A review by Jenni:
I just want to start this by saying that while I may offer some moments
of levity, what follows is likely the most serious one of these I've
written. I hope I don't anger or upset anyone with my words here
as that is not at all my intent but this episode is not an easy one to
remain calm about.
What I love about this
actually start with a light moment. I love that Tess' response to
the lil girl telling her that her fish went down the toilet and to
Heaven is that there are "a lotta ways to get to Heaven." As
someone who used to imagine Jesus personally took her pet Beta fish
Home, I was touched by that. (For the record, this was before I
had a concept of AODs or non-Christianity and I thought Jesus
personally took everything and everyone to Heaven. My fish
weren't special in that.)
fine Tess moment comes when Monica and Tess are talking about
Sarah's rape and Tess says "*She* didn't do anything wrong" meaning
Sarah. I hope that seems like a given to each of you reading this
but the sad fact is some people still blame the victim. To have
an angel stress that the victim didn't do anything wrong is very
This is a rocky episode for Andrew and me. However, I do enjoy it
when he tells Carl that it's going to take more than Carl's angel
tattoo to get back on track. Andrew doesn't let Carl play him and
he does his best to hold the man accountable. If ever there was a
time for Andrew to borrow Tess' no-nonsense stance this is it and he
does it well.
I also feel encouraged when Carl quotes Andrew the bit of the Bible
about wives submitting to their husbands and a rather riled Andrew
shoots back with "But you beat her!" and then accuses Carl of twisting
the Bible. Again, I sincerely hope no one reading this takes
Carl's interpretation of the Bible. To me it's a given that he's
twisting it. But, as with Tess and Sarah's innocence, it feels
good to have an angel reiterate that.
I think TBAA did a great job of, first of all, handling an issue like
rape at all. "Full Moon" aired long before "Law and Order: SVU"
started up. I don't remember many shows tackling the issue of
sexual assault. Certainly not any "family dramas" that I
watched. So that TBAA did this episode at all impressed me.
But beyond that I think they did a stellar job of showing that rape
doesn't only harm the victim but also their family, friends, etc.
Sarah's family is nearly torn apart. The scenes between she and
Ed are almost too strained and painful to watch at times. This
episode doesn't magically fix everything. It gives us hope that
Sarah, Ed, Lorrin, and even Carl will heal. But it doesn't kid us
into thinking things will revert to how they were before the rape.
The stress on the idea of protecting one's family was very
relatable. I felt terrible for Ed, as well as Sarah. I
think many people
still view the father/husband as the main protector of a family.
To have that role ripped away from a person must be devastating and the
actor playing Ed makes that very obvious. However, Sarah also saw
her actions as a means of protecting her family. I could relate
to her through that. We all want to be able to protect
those we love and the idea of having that ability stripped from us is
terrifying. Seeing these characters cope with that, it's hard not
to see parallels to one's own life.
The lack of communication issue was also very relatable. Even if
a family hasn't faced rape, it does seem like often members of it will
refuse to communicate about a tragedy they've faced. One of the
most heart-breaking and real moments for me in this episode is when
Sarah tells Monica she feels so alone and can't talk to anyone,
including her husband. One can still live with one's family and
feel terribly, terribly alone when there's no communication happening.
Finally, on a technical level I just like how they juxtaposed Monica's
revelation to Sarah with Andrew's to Carl and Ed. It worked
really well, very effective.
What I didn't love about this
As someone who still sleeps with her blankies, I didn't get all the
concern and downplaying of Lorrin's security blanket. Her mom
made it for her. Of course she loves it! And while Tess has
a valid point that God protects us, not blankies, sometimes it's just
nice to have something physical to cuddle. So I hope Lorrin got
to keep that blankie and do whatever she wanted with it. Minor
issue, I know, but I had to bring it up.
many episodes start with Monica saying some version of "They seem
happy! I don't think there's a problem here!"? Why does she
think she can judge the happiness or lack of it in a person's life
after a measly few moments? How many assignments does she need to
go on before it sets in that God doesn't send them around just for
kicks? It just kinda makes her look like she's got kinda shallow
Obviously I don't like Carl for what he did. Abuse of women (or
anyone) is never acceptable. But he became even more detestable
to me when he went to Sarah's home saying *he* needed her
forgiveness. As far as she's concerned, I don't think his needs
should be even a thought. He certainly didn't give a thought to
her needs years before. I was left with the feeling that this was
a selfish, cruel man. I like that TBAA was hopeful about his
fate, I wish I could share in that more.
Finally, this isn't a complaint, but young Carl crying at the end just
depresses the heck out of me.
How much say does a gun seller have in who gets a gun?
None? Cause if I was that guy who sold Ed a gun his statement
that "I've waited six years, what's six more days?" woulda sent up a
HUGE red flag for me. And the guy even looks reluctant to hand
over the gun. So it just made me wonder if a seller can refuse a
gun even if the person has a license.
I kept wondering who the Miriam Wilder in "Miriam Wilder Crisis Center"
that Monica and Tess were stationed at was. I'm thinking maybe
she's made up. Any ideas?
Parts that made me feel
I just can't feel swoony during this episode. So instead, this
time, this section will be devoted to my extremely complicated thoughts
about Andrew in this episode. Whether it will make sense... I
have no idea.
This episode pretty much makes me want to rage at Andrew and then
collapse against him, apologizing and crying and promising to never be
so hurtful again. Because the sad fact is I can't understand how
he can witness Carl rape a woman and beat another and then rather
calmly shake his hand. Really I'd rather he just socked him
And I can't understand why Andrew can glow and plead with Ed when he
tries to kill Carl yet he couldn't make a peep when Carl was raping
Sarah. What both consoles and terrifies me there is that Andrew
(in other episodes) seems to have the same type of question.
And I am sorry to say that the thought has crossed my mind that maybe
Andrew should have just disobeyed God and stopped the rape.
What's the worse that could happen? He'd get sent to the
Netherworld? Well, that looks a lot better to me than Sarah's
life of fear after the rape. But then some other part of me says
"Jennifer! You believe Jesus went through hell for the sins of
humanity! Why the heck do you think another son should have to
suffer for humanity, too?" And that makes me feel guilty.
Plus, Jesus was being obedient while Andrew would be anything but if he
Andrew didn't choose for rape to exist. Why should I put the
burden on him to stop it?
And the more rational part of me realizes that if Andrew stopped one
rape he should really have to stop them all and then maybe he should
stop murders and then maybe burglaries and then maybe cheating and then
plagiarism until free will is gone and we're all living under Andrew's
rule. Obviously that's not an attractive vision. Here's the
part where I would probably stop raging and go into collapse and weepy
Andrew can't stop bad things from happening and that really hurts
Andrew. Go watch "Two Sides to Every Angel" to verify that if ya
like. I hate what happened to Sarah and to so many other people
but so does Andrew. So does every real angel, I'm
sure. And it should be enough that they are there so those
people are not alone. It seems to me that there's a bond between
us and them. They are there to witness, comfort, and pray.
For us. And I'm going to try to never let people like Carl ruin
bond. Carl is to blame for what happened. Carl made a
terrible, terrible choice. Tess said Sarah did nothing
wrong. I agree. And neither did Andrew. And I'm sorry
that in some dark moments I think he did.
watched Sex and the City
but it still seems weird to me that the much-loved (apparently) Mr. Big
I was mildly amused by Andrew telling Carl that either God or his anger
would consume him. Simply cause I'd just sent a newsletter that
kinda suggested I felt consumed by Andrew. Gotta love Rainer
So ends my review of my least-watched TBAA episode.
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page are from "Touched by an Angel" and
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