"The Good Earth"

A review by Jenni:

And so here I am...  About to watch the only TBAA episode I've never seen.  It took me a while to even decide how to watch it.  I'd watched all of the other episodes originally on a TV.  So maybe I should watch this on a TV...  But I rather like watching it on the computer.  Everything's much closer...  So I did opt for the computer.  And I realized I didn't want to spend the viewing typing away comments.  So... I'm not.  I'm going to close out of this, email, and the Internet and simply watch.  Tomorrow or Sunday I'll either write my review from memory of watch this episode a second time and type my comments along with the second viewing.  ETA: I started to watch on the puter but given it's widescreen and the DVD is not... everyone looked distorted when I tried to watch it in full screen mode.  John, of course, still looked amazing.  Nonetheless, I did go into my living room and watched it on TV.

I just feel so torn.  I've waited years to watch this episode.  But now I almost don't want to.  Cause then the show will truly be over for me... the past.  Nothing new to see.  I will know all about Andrew.  And worse yet... there will be one less item on my dwindling list of "Unseen John Dye Projects."  And there's the k
nowledge, too, that I'm only watching this episode because John's passed on.  When it came down to this being the only episode I hadn't seen, I told myself "You can watch it when things concerning TBAA are as bad as they could possibly be for you."  I never dreamed John's death would be the impetus.  I'd give anything to have him back and not be watching this.

But for the next 40 odd minutes for one last time I can pretend that all is as it once was.  A new episode of TBAA is starting.  I'll be seeing our lovely Andrew soon. 

What I love about this episode:
Well, I feel like it was God's will that my VCR malfunctioned back in 2003.  Cause I saw this episode for the first time exactly when I needed to.  And I am so glad I did watch it!  And I'm writing the rest of this as I watch for a second time, this time at my computer.  As usual.  :-)  Well, except on Saturday night as opposed to Friday.

It's set in Nebraska!!!!!!!!!!!!  You have no idea how important that was to me...  Well, you have no idea yet.  I'll get into that later.  But it is nice that TBAA had at least two episodes set in Nebraska and neither portrayed us as hicks who spend all our days in corn fields.  Although I do love the corn fields...

This episode seems really new.  Of course, it was new to me.  But there's nothing about it that dates it as 9 years old.  We're still trying to get ourselves off oil!

I loved Emmett's horse!  That is so awesome.  And the hay should be written off!  Excellent logic.  I would love it if we were all encouraged to ride horses instead of cars.  And we should be allowed to own goats just the same as dogs.  They could keep our lawns in check and that would mean no lawn mower noise, no lawn mower oil.  And cuteness!  If I were running for president, that would be my platform: Goats and horses for all!

This reminds me of a local true story.  There's this guy who, as a teen, drove right into the mailbox of a doctor.  Because of that impromptu, initially unfortunate meeting, they struck up a friendship.  And the doctor took the young man under his wing.  He helped him find direction and now they're both doctors and still great friends.  Just goes to show how God can take mishaps... be they breaking and entering or a driving error... and change the course of lives for the better. 

"Money isn't the answer to everything."  Right on, Andrew.

"Ya know, there comes a time in everybody's life when ya have to decide what's most important... and it usually isn't money." 

"I met a lot of people at the end of their life.  You know what they want?  They want to know that their life mattered."

Such a brief scene between Andrew and Stan but they crammed three great Andrew quotes into it.  That last one made me cry.  But in a happy tears way.  Cause John must know now just how incredibly much his life mattered.  And there will be no forgetting that he was here.

This may seem like a weird thing to like but... I really appreciated that the CEO was not redeemed.  He has no sympathetic back-story.  There's no last minute change of heart.  He's just plain a selfish jerk.  Maybe some day he'll turn into a decent person.  But maybe not.  And it's good to acknowledge that such folks exist.

"You have a responsibility to think about the future of this planet!"  A very impassioned quote from Gloria.  I hope we all try our best on that score.

"You can't stop God.  And you didn't mess up His plan.  You just messed up your chance to be a part of it!"  It's not like that's a very inspiring quote from Gloria out of context.  But I really like it cause it's so in line with what I believe.  I believe God's will always wins out.  But some people may knock themselves out of it.  He'll still find a way, though!

I can't really explain why but I really liked the pacing of this episode.  I didn't feel like it dragged.  Yet it seemed longer than the usual episode.  I dunno.  Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part with this being my last episode. 

The example of Moses was perfect. 

"You have done a wonderful thing in your life and God is so pleased with your work.  He is so pleased that you love the world, this beautiful earth that He has created because He loves it, too.  And He loves you so much."  Monica to Emmett.  What a lovely thing to hear before dying... 

What I didn't love about this episode:
I have no complaints.  Which, again, makes me really glad this is "my finale." 

Lingering questions:
So where was Tess?  Interesting to know she was around for creation.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Andrew is really old.  ;-)  But, seriously, I love hearing him talking about the old days...  He looks so wistful.  I had always wondered if Andrew pre-dated Earth but apparently not.  Good to know.

He's so beautiful...  I really did love that beard.

When I watched this last night, I totally missed the big ol' Kearney Hub sign outside the building where Andrew works.  But later when Gloria actually said Kearney, Nebraska... I put it together.  And I was just...  wow.  I'd been waiting to watch this episode since 2003.  And I'd built it up and built it up and then felt so emotional about seeing the last TBAA and then... there was Andrew in Nebraska.  My Nebraska.  The last shot I will ever see of Andrew was set in Nebraska.  I know it wasn't really Nebraska, of course.  But that's just meaningful to me because this is where I need to remember all John taught me as Andrew.  I need to do what I can in Nebraska.  I felt like having this episode be my finale, so to speak, was perfect.  Sixteen years ago, a teenager in Nebraska tuned into TBAA and saw this blonde guy walking on a log in goofy shoes and crashing a wedding.  Then at 29, in a different house in Nebraska... my own house, I watched a "new" episode with him for the last time... and now he was in Nebraska, too.  Maybe it doesn't make sense.  But it just felt so full circle to me.  And like it was God's little way of saying "He's still with you."

I love Andrew's sarcasm when Stan talks about the dead bodies.  "Ah, I'm sure he does."  Love him.  And then simply "Ah."  Awesomeness.

I was feeling a bit cheated that flannel/plaid abounded in this episode but Andrew wasn't wearing it.  Emmett was.  And then came Andrew's second scene at the Kearney Hub office and I was very happy.  :-)  It even looks something like the print I used to make remembrance pillows after John died. 

It seemed really appropriate to me that this final episode of TBAA that I watched feat
ured a man trying to guarantee his own immortality through his work.  It made me think of how John is now immortal in several ways.  He lives forever in Heaven.  But he also lives on forever here.  In the memories of those who knew and loved him and in the memories of those of us who admired his work and whose lives were changed by it.

I love the scene where he's counseling Stan as they're perched on the papers. 

And I love the casual look at the very end.  And his smile when they discover the caddy has become a hybrid.  And how relaxed he looks...  But mostly I love that the most recent memory of Andrew I will have is him lounging, his face turned skyward, and the brisk Nebraska air surrounding him...

Random thoughts:
I'm just so glad that I've been able to watch every episode of this show and still want to keep watching.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
I watched this on the Faith TBAA DVD collection so have not seen the THC version and can't say what they cut.

Further on down the road...
To preface this: I have been in my jammies all day.  It's not that I'm sick.  Just really lethargic.  So hopefully I can remain coherent as I write this.  Maybe the chai and chocolate peanut butter cupcake I'm enjoying will help!  I really have missed my dessert and TBAA nights.  Hopefully, I can start getting a bit more regular with them.

Confession: I meant to watch this last weekend but after everything with the Paris Agreement, I was afraid it would just make me sadder...  I think I made a wise decision... 

Ha.  I wonder if the government would really give a tax break to a horse rider for hay?  They should!  Emmett's got some fine reasoning going for him!

Yay, Kearney!  Go Lopers!

I woulda given anything for a behind the scenes bit of Mr. Dye breaking into "Carrying the Banner."  Or "The World Will Know."  I'm not picky.

I was gonna say this still seems so relevant and new and then I realized these kids would likely have cell phones now... not walkie talkies.  

This episode and Stranger Than Fiction makes getting audited look so nice.  You'll get gingerbread!  Or an adorkable boyfriend! 

I wonder if Emmett was based on Tesla at all?

Sigh...  I love that scene with Andrew counseling Stan.

Anybody know how to send a DVD to the president?  Asking for a friend...

I was just in a hybrid for the first time yesterday.  Pretty nifty!  But I'd prefer a horse.  Or a donkey.  I want a donkey...

I love how Andrew would sprawl out in the backseat... so carefree...

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