'Chasing Life' Recap: 'Death Becomes Her'

By Christine M. Sellers,

On this week’s episode of Chasing Life, April grows uneasy about the possibility of her untimely death, Sara meets George’s old flame, and Greer helps Brenna meet Natalie while on a trip to Miami.

The episode opens with April, her grandma, and her grandma’s friends playing cards. April hopes this will help keep her mind off of Dominic and the subject of death, though both topics of conversation eventually come up. April is surprised that her grandma and her friends are so “casual” when it comes to death. They tell April that by their age, you get “used to it.”

Later, April goes to the gym to do yoga when she runs into Leo and he’s kind of shocked to see her there. April explains she no longer has “Thursday night plans” since she and Dominic broke up and is looking for a way to distract herself. Leo offers to talk things over with her, but April changes the subject and asks where their fellow cancer support group member, Jackson is since he usually attends yoga. Leo tells April that Jackson is in the hospital. His chemo isn’t working so things are looking grim. Cue opening credits.

Brenna tells April about her Ecology club trip to Miami and April asks if Brenna’s in the club because of her crush on Greer. A few moments later, Brenna tells April she’s been searching for their half-sister, Natalie on the Internet, but hasn’t been fortunate in obtaining results. April says the only thing she knows about Natalie is that she’s from Key Largo and lives near their dad’s old writing retreat.

A few moments later, Brenna and April go downstairs and into the kitchen to start their day. When Sara notices them there, she mentions Brenna’s trip and also reminds her about going to the hospital to have her cheek swabbed. The testing is taking place to see if Brenna could be a bone marrow donor should April need a transplant. Brenna leaves shortly after.

Meanwhile, April tells her mom that someone paid for her fertility treatment, but a misunderstanding ensues when April believes that her mom is lying when she says it wasn’t her.

April has a meeting with George and her new doctor, Dr. Hamburg and they chat about her impending treatment. April is concerned that she’ll need a bone marrow transplant and its potential risks, though Dr. Hamburg does a good job of calming her down. Dr. Hamburg says she hates cancer and has made it her life’s mission to eradicate it. She also tells April she’s not a quitter and doesn’t expect April to be one either.

Meanwhile, Brenna and Greer are making out on Brenna’s bed. Soon enough they stop goofing around, so Brenna can finish packing for their trip to Miami. Brenna mentions her half-sister, Natalie and expresses her desire to find her while they’re in Florida. Brenna thinks that finding Natalie might be good, especially if her bone marrow isn’t a match for April and Natalie is willing to help. Greer offers to go with her.

At the Boston Globe, April is searching for information about AML online and what could happen if chemo doesn’t work instead of actually being productive. Raquel asks how April’s summation is coming and April says tells Raquel that she isn’t her supervisor anymore since she’s gotten her first solo byline. Raquel retorts that she’s still April’s “superior” and tells her to stop by her office if she needs help.

At Support Group, April talks death with Meg and becomes confused when Meg disappears into thin air. The same happens with Jackson, Leo, and Dominic, and when April wakes up seconds later, she realizes she was having a nightmare.

Meanwhile, Sara is glad both she and Brenna are getting away from Boston for a little while. Sara’s been a lot more receptive to the “Cancer Caregivers Support Group” and is going on a sail boating trip. Brenna wonders how that will be relaxing if everyone is going to be talking about cancer-related stuff the whole time until Sara tells her that the group chooses not to talk about cancer stuff and drinks alcohol instead.

April and Beth are out to eat. They talk about work, their respective boyfriends (or ex boyfriends in April’s case), and even speculate as to who paid for April’s fertility treatment. Then April somberly remarks that she only has a few days before she begins chemo and her entire life changes; to which Beth suggest she play “hooky” from work.

When April goes back to work at the Globe, a pipe has burst, leaving the entire office in disarray as a cleanup crew tries to fix the problem. Enter Raquel who brags that her office is seemingly “okay,” then disappears.

In Florida, Brenna and Greer arrive at the hotel where the Eco club will be staying. Greer tells Brenna that their fellow classmate, Annie will sign them into the conference they’re supposed to be attending that night and convinces her to sneak out so they can track down Natalie.

Back in Boston, April decides to visit Jackson in the hospital. Meg is also there, and soon enough, Leo shows up as well. They converse about cancer and death and Jackson is upset he won’t be able to attend his own funeral, since it’s basically like “a big party being thrown in his honor.” Meg mentions that she and Leo have plans later and invites April, however, April politely declines saying she has to work.

At work, April struggles to concentrate on writing her article due to all the noise coming from the cleanup crew as they’re trying to fix the pipe. She winds up deciding to take one of her unused sick days and leaves work early, much to Raquel’s chagrin.

April meets up with Beth and Beth is proud of her for “playing hooky.” April then wonders how she should spend her “last day of freedom” and calls Leo to capitalize on he and Meg’s previous offer to hang out. They meet up at The Velvet Lounge, a strip club where Meg fulfills her “cancer dream” of becoming a pole dancer.

Meanwhile, Sara has made it to her sail boating trip and is talking to a fellow support group member when she unexpectedly sees her brother-in-law, George. George is also caught off guard when he sees Sara as she didn’t previously fancy the idea of the support group.

Back at The Velvet Lounge, Meg is still gushing over getting to live her pole dancing dream and credits Leo as helping her. She nicknames him the “patron saint of the group” who helps people fulfill their dying wishes. April suspects Leo has paid for her fertility treatment and thanks him for the kind gesture. Leo responds and says he has one last mission to plan, but it may involve possible trouble and breaking the law. He is pleasantly thrilled when April agrees to join him along with the rest of the group.

In Florida, Brenna and Greer have taken a taxi to Natalie’s house. Brenna knocks on the door, but Natalie doesn’t answer, causing her to want to throw in the towel. Greer convinces her to stay and also knocks. Natalie answers this time, though she isn’t exactly happy to see Brenna there. When Brenna introduces herself, Natalie says she knows who Brenna is and wants absolutely nothing to do with the Carver family.

In Boston, Leo, April, and Beth break Jackson out of the hospital for his one last hurrah.

Back in Florida, Brenna tries calling for a taxi to take her and Greer to their hotel, but the operator tells her it’s a two-hour wait. They see Natalie leave her house and motion to get into her car. Greer is dead set on helping Brenna, so she asks Natalie to give her another chance. Brenna tries reasoning with Natalie again, and while Natalie is a bit reluctant at first, she soon caves and agrees to talk.

Meanwhile, Leo allows Jackson to fulfill his dying wish by helping him attend his own “funeral.” April and Beth also attend.

At the Cancer Caregivers sail boating trip, Sara and George chat in the bar and Sara meets George’s old flame, Carrie Rosen, an astrophysics professor at MIT. After Carrie leaves, Sara asks George why the relationship ended and he tells her he was dating Carrie when his brother, Tom died.

At Jackson’s funeral, a friend speaks about their relationship and how he’ll miss Jackson when he’s gone, prompting April to have another nightmare about her own death.

In Florida, Natalie has taken Brenna and Greer to a bar. She buys them drinks and they discuss their moms. Natalie quips that the drinks are on her mom, since they’re having a “family reunion” before questioning if Brenna and Greer are lesbians. A few moments later, Natalie suggests they dance.

Meanwhile, Jackson thanks Leo for organizing his “funeral” and gives a touching speech about his journey through life. As Jackson’s old acapella group, “Nothing But Trouble” sings Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” April and Beth both find themselves emotional.

In Florida, Greer is suddenly sick, causing Brenna to accuse Natalie of drugging her drink. Brenna informs Natalie that locating her was a bad idea and she was wrong to think Natalie would be willing to help April, because she’s so selfish. Natalie fires back, saying that Brenna and April's mom, Sara knows about the affair and the “part-time” offspring it produced.

At the bar, George and Sara continue to discuss Carrie. He tells Sara their relationship ended because he wasn’t ready to be in a new relationship then. George also tells Sara he knows she blamed him for the car accident that killed her husband, though Sara insists that she doesn’t. She does feel hurt that both Tom and George kept the affair—and more importantly, Natalie—a secret from her. George still blames himself for the car accident, however.

After Jackson’s “funeral” is over, April and Beth contemplate going out for fries and a shake, but April stays to help Leo clean up instead. April tells Leo he’s not as bad a person as he makes himself out to be. Leo responds that helping others “gives him something” and carries on his “legacy.” He and April begin to make out shortly afterwards.

When April and Leo collect themselves, April asks Leo who’s going to grant his last wish and he tells her that treatment could’ve possibly helped his brain tumor, except he chose not to do it because of the potential complications that could arise. Leo says he wants to die with “dignity” and his mind still “in tact.” April is suddenly angry and calls him a quitter. She says she can’t quit and she’s going to fight hard to beat her leukemia. Leo supports her decision.

Back in Florida, it is the next day and Greer is still feeling sick, but thanks Brenna for taking "such good care of her." She and Brenna are at the hotel with the Eco club and she compliments their teacher/chaperone on his speech. When Brenna asks how Greer managed to cover for herself, she informs her that Annie sent her a copy of the speech and she read it to avoid getting in trouble.

Back in Boston, Sara is home from her trip and is making dinner, since Brenna is en route to the house. April soon enters the kitchen and tells her mom she’s been thinking about death lately, hoping to end the tension between them. As they cry and share a warm embrace, Brenna arrives home. They ask about her trip and Brenna says it was “informational,” leaving out the part about Natalie. Sara’s mom, Emma suggests they play cards and everyone agrees while they wait for their food to finish cooking.

Chasing Life airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.

image courtesy of INFevents.com

 
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