Life Sentence 1×03 Review: “Clinical Trial and Error”

Life Sentence, you know how to make an hour up, down and unexpectedly twisty. “Clinical Trial and Error,” brought up family experiences for some of the Abbott clan, and new life experiences for Stella. I won’t lie, I’m getting to like this show more, but it’s clearly still trying to find it’s footing pace wise. This week was back to the moving through the plot at lightening speed, before it found a better pace in the middle.

However, I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so let’s dive in, shall we?

Dynamics are a whole part of Life

Following the selling of their family home, Peter is entering the phase of life of literally watching paint dry, from the guest house the new owners are letting him and Aiden stay in. Stella’s volunteer work at the hospital, while fulfilling for housekeeping is not quite up to her level of making a difference. Which leads to the quest of signing Sadie, the kind cancer patient we met in the Pilot,  up for the same clinical trial that saved her life.

As per usual, it’s not as easy as her dad made it seem when he claimed he got Stella in from a single uplifting speech.




Aiden surprised me more than anyone else tonight, which was a welcome turn, because as good as he is at being there for Stella, I had no idea what else they’d be taking his character. Luckily the writers proved me wrong, when he stepped up to “be there” for his dad, and play the role of wingman at a very specific hotel.

Speaking of specific hotels, Stella’s plan to swing helping Sadie get into the clinical trial, is to literally ask for more money from the donor who pulled the funding. In that moment, Stella reminded me of myself about ten years ago, willing to do anything to help others even if it wasn’t necessarily the best way to go about it. Still her efforts are sincere in law breaking and roping the handsome new doctor William Grant played by Riley Smith into helping her out.

WHICH DEFINITELY GOES ALL ACCORDING TO PLAN IGNORE THE MAN BEHIND THE BAR! (said in loud Wizard of Oz voice, but moving on.)

Family surprises you more often than you think

Wes learned about family in an experience, he (or us) are likely to forget. Babysitting his in law’s children, as Stella is off on her mission after volunteering them, turns into a panic call to Ida when Fiona gets sick. It seemed like a good idea, until Diego’s warning about Ida going overboard came true way more quickly than I guessed. One slip of the tongue though opened up a piece of the past I wasn’t expecting.

Tonight was the first time I felt like I truly saw a glimpse of what Ida went through for all the years Stella was sick when she slipped and said Stella instead of Fiona. The reality that Stella is cured and healthy, doesn’t take away from the experience she had being a parent to a sick and dying daughter overnight. I was really glad they addressed this in a way that felt as natural when Wes had a slip of his own and called Ida “Mum.” Especially after revealing the lack of….affection shall we say from his own mother.

Speaking of family, that specific hotel I alluded to, opened up a whole new adventure called: “the awkward encounter.” Aka when Stella definitely runs into her dad with a drunk lady hanging off him, while on a “not date” with the hot doctor hunting down money. Yes that was a sentence I just typed, moving on.

I would vote to not introduce a love triangle this early on, but dang it the chemistry between Stella and Dr Grant was as obvious as the bartender being the owner trick the writers snuck in this hour. The phrase sticking your foot in your mouth was cleverly used, as Stella’s efforts didn’t go unrewarded, but as reality goes it’s never in the way you imagine.

Whatever happens next, one of the best parts about this show is watching Stella learn to balance her outlook with normal life and, it’s ups and downs. Which made clear that as happy as she is with her husband, a handsome doctor drops a line of how he wishes he met her seven months ago and, the world is in flux again.

Little does Stella know, her dad’s evening which ended pretty well at first. Between bonding with his son for the first time in years, and having a night with a fellow divorcee, which would have been awesome if the lady didn’t come out and instantly recognize Aiden.

Oh dear. Well, this life sentence is about to get a lot more interesting. (Yes I went there, sue me.)

Final Thoughts

  • I sense the love triangle coming, and as much as I loved Stella getting to know Dr. Grant as a person and not a droolworthy man in a white coat I am still firmly team Wes. If I change my mind I’ll let you know, but I’m saying it now.
  • I really should have seen that Aiden twist coming, because of course no one can have a goodnight in the Abbott family without one crazy thing. Or in this case coincidence.
  • Aiden is growing on me the more he isn’t a shameless, well man to get to the point. Telling Stella the truth about how her parents got her into the clinical trial that saved her, opened up the struggle and difficulties they hid from her for so long. Taking that and embracing it for Sadie, from the trial to changing the vent, was an eye opener I”m hoping we get to see more of in the future.
  • Saw the owner being the bartender a mile away, but it worked really well this hour, and honestly no one does deer in the headlights humor better than Lucy Hale I’m learning.

How about you fellow Life Sentence fans?

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