"Joe's Return aka The Road Home
A review by Jenni:
What I love about this
First, that lil ice cream place Monica set up was adorable. And I
also liked it cause I was just eating coffee ice cream last
night. Then it started snowing... Now I just want to drink
I love this episode because it brings about something that very, very
seldom happens: the urge to defend Monica against Andrew. Yes,
you read that right. So they're enjoying their yummy
coffee-flavored ice cream and Andrew ponders how long it's been since
Monica went a whole day with out coffee. To me, the implication
is she should try to. To which I say... "Andrew, are you
nuts?!?" Does he want to put up with the withdrawals? Does
he want to do a Tylenol run? Does he want to be on the receiving
end of grouchiness? Does he want to explains that Monica's case
of "the shakes" is NOT due to her being a drug addict? So,
Monica, drink up. Andrew drinks black coffee. He doesn't
know the yummy awesomeness of a daily dose of gourmet coffee. And
maybe this is all suspect given it's being written by someone who has
already had 3 caffeinated beverages... before noon... at which point I
will likely have another.
I also love how Monica justifies her coffee addiction by saying it
helps her relate to humans with our frailties. For one, it's
true. And for another it's realistic. I can give you a
litany of reasons my coffee and caffeine intake is completely
justified. We all can! It's what we addicts do.
Proudly. Yay caffeine!
This is gonna sound bad but... I like that Russell socks Joe.
I've been watching PL and it's made me quite angry with Joe. So
that was a very satisfying punch for me.
I like that the writers let the characters voice and display their
anger. Kinda makes me wish more episodes had been two-parters
cause as much as I love TBAA, I felt emotions were rushed at
times. Not here. Nathaniel's anger is especially
well-displayed, I think. Russell's too. How relatable is it
when he tells Joe he feels "relieved, furious, happy, and miserable"
about his return? It's not at all simple and that's as it should
The hospital chapel is gorgeous. It reminds me of a chapel in a
seminary I was once at. Stained glass pictures can be lovely but
there's also something about plain colored glass that's very appealing
I like this quote from Monica: "Many people in this world think they're
just a few steps away from insanity... But God calls you back."
The longer version is a very compassionate statement about veterans and
their struggles. But I think the short version I typed can speak
to so many of us. I've often felt that way and it's comforting to
know that it's a common experience and we can all get through it with
"He counts your tears." Another great moment from Monica's
revelation to Joe, after he asks if God notices him.
I think Hattie comes out as a really interesting character here.
Not that she wasn't before but the blame she feels for Joe's state and
feeling pulled between her two sons... very touching and effectively
What I didn't love about this
Sometimes I don't
follow Tess' logic. She seems to put down an idea someone has
then just take it up herself. I noticed it in "Miles" with Andrew
and here with Monica. Tess scoffs at Monica's justification of
her coffee intake. But then Tess basically restates it by saying
it's good Monica feels out of control with her coffee habit because
that's how Joe feels. One way or the other, Tess...
I do NOT like that the other father gets into it with Joe in the
car. What Joe did was terrible and stupid and reckless and, well,
cruel. But how does a father drive like that with his children in
the car!?!? Especially as his son is begging him to stop!
In no way did that man deserve to die but he was gravely wrong to
behave as he did.
This should actually be in a later review but it annoys me that when
they reprised this scenario the next season, the mom was played by a
different actress who bore no resemblance to this one.
Not a critique of the episode, just a character issue. I've
already said I dislike Joe and I think a lot of my disdain comes from
this: Joe is all about things happening in Joe's time. He'll be a
father to Nathaniel when he wants to. He calls his girlfriend
(turns out to be wife)
when he needs her. Meanwhile, where was he when they needed
him? Those people really annoy me.
wonder how much time has passed between the Promised Land season one finale and
They both take places at Erasmus' but I'm not sure
if it's supposed to be the same visit or not.
How come Tess fixes Joe's car okay but in "Sandcastles" she needs
Andrew to fix hers?
If Nathaniel "ordered" Tess then how do I order an angel?!?! ;-)
At one point Hattie says "words, Russell, just words..." I keep
thinking I heard that phrase in some movie or TV show. Someone
says "Words, just words" really dejectedly but I can't place it!
Anyone know??? Maybe it was Vincent from BatB at some point?
Parts that made me feel
Leather jacket! Truth be known, leather makes me uneasy and I try
to avoid it. But... Andrew in his leather jacket makes me
happy. And jealous. He looks awesome in black
clothes. Even his completely black ensemble in the early scenes
of this. Meanwhile, I am also blonde and end up looking like
Lilith from Cheers. No
And... I would totally pick Andrew up if he was hitch-hiking.
Granted, I do not drive so that might be difficult. But I would
probly beg whomever was driving to.
hair blows softly in the wind as he pushes Joe's car...
It is lovely.
Those images of him silently in the chapel as Nathaniel leaves get to
me. He looks so concerned. And then when he rests his head
on his folded hands... it's just very sweet.
Part of me is kinda shocked still when I see Richard Thomas (aka John
Boy Walton and Richard from The
Christmas Box series) completely outta control. But I also
remember him playing a complete wacko who blew up a school in a
based-on-a-true-story TV movie. So he's definitely got range!
It gets me when Hattie calls Joe "Joey" cause that's my brother's
name. I would sure hope my mom would never have to say his name
the way Hattie does... longing, sad.
Watching this, I can see more of why some fans were so annoyed with the
crossovers. Especially if they didn't watch PL. I watch PL
but am really anxious to get on with S5 of TBAA. So as much as I
like the Greenes, I did find myself wishing they'd make way for the
angels. I imagine it's kinda on par with the feelings of those
fans who sat
through these, just waiting for the next full-blown TBAA episode.
Monica does say "meself." At least she does here. In
writing I've wondered if I should have her use it or not. So I
Tess tells Nathaniel that the angels aren't supposed to have
favorites. Probly a good point but I like to think of them as
kinda like God in The Shack.
They're "especially fond of" everyone. So their attachment to
them is always somehow special and personal but not any sorta exclusive
to the Episode Guide
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.)