Life Sentence recap: Can Stella and Wes prove they’re legitimately married?

Life Sentence -- Bettina Strauss/The CW -- via CWPR
Life Sentence -- Bettina Strauss/The CW -- via CWPR /

Stella and Wes are forced to prove their marriage is legitimate on Life Sentence. Meanwhile, Ida has memories of the home that make her want to sell quickly.

The United States Citizen and Immigration Service pays a visit in this episode of Life Sentence, titled “Re-Inventing the Abbotss,” checking on the legitimacy of Stella and Wes’ marriage. Of course, there are plenty of signs that they are in a sham marriage, so they need to do everything they can to prove they really do love each other. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of other drama happening in her life.

An immigration issue

When the INS comes calling, Stella and Wes need to prove their marriage isn’t a sham. That’s not so easy when there’s a bed made up on the floor (they both sleep there to use the stove for heat) and they married after only knowing each other a month after meeting. Of course, they know very little about each other, so they need to swat up before the next interview.

Dealing with her family drama means Stella is late for her first study session with Wes, but they do make a night of it. There are some crazy questions on the website Wes has found—why would anyone really need to know the exact number of sexual partners their spouse has had?—and that leads to a beautiful moment between the two.

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They do have to decide what they’re going to do if Wes doesn’t get to stay in the country. Wes assumes that Stella will leave with him to London, but she clearly hesitates. This isn’t something she’s ever considered.

The family drama

Meanwhile, Stella tries to handle her family drama. Ida believes they’ve found a buyer for the home, but Peter isn’t happy about the idea. In fact, nobody is really happy about losing their family home. As Stella thinks about everything they’re losing, Peter overhears and decides that they’re not going to take the “insulting offer” they got a week after putting the house on the market.

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At the same time, she has to help her brother and sister get control over their lives. All these problems mix in with Stella’s dreams, and she starts having nightmares of the immigration interview that leads to her family’s drama.

Stella is eventually forced to choose sides between her parents. She chooses her dad’s. At the same time, she realizes that Aiden is likely never going to change, so walks away. This does help Aiden and Peter discuss matters, as Aiden finally admits he struggled with an absent father who was always looking after his sick daughter. It’s understandable that Peter spent so much time with Stella, but it’s easy to see how that affected the whole family.

Life Sentence — Bettina Strauss/The CW — via CWPR
Life Sentence — Bettina Strauss/The CW — via CWPR /

A study session gone wrong

After learning from the immigration lawyer that they may need to go to London until they sort this out. Stella decides to speak to the INS, sharing the full details of the lead-up to their marriage. That just causes more doubts, especially when the agent on the case shares details of Wes’ life in London.

More lies that Wes has told come out after this. He has the chance to admit his faults, but it all turns on Stella. Wes is upset that Stella is unwilling to choose him over her family should it come to it and is the one having doubts.

After that fight, Stella decides to finally talk to Lizzy about marriage, since she’s the only one in a happy marriage. There’s some excellent advice that all of us can take from Lizzy when marriage gets hard.

Family dinner night

Eventually it’s family dinner night and it’s time for everyone to air their problems, especially Stella airing her anger towards Ida for only caring about herself recently. Ida finally gets the chance to explain that the house isn’t full of the happy memories for her. It’s full of the memories of all the bad things, including Stella getting sick and her marriage falling apart.

Life Sentence — Bettina Strauss/The CW — via CWPR
Life Sentence — Bettina Strauss/The CW — via CWPR /

As Ida digs a hole in the garden (claiming it’s her grave because everyone seems to want to make her die at the house), she comes across a tiny coffin. The cat that Stella remembers so fondly never ran away, but died…of cancer. Coming out with the truth about the cat helps the family come back together. Well, as much as possible. They at least get to have their last family dinner in the childhood home.

The immigration interview

When it comes to the immigration interview, Stella and Wes start floundering. Honestly, immigration questions really are as stupid as they were in the episode. It’s something I’ve been through with my husband and some of the stuff we had to produce to prove we were legitimately married was impossible—and we’ve been married for six years and married for nine. We were fortunate that having two children together made things smoother, but even I don’t know my husband’s favorite meal, his shoe size, or the number of sexual partners he’s had!

Wes decides brings up the question Stella was asked the other day: who would marry a dying girl? Wes is able to answer it with passion and heart, and it’s just what they needed to get Wes’ immigration papers, so he’s allowed to stay in the country. Despite all this, Stella does admit that she would have chosen him if it all came down to it.

It looks like it’s all sunshine and rainbows for another week, as Lizzy heads off to a writer’s retreat, Diego gets the chance to look after the kids alone, Aiden takes responsibility for his unborn baby, and the family house is on its way to be sold. What could go wrong for next week?

Next: Life Sentence Pilot recap: How would you spend the first day of the rest of your life?

Life Sentence continues on Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

What did you think of “Re-Inventing the Abbotts?” What did you think of some of those immigration questions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.