"The Homecoming, Part II"

A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:

I love what Tess says about how the Greenes are rich with "real wealth" meaning their family and the love they have.  While it's not good to make light of legitimate financial issues, it's also good to keep focused on our blessings.

I really love Erasmus' house and yard.  They're so quaint and warm and colorful! 

From what I recall, and what I see in this episode, I liked the relationship between Josh and Dinah.  It seemed to parallel mine with my brother a lot more than most shows did.  The whole great friends one minute, sniping at each other the next thing.

I like what Monica says to Julia: "Don't apologize for tears.  Tears can be very good."  It's freeing.  I just wish Monica woulda paid more attention to a certain gentleman's tears sometimes...

I *love* that Russell jokingly tells Julia that she shouldn't get too critical of herself for selling Nathaniel for $50 because "Joe gave him away for free."  It's tasteless, yes, but exactly what Julia needed to hear to move on from the repeated self-flagellation.

I think Julia's very unselfish to let Nathaniel stay with the Greenes.  Having had some experience with the foster care system, I have great respect for parents who realize their home isn't always the best home for their children.

I like this quote from Tess a lot: "This life is a flicker.  It burns white hot for an instant and then it's gone but it sets the course for the eternity to come."  For some reasons I think the Dyelanders would really like that, too.

What I didn't love about this episode:
I don't think Nathaniel's being told that Julia was his mother was handled very well.  I think the Greenes shoulda been present and a public place may not have been such a good idea.  Nathaniel seemed creeped out and I don't blame him.

 Not fond of how Andrew materializes in the burning trailer.  He kinda looks demonic. 

Lingering questions:
Do small towns really not have 911?  Erasmus says Chicory Creek doesn't, only a volunteer fire department.  I guess I thought even in those cases 911 existed, it was just routed to a volunteer fire person.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
This episode is pretty subtly moving for me as an Andrew fan.  It's very low-key but reveals what I consider to be an important part of Andrew's story: that he served as a hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War, specifically the Battle of Dak To (which got dubbed Duck Toe, as Andrew refers to it.)  Russell Greene, who spends the whole episode trying to place Andrew, mentions seeing him "on a field in Vietnam" which both chills me and makes me appreciate Andrew all the more.  Not necessarily because it's Vietnam but just the idea that someone would willingly leave Paradise to experience the horrors of war all to better the lives of us humans... wow.

On a much lighter note, I agree with Hattie that Andrew has an unique and handsome face.  Most definitely.  I think that's partly why I can't get over him.  If he were just standardly handsome then maybe I would have by now...  But then I'd still have to be
getting over his personality so maybe it wouldn't matter.

Andrew's super cute when Erasmus invites him to dinner.  He seems genuinely happy and excited by getting considered for Thanksgiving dinner. 

I love Andrew's lil smile when Erasmus prays for parole officers at Thanksgiving dinner.  And I've mentioned this before but it's so endearing whenever Andrew looks up when he prays.  He does that here when they all say "Amen."

When Andrew leaves the dinner he says to Erasmus "Thank you, thank you very much."  He's Elvis!!!

Random thoughts:
I have a hard time imagining myself ever feeling comfortable sitting in my hypothetical husband's lap with witnesses around as the Greenes do with Erasmus sitting right there.  I dunno...  A lil too much PDA for me, maybe.

It's interesting to watch the Russell and Julia scenes since they're pretty rough at first.  Just kinda weird since Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke are actually married.

Earlier in the day, before I watched this, I wrote a story for the Author's Cut partly about an assignment Andrew had in Vietnam.  But in my story he's a chaplain and the man who dies is named Jack.  In this episode Andrew's a hospital corpsman and the man is named Jake.  Weird that I unintentionally came pretty close with the name despite it being months if not a good year since I saw this.  Anyhow, I thought about editing my story to better reflect this episode but decided to leave it.  Likely Andrew had more than one assignment in Vietnam.

A Word from Travis:
Iím surprised that I semi-like this episode as Iím not a fan of the Promised Land crossover episodes. I liked the interactions with the characters, especially with Julia and Russel in the church. After taking the time out to thoroughly re-watch the church scene, I reaIize how compassionate Russell is towards Julia. (I especially liked when Julia revealed that she sold her and he replied, ďAt least you didnít give him away for free.Ē) I didnít know that Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney (Russell) are married in real life until you asserted the fact in your review of the episode.

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