Season 20, Episode 6
Location: Kensington area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Official Synopsis: EJ’s lies and deceptions cause a rift in his family, as some continue to enable him while others holds a firm bottom line. Interventionist Ken Seeley intervenes on EJ, who must finally decide if he is ready to accept help and go to treatment. Janine, Nicole, Bill, Alana, Amanda and EJ give final updates about their recoveries and hopes for the future.
My thoughts: This show, man. Damn. It’s not an exaggeration to say it saves lives because it does. Frequently. Five of them this season. Janine, Alana, Bill, Nicole (OMG NICOLE!), and EJ. Incredible. But not everyone can be saved by an intervention and quality treatment. Amanda’s followup was beyond heartbreaking. She was so defeated, so resigned to suffer what she thinks is her fate, what she deserves. That “spiritual awakening” she says she’s waiting for isn’t actually anything more than acknowledging to yourself that you’ve suffered enough and that you want to live a better life. It’s not that complicated and it’s not that mystical. I think it might be one of the simplest and most profoundly human things that we experience. Amanda walking the streets with a black eye, thinking only some big sign from God will get her to quit, as if losing everyone and everything wasn’t enough of a sign, was such a tragic way to end an otherwise heartwarming and inspiring episode of television.
UPDATE: Amanda Marie Thomson died on December 17, 2022 of an overdose at the age of 34. Here is her obituary.
Date aired: September 10, 2019