Eric finds out that he needs open-heart surgery. He almost tells his family, but he wants to go bowling instead. The Camdens go bowling that night. Robbie asks Kevin if he can get rid of a ticket he got. Lucy and Kevin fight because Kevin won't tell Lucy about why he and Robbie are fighting and because Kevin won't share about his past relationships. Simon says that if Eric wasn't around anymore, he would be happier. Eric promises to Ruthie that everything is fine, even though it's not. I thought this was great episode! I love bowling and seeing some of them bowl was quite fun! It was really sad though. First, Ruthie is let down by Eric when he promises her and in a later episode, she is devestated when she finds out. Also, Simon basically tells Eric that he wishes that he wasn't his dad. He says for Eric to love him less. Finally, the fact that Eric has to have surgery is pretty depressing. This was a great episode though and I loved all of Kevin's comments about Lucy being crazy! I give this episode a 10!
Needless to say, I was not that impressed with this episode. Well, the majority of it anyways. As I have said before in other reviews for season seven episodes, there was an off kilter feeling in most of the episodes, and it just left me with an unsatisfying feeling that this was just not 7th Heaven. BFE is not only the worst episode of season seven, it also has to be at the top of my "least favorite" episodes list. It's hard and uncomfortable to watch. There is just a depressed feeling throughout the entire episode. No one is happy, there is a gloom over everything, and some family members act like whiny little kids just because they are going out for a family night of bowling. How often does the family all go out for a family night?. You never see it. In 9 seasons, you hardly ever see the Camdens and their extended family actually go out together as a family. So, I was kind of ticked with some of them for acting the way they did. This never happens, and you don't want to go out for one night of fun?. Needless to say, the night was anything but fun, and it made up for one of the most unwatchable and uncomfortable episodes of the entire series. Okay, so maybe it was not entirely toxic, but it wasn't much better. The only thing this episode had going for it was the last few moments with Eric and Simon. More tense filled and uncomfortable as the rest of the episode, but it was well written, acted, and just well done. I guess I shouldn't get too much ahead of myself before I even get to that part of the episode. But it was a well done moment, and proves once again that David Gallagher is turning into a mighty fine young actor. Anyways, what turmoil lurked this week in the Camden household?...
Eric goes to see his doctor, and he is told that he needs to have open heart surgery. This is hardly surprising since we know of Eric's past heart problems in season four, and know that he likes to get into the kinds of food that is not healthy for anyone. Obviously, this bit of news is quite scary and shocking. Eric is worried and concerned about the whole thing. He has a hard time bringing himself to even tell the family. Even Annie. He even calls Hank up on the phone with a cryptic message that results in the episode's only funny moment. More later. Open heart surgery is a pretty big operation, but everyone afterwards keeps telling Eric that it is a minor surgery, and is not the big thing people make it out to be. But what does Eric do?. He can't tell his family, so instead he insists that the whole group go out for a family night and go bowling. Great idea!. Everyone is put off by the idea and act as if they don't know how to bowl and act as if going out with your family for a night is the worst thing that could possibly of happened. Annie knows that there is more to this than just going out bowling. She knows that Eric is keeping something from her. And since she is superwoman, she is right. The bowling segment itself is kind of fun. Watching everyone bowl with the music playing as they do was nice, and we should see more musical segements like that on the show. They are always A-OK in my book. But everyone's mood and attitude pretty much dampens the whole thing. The sole funny moment was when Annie spots Hank in the bowling alley lobby just standing there. Funny. I like Hank. We need to see more of him. Eric finally tells Annie his news at the end of the night. She knew that was what he was going to say. How does she do it?!. I like the Eric/heart problem storyline. I like it because it has some weight to it, unlike a lot of individual storylines. I liked what they did with it in season four, and I like what they did with it here in season seven. This episode, though, was just a major bummer. I can't not understand Eric's way of thinking. He's scared of the operation, and afraid to tell his beloved family such news. I can see how someone would want to go out for a night like that. A great night with the people you love to remind you of the good things in life and what you have. But he should of told Annie from the beginning. He should have told everybody. It would of saved us from the major blues of this episode.
Also going on in this episode is Robbie asking Kevin if he can get him out of a ticket. It's a very minor storyline and has no heft to it at all. If this is what has become of Robbie and Adam LaVorgna's participation with the show, then I can fully understand why he left. At this point, there was no place for Robbie. Kevin moved in and took over. Plus Chandler and Roxanne are coming. Robbie was left out in the cold. That's too bad because I liked Robbie. LaVorgna was no Oscar winning actor, but Robbie was cool and likeable. The new characters, at first, were not any of those things. Robbie was better than all the new characters combined. And he's the one that goes. Too bad. Also, Lucy asks Kevin if he's ever been with another woman. Okay, is Lucy in the right in asking such a question?. Kevin is a little older than Lucy, a cop, good looking(to girls!), and so he probably has. Is it any of Lucy's business?. If I were with somebody, I don't think I could ask them "so, been with any other guys?". That's not a question I feel I could ask someone I was with, so I have to say that I don't think Lucy should of either. That's like asking "how many other people have you slept with?". Doesn't need to be asked. At least I don't think so.
But the ending. The end talk in the kitchen with Simon and Eric was the only memorable part. The chunk of episode that preceeded this moment was depressing enough, but this was just more so. Simon practically tells Eric that he could of been a normal person doing normal things if his father wasn't who he was. Eric tells him that he loved him, with Simon responding that Eric should "love him less". It was a memorable conversation because it was a conversation you would never expect to see on 7th Heaven. I don't think any kids has had such a talk with one of the parents. It was monumental just for that. It was well written, and very well acted by Gallagher and Stephen Collins. You had to be kind of mad at Simon. Not just because you know this secret of Eric's that he is keeping from him, but also because where does Simon get off telling him this in the first place?. Eric is a great father and tries to provide and protect his children. He is doing the best he can. Simon thinks maybe things would be better for him if he weren't his father?. What a thing to say to someone. If Simon had found out about Eric's heart problem and upcoming procedure, it wouldn't of made a difference. He shouldn't of said it, or thought it, in the first place. I understand that it must be kind of hard being the son of a preacher man(sorry, I couldn't resist). People think of you in a certain way, and think you have to be a certain way, and expect you to be perfect and not screw up and etc. It must be like walking around on egg shells, hoping that you don't screw up or whatever. And if you do then something must be wtong with you. I understand that. But he still didn't need to say it like he did. But still, it was a strong and well done moment.
In the end, "Bowling For Eric" was just too somber and dire. A number of characters were whiny and annoying, and the writing(except for the last scene)was weak. This isn't a real fun or entertaining episode to watch. I can't(and don't)want to say that I hated an episode of 7th Heaven. But this one came real close.
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