‘Life Sentence’ 1×06 Review: “Who Framed Stella Abbott?”

Right out the gate I need to say “Damn it Life Sentence how dare you hit me in the feels over and over?!” Seriously “Who Framed Stella Abbott?” had more heart and turnaround conversations than I was expecting in a single hour of television that instantly brought to light what I’m growing to love in this show.

The promo would have had you believing it was going to be an episode of awkward conversations about inappropriate daydreams, but these writers flipped the script on what happens when choices you never expected to make end up being the reality that crashes around you in the present.

On that note, let’s dive in on tonight’s events for the Abbott family, shall we?

Lizzie, Diego & Ida

Lizzie, dear welcome back! To your mom Ida, newly single from Poppy who’s unofficially taken over the house before officially rearranging, labeling and color coordinating the entire kitchen! I admit, as much as I’d be annoyed by the former I’d be thrilled by the latter choice. Ida, bless her is trying her best to help her daughter and son in law with their lives and kids, but doesn’t quite realize how much the married people just *need* alone time.

After a family crisis with Aiden (which I’ll be talking about soon), a wake up call in the form of overhearing a conversation, the first one this hour, comes into play. Lizzie smartly argues her hubby into forming a united front to tell her mom the truth, but in the face of relief and happiness to be somewhere, they can’t bring the words to express what they really want to say.

Luckily after said eavesdropping, the warm hearted and deeply caring mama bear puts the grand kids to bed and arranges a date night for her adult kids. The truth however comes out pretty fast, and as much as I know they really wanted their space, Ida is their family and they aren’t going to let her run out the door that easily.

I wish I could say every conflict this hour wrapped up so nicely, but sadly that was not the case.

Speaking of….

Stella, Wes & Dr Grant

Stella, bless her heart has one of the biggest ones out there and is committed one hundred percent to her marriage and relationship with Wes. Sadly sexual day dreaming has no such ties to that kind of loyalty and love, by worming it’s way into her brain into the form of Dr Grant. Who is so hot, it’s emphasized by literally everyone so she plays matchmaker on the spot to an attractive lady doctor when he’s smartly picking up on why she’s avoiding him.

Look dude, I appreciate the honesty but if a married lady is trying to avoid you, please get the hint. She should not have to lay down the law in broad daylight where her husband overhears her say at the worst possible moment you understand her in a way that her husband doesn’t.

The look on Wes’s face when she turned around broke my heart into pieces and had me yelling “NO” at the television. Cue the second and worst moment to overhear a conversation. The ensuing talk was even worse because as much as I know where Stella was coming from as she spent all her energy choosing over and over to not give into anything she was feeling towards Dr Grant, and choose her husband it wasn’t what he needed to hear in that moment.

The truth is painful sometimes, and the honesty that Wes shared when said he has no idea if things will be “okay” rings true to how hard marriage can turn out to be in the world. I still have faith in my OTP though, as long as they don’t as Stella said “give up.”

It may sound simplistic, but let’s face it the choice between giving up or to keep going is the turning point for all the important things and people in our lives.

Which brings me to the story part of the hour that turned me into a sobbing mess for a solid fifteen minutes.

Aiden & Peter

Aiden….never have I met a character who I yelled at multiple times, thought you deserved this one hundred percent, and then cried my eyes out for when the actual story came out in a single hour of television. Bravo writers for surprising me this week, because I did not expect to feel so much on a character I initially wrote off as a lazy man child in the Pilot.

Stella stuck her neck out for him to get a job as a barista, and it all went to hell in a hand-basket when he got talked into selling the last of his drugs discreetly over the counter while on the job. I don’t know how many times I called him an idiot, but I think I broke my own record when he and Stella got arrested for drug dealing while on the job.

As angry as Stella was and deserved to be, she still refused to leave her brother in jail, but met family opposition on every which way on bailing him out. You know it’s good writing when you can’t pick a side between Stella truly wanting to be there for her brother even when he’s caught drug dealing, and the family who believe that leaving him there will teach him the lesson he needs to wake up and clean up his life.

It wasn’t surprising when everyone in the Abbott family had their reasons for choosing to draw a line after Aiden got arrested, but the reason he started drug dealing in the first place caught me completely off guard. With the worst wig I’ve ever seen, Aiden years ago was working hard to keep up with his life and be there for Stella when she got sick. He turned to dealing as a way to make money without taking time away from being with his sister and it spiraled day after day until he hit rock bottom.

I’ve seen Aiden pull out a lot of wisdom when he’s not making jokes all the time, but this was the first moment where I really understood how he came to be who he is now. Climbing back up from a potential felony charge from his dealing and jail is a hell of a challenge, but whatever their issues his family has his back.

Thank God for the Abbott’s love for each other because I’m not sure anything else could tackle what gets thrown at them, but as Stella realized – giving up is never the answer.

Final Thoughts

  • Aside from Poppy who Ida has smartly decided to split from and Stella’s friend Sadie, everyone in the Abbott clan + Dr Grant showed up tonight. Despite the large ensemble, tonight was the first time I found the story balance was even without running through the plot at lightening speed.
  • Forget hard core criminals, soccer moms with big smiles and ridiculous issues, are the biggest pains in the rear when it comes to shoving off bad life choices and trying to act like an actual adult and work. Aiden in the future please don’t let these ladies con you, they are not worth it!
  • “I’m going to go home and seduce my husband.” ~ Stella in an adorably awkward moment of honesty only she can provide. Which turned to jaw dropping sexiness the second she showed up at home in a raincoat and lingerie that I wished I could buy immediately.
  • In spite of all the kissing fantasies and the sexy kindness of Dr Grant, I’m still firmly shipping Stella and Wes. My OTP is having a tough time right now, but as someone who’s dealt with more than enough TV angst I’m prepared to go on this ride no matter how crazy it gets. I believe in you two, and for lord’s sake Dr Grant I get how easy it is to like Stella, but she’s as subtle as I am which is to say not at all. I know you can read between the lines, so please DO SO.
  • I know it got really awkward when Wes showed up, but before that moment I was really proud of Stella laying down the law with how Dr Grant, okay WILL, was making her feel. Stella is not used to burying her feelings, and between the nicknames, and constantly cracking that smile at her she has every right to make it clear that behavior is not acceptable when she’s committed to Wes. Kudos sweetie and I’m with you all the way.

Life Sentence airs Fridays 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