A review by Jenni:
First, I opted not to comment at all on clips used in this show since,
assumedly, one day I will be commenting on each and every
episode they originated with. Second, in the course of viewing
this episode I frosted
a cake, filed some recipes, played with my dog, and consumed a piece of
So, while I was paying attention, I may gloss over some bits
What I love about this
First, clip shows are often pretty lame. It's like the network
said "We need one more episode!" and the creative types said "But we
don't have time/energy!" And then they throw together a clip
show. But at least with this episode the clip show format
actually made sense and the frame story was compelling. If it was
doesn't seem like it so that's good.
I love *some* of the Tess and Andrew interaction. It's cute when
the episode starts and Tess is already fretting and Andrew's just
calmly flipping through his magazine. Then by the next scene
Andrew's tapping his knee anxiously. Like she rubbed off on
Andrew is just plain adorable
throughout, really. I love the part
when he calls Tess on the Ruth thing "eating her up." First, he
sounds so Southern. Love the accent. Second, it's just so
Andrew. That compassionate, observant thing. Am annoyed
that Tess then called him annoying, however...
Andrew is also adorable when he's defending Monica. He calls her
terrific, great, fabulous... Lucky, lucky Monica. And she
don't even know it...
I love the Angel of Angels! He's so personable. He reminds
me of "If..." by Rudyard Kipling. The part extolling the virtue
of being able to walk with kings without losing the common touch.
I wish we coulda "seen" more of him! And he's really got Monica
down. He stressed how much she loves humans and her
assignments. I would never debate that. The fact that he
stresses her love of humans and not her fellow angels... maybe a little
telling. I'm sure that's just me reading into things but I liked
it. Made the scene more real to me.
This is more of a personal note but this time around this quote of
Tess' really jumped out at me: "You do not need to go into that room to
speak to God." She was talking about Ruth's office. But
right now I'm going through some stuff with my church and feeling a bit
distanced from it and more than a lil indignant. Hearing that
just made me feel that, even if I can't come to terms with my church,
I'll always be able to talk to God. No matter where I am.
Monica seems kinda... well, Jesus-y in this episode. Not really
but more like the writers wanted us to think so. And in the
commentary for the premiere episode, Martha Williamson outright says
she wanted Monica's prayer in the desert to be kinda
Gethsemane-like. So I don't think it's a stretch to think they
were going for a connection here. First, Monica praying for
Kathleen and saying she doesn't care what happens to her so long as
Kathleen was aided. It seemed like a blend of "Father, forgive
them. They know not what they have done" and Jesus' overall
self-sacrifice. The Angel of Angels then brings this home by
quoting "Greater love has no one but this: that they lay down their
life for a friend." I like when those sorta parallels are
drawn. Just the same... I'm a lil too at odds with Monica to see
her as a good Christ figure. I do think Monica can be very
self-sacrificing... for humans. But I just plain love looking for
symbolism like this in stuff. Whether I agree with it or not
doesn't really prevent me from liking it.
What I didn't love about this
Poor, poor Andrew... One can really bring a lot of angsty subtext
to this episode.
First, we have Ruth who lost Kathleen, Tess who lost Ruth, and Monica
who also lost Kathleen. It's the latter two cases
that get to
me. You'd think if you saw a friend either turn into a bureaucrat
or demon, ya might pay a lil more attention to your AOD friend.
Maybe you wouldn't scold him when he gets worked up (Tess!) or let him
leave a room crying... alone (Monica!). I'm not saying I think
Andrew's in danger of falling or going over-the-top judgmental. I
just think that if you'd lost a friend to either, ya might take a lil
bit more care with your equally vulnerable current friend.
Of course, it might help if said friend was a lil more open about his
feelings. Andrew did a great job of getting Tess to confide in
him about Ruth once he saw how upset she was about her. I
couldn't help but think "And what makes you so special that you don't
think you need to open up to your friends, Andrew?" In fact, when
Andrew tracks Monica down and informs her she's actually in a
psychiatrist office my mind cried out "Great! You can all get
But it's difficult to be too hard on Andrew for being reticent when
this episode just screams that he's an afterthought. First, we
have Tess telling him how Monica's special to her. Only after she
sees his fallen face does she add "And you too, baby."
Nice. Then Monica asks the Angel of Angels if her new status
means she can still work with Tess and... No, she just leaves it
at Tess. Thankfully, Andrew at least didn't witness this
one. BUT I DID!!!
was a little disappointed in Andrew for not immediately understanding
Monica's need to stay with Jody. However, he later says he knew
something was up with her. As someone who puts a fair amount of
value on vibes and gut feelings, I'll forgive him in that case.
Now, all of the above is probly a lot of my own emotions and
biases. I can't totally fault the writers for this.
Although I do think Monica leaving Andrew out whilst speaking to the
Angel of Angels was a bad idea. But otherwise I don't think any
of it reflects poorly on the writers. However...
Ruth gets on my nerves. No, it's beyond that. I just can't
understand why God would let her lord it over her fellow angels for so
long. It's one thing for me to find myself questioning Monica's
and Tess' seeming cluelessness. But this made God looks a lil
clueless to me. So I'm not a huge fan of how Ruth was handled
here. Tess was right: her behavior was unacceptable.
episode is responsible for a concern that followed me clear til
TBAA's 9th season. It's a simple line but oh so disturbing.
Towards the beginning Monica ponders why she's being reviewed so
soon. Among her hypotheses is that she may be getting a new human
form. I became
seriously concerned that this was the TBAA writers
setting things up so that if a cast member left they could easily
replace them. I had visions of, say, Scott Baio walking into a
scene and declaring himself to be Andrew in a new human form.
AHHHH!!! No offense to him but any actor but John Dye woulda been
devastating to me as Andrew. But the question remains... is that
possible? And, if yes, how drastic a change is possible?
Can they change genders? Weirdness...
Why does Monica just take Kathleen's word for it when she shows her
which room to go into? I mean they'd just established that,
unlike Monica, Kathleen can lie. And Monica knows she can use
visual trickery. I think I woulda investigated for myself a bit
I wonder what Kathleen's ultimate fate was? I always hoped she'd
resurface as an angel again. I would have loved to have seen her
in an interview scene in the finale.
Apparently all the angels have files. What's in
Andrew's?!?! I would kill to see those! Okay, not
literally. It's bad to kill to see an AOD's files...
Parts that made me feel
I just wanna hug Andrew when he's in Ruth's office and he clues into
how rude she is and sinks into his seat a lil and looks all
My favorite Andrew moment in this episode is when he offers to go back
to the psych office to get Monica coffee and then even knows how she
wants it! But think about that. It'd just been revealed
that Kathleen had been in that office. So Andrew was willing to
go back to where a demon still possibly was just to get Monica
coffee. Monica can't swoon. But I can!
I don't know if this constitutes "swoony" but after Tess' slip with
leaving Andrew out of her "special angel" statement, I really wanna run
into that room and hug Andrew. That'll show Tess... Being
out-affectionated by a human! That made no sense, did it?
This probly just shows how insane I am but when Ruth calls Andrew
"Junior" I always wanna say something sarcastic about him not being
Jesus. Or break into a round of "Andrew
Halo Superstar." ;-)
Andrew searching for Monica reminds me of a Beatles video. What's
the one where they're running from door to door?
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