A review by Jenni:
Well, I'm definitely looking forward to a more calming viewing
experience than last week! My computer is back up and
running, this episode isn't as emotional, and I feel much less
stressed! Also, I have a chocolate strawberry frap.
What I love about
I think it's great
that they were able to get the same guest cast back and didn't,
say, recast Sydney. Just makes it so much more real and
When you're looking forward to a new episode, flashback-heavy
episodes can be really disappointing. But on a repeat
viewing, I find myself glad for them. It's been years since I've watched "Tough Love"
and when I noticed this episode was next up, I wished I'd
rewatched it first. But the flashbacks do the job well of
clueing people in whether they never saw TL or just haven't in
Juxtaposing the S1 episode with these S8 scenes really makes ya
appreciate how much better the quality of video is these days!
I've never really thought about how similar a stroke or brain
tumor might look to drunkeness. Scary. It's good
that they highlight how "sneaky" they can be so maybe people
won't write off supposedly minor cognitive episodes.
So on the JABB YG we'd been discussing how Andrew told Jordan he
was glad he was born in TDDUP. I'd forgotten about how, in
TL, Sydney recalls how it changed her life and outlook when Beth
said the same words to her. And then Elizabeth echoes
them. I'm glad TBAA, in at least three episodes,
demonstrated the power of those words.
I do really like that some of the same props... like that
graduation photo... resurface. And the Billie Holiday
angle is excellent. Not only cause it ties into "God Bless
the Child" but also because Elizabeth played a Holiday song in
TL. The references to "It Came Upon...," "Beautiful
Dreamer," and "Godspeed" are cool, too.
Ha. I love how Tess pops into Elizabeth's room just to
tell her Monica's not leaving. Cute.
Wow. And the film from "Restoration." Nifty.
"I never get over how God uses everyday people to change the
world." Nice quote from Monica. He does.
I like that Monica has to tell Elizabeth about the whole "make
me white again" thing from "Black Like Monica." That'd be
pretty tough to fess up to with a friend.
"It is God who sustains and supports all life." From
Monica to Elizabeth. Good to remember.
"No one knows how many days or hours they have left in this
life. Use the hours that you have." From the same
scene. Such words have never seemed truer than this year.
I really like how Elizabeth's voice takes over for a bit as
Monica reads the last chapter. It's very impactful.
Aww. I love that the angel music box resurfaces.
What I didn't love about
Not enough Andrew.
Andrew is NOT an idiot! Jerky Elizabeth... He's
lovely and smart and everyone should love him. At least
Monica defended him. It's nice to agree with her about
Andrew. I hope Elizabeth felt real guilty when she learned
he was an angel! Not that she shoulda said that about a
Did they ever address where Beth's dad is? Can't
remember. Just curious.
Monica used to clasp her hands over her heart sometimes during
emotional moments. I noticed it in one of the TL
flashbacks and then I think she does it in the premiere. I
wonder why she stopped? It was kinda endearing.
Maybe I just stopped noticing. I was, uh, distracted by
another character... A very handsome one... Which
brings me to...
that made me feel swoony:
I need Andrew
stat... Okay, really, I'm enjoying the episode but 10
minutes so far without him... The bad thing about when
Andrew's scarce is it kinda makes a person want a character to
have some sorta dire health issue so he definitely has reason to
appear. I have my priorities!
And right after I typed that Elizabeth passed out.
Oops. But... Loveliness finally!
Elizabeth's "What's up, Doc?" makes me think of Doc
I wish Andrew had been my neurologist... I really liked
mine but... Dr. Andrew would be awesome. Except I'd be
wanting to schedule daily appointments and that would be bad.
That's so sweet how he holds Elizabeth's hand as they wheel her
outta her room before surgery. Aww. And then he
clasps Sydney's hand, too. Everyone should have an Andrew
around during crises.
He looks so handsome in that white coat. And I'm digging
the purple tie, too.
notice any until the angel music box started playing "Amazing
All the flashbacks made capping this episode easier!
I hope Andrew was able to pick up right where he left off if he
ever saw Monica, Tess, and Gloria again... I still really
dislike that finale.
I'd totally forgotten how clip-happy this episode was beyond the
"Tough Love" flashbacks. "Such a Time," "Life Before
Death," "Liberty Moon," "Netherlands," "The Compass," and "Black
Like Monica" all get clips.
Scenes Hallmark cut:
cut a couple Beth lines. When she and Monica are in the
hospital hallway, she says "I'm not really anything" and Sydney
approaches. But originally Monica replies "I think that's
what it feels like to be a teenager." Beth: "Naw.
It's just what being me is like and I'm gonna be this way
forever. Some people are smart and special like my
grandmother and some people just... exist." *Then* Sydney
storms out of Elizabeth's room. It's nifty to be able to
have the CBS version on the TV and then have the THC version run
on the laptop in the same room. Much nicer than dashing
from room to room to verify when I was unsure about a cut!
- If they shaved some off the flashbacks, I'm unlikely to have
noticed. Just FYI. I didn't catch anything
else. Was kinda hoping for cut Andrew scenes so I could
blame the lack of him on THC and not TPTB at TBAA... Oh
Further on down the road...
Eh. Kinda had to psych myself up and bribe myself with
pumpkin popcorn to watch this. Clip show meets not much
Andrew time and I kinda just wanna skip it. But I won't. I used to not mind them (see
above) but I think now having all 9 seasons on DVD, clip shows
just aren't that compelling. This popcorn is yummy,
I can't imagine being so rude to an angel... Well, unless
they ticked me off and I thought I was in the right.
I'm gonna need some cocoa, too...
I wonder if these episodes are related more to the writers
really wanting to continue a story or just which actors were
available when. Like did TPTB with the show just make
calls until they found enough of a cast from a pre-existing
episode and then wrote that sequel? Or did they seriously
want a sequel to "Tough Love" and hoped for the best?
Maybe that because they followed up on "Joe's Return" despite
having to re-cast the bereaved mother.
Sometimes TBAA makes me feel like I live in some backwards
bubble of awesomeness. A lot of people I know talk pretty
openly about supernatural things that happened to them.
Granted, none of us are world-class journalists. But
sometimes it does feel like it maybe coulda bordered on
self-fulfilling prophecy. When the show about angels lets
on like it might be odd to talk about angel experiences... one
might start to believe that. I'm trying to remember if
there was an episode featuring someone talking freely to other
humans about their angel experience. Hmm... Joey did
in his episodes some, I think.
We're at 27 minutes and no Andrew...
Maybe the upside to TV series generally having fewer episodes
per season these days is that there's less need for clip shows
to fill time. It would have been a lot more compelling to
hear Monica talk about her favorite assignments and get some
interior monologue rather than just watch stuff we've already
seen but then that wouldn't have saved production time, I guess.
33 minutes and no Andrew...
Ha! I just needed to wait about 25 more seconds.
Yay! Andrew!!!!!!!!!! Don't leave, Andrew...
OMG. Andrew is not an idiot. At least Monica and I
agree on that.
A Word from Travis:
I can’t wait to see this episode as its about Elizabeth
(played by Phylicia Rashad) from “Tough Love”. I’m definitely a
fan of an episode that features characters that the angels
visited on a previous occasion.
the Episode Guide
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