the Good Fight"
A review by Jenni:
What I love about this
"Everything has a name." That quote from Andrew to Tim about
the dog (but really about a lot more) gets to what I love best
about this episode. TBAA so often did an amazing job not
just at telling viewers that God loved them but that they were
noticed. They were named. I think sometimes it's easy
to have a faith built on an idea of a loving though possibly
distant God. To know that God is loving and attentive is an
amazing thing. I also think Andrew's statement was a good
counter to Tim's being called "creature."
I thought it was sweet that Mrs. Taggert gave Tim clothes... even
at the risk of ruining her mean old lady rep.
This episode really knows how to pull at a person's heart
strings. It went right through me when Tim called out for
"Mama" when Steven has his emergency.
And watching the bullies target Tim about his used
clothes... Very difficult to watch. But I'm glad TBAA
highlighted bullying because, right now, it's all over the
news. And sometimes it can turn deadly. I just wish we
would have seen some adults correcting them but, then again, that
was probly part of the realism. Often adults either don't
know or for whatever reason don't step in.
I like that Andrew, though likely inspired by the Father, offers
to trade Tim groceries for help. By that point it was
obvious to him that Tim didn't like hand-outs. So that was
really the perfect way to help him get what he needed.
Good gravy. I think I blocked the dog fighting aspect.
That was devastating. And yet another example of TBAA
introducing me to a moral issue I didn't even realize
existed. (At least I don't recall having knowledge of dog
fighting prior to this airing the first time.) I have to
say, though, I'm glad the first dog had a bit of time being cared
for before it was killed. I just can't imagine what's going
on in the minds and hearts of people who do those fights. My
dog was in the room with me for much of the time I watched and I
just can't imagine training a dog like her to be a killer.
The writers did a good job of pushing Tim's story but also
offering us glimpses into Steven's and Frank's lives and
struggles. How sad that Steven prefers the hospital to
home. And for just a moment when Frank prepares toast, we
see a glimpse of his better self.
Enter Dog #2. How heart breaking is the scene where the poor
thing cries and Tim tells it it doesn't do any good?
Very. But a good way to highlight both the trauma of
dog-fighting and the turmoil and loneliness Tim feels.
I love it when Monica tells Frank he has "a chance to be a
man." Ha. Socked him.
"Somebody loves you! God loves you. He made you... He
knows you." From Andrew to Tim. Best quote of the
episode. And one that was stuck in my head for a while.
I like what Tess says about the love of siblings to Tim.
Sometimes, due to the complicated nature of that relationship, it
can be hard to express but I do think most siblings really love
Muhammad Ali hugging Tim with his head lowered is such a sweet
image. As is Tess embracing him at the end.
I love the ultimatum Tim gives Frank about love, family, and
responsibility. Wow. Kudos to any kid who can deliver
something like that... although it's a shame if they have
to. I really like that he ends with the demand they become a
"real family with a real dog." Yay for the puppy!
I like that Andrew mentions guardian angels to Frank because I
believe in them and was always happy when the show alluded to
them. And it was a nice touch to have Frank left with
Andrew's job. One hopes he went on to fill Andrew's role in
other ways, too, especially in supporting Tim.
What I didn't love about
I really like Mr. Ali's part in this. However, it seemed
like the writers felt the need to justify his presence by having
Rafael point out they were never children whereas he was.
Yet his part doesn't really rely on his childhood. Further,
it seems weird that literally from the first episode the angels have been
working with children and yet all of a sudden they feel their lack
of a childhood limits them on reaching out to a child. I
think it would have made more sense to cut that childhood-related
dialogue and just say something about how there was someone else
whose guidance and support would mean even more to Tim.
I find it very touching that Tim gets
through to Frank in such a brave, loving, but forceful way.
And yet... I think about what Andrew said to him about having a
responsibility to help the weaker ones (like Frank). TBAA
seemed to often showcase children helping adults. And to an
extent that's good and probly builds the kid up. But I think
there's a danger in making kids feel too responsible. At
some points dysfunctional adults just need to deal with their own
crap and a kid shouldn't have to help them. Anyhow, I'm not
against it in this episode exactly. But I wish TBAA would
have had more examples of the angels really going off on negligent
In the first scene with all the angels, Andrew remarks that he's
been on cases when as many as six or seven angels were
needed. I can think up at least one case ("Inherit the
Wind") where the angels reached seven. (Eeek. I
originally wrote "Written in Dust" instead. Dust... wind...
same thing. Not really!) Were there any cases we saw
that involved more than seven, not counting times we just caught a
glimpse of a crowd a la "Fear Not!" and "Redeeming Love"?
Here's a question... when do the angels need to eat? Was
Andrew's fridge empty because he'd just been going out a lot or
does he really not need to eat unless not eating would look
suspicious? I might actually have an answer, come to think
of it. They do need to eat. Because Adam was eating
pheasant in MDWA with no humans present and thus no reason to
other than the fact that he was hungry. So maybe Andrew just
wasn't preparing food though he was eating.
I feel like I might be trampling on sacred ground here but... does
anyone else think Andrew's eyes look brown a lot of the time as
opposed to green? I actually prefer brown eyes so it's not a
big thing to me but it's always been that Andrew has green
eyes. So is it just lighting? Or maybe his/JD's eyes
are the type that change?
Is it bad that I was kinda happy when Tim beat those two bullies
up? I mean, yeah, I thought he went over the line with both
but for a bit... I found myself thinking they'd just got
what was coming to em. But, again, with all the stuff about
bullies in the news I think I'm just a bit warped.
that made me feel swoony:
I would like it noted that Andrew cooked at least a lunch and a
soup in this episode and Tim enjoyed it. Clearly Angel Boy
learned something between "Missing in Action" and this. Or
else Tim just wasn't picky which may be the case.
Yet again Andrew is completely adorable and caring with a
kid. And yet again I can't help but wonder about how
difficult it is to see a parent-figure be so neglectful and take
so much for granted when Andrew will forever be childless.
Andrew looks quite nice in a thermal vest. I can't say I
remembered him having that. It's nice to see as something
different from his usual wardrobe.
I feel guilty saying this but when the bullies chased Tim and
stole his shirt... I so much wanted Andrew to swoop in and give
them some holy heck. In JABB so often I've had characters
tell Andrew that no one expects him to be a super hero. Good
for them cause, deep down, I'm not sure I don't want to put that
responsibility on him...
Got a kick outta Andrew's near vacant fridge! Somehow that
really works with my image of him. Just kinda not a big
planner or very domestic person. But I'm still thinking
about the eating thing.
Eee!!! I love that Andrew says "Thank you!" when Tim tells
him he's weird. And just how he says it makes me
happy. Plus, it was kinda fun cause yesterday I wrote a
scene where he's talking about being eccentric so it seems way
more in character now.
I found it kind of personally ironic that Tim is put down by being
called "creature." The reason is I've spent much time
thinking about how important it is to me that Andrew is a creature
and that TBAA repeatedly referenced that the angels were created
by God. It aligns them with us in a very significant
way. Maybe especially with the AODs.
I admire Andrew in this episode a lot. In a couple scenes
with Frank present, it seemed like Andrew had to keep a very tight
control on himself to keep from lashing out at Frank, something
that I think Tim needed to do for himself. He seems to be
simmering. It makes me wonder what precisely was the last
straw, though, the rare times Andrew did lash out.
That being said... I'm glad Andrew did get that final scene with
Frank. I'm sure he was more than happy to inform Frank that
they'd be watching over them. I'm not sure I'm imagining
things to think there was a bit of "So you better do good!" in
Music: "Dignity" by Bob Dylan during the montage of Tim
I was a lil surprised to learn, via Ms. Williamson's introduction,
that Muhammad Ali's appearance was the only time they had to halt
production to accommodate autographs and photos. I'm not
surprised that it happened, just that no other guest star prompted
This episode reiterates for me that, were I an angel, people
abusing or neglecting kids would probly be my biggest
problem. I could see myself just walking off and pulling a
Kelly... and maybe begging Andrew to be the father figure.
I just have to say that, even though I'd feel awful if my brother
lost the use of his legs, I think I'd snap and start screaming at
him if he was shouting orders at me the way Steven was shouting
them at Tim. Watch out!
Scenes Hallmark cut:
Since I watched this on DVD, I dunno. But if you're a TBAA
on Hallmark viewer and want me to check up on something, lemme
Further on down the road...
I'm so glad to be sitting down to this. I was out of
town for a week (Hogwarts!) which was great but I wasn't able to
watch any TBAA even though I packed this disk. Then this
weekend has just been completely stressful so... yay for TBAA
finally!!! I was having severe Andrew withdrawals.
I love that opening shot of Andrew, Rafael, and Tess.
Andrew even says he's "a little hungry" and then is shown with a
restaurant soft drink cup. So obviously he does get hungry
and it appears he was getting food from restaurants. Now
that we have that life-altering
question answered... ;-)
I'm glad Andrew's cool with wearing other
people's clothes. Cause his flannel shirts may be making the
rounds in some things I've written...
Gah, I still love that "thank you."
What's weird to me is that for just a moment, as Andrew's talking
about Ali and his conscientious objector status; he looks more
like Doc Hock to me than Andrew.
I need to go shopping with Andrew. I have zero fresh produce
from being out of town and it feels weird.
"Love is the greatest and the best way to live." The end of
Ali's poem as recited by Tess. Lovely.
the Episode Guide
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