No, not the Shakespearean play – more like Ernest Hemingway. You see, Curt is alive but not well; at first refusing to acknowledge Mary Ellen as his wife and disclaiming their marriage, he confesses to surviving Pearl Harbor but sustaining a severe injury that emasculated him. He is distancing her because he realizes he could never be a real husband to her. Add to this his semi-courtship to a local woman, someone who knows about but doesn’t mind his injury – the minute she had mentioned marriage, he put up the wall again. It takes Mary Ellen’s determined quest for answers to set things straight. In the end, a healed Curtis vows friendship with his soon to be ex-wife, and fatherhood to his son, John Curtis.
At home, Mary Ellen’s new love, Jonesy, seems to be giving up his rolling stone ways. He gets a job at Pickett’s plant, replacing Erin, who gets a job as a realtor under Corabeth’s employ. Neither has success at their jobs, so Jonesy realizes he’s perhaps better suited as a professor at Boatwright (sure, you can get that job no problem). When Mary Ellen returns, he’s waiting for her.
If there’s anything more confusing than a character who doesn’t remember his former wife at first (we all thought it was amnesia, didn’t we?) it’s having that actor played by a different person!!! The “new Curtis” resembles his predecessor in no way whatsoever – I know he’s supposed to be a changed man but this is ridiculous! In any case, this still comes off as more of a plot contrivance than a true character. Even the writers must have known they were ripping off Hemingway – they even have him catching a huge marlin off the Florida Keys!