"The Journalist"



A review by Jenni:

Okay, this time I got the right disk and so watched "The Journalist."  This episode, along with "The Violin Lesson," turned me into an obsessive Andrew fan.  So it probly figures that I'd have the most notes thus far about this episode and acted like a complete nerd whilst watching it today. 

What I love about this episode:
Andrew.  I shall elaborate on that more in my swoony section.  Which makes this section seem much shorter than it should be but just trust me: I love this episode!

Beyond my obvious infatuation with Andrew, I like the storyline.  The Wittenbergs are great characters.  As someone who has been at least a little involved with the foster care system, I found all this pretty plausible.  When Rocky asks the Wittenbergs about it being hard to get close to kids who will leave, I could answer for them myself.  It is.  Especially when you don't know what sort of situation they're headed into.

Continuing with the foster care stuff, I thought the scene where the kids were taken away was very well acted.  The look of immense grief on Zelda's face as she held up that plush lion and seeing the kids forcibly removed... way too relateable for me.  So I'd say TBAA really hit the nail on the head with those emotions.

Monica does have one shining moment in this for me.  During Rocky's follow-up report when she relays the account of Annie's bandaged head, Monica puts her hand on Andrew's shoulder briefly.  Thank you, Monica.

I'm very happy that Sam questioned Monica when she suggests that she sees more of the "big picture" than Andrew does when he's the one that was actually at the Wittenbergs'.  It wasn't a huge thing but I was just happy to see someone at least try to give her a reality check.

When Monica reveals herself to Rocky she talks about how we see with our hearts and heads instead of our spirits.  I think that was a good distinction to make.  And I kinda wonder if it's why I get angry at Monica so often.  Maybe we both think mostly with our hearts and our hearts are geared in different directions.  I dunno.  But it seemed like a good theory that one could use to work on interpersonal problems.

Really I do love this episode even though the next section is pretty long.  I love all it has to say about mercy and parenthood and forgiveness.  I just disagree with some of the characters' actions.  It doesn't mean I think the writing is bad.  Not at all.  I wouldn't change this episode.  Anything that can cause so much emotion 12 years later is groovy!

What I didn't love about this episode:

I did not care for Sam's tone after Andrew comments that the assignment seems out of his jurisdiction.  To me it sounded lik
e Andrew was surprised the great and powerful Sam would be involved with a seemingly mild assignment.  It's not like he was belittling Sam.  Quite the opposite.  Oh well.  Andrew didn't seem too upset so I spose I shouldn't be either...

Monica.  Seriously, she really aggravates me from Scene 1 on in this episode.  First, she wants to do the camera work and tag along even though Sam said that was Andrew's job.  Then she says she wants to cover gritty stories.  Lady, you can't even deal with Andrew dealing with gritty stuff.  How the heck do ya think you're gonna cover gritty news stories yourself?!?  It's a classic example of Monica acting like she has more experience than she does and like she's already doing such a swell job that she should be able to leap right to more difficult assignments.  Grr.

Then Monica chooses to trust Rocky over Andrew.  Who she has known for way longer and who, in her own words, wouldn't lie.  And Monica sticks by this trust even after Rocky seems unfazed by Andrew's concerns.  This isn't suspicious to Monica???  I mean I can sorta see Monica not trusting Andrew's account after the "Zelda did it" remark from Annie but not trusting Andrew before that?  It's something I still can't get over 12 years later.  But that's not even the worst of it...

Monica doesn't seem to follow Andrew when he flees the newsroom.  In tears!!!  And she doesn't even seem to grasp the depth of his emotion cause she tells Sam "Andrew walked out."  He fled!!!  He didn't calmly amble out.  He didn't skip out.  He didn't simply walk out!!!  He fled in tears!!!  How oblivious can a person be!?!?  It's not like I expect Monica to react as I would.  If she did she'd probly get a talk from the station's HR rep about excessive PDA in the workplace.  But my opinion of Monica would be so much better if we had even one glimpse of her caring for Andrew after he started publicly crying.

I have sympathy for Rocky, sure.  But as I end this episode I still don't really trust her.  It's not so much that she reported the story but her reaction.  Right after it airs her colleague congratulates her on the "hatchet job."  (Which, by the way, maybe someone should question that guy's ethics if he realized his co-anchor was playing with footage and kept his mouth shut.)  And then they joke!  And then Rocky's just so blasé about it when she talks to Monica after the piece.  Then, while watching footage of the kids getting taken from the Wittenbergs, Rocky's actually giddy!  I mean even if they had been abusers... this is not a gleeful situation!  I dunno.  Maybe I just don't get journalistic impartiality but she seems way too relaxed about all this.

And just FYI, Rocky, Andrew is NOT "too nice a guy."  He's just the perfect amount of nice!

I do feel a lil bad for Rocky when the angels just disappear.  I'd be pretty ticked about not getting a hug good bye.  Unless she did and I was too busy swooning over someone in a leather jacket... 

Lingering questions:
Did anyone else play in their closet as a kid?  I did.  So I think it's pretty weird Rocky makes such a big deal about Tyler going in there. 

Rocky is surprised that Andrew's an angel.  Which made me wonder... how cruddy must it feel to know you made an angel cry and feel used?

Apparently angels can get loaned out to other departments and here Tess is to Natural Phenomenon and Acts of God.  I wonder how many departments there are?


Parts that made me feel swoony:
Andrew's so cute clapping for Monica after her report.  See, that's how to be supportive!  I find it a lil galling, though, that
Monica first assumes he just stopped by to encourage her.  I'm not saying Andrew wouldn't do that but when Monica said that I just thought (sarcastically) "Yep, cause his life revolves around you!  It's all about Monica..."

I can seriously feel my heart start to speed up with nerves when Rocky begins her story about the Wittenbergs cause I know I'm gonna see Andrew standing there... so proud and excited.  And then slowly crushed.  His face just falls...  And I want to go through the TV and help him...  Cause he clearly feels used by Rocky and so I think someone should assure him that he did a great job and it's not his fault that she took advantage of his trust.

Any shot in which Andrew is wearing that blue flannel shirt.  Andrew in flannel is always a good thing in my book.  I'm also quite fond of his prayer on the stairs beige shirt and white tee.  I think the black shirt is also flannel but I'm too depressed to be swoony when he wears that.

My heart goes out to Andrew (okay, even more than usual) when he goes back to the Wittenbergs' and Horace is so accusatory.  I mean I totally understand why Horace is like that but... so sad for Andrew.  In fact, I was apparently so emotionally over-wrought that when he started to run after the rock was thrown, I leapt up and ran to my front door.  Once I got there I was unsure why I had done that.  I dunno.  Solidarity with Andrew, I guess. 

One of my favorite moments from Andrew comes when Rocky encourages him to assume the worst and he tells her he can't.  I find that so inspiring.  After all Andrew has seen, stuff you and I can't even imagine, he's still so filled with hope.  That's why I love him.  Even more than because he looks good in jeans and flannel.

It is physically painful to watch Andrew watch the footage of the kids being taken away.  And he's holding back his tears.  And so many around him are all gleeful...  And then that jerky co-anchor says "Great work, Andrew!" and he just breaks...  And then he flees the room and... I WANNA FOLLOW!!!  Cause ya know it's bad.  Andrew doesn't seem big into crying in public so the fact that he's crying in front of a room packed with people... it's bad.

So then Andrew says another thing I love when he goes to visit with the Wittenbergs again: he asks them to open up their hearts long enough for him to apologize.  If this show were interactive like Rocky Horror that would be the cue for the audience to scream "We already have, O Lovely One!" 

And the resolve and strength and passion when Rocky says the Wittenbergs will be arrested and Andrew responds "Not if I can help it."  Love him. 

The prayer on the stairs.  First, we seldom see Andrew talk at length with God so this is really special.  My heart goes out to him (even more than usual) when his voice breaks as he says "I don't understand."  And then when he says "I'm here.  If You can use me today, for life... tell me what to do"...  That awesomeness and compassion is how crushes are born.  Or whatever you call a crush that's lasted for (gulp) 12 years.

Random thoughts:
Hey everybody, let's all point and laugh at Rocky's super-huge cell phone!

I feel sad for both Andrew and Horace when the latter seems disappointed that Andrew's not a guardian angel.  I hope Andrew didn't take it personally and that Horace got to meet a guardian eventually.

I'd never realized that the letters in "news" matched up to North, East, West, and South til Monica said that.  Cool.

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