"Holy of Holies"

A review by Jenni:

Season 8... here I come.  This is the season I remember least so... not sure how to feel about that.

What I love about this episode:

Catherine playing chess "with" her husband is beautiful.  I've been thinking a lot lately about how we all find different ways to keep our loved ones with us until we go to be with them again.  This is a pretty great way.  That Andrew makes a move makes it perfect, too.  It really is a game played between the two sides.

Ha!  Seriously mere minutes ago I was talking to someone about how I hope that my AOD will be okay with helping me tie up some loose ends and stash some stuff.  (Much of which relates to a certain AOD so I'm thinking the real AOD will be more than happy to help me lest AOD-related crazyness of an insomniac mind be thrust upon the world.  ;-)  So I *love* that Andrew not only gives Catherine time to tend to things but also seems completely unsurprised about the request.  As he says, it "happens all the time."  Hope so!

One thing I will say for Gloria... I love that she so enthusiastically says "Look!  There's Andrew!" when he approaches in the park.  It's a much kinder greeting than the look of dread and "Why are you here?" that Monica and Tess sometimes extend...

This episode sends me right back to some of my Theology classes...  Totally remember an Ezekiel lecture.

I like what Tess says about how the Ark isn't lost.  It's hidden.  Makes ya think about all the terminology we use that's so human and so flawed.  Of course, the Ark isn't lost.  God knows exactly where it is.

Aww.  I love how Paul looks at the scroll in a completely different way than Thomas does.  To him it's just a sign that his grandma appreciated and understood him.  Not a ticket to fame and glory.

Tess does sometimes get to me but I love her sarcasm when Gloria suggests tying Thomas up and Tess adds "Then we'll hit him on the head with a frying pan" and Gloria so doesn't get it. 

Yay, Micah!  I remember being so psyched for this episode not only cause it meant a new season starting but because Roy Dotrice aka Father from Beauty and the Beast was in it.  And then to be such an angel!  And he's just really awesome.  I love how completely calm he remains.  When he tells Thomas that death means little to him but being a murderer would have great significance... wow.  I have to admit I'd be a lil freaked about someone so eerily calm and sure of himself.

I'm not a huge Gloria fan but her reiteration of "Netherlands" is actually more emotionally effective for me than that episode.  The whole smiling through the tears thing is very real to me.  I love that Micah squeezes her arm.  Clearly the time alone hasn't eroded his kindness.

Micah's singing lesson is fun, too.  Though it may not have made much sense, I wouldn't have minded seeing him again.  Oh well.  I think he and Andrew could have had some great discussions.

"In the hearts of His people and in your heart... that is where God will come to rest if you will make a place for Him.  That is where you will find peace."  Lovely quote from Micah.  I think it's a good thing to keep in mind: how we can be in God's presence *now.*  I see some similarity between Thomas' quest for the Ark and the modern doomsday folks.  Yes, the world may end soon.  But it may not.  We'd do better to focus on the here and now and how we can follow God in this life... however long it lasts.

I feel like we all kinda need an Ark moment right now...  I almost made it through without crying.  But, God, he looks beautiful in that light.  And he'll always feel God with him forevermore.  Until I find my live Ark moment... I'll take this one.

What I didn't love about this episode:

It seems a bit off to me that Gloria is supposed to act like she doesn't know Monica.  That's dishonest.  Obviously one would not reveal the nature of the relationship but it seems like in earlier episodes, this was handled better.  Like just a casual "Oh Andrew and I go way back..." without specifics.  But also without a lie of omission.

I have to say, I always did feel kinda bad for Micah.  I know he had God but clearly he kinda missed conversation with his fellow creatures.  I like to think maybe Andrew visited him.

Lingering questions:
Here again Monica reiterates that she's been an angel for 6000 years "give or take a century."  Her history seems to be Annunciations then Choir then Search and Rescue then Caseworking.  So apparently in "The Sky is Falling," she was loaned back to Annunciations?

Umm...  How do they learn about human reproduction?  It appears Gloria does not automatically know about it.  That's gotta be one heckuva birds and the bees talk.

I'm confused...  Monica says Gloria has only been an angel for six days?  So "Face of God," "Netherlands," "Shallow Water," and this all happened within a week?  Crikey.  Monica, Tess, and Andrew need a day off.  And I know just where the latter can spend it...  :-)

As I watch, things are coming back to me.  And I can remember some people thinking Micah was Michael.  But I can't figure out why.  Was it the flaming sword that made them think that?  Is it said that Michael guards the Ark?  I dunno.  Personally, I think of Michael as more of the head of the AODs.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
So lovely... I wouldn't be afraid of Andrew, either.  And I love that he tells Catherine she's not afraid "Because you know who I am." 

For the record, I love that Andrew was the first angel we saw this season.

OMG!  He'll even swing by the post office for his assignment!  And he wrapped it himself!!!  Awesomeness in slacks and a suit coat!

Good gravy.  He looks even more amazing in those jeans and the brown T-shirt.

Jealous...  Thomas gets to hike around Jerusalem with Andrew and doesn't even appreciate it.  Also, love that shirt Andrew has during his first Jerusalem scene.  It reminds me of the one in "Rock and a Hard Place" that I *love.*  Because of who is wearing it, of course.  I do fully realize these clothing items merely cast over a chair would not be appealing.

Augh.  I hope that one brief scene of him walking behind Gloria in the shades and cool hat isn't all we see of that look.  C'mon close-up...  Well, the shades and hat are off by the time he gets the close-up but still...

Poor love seems really bothered by having to aid and abet this venture.  Andrew did sometimes seem like the most reverent of the three main angels to me.

Micah telling Andrew "Nice to see you again" intrigues me...  It makes me wonder about Andrew's life pre-modern times.  I wish we'd gotten a glimpse of younger Andrew.  Course, maybe Andrew visits Micah or saw him in Heaven.  I spose it doesn't necessarily mean they worked pre-Jeremiah cases together.

I think Andrew got the best outfit in the scene in the cave.  Much more flattering than a robe.

I must admit... I have a really hard time imagining Andrew ever wielding a sword.  I mean unless it was for show a la "The Quality of Mercy."  Although wielding a bat still makes perfect sense.  I think sometimes, because of how I feel about the character, it's hard for me to imagine Andrew with the more otherworldly angel qualities.  How can this man of orange juice and ginger ale and football and Halloween-whinyness also be a man of flaming swords and the Ark?  And yet John really did such an amazing job of taking this character from places of highly approachable cuddliness to being absolutely numinous.

Random thoughts:

Music: There's some classical music playing at the History Dept. party.  Gloria and Tess sing "Down At Your Feet."  At least that's what I'm calling it.  Is that an existing song or was it written for this, I wonder?  Never heard it before or since.

I wanna learn this tea staining technique Thomas mentions.  Would be helpful for Andrew's scrap book...

This was the first episode to air after 9/11.  Kinda weird to think about.  When I watched the CBS version, there were a few patriotic commercials and it took me back.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
- Wow.  They cut right into the middle of a scene.  It's the first one between Thomas and Andrew.  Andrew goes through the plan and talks about the permits.  Thomas then says there's one other thing.  He needs a gun.  Andrew adamantly says he doesn't supply guns.  Thomas seems to think Andrew's not being up front and points out that there are guns on every corner.  Our lovely AOD says he'll provide all the protection Thomas needs but reiterates that there will be no guns.  Thomas seems to reluctantly accept this.  Then Andrew says "See ya tomorrow morning" which THC kept.

-Our poor boy...  It's like they specifically sought out Andrew scenes to cut...  After Monica mentions being below sea level and Thomas says that GPS won't pick up the signal and that they're on their own, Monica tries to get through to Andrew.  She keeps repeating his name but there's no answer.  Then the scene moves to outside.  Andrew has the walkie talkie and calls twice for Monica to come in.  But there's no response.  He wipes some sweat from his brow and then looks with concern towards the mountain.  Then it goes to Gloria and Micah with the former giving her life story.  THC keeps this scene... well, most of it.

- Oh good gravy!  This is ridiculous!  They cut about 8 seconds from the Micah and Gloria scene.  After Gloria calls Madeline the only friend she ever had, she adds "Except for the angels, of course."   Micah then asks "May I be your friend?"   Gloria happily says "Okay!"  Then he pats her arm.  THC jumped right from the Madeline reference to the arm pat.   Sheesh.

Further on down the road...
Well, this should be fun.  This is the first time I've watched this episode since binge watching all seasons of Boy Meets World.  William Russ was Alan Matthews in that.  Kinda interesting to see him in this role because my most favorite moments with Alan in the series had to do with religion: when he confronted Shawn about whether or not he believed in God and then when he was praying when baby Josh was sick.

I really feel like, as the Parent, God should have provided Gloria with "the Talk" before she became incarnate on earth...  I get that the writers wanted to show her education and give Monica something to do but I'm realizing more and more how I don't necessarily dislike Gloria as a character.  I just dislike the implications behind her character.  I was totally cool with the other angels having a learning curve while here on earth but it's just disturbing to think God would send one out so half-baked.  Good parents provide a foundation... they don't loose their children on everyone else before teaching them some life skills.

So is this episode... six days after Gloria's birth, apparently... supposed to be before "Shallow Water"?

How does Gloria seem to know who the Jews are in this episode but by "Chutzpah" is a blathering idiot on the subject?

Aww.  Maybe Andrew is rubbing off on Monica!  She has ginger ale at the party.

Fridge Horror moment...  Gloria says she went to the library and read the whole Bible.  Seemingly she had not before.  So... was she just reading along and all of a sudden found out that Jesus got crucified?  That's brutal.  Surely God at least told her that before she came back to earth...  I hope.  It'd be pretty awful to find out in a public library that your Creator died a really awful death.

Giggle.  I still love Tess' sarcasm about hitting the professor with a frying pan.

Yay for Andrew to sticking to his, uh, guns on not getting Thomas a gun.

Father!!!  :-)  I woulda given anything for Ron Perlman to have leapt out of a cavern to pummel Thomas when he pulls the gun on Father/Micah.

I like Micah.  I wish he hadn't been stranded.  But then maybe he wanted to spend his days communing only with God.  I suppose angels might have their contemplatives, too.  Or maybe he was mostly in Heaven and just called to the Ark when needed.

Gah.  John Dye's so attractive in this episode.  Of course, he always is.  But especially here.

Sigh...  Micah's so sweet.  I love that exchange he has with Gloria.  All that solitude doesn't seem to have harmed his ability to be a good listener.

Given Thomas didn't think the Ark was actually holy... did it not give him pause when the cavern he believed contained it was *glowing* deep inside a cave? 

Roy Dotrice gives me goosebumps when he starts his revelation.  And I just love that the most awesome angel (sword of flame!!!) is played by a septuagenarian. 

It always bothered me that starting here, they used a shot of just Monica for the end credits...  Oh well.

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