"The Grudge"

A review by Jenni:

I just needed to do one of these reviews tonight to prove I still can.  I find myself thinking about how last week I merrily reported on the cut scene of Andrew's and Tess' outside the jury room.  Now it seems like forever ago.  Last week I did an episode review with the ever-present hope that some day I'd be doing these for episodes of a new show Mr. Dye would find himself in.  Now I know he'll spend the rest of eternity in a place far better than any show set.  I'm happy for him.  But, boy, I'm crushed for the rest of us.  He is so utterly missed by so many.

So... this is me trying to cope.  By doing an episode review.  We all have our different means.  So just some fair warning.  I will probly get sappy about things there is no reason to get sappy about.  My attention won't be very good.  And, frankly, I just don't care to nitpick.  I am worried that, seeing as how it's been years and years since I've seen this episode and so don't recall much, at some point someone will say or do something mean to Andrew and I'll go hysterical.  If that happens... be glad you're reading this from a safe distance. 

But here goes...  I'm going to sit here and watch this and sip my chai and be darn grateful for the nearly 48 years John Dye walked this earth.  Even though we never met, I'm glad he was around for 28 of mine.

What I love about this episode:
I am continually amused when Tess fusses over her car.  And, yes, sometimes Tess is testy.  Monica's grabs for the car were always fun, too.

I love Tess' scarf in this opening scene.  Beautiful colors.  And Monica looks very vintage TBAA, clothing-wise.

We need more judges like Andrew...  Kicking out stupid cases is a good thing.

"Children grow and change.  But love doesn't go away."  Nice one from Tess to the pastor.

I know it's wrong... but I kinda love the critical notes going into the collection box.  Believe me, I've heard some sermons that cried out for critical notes.

"He uses all kinds of people to do His work.  He makes the weak strong and the fearful bold.  So He would give you whatever you needed, if you wanted it."  Another one from Tess to the minister.  I especially like that second sentence.

I actually really like the episodes where the angels return to a place.  I think because I could never really understand how their assignments could let them go.  I really don't understand it now.  So it's nice to think that at least sometimes they returned.

Aww.  The lil kids morphing into the teenagers in the same tree is touching.  And that rose in place of a ring is adorable.  The TBAA writers did often know how to sucker punch us with romantic gestures.  That pocket watch in "Restoration" still gets to me, too.

I appreciate this episode cause I think for many people under a certain age, we completely don't get how traumatic the polio epidemic was.  It's just a non-issue for us.  It makes one realize what a blessing modern medicine can be.

"Anyone can pray for a miracle."  From Monica to Lucy.

I forgot about the Pollyanna reference!  I used to love that movie.  Perfect reference, too.

"There's always a light at the end of the tunnel... you just have to look for it."  Monica again.  Trust me, we've been looking and I know it's there.

"God didn't give people free will so angels can come down in a crisis and take their choice away...  You can show them the way, but you can't drag em down the road."  Andrew to Tess.  He seems so exceptionally mature in this episode.  I really like that quote, though.  A lot of what I believe is hinted at in there.

Monica's and Tess' reverse psychology on Lucy is fun to watch.

I think it would be incredibly hard to be a pastor.  Robert's talk about hospital bed prayers really makes one appreciate the sacrifice and dedication required.

Tess asking for the time before outing herself as an angel is cute.  Of course, she wouldn't have needed to ask if she was an AOD.  :-)

"It's hard to believe in anything when your heart has been so deeply damaged.  God understands that."  Monica to the ex-lovers.  I really did appreciate that most times TBAA did seem to understand our more negative, difficult emotions and didn't play them as a lack of faith.

And the rose/ring resurfaces...  That's such a sweet scene when Robert kisses Lucy's hand.

What I didn't love about this episode:
I don't really mind the whole Mailman Dad confiscating letters plot.  But it does make me think how often conniving parents get blamed in romances...  I suspect the issue is over-represented in TV and movies.  Oh well.

I just wish we coulda seen some of the wedding!

Lingering questions:
Is this experimental drug for real?  I would assume so cause it seems a bit cruel to make a miracle treatment up.  I just haven't heard of anything like it.  Then again... I don't exactly read up on paralysis.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
I do so love it when he's powerful and no-nonsense.  And utterly beautiful.  This is going to get really, really sappy. 

Oooh...  Judge Andrew only allows laughter "at something I think is funny."  He's all sorts of awesome.

The eye brow...  When he says "You do this a lot, don't you?"  Gah.  Everything about him is so expressive.  I suspect the man had more than the usual musculature or whatever in his brows.

I love the way his eyes light up when Monica and Tess approach the bench and he says "Well, what do we have here?"  I love devilish Andrew. 

Ha!  That's hysterical that he tells Tess not to address the court.  Somehow I suspect this was Andrew claiming some payback for all the times he was put on mute.  I love his innocence but I'd like to think that *sometimes* he had a bit of a bratty, self-serving streak... in a good way.

He's in the scenes he's not even in...  When Monica was talking about how furniture tells a life story, it reminded me of Tuesday.  After I heard about Mr. Dye, I went around my house and took note of everything that I have that's owing to him somehow.  It was startling and humbling because it was a lot of stuff I love.

You know, when I finally was able to start watching TBAA again yesterday, I thought it might be difficult to see Andrew glow.  Not quite sure why.  But it wasn't.  He's especially lovely and tender-looking after the lil boy is hit.  I could never relate to the people who didn't like to see him show up.  If something is going to happen, I'd want Andrew there.

I think this episode pretty much proves Andrew was the most unfailingly obedient to God of the main angels.  And, honestly, sometimes that's difficult.  Personally, I would have wanted to give the meds a shot.  But I admire people who stick to what's right even when, emotionally, they'd like to do something else which I think is a position Andrew found himself in a lot.  Ya know, I think him and Doc coulda had a good talk.

Okay... totally burst into tears when Tess smiled at him and said "You're right... your Honor."  I was so worried he'd get bullied in this episode because I was afraid... well, I'm not really sure of what.  But here Tess uplifts and respects Andrew and sees him as he is.  I am so, so glad that it happened in the first episode I'm reviewing after John Dye's death.  It makes me hope that in real life, people saw him for who he was.

I love his lil smile when Tess does the reverse psych. 

That blue shirt and tie at the end really popped.  And... it's over.  And I did okay.  I feel better.

Random thoughts:

Music: Didn't notice any.  But, like I said, my concentration is shot so maybe I'll catch some on the CBS version.  Forgot about the organ music whilst the collection plate is passed.

This is set in North Carolina.

The doctor who treats Brian has been in several episodes, I think.  Like maybe "The Feather"?

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-They cut a sequence at the beginning of the third, I think, act.  Whatever act directly follows Lucy speaking with the kid in her garage.  Monica is working and hears Tess on the other side of the fence.  She climbs so that her head is poking over the fence.  She asks Tess to tell her Robert's and Lucy's story since she figures Robert must have done something terrible to make Lucy want to use the boy for revenge.  Tess says it's not that simple.  Lucy calls for Monica and that scene ends.  It goes directly into Lucy approaching Brian with lemonade.  He's mowing his uncle's yard with an old timey mower.  She impressed him by saying he seems dehydrated... a medical term for thirsty.  She goes onto say she's going to sort "parts"... meaning body parts.  This intrigues Brian further and he ditches the mower to help Lucy.  Robert comes out and calls for him.  Tess explains that he went with Lucy.  Robert looked crestfallen.  Then it goes to Brian talking to Monica about puter uses which is where THC starts the segment.

-I'm gonna have to say I'm very grateful THC made this cut cause I could not have handled it the night I wrote this review...  I debated even mentioning it here but figured I better.  I'm trying to keep record of TBAA as it originally was.  So... in the segment after Brian is hit, THC cut a lil of the two angels, Lucy, and Robert in the waiting room of the hospital.  Monica approaches Tess and asks her were Andrew is.  Tess says "I don't know but the good news is he's not here."  And that line probly woulda sent me over the edge.  I want him here.  Even now it made my stomach churn.  Monica responds "Waiting is the hardest part."  Tess follows with "Times like these, baby, there are a lot of hard parts."  Yep...  (ETA: So much for the first day without crying...)

Further on down the road:
I guess I felt like starting next weekend... a long one for me... without the "last time I did this..." semi-gloom.  So I'm viewing this on a Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after watching "Reasonable Doubt."  Just seems right to watch the two in one weekend.  I'm not at all nervous about rewatching this episode but I am none too crazy about re-reading my initial review.  So maybe I won't.  Thus, if I get redundant and seem to be quoting myself from above... my apologies.  But maybe I should re-read.  See, my habit is to rewatch the episode, typing comments as I go.  I then re-read the initial review and remove any of my new bits that are just restatements.  So we'll see.  One thing's for sure: I'm watching this from my couch cause I've had about enough of this ratty computer chair.  :-)

Sigh.  Gorgeous image of John on the episode list menu of the DVD.

I do remember being so glad that when we first saw Andrew, he was a tough, visibly strong Andrew.  I just couldn't have dealt with, say, "Two Sides" Andrew the last time I watched this.  So that was good.  And that lil annoyed smile at the end of the opening segment is so cute. 

OMG.  I so love "Please do not address the court..."  I do feel like a lil bit of this is Andrew finally taking advantage of the chance to say his peace (like "I talk now.  You listen!") even if he has to do it by proxy.

Why is Tess so surprised that both she and Brian are in Tulipville for a reason?  Hasn't the premise up to this point been that angels are brought to a particular place for a reason?  And as for Brian, I would think that his reason for being there would be larger than just a vacation regardless.  If nothing else, it was bonding time and a chance to prepare for his possible future career.  I wouldn't be surprised at all that God was gonna use him somehow.

I like Tess' emboldening talk to the minister when he said he's not a fighter.  I would think ministers, good ones at least, would need a lot of fight in em.

Did it not occur to Robert's dad that it was a lil late in the game to worry about his son catching polio from Lucy?  If he hadn't caught it over the preceding several years... including once they started kissing... why bother to make a case out of it? 

I just realized that I don't think I ever even opened the envelope with my TBAA S8 DVDs from Amazon.  Geez!  I know I was busy but not THAT busy.  Need to do that...

Pollyanna was an extremely well placed cultural reference.  Yay for the writers!

Glad I didn't watch this episode while my family was on our cruise.  As it turned out, we did miss a family medical emergency.  Thankfully, it was minor.

I really and truly believe that Andrew was the most faithful of the three main angels.  If God said something then that was how it was.  I can't remember him pushing for anything else.  I still love that the first episode that I reviewed following John's death showed Tess seeming to recognize his worth and his obedience to the Father.  "Your honor" indeed!  I could not have handled bullying from Tess that week.

I think that's so important to remember: all prayers are answered but sometimes we don't like the answers.  They were still heard, though.

Okay, just Googled "ought against any."  I could never make the connection.  Turns out it's because that comes from a version of the Bible I never use.  I know it as "if you have anything against anyone."

Ha.  That takes a lot of guts to say "I don't believe in angels" when two glowing people with unusual knowledge about your past are standing in front of you in a church.

Sigh... Robert and Lucy in the church with the ring makes me tear up.

I did end up rereading my initial review.  It went just fine.  I'd actually seemed to hold up better than I remembered.

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