“Connect Four” always stood out in my mind as the first great episode of Everwood’s final season, but it’s really the only episode that sticks out in my mind from the season, besides the final trio of episodes. Everwood’s fourth season isn’t bad. It’s better than season three and probably better than the second season. The Josh Reims penned “Pieces of Me” is a great episode full of little moments and strong stories throughout. Now I remember that Josh Reims was the Drew Goddard of Everwood’s fourth season.
This episode put the button on Rose’s mayoral career and her cancer. The town voted for a new mayor. Harold felt rankled by it because of the devotion his wife gave to them for nearly twenty years. Harold was quick to see the worst in Everwood’s citizens since his introduction in the “Pilot”, and they didn’t disappoint him by voting for a healthier, safer choice. At the beginning of the episode, Rose faced a scary, uncertain future. By the end, she faces an uncertain future, but she’s free from cancer. It’s not as scary. There’s a great moment when Harold asks his mother to campaign for Rose. Edna thought her son wanted to forget what faced him. He lashed out that he could never forget his wife’s cancer because he lived with it and cursed himself for not diagnosing it sooner. Wonderful stuff from Tom Amandes.
“Pieces of Me” introduced future bodybuilder Steven R. McQueen as an annoying teenaged piano prodigy named Kyle. Kyle is Ephram from season one, but worse and brattier. Ephram faced the piano for the first time since he sold it to fund his getaway trip to Europe. Playing it for the first time caused him to freak out on his young student, which prompted Amy, during their conversation at Sam’s about the freak out, to ask why Ephram lets the piano represent the nightmare situation with Madison, his kid, and his father. I didn’t understand why either. Piano had nothing to do with Andy paying off Madison to keep the pregnancy secret. Amy reminded Ephram that he loved piano before the drama, and that he still can love it. So, he returns to being Kyle’s teacher. The storyline’s greater purpose is to heal the central father/son relationship by giving Ephram the darling gift of perspective. His piano related trauma is but plot device.
The thematic tissue of the episode is memory. Who are we without the one thing that’s fundamental to our identities? Andy treated a man who didn’t want brain surgery for fear he’d lose his memory of surviving the Holocaust. Ephram feels sick around the piano, but he can’t live his life without it. There’s also the Rose storyline, plus a small Jake/Nina story that’s part of the tissue (Jake feels he only a piece in the Feeny home, without a defined place, but it leads to a comical end in which the two freak out upon realizing Hannah’s a teenager, though I remember that comical aside being that and nothing more).
The structure of “Pieces of Me” is great. Small asides inform one and even two of the major storylines in the episode. Delia had one scene about her Bat Mitzvah. She told Andy she wanted it. Andy sort of tried and failed to find a rabbi. The case of the week couple have 3 scenes total with him but those scenes help Andy realize why Delia needs her Bat Mitzvah. There’s smart writing economy throughout “Pieces of Me.” Fine episode.
Josh Reims wrote the episode. Michael Pavone directed.