholic and mostly because she hasn’t heard from Leo since their post-fake-funeral hookup. Leo doesn’t give April a warm welcome at the debate, and later on he finds himself a viral internet sensation when his brain tumor causes him to slur during a live interview. Bruce Hendrie shows a side of him we hadn’t seen through his campaign: a genuinely concerned father who rushes out mid-debate to be at his son’s bedside. April also takes a stroll to see Leo in an attempt to convince him to do the risky surgery. He makes it known that that’s not an option in his book, and she cannot change that. She lets him know that she can’t keep seeing him if he isn’t willing to fight for his life like she’s about to do for hers. We all want Leo to get that surgery because we want him to live and date April, but the man makes a point when he stands his ground. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that we get to see Leo live beyond the couple months he was projected.
Of all the characters in the show, Beth unknowingly cracked with emotional word-vomit to Raquel. April shows up to the office on her last day only to have everyone give her special treatment—exactly what she was trying to avoid by going to work and not staying home. At first we hate Raquel for sharing April’s business, but as April rides down the elevator with her, we’re just as grateful as April is that Raquel is the only one in the office not treating her any differently.
April exceeds her journalistic duties when she shares her truth in the piece she writes about Bruce Hendrie walking out on his debate. It was sweet to hear the words she wrote about recognizing that very same look of concern in her loved ones. She tries to contact Dominic to tell him about her cancer before he reads it in the paper first, but that’s exactly what happens. What will Dominic do now? Right now April is down both guys in her life. None of that matters right now, though—not really, not when she’s staring at her home’s foyer for the last time for a month.
Chasing Life, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 9/8C on ABC Family.