"Finger of God"

A review by Jenni:

Totally zonked.  And it's only 10:30 AM...  Here's hoping this all makes sense.  And just a warning... I get real swoony when zonked.  Wanna bet I spend the majority of this episode thinking about how Andrew's basement is LJA's storm shelter in Dyeland? 

What I love about this episode:

Monica talking to the cow as Andrew is very seriously contemplating the tornado is cute.  And really says a lot about the two of them.  He's sturdy, she's flighty-ish.

I like Tess' short and to the point "That would not be inaccurate" when the sheriff characterizes her as a God person.  Sometimes I wish I had the angels' power to just give short, dignified responses and not want to rage at people who mischaracterize me.  Much better than just stewing.

I have family in Norman so it's cool the town got a shout out on TBAA!  Too bad it was with a severe tornado but still!

I like these episodes set in these lil towns where people gather together at a diner or similar and everyone knows each other and is friendly.  I like living in a city but it's kinda nice to imagine a different, less frenetic, cozier reality.  But I spose it's a "grass is always greener" thing.

JJ's reluctance to seek shelter is really, really typical for people who live in Tornado Alley.  At least in my experience.  I'll admit even I'm not as quick to go to the basement as I used to be cause the warnings just cease to mean as much after a while.  But this is a good reminder to *always* be vigilant and keep safe.

I'm definitely a long, boring life person.  Not a big fan of diverging from routine!  But I do think that conversation between Monica and Calvin illustrates some of the haughtiness that can sneak in when people fail to realize that not everyone wants
the same lifestyle and that's okay.

While I'm not a huge fan of Tess' garden pruning/tornado metaphor, I do very much agree that God can take anything and turn it into something good.  And it's definitely not always clear but I, like Tess, believe someday we'll understand.

And while I can't really wrap my mind around why people die in natural disasters... maybe Joe is right.  The blame does lie partly with humans.  We continuously build where we know disasters repeatedly happen.  And we don't always enforce the building codes that may prevent loss of life.  Or we don't have affordable housing and, thus, some of our fellow humans are forced to live in dangerous places because it's cheap.  So... it's not entirely "Why does God allow this?!?" 

That would be so awful to be that sheriff and see Joe's wife's car crash in front of you.  And then poor Joe...  It's a well-played, upsetting scene.  The way the others join together to come up with the most optimistic explanation is sweet and sad.

"There's nothing more satisfying than working for God."  Nice quote from Tess to the ever-jaded JJ.

I like it when an angel, particularly Andrew, just briefly enters a scene to drop a hint and lead to someone being aided.  That happens here when Andrew simply asks about local shops and prompts JJ to consider where Joe's wife may be.

"Every once in a while a day comes along when I don't like human beings very much.  Get in!"  Awesome!  Maybe not Monica at her best but Calvin deserved to have his car hijacked by a ticked off angel.  Plus, the quote makes me feel better cause it's kinda an excuse to not like certain angels sometimes.  :-)  Although her actions do make one wonder about whether Calvin's free will was respected...

While I get people feeling rage after suffering due to natural disasters... Monica makes a good point in her revelation to Calvin.  We don't always take the time to thank Him for nature's beauty and comfort.

Calvin looks like an action hero when he rounds the truck and beams and lifts Emily out of her car seat.  Nice.

The sheriff calling his wife to say he wouldn't trade their life for anything is adorable. 

What I didn't love about this episode:
This isn't a complaint.  But it's kinda sad when Monica does something like hitch-hiking and a little voice inside of me says "She can only do that because she's an angel and immortal."  Right now we're having a very scary local case where a girl disappeared after hitching a ride.  Another terrible situation occurred over the summer when a girl took a ride home with an alleged friend.  It's sad when reality morphs a light scene into something almost taunting though certainly that was never the intent of the writers.

I'm not sure I buy Tess' explanation of tornadoes.  When gardeners prune, they don't let their sheers and such kill people.  Tornadoes kill people.  I don't know why they happen.  But I think I'd prefer to leave it as a mystery of life and death to be explained in Eternity than to make a weak metaphor of it.

I like Kathy Mattea a lot.  Her Christmas CDs just may be my favorites.  The season doesn't begin without "Good News" and "Brightest and Best" and the rest.  But JJ is just too biting for me to take much of.  I'm really glad when she becomes a bit more sympathetic in the last third of the episode.

At points it seems a lil too reminiscent of Twister but maybe that's unavoidable.

Calvin referring to Joe's missing baby as "it" is revolting.

Lingering questions:
Is it just me or does the musical score in this one seem like older TBAA episodes?

Umm... couldn't Calvin get salmonella from Tess' hangover cure concoction?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
White shirt... 

Andrew kills me when he prods Monica or another angel to be somewhere or do something so he doesn't have to take someone Home.  Especially when it's a kid.  And here, though we don't yet know it during the opening sequence, he's talking about a baby. 

Okay...  apparently I don't have a thing for jeans and flannel.  I have a thing for Andrew in jeans and flannel.  Calvin is wearing such an ensemble and it took me a while to even notice.  And then it was just like "Huh, jeans and flannel.  All right."  Although actually the material looks lighter.  Maybe gingham?

Andrew looks so elemental as the tornado starts up and he just stands on the side of the road.

Hullo.  There's nothing particular striking when Andrew enters the cafe but I'd started to miss him.  And he actually drinks quite a bit of coffee I've noticed.  He's no Monica but he does order it with some frequency.

Joe's baby reminds me of Lily... which makes me swoony cause then I think of the largely unseen (in this episode) Andrew's time with her.  Sigh... our poor love wasn't in this much.

I feel sorry for him when he answers Monica's question about more tornadoes with a somewhat wearied "Always."  I wonder if he'll ever be able to simply rest and not have to wonder about where he's going to need to go next and under what circumstances?

Random thoughts:

Music: Male country singer at JJ's cafe.  It leads into a solo banjo or similar piece.  More instrumental country in Tess' car.

This episode kinda makes me want to watch Christy which was my first major TV show.  Cause Randall Batinkoff was one of the male leads.  I really liked him and the guy who played Neil.  But promptly forgot about them when Andrew appeared...  A romantic preacher and moody Scot have nothing on an increasingly studly AOD.  So sayeth I.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-So... these are probly not all-inclusive for a few reasons.  1.  While I don't dislike this episode, it's not really personally a big one for me so not as memorable as far as scenes.  2.  Because of Christmas busyness, it took over a week before I could rewatch so my memory wasn't as good as when I watch the next day.  and 3.  I was crafting while rewatching so not as focused.  But I have some semi-complete ornaments so that's cool!  (Yeah... I'm only now, on the 26th, getting to some of my personal Christmas to-do items.)

-THC keeps one scene of Joe's wife driving but I think they cut a second, more scary-looking one during which Emily is sleeping in the backseat.

-After Monica hijacks the truck, there's a scene of her frantically driving and telling Calvin that the baby's name is Emily.  He's irate about the entire hijacking situation and insists it's hopeless.  She refuses to stop the truck and insists there's hope then races into the field.  THC starts the segment with them arriving at the field and has nothing of them in the truck.

-Following Emily's rescue, there's a brief scene of Calvin calling the sheriff to say he has a surprise.  The sheriff asks what it is and Calvin says he has the baby but interference on the phone prevents the officer from hearing it.  The call ends and the sheriff drives to the diner where he learns it's destroyed.  THC just begins with him arriving at the diner.

Further on down the road...
Pretty much given up on any type of schedule now.  It's Sunday afternoon as I'm watching this.  I'm not sure why but Friday night viewings just haven't been appealing to me lately. 

I find it really surprising that in thousands of years, Monica's never experienced a tornado.

Andrew seems a bit supervisor-ish here in this opening scene.  I like it!

It's kinda jerky to be sitting in a neighborhood cafe bemoaning the fact that said neighborhood did not get hit by the "big one" like you hoped...  Why do none of these people go off on Calvin?  Are my people just more sarcastic than the average bunch?

When next we see Andrew, it's the 16 minute mark.  Naturally, he looks good stormy.  ;-)

I dunno why but I've always felt like this lil baby looked like her eyes were old.  Like she knew things.  I wonder why some babies give that impression? 

"I know that God can take anything that happens in this world and turn it into something good.  Now, it may not be exactly clear right away how He's going to do that but I believe one day I will understand."  That quote from Tess should be a mantra...  And I think it also shows just how much faith the angels have.  "I believe" implies faith. 

These people need a clue...  What's JJ thinking gloating about her cafe still standing when Joe's worried about his wife and child?

And there Andrew is again right before the 31 minute mark.  Won't be doing tons of screen shots today, obviously! 

I still don't get why it's okay for Monica to order Calvin into the car she basically stole...  I mean I'd applaud someone for doing that but I don't get why she can ignore free will then but the angels can't at other times.  The thing is, I'm sure there are times Andrew would really like to commandeer a drunk driver's car or throw the weapon of a would-be attacker into a field.  But he can't.  Why is it okay here?

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.)