A review by Jenni:
What I love about this episode:
I like how Tess totally buys into the circus feeling at the
start. We seldom get to see Tess being whimsical. And,
yes, that was a unicorn. Although I really like goats so I
woulda liked it either way. :-)
Awww... Peaches is adorable. I'm totally not one of
those people who think living with a primate is a good idea.
But when I see them hug someone like that... kinda makes me want
one. Again, even if it were legal I would *never* get
one. I'd like to think that in Heaven we can hang out with
whatever animals we want and nothing bad or scary or disrespectful
will ever happen.
It's very cute how, without speaking, Andrew and Tess are
completely on the same wavelength regarding Monica as a
clown. I like cute Andrew and Tess moments. I don't
think I ever fully got over his not having a mother. I mean
I know he does. God is both Mother and Father. But
like one that's physically around to hug.
"Lord, help me to create more laughter than tears... more
happiness than gloom... more cheer than despair. Never let
me fail to see the wonder in a child's eyes. Never let me
forgot than I am a clown. Amen." The Clown's Prayer as
recited by Leroy. I think there are a couple variations but
I really like that one.
This episode seems especially poignant in light of all the school
bullying stories. And it really shows, via Leroy, how the
impact can last all life long.
The thing about this episode is that while
Davey and Leroy have special circumstances, a lot of their issues
have equivalent in most if not all parent/child
relationships. There generally comes a day when the kid
doesn't wanna be seen hugging their parents in public. And
it seems to me that we also, at one point or another, begin to
feel like we need to protect our parents. I think this is a
good example of an episode that, on the surface, seems to have
little to do with the average TBAA fan's life (never met a fan who
was in the circus) but when you watch it, there's a lot to relate
"Lying is never the answer. You can only juggle the truth
for so long." A quote from Andrew. Okay, occasionally
lying is the answer, IMO. But those occasions are pretty
rare. (Like the famous example is if you lived in Nazi
Germany and were asked if you knew where any Jews were hiding and
you did... a truthful answer would not be a moral one.) But
in every day life, I agree with that quote. But I wish it
were that easy. Sometimes I feel like I'm not so much
juggling a truth but several truths and it can be hard to know
which to... drop?
The teacher in this is very sweet. I wish I had the strength
to do foster care eventually. I love how she told Leroy that
kids never grow out of needing love. And her Abraham Lincoln
quote was very well-chosen. I wish I could pull quotes on a
whim like that.
I'm in agreement with some people that PCness can go
overboard. However, I can't completely dismiss a movement
that taught us not to use words like "midget." I'm glad TBAA
stressed that it's NOT a word to use.
I admire Mary Jane for trying to see beyond Eddie's cruel behavior
and into his painful home life. I'm not sure I coulda at
that age. Just been angry.
"I think 'I' should be spelled 'w-e.'" Ha! I love that
quote from Tess when the circus guy tries to claim full credit for
pulling the event together. It might be a good one to use!
This episode is really well distributed
between the three angels.
Okay, *this* is an awesome revelation scene. I love how you
don't see Monica start glowing. Instead you see Leroy's
reflection in the mirror start to reflect the light. That is
way more compelling since they usually start with a shot of the
angel. It's beautiful. Good work camera people and
director! The way Monica shows up in the three mirrors is
also nifty. Especially since she looks normal...
truthful. The illusions are gone.
"God doesn't make mistakes." From Monica to Leroy.
Good to remember.
"When you are patient, when you are kind, when you turn your back
on anger... you reflect the character of the One who made
you." Another Monica quote from that scene. Beautiful.
God laughs. Cool thing to think about. It's right up
there with "Jesus wept." I like to think that, being the
shortest Bible verse, the Spirit chose that one to stand
out. So we would always remember that God is not
emotionless. He's not the clockmaker God. He feels for
us and with us. It's a wonderful idea whether we think of
laughter or tears.
I like how Monica stresses that Leroy needs to see the worth in
himself before his son will. That's so true and why good
self-esteem is so important. One thing that I try to do (and
sometimes fail at) is not begin sentences with "I know this is
probly a stupid idea but..." You can't denigrate yourself
and then expect others to not follow suit. It's a hard, hard
thing to master.
Ha. I love that Tess gets her moment and shows that bratty
circus owner that she so can be a cannonball.
What I didn't love about
Monica, for putting the kibosh on my belief in unicorns...
It's so sad when Davey ditches Mary Jane... Kids can be
cruel. But the disloyal even if not outright cruel ones may
just hurt more, I think.
Eddie and his ilk would be in for some major punishments when they
got home if they were mine... I'm not sure what it would
be. Definitely an apology. In person. And then
maybe having to help Leroy with chores. I just hope I
wouldn't lash out at them with something like "And how would you
feel if I said you're a twerp and a snot!"
I wonder how actual clowns feel about stuff like It? Are they
just like "Whatever!" or does the stereotype bother them?
Cause Leroy is so proud of his job. Makes me think he'd be
bothered by the scary clown motif.
I wonder if some of the series like those on
TLC have helped people with dwarfism be more accepted? It's
unimaginable to me that, as Leroy and his wife feared, a child
would be taken away from them. Crikey.
Why do ringmasters kinda look like jockeys? Where did that
traditional look come from? Is there a connection?
that made me feel swoony:
Andrew's such a dork. I love him. Just wish Tess
hadn't made him feel bad after his fun with the mirrors. And
clearly he's read or seen "Snow White." Yay for fairy tales!
That bully is right. Andrew looks cool. And he *is*
cool. Even when he's nerdy.
It's so sad when Davey claims Andrew is his dad. How hurtful
to Leroy. But then it makes me sad cause Andrew can never
have someone to "grow up to be just like him." Sigh...
Yeah, for all my talk it's probly good I don't know any
AODs. That's an angst-fest waiting to happen.
I love how Andrew interacts with Davey. He makes him face up
to what he did: disown his father publicly, basically. But
he comes from such a compassionate place. It doesn't seem
lecture-like. But he makes Davey see that he's actually very
blessed with a loving dad.
Very cool that Andrew does a background check on Mrs.
Donovan. That guy is with it!
Hee! He's so animated and loud when he starts the
circus. Some of those shots are really cool and dramatic
Music: You can hear
circus pipe organ music at, natch, the circus.
The name of the circus here is "The Grazeldi Circus." Just
something that seems like good trivia.
I remember wanting to join the circus. But then I broke my
arm on the trapeze in my parents' backyard. Nevermind on
that dream! ;-) I don't even see now how it ever
appealed. I don't love traveling cause I'm a homebody.
And I hate sequins and skimpy outfits.
Ha! I just saw some guy using a Chinese yoyo like Davey does
in class. He was at the Ren Faire, though, not a circus.
Aww. Mary Jane's side braids remind me of how I used to wear
my hair in grade school.
I never knew about that surgery for dwarves before this
episode. Terrifying. I wonder if it's even allowed to
be practiced anymore?
This episode made me want to watch U2's video for "All I Want is
You." Gah, that's a depressing but gorgeous video.
Surprising that Tess has never seen The Wizard of Oz. Wow. Can't
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-After the scene of Andrew dropping off Davey's lunch, the next
segment opens with the trio in the Hall of Mirrors. Andrew
says that he doesn't think Davey meant to hurt his dad.
Monica agrees, citing his love for him. Tess says that this
is what makes the situation so human. She goes onto say that
when love gets mixed in with shame, guilt, and fear then
everything gets distorted. Meanwhile, Monica has decided
that she doesn't like the Hall because there are tons of
reflections but none look like her. Tess says that's what
it's like to be 12 (and a teenager and even a twentysomething, I
would add.) She says that Davey is at the age where he looks
at the world and the world looks back. That's why he doesn't
want the kids laughing at him and, thus, Tess tells Andrew that's
why Davey lied about him being his father. Monica asks
Andrew what he's going to do. He just kinda tilts his head,
thinking and looking concerned. Then it cuts to the elephant
scene which is where the THC version starts. (Note: Andrew
has the same outfit on in the elephant scene as in this cut one.)
-So I apparently came back from commercial late when I recorded
this episode. The segment following Davey running away
begins with an outside shot of Leroy's trailer. He says "to
the circus, not runaway from it." I would assume the full
quote was "Kids are supposed to want to runaway to the circus, not
runaway from it" or something like that. I don't think I
missed much as it seems unlikely they woulda showed an outside
view of the trailer for more than a few seconds. Plus, I
seldom came back from commercial more than a few seconds
late. Monica then says "Parents have arguments with
children..." which is where THC starts. So unless I
uncharacteristically failed to record a lot, I think THC seriously
cut like 10 seconds from the start of that scene. I wonder
if it was even worth the effort...
-And THC cut off the top of the next segment, too. It begins
with a pan of the circus site. You can see acrobats
practicing, a juggler on stilts, etc. Monica and Tess come
into view. Monica tells Tess that Davey's not there and that
Leroy hasn't come out of his trailer all day. Tess explains
that Davey misses his father but can't face him or his friends and
they're all going to be present that night. Monica wistfully
notes that Davey just wanted to be part of that world but Tess
adds that it's a shame he felt he had to give up the circus world
to do it. Tess then grins and... next we see a waist down
shot of Andrew walking. In his goofy ringmaster pants.
And the nice white shirt. As he approaches she says "Ooh
hoo, Angel Boy, that's what I call flare." He smiles, kinda
embarrassed, and says "Yeah, well, my boots are killing me."
(Must kill boots...) Then you hear the cannon go off and
they all turn towards it. Andrew explains that they're
testing the cannon. He then asks if they've seen Leroy cause
Wally wants to talk to him. Monica asks "What about?"
They all look troubled and then Andrew says "What do you
think?" Then it cuts to the schoolyard with the boys
skateboarding. This is where THC starts.
-After Leroy runs away from the cannon, Wally freaks out and
starts yelling "Send in the
clowns!" They pour out onto the arena. He yells at
Tess that he needs a human cannonball. She yells back "I'm
working on it!" There are several shots of the crowd booing.
Andrew runs to Tess and asks what he's supposed to do as people
are going crazy. Tess tells him that they need a human
cannonball and he frowns and says "In your dreams!" It's
hilarious. She then puts a red nose on Andrew and tells him
to go back out there and keep em busy. Andrew tears it off,
looking ticked, and says "You have got to be kidding!" Tess,
ticked herself, puts the nose back on and says "Don't you mess
with me!" And Andrew, still not happy but obedient, stalks
back onto the arena. And drat it all! I want
screencaps of this! It then shows Leroy in the Hall of
Mirrors, tearing off parts of his costume and throwing them.
He runs from mirror to mirror, looking in them, and shouts
"Noooo!" Then it goes to Davey returning and shouting for
his dad which is where lame THC starts. Once I get some more
DVD-R's I may need to put this VHS version on DVD then take
screencaps from that.
Further on down the road...
Watching this from the comfort of my couch. Needed a
break from the computer room where I usually watch these.
I want cotton candy... May as well go start eating some
sugar right outta the bag. Sigh... Sometimes I miss
having no concept of healthy eating.
"Family doesn't walk out on family!" I like that quote from
It's nice that Andrew and Tess had that moment of knowing just
what the other was thinking in regards to Monica making for a good
clown. And, yeah, I think I still have "mom issues"
Yay! "Sometimes when God closes a door, He opens a tent
flap," was on my list of quotes people wanted on my TBAA quote
page but I didn't know the episode. My mind kept going to
"Written in Dust" but it's this episode!
Yep, I still remember wearing my hair like this little girl!
The pigtails with terrycloth ponytail holders at intervals.
I wonder if there's a name for that style?
Not ten minutes in and already I want to watch that U2 video
It'd be weird to hear some kid refer to you as their parent when
you most definitely are not. Ironically, I think if the
truth were out, Davey would get teased more for having an AOD for
a dad than he's teased for his dad having dwarfism.
Sigh... I miss bake sales. Sadly, I think they may be
a dying tradition between allergies and being health
conscious. Gosh. I sound anti-health today. I'm
not. Eating healthy is good and yummy. But so is a
sweet now and then.
Monica and I do agree on something. For now. I do
believe most people are good and most people are hopeful.
That *is* the real world to me. I wish she'd always stuck
with that. Then maybe I coulda ended the show with a little
more trust in the character. But "Netherlands" did me in on
the Monica front.
I saw a Lifetime movie once in which the actress playing Mrs.
Donovan was a crazed wacko who murdered a girl. So every
time I watch this episode, I think she's gonna kidnap Davey or
I wonder what this surgery was that Lorraine died from?
Maybe it was just a completely unexpected complication. If
the surgery itself truly is that risky, I can't imagine how it
would be permitted.
Andrew does look awful nice in those boots... But I do think
those kinds of pants are pretty goofy.
The history behind the phrase "send in the clowns" lends new
meaning to the Sondheim song. Don't look at me while I'm
I love that first shot of Andrew in full ringmaster regalia.
It's so dramatic.
Ha. I love the way Andrew says "In your dreams!" and "You
have got to be kidding!" when Tess first brings up the human
cannonball and then puts the clown nose on him. He's a cute
It's weird to me that Monica just smiles when Leroy tells her that
it hurts to look at her.
Technically Tess isn't a *human* cannonball... Close
Okay, Andrew does say "ya." "I didn't know ya had it in
ya." Good. I was using that in writing but couldn't
think of a TBAA example. Twice in one sentence at the end
the Episode Guide
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.)