Just Call Me a Men in Trees Hugger
Anne Heche in Men in Trees by Sergei Bachlakov/ABC
If ever a show deserved a second (or third or fourth) look, it's ABC woefully mistreated
Men in Trees
. Tonight's episode, which plays almost like a season-opener in the way it resolves one major cliff-hanger storyline and reassesses a number of key relationships, is a terrific re-entry point for those who fell away from this charming show during its many inexplicably long absences from the schedule. (And the new Wednesday time slot does it few favors, with incompatibly cheesy reality-show lead-ins.)
This episode is titled "Sonata in Three Parts," a musical metaphor that movingly announces itself when one of Elmo's locals reveals an unexpected past. This character explains how a sonata plays out in three movements: the first generally upbeat and lively, the second a little darker (think Jack adrift at sea and feared dead) and the third taking you back to the beginning. "Things have a way of working themselves out," we're told.
And so it is in this episode, as the town maintains an uneasy vigil for any new news about the missing Jack, walking on eggshells around a distraught Marin (the terrific Anne Heche), who is projecting her anxiety onto hunky Cash and his current health problems. The theme of the week is regret, as each character takes stock of their life and decides to make every minute count. Not a bad mindset where a show on such thin ice is concerned.
My regret? That ABC appears to have permanently stalled any momentum this show once had, back in its truncated first season when it too-briefly aired alongside
, providing a delightful nightcap on a first-rate Thursday. I'm not sure anything can reverse its fortunes at this point, but don't let that deter you from getting back with
Men in Trees
, especially where tonight's intensely romantic episode is concerned. You won't regret it.