"God and Country"
A review by Jenni:
What I love about this
am not a Rafael fan. Try as I might, I just can't seem to get
over an angel of God calling someone Sleazy. Nonetheless... there
are some nice Rafael moments here. I enjoy watching him trying to
keep up with the army formations, for one. And not just cause it
must be embarrassing for him. Although there is that.
I do admire Rafael for
blatantly ignoring Tess' command, in
"Sandcastles," to not have a beard. Rebelling
against Tess is a good thing, sometimes. He
obviously grew it back and I'm kinda sad he had to get rid of it for
his army gig.
Rafael Rafael is amusing as a name. And so Rafael joins O'Dooley,
Friend, and countless other made up (and sometimes accidental) surnames
most of which we will never know. Speaking of names, I much
prefer Rafael to Ralph.
I really love Maria, the mother in this episode. She's so strong
and obviously the one who holds her family together. I can't
imagine how much stress she must have felt caught between Tomas and
Victor constantly and terribly worried about Paul at the same
time. I imagine there are many, many military wives like her.
Monica tells Victor that "Paul had many angels comforting him in the
midst of battle." That's a truly comforting quote.
I get a lil giggle outta Chuck. He's the other guy Rafael and
Tomas fight with. During Rafael's revelation he wakes up.
Rafael, who is totally glowing, tells him to go back to sleep.
And he does! I dunno that I woulda gone back to sleep so easily
if a fellow soldier was standing around glowing! Fun moment.
In short, I appreciate this episode for highlighting the sacrifices
made by military families. With today being Veteran's Day, it was
a good visual reminder for me.
What I didn't love about this
I think Tomas was
completely within his rights to get angry when Monica asks where Paul
is. I'm sure she meant where was he
sent to but after Tomas had
just stated Paul was MIA that was a terrible choice of words on her
part. And Monica gets all defensive and, yes, Tomas did need to
be more respectful in general but, IMO, Monica was the one who was
responsible for his bad feelings right there.
I didn't so much dislike the final scene as I think it would have been
more moving had, after Victor told Tomas "Te amo, Tomas," he'd faced
Paul's casket and said "Te amo, Pablo." Because while I love that
Tomas and Victor reconcile there, it was Paul's funeral and focus
completely shifts off of him. Plus, I think it would have
signified Victor acknowledging that Paul was still Pablo to his family
and that he truly recognized he should never have tried to change
So Tess informs Rafael that he is the first angel to hit his
assignment. So is that why he gets scolded or would he have
gotten scolded for hitting anyone, period, no matter the
circumstances? I'm just hoping self-defense and even sometimes
defense of others is allowed.
Where is Andrew's hair? I could catch no sign of a ponytail yet
it's obviously not down. And then by the next episode his hair is
long again. What's up?
Parts that made me feel
The timing is just terrible but... I get a lil goofy when we
Andrew in uniform. Because of the dramatic and tragic nature of
the scene, I do sober up real quickly but... he looks very nice in his
Once I've returned to being serious, I can't help but wonder how many
times Andrew has had to give notification of a soldier's passing.
That must be a difficult life and to find one's self doing it off and
on for decades if not centuries... Poor man. But he's so
wonderfully compassionate that I can't regret it too much for the sake
of the families who deserve to have someone like Andrew around.
The shots of Andrew tearing up when Tomas arrives at Paul's funeral and
then his teary smile right at the end have always got to me. He's
It occurs to me it might be fun to keep track of all the creative ways
the angels answer the question "So where you from?" Rafael's
answer in this one: the North.
When Rafael is asked if he's Chicano, he nods assent. I guess
that answers my question of whether angels, of their own accord,
identify as a particular ethnicity. However, Rafael does later
tell Tomas "Where I'm from color doesn't matter. This just
happens to be the body I'm in." So it's an interesting dynamic.
I was struck when Victor reminded the unit that the U.S. has never been
invaded. I guess that's something I just take for granted so
jarring to hear. Definitely something to be grateful for.
Andrew's a colonel in this episode. Just wanted to make note of
that as I never know when I might need such info for JABB.
Every time I watch this episode I remember the summer after Season
4. The show was in reruns and a buncha us were excited cause
"Flights of Angels" or some really Andrew-centric episode was
reairing. But then at the last minute CBS changed the schedule
and this aired. We were bummed. But then someone posted to
the TBAAngel list and said how moved they were watching this
episode. If memory serves they had recently attended the funeral
of a veteran in the family. After that how could we be
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