"Amazing Grace Part II"
A review by Jenni:
What I love about this
Here again we have the episode starting with something that's not
terribly easy to contemplate: why bad things happen to good
people. Personally, I don't think an answer that will satisfy
everyone will ever be found on this earth. But I have to give
TBAA credit for trying and, in general, I found their responses to be
pretty good. Here, Monica tells Nathaniel that bad things can
happen to humans and angels... and God. I know people disagree
about whether God can feel pain or not. Personally, I'm with
TBAA. When Monica tells Nathaniel that God is hurt when His
children are pained or when they turn away from Him, it's a chance to
relate to God. And not just relate to Him but know that He's
right there with us in our pain. We're never alone in it.
I've recently been able to start watching Promised Land episodes and I'd
never realized what a shadow the Vietnam War cast over that show and
sometimes TBAA. It's awfully powerful... and
heart-wrenching. Having Russell and Anderson know each other from
the war added an interesting subplot to the story. Particularly
interesting was paralleling Anderson saving Russell during the war to
his later saving Josh. But then I just like the idea of people
from our past resurfacing in surprising and poignant ways.
The problem of pain and suffering comes up again when Claire asks Tess
why God didn't stop the shooting. Tess gives an answer that,
again, won't satisfy everyone but I do find offers some peace.
The main points are "He can heal it... in His own time... Just
trust Him." Faith can be such a challenge to maintain but I'm glad so
I should have said this in the review of Part I but this guest cast is
really, really solid. There are so many great performances!
The power of music does resurface here. Music is how Queenie
first starts to get through to Michael as he's packing up to
leave. But the theme also gets broadened to simply dreams
bringing people together, with music as an example of one dream.
I love how Queenie says it's the dreams of the people in the mini-mall
that joined them together as a family. Course, I'm a sucker for
things involving non-traditional families by choice.
Music figures into Mary's funeral which brings everyone together
literally. I think this also hearkens back to the earlier scene
in the hospital where Queenie and Tonya find healing in music.
And am I the only one that tears up when Kim gets up
to speak, can only manage "So sorry, good woman," and then speaks to
Calvin? Totally gets me.
And then they *really* get going with the idea of music bringing people
together by having the group sing "Amazing Grace" as they proceed to
the wall. Awesome choice of song. I think that must be one
of the most unity-friendly hymns. Catholic, Protestant, or other
most people know it. Then having it morph into a triumphant,
defiant group version of "O Happy Day"... wow. Awesome way to end.
I didn't love about this
I don't know that I'd say angels are supposed to "make people
blind to differences in skin color" as Tess says to Monica. It
brings to mind Dr. Hall later saying you can't make changes just by
white-washing things. Changes don't come from pretending
something's not there when it is. I don't think progress will be
made by everyone becoming color blind. I think progress will be
made when we see all those differences as beautiful. We can learn
from and celebrate differences. To me that's a lot better than
failing to notice them.
I really like this episode but it does call to mind why, at points,
some of us got annoyed by the PL crossovers. The plots may have
been good but I found myself missing the angels.
I wonder if Andrew ever did/does take Anderson for that ride in
the caddy? He says he will but "not too soon." Of course,
now we know Monica has the caddy. Maybe Andrew will borrow
it. Or maybe Anderson will just have to settle for a green
Parts that made me feel
I don't know why but I seem to find Andrew especially attractive in
this one. Just something about the lighting against his hair when
we first see him in Anderson's room... lovely.
Okay, the shot of Andrew as he sits in the chair at Anderson's bedside
is one of my favorites. Look... So gentle.
Andrew in long coats... always nice. And something about him
telling Russell where Josh fell really gets to me. Andrew pretty
much just plain haunts me this whole episode. There's something
especially unearthly about him here. I have no idea what.
I have to say that "real good lookin'" is now my new favorite way to
describe Andrew. Thank you, Russell. ;-) That being
said... I wanna find Andrew and hug him the more Russell talks.
He starts to make the poor love sound scary! I mean I'm glad he
stresses that Andrew took Mary Home to God but that "wherever he goes
people die" line rubs me the wrong way. It makes Andrew sound
like the cause.
His fleece-looking coat at the end looked cuddly... I really wish
Andrew coulda said and done more in this episode but with what lil he
had... he was darn adorable, assuring, and made me really, really wish
he'd stop on by.
I couldn't help but think that Michael and Dr. Hall might eventually
have ended up together. Beyond the hostility, something seemed to
be there. Or I just really need to watch a romantic movie and get
that outta my system.
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