Thursday, June 30, 2011

The 2011 Re-Watch: Everwood "We Hold these Truths" Review

The 4th of July will be celebrated on Monday, so what better way to prepare for the holiday weekend than by watching Everwood's "We Hold these Truths" with its flashbacks to a fateful 4th of July day that revealed the truth behind Colin's car accident? "We Hold these Truths" isn't about the 4th of July holiday though (it just provides comedic material for Tom Amandes' Harold Abbott). It's about hidden truths and the emergence of those truths along with the guilt that accompanies said truths (truth is the word of the day in The Foot). More importantly, the episode's about Colin Hart--who is he? why should we care about him? why should we care about his relationship with Amy or friendship with Bright or his relationship with the town? "The Doctor Is In" focused on the doctor. "We Hold these Truths" is about the patient.

Colin Hart's the golden boy of Everwood, the kind of kid who would be paid three weeks for two weeks worth of lawn work because of his natural charm. He was all-state in football. The town adores him. Colin dated the daughter of one of the most respected married couples in Everwood--Rose and Harold. He's a great son, friend, boyfriend and neighbor. He's a teenager, though, so he occassionally he swipes alcohol from his father and takes the new truck for a joy ride with Bright; however, those decisions don't stem from rebellion as much as a drive to live life to the fullest--to take advantage of every second of breath one inhales and exhales. The two decisions, the liquor and swiping the truck keys, ultimately lead to his comatose but the flashbacks unearth a truth that Bright kept hidden from his family, the Harts and the authorities--he was behind the wheel when the truck crash and he blames himself entirely for Colin's coma.

Before the crash, Bright told his friend that he shouldn't drive because he felt drunk from the liquor they drank during the 4th of July picnic. Colin pressures his friend into driving the new truck around and Bright relents. Bright's the reasonable person throughout their seasons. Colin's impulsive. He uses his charm, his way with words, to assure Bright that nothing bad will happen. Bright believes him, and then something bad happens. The flashbacks explain why Bright's been distant from Colin, the accident and why he opted against going to Denver with his sister. The surgery, though, changes Bright and he confesses the truth to his father and then the Harts.

Amy harbors guilt from the day of the accident as well. The girl's been a constant presence in Colin's life since the accident, and she always believed that someone would be able to fix the only boy she loved. She told Colin that she loved him on a pristine summer's day at Buck's Rock--a place where most people's doubts about the existence of a higher power are erased because of its beauty, as Irv describes it. Colin didn't respond to her confession of love. Instead, he swam away. This decision created a fight he was unaware of. Amy ignored him on the 4th of July and she believes that Colin left the picnic because he was running away from her. Amy feels responsible for the accident. Ephram softly explains that he, too, felt responsible for his mother's accident for some time but he realized that he tried to rationalize an irrational thing--that, in the end, it was what it was--an accident. He defends Colin's lack of "I love you" by explaining it's hard to say what one feels even when one wants to say it. Amy, in her own way, thanks Ephram for being with her. She notes that of all the people she's known throughout her life, none showed up--only Ephram.

Colin's awakening means more than just two characters getting their friend and boyfriend back (respectively). It represents a chance for forgiveness and redemption. They need Colin to come back for more reasons than the obvious, which is good storytelling. The arc, as I wrote about last week, is more ambitious than 'brilliant brain surgeon performs medical miracle on comatose teenager," which I'll write about more as the season continues. As of the seventh episode, Andy performs successful surgey that involved the removal of two bone chips from the brain stem. The outlook's optimistic. Colin's probably going to wake up but no one can predict how he'll be when he wakes up.

Now, doctor and patient are united for good or ill. Presently, Andy Brown's the hero--the white knight who came from Manhattan to perform a miracle on the golden boy of Everwood. Harold quietly thanks Andy. Amy hugs and kisses the doctor. Andy plays a game of clue with his son before they return home, after Andy explains that he was afraid of failing his son if the surgery went badly. His goal to be a father and doctor's working splendidly; however, it's only the seventh episode and the season has many episodes left.

"We Hold these Truths" closes with a flashback. The story returns to Buck's Road where Bright, Amy and Colin lay in the sun. The Abbott siblings worry about being late for dinner. Amy remarks that she and Bright don't have all day to lay in the sun. Colin responds, "sure we do." The line suggests we enjoy life as much as we can while we're blessed to be alive, that a perfect day (as Irv described a day at Buck's Road) has a timeless quality that allows three friends to sit in the sun nothing to do but live and enjoy life.

The episode's excellent--one of the best in the series. It's a great introduction for Colin Hart and its expertly told story that adds more depth to the main arc of the season. The performances are understated, which has always been a strength of the series. Berlanti and his writers were great with subtext as were the actors. In any scene, so much is conveyed without much dialogue. And the season just gets better from here.

Joan Binder Weiss wrote the episode. Jason Moore directed it.

UP NEXT: "Till Death Do Us Part"--Andy feels the pain of his wife's death even more on their wedding anniversy. He also helps the reverend deal with a food allergy days before the annual Hope sermon. Ephram and Amy kiss (and she also waits for news on Colin's awakening). Rose wants Harold to learn salsa with her. http://www.amazon.com/Till-Death-Do-Us-Part/dp/B002SLQTX6

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.