"Band of Angels"

A review by Jenni:

Honestly, I still can't get over the supreme and terrible weirdness of going to someone for comfort and a sense of normalcy when their death is the reason I feel sad and out of sorts.  But there it is.  Sitting down with my coffee/tea/cocoa and my weekly TBAA episode to review is one of the highlights of my week.  Although sometimes I hate to start it cause then it'll be over and I'll have another week to wait.  I hate the idea of coming to the end of Season 9.  At this point, these almost seem new given I'm seeing some for only the second time.  But soon it'll be over...  I'm maudlin, in case ya can't tell.
What I love about this episode:

Generally speaking, I like flashbacks as a storytelling device.  Alex remembering Henry whilst awaiting the verdict is poignant.

Can I take Monica dumping hot sauce into Tess' cooking towards the beginning as a reference to her fondness for it in "Show Me..." or do you think it's just coincidence?  If I can count it, it's amazing continuity!

Yay, Ronald!  Monica can think what she likes, I like him!

I'm a big believer in writing things down in journals.  Although I'm not sure keeping it clean is the best idea.  Maybe what they have to work out isn't clean.  Still... good therapy.

I love that Ronald helps Monica arrive at her common goal solution.  He's no idiot. 

The healing power of music is a great theme.  And one I especially see value in these days.  The last two deaths I've faced, I've turned to music for healing.  Last three, I guess.

 The shout out to the Von Trapp family is fun.  Their survival is pretty darn inspiring.

"Miracles can happen with the right kind of encouragement."  A good Monica quote.

I think part of why I like Ronald is his faith in research.  This coming from someone who reads parenting blogs already... with no children in sight.  But it is always good to remember that individuals are not statistics.  Some things ya just can't prepare for.

I just love how impressed Ronald is by his own glow.  It's touching. 

"God loves you.  And if you ask Him, He'll forgive you for everything that brought you to this place."

"You see, God is really good at shining light in dark places."

"He wants you to share His love with the world."

I really like those three quotes from Ronald to the Plus One guys.  Especially the last one.  Or maybe the second one best...  They're all great.

Augh.  I forgot about how Henry was gonna give Alex the guitar.  Punch to the gut...  Especially with the loving note.

Alex breaking down is really getting to me.  Something about the mixture of anger and grief and guilt seems so real.

I love that Monica is the answer to Henry's prayer.  I love to think that our loved ones Above still have some sway.  And I like to think that maybe angels can sometimes tie up our loose ends for us.

"He loves you so much.  You're still His child, in spite of everything."  Monica to Alex on God's unconditional love.

This may sound bad but... I'm glad the last we see of Alex is his going to jail.  Absolutely no other ending would have been remotely realistic.  But I also love that, assumedly, word gets back to him about Henry's House.

What I didn't love about this episode:
Monica's a freaking snob.  Her reaction to learning Ronald is gonna be on the case is just plain jerky.  She comes off so two-faced.

I'm just not a real big fan of stunt casting.

Lingering questions:
Are Plus One still around?  Never really knew em beyond this.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Dearest One wincing at the gun shot makes me sad and I want to yank him out of there and take him where he'll never see anything bad or scary again.

I have the photo of Andrew kneeling beside Henry somewhere and could not remember what it was from.  Now I know.  And then he rests his head on his folded hands...  I loved so many of his mannerisms.  Still do.

Andrew having another assignment concerns me...

When Monica turns it looks like she has JD on her shirt.  It's really JDC but, naturally, the JD jumps out at me and makes me think of him.

Thank TV God and real God.  Andrew's Alex's lawyer so we'll see him!!!  I musta kinda remembered cause my heart leapt just as Alex pushes the door open.

He's playing with a pen again...  And he looks all kinds of adorable in that suit with the kerchief.  Excellent color scheme.  JD looked great in so many colors.

I seem oddly attracted to Andrew even more than usual when he's a defense attorney.  Should I be concerned?

Andrew twiddles his thumbs while Henry's daughter testifies.  Why do all these lil things endear me to him further?  And then he squeezes Alex's shoulder.  Lovely man.

Random thoughts:

Music: Tess sings "Kum-ba-ya" at the start.  She then seems to pass it along to Henry.  She reprises it after Henry is shot.  During the first flashback, you can hear blues music at Henry's.  Well, Plus One, Tess, Ronald, and Monica sing "Happy Birthday" 2.5 times or something like that.  Alex plunks away at the piano while Henry reads his lyrics during a flashback.  Henry's daughter plays a recording of her father singing what I'll call "Feeling Guilty."  Plus One practices and later performs "When Your Spirit Gets Weak."  Someone's playing harmonica when they first go into the club.  Later Plus One sings "The Promise."

So a while back I had read that Burt Pearl, one of the writers/producers, had died.  So every time I see his name in the opening credits, I pray for his family.  In the past weeks, it has occurred to me I should do that now whenever I see John Dye's name.  But I haven't.  Don't get me wrong, I pray for his family daily.  But not during the credits.  When he's right there, looking so lovely in that blue shirt against the field, I can't accept that he's not here.  So, of course, I don't pray for healing following a death I can't recognize.  But tonight I did pray when I saw him and his name.  I hope that means that things are sinking in a bit more.  And I so hope his loved ones know many of us are still praying.

Pretty sure the jury foreman was in other episodes.  Also the emcee.  Was he the emcee in "Jagged Edges"?

Those cafeteria tables look exactly like my grade school's.  Eeek.  Flashbacks!

The guys perform at a venue called Blue Steel Club.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
 -After the scene of Monica comforting Alex while he's laying in his bunk following the sentencing, there's a scene of Ronald in the kitchen preparing something.  Monica enters and says it smells wonderful.  Ronald comments that he's so happy Tess asked him to make something for the boys.  Monica asks what he's making.  He's cooking beef tenderloin pot roast with mango catawba grape chutney.  ;-)  Monica samples and is very impressed.  Then she tries some sort of rice with mushroom and catawba dish that didn't make sense to me.  Then to "cleanse the palette," Ronald shows off a sorbet of... Monica guesses catawba grapes.  And she is right.  Ronald then sings their praises.  Apparently they are difficult to find.  Monica muses that despite that Ronald found em.  Ronald then says it's his gift: finding stuff.  At that point it occurs to Monica that they still need to find a place for Alex's song to be performed.  She suggests that Ronald may be the one to find it.  End scene.

Further on down the road...
So I didn't watch a second episode last night cause I ended up going to bed really early.  I don't know if it was sympathy with Danika or all the walking I did earlier but I was exhausted!  So now it's Saturday night and I have some mocha cake and coffee.  Yay.  It's actually been a while since I watched an episode with coffee, I think.  I've switched over to tea except in the mornings but tonight it just sounded yummy.

And now I'll have "Kumbaya" stuck in my head for a good, long time. 

Sigh...  Poor wincing Andrew.  He already said this season that he hates the sound of gunfire and here it is.  So sad. 

Way to be a lil snot, Monica.  And two-faced.  She was all encouraging of Ronald before and here gets all phony and jerky.  Round about this point in the series is when I wonder if the writers actually decided they didn't want us to like Monica.  No offense to Ms. Downey.  I don't think any actress could spin some of this stuff well.  And then a bit later, Ronald solves a problem for Monica (the common goal) and she rushes off, leaving him, and doesn't even bother to prop the door to let him in with her. 

Right before the 16th minute (ha) is when Andrew comes back... looking crazy handsome as a lawyer.  So coordinated.  And glad to know Andrew equates having a key with trust.  Not that this means anything...  I'm working on a story.  :-)

It is moving how Alex keeps flashing back to Henry.  How awful to know you killed the only (non-God) person who loved you.

Yeah...  I just never could get the whole boy band thing.  I think maybe it's because I respond more to gravelly voices.  And teen boys don't typically have those.

Sigh...  This episode needed more Andrew. 

Did I miss something?  Why doesn't Alex sing with them?  I think that would have been more moving.  I realize he's not part of the actual band playing this fictional band but still...  They could have even carried the Von Trapp allusion further by having him step off-stage seemingly because it was scripted that way and then sneaking off.

Maybe I'm just in a weird mood but the editing in this episode seems off.  Like they hold close-ups and single shots just a moment too long to be comfortable.  Yes, I'm probably just in a weird mood.  Maybe that coffee wasn't the best idea...

I forgot about the guitar being meant for Alex and then the birthday card, too...  Ouch. 

Monica playing devil's advocate about Henry being stupid is quite good. 

And I do really like the realistic ending.  And that we can glimpse Andrew... however briefly.  Sigh... 

A Word from Travis:
While viewing the screen caps, I realize that Robert Ri'chard who was in the season 3 episode “Sins of the Father” as Dre, was also featured in this episode. I wished this was another episode featuring the characters from “Sins of the Fathers”.

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(The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)