A review by Jenni:
What I love about this episode:
First off, I'm half Irish. (As far as ancestry. Really
I'm American.) And, if you want to get technical, that half
is compromised by a half Protestant-Irish parent and a half
Catholic-Irish one. So this episode is pretty special to
me. It also aired not long after I did a presentation on the
Troubles for my religion class. I thought it was pretty
awesome when I heard TBAA was doing this. I actually really
miss these destination types of episodes. None of the shows
I currently watch do them. Anyhow...
All that being said, this episode makes me feel blessed. Or
lucky. Maybe both. Because while the generation before
mine had some angst concerning Protestants marrying Catholics, it
was more of a case of religious nuttiness with one or two
individuals. Certainly no one ever considered turning to
violence. The wider social group could have cared
less. The government certainly didn't. And in my own
generation, my cousins marry within the two groups freely and no
one bats an eye lash. And the Protestant family members
sometimes do Catholic things and the Catholics sometimes share
beliefs more with the Protestants than with the Pope. It's
just really a non-issue. And I realize I take that for
granted a lot. Which, in a way, is a good thing because it
means the tolerance and love is so ingrained. But sometimes
it's good to step back and realize that others don't get to live
so free of such worries. So that's what I did watching this.
I liked that both religious leaders were
depicted as on board with this Project Children idea. I know
that both sides have/had their militant pastors but I liked to
think that those who have chosen a vocation would be for peace, by
Some of the writing was very emotionally
effective. When Maggie talked about throwing the stone at
the little boy and how her mother was proud of her... it's just
chilling and sad.
I love the accents! And am so jealous! I have a boring
voice... Although I must admit that I had some difficulty
understanding them at points.
That car backfiring scene is still so sad. Especially
because I read that it was based off an experience Ms. Downey
had. How awful to be that shell-shocked.
Beyond being touching, the writing also reflects what I imagine is
how Irish speaking actually sounds. Maybe that was improv on
the part of the actors but by using phrases like "splashing out"
and "row" (for a fight), the dialogue matched up well with what
I've heard in Irish-produced films.
I thought it was cool that Tommy refused to skip the meal blessing
and that Rose backed him up on it. And I think "Thank You
for the food" is a great prayer!
Yay tea! I've been craving it more often lately and this is
the second TBAA episode in a row to espouse the wonders of
tea. Last week on "Buy Me a Rose," it was comforting.
Here it's a means for which a Protestant girl and a Catholic boy
to bond. Aww.
"Gangs are stupid." Good line, nameless American teen!
Seriously, did we get to hear that kid's name once? I liked
him. I think he's maybe Dion cause there is a Dion listed on
the touched.com guide and I don't recall hearing any of the Irish
kids call for a Dion. Plus, it's not really an Irish
sounding name. Really I just liked the parallel it created
between the situation in Ireland and our situation with
gangs. Cause this episode was in danger of glamorizing
America as a place where all groups get along. Sadly, not
This is a nice quote from Monica: "To every generation the
truth is born anew and with it comes the promise of peace.
This is your time. This is your chance." I can feel my
idealism coming back a bit...
This is semi-good anti-shipper talk, again from Monica: "Angels
are not created from human love but from a simple whisper of the
Father." So Monica and Andrew can't have little angel
babies. Although the shippers would probly just argue that
they're created from "angel love" and so the quote doesn't
I love Tommy's reference to "the God of
love." It's a beautiful way of thinking of God.
At the end, the shot of the dove in front of the barbed wire was
What I didn't love about
Monica assumes Tess has never been to Ireland.
Why? In all of Tess' years, Monica honestly thinks not once
would she have ended up in Ireland?
Tommy's eulogy made me sad. I mean, duh. But beyond
the obvious. When he was talking about how in America people
of all beliefs were neighbors... I just don't feel that.
Sometimes, yes. But I feel like the bickering and hate
speech has increased, I'm afraid. It's just gotten more
intelligent sounding (though by no means actually intelligent) but
really it's just mean.
I'm always thrown about
what I hear as the missing "the." Like here, the pastor says
Rose should have "gone to university." Here we would say
"gone to the university." Same with hospital. When I
watch Irish or English stuff they "go to hospital." Last
weekend I went to *the* hospital. How do you suppose that
change happened? I mean since Ireland and England are older
than the U.S., I would assume our "the" was a later
addition. So why? And what's the situation in Canada?
Why does Tess welcome Monica home when she returns to the
U.S.? It would have made more sense to me if she'd said
"Welcome back!" and not "Welcome home!" Cause that's not
Monica's home. Unless it's more of a "home is where people
you love are" thing. That I can get.
Why didn't the Catholic kids cross themselves before the blessing
and only after it? Is that a real deal? Here we do it
before and after the prayer but maybe that's just a U.S. Catholic
thing? Or the camera just wasn't on them at the time?
What's that T word they keep
calling the Catholic kids? You'd think I'd know but no
clue. The only derogatory name I know for Catholics is
"papists." We don't care for that one!
Let's try to figure this out: Monica says she lived in eternity
with the Father *then* she was placed in Ireland. While
there she experienced both "ancient cliffs" and the "first mists
of creation still lingered." So... does that mean Ireland
was ancient or new when Monica was placed on its soil? I'm
gonna guess the former because "first mists" sounds poetic and not
exactly literal. "Ancient" is just a plain adjective and so
likely the real truth. So it's possible Monica was created
well post-Earth. Which still doesn't tell us anything
definitively because everyone has their own idea on how old the
Earth is. Oh well. And we still wouldn't be able to
grasp her pre-Ireland eternity.
So she goes onto to say she took her first
steps there. Really? So during that eternity with the
Father... how was she getting around Heaven? If she was
floating, I sure hope it looked less creepy than when Andrew did
it in "Have You Seen Me?" and "Into the Light." Or did she
just mean her first steps on Earth?
that made me feel swoony:
Poor love. He doesn't get much to do in this one. And
he seldom looks happy. Does he smile at all in this?
Aww. Hugs to Andrew if he were real!
He did look plenty adorable in his beige turtleneck. Just
too bad he was talking about a tragic death while wearing it so I
couldn't rightly feel giddy.
Meanwhile... Andrew started doing Irish step dancing in my
head. With a bunch of kids. And me. While
wearing flannel. And smiling a lot. And then he nearly
stumbled over Lulu, laughed, scooped her up, and twirled her
around as he continued to dance. Yep... this is what happens
when the TBAA writers don't give me enough to swoon over.
Also, he just did a Flatley impersonation. Ha. Well,
he is the son of the actual Lord of the Dance...
Anyhow, so based on what I related above about Monica's origins, I
thought some about Andrew's. And I still say he has to be
older than Monica. If she's older than I have no choice but
to think she's a lot stupid. So I'm going with he's
older. But I still have no clue how old. Personally, I
like to think he witnessed creation and given that I believe the
earth is millions of years old, I end up believing Andrew is at
least that. But now, with Monica's revelation, I discover
that even if I somehow knew, say, that Andrew was created during
Pangea's second break... I'd still have no clue for how long he
was actually active. Cause not only does he seem older than
Monica but also more experienced. That much is
obvious. Huh. Anyhow, none of it's answerable! I
do wonder, though, where was Andrew first placed on Earth?
France maybe? That might explain his wanting to go to
Music: There's an Irish
reel in the pub when Tommy and his brother speak. They all
dance to the Irish jig in the house. Too bad Andrew
didn't... Tess begins "Let There Be Peace on Earth" at the
funeral and everyone joins in.
Okay... for future reference if I write a story in which Tess is
acting as the head of a household, these are her ground rules as
announced in this episode! No smoking, no drinking, no bad language, no bad attitude,
and no shenanigans. I think the Dyelanders and angels can
abide by the first three. The last two... a lil iffy.
Especially the last one. :-) I just finished a
shenanigans-packed story. Yay!
Aww. This episode makes me nostalgic for the overalls
fashion phase. They were comfy...
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-Well, right off the bat I knew THC cut Liam Neeson's
introduction. They usually do cut those. It's a shame
cause I always thought it was pretty amazing who all TBAA got to
do those (Richard Gere, Gen. Colin Powell, Mary Tyler Moore,
etc.) Basically, Mr. Neeson talked about the Good Friday
Agreement and said how there would be no real change without a
change of heart. He then dedicated the episode to the
children of Northern Ireland, saying that the key to lasting peace
lay in their hearts.
-Right before the tea scene, Tommy has a nightmare of a riot
(possibly when his father died, I think I saw a man fall to the
ground but it was really blurry and all blue-toned so hard to
see). Rose has a nightmare of standing near a window and her
parents calling for her to move right before the window shatters.
-After Rose and Tommy fight, we see that Tess and Monica have been
listening. Monica laments that she needed leaders, not
lovers. Tess comforts her by saying that the best leaders in
the world can't make peace work without love. She tells
Monica that she knows she had a plan to stop hate but that God's
plan is to begin love. Monica begins to cry, saying the
situation breaks her heart and that she wants to do everything she
can. Tess tells her she can't do everything just one thing:
trust in God. She assures that God knows how important
Ireland is to Monica. They hug as Monica cries.
-After Monica's post-fight discussion with Rose, you hear the door
bell ring and then Monica excuses herself to get it. You
hear her say hello. Clearly it's the Irish band. Not
terribly vital. But it leads directly into...
-Tommy and his friend are working and the friend ponders where
Andrew's gone. Apparently, Andrew had said he was going away
on business so the friend ponders what business Andrew is in when
he's not with them. It's actually a bit chilling how lightly
this conversation happens when now I know where Andrew was.
Then Angus bursts in which THC kept.
Further on down the road...
Rare occasion. I'm watching this one from my bed.
I try to keep electronics out of my bedroom but this week calls
for some exceptions, I think.
I was going to watch Schindler's List but decided to watch
this instead. I totally forgot Liam Neeson introduced
this. Guess I was meant to see him today in some form or
"Miracles happen every day! All you have to do is say
yes!" I can't believe I skipped over that lovely Tess quote
4:47 for Andrew's first appearance. I'm zonked and feel like
I'll still be zonked when I cap this episode. So I
definitely wanna keep track of Andrew's scenes so as not to spend
time searching. There he is again at 12:00.
Sigh... This woulda been a good week for a really
Andrew-filled episode. Oh well. Been writing so
getting my Andrew fix that way. There he is again at
15:20. Actually, Andrew's in this more than I
remembered. Yay. 20:15 briefly. 33:33 looking gorgeous
in that sweater. Finally, he's in the final scene.
I still have no idea what that derogatory name for Catholics is
nor what its origins are. I guess that's a good thing.
Watching that part where they all react to the car
backfiring... I can't help but think of the people in Boston
and the surrounding neighborhoods and wonder how many of them will
experience those sorts of panics for a while now.
Is shenanigans an Irish word? It sounds like it.
m-w.com says origins unknown. Will look further into it
Maybe I can blame my Irish heritage for my growing tea
addiction... Maybe also for my love of potatoes.
As much as I'm not crazy about Romeo and
Juliet, the new film version does look pretty good and
watching this makes me want to see it. Dumb kids . But
it is a pretty play...
I'm confused about where exactly the Center is in relation to the
house they're fixing. Rose and Tommy appear to meet at the
house at night. Yet they travel by bus when the group
goes. So did they take long walks to reach the house?
Or was the bus for some other excursion we didn't see?
Gee, Monica. So sorry a couple kids' tough first love
spoiled your plans. Sorry but she totally rubs me the wrong
way in that scene. Rose and Tommy are struggling about
personal trauma they're directly related to and can't escape but
it's all about Monica's plans.
The whole planned explosion v. gas main issue paranoia is a lil
too familiar. I started watching that part thinking "How
terrible to live assuming an accident is a terrorist act..."
Then I realized that's basically life here now.
As the product of a Catholic/Protestant union (actually two
generations of that), it is startling and kind of humbling to
realize that what I take for granted as entirely normal would be a
huge issue in other times and places.
With Easter having just passed, I've been thinking about various
Jesus movies. Watching this now, Monica's revelation
specifically, it makes me think of the 99/00 version starring
Jeremy Sisto. One of the reasons that's my preferred version
is because it's the only one I know about in which Jesus is shown
as being unhappy about people killing in his name. I hope
that in reality Jesus didn't have to deal with that during His
earthly life. But I'm quite confident He's not happy about
it now. I really wish He'd had a better showing in the
finale... Issues with the actor aside, Zack's scene with
Monica at the end was just so... chilly and blah IMO.
I'm almost positive "Let There Be Peace on Earth" is in my
church's hymnal so I'm kinda surprised Tommy didn't know it.
But I guess I'm American Catholic... not Irish Catholic and it is
an American song apparently.
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