"The Blue Angel"

A review by Jenni:

This is one of those evenings when I am partially afraid to watch.  I have been weepy since this afternoon and received some bad news this evening.  Yet, I find myself sitting here, preparing to watch this episode because I need to see the person who helped me through so much bad news.

What I love about this episode:
As the 10th year anniversary of 9/11 approaches, it's touching to see this reminder of how we were in the days after.  I had a "United We Stand" shirt myself.  I miss that.  Feeling united.  Why can't all the bickering go away?  And here come the tears...  Maybe I can go public and at least get the Dems and Republicans to agree on some sort of "Jenni is a hopeless sap" platform.  It's a start...  Or maybe I could at least have a cry-off with John Boehner.  Not sure what that would accomplish, though...

Well, for a much needed laugh, Claudia is prompting flashbacks to SNL's skit "Goth Talk" which still cracks me up.  Oh for the days of Circe Nightshade and Azrael Abyss!  ;-)

I like the way Max talks.  "I don't give a rat's whisker" will be one of my new sayings.  But I bet I don't end up saying it near as often as "I wanna hug him..." or "Love the lovely man/angel..."

I love how when the network guy freaks out, Max tells Elmer to stay on "that kid's beautiful face."  Powerful moment.

While the Gloria focus is annoying to me, I do like how each of the other angels then has a chance to tell their part of the story to her. 

Gotta say... watching those people watch the moon landing got to me.  I wish we'd rally around something like that again.

"You're... you're glowing!  Are you okay?!"  From Elmer to Gloria.  Best reaction to a revelation scene EVER!  :-)  It begins to dispel the ickiness that this episode dissolves into for a bit there.

Aww.  I love how when Monica, Tess, and Andrew enter they show an image of their past selves.

"God does not make hacks.  He makes beautiful people with unlimited potential and He's waiting to help you reach yours."  Tess to Max.  Good to remember when you're feeling a bit stale and like you're not quite who you want to be.

Andrew's turn: "God still has great plans for your life." 

And Monica's: "If you can let God give your life meaning now then it was never, ever wasted."

Gotta love Della's interpretation of "God Bless America."  And it's great that Tess got her chance after the disappointment years earlier.  Such a moving moment still.  I wish I remembered more of how I felt that first night this aired.  I'm afraid I was still angry about the Gloria thing, though.

What I didn't love about this episode:

While I have certainly had my moments of being irate with Tess, it hurts pretty bad to see her face after Max tells her she won't be singing "God Bless America" on air.

I'm sorry but making Gloria think she'd have to strip is easily the creepiest plot line this show ever had.  That should have been nipped in the bud right away.  Frankly, the fact that the other angels seem to find it amusing is creepy, too.  She's a year old!  I understand angel years are different but sheesh...  Monica is especially grating with that.  It's great that when Gloria took off the coat she was all angelified but the fact that in the moments leading up to that she didn't know that was going to happen just makes it all seem pervy to me.  And the shimming way she then does remove the coat is just gross.  An angel of the Lord, even for mere seconds, playing into the women as sex objects thing is wrong.  I don't know what they were thinking.  The entire scene just makes me feel icky.  While I think there were some fantastic moments and episodes to come, this is a "jump the shark" moment for me.

While this ends on an up note (the trio reappearing, Della singing, the flag), I'm afraid the segment described above just sank this episode for me.  Hearing Max talk about selling out shortly after that atrocious scene just seemed hypocritical to me.  I can only guess that the show was trying to be edgy but it was just offensive to me. 

Lingering questions:
Giggle.  What does Max call Elmer's cap?  Patriotic what?  Bullpucky?  Awful thing to say but I like that word... whatever it is!

Parts that made me feel swoony:
He's so lovely in that orange turtleneck sweater.  And it's adorable how he tilts his head down when Gloria's doing her "You?  You?  And you?" thing. 

Would very much like to have seen Andrew's reaction to Monica being called a "broad"...  Too bad the timeline wasn't right.  Course, that never mattered before.  Still... fun to think about him being all chivalrous.  And now I need to rewind cause I spent a whole non-Andrew scene fantasizing about Andrew.  Oh John, what have you wrought?  ;-)

He's back.  And lovely.  Even as an alien.  And it's cool that we know where Andrew was on a specific day.  On July 20, 1969 he was in a TV studio... crouched inside a moon crater.  :-)  Like a really adorable space prairie dog. 

He's adorable even in silver glittery glasses and resembling aluminum foil.

"Space Vixens from Venus"!!!!!!!!  HA!!!!!!!!!!  Andrew was gonna have to introduce that!  I love it!!!

When he says "I do not believe in killing any living creature" and refuses to take the ray gun... total Doc Hock moment.

Oooh.  Love his "smallest violin" comeback.  Andrew don't take no crap from anyone.

He's so sweet perched on that crater.  I love him...  I wanna hug him.  And how entranced and happy he is watching the moon landing...  What followed with the talk of Max's heart attack was hard, though... 

That's a nifty coat when Andrew and Co. resurface during Gloria's revelation.  I love our studly Martian Boy.  He looks like Mr. Darcy kinda.

Random thoughts:

Music: Well, who can forget the Doggone Duo's take on "Froggie Went a'Courtin'"?  There's the awesome organ music during "I, Claudia"...  "Elvis" has some instrumental junk playing as he speaks.  There's piano music as the girls dance during the Tess flashback.  It goes into "God Bless America" which is performed by that awful gum-chewing blonde singer.  Tess' version is vastly better, naturally.  Wow.  I wonder if Della Reese ever recorded that?  Will have to check.  Gah... what is the name of the piece of music they play when the tribute begins?  You hear it a lot at 4th of July celebrations...  This is bothering me.  Duh.  "Stars and Stripes Forever."  My brain is so shot tonight.  There's the icky music during "The Blue Angel" bit.  Finally, Della sings a larger portion of "God Bless America."

I have to say that I understand some of the Elvis fans' intense desire to believe he's still alive more now than I did in the past.

Scenes Hallmark cut:

I will definitely need to rewatch both versions of this sometime cause I didn't catch any cut scenes.  That doesn't seem realistic.  I was pretty distracted so I could have easily missed stuff.

Further on down the road...
Here we go...  It's probably not going to help that I just returned from seeing Philomena which was amazing.  Now for this...  It's just sad.  Two great guest stars and the plot is just so... unfortunate.

I just realized that in the opening scene, the arrangement of the four angels changes between takes.  Ha.  When it starts it's (from left to right) Tess, Monica, Gloria, Andrew and then it's Andrew, Gloria, Monica, Tess. 

Tess' comment about Tiffany's cold is just weird.  People get colds in completely innocent ways. 

It is lovely hearing Della Reese sing "God Bless America."

Sigh...  Here's a tip.  If you have the viewing audience watch a character get born then, no matter if the character is born in adult form, don't ask them a year later to see that character dressed as a stripper.  It's just creepy and uncomfortable for everyone.

Tess' attitude isn't helpful.  And it only stresses how completely cruddily Gloria is treated in this episode.  If she wasn't mature enough to know what stripping is, she wasn't mature enough to be put in this position.  If they wanted us to accept that Gloria was an adult then be consistent with that.  If they didn't want us to think she was then this plot line is beyond twisted.

At least we get Andrew in a spacesuit...  And sarcastic.  Love him. 

Someone seriously needed to explain to Gloria that it's moral to back out of a promise if one entered into it under false pretenses.  Isn't it a human trafficking trick to offer someone passage to another country if they just do a little work for them... with the trafficker keeping out that the work is prostitution?  It wouldn't be immoral to back out of that.

Monica making light of the situation is gross.  If Community can have an entire season's character weirdness written off with a line about "the gas leak year," then I would like to dub this "the gas leak episode."

Gah.  This is just awful.  I just wanna throw up when Gloria makes it look like she just might strip. 

The sad part for me is that I probably would have really liked this episode without the stripping plot.  Artistic integrity is a fascinating, worthwhile topic.  But it's just really hard to focus on the artistic integrity aspect when all the characters, including God, seem to be experiencing a definite lapse in integrity.

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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.)