"Cassie's Choice"

A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:
First off, I can really relate to Tess' bit about how we don't all have time to meet ourselves any more with the downloading and messaging and faxing and whatnot.  Cause technology does eat up a whole heckuva lot of my time.  On the other hand, I do think it has helped me to express myself more.  But it was a good point to make.

I've never been pregnant so I have no clue if this would actually be effective but Monica having Cassie visualize the orchestra was sweet and really made for a beautiful scene.  Although... what's the equivalent of "visualize" for hearing?  Because she was trying to get Cassie to hear the music in her mind, not see it.  Hmm. 

Again, I've never been in Cassie's position so can't speak to the accuracy of this episode but it *seemed* to give a really good, balanced view of how difficult it is to give up a child yet also how difficult it is to care for one when you're only a child yourself.  I really felt for Cassie.  When she talks about never seeing a part of herself it was really gut-wrenching.  I also get a lil emotional when Cassie talks about waking up with her hands on her stomach but the baby no longer being there.  Great acting by Alyson

Cassie pawning her flute makes me sad yet really impressed by her.  Although I was pretty horrified to learn a flute woulda cost around $1,000 in the 90s.  Don't wanna imagine that figure these days.

For a small part, Adam's scene is just jam-packed with some great character-building moments.  More on that in other sections.  His hovering in the tree always reminds me of On Borrowed Time which I'd really like to see some day.  If only it weren't out of print...

Tess calling Adam "son" makes me happy.

The wind chime sound when Adam disappears is nice.  I like it.  Can't recall it being used very often.  Makes him seem special which he is!

I love the use of trees in the revelation scene.  First, I'm a big fan of people running through trees.  I don't know why but I like it.  Second, the way the trees frame Monica's and Cassie's hug is gorgeous.  Come to think of it, the way they framed Monica when she first appeared was very nice, too.

Cassie's reunion with her mother highlights something I've been thinking about a lot: the need to have our feelings validated.  When Joanne tells Cassie she'll never blame her for wanting to keep the baby, I think that was the exact right thing to say.  She wasn't offering a solution.  She wasn't agreeing or disagreeing.  She was simply telling her child that she was understood.  And I think that's what we all want: understanding.

What I didn't love about this episode:
I'm not crazy about the car seat gag just because it's too obvious for me.  Cassie saw inside the caddy's trunk.  She knew there was no car seat there.  Then there it is!  Too weird and cartoon-y for my tastes.

It's not something I dislike about this episode, more a reflection of something I dislike in a later episode, but Tess' comments to Adam seem disingenuous in light of "An Unexpected Snow."  She's all concerned about burn-out yet she's really harsh and not very compassionate to him in "Snow."  Grrr.  That scene would be much sweeter here if I didn't have the turkey debacle in mind.

I'm ambivalent about Monica telling Cassie her baby's future.  It makes for a nice, heart-warming scene.  However, this episode is about (and named for) Cassie's choice.  I think the episode might have been stronger if it had followed Cassie's choice in a way similar to what most birth mothers face.  And I'm gonna guess that most birth mothers don't have angels telling them their babies' futures.

I don't drive but among drivers I know, most get majorly ticked when a driver takes up two parking spaces.  Do they think they're better than everyone else?  What if the lot fills and someone really needs that one spot?  What if it's an elderly person that otherwise may have to park several yards away?  So I was pretty irritated by the lack of consideration from both Monica and Tess on this.

Finally, I don't really care for Monica curing the pawn broker to get the flute back.  That, like the car seat gag, was cute.  But some of these early episodes do tend to make the angels seem more magical than spiritual.  I guess it's a matter of taste.

Lingering questions:
Is it just me or does it seem like the angels perched on stuff (like rooftops) a lot less as the series went on?

I wonder how long it takes for someone to stop waking up, thinking they're pregnant, after they have been? 

Why doesn't Adam handle babies?  This according to Monica and Adam concedes it.

How common is this mother/baby different blood type issue?  It's scary!  Why does it happen?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Okay, Monica herself does not make me swoony.  However... when she talks about wondering what it would be like to have kids, I'm sure anyone who knows me can guess where my mind went.  So then I started thinking about how wonderful a father Andrew would be (it being Father's Day probly did not help limit this fantasizing).  And then I took it even further and got all angsty
thinking about how difficult it would be for all the angels to see something like child abuse by a parent and yet know they're denied something this person is taking for granted and using as a means of causing pain.  Gah.  Not to mention how horrible it is simply to see a child in any type of pain.

I wanna climb the tree and hug Adam in this.  Then Henry although that might be a lil more awkward since I don't feel as comfortable with Mr. Two Hit Wonder.  Then Andrew...  And that hug could be epic.  When Tess says the AOD thing "can wear a soul down especially if you feel misunderstood," I feel terrible for them and probly overly protective.  I deliberately skipped "Fallen Angela" cause I know it makes me sad and I'd totally forgot about this dialogue which gets to me.  Though not as much as "Fallen" so it was still a wiser choice.

But then Adam makes me all proud of him and I feel slightly less worried when he says he was "made for this work." 

Random thoughts:
I just find it a lil hard to believe that in her stated 5,000 years on earth, Monica had never seen a birth from the Earth side before Cassie's delivery.  But then what do I know about being an angel?  ;-)

"Working upstairs" is used by Monica here as an euphemism for Heaven.  Just thought it'd be fun to note those.

I really love Monica's black dress in this.  I used to have one a lot like it but it's all faded.  I wish I could find another one.  So if anyone sees one...  ;-)

Tess mentions going back to "Revelations and Annunciations."  In later episodes I think this department is referred to simply as "Annunciations."  Just some more trivia I'm trying to note.

I can't imagine facing my baby's major illness alone.  Poor Cassie.

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