Life Sentence Review: Wes Side Story (Season 1 Episode 5)

Stella finds out Wes isn’t exactly the man she knew him to be from their six months together, and begins to question whether their relationship with ever work.

On Life Sentence Season 1 Episode 5, “Wes Side Story,” we find out how fate managed to put Wes in Paris at exactly the right time to meet Stella, and why Wes was so eager to leave his life and live out the end of Stella’s cancer movie with her in Oregon. Meanwhile, Aiden’s secret comes to his father’s attention with unexpected results.

Stella, Wes, and Pippa

It’s disappointing to find out so much of Wes and Stella’s relationship has been founded on a lie; she was convinced they’d both only loved one another, slept with one another, and found so much of themselves when they met in Paris, but it was all a rather brilliant lie on Wes’ end to leave out his past and the reason he came to be in Paris in the first place. Not only are their first memories tainted by this revelation, but it’s also just leading to sour moments between the duo as they have to work out these messes while in a legal marriage. For example, did it even click in Stella’s mind that their last dinner in Paris took place under the reservation Wes and Pippa made for their honeymoon weeks before? Sure, Wes didn’t take Pippa and realized he was better off without her, but this entire story is one big disaster, and it’s getting harder to root for Wes and Stella to work things out and make their marriage successful.

Honestly, it wouldn’t be a bad decision if the couple decided to get divorced as they head into rocky relationship waters, so there’s nothing binding them together if it doesn’t work out. Of course, this is the primary relationship of the series, so it better work out, but how many lies is Stella willing to hear before she snaps? She understands why everyone lied to her while she was sick and her prognosis was bleak, at best, but they lied to her about so much. And the worst lie, thus far, comes from her husband and his failed engagement and subsequent time alone at the altar literal days before he and Stella got married.

This story would have worked better if Wes was the one who had left Pippa at the altar because he decided the relationship wasn’t going to work out, but this is just hurting Stella even more as she’s clawing to the surface out from underneath the lies everyone told her to shield her from the world. Every time Stella thinks she’s alright and she’s figuring things out, something new happens to knock her off her feet once again.

I really feel for Stella and how she felt betrayed, upset, and frustrated with Wes for keeping this information from her. She was dying, would she have really cared how or why you were in Paris? It wasn’t worth lying to Stella about unless he was planning to seek out Pippa once Stella passed away, which was really what I expected to hear from Wes. Knowing he loves her and he’s staying in spite of Pippa wanting him back is a good step, but Wes has a lot to do before he should expect Stella to fully trust him again and believe he wants to be in the relationship. It only seems like a matter of time before Wes is pulled back into Pippa’s life somehow, seeing as she was just offered a position in San Fransisco, which isn’t too far from where they’re living in Oregon.

Wes really disappointed me, as a viewer, in this episode, and I hope his lies are almost done being spilled out because this was a mess, and if there’s more about his life that isn’t quite true, it’s going to be brutal to anyone who wants to support Stella and Wes pursuing their marriage and trying to make it work despite all that they’ve been through. (Also, isn’t it weird how supportive Stella’s family is of her and Wes? I mean, they knew each other for like a week before getting married, Stella was literally dying, and Wes is from another country. Why didn’t they find that suspicious?)

Aiden’s Lies and Ida’s Truth

The relationship between Aiden and his father is heartwarming, especially as they’re both trying to figure out life together. Aiden still hasn’t taken his first shot at life, while Paul is searching for his next shot at having a happy life, just like Ida has seemingly found with Poppy. As awful and obnoxious as Aiden can be, his relationships with his father and Stella are what redeems his character just slightly enough to like him and root for him, but, otherwise, he’s just an obnoxious, straight, white man with poor hygiene and little to no future. Not much there to root for.

However, keeping his past with Lauren a secret from his father was something he was genuinely doing to help his father. He didn’t want to ruin what Paul had with Lauren, especially because it was going so well and Paul was happy for the first time in decades, and it’s honestly the least selfish thing he could have done. Ida spilling the secret to Paul so he’d break up with Lauren was a terrible thing to do, and I find myself caring less about Ida with every passing episode because she’s more selfish than anyone else. She left her family, almost entirely, to pursue her relationship with Poppy, and she really didn’t care to listen to anyone else about how it affected them or how they felt about it, which just began the downfall to her short-lived likability. Ida has a lot to work out, too, but she’s doing it at the expense of everyone else, including Poppy, and everything she does is selfish in one way or another, so I don’t see her relationship with Poppy lasting, either, with how she reacted to Paul’s relationship.

That said, how Paul handled the truth was inspiring and shows how much he’s grown in just a few episodes. He decided to call it off, but he understood why Aiden kept it from him and he wasn’t angry, disappointed, and upset with Aiden for doing so, which was a breath of fresh air. It’s a terrible situation for everyone involved, but it was actually handled quite well, aside from Ida’s outbursts and her continuously referring to Lauren as Paul’s “hooker.”

(Please, just write Ida off of the show at this point.)


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What did you think of Life Sentence Season 1 Episode 5? Are you upset with what the writers have done with Wes and Ida? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Life Sentence returns Friday, April 27 at 9/8c on The CW! We’ll still be reviewing it, so stay connected to our Twitter!

[Total: 2    Average: 3.5/5]

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