So The Fifth Season brings about a mass of changes to the Camden household. Having not seen prior seasons, I was confused when certain characters from bygone days were brought back in, but the show does a good job of catching you up when they reintroduce these folks. The season begins with middle daughter Lucy (Beverley Mitchell) trying to win back her boyfriend after his father sent him to Europe over the summer. It turns out that while Lucy was dating every male available as revenge, her boyfriend heard the tales and got a local girl in France pregnant, deciding to stay there and do the right thing. Lucy is crushed... for a day or two. She cruises through numerous guys this season (she seems like quite the little make-out queen, for having a father who is a minister), including Mike, who spent some time in a sanitarium for trying to commit suicide. Older sister Mary (Jessica Biel, before she realized she was hot) starts going down a wayward path, deciding not to go to college, but instead to burn through a series of dead-end jobs and to buy a car she can't afford. She eventually takes up with bad news couple Frankie and Johnny, teenage parents and sometimes drug users. She ends up being pulled over while drinking and driving, runs up bills she can't pay and spirals out of control, culminating in borrowing $400 from her twin baby brothers' piggy banks, at the suggestion of her siblings who are trying to help her get out of this pit of self-destruction. Eventually, the family does an intervention and Mary is sent to live with her grandparents, Ruth and the Colonel (Peter Graves) in freezing Buffalo, to go to school, work and get her life straightened out. She is very angry and doesn't speak to her family members for many weeks.
During this time, her ex-boyfriend Robbie comes back into the Camden lives as he seeks counseling from Rev. Camden (Stephen Collins) before marrying his "pregnant" girlfriend, Cheryl, who he apparently cheated on with Mary. When the false pregnancy comes to light, the pair split and Cheryl throws Robbie out, leaving him homeless. Rev. Camden takes Robbie to live in the Camden home, much to the chagrin of wife Annie (Catherine Hicks) and the rest of the children, except for smart-mouth 10 year old Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman), who steals the show in every scene that she appears and seems far older than her age. Simon (David Gallagher), freshman in high school, struggles for acceptance, falling in with older girls who want sex, street thugs who insult and abuse his mother and sister, and harmless kids who TP houses. He eventually becomes insanely popular after his mother lets it slip that he's a virgin.
Ruthie goes to a new school, exclusive and private, and has a hard time integrating her old friend with her new, snobby friends. She learns quite a few lessons along the way, especially one about listening to heer teachers and not questioning why they do certain things. Oldest son Matt (Barry Watson) runs through girls like Kleenex, but is an amusing character as he suffers at the hands of organic chemistry teachers and hospital regulations alike. He also has a difficult time when his best friend and roommate, John (Chaz Lamar Shepherd), finds true love and gets engaged to Priscilla and Matt has to move back home. Additionally, Matt begins a relationship with Robbie's ex, Cheryl, who pressures him for sex. The end of the season explodes as Mary returns to Glen Oak to be with Robbie, but on again, off again ex-boyfriend Wilson follows her from New York to bring her back. She and Robbie break it off as Lucy announces she is engaged to Jeremy and is headed back East to follow him to Juliard. Eric and Annie are separately wooed by people from their church trying to break up their marriage, but in the end, everything wraps up just fine, amidst all of the drama. Oh, and Mary and Lucy's hair turns up a few shades lighter for the season finale. Yay highlights!
7th Heaven: The Fifth Season is chock full of little morality lessons, sometime getting a little on the weepy side. As I said, each episode has a moral, much like an after school special. In fact, usually, in the first 15 minutes of the show, you can guess what the moral of the story will be - don't listen to rap because it degrades women, don't do drugs, don't drink and drive, don't be prejudiced of people because of mistakes the may have made, and on and on. It's a sweet little show and although I doubt anyone will simply pick up The Fifth Season on a whim, it's not a bad place to start getting into the show. There are absolutely no special features, which is a shame, but what's there is good. If you are a fan and want to relive the life of the Camdens, then pick up 7th Heaven: The Fifth Season to see what new messes they have gotten themselves into.