‘The New Normal’: Baby drama takes over in ‘Blood, Sweat and Fears’

The cast of The New Normal.

The cast of The New Normal.

This week’s episode of The New Normal finds our little family continuing to prepare for the arrival of the baby. “Blood, Sweat, and Fears” is aptly named, as it deals with the characters’ concerns for the fast-approaching future.

The episode opens with David and Bryan discussing birthing options for Goldie. David, as one might expect,  places great stock in modern medicine, while Bryan prefers a more natural birth.  As the two discuss different methods, David resolves to set aside his opinions as a doctor in order to experience the birth of their child as a dad.

In preparation, David, Bryan and Goldie attend a birthing class together. David, anxious to be a dad and not a doctor, doesn’t tell anyone that he’s an obstetrician although he faces doubts about the natural birthing methods discussed during the class.

Bryan faces his own problems.When the class watches a graphic childbirth video, he ends up fainting and his doctor later advises him to stay out of the delivery room. As a result, Bryan resolves to stay away from the birth of their child and suggests to two other terrified fathers in the birthing class to do the same. Later, though, he has a conversation with Brice, who confides that he still regrets the decision to stay out of the delivery room during the birth of his child.

The climax of the episode comes when Amy, one of the women in the birthing class, goes into labor. David is completely in his element when the group (Amy, her husband Frank, Bryan, and Goldie) is forced to stop at the side of the road in order for Amy to give birth. The critical moment comes and Bryan is able to gather the courage to witness the birth and help David with the delivery.

Meanwhile, Shania offers to babysit Rocky’s  new baby as Rocky is overrun with work. Rocky, although dubious at first, decides to give her a shot and then is taken aback by Shania’s success with Nikki.  Worried that a child is able to care for her baby more efficiently and competently than she can, Rocky fears that she’s not a good enough mom for Nikki.

This episode was about fears, and being able to face them. Rocky’s fears that she isn’t a good mother are assuaged by Shania’s matter-of-fact words: “At the end of the day, Nikki needs you… You’re her mom.” Bryan is able to step up in a time of crisis and witness the birth of a child firsthand and resolves to be in the delivery room for the birth of their own child. As for Goldie, she finally takes the step to obtain a property to begin selling her clothes. It’s a leap of faith, certainly, on the part of all the characters. Goldie’s voiceover at the close of the episode sums things up perfectly: “What I’m learning is to face my fears head-on,” she says. “I don’t run anymore and I don’t cover my eyes… When I look my fears straight in the eyes, I see my future.”

The characters are learning to face their fears head on and reap the benefits and I am eager to see where their journeys take them.



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