A Dose of Reality: Breaking Bonaduce - Episode 9
by Sean Conover
Published: November 13, 2005
We start this week's episode in Danny's final week at Rehab. As he walks back to the rehab center, he tells the camera "in this place you want to try and 'stay on the path,' but I mean it literally - when I got here, this little path [he points to a path with octagon stepping stones spaced about a foot apart], I couldn't walk on it for the first four days I'd just fall. But now, the new Danny..." and he bounds seamlessly along the path. "Ta-da!" Is this a sign of things to come, and Danny's newfound sobriety, or is he just hopping from one step to another in his life yet again?
The Bonaduce family is moving on, in more ways than one. Gretchen tells Dr. Garry about the pending move from their home into a new one, and how it should be good to move OUT before Danny gets home. Putting him in a new environment so he can't sit next to the pool and drink, and so he won't have the available hiding places that he knows about already to hide his alcohol, and according to the staff at the Rehab center will be good for him. Dr. Garry agrees.
As we follow Gretchen around the house, she shows the movers all of the guest rooms, the bedrooms, the garage, and all of the junk that needs to either be thrown-away or that needs to be packed. "How long has that been on? I don't even know how to turn this off," she says about a light in one of the rooms. Clearly, the Bonnaduce family has too much stuff, so not only will the move be good for Danny, but it looks like it might be theraputic for Gretchen as well.
As the last day arrives, Danny looks and sounds so much better than when he entered the center, and both he and Jo-Ann the Rehab Therapist agree. He is clear-headed and understands the transformation that's occured. As Danny connects working out (physically) with working out his mind and spirit, he understands that he wasn't in rehab just for his wife, but for him as well. It was hard to get started (just like beginning to get in a workout routine), but once he got used to it, it was for the better. Because of his mental exercise, his spirit "now has huge biceps."
As he packs his stuff and leaves the center, having goodbye breakfasts and waving goodbye to his counselors, Gretchen and the girls put up "Welcome Home, Danny" banners and balloons around the house, then they leave to pick up Danny so the family can be whole again - or so they hope.
When they get home (to the new house), Danny remarks at how wonderful the view and the landscaping around the house looks. As they walk around the back of the house, he asks "is there somewhere around there where we can wall off and do a Zen garden like at Tommy Lee's house?" Gretchen immediately answers "No, probably not, but there's so much space inside." The look of rejection on Danny's face as he takes a deep breath and realizes he's not in the Rehab center anymore is very telling, but he soldiers on and tells her after a few moments of hesitation, "I'm anxious to see."
We're given a tour around the new house, walking behind Danny and Gretchen, and it's almost like an episode of MTV's "Cribs." Every room is painted a different color with hardwood floors, and the size of the house is enormous. As they walk into one of the children's rooms, Danny mentions what a great color (blue) the walls were. Gretchen replies that she let each of them pick the color they wanted. "Interesting," Danny says,"this is the exact color of the walls of the psych ward." Nice connection.
Apparently Danny now prescribes either to a new-found spirituality, or he found out the house used to belong to a drunk, because Danny has the whole family walk around the house waving feathers and burning parchment chanting "begone evil spirits!" Daunte even gets in the act, but instead starts chanting "come back evil spirits!" As the old saying goes, "from the mouths of babes."
As they move around the house expelling the old demons, Isabella needs to 'smudge' the balcony of evil spirits, Danny helps her out and lights another roll or parchment. As the lighter flares up, he exclaims "wow, that's like the old crack lighters." Again, Danny shows such a lack of parental self-censorship around her. He continues to show his inneptness when they find out the corner of the balcony is infested with bees. As Isabella wafts some of the smoke towards the bees to see if it will help cleanse the balcony of demon bees, Danny starts swatting at the bees with his feathers. Yes, feathers. He keeps whacking at them, killing some until they start to swarm around him and only then does he blurt out, "I think maybe this wasn't such a good idea." You think?
Back In Session - Batter Up
On his way to his first session with Dr. Garry since rehab, Danny remarks how when he put on his leather motorcycle jacket, he found a full bottle of Vicodin in one of the pockets. He couldn't believe it, but he flushed them down the toilet. Were there an audience, you could almost hear an applause track.
Back in session, after an awkward first few moments where Dr. Garry welcomes him back, Danny breaks the ice by apologizing to Dr. Garry. "Let me apologize entirely for everything I've leading up to this moment. I remember distinctly being just cavalier in my rudeness to you, and I really do apologize sincerely." Wow. We're still on the path. Dr. Garry accepts his apology, and they begin to talk about what happened in rehab, and the results now that he's thrust back into his life. Danny has been rehab-ed, but his life hasn't, and that's sometimes hard to deal with. Danny agrees that "life does look rosier through the bottom of a glass, and I don't have that glass anymore." In his understanding of this, he also sees that he has choices that he gets to make on a daily basis, like not drinking, not taking drugs, and he's "going to love [Gretchen] in an appropriate fashion."
Nice seguay into the bedroom, where it's his first night back and Danny is reading a book titled "Hot Monogamy." As he reads one of the tips, Gretchen realizes she didn't shave her legs, then yawns and says she's tired. Apparently, there's no welcome home sex for the recovering sex addict. Strike one.
Problems in the Bonaduce Bedroom
Back on his radio show, Danny welcomes Michele Merkin to his show, telling her that she's his first guest since he got out of rehab. She doesn't offer him any alcohol or drugs, but she does bring him a nice gift basket - full of red fuzzy handcuffs, whipped cream, strawberries, body frosting and paint brushes.
"If it involves any kind of sex with me, Gretchen doesn't enjoy it." To find out, they call Gretchen on the air, and after Michele describes all of the stuff in the basket, she asks Gretchen what she thinks. "I think it sounds like I could end up with another yeast infection." Strike two, Mr. Bonaduce.
At home, Danny asks Gretchen if she'd like to take a bath with him. "Maybe you could take a bath with Daunte." she asks, and when he replies "I don't want to take a bath with him," the cut to Daunte sitting in the stairwell overhearing his dad's response is biting. Whether or not it's true or it was pieced together, the next shot off Daunte sitting sadly in the bath with Danny sitting on the counter reading his "Hot Monogamy" book is a sad reminder that Danny has so many priorities in his life and he needs to get them straight.
He's trying, but it seems that Gretchen just isn't willing. Back in session with Dr. Garry, Gretchen says she's not a romantic and doesn't like rose petals and poetry and romance. Even Dr. Garry tries to talk her into doing some of the 'silly' stuff because Danny really is a romantic at heart. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like she's buying into it. Maybe Gretchen needs to go to a Sex Rehab center - do they have those? That might be a good business idea......but I digress.
Speaking of romantic, Gretchen does look like she's trying and she sets up a romantic dinner complete with a cellist, flowers, and (what looks like champagne) out on their veranda of the new home. Earth to Gretchen - champagne? She then asks if he misses drinking? "No." Miss steroids? "Yeah, alot." Miss Vicodin? "Yeah." Nice reminders, Gretch. To change the topic, Danny asks her if she's been reading the ("Hot Monogamy") book he gave her, and if she's taken any of the surveys. Apparently she did, but she scored "zero" on a lot of them. "Yeah, that's really bad" Danny replies. Getting back to the romantic dinner, Danny says it was "just what he was thinking about and hoping for." "Well, your wish came true," Gretchen says. "Not completely - in my fantasy when we're done I smash all of this stuff off the table and we do 'it' right here," Danny replies. "OK, then your wish didn't come true." Foul ball! Here comes the pitch. "I can't believe we're doing this," he says, bringing the conversation back to the romantic dinner. "That's what I say every time we have sex."
Ouch. Strike three! Batter out, do not go to the dugout, go directly to the showers. You can actually see the degeneration of one month of rehab in a span of two seconds as they focus on Danny's face.
Back in Dr. Garry's office, Garry and Danny discuss how Danny has given up everything - drinking, drugs, everything - but she needs to at least give him some sort of sex or there's no reason to live anymore. In Dr. Garry's world, he doesn't think there's any thing there for Gretchen to give, and he uses the analogy that Danny's looking for produce in a hardware store. "What if I'm in the hardware store," Danny asks, "looking for produce and I realize I need a screwdriver - and there it is. That's my big fear, that I'll find what I need somewhere else." It looks like we're back to the starting point - like we're seeing the prequel to Breaking Bonaduce.
In the gym, Danny eyes a busty, sexy blonde attempting to workout and he helps her with her free weights. He openly flirts with her and in the end, exchanges phone numbers, asking her when she thinks she might be back in to the gym. It looks like Friday might be a good day for Danny - or not.
Next week, it looks like Gretchen loves Danny, but doesn't want to "love" Danny, so Danny is out looking for sex in all the right places.