"Jones Vs. God"

A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:
How disturbingly relevant is this episode?  Geez.  All the talk about foreclosures and losing insurance and money problems...  It makes me appreciate TBAA all the more but it is sad.

I just love some of the lil stories of these characters.  Risa telling Justinian about how she kicks a few bucks into the insurance accounts was very sweet.  He gets completely thrown off by that sorta generosity, too.  It makes ya wonder what kinda altruism go on around us that we have no clue about.

Great reaction shot from John De Lance when he learns, while questioning Gordon, that his daughter intends to leave town.  Very sad.

I'm just very partial to the whole small town vibe, I guess.  And I totally get not wanting to leave your hometown.  I could really relate to Cotton's speech about being near his grade school.  When it came time for me to get my own place, I bought the house of a former classmate that's 6 blocks from the house I grew up in and the school I attended.  It just didn't seem right to go elsewhere.  I can't imagine facing the decisions these folks did.

I'm kinda wary of when TBAA uses "tricks" like Monica telling Justinian about how he ices his injury with a bag of peas, thus proving her angelhood.  However, I'm totally won over and get a lil choked up when she goes on to tell Risa, Stretch, and the others about various "God moments" in their lives.  It's a very tender scene.  And even though I love it, I also admire Justinian for persisting with his case even after such emotion.

This episode makes me think a lot about how I pray.  It contains so many wonderful statements and guidance about prayer like when Monica asks "When there was rain did you give God thanks for it?"  It made me realize how often I thank God after a tornado that didn't touch down or pray that one won't.  But I seldom think to pray in thanksgiving for a calm day and I should.

Monica offers her own prayer later that lists off all that's cruddy about the day.  But then she ends with "If it wasn't for You, I wouldn't have had any day at all."  Makes ya think and puts things into perspective.

The whole gist of this episode seems to be that we need to pray to God not just to ask for something but to give praise and seek guidance.  It seems so simple but watching this episode I felt humbled cause I think, probly like many others, sometimes I just get into this request mode.  But there can be so much more to prayer!  I'm glad this episode makes a point of saying that.

Finally, Justinian offers up what I think is one of the most perfect yet difficult prayers: "Thy will be done."  As a Christian, that phrase is already emotionally loaded for me.  It definitely has emotional power in this setting.

Greg Brown's "Our Little Town" works very well during the auction scene. 

Lastly, I love Monica standing up for the word "no."  It sure can be a positive word! 

What I didn't love about this episode:
More Andrew woulda been very nice.  But otherwise I got nothing for this section.

Lingering questions:
Is this the last we see of Tess' dog?  I kinda think it is.  Poor thing.  I wonder what became of him?

How would Andrew look with a flat top which is what Cotton seems to want to give him?  I dunno...  I'm sure I'd still be swooning over him with it.  But it just doesn't seem right.  Too... proper? 

Parts that made me feel swoony:

Andrew's very cute being protective of his hair when Cotton wants to take some off the sides.  And then... maybe I'm reading
too much into this but... Andrew totally changes his tune when he sees the drama between Cotton and Justinian.  It's like he's willing to sacrifice his hair if it means hanging around to get to the bottom of that situation and help.  Selfless, lovely Andrew...  Okay, so maybe he just changed his mind and there's no altruism but the timing of it...  I think I'm right and he's awesome.

Andrew looks so cuddly in his sweater vest and T-shirt in the courtroom...  I swear I don't actually think he's a teddy bear. 

Awww...  Andrew is so cute when he's doing his auctioneer calls.  He's just so playful and childish and happy.  I want to freeze the moment and never let him go into war zones or abusive situations or rapes or genocides ever, ever again.

Random thoughts:
First, I get a lil sad right off with this episode.  Tess sings "Soon It's Gonna Rain."  The first time I saw this, on its original airdate, I had no idea that was from "The Fantasticks."  Later I saw a production of that at this wonderful lil theatre in town.  My friends
and I frequented it all the time.  It's since closed... financial problems, ironically.  Very sad.  So hearing that always makes me think of that place and time in my life.

This episode also makes me not-so-fondly recall a former local politician who tried to sue God.  And just as the characters in this speculate, he did get national media coverage over it.  Sheesh.  If I remember correctly there were lawyers who offered to represent God.  However, I don't believe it'll ever go to trial.

For some reason I was really struck by the judge asking Monica if she accepted their jurisdiction, as an angel.  I dunno why.  Maybe just the idea of their having to accept a lot in our world that their natures aren't really suited to or limited by.

The end with the hatful of money reminds me of It's a Wonderful Life.

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