Moves in Mysterious Ways"
A review by Jenni:
Can't do much better than hot chai, apple crisp, and TBAA!
What I love about
I really like Ronald. He's a fan boy! He had a
fairly large role in the original Dyeland finale (which is no
longer applicable) cause I liked him so much.
Andrew and Monica encouraging Ronald about being a caseworker is
very nice. I really like to see the angels just on their own
and how they express themselves when we're not around.
Unsurprisingly, here they're just as caring and compassionate as
I wish this weren't a clip show but if it had to be a clip show,
this is a fairly interesting concept for one. I mean an
angel from Records fannishly asking questions? Why
not? Plus, it's like watching a Parade of Hair Styles for
I'm amused by the fact that some of Tess' files are written on
Wow. Tess has something like an Abraham and Isaac moment
when she prays and tells the Father that she's staying with Kelly
despite believing Monica needs her. That type of obedience
was, I think, one of the more compelling aspects of the angels.
As someone who just spent much of last week filing... I'd like to
think there's a way to glorify God doing that. I agree with
Monica that you can turn it into a prayer. I spend a lot of
monotonous tasks time talking to God or angels or spirits.
Please don't commit me. It's not some Joan of Arc
thing. They don't verbally respond. ;-)
I've had my difficult moments with Tess.
But I find it pretty impressive that she'd give away her caddy
just to help Monica when she's not even sure that whatever
Monica's experiencing is a legitimate crisis or just over dramatic
"We all serve God in our own ways. What matters is that we
serve Him." I need to think on that quote from Andrew when
I'm scanning documents and wondering about my role in the
No offense intended to Ms. Bertinelli and I know Mr. Grey likely
couldn't have made this commitment but... this episode makes me
wish Ronald had rounded out the cast and not Gloria. For
one, there would be more of a balance. Three women, one man
always threw me. For another, I think he would have been
better for Andrew and, let's be honest, I'm always rooting for
what's best for Andrew. I thought of this when Andrew told
Ronald he had to stop being so down on himself. Cause the
truth is sometimes Andrew is too hard on himself, too. And
sometimes when you're pointing something like that out to someone
else is when you realize you need to make a change in your own
life. Maybe Andrew woulda seen that over time. Third,
I think the fans coulda really related to Ronald.
Additionally, Mr. Grey is an excellent singer and dancer and,
thus, I would have liked to have seen that side of him on the
show. Oh well. And, for the record, my first choice
would still be Adam. Then Ronald. I'd be tempted to
say Sam except I think two supervisor-types could get sketchy.
I very much appreciate that Tess makes it clear that she doesn't
love her car more than her *two* babies.
Ronald's adorable when he lights up and quietly says "I'm
glowing..." and pats his shoulders. So cute.
And I started crying when Brandon was talking about the stranger
who gave his life for him and that he dedicated himself to helping
others in an attempt to "earn the second chance he had given
me." That's something akin to where I find myself now.
While my physical life was never in jeopardy (at least not in the
short-term), my spiritual and emotional ones were several
times. And often JD's work pulled me out of whatever pit of
despair and confusion I was in. How do you ever repay
someone who saved your sanity more times than you can count?
"There is no greater love than to give your life for somebody
else." Andrew quoting the Bible always gets me.
"God really loves you. Don't you ever forget that."
Tess to Kelly... and us all.
What I didn't love about
It's a clip show... It's not that I'm totally against clip
shows but when ya know there's only X amount of something, it's
sad to think that some of that X is redundancy.
Even though I know it's not... watching this I kinda feel like
it's sposed to be Della Reese's sign off episode.
I know that Tess is operating under the belief that Monica and
only Monica is in peril. However... it stings a lil that she
never once mentions Andrew or even alludes to him when she's
talking Monica up to Kelly.
Umm... why does Monica feel it necessary to take Ronald's glasses
away before sending him off to be a "bold and charismatic"
presence? As a full-time glasses-wearer, I don't like the
implication. People with glasses can be totally charismatic
and bold. Go watch Andrew read poetry in "Stealing Hope" or
direct a show in "The Comeback"!
So how are we to interpret that Monica has a super thick file,
assumedly thicker than Andrew's, and yet is seemingly
How exactly do the angels send each other messages? At the
start, Monica says she sent Tess a message. How? Left
a note? Voicemail? Courier?
Okay, really... how would Tess' singing not get in the
files? You'd think at least her role as the Countess in
"Indigo Angel" would be mentioned. And the wedding singer
gig in TOTGA...
There's a moment when Andrew seems to be studying the photo of
Brandon. Are we to take that to mean that maybe he was
assigned to the case when the fire broke out?
Parts that made me feel
I love it when Andrew's all goofy-sarcastic about Monica
being late. (Also very in character since we're talking
about Mr. Five Minutes Ahead.) And it's very sweet that he
had that banner printed.
Aww! Now I wanna fill out a feedback questionnaire on
Andrew. That's so sweet that he's touched to know he rates
so highly. Although to me that would be pretty darn
obvious. Note to self: Do a JABB newsletter in which Ronald
sneaks Dyelanders a feedback questionnaire and they all fill them
out and wallpaper the Jolly Green with them. Fun
I want to throw Andrew a surprise party...
I love how reassuring Andrew is to Monica about how Tess is
definitely coming. That was one of my favorite things to
watch him do: assure someone they won't be left alone. Now
it's one of my favorite things to write him doing.
Pocket watch! Except now that pocket
watch makes me a lil sad for reasons I'll probly get into when I
review "The Christmas Watch."
Andrew's my hero... Well, one of em. Definitely the
one I'd most want to ride up on a white horse if need be. Or
really any color horse. The white horse thing's a lil
overdone. Or just walk. Main focus is on Andrew here,
however he arrives.
OMG! How did I ever forget about Andrew trying to do Tess'
"squinty" look?! Awesome!
Oh... his voice kinda breaks when he asks Monica if she's
okay. Here's how you can tell I bonded way more with him
than Monica: it hits me way harder when his voice trembles than
when she's actually crying.
Ooh. Andrew gets to be the one to say the episode title.
Lucky Tess gets a kiss on the cheek from the Lovely One.
Giggle. I love that series of facial quirks or whatever they
are of Andrew's after Ronald and Monica go off to chat when he
discovers who Kelly is.
Music: There's some
country-sounding thing playing during the first scene at Kelly's
place. They replay Della singing "If a Man Can Dream" over
clips. Later there's another kinda bluesy one at
Kelly's. The flashbacks also have Tess singing her "I Am
Cooking" ditty from MDWA, "Soon It's Gonna Rain" ("Jones V. God"),
the presidents song from "Made in the U.S.A.," "When the Saints Go
Marching In" from the aforementioned "Indigo Angel," "In This
Place" from "Then Sings My Soul," and "He Can Work It Out" from
"Last Call." I may not have those titles down all
correctly. Tess sings "The Lord Moves in Mysterious Ways"
while waiting in Kelly's place. I love that song.
This party is set at the Salt Lake Center Hotel. And Ronald
is from Records and Permanent Files. I really need a random
tidbits of info section. Eh. This section is fine.
It hit me kinda hard when Monica said "I
just can't imagine a world without Tess." That's what makes
being an angel so great. You really don't have to imagine
your world without your heroes and loved ones unless you make
yourself for some reason. Down on earth... we live that
reality day after day. I just wasn't ready for that thought
cause I went into this thinking that with this being a clip show,
it wouldn't make me think too much about JD. It did.
I sure hope God didn't have that dove in the box the whole time...
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-I'm going to say right off that with this being a clip show, they
could cut clips and I probably wouldn't notice. Since it's
all stuff I've seen, it's hard to recall whether I last saw it the
previous night or five years ago. This is complicated by the
fact that I've watched tons of TBAA this past month.
-Okay, they did cut a non-clip part. THC has a segment start
with a flashback to Tess singing in MDWA. But really that
segment starts with Monica, Andrew, and Ronald at the hotel.
Monica is fretting that God has sent Tess on another assignment
and "we'd never see her again." (God would do that?
That seems needlessly cruel. He ain't doing thay in
Dyeland, I can tell ya that much.) Ronald shoots down
that theory by saying that, were it the case, he would have seen
it in his files. But Monica points out that he's not
currently at his desk. Thus, Ronald agrees that Tess could
be anywhere. Andrew, clearly the theological genius of the
group, says "Monica, we'd see Tess again. No matter
what." Then Ronald, clearly not taking the hint, counters
that sometimes you leave a job, promise to meet up for lunch, get
busy, and suddenly a couple millennia have passed... Poor
Andrew's shaking his head at this point. Poor me is wishing
Ronald would shut up. At which point Andrew mutters "You're
not helping." Thatta boy! Ronald apologizes to
Monica. Teary-eyed, Monica responds that they joke about
Tess' temper and such but that it's times like this she misses her
and realizes all the times Tess has been there. Then they
launch into the MDWA scene.
Further on down the road...
It's hot and I'm feeling lazy so... another TBAA
I'm trying to figure the logistics of this out. I wonder if
Andrew and Monica had to pay to rent this party room? And
then the banner and the decor and the food... They might
have more money than I think they do!
Mostly I wanted to watch this episode cause I need to know what
all is canon concerning the Records department. I think I
may have already screwed up... Ronald is surprised to learn
that Andrew and Monica are themselves. So the heavenly
records must not have visuals. I said they do... Oh
well. I really find it pretty bizarre to think Heaven can't
manage some photos or drawings or whatnot. Maybe the files
show visuals to those meant to see them but they're hidden from
those who shouldn't for various reasons.
It's so like Andrew to realize that Monica's wording of her
message to Tess would cause a panic. Sigh... Lovely
Andrew always trying to stay three steps ahead of everyone's
moods. So exhausting... Glad he's immortal.
It makes me feel better to think that even angels talk to
misbehaving inanimate objects. I've never cussed out a car
but I have had words with appliances...
I'm not crazy about clip shows but it is fun to see everyone's
hair change in quick succession. Also the video
It still bothers me that Andrew never got a celebration
episode. He participated with Monica's in "Psalm 151" and
Tess' here. But did Monica and Tess ever work together to
throw him a shindig? No...
What exactly were the writers trying to do with Ronald's
depressing "you don't see people after you stop working together"
thing? Of course, I guess it's moot since they made the
finale depressing, anyhow. I just think they majorly
undermined one of the central messages of the show by suggesting
that we don't actually see who we want to in Heaven. And
even if they meant to imply that was only a reality for angels,
how are we supposed to be blissful thinking others are being kept
from those they love... and because of what? They don't have
time to meet up? Everyone's just so blissed out in Heaven
that they cease to care? God's a slave driver? Geez.
Okay, maybe I don't need to put much stock in how TBAA presented
the Records department. It's simply impossible that they
wouldn't mention Tess singing. Some of her assignments
required it. How would a file cover the Countess stint
without mentioning singing? It just doesn't make
sense. How about "The One That Got Away"? How did that
file describe Tess' role without mentioning that she was the
I still wish Joel Grey would have been given a song... If
not in this then at least in "Bands of Angels." And then
they even use the phrase "no good deed goes unpunished" which, of
course, makes me think of Wicked!
It's awesome to me that Joel Grey pulls off such naivete and
innocence and makes it believable that an older looking gentleman
might genuinely feel complete astonishment over the simplest
things. It's also fun to think this is the same fellow who
played the Emcee in Cabaret.
My issues with the presentation of Records aside, I do love the
way it all comes together. Very touching with Kelly learning
the truth from the very boy her dad saved.
the Episode Guide
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