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Chasing Life “The Family That Lies Together” 

Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Tony Rivetti
Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Tony Rivetti

An episode title has never been so apt. April is keeping her cancer a secret from almost everyone close to her. Her uncle George knows because he had the tests runs after she fainted during the blood drive at his hospital. Her best friend Beth knows because April needed to tell someone. Brenna only knows because April let it slip in a fit of irritation. Now would probably be a good time to tell her mother and her grandmother (and Dominic), but April justifies putting it off once again. She wants to wait until she receives the results of the biopsy. Why put her family members through a lot of worry and heartache, if they don’t even know the full story yet?

Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Tony Rivetti
Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Tony Rivetti

If you’re sensing a little bit of judgment and some disdain, you are correct. But because it’s sometimes hard to discern tone on the written page, I’ll break it down. Family and friends are there to help and support you in your time of need. Not everyone has someone to turn to when they’re going through a health crisis. So I want April to use the resources she has. Your job is important for a lot of reasons – namely paying bills and being a productive part of society (and hopefully it provides some creative fulfillment as well), but it isn’t everything. If April doesn’t start taking care of herself she won’t live long enough to even have a career. Of course, it’s easy to judge because I’ve never had to go through something like that. And even though I’m using my judge-y tone right now, I actually like where this is going.

Let’s talk about the truths revealed in the episode.

Dominic’s Mother Is Incarcerated
His reaction to the psychic telling him he had mommy issues was telling. And I loved that April thought he was joking at first. I like when April’s feisty, sarcastic side comes out. I’m like that, so I enjoy it when I see it in others. We discover that Dom’s mom, a bookkeeper, went along with cooking some books so she’s in jail for a year. So you’d think this would be a good time for April to come clean about her illness, right? Wrong. She chooses to tell Dominic about Natalie Oritz, who might be her half-sister. Baby steps, I guess.

April and Brenna Have a Sister
April uses her intrepid reporting skills (aka her ability to lie under pressure) and gets Natalie’s home address. She thinks maybe it’s just a coincidence that Natalie lives right down the street from her father’s old writing retreat in Florida. But when she finds a picture of Natalie with her dad and her uncle, April knows she has to face facts. When George confirms it, that’s one more thing for her to be mad at him about.

Sara Thinks April is Addicted to Drugs
After April faints at the table and comes up with some convenient excuses, Sara gets even more concerned. Even with her late hours at work and her out-of-whack eating scheduling, April shouldn’t be losing weight and looking so run down. Sara talks to her mother about it and Emma is quick to suggest Sara search her daughter’s room. When she finds pills, Sara decides it’s time to confront her daughter. But April’s not ready to come clean. She says she needs the drugs, but she won’t say why. And when Sara follows April to George’s office, she’s even more upset. George won’t tell her what’s going on so Sara decides it’s time for an intervention. Under George’s threat of exposure, April finally comes clean. While he’s there George gets a call about April’s biopsy results and it’s not good. She has AML, which is treatable but not curable. 75% of cases go into remission. She needs to start chemotherapy immediately, but April needs time to process so she leaves. As George leaves we find out that Sara didn’t let George come to his own brother’s funeral. She tells George he knows why. Now we need to find out why. Whatever it is, Sara is going to have to move past it because as her doctor, George is going to be in all their lives a lot more.

Brenna Doesn’t Define Herself
Although she seems happy enough non-exclusively dating Kieran, there is definitely something going on with Greer. As part of April’s Secret Cancer Club, Beth and Brenna have even more of a reason to bond right now. Beth decides to take Brenna to an outdoor screening of Pretty and Pink and Greer happens to be there as well. Brenna invites her over and they watch the movie together. After their tennis match, I thought Brenna was just (reluctantly) making a new friend. But when Brenna needs a break after the “intervention,” she turns to Greer. Whatever it turns out to be, I like it. I think Brenna needs more good influences in her life and, if nothing else Greer is someone who cares about her. We’ll see how it develops.

Click here if you want to learn more about AML.

Chasing Life
airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC Family.

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