The Fifth Season
7th Heaven is a family-oriented melodrama that revolves around the Camden family. The main characters include Reverend Eric (Stephen Collins), Annie (Catherine Hicks), Matt (Barry Watson), Mary (Jessica Biel), Lucy (Beverley Mitchell), Simon (David Gallagher), and Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman). Despite that one of the main characters is a minister the series isn't about religion, but rather the trials that the family members go through. The show's early seasons had a goody-goody tone that has been replaced with more character-driven drama. For more details about the show, please refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one, season two, season three, and season four.
In season five of 7th Heaven, the drama is kicked up a notch as life gets a little hectic for everyone. Of note, there is a continuing storyline of Mary's rebellious lifestyle at the fore. She repeatedly makes the wrong decisions, which has a drastic effect on the Camdens. Other notable occurrences include Mary's ex-boyfriend Robbie moving into the Camden household, the Camden kids and their love lives, and more.
The most dramatic change this season deals with Mary. In season four, Mary slowly started heading down the wrong path. In this season, her downwards spiral to no-good only gets worst. Mary makes several bad decisions from deciding not to postpone college to stealing from her siblings to ignoring her responsibilities. What it all comes down to is that Mary is no longer the sweet angel she used to be. Instead, she is a troubled young adult. In the episode "Bye", Eric and Annie try to set her straight by sending off to Buffalo, New York to be with her grandparents. They hope The Colonel's strictness will give Mary the right direction. Unfortunately, it does not work out as planned. This story arc was added to the show as a way to write Mary out of the series. After season five, she appears on a non-regular basis.
Mary's drama does not stop there. Her ex-boyfriend Robbie makes several appearances. He comes to the Camden's household in "Surprise". Eric finds out Robbie is homeless and decides to take care of him. His arrival comes without open arms. The rest of the Camdens are not excited to have him around. He integrates himself in the household and stirs up some unintentional drama that includes his father visiting, Robbie-Mary tension, Robbie becoming fast friends with Matt's best bud John, and a few love triangles.
Lucy has a lot of drama at the foot of her door. It is her senior year in high school and between boys and popularity, she is a busy gal. She has several guys on her mind. Of note, there is her relationship with friend Mike (Jeremy Lelliot). Lucy and Mike give dating a try, which does not work out. However, late into the season sparks fly when she meets Jeremy (David Lago). They get serious and even make a solid commitment to each other. Lucy also has other things to consider, such as college, homecoming, and more.
Matt and his dating life continue to play a significant role. His ex-girlfriend Heather continues to be a thorn in his side. He really cares for her, but they break-up (again) and try to move on. Of course, she meets someone else, which does not bode well for Matt. To complicate matters, Mat learns something mysterious about Robbie and Heather. He also has college ordeals to cope with. Specifically, he decides to go for pre-med and applies to medical school. His best friend and roommate John also proposes to his girlfriend.
Simon's love life also goes full force. He attempts to date an older woman, considers having sexual intercourse, and is troubled by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in "Gossip". Ruthie, who has been growing up, starts to get in a little trouble too. She transfer into a new school, which she skips class. She tricks Robbie into settling the matter with her teacher. Ruthie also starts to keep a racy diary that includes some details Eric and Annie would prefer to keep behind closed doors. Throughout the season, Eric and Annie do their best to maintain their cool as their children go through ups and downs of life. They also have their own issues to deal with, which includes Annie's ex-boyfriend getting to close to her and Annie finding out she has a sister.
Overall, 7th Heaven's fifth season continues with a similar tone set in season four. The drama is character-driven and focuses on the soapy melodrama that ensues from the character's love, academic, and professional lives. The early seasons' goody-goody, family-oriented aspect is not a primary factor. Instead, the show feels more like a soap, which has its ups and downs. Needless to say, if you enjoyed season four, then season five should also be pretty fun.
1. Here We Go Again: A new school year finds Simon, Matt, and Lucy living the single life again. Meanwhile, Mary decides to postpone college just as Annie returns for her teaching certificate.
2. Help: Mary gets fired and her money problems spiral. Lucy enlists Simon's help for her homecoming queen campaign, claiming it will boost his popularity, and Ruthie gets accepted to an elite private school.
3. Losers: Eric and Annie get jealous when they spend Friday night apart. Mary is tempted into drinking and runs a stop sign, and Lucy discovers that babysitting is tougher than she imagined.
4. Busted: Ruthie spies on her parents' romantic evening, Simon's date flirts with Matt, and Lucy learns her newest love interest spent time in a mental hospital. Meanwhile, Mary's new friends are busted for marijuana possession.
5. Blind: Matt pursues a girl who mysteriously rejects him, Ruthie's best friends fight over her, and Simon gets an ear pierced to change his image. Mary, in trouble after getting caught drinking, considers smoking marijuana.
6. Broke: Tension mounts when Annie and Eric disagree on how to handle Mary, who is now jobless, broke, and keeping bad company. Secretly, Matt, Simon and Lucy try to save Mary from ruthless debt collectors.
7. Bye: Eric and Annie uncover the truth about Mary's destructive actions. They make a heart-wrenching decision to send her, against her will, to live with her grandfather in Buffalo.
8. Gossip: Ugly rumors fly when the town learns of Mary's sudden departure to Buffalo. Simon takes a walk on the wild side when he and a friend date twins with bad-girl reputations.
9. Tunes: Questions fly when Heather leaves Matt a note that she wants to talk. Simon stops listening to misogynistic rap music when his new hip-hop buddies harass his mother and sister.
10. Surprise: Annie isn't happy when Eric offers refuge to Mary's infamous ex-boyfriend, Robbie, who is now homeless. Lucy is thrilled to be accepted into college.
11. Home: Robbie's continuing presence in the house causes problems for everyone. Annie resents him, Ruthie gets a crush on him, and Mary is convinced that Robbie is dating Lucy.
12. One Hundred: Ruthie finds an abandoned baby on their front porch. Meanwhile, Eric receives two joyous birthday surprises: a visit from the reformed Mary, and the news that Lucy has decided to study theology.
13. Kiss: Lucy gets jealous and seeks revenge when her friend Mike asks her to set him up with another girl and Matt gets jealous when his best buddy John befriends Robbie.
14. V-Day: Everyone works to discover the identity of Robbie's secret Valentine's Day date. On her first date with Jeremy, Lucy is embarrassed when they keep running into her ex-boyfriends.
15. Sweeps: Mary flies home to see Robbie and asks him to move to Buffalo. An attractive older girl expresses interest in Simon, and Eric is shocked and dismayed when a condom is found in Simon's wallet.
16. Parents: The deadbeat dad who abandoned him wants back into Robbie's life. Annie feels inadequate when Lucy spends time with her friend's youthful, attractive mom.
17. Crazy: An unlikely therapist helps Matt overcome his fears of becoming a doctor, Ruthie has a secret reason for skipping homeroom, and Annie gets in the middle when Simon tires to break up with his girlfriend.
18. Apologize: Robbie sparks jealousy when he meets a girl who looks just like Mary, and Mary goes out to diner with her old boyfriend Wilson. Robbie's ex, Cheryl, accepts a date with Matt.
19. Virgin: Simon is mortified when his mother's admission gets him nicknamed "Virgin Camden" in school. Matt, who is secretly dating Robbie's ex, is furious when he finds out that Robbie and Heather are classmates.
20. Regrets: At first, Annie is devastated when she finds out her father secretly had a daughter out of wedlock. Eventually she comes to accept her new half-sister.
21. Chances... (Part 1): Lucy and Jeremy announce their engagement, and Matt reveals that he's been dating Cheryl. Feeling rejected by Robbie, Mary makes a shocking declaration that causes havoc in the family.
22. ...Are (Part 2): Lucy and Jeremy are delighted when Annie and Eric offer to support their long-term engagement. Robbie and Mary agree to be friends, but an ultimatum from Wilson leaves Mary with a life-changing decision.
The video is given in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. The video quality is pretty good and offers a fairly clean picture. There is a noticeable grain and dirt. However, there is nothing that should interfere with your viewing experience.
The audio in this release is given in English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The audio track is mainly dialogue driven and sounds good. There is very little distinction between left and right channels. This release is support closed captioning.
Please note the box cover claims "some episodes may be edited from their original network television versions. Music has been changed for this home entertainment version".
There are no extras included with this DVD release.
7th Heaven's fifth season has a similar tone to season four. The show is more dramatic and has less focus on the feel-good nature found in the early seasons. The content works and delivers compelling drama that will appease viewers who enjoyed shows of this caliber. However, at the same time, the content has its limitations. It will make for a good watch, but I do not feel it has a lot of replay value.