Confrontation III (110.23)

After Cal texts his dad to come quickly, Ben finds Danny in his house with his children. When Danny accuses him of messing up the family, Ben loses control of his emotions and shoves him backward. Olive cries out for them to stop, saying that she invited him.

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The setup

Scene shifts back to the Stone house. Cal is still sitting on the stairs when the front door opens.

BEN: Hey. I got your text. What’s wrong?

Cal points to the dining room where Olive and Grace. Danny is standing between them.

GRACE: You are not a grown-up, Olive.

BEN: Mom and Olive?’

OLIVE: You’re not acting like one.

DANNY: Olive, you can’t talk to your mother like that.

The encounter

Ben sees Danny.

BEN: Hey. What are you doing here?

DANNY: I-I was invited.

BEN: Really? ‘Cause it doesn’t look like a happy reunion.

GRACE: Ben, it’s fine.

Ben raises his voice.

BEN: It’s not. I am not dead anymore. I am right here. And why does he get to be in my house with my children?

The showdown


Danny takes a couple of steps toward Ben.

DANNY: You are the whole reason this family is messed up. I’m trying to pick up the pieces.

Ben gives Danny a very strong push backwards.


OLIVE: Stop! [PAUSE] All right? I invited him! It’s my fault.

The resolution

GRACE : [TO OLIVE] No, no, this is not your fault. This is not your fault. [TO BEN]: From the moment that plane landed, you wanted to walk back into this family like no time had passed. And I get that, because for you, it hadn’t. [TO DANNY] And you wanted the family that we had built. [TO HERSELF]  And I don’t know what I want. But no matter what I do, I’m the bad guy, and I’m tired of it. So we’re not doing this.

Olive walks toward Cal and places her arm around Cal

DANNY: I understand. I-I’ll leave.

BEN: No, no, no.  I’m sorry. I never really understood until now. [TO GRACE]  I only thought about how much you got back, not not what you lost. [TO BEN] Olive wants you here.

OLIVE: No. Dad.


BEN: It’s okay, Ollie. I’m okay. [TO CAL] You know you’re safe here, buddy, right? Come here. [HE HUGS HIS CHILDREN]  I love you guys so much. Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow. Promise.

Ben kisses them both before leaving. After getting in his car he exhales sharply.

The Grace and Danny storyline

The Grace and Danny storyline is an arc that tries to give us new angles but ends up spinning its wheels. Although Ben’s realization that what his family got back doesn’t erase what they lost when the plane disappeared ties in nicely with the story of the abusive husband whose wife was glad he was gone, it’s not new news. Olive’s more assertive approach towards including Danny in their lives heightens the emotion a bit, but how much do we need of Danny’s patient understanding and withdrawal and Grace’s justifiable desire not to be the bad guy (or disliked character in fans’ eyes) in all this?

SOURCE: Michael Ahr (

Ben lets his emotions show

Watching Ben finally let out his emotions about his family and home situation was probably one of the series’ most heartbreaking moments. Up until now, Ben hasn’t let his emotions show. He has fought to keep his family together, but watching him cry alone and defeated in his car told us everything we needed to know. By letting Danny stay and eat with his family, he was choosing to give them up in order for them to be happy as he realized that his disappearance changed Olive and Grace’s lives. We could tell it was the hardest decision he has ever made and he only chose it to protect his family.

SOURCE: Samantha D’Amico (

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4 thoughts on “Confrontation III (110.23)

  1. It was indeed a heart-wrenching scene, Paul. For me, it was irrefutable evidence that Grace wasn’t being sincere when she said she was trying to rebuild her marriage … and reunite her family.

    Your comment …

    “we all knew Grace was having a difficult time choosing between Danny and Ben, but to hear her say it”

    … made me think about a scene from the pilot episode (101.6). Here Grace is preparing a room for Michaela in the basement. On a couch was a pillow Karen, Mick’s mom, had made with the 8:28 bible verse, “All Things Good.”

    Grace said to Mick, “Your mom made it after …” Mick interrupts her before she finishes her sentence. In scene (105.18), Karen gave Jared an Afghan to celebrate his upcoming marriage to Lourdes, and said, “Love is never something to feel guilty about. It’s a blessing.”

    Which brings me back to the pillow on the couch. It was insinuated that Karen gave the pillow to Grace because Ben and Cal were dead.

    On the other hand, Danny was living with Grace before Karen died. How did Karen view Grace’s living arrangements with Danny? Did she consider it a blessing … All Things Good?

    Karen was an understanding and good mother-in-law to Grace. It’s possible she was more interested in Grace’s love and happiness than Grace displayed for Ben during the confrontation.

    Which makes Grace’s treatment of Ben even more heart-wrenching. It’s evidence that she didn’t sincerely consider Ben and Cal’s miraculous return a blessing.

    There will be a concerted effort to rehabilitate Grace’s negative image by the show’s puppeteers. But unless the rehabilitation is done in a realistic and believable way, this is a character that will always be disliked by fans.

  2. Again, Charles summarizes the events of this scene well. This was one of the most heart rending scenes fro this viewer; we all knew Grace was having a difficult time choosing between Danny and Ben, but to hear her say it — yet give no reason why there should be any question that Danny needs to find himself at the curb.

  3. Seeing Ben realizing that Grace was even considering what she lost was greater than what she had gained.
  4. Ben losing his temper when it would do no good — and risk possible being shellacked by Danny.
  5. Ben choosing to leave instead of moving his stuff into the guest room (as another writer suggested) because he chooses not to force himself on Grace and Olive. He may be, maybe unknowingly, playing the long game.
  6. This viewer agrees with the decision, because Ben doesn’t have the time or energy to follow a virtual rabbit down a mental rabbit warren,
    Lastly, telling Cal he is safe here. Ben knows that himself is busy, what can he do? As one viewer suggested, maybe take him to Grandpa Stone’s.
    In sum, wild emotions, fuzzy thinking and seeing no way out for all. And sadness.

  7. GRACE: And I don’t know what I want. But no matter what I do, I’m the bad guy, and I’m tired of it. So we’re not doing this.

    You don’t know what you want, Grace? Why does it always have to be about you … and only about you. What you’re really saying is, “I don’t know what’s best for my family.”

    And yes, you’re the bad guy. Whether you don’t want to be the bad guy or not, you must choose. It’s either Ben or Danny. It’s either Ben rejoining the family he loves. Or it’s Danny rejoining you and Olive.

    There are no half-measures. The only choice any mother would make is what’s in the best interest of her children.

    And true, Olive isn’t a grown-up. But when it comes to Danny she behaves like one.

    Grace’s problem is that she herself has repeatedly avoided making critical life-changing grown-up decisions, i.e., making the decision whether unconditionally welcoming Ben and Cal back is more or less important than permanently replacing Ben with Danny.

    It’s impossible for Cal to be a resident of the Grace/Danny/Olive “living happily ever-after” household. Like his father, Cal is from a different time and is now living in a different world.

    At some point, the decision has to be made. The longer it takes to decide … problems will continue to manifest at an increasing rate.

  8. I thought that when Grace was having her fight about how much her life had been screwed up by the flight returning, and they showed Cal showing up, that it would cut to Cal thinking that his mother was sad that he was alive. which is extra awful, as he has had cancer for so long, and might have felt like a burden on the family even back then, and nowhere is his mom, wishing that he and his dad had just stayed away and not interrupted her new life. Maybe we get some of that later, but I can’t imagine that Cal wouldn’t pick up on what this fight is about. It’s not like Grace spends a whole lot of time with him anyway when he isn’t sick. It would take away from her angsting or yelling at Ben time!

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