A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:
I like how, in this intro and so often, TBAA reminded us that we never know what life will bring or how much time we have.  So make the most of today! 

I really love that Angela is able to express her wishes to Andrew despite being brain dead.  First, I always liked the idea of AODs being able to finish our business for us.  Second, I'd like to believe those people have someone to talk to.  Third, I think it's important that her wishes were honored by some means or another.

The episode did a great job of showing how dedicated many doctors are.  I was especially struck by the scene of Sandra sleeping in a chair beside Ilena's bed.

I applaud the show for depicting, mostly via Dan's dialogue, that there are real people on both sides of a transplant and that no one has an easy decision to make.  I had been annoyed that up until Casey confronts him, all the dialogue had been pro-donation.  But Travis Tritt and whomever wrote his lines did a great job of showing how much he was struggling, how heartbroken he was, and how impossible it can seem to let someone go.  From the get-go, Ilena had the viewers' sympathies and it would have been easy to stress solely the need to get her a heart.  But TBAA highlighted both sides and made good on depicting them as real people and I appreciated that.

I was also annoyed that no one seemed to be acknowledging that Casey had committed a major confidentiality breech that, had it got out, could have undermined the efforts of transplant surgeons and advisers.  However, her mom later stressed the wrongness of that so I was appeased on that front. 

"Terrible things happen every day.  And wonderful and beautiful and miraculous things happen every day, too."  Those lines, spoken by Andrew, really put life into perspective.

Tess counsels Casey not to let the best in her die with Ilena.  I think that's some extremely good advice since grief can overcome us.

While part of me thinks the whole car accident plot was a bit cliched, I am glad that Sandra (who had previously described Dan as selfish) comes to the point where she is forced to recognize that deciding to donate a loved one's organs is not at all easy.

"The connection between a mother and daughter is one of the great gifts of God.  It's also one of the great mysteries of life."  That quote from Monica really speaks to me.  Although when TBAA has lines like that, I do wonder how they're experienced by those who had bad or non-existent relationships with their parents.

I love the wind chime as a symbol for Angela.  We hear it when Dan first approaches her purse.  Then we see a close-up of it when he again approaches.  Finally, we hear it again when he's about to pull the card out.  Dan's recount of it furthers the symbolism.  Angela loved it, he didn't care for it.  Angela wanted to be a donor very much, he didn't care for that idea.  The only thing I would change is I would have personally preferred it just chiming without being shown Tess ringing it.  I woulda liked to have thought it was either God or Angela's spirit, instead. 

Having that last glimpse of a radiant Ilena with Andrew was very nice.  And I really liked the guitar chords playing during that part.  It made it seem more... holy.

Finally, I'm glad Casey wrote to apologize to Dan.  Even though I believe he needed to consent to the donation, he didn't deserve to be ambushed and I'm glad everyone realized that.

What I didn't love about this episode:
Probly not the greatest for me personally that this episode starts with a fatal, snake-caused accident.  I hate snakes and I'm terrified of them and that doesn't help!  But something else did... more on that in Andrew's section.

It's very seldom that I come to Monica's defense but... I think Tess' annoyance with her for watching Casey board the bus was a lil unwarranted.  First, it's not like Monica pushed her.  Free will does need to be left alone.  Second, how was Monica sposed to know that watching Casey wasn't meant to include watching her get on the bus?  What did Tess expect Monica to do exactly?

Lingering questions:
Where is the balance in protecting your child from death and other grim realities of life and being too sheltering?  I think Sandra definitely missed it when she tried to protect Casey by keeping her from Ilena.  But I think her concern is valid and I can see that being a huge parenting decision and a very tough one.

I used to know the answer to this but have since forgot it: So even if you have a donor card signed, can your family or POA or whomever still override it?  So that's why you're supposed to make your wishes known to them, I think.  Not positive.  I should look it up.

Does God feel pain?  It's one of the great theological questions and one I've never settled my own opinion on.  In this episode, Andrew answers with a resounding yes.  He tells Dan to imagine how much pain God must be in.  Dan married Angela, God created her.  I was stirred.  I still don't know for sure if I agree.  But it's something to think about and there is a comfort in knowing that God weeps with us... which, come to think of it, I'm pretty sure TBAA has used those words even.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Two minutes into this episode I had to pause and post to the JABB YG and declare myself formally in love with Andrew.  I don't think I've done that before outside the guise of Lady JenniAnn.  But you have to understand I am deeply phobic of snakes.  So seeing him tell a snake "Away!" and having it listen... yep, I pretty much fell in love.  If someone can find a decent, loving man that can do that... I might actually want to get married.  As it is, it simply made me rewind so I could bask in Andrew's commanding awesomeness again.  So wish he was real and lived nearby...  It's snake season...

Andrew as a crisis counselor is perfect.  I would definitely want him at my side during one. 

I love how he assures Dan that "not for a minute" will he leave Angela's side.   He's so reassuring.  Speaking of being reassuring... this episode really shows how comforting Andrew can be not just with words and demeanor but also touch.  I love how he took Angela's hand in both of his when he asked her about being a donor.  This is an aspect of him I'm trying to incorporate more into how I write him.  But I have to say I miss seeing it as opposed to simply describing it.  There just aren't that many characters who are that gentle on TV nowadays, it seems.

I love how passionate Andrew is when he talks to Dan about how God didn't cause the accident and that He's in pain because of his child, Angela, too.

He was very sweet affectionately escorting Ilena Home.

Random thoughts:

Kinda jealous that Casey got Tess' number and directions to have her mom call her if she has any trouble.  I'd love to have Tess talk to people who give me trouble!  (And, yes, I'd probly use the number myself to try to get her to connect me to Andrew.)

I think it's amazing that medical technology has brought us to a point where organ transplantation is possible.  I'm glad shows like this highlight the importance of being a donor and the heroes behind those donations.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-There's a second scene of the girls chatting.  Casey draws a butterfly on Ilena's arm.  Casey tells Ilena that her mom doesn't want here there.  Ilena jokes that she always wanted to be a bad influence then shows Casey the photo of herself healthy.  Casey compliments her on her hair and assures her she still looks like the girl in the photo.  Then she tells Ilena how she once shaved her head cause a classmate had cancer and she didnt want her feeling weird.  Casey discusses wanting to be a doctor, Ilena suggests she be a writer.  The scene is quite lengthy so I think it's the only substantial scene Hallmark had to cut.  To bad, too, cause it made Casey's actions more understandable.  And it also explains how Casey obtained the photo she shows Dan.  And how Ilena got the marker tattoo that's visible at the end of the episode.
-Walter Payton originally ended the episode with a PSA about signing a donor card.

Further on down the road...

Sigh... chai, banana cake, and TBAA.  Life can't get much better!

That "Away!" gives me chills... still!  I love Andrew being all commandeering against snakes. 

I still need to learn my blood type... then probably tattoo it somewhere as I don't seem to do well remembering.

I think I've realized why it's become easier for me to watch TBAA again.  I've just gotten better about shutting trains of thought down completely.  There are so many opportunities in this episode to get
wrapped up in real life parallels but I just don't want to.  I want to stay focused on the plot.

Is it okay f
or Sandra to tell Casey about Ilena's dire situation when the transplant falls through?  That seems like that  shouldn't be shared.

Andrew's "God created her" part is a scene one could lose themselves in.  It just makes me think of so many things.  Does God always grieve our deaths or only in certain circumstances?  If we feel so much pain at the loss of someone's physical presence, what does God feel during our lifetimes when we're separated from Him? 
I have developed my beliefs as far as God and pain now.  And, yes, I do believe God feels pain.  But not pain like we know it.  Very real pain, yes.  But with us pain can often distract us from what we need to do and can even make us selfish.  God's experience of pain doesn't include either of those aspects, I believe.  He can feel pain and yet still do His work.

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.)