In 2005, viewers waited weeks and weeks for Ephram meeting Madison in the coffee shop. I dreaded it. I don’t like Madison, and I really don’t like the baby storyline. The coffee shop contrasts the two. Ephram’s a bubbling, rambling happy guy, while Madison struggles to keep it together. Ephram goes a little Dawson on her after she tells him she doesn’t want to discuss what was hard for in the last several months. Ephram reminded her of her childish treatment of him in season two. Of course, though, she tells him. Ephram blows his future up for reasons of contrived drama. Andy confessed to Ephram his part in keeping the pregnancy from him. Ephram cuts Madison out of his life, and he skips his audition to spite his father. Ephram possessed a calculating vengeance. He’s deliberate, methodical, and a villainous. Suddenly, the piano and New York becomes sickening to him. His last refuge is Amy, but his trust in her will end next episode.
Meanwhile, Amy worried about fate versus free will. Instead of experiencing her life actively, she experiences it passively until her mother reminded her of the importance of choice in one’s life. One’s choice determines one’s path. An infinite number of varieties exist in a second. Amy wants to feel security about her relationship with Ephram. Ephram, though, returned to Everwood “messed up” and “not in a good place.” The character’s a total drag in much of the final episodes of the season. Also, Rose has a cold, which will become cancer so soon.
This is the episode the late Chris Penn guest-starred in. His story highlights Hal’s deteriorating relationship with Bright. Chris Penn’s character’s son dies after he, Chris Penn’s character, accidentally shot him while pheasant hunting. Harold gains perspective. Him and Bright share a tender moment in the kitchen while they clean out the refrigerator. Bright also expresses his admiration for his father, telling his Dad he sees him as a good doctor and a father. The Bright-Harold scenes are great. Chris Pratt’s awesome.
Ephram lost trust in Amy after Amy let him know that she knew about the baby prior to his NYC trip. He froze her out. Ephram’s main story, though, is finding his son in Marin county. He did, after child placement services broke the law to let him know. Ah, bad writing. So, Amy and Ephram essentially break up after he learned she didn’t tell him. The baby’s an annoying plot device. The story organically progressed to Andy and Ephram getting along and being at peace with each other. The story organically moved Amy and Ephram together. Television dramas need, you know, drama. Thus, the writers needed to break it all up. I still don’t think any of it worked. Emily Vancamp’s a treasure in these episodes, though. Her scene with Tom Amandes in the car, after the break-up, is magnificent. Ephram seeing where his son lived and deciding to leave without confrontation is really good. (I’m a sucker for father-son stuff).
“Fallout” stands out for Andy. Delia asks for a new bedroom. Andy can’t deliver what she wants as she wants it, first because of Ephram, and second because he feels envious of Jake’s relationship with Nina, which leads to their first major fight—undercut by comedy when Andy breaks the only thing Delia liked about her room after he finished it without her. Nina, ever Andy’s voice of reason, reminded him his responsibilities as a father: he cannot let Ephram spiral out of control, though Andy felt powerless to punish or scold him because of his own terrible mistake in the ordeal, and he needs to be there for Delia. So, there’s a wonderful scene between Andy and Delia in the fourth act. Andy lays down the law as father of the house, but then he sits with Delia and listens to her explain the many dramas happening in her class and with her friends, who likes who, and so on, and he can feel secure that he’ll always have Delia. I adore that scene.
Every beloved TV couple needs a good break-up episode for them. “Acceptance” is the break-up episode for Amy and Ephram. Why did they break up? TV executives think keeping characters apart has more interest and drama than keeping characters together. They broke up because they couldn’t stay together. There’s no drama. Pacey and Joey had legitimate reasons for breaking up in Dawson’s Creek’s fourth season, but they broke up because Pacey couldn’t handle Joey’s promising future. Ephram and Amy could’ve broken up because of college; however, the baby nonsense happened. Ephram’s freaked and alarmed that Amy wants to be together after he suggests hanging out post-apology for freezing her out. Ephram can’t imagine being in a relationship after the Madison/Andy bombshell. In “Fallout,” he warns Andy “he’ll be leaving soon.” Instead of the writing addressing any of that with Amy, their breakup returns to the Princeton essay and the infinity necklace he gave her. The Princeton essay represented his belief that they didn’t have a future. The infinity necklace represented he’d care for her all his life, or something. They break up because it’s network TV drama. Next season, the only reason they end up together is because The CW chose 7th Heaven over Everwood. If Everwood returned, it’d be Madison and Ephram. Emily Vancamp’s terrific in the break-up scene, though. The lasting line is, “You always thought about me, while I always thought about us.” Ephram was terribly written in the last six episodes of the season. I suppose his character’s inconsistency stems from his suddenly turbulent life where nothing makes sense and his life is directionless. Of course, the season ended over ten years ago.
Rose got cancer in “Acceptance” which sets up the super emotional final three. The audience had to endure a nonsensical “Rose thinks she’s pregnant!” story. Her and Hal’s mutual desire for a child runs into season four, complete with another maddening instance of plot lunacy. I think the writers tossed in Rose getting cancer because they needed another medical crisis for May sweeps. Season one had Colin. Season two had Andy’s mentor. Season three had Rose. It’s a great arc, sappy, sad, sentimental, melodramatic, and without it the writers wouldn’t have written the magnificent “Good to Go” (formerly titled “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” because of a graduation gift Ephram’s mother bought before she died, in case she died, for him. Inside, there’s a letter).
#320-“He Who Hesitates”
First, Amy’s still openly heart-broken about her break-up with Ephram. Memories bring tears to her eyes. After her mother and father reveal the bad news about her mother’s cancer, the loss of Ephram stings less. It’s not overt, but it’s a crafty way of depicting the perspective shift when a parent, or a grandparent, or any precious loved one receives bad news. Hannah mistook Amy’s sadness as Ephram based until Amy told her why. One’s world explodes when one hears his or her parent has cancer. For teenagers, especially, cancer alters their personal world. Amy’s shattered by the news. The scene prior to Hal and Rose telling their children is moving. Harold apologized for hesitating to help her, but Rose told him she’d forever see him and feel protected and safe. The dissolve to the four Abbotts seated together in the room, sharing and absorbing at the same time, is wonderfully edited. The real tears will fall in “Good to Go.”
“He Who Hesitates” is a transition episode. Andy can’t seem to convey what Nina means to him. Nina sensed something changed, but nothing advances between them. Ephram sold his studio for Europe money. Andy found out. Ephram reiterated his hate for him. Andy was dismayed by Ephram’s resolve to leave Everwood, potentially for good. Bright searched for apartments while working through his complicated feelings for Hannah. Hannah realized her and Topher lack a spark. Bright’s a visual guy. He told Ephram that Hannah’s not a girl he’d make out with. Bright’s slowly learning the value of the personality—that one’s interior overwhelms the exterior.
Brenda Baxworth, Everwood’s legendary ancillary character, returned as real estate agent for Bright. Brenda, one will recall, sold Andy the Everwood train station. She once owned a restaurant. She tried to bar Andy from eating at her establishment after Colin Hart died. Brenda taught Amy’s ballet class. She did not appear in the series after this episode. She went the way of Wendell.