"Fear Not!"

A review by Jenni:
Charles Rocket has a monopoly on my Autumn/Winter holiday TV viewing.  Every Halloween I *must* watch Hocus Pocus.  No Thanksgiving is complete unless I've watched "An Unexpected Snow."  And I'm pretty sure bad things will happen if a Christmas passes without a viewing of "Fear Not!"  So here's my review of this totally amazing Christmas episode.

What I love about this episode:
For an episode that regularly makes me cry, this starts out pretty funny.  First, I love Tess giving exact directions on the placement of people and animals in the Nativity scene.  And Edna getting all put off by it.  Actually, I just really like the interaction between Edna and Tess.  It's nice to see Tess get some back talk and not just have someone concede to her
bossiness.  Good times!

I love the depiction of the parish.  They're all so close-knit and loving.  It makes me remember being younger when my parish also felt close and caring.  Now I don't really know many people.

Monica actually gets some of my sympathy for once.  Her line about it being hard "knowing the what but not the why" and more than humans but less than God really gets to the heart of the angst that must be part of being an angel. 

I'm really impressed by Randy Travis in this.  His acting's quite solid, especially considering it not being his main profession.  I tear up when he's sitting by Serena and says "Don't you die on me!" then starts praying.

Sometimes I'm wary of angels urging humans to do stuff but I do like Monica whispering to Wayne that "Silent Night" is Serena's favorite carol.  Then he starts it up.  It's gentle and not too leading on Monica's part.

Whose heart doesn't go out to Joey when he's praying to God and says "If she [Serena] goes to Heaven, who's gonna love me?"  It's heartbreaking cause ya know Wayne loves his brother and tries his best but somehow never got around to telling him that.  So sad.  But it makes me really grateful Wayne does eventually assure Joey he loves him "just the way you are."  Doesn't everyone wanna hear that?  I just really enjoy seeing the dynamic between brothers.  I guess because it's something completely separate from me and, therefore, interesting.

I think it's cool that Monica assures Wayne that if he helps Joey find his faith, he'll find his own.  I think that's true about a lot of things.  Sorta a Prayer of St. Francis kinda thing.

Love this quote from Monica to Joey: "You've already been through the darkest place you can imagine.  Now it's time to start looking for the stars."  This was the first episode I watched since my Grandpa's funeral and that line really comforted me and inspired me.  His birthday is the day after Christmas so I keep thinking this holiday will be kinda bleak and sad.  But I think I'll use that to make a special effort to look for the light and the stars of the season. 

My goosebumps start right when Randy Travis sings "O Little Town of Bethlehem" while Joey follows the star.  I figure I get a solid 6 minutes of goosebumps outta this episode.  Cause they start up again when Joey enters the church with the words "Fear Not!"  And then there's the revelation scene of revelation scenes.  I've had one or two people tell me they think it's showy but I love it.  It's just wonderful and Christmas should be a lil showy, IMO.  I always love seeing the choir.  They're automatic goosebumps, apparently, cause I also get them during their scene in "Redeeming Love."

What I didn't love about this episode:
While I understand what she's trying to say, I find it a lil naive when Monica says  "Everybody loves Christmas!" to Wayne.  No.  First, not everyone celebrates it let alone loves it.  Second, some people might believe in it but still have a hard time with it. 

Not a gripe about the episode but, instead, the storybook version of this.  Whose bright idea was it to replace Adam with Andrew???  I love Andrew but chances are most kids who got that book had been shown this episode.  I bet they caught the weird switcheroo.  Way to mess with kids' minds! 

Lingering questions:
Was that angel in the stained glass window supposed to be a particular angel?  I get confused when Tess says they got the nose all wrong.  Whose nose?

Do seraphim and cherubim actually exist in TBAA-verse or do the angels just kid around about them?  Cause here we have the Seraphim Organ Service and Monica describing Mr. Beans as a cherub aka baby angel.  But as far as I know you never hear serious discussion of either group.

According to Martha Williamson, Mr. Beans appears in later episodes.  Hidden in the background and such.  Anyone ever confirm this with a sighting?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
I may be interpreting this wrong but I have a lil "Aww, Adam!  Hugs!" moment when Adam tells Monica and Tess that he's glad they're there.  Monica seems to think he means for Serena's benefit, so she'll have a couple familiar faces with her.  However, I always thought he was at least partly implying that children's deaths were difficult for him and so *he* wanted Monica and Tess there for support.  I mean that really can't be easy.

He's very sweet when he consoles Serena and assures her she's not alone but has angels with her.  I just love his gravelly sorta voice there.  It is a pretty calming, trustworthy voice.

Adam looks wonderful holding Serena at the end.  Truly a Brother Whattawaste moment. 

Random thoughts:
The human choir really improved considerably during the course of this episode, I thought.  They don't sound professional at the pageant but way better than they had.  Kudos to them!

Weird to think that after this episode we didn't see Adam again til Season 4.

This episode ends like I wish the show would have: with the angels walking away together into the starlight.  Lovely.

A Word from Travis:
I’ve seen “Fear Not” (episode 9) on a few occasions but after seeing it again recently, I realize what a gem the episode is. Paul Wittenburg (Joey) is phenomenal in the role and so is the then young actress who played Serena. I like the “community aspect” of the episode, with the guest characters all working tirelessly to ensure the pageant is brought to life and to ensure it is carried out to perfection. My only gripe is that the part 2 episode, “The feather”, aired as episode 11 of season 2, rather than being episode 10 of season 1.

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.)