A review by Jenni:

It's nearly 10:30 which I think makes this the latest I've started an episode review in at least a long while if not ever.  But I have a cold and this beats trying to get comfortable enough to sleep.  Ya know I'm sick when my beloved caffeine has been replaced with hot lemonade.  Anyhow, I also just wanted to see Andrew...

What I love about this episode:

Well, I like Sam.  He definitely handles Gloria's idiocy much better than I would.  I can't imagine having the grace to hire someone who said such hateful stuff about my people even if they just seemed misinformed.

While I question the content of some of Rachel's work, I do think that in general finding at artsy outlet for our angst is very healthy.

Good to know that "you need to find someone, settle down, have kids!" knows no religious boundaries.  Well, good in the misery loves company sense.  ;-)

Gender disparity and religious roles also knows no bounds...  As a Catholic woman, I find myself really relating to this episode and the tension between Rachel and her father.

"Even friends can disagree."  Wise words from Monica.

The flashback to Rachel showing her dad her Torah is very effective and heartbreaking.  Legalism also works its way into many religions, sadly.  The scene is also not as jarring as some other shows of Monica's new gift.

Wow.  I really like Eva, too.  I love what she says about how Rachel's generation has the chance to have careers because of women like Eva.  Housewives deserve more credit than they get.  Also, I think Eva is right on about women's liberation being about choosing the lives women want for themselves.  If a woman wants to be a housewife and is then she's just as liberated as a high-powered attorney.

Yikes.  Eva's uncomfortably truthful when she tells Rachel that one day she's gonna be the lady who *was* a famous cartoonist.  Fame is fleeting...  Wise woman.

I do love all these mountain shots even though the angels kinda make it all look fake.  Gorgeous scenery.

As unbelievable as I find Gloria not knowing about the Holocaust (they really should have some sorta orientation program in Heaven), I find her reaction after visiting the museum to be very believable.  Learning about such a terrible event is so overwhelming and I know that I tend to
personalize it.  I think of the people I know who, if we lived in Hitler's Germany, would likely be lost.  And it's a terrible, heart-wrenching realization.

"Once you know the truth, you become responsible for it."  Excellent quote from Monica.

I like that Gloria realizes just how classy and loving Sam was to her.

Aww.  That's an adorable shot of the trio hugging outside the museum after Gloria left.  Andrew probly needed it...  Probly they all did.

Wow.  I actually like Gloria's spastic revelation scene.  Of course, I also like that she gets some help.  Cause I like her helper...

I like the way that what Rachel says to her father about how he didn't have to say her being female was a disappointment mirrors what her mother said earlier about how Rachel didn't need to voice her annoyance: her attitude spoke for her.

I like how Monica stresses that it was Sam's understanding of the letter of the law that hurt Rachel.  It's sad how often such things happen and how many believing spirits are crushed by legalism.

I love the ending with the congregation and the angels happily together with such joyful music being sung unto the Lord.

What I didn't love about this episode:

God kinda comes off as the sorta parent who really bothers me.  It's their responsibility to not let their kids run around with crackpot ideas that may hurt someone deeply.  Sam shouldn't have had to hear that crap.  I get that Gloria is meant to learn things on Earth but it shouldn't be at the expense of a human having to listen to anti-Semitic hate speech.

Lingering questions:
I wonder who the other angel that will eventually visit the jailed skinheads is?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
I love Andrew just hanging out behind Gloria wondering how the heck this is gonna play out.  When he bends down to be level with her, it's one of my favorite photos of him.

I always love the lovely man and the lovely angel he played.  However... my sentiments become a bit more... pronounced... when he's being handy.  So yay for him at least looking like a plumber even if he doesn't really do anything!

I sometimes wonder if it's difficult for Andrew to keep quiet when people tell him about the Holocaust and other horrors.  He was there... 

I love the way Andrew talks to the skinheads.  Calm, professional, but with a bite to it.  Of course, him catching the knife is all sorts of attractive and awesome.  Don't mess with Andrew!  I don't think I'd noticed before, either, how once he has the knife, he brushes his thumb over the blade.  Of course, he doesn't bleed.  Like "Think you're gonna hurt me or anyone else in this room, do ya?  You don't have anything on me!"  He's awesome.

I also like to think it gave him some sense of taking a stand against the same brand of hate that powered the death camps he had to visit.

Aww... it gets me how he kisses Monica's hair at the end.  Andrew needed way more affection than he sometimes got.

Random thoughts:

Music: At the end, the rabbi sings a prayer.  I think the Seven Blessings.  Then the entire congregation sings what I imagine is called "Mazel Tov."

Rachel works for the Portland Daily News.  I have got to start remembering to use these trivia bits.

The hateful call Rachel receives reminds me of how TBAA was the first time I ever heard the K-word.  "Elijah" specifically.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-Gloria and Tess have a lil chat after Tess gets the newbie into her caddy and they drive away from Sam.  Gloria tells Tess that Sam was a nice man.  Tess goes off saying that God doesn't send angels to Earth to insult strangers on bus benches.  Further, she shouldn't give herself an assignment.  Gloria asks if this is her assignment.  Tess responds that it is now and hands her a real estate manual before driving off.

And that's all I picked up on which seems odd...

Further on down the road...
So I'm watching this on Saturday afternoon because I didn't sleep well and thus feel I will go to bed early.  Don't wanna miss my TBAA! 

I've been trying to re-evaluate my feelings on Gloria.  On one hand, I think it's kinda sweet that angels would come here to learn things.  On the other hand, I feel like God would surely better prepare them for life here.  So I think I've concluded this: personally, I feel God should prepare angels prior to their appearances on earth in the following ways:
1.  They should know the basics.  For Gloria not to know that she's not supposed to be freely telling people she's an angel is ridiculous IMO.  God shoulda filled her in there.
2.  Their lack of knowledge shouldn't hurt people.  So I can fully get behind God letting the angels learn to, say, cook while on Earth cause it might be nice for a human to instruct them on that.  Similarly, I have it in mind with my stories that a couple of the Dyeland girls taught Violeta about puberty.  Awkward?  Probably.  But I bet it was also a good bonding experience.  So in both those cases the lack of knowledge wasn't harming anyone AND it offered a good opportunity for an angel-human bond to form or deepen.  Thankfully, Sam still uses Gloria's stupidity to bond with her but that just speaks to his goodness as a person.  He was still obviously hurt by what she said.  I think this scene would have worked better for me had Gloria merely been confused.  Like "I've heard this about the Holocaust from my Father but then that boy said this and he seemed sincere and I don't know!"  Then have Sam build on that.  But the idea that God never said anything to Gloria about the Holocaust let alone about not blindly trusting humans???  What sort of Father does that?  And then there's the "Holy of Holies" continuity issue...

This episode kinda reminds me of "Jagged Edges" in that I love both episodes but feel like the humor isn't remotely believable.  Rachel's cartoons are not only insensitive but not even witty.  Witch doctor?  Seriously?

See, Gloria's rapid response to the question about things you can rely on and Andrew having to explain rhetorical are examples of good use of the "new angel" idea, I feel.  It's just light and goofy and endearing and we can all understand that there aren't major repercussions to not being able to recognize a rhetorical question. 

But there it is again...  Andrew explains the Ten Commandments and Moses as if expecting that Gloria knows who Moses is.  And if she knew who Moses was, how could she get so easily screwed up on her view of Jewish people?  I suppose it's possible she doesn't know to equate Israelites to Jewish people but that seems iffy.  I just really don't feel like Gloria believing those skinheads without question makes any sense in a wider context.  Later on with Monica on the mountaintop, it seems assumed again that Gloria is familiar with Moses. 

I actually woulda liked to have heard more excerpts from Monica's editorials.  I think I woulda liked em. 

Sam should be glad I'm not married to him during this flashback.  If I had been Rachel's mom, I woulda stomped right into that office and went off.  Dudes messing with women's spirituality does NOT sit well with me.

I still absolutely love the conversation Rachel and her mother have about women's liberation.  Eva is so right.

Okay...  How does Monica figure Gloria has only known three Jewish people in her short life?  Did Gloria seriously not spend any time in Heaven?  I can't imagine she hadn't met any Jewish people there.  But then maybe we're meant to assume that everyone in Heaven is religionless and yet...  You'd think they'd have to still have some tie to their religion cause it woulda made them who they are in part.  Like they'd at least be like "Back in my mortal life, I was Jewish and thus..."  I dunno...  I just don't like the implication that Gloria basically spent no time in Heaven which is essentially what my hang-ups about this episode boil down to.

I do really love Gloria's "He's the Father of us all" moment.  That's something I would have liked for the show to play up more.  We're all family... angels AND humans.  All brothers and sisters.

Andrew catching that knife and then kinda playing with it so as to show he has zero fear of it will never cease to be epic. 

I really do love this episode.  Its message of inclusiveness and keeping a balance between tradition and innovation is amazing.

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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.)