'Chasing Life' Recap: Bylines and Goodbyes
'Chasing Life' Recap: Bylines and Goodbyes
Emily E. Steck
Emily E. Steck
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
In this week's episode of Chasing Life, April gets a big, fancy office party thrown for her in honor of her first byline, and Dominic makes a tough choice for his career and relationship with April. It's the best episode yet.

This is the show Chasing Life  should try and be like more often. April has a big party thrown for her and all of the supporting characters and cast show up to mix it up a little and have some fun as they deal with this week's drama. I'm not sure how many organic plots there are to allow all of the cast to interact with one another in the same place, but I'd be a-okay if they suspend my disbelief a few more times.

That said, it's becoming painfully obvious that Chasing Life is a mediocre show. It's not awful -- it is addressing a twentysomething woman's POV, which I think is really great -- but it's also not quite there. Mostly, it's that the premise is stretched way too thin, forcing us to pay attention to Brenna's teenage love life or Sarah being a well-meaning and very irksome parent, but also the worst therapist in the world. (I draw the line of my suspension of disbelief.) Does Dominic even have a personality? A flaw? That said, Beth is a fun character and I know a bunch of real-life Dannys, so is it really just the ones getting the most screen time? 

April is clearly the show's most well-drawn character and at least an interesting one as she lives in Denial Land. But then it's how the show can write conflict that is most frustrating. Often times, it is someone overhearing something they aren't supposed to (my greatest pet peeve in all of television) or just not telling someone something -- which is used quite heavily in this week's episode.

Chasing Life is painfully slowing everything down and it looks like it is staying that way. It sort of wants to stay away from the seriousness of cancer by making things light and I'm all right with that. For the time being, though, let's enjoy a big fancy party and this season's best episode yet.


Beth and April wait in the doctor's office to see a fertility specialist, filling all kinds of uncomfortable questions about sex and stuff. Well, uncomfortable for us Americans. A lesbian couple who is too cheerful about fertility asks Beth and April who's gonna carry the baby. This is the type of awkward humor the show likes to pull out now and again. 

April consults the doctor (who rather unprofessionally notes how young April is to get cancer) and they go over how much of a breeze this harvesting eggs thing is gonna be. Until it gets to the ca-ching ca-ching (that means money). Egg freezing is considered an elective procedure, not a medical necessity. How much money is it? $5,000. I do like April's line here, though: "I'm gonna have to sell my firstborn to pay for my firstborn." And that doesn't even include the rising medical costs to have a child and put them in day care!

April goes to her cancer support group to vent about the fertility treatment and stuff. Cancer support group goes well and kudos to the writers for writing about something I don't think I've seen on TV. Leo hangs around to flirt with/stalk April to chat about "work." His dad funds some rich kid club, St. Christopher's Society, where kids buy a ticket to Tokyo and rip it up. I know April's supposed to be a reporter -- maybe even a good one -- but the fact that she does not realize Leo likes her is gross. 

Oh, hey! Lawrence the editor is back to dish out some love and hate for his editorial staff. One case in the news is eerily on the nose about a woman planning to have a baby behind her boyfriend's back. Then Lawrence drops this absurd, absurd storyline: he offers Dominic an opportunity to be a rock journalist for Daft Punk's European tour for four months. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. It's crazy timing and the perfect out for April and her cancer to not tell her boyfriend!  

Office Party Shenanigans

That ridiculous St. Christopher's story is coming to fruition. Raquel critiques April's piece as Danny has too much fun with their cat fights. Raquel gives April a nearly impossible deadline to fix all of the mistakes or it won't go to print, so Danny lends April a tribal fusion playlist so she can rewrite her story. This show is so left-field sometimes; maybe I should just embrace it? This part is just funny, mostly for its randomness. After she hands it in, from afar Danny and April give voices to Lawrence and Raquel. It's funny! And April gets her first byline! 

Beth and April drink wine/champagne to celebrate. Beth sells her clothes and stuff to contribute to the egg-freezing procedure, which is very sweet. I can't believe she's allowed to drink. April checks in with Brenna as Sarah listens in. Okay, this eavesdropping doesn't bother me. Is this a scene from my household? I believe it is.

April returns to the office to find that Dominic has arranged a big party. Everyone is there! Except the grown-ups! Brenna, Beth, Danny, Graham, the sex columnist, Leo. Her two boyfriends are here!

Through an odd conversation between Leo and Dominic, Leo learns about Dominic's job offer. I wonder where this is going.

Fun stuff that also happens at the party: Graham hits on 16-year-old Brenna, Beth and Graham don't get along at all and there's a game of "Never Have I Ever".

If you don't know what that game is, you are living under a rock and haven't ever turned on a television. Highlights include: never have I ever been arrested -- Leo and the sex columnist sip. Never have I ever faked an orgasm -- Graham sips. Never have I ever been attracted to anyone in this room -- Leo is among those who drink. The sex columnist wins; Danny's "never have I ever" is bad. 

All of a sudden, Lawrence comes back and everyone pretends to hide, like it's freaking Ally McBeal or something. He threatens expulsion if it isn't spick and span the next day. As he leaves, April catches him at the elevator to tell him she needs time off soon. He's actually very accepting once she tells her it is a medical issue.

Because the writers feel Brenna needs someting to do, she accidentally snoops around April's desk. She finds the file/photo with Natalie Ortiz. April comes clean about the half-sister. Maybe it's possible to like two people at the same time? Maybe. She actually takes it kind of well. It even propels her to stand outside Greer's mansion sans boom box and profess some like. There's kissage! Personally, I don't really see the chemistry between them, but that's just Brenna. A void of everything.

Cancer Caregiver Mixer

Sarah reads a bunch of cancer books and the Steve Jobs biography (because that dude also had cancer -- I laughed at that actually). George stops by the house to help out Sarah by taking her to a cancer caregiver mixer. This is sort of premature because she hasn't done any caretaking yet, but Sarah is all about her feelings (and maybe herself). Sarah goes into her whole life story and people do not like it. Sarah wants to make sense of cancer. She's such a terrible therapist. I can't believe she has patients.

One of the caregivers blatantly says no one here wants to talk about cancer. It's their only reprieve in the week to not think about it. (Also, that guy has Bell's Palsy, the temporary paralysis on one side of his face. This really stuck out to me because I am similarly afflicted.) 

A Break is Actually Breaking Up

Leo uses his knowledge that Dominic got the job to sort of manipulate their relationship. Why does he like her so much? Is it a near-death crisis? Or does he actually like like her. Also, I hate this trope because I find it creepy, but April's got free will to choose to tell Dominic about her cancer. Of course, April would rather be hit by a truck at this point than tell her so that she's sick. 

After talking rather maturely, April and Dominic take a break so he can go to Europe. This is also called breaking up. Like, break is literally in the phrase. Ladies and gentlemen, if anyone says they want to take a break, it means they want time away from you with the chance to maybe hookup again once they want time with you again. It's a freaking scam -- don't fall for it!

But now, at least Dominic is out of the picture so April and Leo can have their tragic The Fault in Our Stars for grown-ups thing.

Other Thoughts

  • Beth sleeps with Graham. Which I had predicted. It's still charming. 
  • Someone pays for April's treatment. Aka Leo. Let's be real. Also, points against Leo for being super creepy and pushy into April's life. 
  • I'm actually interested in seeing where the show goes from here with Dom gone, Leo working his way in the picture and April having to take off work just as she gets some success.

Chasing Life airs Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC Family.

(Image courtesy of ABC Family)