"The Bells of St. Peter's"

A review by Jenni:

This has been a very weird week.  So I am really glad to finally be sitting down to TBAA.  And... this episode is practically new.  I *know* I watched it cause fans were urged to as CBS was apparently taking note of the ratings to decide if S9 would happen.  So I remember making a point to tune in.  I just don't remember anything about this episode beyond Doris Roberts being the main guest.  So... kinda excited, kinda concerned.  But I have chai and a maple roll so all's well!

What I love about this episode:
When Annie hears her baby's heartbeat... that's got to be such an incredible moment.  Especially if you'd been worried it had stopped.

My family is going through some medical drama right now.  And, I'll admit, I've said and thought a few things about some doctors that weren't the kindest.  So... while I think Maggie is wrong to denigrate her husband, I do think it's a good thing to remind us all just how much doctors have on their plates.

I also appreciate Brian stressing that waiting on the chemo was Annie's choice.  I have a feeling Maggie would likely agree that women have the right to choose.  She needs to see that a woman has a right to choose to stall her own medical care if the outcome may be better for her baby.

At first, when I started to catch on to what this episode is about, I was disappointed.  Marital drama and trauma just isn't usually that personal to me.  But maybe this episode is exactly what I needed to see.  I've been feeling kinda like the consensus is I should start thinking about finding someone... soon.  But I just feel like maybe that's not God's plan for me cause I have other things in my life that I don't feel would be conducive to marriage.  And I'm not willing to give them up or even lessen my focus.  So hearing Brian tell Maggie that the attention she's giving her patients should also be paid to their marriage reiterates for me that I have no business entering into a relationship right now.  Cause I would be Maggie minus a medical degree.

"Faith is not about covering your bases.  Faith is about trusting God above all else when you're in trouble."  Good quote from Monica to Rose.  Although, as I've said before, I believe superstition has its place.  A lot of tradition is pointless from a practical standpoint.  But from a cultural standpoint... priceless.

I really love Rose's attitude about her hair.  Sometimes I worry that I'm a lil too vain about mine.  Or emotionally dependent on it.  But she'll just wear a hat if she loses it.  Way to be!

I'm really grateful that they didn't show Rose in a great deal of pain during the lumbar puncture.  I have a family member confronting cancer right now and that would have been devastating.

"You don't have to go around the world to find God and you can't schedule Him to appear to someone else.  God works on each heart individually.  And He speaks when someone is ready to listen."  Another one from Monica to Rose.  I especially love those last two sentences. 

"He has heard your prayers: all of them.  Give Him time to answer them in His own way."  Same scene.

For the record, Rose hearing the bells works much better for me than Annie seeing "Venice" in that episode.

"It's never too late to tell someone what you feel in your heart."  Thanks, Tess, for the waterworks that prompted.

"You've got to love and appreciate the people in your life while they're still around and not just take their love for granted."  So true.  Tess is really messing with me in this scene.

"Miracles happen around you every day."  Same scene.  Followed shortly thereafter by "Don't you know God works through you?"  Potent.

I'm torn on whether I like this ending or not.  On one hand, I do believe that miraculous cures do sometimes happen.  On the other, I know that some of us have immense faith and have loved ones with great faith and we still wind up standing at a grave and weeping.

What I didn't love about this episode:
Not enough Andrew.  Then Monica interrupts his big scene...  And he doesn't get it back...

Lingering questions:
Does fate exist?  Monica seems to say no in her discussion with Rose.  And yet...  I'm not so sure.  I believe God's will ultimately triumphs.  But I also believe that generations of human free will have molded the world in such a way that maybe some things do end up fated.  To use a literary example, maybe Romeo and Juliet were fated to die not because God really wanted them to commit suicide but because of His gift of free will.  For generations the very human Capulets and Montagues chose to hate and feud.  So when our famed ill-starred lovers arrived on scene... maybe their tragic deaths were fated. 

Is this the only Easter TBAA episode?  I think maybe.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
John's so much on my mind tonight that I'm just really distracted.  Especially with no Andrew to be seen ten minutes in...

Oh poor love...  I can't imagine having to take either a baby or a young mother Home would be easy for him.

Daffodils...  They always make me think of John. 

This episode is now 3/4 over and Andrew's had one 3 second scene.  No wonder I couldn't recall this episode...  Sad to say, at this point in the series' run, I was pretty much just watching for John's sake.  So, of course, I wouldn't much remember an episode he was barely in.

Ha!  I'd recognize that right shoulder any where!!!  He looks so cuddly all bundled up...  And while I feel very bad for Rose... if I was dying she's exactly where I'd want to be.  Well, not on a street curb.  But in the appropriate company.

So I hadn't paid much attention to the "Liberation of St. Peter" painting until Rose said Andrew looked like the angel in it.  Then, of course, I had to Google it for a better view.  Andrew's way better looking...

He does have a beautiful glow...  ::trying not to be angry at Monica for interrupting::

Well, his smile when he learns he's been reassigned was worth not getting to see him have a big AOD scene.  He is lovely...

Random thoughts:
Music: Horrid Latin-y muzak when the insurance company has Maggie on hold towards the beginning.  Doris Roberts sings "Que Sera, Sera" to the lil girl crying in the waiting room.  And, of course, there are the eponymous bells.

While I know Brian was commenting on his family's situation more than making a theological point, I've always thought it was weird that we call the day of Jesus' death "Good Friday."  I don't know what's good about it, either.  Okay, I do.  But it still seems weird.  "God's Friday" makes more sense to me, though, and fits my emotions better.   

Scenes Hallmark cut:
- Right after getting Brian to agree to take her to get her blood work, Rose returns to Gloria with whom she'd just been making travel arrangements.  She explains that she remembered that right about then Maggie should also be down in the lab.  She tells the angel "God works in mysterious ways and so does Rose" then adds that Gloria should hold onto the tickets cause they're going to Rome.  Then it goes to the blood draw which THC resumes with.

- Odd I even picked up on this but... after the auditing session and Tess telling Maggie she's dragging her loss and frustration, the CBS version shows Tess stalk out of the office and shut the door.  Then there are a few seconds of Maggie just looking around bewildered.

- They cut a chunk out of Monica's and Rose's talk after the latter is admitted.  Mostly Rose's part.  After Monica delivers that line I noted above about how faith is not about covering bases and she verifies for Rose that she thinks this is serious, Rose responds with "When you get to be my age death always seems so close anyway that you do whatever you can not to think about it.  You tell jokes, you plan trips, even try to convince your kids to give you some grandchildren.  Anything to keep your mind from the inevitable... but it still comes."  Monica responds "That's why you need to have faith."  Rose: "I have all kinds of faith."  Monica: "I know.  I'm talking about one kind.  In these times when storms come up quickly..."  Then she launches into the need to cling to one lamppost.  THC resumes with the lamppost quote.

Further on down the road...
It's Sunday morning and I decided to watch this.  I thought about skipping for the weekend.  To be honest, this is one of those episodes that while I have nothing against it, it's hard for me to get excited to watch it.  And I do really want to write for most of today so we'll see if I stick with this.

Maggie annoys me.  She has no right to question Annie's decision or priorities. 

13:20 and we finally see Andrew...  briefly.

Maggie does have a point about consistency.  Maybe.  I think God knows all.  I don't think He wills all.  I think He gave us free will and has bound Himself to accepting what we do with it.  So if someone murders someone, He lets it happen.  But I don't think He willed it.  So I do think you can credit God for the good and blame something else for the bad.  But the fate v. God issue is different, I think.  Cause it does set fate up to be a sort of deity.  It is flaky.


Just shy of 34:00 and he's finally back...  Yay.

They taunt us thinking Andrew will finally get a substantial scene and then no... 

I know miracle cures happen.  But I really think this episode would have been more powerful without one.  I think it would have been more meaningful if Maggie actually had to find her faith like most of us do... through the hard times.  Oh well.

Back to the Episode Guide

(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.)