Life Sentence S1E2 Review

In the second episode of Life Sentence, as Stella gets used to life without cancer, she and Wes must also deal with a threat of Wes getting deported, as the legitimacy of their marriage is questioned.

S1E2 "Re-Inventing the Abbotts"

Stella and Wes are still getting to know each other, but they suddenly have to do so rapidly when they get a knock on the door. They have to prove that their marriage is legitimate. Otherwise, Wes will get deported. As anyone could have guessed, Stella ends up finding out information about Wes that she doesn't very much like. While studying with him, she discovers that he has slept with 11 women (which there is a funny line about, as Stella decides she doesn't like the number 11), and later she discovers that he lived with someone for a year, which undermines her argument that they are each others' first loves. The entire time, it seems like they have very little hope, but in the end a big speech from Wes easily saves the day.

Stella's parents can't agree about selling their house. It seems to be necessary considering their financial situation, but her father can't seem to understand that, and something that Stella says about how quickly the house they grew up in is being sold causes him to be even more opposed to selling the house. Her mother seems to be the sane one at first, insisting that they have to sell the house, but her motivations are unclear when she knocks down a wall and starts digging holes in the yard, going on about making improvements.

This story does end up leading to something interesting, when Stella's mother reveals why she is so ready to get rid of the house. To her, this is where everything bad in her life happened. Her sharing of this is heartfelt, and gives this weak story some emotional weight. As if that wasn't enough to introduce here, it also turns out that the family's cat died of cancer, a fact that was kept hidden from Stella.

Also through the episode, Stella tries to help her siblings. However, these attempts just feel like the same thing over and over again. She keeps encouraging her brother to talk to the woman he impregnated, which he keeps saying he will do later. He keeps talking, instead, to other women, which is supposed to be funny but it doesn't really work. Stella encourages her sister to get working on her novel, but she gets writers block. Very little happens here, even less than with the brother. Even as minor plots, these stories don't work.

This episode disappointed me. The stories had issues, either getting resolved too easily or lacking in resolution. When it comes to comedy or drama, there were a couple of good comedic moments, and one strong dramatic one with Stella's mother recalling the memories she had in the house, which isn't all that much.

Score: 4/10

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