"The Face On
the Bar Room Floor"
A review by Jenni:
What I love about this episode:
The sad fact is I do not like this episode. So, at points,
the things I praise may sound pretty shallow. Which brings
me to... Monica's curls are gorgeous! I wish I had the
patience/time to do that with my hair. I especially thought
they were pretty with her up do in the historical scenes.
I thought Monica's incident with not being able to choose shoes
was amusing. I'm not much of a shoe person but I can totally
relate with clothes. And it makes it sound like the angels
do, in fact, have closets or something like that and not that God
simply dresses them. This is important to me cause in the
Dyeland stories, I have given Andrew clothes choosing options and
also had his closet raided. So it's good to know both those
things seem to be canonical. Well, at least the first
Kudos to the writers for having Monica acknowledge that she was in
Search and Rescue back in 1893. It's too bad that after that
they seem to have forgotten...
It must be a very weird scenario to shoot a man then have to
comfort him as he's dying... So that mountain top scene was
interesting to watch play out with Barkley and Jack eventually
kinda bonding and relating.
"Sometimes it takes his own death for a man to get his life
right." A cool and possibly too truthful quote from Andrew.
As someone who spent a good chunk of high school studying Raymond
Moody's work and the like, it was cool to see TBAA portray an out
of body experience.
How can someone not be touched when Monica tells Everett that
"You'll always be your father's little boy"? And then
Everett comes to crying. Very sweet.
On that note, it's a shame this episode was so wrong as far as
fitting in with other episodes. I think the guest cast did a
great job. Mr. Chamberlain really put a lot into it.
Singing and acting! But, in the end, I just can't get over
the glaring plot discrepancy of having Andrew and Monica pal
around over 100 years before they met.
What I didn't love about
Yikes. How horrible that Everett doesn't ask about his
yacht's crew. It was the first thing I thought of when his
father relayed the news. But he didn't mention it at all...
Frankly, the plot seems kinda derivative of "Inherit the
The green/blue screen during the drive to CO is horribly
obvious. But I spose I shouldn't be too hard on em for
that. Even the first episode of "Moonlight," years later,
had really bad driving scenes.
The painting freaks me out. Monica looks angry. I
would hope if God painted me, He would make me look happier.
And now I'm just gonna let it all out... This episode just
makes me want to scream "Do you really think I'm/we're that
stupid?!?!" First, Monica even mentions that she was in
Search and Rescue in 1893 yet the assignment that follows sure
doesn't look like S&R work. But even worse... what the
heck were Monica and Andrew doing together in 1893?! They
didn't meet til the 1990s! Are they amnesiacs? Are
they shallow? Do all angels look the same to them? Do
they have selective prosopagnosia? Don't think so.
It's just really not good writing. Third, nothing in it
gives you the impression that Andrew was an AOD in 1893. And
he was. Now, maybe this will get cleared up when I watch the
CBS version. But in the THC version, Monica tends to the
dying Barkley as much as the supposed AOD beside her. It
just really gave me the impression that the writers couldn't
remember if Andrew was an AOD by that time or not and didn't wanna
bother looking it up. Here's a hint: Is Lincoln dead?
Yes? Then Andrew's an AOD!
The thing is, all the nonsense wasn't necessary. I love
Andrew. But I'm willing to sacrifice some of his screen time
to not thoroughly mess up the time line. (Yes, even I'm
surprised that my devotion to plot integrity apparently outweighs
my Andrew crush.) Monica could have just went with Jack to
find Barkley. Andrew could have appeared briefly, visible
only to the dying Barkley. And if they wanted to give Mr.
Dye more screen time, he could have appeared earlier to Everett
and picked up Tess' story when it came to Barkley being
shot. The fact is, Andrew just wasn't a necessary presence
for Jack in 1893. There were ways to work him in without him
and Monica working together and on friendly terms.
All of the above may not seem important. However, to me, it
is. If the writers of a show aren't going to pay enough
attention to character development and plot... why should
we? People like it when shows reward them for paying
attention. This episode rewards you for being
oblivious. Nice... Hence, I tend to like to pretend
this episode does not actually exist. Someone dreamed
it. If you asked Monica or Andrew or Tess about Jack or
Everett Clay they would look at you and say "Huh?"
And this is why I think all shows, after their first seasons,
should be required to hire two professional fans to approve
episodes. They would notice these things.
Apparently in 1893, Andrew could cook. I guess he forgot by
the time that he met the Colonel in the 1990s. But at that
point it's such a minor mistake in comparison that I almost don't
care. And, who knows, maybe sucky cooks can still throw stew
This could be bad THC editing but this episode just seemed choppy
I wonder why this was chosen as the season opener? It
wasn't filmed first from the looks of it. This is episode
704. "Finger of God" is 701. I can't remember the
latter well enough to say whether or not it was a strong episode
but I really don't feel "Face" was strong at all.
that made me feel swoony:
Frankly, I kinda wanna forget Andrew was even in this episode...
at least the historical portions... because it makes zero
sense. But he's there so... Normally I am not a fan of
hair products for men. However, Andrew does look exceedingly
attractive with his slicked back hair and black shirt in his stint
as a modern bartender. Lovely. And this is two
episodes in a row featuring Andrew in an apron. I like it.
Pretend Andrew looks adorable in these pretend historical
scenes. Glasses, sideburns, soul patch... he's an adorable
delusion! Also one that makes me think of Doc Hock. I
think it's the glasses. In a way, that helps me not take
this episode seriously. That's not Andrew hanging out with
an angel he won't meet for 100 years! But maybe it's Doc
having a really weird dream!
I like how Andrew tells Jack that Barkley
didn't deserve the nice grave but he asked for it. Very
merciful way to be.
Andrew looks incredibly handsome all lit up against the mountain
as Everett is having his heart attack. Yeah, I know that I
shouldn't have been focusing on Andrew at the time but... oh
well. It was nice to see him in a scene that made sense so I
enjoyed it fully.
Music: Quite a bit this time
around! At the start, Della Reese is singing "Down in the
Depths (On the 90th Floor)." Later on, still at the party,
she and Richard Chamberlain sing "Just in Time." When
they're driving to CO, Tess sings "She'll Be Coming Around the
Mountain." There's some old timey tunes being played on the
piano at the saloon. I'm not sure if I recognize them or
not. Jack uses Gilbert and Sullivan's "When I was a Lad" to
launch into his elixir jingle. Later he sings "Let Me Call
If S9 Andrew ever decides he needs some of his buttons back, I
know a company that can get em for him! I didn't say he
*should* replace buttons. Just that he could if he wanted
to. Well, that is if I wasn't pretending this episode
The historical portion of this is set in 1893 Central City,
CO. Just wanted to note that for future usage.
After the driving thing, I musta had "Moonlight" on the
brain. Cause tracker Monica sniffing the man at the saloon
reminded me of Mick's superhuman smelling talents.
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-Right before Tess sings "She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain,"
there's a shot of the Ohio welcome sign. Everett comments
that they're making good time and asks Tess where they're staying
for the night. She laughs and says they're not stopping
anywhere but, instead, driving straight through. He's a lil
-Monica, Andrew, and Jack depart the saloon. That's
understood in the THC version but in the original you actually see
them take off their aprons and walk towards the door, which Andrew
holds open for Monica. The story then flashes back to Tess
and Everett. She tells him "And then they did western things
like jump onto their horses, yell 'Yee haw!,' and ride off into
the sunset." (Not an exact quote but very close.) I
wish there was video of that... even though I know she's not being
totally serious. Everett laughs and says it's not exactly a
historical rendition. Tess gives him a look and says "Oh,
were you there?" Everett says no and that he'd rather not be
there (in Central City in the saloon) either. He clenches at
his chest and grimaces. Tess asks if he's all right and he
says yes (despite obviously being in pain) and blames it on the
altitude. Tess leaves the table and walks over to Andrew
(who is visible cleaning dishes behind the bar the whole time) and
says "I thought we'd have more time." He shakes his head and
says "It happens when it happens." They look over to Everett
who looks winded. Then there's a commercial break and...
-The next segment opens with Everett peering down at the painting
of Monica. Tess brings him water, he thanks her. He
says that he always gets dizzy when too far above sea level.
Tess asks how he ever managed the 63rd floor. He says he
managed but now the 63rd floor is unfairly taken as with all he
owns. Tess reminds him he still has a son. Everett
says he's the only thing he ever did right but that he shouldn't
have let him lose the $5 million cause he could really use it
now. Tess tells him money is NOT the issue. She says
both he and his son need character but they can't download it off
the Internet. They need to get it the old-fashioned
way. He says that he supposes she thinks Jack was the
perfect example of "moral rectitude." Tess counters that
Jack was a man willing to change. Then it finally meets back
up with the THC version as Monica, Andrew, and Jack are around the
fire. Cept they did seem to have cut a few words (or else I
accidentally did). When complimenting Andrew's stew, Jack
starts with "I don't know how you did it out here in the woods but
your stew tastes just like my wife's." (Again, that's a
paraphrase.) THC (at least on my DVD) leaves off the bit
about the woods and starts with "Your stew tastes just l
Further on down the road...
Well, here's a new viewing locale for ya. In fact, I
just may be the only TBAA fan to ever watch an episode in a closet
in a cruise ship in the Atlantic ocean. I'm sharing a cabin
with my sibs who are NOT morning people. So... this is my
office now. Note the life jackets below my fancy work
space. ;-) And I traveled four decks to get my
caffeine fix. Pretty cool... but I miss my kitchen.
And I think I was about forty years younger than every other
person up there right now. Anyhow, on we go!
Ha. Somehow my DVD got set to play at 1.5X speed or
something and so I was thinking "Gosh... I don't remember Ms.
Reese rushing this opening song... It sounds cruddy."
Then I realized it was just the setting. Sheesh.
This opening scene is kinda cute but it seems like it belongs in a
much earlier episode. Monica isn't just going back to her
roots, she actually seems to have regressed to Season 1
I wish Richard Chamberlain hadn't gotten placed in the most
nonsensical episode of this show...
Speaking of taking style with ya... I just read Dr. Eben
Alexander's NDE memoir and apparently peasant-style is the thing
in Heaven. Totally psyched! It's my favorite. So
if he's right and I get to Heaven, apparently I can take my style
with me cause it's there! :-)
HAHA! I forgot this involved a sinking ship in the Atlantic
ocean. Nice. Well played, TBAA. Well
I just can't believe Martha Williamson was involved in this
writing (teleplay) and let the huge timeline gaffe in. Maybe
we just have different priorities. Personally, I place high
value on continuity. My thinking is this: if you (the
writer) don't pay enough attention to your story to have it make
sense, why should you expect the rest of us to pay
attention? Sense should never be sacrificed to message in my
book. Find a way to make your message work in a sensible
plot. But maybe she's message above all. I
dunno... I now think Monica and Tess should have switched
roles. Problem solved.
Sigh... he of the slicked back hair looks very fetching. Too
bad he's an amnesiac. ;-) And now it's time for me to
offer a novel theory on how this episode and "The One That Got
Away" work together. So...
The entire TBAA series was a fever dream experienced by Andrew
after a bad trip. Shortly after the events in the finale,
"Andrew" woke up in a military hospital where he was informed that
his name is actually Francis Hockenbury. You know how
nonsensical dreams can be even without a visit to a seedy
Vietnamese locale. So TBAA is actually just a very
long episode of Tour of Duty. Ha.
Sigh... "It happens when it happens." Yeah...
Hmm... by the 90s, at least per the fellow in "Missing in Action,"
Andrew couldn't cook. Here he can. So he exhibits
deficiencies... Maybe God just rebooted his whole brain at
some point. But that still wouldn't explain Monica not
recognizing him in TOTGA. Unless that was a kindness to play
along with the poor brain injured angel. But I don't like
that... Plus, Andrew remembers other parts of his past just
fine in other episodes. Yep, this episode makes zero
Andrew looks lovely glowing against the backdrop of that mountain.
I like that this episode shows an out of body experience.
Not many TBAA episodes did but there are so many accounts of
experiences like this. Glad to see them figure it in.
As much as I'm not thrilled by this episode, it's been nice
watching it. This ship is pretty much dead until 7 and I
woke up at 5 so... It's kept me amused.
Well, in keeping with this morning's Harry Potter theme
(being in a closet), it's nice this episode ends with the "Where
your treasure is..." Bible quote that Dumbledore was also fond of.
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.)