"Buy Me a Rose"

A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:

I like what Tess says about how marriage is God's way of letting people practice loving one person completely so we can learn how God loves us.  Personally, I would have tweaked the line to say that it's *one* way in which that lesson gets across.  Cause I do believe parenthood, being a child, friendship, etc. can also help teach that lesson.

This episode is a RENThead's nightmare.  And I mean that in a good way.  Because it's pretty realistic.  It scares me how many people start out with these bohemian/romantic ideals and then end up with marble floors, grand staircases, and misery.  While I think it's safe to say I will never own a house as huge and gorgeous as this couple's... I already see some of my bohemian ideals fading as I spend more time cleaning my house than creating anything in it.

Tess is a great bartender.  I might actually go to bars more if there were bartenders like Tess. 

My favorite non-regular character is Abby.  Because she is pretty and adorable and behaves well.  And her bond with Denny just goes to show that some people should be left alone to live out their lives with their dogs. 

I so love that Tess deliberately breaks a glass to keep Denny and Ellen from kissing.  Classic Tess!  Go monogamy!

So most of this episode is kinda hard for me to comment on since I'm not married but I'll give it a try.  I do think marriage is portrayed pretty realistically here... from what I've seen.  While I think Greg is depicted as less sympathetic than Ellen through out, I do appreciate that the writers don't make him soulless.  He's been hurt, too.  I imagine it is difficult to spend so much time building a lifestyle only to wind up feeling like you weren't good enough. 

And when Ellen tells Greg she shouldn't have to ask for what she most wants... wow.  If I had a transcript of conversations I've had with angry wives, I'd be able to find that exact line in it.  So that seemed so true to life to me.  Although I remain unsettled about to what extent and when it's a legitimate claim. 

I agree with Tess about tea.  I love coffee.  But tea is definitely more comforting.  Although I may just think that cause I mostly drink coffee in the mornings when harried and getting ready for work.  Tea I drink later when things have settled down.

I really appreciate that Ellen tells Monica outright that she can't understand it all because she's not married.  I think it's important to keep that in mind with the angels.  Cause not only do they never marry but they also didn't grow up witnessing parents', grandparents', aunts' and uncles' marriages.  I'm not saying they don't have anything to offer as far as advice but they can't possibly know all the emotions and feelings involved.  So I liked it when the writers assured us they realized that.

My favorite quote in the episode: "There's nothing about a woman's heart that God doesn't understand."  I should have that engraved somewhere.  I had to pause and rewind to hear it again when Monica told Ellen that.

"We all come from God."  That's part of a longer quote from Monica to Ellen.  But I mostly liked that part.

I thought it was very well put when Monica told Ellen she was making Greg compete with a memory.  I've never done that in a romantic relationship but I know I do in other aspects of my life.  I imagine many, many people do.  And it's good of TBAA to remind us of how painful that can be for everyone involved.

Another awesome moment is when Monica turns the tables on Ellen and asks her when *she* last wrote a love letter to Greg.  It makes me wish I'd thought to ask that when I'd have women complain to me about their husbands.  (Why do they, btw?  What do I know?!  I live with a mutt-child.  Not a husband.)

"Love is not a line you draw in the sand and then dare the other person to step over.  Love is not a feeling that comes and goes.  Love is a choice and God wants you to make that choice right now."  Great line.  And it makes me very glad I chose not to write a scene in my most recent JABB story in which someone literally drew a line in the sand and dared another character to step over to prove their love.  Yikes.

Maybe I'm just a nerd but I was super impressed that not only did Greg end up writing Ellen a love letter but he chose really beautiful stationery!  Gotta appreciate a guy with good taste in paper.  Yes, I really am a nerd. 

What I didn't love about this episode:
It bugs me when a character seems to forget their own history.  Like when Andrew forgot he could play the piano in "Then Sings My Soul."  Here, Monica hits just such a moment right away.  She seems surprised that there would be three angels assigned to two humans (Tess clarifies that it's three humans).  But whether two or three, why would this surprise Monica?  "Deconstructing Harry" is mostly just two people.  A good chunk of "An Unexpected Snow" was just two people.  "Lost and Found" was basically only one person.  It's not like the angels worked directly with the lost children.  And the list goes on.  There's absolutely nothing surprising about this situation.  There's no reason for the line to exist.

Aww sad...  I don't like how when Tess talks about the couple's love possibly dying, they pan to poor Andrew!  It's like "Andrew: Marriage Killer!"

Very sad that a flannel shirt appears in this episode and it's on Monica... not Andrew.

Denny's handwriting looks disturbingly like Andrew's.  Or it's just in my head.

Wow...  How awful that Greg is at first most upset about Ellen going missing because of his deal instead of the idea that she may be cheating or in trouble?  Eeek.

I find Denny's transformation touching but rushed.  How does he go from "Come over to my place" to being this sage "You need to be with your husband" person overnight?  Maybe THC cut something that would make this a lil less drastic and quick.

Lingering questions:
Am I the only girl who doesn't find it effortless to compliment another woman on her clothing?  I mean I do on occasion.  But generally I just don't notice.  Here Ellen and Monica start off on the compliments right away and only then did I pay attention to what either was wearing.  And now I couldn't even tell you what their outfits were beyond black and, I think, silver.  ETA: Blue and beige.  I am bad at this...  Although, watching this a second time, I do think Monica's outfit is partly black.  And now Ellen's looks silver again...  Okay, it must just be about angles.  Point being: I don't pay much attention til I have reason to.

Do people really drink their milk iced?  Tess asks Denny is he wants his straight up or on the rocks and had a glass of ice ready!

What are we to make of Denny's and Ellen's kiss?  It seemed weird to me as Denny had counseled Ellen to return to Greg and that they didn't have a real future.  Then they kiss.  And Denny says it was just a good bye kiss.  So are we just sposed to see it as that and be okay?  I mean why on the lips in that case?  I feel like maybe Monica should have said something to Ellen about it.

Why are you never supposed to boil water for tea?  This according to Tess.  How else do you make tea?  Or maybe what I consider "boil" and what she does are two different things?  Whether I put water in a tea kettle (preferable) or a saucepan (second best for tea), I consider it to be boiling but maybe when you put it in a kettle it's actually something else.

I don't know what to make of the love letters thing...  I'm something of a pack-rat with old papers.  So I think if I had love letters, I might be the type to want to keep them just as a memento of the past that brought me to where I am.  Yet, the idea of a married version of me reading a past boyfriend's letters does seem troubling.  But if I wouldn't read them, why keep them?  But throwing them in the flames seems harsh...  So what should you do?  Is TBAA right?  And is there a statute of limitations, so to speak?  I mean what if in first grade some classmate wrote you a crush-induced note?  Can you keep that?  I mean when does a note become a threat?

Monica told Ellen that she knows what it's like to be tempted to go where she doesn't belong.  Oh really?  When!?  I mean I know she did in "Netherlands" but that hadn't come to pass yet.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Not gonna lie.  There's something very appealing about Andrew as a landowner.  Even more appealing: he's an anti-commercial landowner.  And, yeah, I realize God's actually the owner but still...  Andrew is awesome.

Ellen is right.  Andrew *is* interesting.  And Greg is also right.  He is *not* interested in money.  And those both make him very appealing...  It's maybe good he's not real.  He would be my Denny.

Gah.  Why did TBAA have to go and make Andrew into some sort of theology-with-emphasis-on-social-justice major's ideal?  When he tells Greg that he *is* his brother's keeper...  Love him more.

I seriously started laughing hysterically when Monica told Ellen that she knows what it feels like to be misunderstood and taken for granted.  Really, Monica?  Cause I'm pretty sure Andrew knows that feeling awfully well, too, and I think you have tendency to play into that.  Way to be!  Poor Andrew. 

I *love* watching Andrew's eye brows and hearing the tone of his voice when he insinuates to Greg that maybe he's the crazy one of the two of them. 

It's also very cool when Andrew, based on experience that Greg has no clue about, tells the man that at the end of his life love is the only thing he'll be able to take with him.

Andrew is just really impressive through out that confrontation with Greg.  He's very no-nonsense and blunt.  And I actually like that he doesn't glow but simply disappears.  It's more mysterious that way.

Random thoughts:
Music:  Random, unknown piano music through out including at the start during the reception and later at the hotel when you hear a jazzy number and a slow number during Denny's breaks.  Young Denny sings "Ellen" for... Ellen.  Kenny Rogers sings "Love Don't Live Here Anymore," "I Want to Hold You in My Dreams," and, of course, "Buy Me a Rose."  I thought it seemed like THC cut a song!  The one Denny wrote for Ellen that he sings at the hotel was apparently written for the show.  I'll dub it "Mr. Piano Man."  Basically a man goes to the piano man and asks him to sing a song about love.  I Googled various lyrics but turned up nothing.

There is a character in this named Pookie.  Just let that sink in.  I thought I misheard but no...

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-When Ellen tells Tess that she lied to her husband for the first time, THC slices and dices what
follows.  It goes on to show Ellen opening her anniversary present which is revealed to be 1000 shares of Greg's waterfront project.  She's ticked and ponders aloud if a love letter would have been too much to ask.  Tess fills up her cup and tells her to get back onto the road once she's finished and head home so she won't be led into temptation.  Then cut to Andrew and Greg at dinner which THC keeps.

-See above under the music subsection.  They cut a scene of Denny performing a song written for Ellen.

-They cut bits of the scene of Ellen and Denny walking in the snow.  It actually starts with the distance shot then goes to her telling him she's never been unfaithful to her husband.  He assures her that he's not asking her to be unfaithful to him, only faithful to herself.  He can tell she's unhappy.  She asks if he's happy.  He says as happy as he can be without her.  He says his life is good but would be better with her.  *Then* she asks about his music which is where THC goes after the opening shot.

Further on down the road...
At the start, Ellen and Greg *are* making out like I did when I was a teenager... which is to say they're not making out.  Buh bum bum.  And, of course, Andrew shows up right when I type that.  Ha.

Now I want to go to our art museum... which recently went to free admission.  Yay!!!

I'd feel so weird about leaving someone I *just* met alone in my house for a weekend.  I don't care what mutual friends/acquaintances we had.  Eeek.  I'm very private.  I don't even know that I could have household help.

I can't imagine living 20 years with someone and never lying to them.  Too bad Ellen's first lie had to be so huge BUT... the record is impressive.

Giggle.  I still love Andrew talking as he chews.  He's really into his dinner.  The other guy isn't touching his food but Andrew's like "Heck yeah I'm eatin!" 

Greg is a world class jerk.  Just because your wife hires someone to help organize doesn't mean you get to order them to play chauffeur.  Honestly, I think Ellen maybe needed some alone time.  No Greg.  No Denny.  Not right away, anyhow.  Also, I realize he was distressed but Greg's violence is worrisome.

I'm not sure I agree that Denny isn't a better man...  The problems went beyond Greg simply not expressing himself to his wife.  He just didn't seem terribly courteous to anyone.  He was a jerk to Andrew, a jerk to Monica, and self-involved.  Yes, I do believe people can change.  But up until Andrew's revelation at which point I don't know that he had much room to argue... he just treated everyone as beneath him.  I think they needed a scene of Greg being kind to someone without any reciprocity for me to fully believe in this.

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