Who doesn’t feel guilty in “Complex Guilt”? Jake, Amanda, Bright, Harold, Delia, Nina, and Hannah. Andy’s guilt exploded his stomach. Amanda and Andy had sex after their Christmas kiss, which makes Andy feel bad because of John. Early in the episode, Andy learned John will rehabilitate at a facility. During the hiatus he began blinking his eyes to communicate. Fortunately, his inevitable return will end the disastrous Andy/Amanda courting. Stomach ulcers, adultery, and complex guilt motivate the adults to continue their affair. Harold failed to talk sense into his friend. One trip to the hospital and John being out of sight and out of mind restores Andy’s commitment to making nonsense with Amanda. Andy and Ephram had a talk about showing love more when things are bad, which serves to move Andy’s heart further towards Amanda. Ephram’s said that because his Dad’s in the hospital and because him and Amy are on the fritz after he tried to see Madison. Ephram learned something from Andy’s experience. Andy did not.
The Ephram/Amy story injects unnecessary drama into their dynamic. The Madison bomb will go off sooner than later. Their story returned to the early season three episodes. Amy wanted to join dance and do other things, but she sacrificed for Ephram. Now, she resents him for it. Ephram promised to change his schedule around—again—for her, and they’re back to good.
The C story involved Edna and Irv, a rarity in this season and in season four. Irv’s bummed about retired life in Everwood. Edna built him a writing office; however, Irv remained discontented. He wanted to experience the world and write about it along the way. Irv told Edna that he wanted to take a break for a little bit.
So, yeah, “Complex Guilt” has near-breakups, a terrible start to a new relationship, and the official return of the Ephram/Bright friendship. Bright and Hannah had one scene together that moves them very slowly towards coupling.
#312-“Giving Up The Girl”
One of the best scenes of the series happens in this episode, which is average, not memorable or notable really. Amy and Delia have a conversation on the Brown couch in the last scene of the episode. Amy realized she missed her opportunity to advance her ballet career after taking time off (because of Colin and the depression). Delia realized she couldn’t play with the boys anymore, or be one with them, after she got her first period. Delia listens to her future sister-in-law list the pros and cons of being a girl as well as the pros and cons of being a boy after Delia remarks that boys have it too easy. The scene comes after an emotional fight between Delia and Andy. Andy, always unprepared when Delia needs him most, lets her entire team know about what happened. Andy tried to make it better, but Delia rejected every attempt of his. Finally, with tears in her eyes, she said, “I want Mom.” Andy can’t be Julia. Andy stood helplessly sad. Amy and Delia don’t share many scenes together, if any, for the rest of the series.
Nina helped Jake actually give up a girl. Jake’s current girlfriend visited to restart their life together. Jake didn’t want to. He’s bad at break-ups. It’s a mess of contrivance, but the LA girlfriend brings with Jake Hartman backstory. Jake’s not entirely truthful about why he left Los Angeles. Nina won’t know the whole truth until season four. Jake’s ended relationship leads to a new relationship with Nina.
“Giving Up The Girl” is an episode you won’t remember when you re-watch the season after a period of years, but when you hit the episode, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, engaged, and warmed in the heart.
#313-“The Perfect Day”
Speaking of heart-warming episode, it’s “The Perfect Day.” The Everwood teens ditched school and work to spend the day adventuring around Colorado. Harold and Edna faced a medical emergency at Dr. Hartman’s after the train station floods (due to frozen pipes, an issue that’s never again mentioned in the season). Nina learned the truth about Andy’s affair. Many Everwood episodes span a week, or a few days. A single day setting was rare for the series. What inspired the episode? I don’t know. Bright learned about Hannah’s home life. Ephram and Amy mostly chilled, ate pancakes, because Ephram’s major arc is still a few episodes away. Him and Amy continually worry about the amount of time they have together. The Hannah/Bright story is the first chapter of their journey to a romantic relationship. Bright felt determined to help Hannah because he experienced the loss of Colin. Ephran pondered his luck and the luck of Bright and Amy, being so young and so experienced with personal loss. Bright chose to see the optimistic side of it: “At least we all found each other.”
I almost wrote a post about “The Perfect Day” several times. I didn’t because I went between wanting to write a Notes on Everwood season 3 thing and not wanting to write a Notes on Everwood season 3 thing.
Edna’s and Harold’s part of the episode doesn’t so much explore their relationship, because their problematic relationship has been explored, as it showed why they could work wonderfully together if they got past their past baggage. Edna’s last line to her son, after the kids leave the practice cured of vomiting, while sipping aged bourbon, is, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Well, yeah, Edna would and did. She left Harold twice for different practices. I have a minor nitpick with the story: it’s a Monday, yet a great big birthday party made a score and a couple more sick. Was the birthday party in school? If so, why did the parents bring them? Wouldn’t the school nurse handle it before paramedics were brought to help?
I dislike everything about Andy’s affair with Amanda; however, Nina’s reaction to it was excellent. Nina and Andy have argued about serious things before, all of which Andy used a double standard for. What he allows himself to be and do he would never tolerate from Nina. Nina calls him out. They make up. Nina/Andy stories had more mature writing, more complexity—not that other episodes and characters did not lend itself to that, because it did. Everwood was an edgy family sitcom. It was in a way the anti-7th Heaven on TheWB Mondays. The writers already smoothed out the morality of the affair by giving Amanda the ‘I was about to divorce John prior to his collapse and subsequent condition.”
“The Perfect Day” wasn’t and isn’t a perfect episode, but it’s the second best of the season, and really beautiful. Production shot it during a particularly snowy week. It’s Northern Utah at its most pretty.
#314-“Since You’ve Been Gone”
Jimmy Bennett from TV’s No Ordinary Family portrayed Sam Feeney in three episodes of season three. So, Berlanti found his J.J. Powell on Everwood. Another child actor replaced Bennett in season four. Three separate actors played Sam Feeney. Perhaps Sam Feeney was a more difficult role to cast than Don John the Bastard. Nina needed to rescue Hannah and Sam from a bird that made it into the house. The bird ruined Nina’s night with Jake, but she already felt neurotic about her relationship with Jake because of the possibility he may leave her after Sam became attached to him. Jake offered to fill in for Sam’s absent father at school earlier in the episode. Nina did not react well to that. Of course, Nina’s fears sort of happen later in the series, but it works out for her.
Hannah and Bright received another awesome collection of scenes revolving around Hannah’s life. The great tertiary character Topher asked her out. Hannah said no. Amy blamed Bright for it. Hannah did not confirm or deny her feelings for Bright motivated her to reject Topher. Bright wasn’t. The possibility that she may have Huntington’s influenced her decision. Bright took her outside Nina’s home to look at the stars and to breathe the fresh winter Colorado air. He urged her to live her life, and he told her he wasn’t good enough to have her but some other guy, a Topher maybe, would be so lucky to have her. Hannah fell into him in an embrace. It’s a great scene.
“Since You’ve Been Gone” belongs to the secondary characters. The writers drop in the marital history of Amanda and John in flashbacks, which is terrible AND a tease. Amanda seemed ready to end it with Andy after Charlie reacted badly to news of their relationship. No, Andy and Amanda, children won’t react well to adultery. Alas, they don’t. They RE-COMMIT to the romance. Blah.
Also, I found old Everwood episode discussions on Fan Forum during my laborious research about season three. Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find any one on record discussing “The Perfect Day.” Someone from Everwood creative needs to reach out TV With The Foot so I can conduct the most comprehensive Everwood interview. Anyway, the users closely watched the physical interaction between Ephram and Amy. They’ve barely touched since “The Reflex.” I didn’t notice it any of the times I’ve watched season three. Maybe it was because Gregory Smith and Emily Vancamp were exes by then. I can’t remember when Emily dated Chris Pratt. I don’t know. Ephram and Amy share sweet physical moments in “Surprise” and then that’ll be that for awhile.