"The Driver"

A review by Jenni:
Well, I finally got desperate and subscribed to the Hallmark Channel.  So now I'm not so panicked about "OMG!  I only have 12 episodes left to review!"  My plan now is to, hopefully, be caught up on Seasons 1-4 here by the 1st of October since the S5 episodes will likely restart on Hallmark around then.  Here's hoping they keep playing em, else you'll hear me scream!

Once again, I'm typing this as I go instead of taking notes.  Bonus: I can see Andrew in my Desktop background even though he's not in this episode.  :-)

What I love about this episode:
The start of this episode makes me wish I hadn't already had my morning coffee.  I think Monica would approve of mine: Dean's Beans Fair Trade French Vanilla Kiss... with the fixings.  Nothing instant about it.

The whole political news coverage thing is pretty darn realistic.  "What ya gonna do next???"  "You running again?!?!" 

Monica is wearing Converse All-Stars!!!  (In the scene where she and Tess are in tree.)  My favorite non-dressy shoes!  Yay, I'm actually happy about Monica!

A tape player in a car.  Makes me nostalgic.  As do the honking cell phones.

The interview with Bobby talking about buying his mom a house is really poignant.  Actually, I just like how the whole episode plays off of the two mother-child relationships (Debra and her overbearing mother, Bobby and his loving mother with her respect for a false image of Debra's mother.)

I like that George's reaction to Debra saying she's not the one he should spend his life with is "I think have some say in that."  Cause it always kinda annoys me in movies and TV shows when one partner up and decides to leave cause the other one could do much better or the like.  It always seems to carry a hint of condescension to me.  Like "I know better about what you need than you do!"  If you want out, say you want out.  Don't try to pass it off as something noble.  So yay George for not taking that.

Something about Debra resorting to "Mommy" as she breaks down seems really appropriate given the background of the characters.  Fits in with the mother's infantilizing her.  Then it ends up really reflecting back on Debra in the hospital after her suicide attempt.  Good writing.

I like the distinction Tess makes between Monica making a choice for Debra (bad) and Monica simply giving Debra the choice of life or death when she's unable to recognize for herself that she has a choice (good).

"You have the right to be less than perfect."  That's a great quote that Monica tells Debra.

I like how Leo ends up being more of a real parent to Debra than her mother.  I guess I just like thinking God fills the holes in our lives when the originals don't pan out.

What I didn't love about this episode:
I like Debra's boyfriend but I think my reaction to being physically shushed would be a whole lot angrier.  Sure, he had a legitimate gripe about her forgetting their anniversary but that's just a no-no with me.  Verbally shushing... fine in some cases.  But keep your finger to yourself.

My feeling about this episode has changed since my family's and another family's cars were hit by a hit-and-run driver a couple years ago.  Thankfully, no one was critically injured (although permanent injury of a non-critical nature did result) but it was ugly and the driver didn't even bother to see what damage he'd caused.  So I'm just not feeling much sympathy for Debra, whether the "real" Debra or not.  John Spencer's Leo kinda balances out the "poor Debra" aspect by simply stating that fleeing the scene made it a crime and one he's darn angry about.  Nonetheless, the way Bobby's mom is so supportive is just difficult for me.  It seems too neat.  I'm not saying there aren't amazing examples of people being forgiving.  I'm just saying that it's a little hard for me, personally, to accept that she forgave Debra so soon after thinking her son might die.

Sheesh.  Debra's mom is an ice queen if ever I saw one!  Good gravy.  Her phone conversation with the lawyer or whomever that was is just plain inhuman.  Whomever wrote her could have a career writing evil mother figures in fairy tale renditions.

Lingering questions:
How weird would it be to have a photo of yourself on a bus or billboard?  I spose you'd get used to it.  Debra doesn't even notice.

Okay... this episode always makes me wonder about the angels' blood.  Yeah, that sounds weird and creepy.  But think about it: Monica donates blood.  But what DNA is in that blood?  I spose it doesn't matter since she's donating blood, not taking part in any sorta DNA test.  Still... makes me wonder.

Henry saying people see him only "right near the end" doesn't really jive with later episodes.  But maybe that's true of Henry since he seems to be solely an AOD with NO caseworking?  And he's also not just enjoying some free time like Adam in "An Unexpected Snow."  So maybe that is true for Henry.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
They shouldn't be allowed to use the name Andrew in pre-Andrew episodes...  I heard it on one of the news snippets and it was Pavlovian.  "Andrew?!?!  Where?!?!"

I don't have a crush on Henry but he's cute.  And while Monica seems a bit disgusted, I approve of his use of gallows humor.  Whatever gets ya by.

I like his lil wave to Monica outside the hospital.  And he has Adam's tendency to perch at times.  Cute and funny.  How come Andrew seldom perched?  Come to think of it, I can't remember any of the angels perching much post S2.

Oooh.  Well, this is nice!
Henry: You're really very good at this, you know?
Monica: I'm working on it.
Henry: That was an unconditional compliment.  Can't you just take it?
Monica:  Thank you, Henry.  Very much.
We should all have Henrys around to help us just accept compliments!  Cause sometimes it is all too easy to go right to self-deprecation.  And then he takes her out for coffee...  Nice man.

Random thoughts:
Funny...  Monica sometimes wants to shake us humans.  I sometimes wanna shake Monica.  Can we orchestrate a deal?

Oooh... that's a really pretty garden where Monica and Tess are sitting in the tree.

Yuck.  I don't think I could eat straight onions.  Monica has really strong taste buds.  See: Tabasco drinking in "Show Me the Way Home."

A Word from Travis:
Diahann Carrol and Vanessa Bell Halloway were excellent in their roles. Ms. Carrol’s character Grace Willis (ice queen) may have only shown up, in the present, towards the ending of the episode, Grace was quite a character; no wonder Debra was so wounded and hurt on the inside, despite what she projected on the outside.

Back to the Episode Guide

(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.)