"At the End of the Aisle"

A review by Jenni:

Before I get started I just wanna say a couple things.  First, last weekend was the first weekend in years that I didn't watch a TBAA episode.  However, I think John would fully support that.  Second, back when John first died... after I reached the point in which I was actually able to consider the future as opposed to just wallowing in my then-current grief... I panicked about how I would face the next loss of a loved one.  For years I had turned to John's portrayal of Andrew to help me say good bye and to heal.  How was I gonna do that when John himself had become someone I grieved???  Well, it has happened.  And all I can say is... Jim's and Lynn's boy done good.  I still turned to him for comfort and he was still there.

What I love about this episode:
I know when this first aired some people were bothered by the angels seemingly breaking up a couple solely cause one person was an atheist.  Atheists deserve love, too.  However... I never saw the problem.  The angels know Audrey.  They're her friends and know what she needs.  Just as my friends know that if I were to get married, it would have to be to a man of faith.  They would know that when something terrible happens, I just might need someone to wake up with me at 2:00 AM and tell "So-and-so is probly doing this in Heaven right now" stories.  They would know that if I don't have X amount of Jesus paintings on display... I will get panicky.  So I would sincerely hope that if I was ever at a point in my life when I was going to marry a man as a means of escaping my grief and just to feel like I belonged to someone even if, in the long run, he wasn't the husband I needed nor was I the wife he needed... that those friends would speak up.  Maybe even pop this episode in and make me watch.  As it is, this episode actually did help me realize I needed to put the kibosh on a relationship I wasn't comfortable in and knew I couldn't be myself in.  So I'm a fan.  And not just cause Andrew looks highly huggable in it.  Although there is that...  There's always that.

I'm actually not crazy about "as long as we both shall live" as I feel it's too vague.  What if hypothetical hubby dies but I'm still in love with him and remain in love with him til I die?  Are we still covered since he'd have moved into eternal life?  Or does it just mean "as long as we both shall live on this earth" which is what the assumption seems to be?  I dunno...  I also have issues with "til death do us part."  But "as long as we both shall love" is truly blah.  In any case, I like that the watered down vows here actually made me really contemplate the actual vows.

"People fall in love and they just ignore everything that doesn't quite fit."  A quote from the ever-perceptive Andrew when he realizes Audrey is getting married just to have Kyle in her life.  I can't say from personal experience whether it's true or not but it sounds like it probly often is. 

"Those are very special tears.  God counts every one, ya know."  Alex is awesome.  I'd have totally chosen him instead of the other guy.  Well, assuming Andrew wasn't an option, of course.  Which he's not if you're looking for marriage.

Going back to my first paragraph...  If someone tells you they got your friend to "back off of" things that were previously very important to them a la Hallelujahs and crosses... it's probly not really the time to keep quiet.  To me this episode is less about the angels intervening with a theist and atheist/agnostic union as a union in which one personality has completely subjugated another personality.  Compromise is good... with some things.  Not all.

"It's never too late if it's the right thing to do."  Tess to Cornelia.  Short and sweet.

I like the unequally yoked metaphor Monica offers up.  I think it applies with friendship, too.

"Angels go where God sends them and they speak to the hearts of those God has prepared for them."  Monica to Audrey.  I believe it.

"Sometimes the most grown-up thing you can do is tell a friend the truth even if it means giving up something that matters to you."  Gloria's turn.  Yay.  Each angel got at least one good quote this time.

I love Scott's dad's lucky v. blessed part.  It does make all the difference...  Great character.

"God wants you to be happy... but not at the cost of losing that which is the most precious.  God loves you so much and He wants to be first in your heart so that He can make a safe place there for everything else that is good."  Lovely Monica quote.

Well, Alex and Audrey are gonna have one heckuva "how we met" story!

What I didn't love about this episode:
I totally know why it's done this way but... when there's only 2 episodes left after this... old clips is not what one wants to see.

It was a poor choice of words for Monica to say Audrey was trying to replace Petey.  I think she was trying to fill that void imperfectly.  But replace?  No.  Monica insisting right after that she needs to hear the truth didn't help matters.

Lingering questions:

Where was poor Andrew during Girls Night?  I hope he didn't get dumped with Scott.

So I wonder how Andrew explained why he was still at the wedding site when the fire happened?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Andrew's part in this episode always made me kinda chuckle cause I'd think that were I to ever ask Andrew to walk me down the aisle, it woulda led to a runaway bride story in which I panicked upon reaching the altar, refused to relinquish his arm, dragged him through the sacristy, out the door, and to his car... which we would then depart in and drive outta state where we would relax at a cafe and discuss my appalling behavior over mochas.  Of course, I would like to think that were I truly that hung up on Andrew... I wouldn't be getting married, period. 

Way cute that he shaved for the wedding.  Or at least I assume that's why he did given the goatee was back next we saw of him and had been there right before.

Sigh... sweater or suit... the man looks good.  And he seems so happy to be considered part of Audrey's family.  I'd love to have had him as part of mine... just not genetically.  For obvious reasons. 

Audrey got kissed on the cheek twice...  He's so lovely and cuddly.

I have clearly lost my mind.  When Gloria approached Andrew and panicked about the lack of food... I half expected him to start multiplying steak dinners.  Can't do that.  But his facial expressions are adorable there.  And I think it's sweet that, once again, Gloria turned to Andrew
for help and not Monica.    I would, too...

Aww.  He did the hand through hair thing even with his short hair.  I need an Andrew to suss out my motivations and stop me from doing stupid stuff...

Gah.  He looks studly saving Kyle.

Random thoughts:
Music: "The Wedding March" is played during dress rehearsal.  And there's another piece after the faux vows are read at rehearsal.  There's piano music at the rehearsal dinner.  Audrey sings "Testify to Love" at the dinner.  Just a bit before it goes into the original version via flashback.  Then a tearful finish back in the present.  Audrey sings "Amazing Grace" towards the end.

Totally weird to realize Petey was only 6 years younger than me. 

Scenes Hallmark cut:
- Dunno.  Watched the DVD version.

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