A review by Jenni:
As this is Veteran's Day, I've been trying to watch TBAA episodes
featuring veterans. I'm hoping to get to "God and Country"
later. But, first, I wanted to watch this one. Even
Andrew, this one's a winner.
What I love about this
has another example of "angel magic" that works for me. I
Monica's clean-up of the drug user's apartment is sweet. And
since he was totally outta it when she did it, it's not
suspicious. I guess I just don't like people being walloped
the head with "angel magic."
I appreciate it any time TBAA reminds us of the toll war takes on
soldiers, locals, and, eventually, us all. Jake is a
character and I think we get a pretty good glimpse of the negative
impact Vietnam had on him and how that extends to others he
Yay, Sam! In his first scene he utters one of my very
TBAA quotes: "No matter what happens never forget who you
Never." He says it with such sincerity and passion. I
about that moment every so often when I feel like I'm losing sense
We learn more about angels' human forms in this episode which is
an intriguing topic for me. From here on out we know they
to medication, sometimes in very frightening ways.
I'm glad that the judge references Miracle on 34th Street
because I think a lot of viewers would think of that and wonder if
TBAA writers were trying to pull one over on them. But since
acknowledge that this episode is a lot like that film, it works
don't feel like I'm getting a rip-off.
I think, via Jake's conversation with Monica about Vietnam, TBAA
a very compassionate and understanding take on why someone might
their faith. How could someone not be shaken and damaged by
hearing people, children especially, in a wartorn country cry for
angels and seemingly not get any? Angels *were* there, we
viewers know. But Jake doesn't at that point and Monica is
understanding of that feeling of aloneness he experienced.
presents her view, that everything happens for a reason and God
abandoned His children, but she doesn't get judgmental. It's
great scene and very well handled.
I like that Jake sees Tess and Sam talking at the bar. It's
a curtain is lifted and he can see beyond. It's miraculous
also very down to earth. Same thing when he and the worker
psych ward witness Monica's talk with Claire and their
transformations. I like the idea that at any time we might
glimpses of these angelic dealings.
Another quote I really love from this comes from Monica, spoken to
Claire: "Nothing-- not death or life or war, not the present or
future or the past-- no one, no creature on this earth, can
you from the love of God."
I was trying to
what a real veteran of war might feel if they
watched this episode, particularly Claire's message to Jake.
assures him that God knows the secrets of his heart and the
witnessed. She tells him that God is strong enough to take
past. It sounds beautiful and consoling to me but I can't
for anyone who actually experienced such horrors.
The look of joy on Jake's face when he learns May Ling is alive,
and in the city... Wow. I tear up watching that
Give me chills. That musta been an awesome, awesome reunion!
The message on May Ling's plaque has always stuck with me. I
it so beautiful and applicable to many real men, women, and
"They served their country, their God, and many children with all
had. May we here do the same."
What I didn't love about
By and large, I really like Monica in this episode but in one
she's just too dingy to be believable to me. When Monica is
if Tess is an angel like her, Monica's response is "No, she's
taller." Cheap laugh but seriously? I don't think
I would think the angels would be a bit more cognizant of
than they sometimes are. Like here with Monica and Sam
in the courtroom. Monica looks nutty since no one can see
Sam. While I love having Sam around, it may have been better
him to surface in the psych ward where there'd be some privacy.
I find it a lil odd that Jake says he hasn't heard the phrase "cup
joe" since he served in Vietnam. I've heard it pretty often
Did Claire age while on Earth for decades? If she didn't
that look suspicious? Yet once she's in angelic form again
looks the same age, just rested and healthy. Maybe the
despair gave the appearance of aging and so no one at the
hospital noticed anything amiss. I've pondered the same
about Kelly in "As It Is In Heaven."
Why does Monica lose her accent when she's drugged up?
Did Sam serve in Korea? I get the idea he did from his
with Jake in the bar. But I'm not quite sure if Sam was
he'd been in Korea himself or was guessing that Jake had.
thinking the former cause Jake looks too young to me for a Korean
At one point Monica says, in court, "we [angels] always honor the
law." Really? What if the law's immoral?
How did May Ling know Claire was an angel? I'd love to know
about every characters' story.
that made me feel
There's no AOD in this, hence no swooning. Yet, I do think
Andrew whilst watching this. One reason being we know, based
later episodes, that he's been in several wars including
But Claire also represents for me my very worst nightmare for
Andrew. It's one I've extended to LJA in Dyeland although
doesn't talk about it. The idea that an angel could get lost
decades is horrifying. And since this episode links such a
scenario to war... it seems a double-threat to AODs.
was Claire a POW as the psych worker guessed? If yes, that
just adds to the threat. I can imagine one of Andrew's human
assuring themselves that he would never lose sight of God and
Claire's fate would never be his. But if she was a POW... that's
beyond a human's or angel's control. It's not a matter of
faith. It's a matter of being the unwilling subject of
else's dangerous free will. Truly frightening.
Monica refers to Sam's being with Special Services. So
another area within the angelic system. Not quite sure what
Monica refers to Heaven as "the realm." I don't know why
jumped out at me. Interesting.
A Word from Travis:
This is my favorite Season 2 episode and I wish it were shown
as the season 2 finale. This episode is sad, funny, and thought
provoking, all at the same time. While I believe in angels, some
donít and I wonder what may have went into the mind of an
individual who wasnít a regular viewer of the series but saw this
episode? I only wish the little girl nicknamed "May DayĒ was given
an appearance, since it was revealed that she was still alive.
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