What most regular "7th Heaven" viewers may know, it's that every week there is always a particular theme that surrounds the Camden's family. It's also quite evident in the eyes of the viewer that every week some (if not all) characters have a problem relating directly to the theme, thereby showing different points of view. This week's episode was no exception, but this time it just felt a little too crowded and a little too unrealistic for the viewer to believe so many issues of smoking happening to the Camden's at the same time. There are many "7th Heaven" episodes with this same format, but this was a little over the top, but still with a good message and delivery overall.
Let's take a look at each storyline:
Ruthie and Peter: I really liked this smoking storyline as it was very realistic and the most relatable to viewers. Peter admitting to Ruthie that he smokes is not far-fetched at all. In today's America, teens (and even pre-teens) smoking is very real and has in fact become an epidemic. Peter smoking because he thinks it's cool and his friends thinks it's cool is true to life as what I've seen and heard through my friends. Ruthie not wanting to be his friend for his smoking was realistic as being how she's been brought up she doesn't want to be associated with kids who smoke, do drugs (a cigarette is a drug by the way) or who fall into peer pressure that easily. Also, her telling Peter's mom was understanble as she does care for the little guy anyway and wants him to stop. One thing though, why did Peter's mom not say goodbye to Ruthie on the phone, but just hung up on her? How rude.
Simon and Kevin: This storyline was the one that really bothered me the most. First af all, Simon was in it. Writers, please, this is the third time you've used Simon in a smoking storyline. Do they not remember Simon and Ruthie smoking Guy's (foreign exchange student's) cigarettes back in season 2 or the experimentation of cigarettes for Simon and Nigel back in season 4? Please, give Simon a good storyline when Cecelia is not there! With Kevin, I found it odd that he was the one smoking when at the same time criticizing Ben's girlfriend, Betty, for her smoking. With that, mixed in with the Lucy contraversy with him feeling pressured that he has to propose to her soon, Kevin made no sense in this episode and was a complete hypocrite
Eric and Chandler: Wow, now they are a good duo! This was the best smoking storyline in this episode as it was the best played out. Eric trying to reach out to Chandler over his father dying of lung cancer was understandable, that as a minister (He's going back!, viewers!) it's in his nature to want to help. But for Chandler to reject his help was also understandable as Eric hasn't been the nicest to him since his arrival to Glenoak. Chandler thinking that Eric is just doing this for the fact that it gives him pleasure and knowing his soft spots was harsh, but justified on Chandler's standpoint.
Rev. Camden has made it quite clear that he feels threatened by him (but I couldn't go as far as to hating him) and has not made it easy for Chandler. All of the sudden when Chandler is vulnerable, then Eric comes to be on good terms with him is something justified of Chandler when he becomes frustrated with Eric over that. But the last scene of the show was very good and leading to a good friendship of ministers down the road for these two. Stephen and Jeremy are terrific actors. I look forward to them.
Overall, even though this episode did break out some good points, all the smoking storylines packed into one episode was just a little too much for me. Having all the storylines about smoking makes the episode too singled-direct. I love it when characters stray to storylines completely different from other characters in the episode. It gives us, the viewers, more directions to go and digest more flavor instead of one straight line of the same topic. Variety is a better offering and more realistic. Another reason why I'm boggeled is that "7th Heaven" has addressed smoking before in past episodes and don't see why they did it again. Plus, we viewers are not dumb, smoking is bad for you. That was the main aspect of the show but we didn't need you to tell us that. We know. It's just that we do it anyway (not me though, I'm a non-smoker).
Grade: **6.5 out of 10**
Rants and Bits
*It's great that the twins were more incorporated in this episode than usual, but can they both FINALLY get their own dialogue instead of always repeating each other words, writers? At age 4 they can fully talk and each can have a personality!
*I'm finally becoming very fond of Roxanne and Chandler and I am glad that the cardboard character of Roxanne is finally being ripped off and becoming more multi-dimensional. Keep it up writers, you're on a roll.
*It was great to see Jason and Jeremy London together side-by-side in this episode. For some reason though I found Jason London's character (Sid Hampton) a little more appealing even though I like Chandler. He was flawed yet very likeable which is hard to pull off. You're either one or the other to most.
*Where's Happy? I really miss that dog in the family. She really needs to be part of the show more, or at least see her a few times in the episodes.
No Cecelia this week? Too bad.