"In the Name of God"
A review by Jenni:
My first Season One episode here! I wanted to watch this one
Halloween cause the first time I ever saw it (original air date) was a
lil before Halloween. So even though it's not really a Halloween
episode, it's always seemed like one.
What I love about this
Reese's singing. Her vocalizations at the start are beautiful and
"If I Can Dream"is one of my favorite songs on TBAA. It's just
beautiful and Ms. Reese performs it so well as Tess.
think this episode is one that's even more powerful with the second
and repeated viewings. It's just painful to watch
scene in the car, seeing Tess so excited to see Timmy, and knowing
that's going to work out. No matter how many times I watch this I
still get a sense of foreboding each time. I think that speaks
pretty highly of the episode if I still get nervous even though I
completely know what will come.
I think it's great that TBAA could have the same actor play both Satan
and a gospel singer. Kudos to John Schneider for that one.
I like that TBAA highlights how the Bible can be used and abused by
hate groups. In truly ridiculous ways yet they get people to
believe it. I mean Frank/Satan sounds like an idiot with his
stupid Adam/man/blood in the face thing. But it's a good example
of how these types stretch Biblical passages and words into something
unrecognizable yet attractive to their audience. It's good to be
aware of that sorta stuff.
I think Sam's great in this! Although I do wonder why he
introduces himself as the "angel to be named later" and in the very
next scene reveals his name: Sam. With that build up ya kinda
expect something multi-syllabic at least! But it's endearing to
watch he and Monica enjoy their coffee and get to know each
other. I get the feeling that Sam's much more coffee-friendly
I also love Sam's reaction to Jerry. It's not really sarcastic
and it's not mean. But it's pretty darn amusing and puts Jerry
right in his
The way they shot the scene featuring Tess' song is amazing.
Juxtaposing Tess wandering the Netherworld with first Monica
bed and the Klan with their white sheet and then the nurse wrapping
Joanne's arm with someone wrapping a cross... chilling. It's
really an amazing display of destruction versus creation. And
then ending with the image of Tess bathed in a ray of light...
I like the Netherworld. I'm not sure why I just think it's a cool
Sam's line about checking the Bible and verifying that it does NOT say
"Vengeance is mine and Tess'" still cracks me up. But I really
love his line about if you can't find the love then "let God love
I still get goosebumps watching Monica, Sam and Jerry walk so
purposefully to Tim's place. And then they meet up with
Tess. They all look amazing.
The flashback scene with Tess' and Timmy's good bye scene is incredibly
touching. It's also really sad, of course, when compared to an
I'm amused by Monica playing stupid and Sam going along with it and
making Satan look like a wimp. It's funny and gratifying.
One of my absolute favorite TBAA moments is right here. Tess
tells Timmy that God loves him and then she redirects her attention to
Satan and tells him that God loves him, too. Think about
that. It's amazing. Whatever you've done it can't equal
that dude. And God loves him! That
line more than any other
in TBAA screams "unconditional love" to me.
And then it ends with a hug between Tim and Tess. It's wonderful.
What I didn't love about this
Not a big deal by any means but Monica says something about it being
unusual to get sent back to the same place. It just doesn't veg
very well with later episodes when the angels repeatedly visit Chickory
Creek and wherever it is Joey and Wayne, the Prescotts ("Flesh and
Blood" and "Full Circle"), and the Jessups ("Tough Love" and "The Last
Chapter") live. But then TBAA was on really shaking ground when
"In the Name of God" aired so the writers can be excused for not having
planned seasons ahead!
I find the news segment after the car bomb jarring. It looks
cheesy and the change of film or camera type or whatever it was kinda
pulled me out of the episode.
Speaking of jarring... I'm not saying this episode shouldn't have
used the N word as I think the writers had a purpose. But it's
very upsetting to hear it on TBAA of all places. Especially
from children! And Tess' face... It's almost too painful to
I find John Schneider's make-up very off-putting. Which, of
course, makes sense given he's playing Satan and the devil shouldn't
seem cuddly. But he kinda looks ill, IMO.
When Tess almost gets into a wreck she curses "Sunday drivers and it's
not even Sunday!" I've never heard of Sunday drivers. I
wonder where the phrase comes from?
I wanna know more about this Celestial Force One that Monica guesses
Sam is a part of. What do they do?
I'd love to know how long Tess, Sam, and Satan have known each
other. I kinda got the idea that Satan and Sam may have even
known each other before the former's fall. Cause Satan greets Sam
by name. That'd be a story...
What's Satan's last line? It kinda sounds like "See you Sam" but
I can never tell for sure.
Parts that made me feel
Umm... it's nice that Sam helps Tess out of the caddy right before she
goes to the Netherworld? That's chivalrous?
Sorry. That's all I got. I just don't find anyone in this
episode very swoon-inducing. Although I'm sure Andrew woulda
looked totally righteously smoldering had he walked to the Hall of
Patriots with Tess, Monica, Sam and Jerry. Adam coulda pulled it
off too. Nice imaginary visual.
I think this may have been my introduction to hospices. I don't
recall hearing the word before this episode.
When I moved a little over a year ago I constantly thought about this
episode. I woulda done just about anything for Monica's "paint a
room in a minute" trick!
Tim's back story makes me think of Tom Mula's play Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol.
In that Jacob begins to turn into his cranky, mean-spirited self after
his mother dies and he's left with his abusive father.
I commend Joanne for keeping so calm about Nosy Jerry Next Door.
I have a nosy, peeping (thankfully only once that I know of when I
caught her) neighbor myself and was not that calm...
episode makes me wonder about what relationship angels have with
their apparent race. Because I would guess that Tess isn't
technically black nor Andrew technically white. I mean if
Monica's right in "Clipped Wings" then their human forms could change
at any time so Andrew could end up Indian in appearance and Monica
visually Brazilian. With memories of seeming to be a blonde guy
from the Southern U.S. and an Irish lady. And Monica was
African-American for a while. But not really... or was she?
Would they still identify as their previous apparent race or their
current one or both? It's mind-boggling. And it makes me
wonder about it all being a human construct, anyhow. Maybe they
relate to everyone equally no matter what they look like/seem to be?
Andrew seemed just as much at home at a Protestant pulpit as he did in
a synagogue so religious affiliation apparently isn't an issue so it'd
make sense that ethnicity isn't either. Then again if they can
relate so well no matter what they look like, why turn Monica
black? I swear I did not just introduce this topic so I could
talk about Andrew on a page for an episode he's not in. I really
do wonder about this stuff.
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