‘Life Sentence’ 1×02 Review: “Re-Inventing the Abbotts”

Life Sentence, I got to say you definitely surprised me with “Re-Inventing the Abbotts.” Following the Pilot last week, my only wish was for an hour where we could slow down the twists, and get to know these characters. After a rather quick start, luckily my wish came true.

Choices and honesty were the themes for tonight’s hour, as Stella’s family faced down losing their family home, INS showed up threatening to deport Wes back to England ,and all the choices that came with these conflicts.

Let’s dive into it, shall we?

Real Life can Suck

Let’s face it, one of the most annoying parts of adulthood is when you are dealing with the responsibility of adulthood. Sure, we may all enjoy having the freedom of having healthy food or Taco Bell for dinner, but the responsibilities side is what landed on Stella’s shoulder this week. Side-note: I love that it was portrayed Stella was trying, blatantly a rookie at the showing up on time and not leaving early in working a real job in barista land.

Her family issues surround the house they need to sell, her brother Aiden who knocked up a married soccer mom, and her sister’s writers block. As much as I love hearing Lucy Hale’s voice overs, I was hoping we’d get to see Stella voicing her opinions to everyone, and not just the audience. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the dam to break between choosing her Dad’s side on the house debate, calling her brother out on avoiding the woman he knocked up, and yelling at her mom for trying to break the house.

Watching life getting juggled through Stella’s eyes opens up a point of view that very few people ever get to have. We are conditioned by society through our lives to assume we’ll have to just figure out how to do adulthood our own way. However, when Stella gets thrust into it, and her way of going through life when she had cancer doesn’t work anymore is when the complicated part comes into play. I relate to wanting to get along with everyone, and trying to fix any issue you see, but real life and “being a real person” is never that simple, and yes sometimes it really does suck.

Which was made abundantly clear when the INS knocked her door to investigate her marriage to Wes! Oh dear, reality came literally knocking. (Ignore my bad jokes sometimes they type themselves out.)


Marriage, where can it get you?

The INS showing up forces Stella and Wes to face some hard truths about their short term turned lifetime marriage vows. As much as I enjoyed the slow down pace and getting to know more of Stella’s family, my favorite moments, hands down were Stella and Wes learning more about each other. Albeit through flashcard quizzes, that involved sex questions and revelations from the INS agent about who loved who first, but hey you got to start somewhere.

Stella asking her sister for advice was a good idea, but reality once again reared it’s ugly head as Wes opened the floodgates, admitting neither of them were prepared for her to live. Having to prove their marriage that wasn’t meant to be forever to the US government, forced the honesty to light. Wes wasn’t sure how he could continue to be the perfect man if she kept putting her family first, and Stella wouldn’t make a choice on whether she’d stay or follow him to London if he was deported.

Thankfully the family dinner makes it even more crazy!

Hiding and eating food never go hand in hand

As much as we all hope for a peaceful family mealtime, when drama is erupting through the house that tends to get shot to hell really fast. As was the case when her parents argued about the house, Aiden being snarky over his dad’s lack of faith, and Stella finally yelling how hurt she was at her mom running away so “easily” from their home.

Ida, for the first time in eight years, if I had to bet, makes it clear as happy as this house was to Stella it was the complete opposite for her. She has no desire to hurt her family, but the pain of watching Stella get sick, and all the struggles of those years, make it all too easy to let go of that house. She says, as she literally digs her own grave to reveal the cat who didn’t run away, but died of cancer.

Talk about a morbid sense of humor, but God bless Stella for cracking up laughing at the moment her entire family needed it. Which led to the most romantic speech about marrying a dying woman I’ve ever seen.

I can’t begin to guess where the story is taking these two, but I’m firmly in the shipping camp of rooting for Wes and Stella. Their story may be slightly insane, but it is their real story and that’s a lot better than a fairytale where someone dies in the end.

So Life Sentence writers, bring on the story, I’m glad to say I’m excited to see where it all goes.

Final Thoughts

  • Funniest lines I’m declaring were these gems: “Is marriage always this hard?” – Wes “You’re really asking me that?” – Ida
  • I didn’t expect it to go that quickly, but I’m glad Stella’s parents came to an agreement about the house. Next question now where are her dad and brother going to live?
  • If we get more scenes like Stella, Elizabeth and Aiden teasing each other plus sit down chats with Aiden and Paul then consider me on board for this offbeat quirky show.
  • Ida, I understand the appeal of literally digging your own grave when you feel it’s happening, but maybe next time choose the one spot that doesn’t have the cat grave your formerly dying daughter didn’t know about.
  • Seriously coffee shop dude whose name I forgot, who buys THAT many lattes?!

Life Sentence airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on the CW.

About me: I was born a Buckeye and grew up a Hoosier. Dreamer, lover of instrumental music and drinker of way too much iced chai tea from Starbucks. I’m a fantasy book reader, tv review fanatic (I just love seeing what people think ok? haha), tumblr aficionado, and extremely happy to be writing here! Favorite book: The Last Lecture Favorite movie: Titanic Favorite Quote: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand” ~Randy Pausch