A review by Jenni:

Espresso.  Fair trade.  Vanilla creamer and shots of banana and chocolate syrup.  Last week I started with a description of my caffeinated beverage so I'm keeping it up. 

Getting a later start than usual on this one for a couple reasons:
1.  I debated whether to wait til Sunday.  I'm off for a week so thought it might be fun to watch my weekly TBAA on Sunday night at 7 PM Central just like I used to when it was new.  But I wasn't sure I could wait that long without my "fix."
2.  I think I'm terrified of this episode.  I know it will make me sob.  So I procrastinated.  And, yes, it did make me sob.  And took me around 90 minutes to watch cause I had to keep pausing to go run.

What I love about this episode:

So help me, the near-kiss is cute and funny.  Like I've said before, I don't absolutely love Gloria.  But she made for some fun moments.

I always like it when the angels return to a place as Tess does here.  It makes me feel much better than when they tell people they won't see them again or at least not for a long time.  Leave the door open.

I like all the music we get to hear!  Well, most of it.  ;-)

I was thinking at first that this episode really isn't relatable for me.  Going to happy hour does not appeal.  If someone tried to take away my glasses and make me wear ridiculous shoes I'd be more likely to screech at them and walk away than want to sit around a table and act all sisterly.  And yet... there is a kernel of something I recognize in these women.  I don't agonize over my one and only getting hit by a bus or the like.  But it can be scary to think that, even in a non-romantic sense, there might be someone out there that would get you completely and you might never meet them due to some fluke or bad choice.

Aww...  Billy's lil speech about not being able to afford fancy things like Zoe's ex could is adorable. 

I have my issues with Monica... even in this episode.  But that sweetly sad smile after Gloria asks if they should say something about Billy's absence reminds me of why I once looked up to her so much.  She was very caring.  And it made me cry.  Because sometimes it would be nice to just be able to hold back the bad news for a little while.

Unfortunately, the way Zoe's grief is portrayed is far too realistic.  What is it about grief that brings out our self-destructive tendencies?  Are we unconsciously trying to follow the person who died?  Just trying to dull the pain?  Thinking maybe physical pain would be easier to handle than the emotional pain?  Escape into someone or something else?  I don't know. 

"I am an angel... A messenger from God: the one true God who is love, who created love and who loves you and Billy so much that even in the midst of tragedy, He's near you and He wants to comfort you."  That's a quote from Monica to hold onto and insert your own "Billy."

Zoe asking why God didn't save Billy is one super realistic reaction. 

"There are angels everywhere... whispering guidance, offering direction."  Another good one from Monica.

I also like what Monica has to say about how an angel *did* whisper to Billy's killer not to drink and drive... but was ignored.  I think it's normal and understandable that we get angry at God during times of tragedy.  I think He has the utmost compassion for us when we do that.  And love.  But... I do think we will one day see how much of what we railed against He did try to stop.  But He wouldn't take away free will.  And, yes, I do think it breaks His heart as Monica says.

"Love is not about waiting for 'the one' who is destined to love you.  Stop shopping for love.  You're not going to find it searching the singles' bars and the happy hours looking for the right man."  Could Monica please come deliver that line to some of my family members?  Thank you!

"God's timing is not your timing.  Only He knows what and who is ahead for you.  He's asking you to trust Him."  That's good, too. 

"When you learn to love anyone who comes your way: a hungry child, a homeless stranger, a friendless neighbor... then you can't help but draw love back to yourself."  I do really like that quote and I think it's true.  But I just think it needs to be said that for one reason or another sometimes even the people who live that way and want to find someone don't and it doesn't mean they didn't become the person they were meant to be.

I like that in spite of what happened to Billy, Zoe is still glad that they bonded that night before.  But that she'll grieve what might have been.  That pretty much says it all.

The final scene makes me tear up with Zoe and Lola spending time together.  It's like Billy lives on in that friendship that wouldn't exist without him.

What I didn't love about this episode:

Honestly, Monica's musical number just freaks me out.  She appears to be possessed and it's just weird to see Monica utter "I want a lover" even as a performance.

Peter is gross.

I think it's odd and kinda depressing that Tess tells Gloria "happily ever after" only happens in fairy tales.  I was expecting that quote to go along the lines of "Happily ever after happens all the time where we come from but here, baby, it's another story."  What is Heaven if not one momentous "happily ever after"?

Lingering questions:
This may be an obvious question but I'm gonna go ahead and ask... Why would Gloria specifically go after Andrew for a kiss?  Don't get me wrong, Andrew is definitely the one I would target, too!  But I'm also the proud owner of an "I Heart Andrew" mug so... consider the source.  From a non-sexual and non-romantic standpoint... if you were simply told that a kiss was "an expression of love" and you were Gloria, wouldn't you have tried to kiss Monica given she was nearest?  Or maybe, seeing the couple kissing, Gloria just assumed that it's a male-female thing since they were a man and a woman?

Along those same lines, is it sad that I kinda wish Gloria had kissed Andrew cause it just would have been nice for someone to have treated him specially for a change?  Yes... yes, that is sad.  Gah.  But maybe it still is true!  Maybe Gloria just really did love Andrew.  In a totally non-romantic way, of course.  But maybe she did feel something more for him than Monica or Tess.  I'm projecting, aren't I?  Gah, this episode is going to be a Freudian mess for me.  But that thought makes me really like Gloria for once.

So is this what it's really like for people who work with people mostly their own age?  Huh.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
I can understand why Gloria tried to kiss him...  He is so cute.

Yay!  Andrew loves the retro thing!  That's good cause he's getting a lot of it in Dyeland.

Giggle.  I love Andrew's expression and the way he sits up when Monica and Gloria enter the bar.  "Whoa!" is right.

I love how Andrew asks Gloria to dance right after Penny is berating her.  Although I have to say while I, knowing Andrew, thought his "I'll teach you" was cute... if I was one of the three women I might be like "Okay, he's a lil intense..."  Although, to be honest, if I was in that group I probly woulda run and hid behind Andrew the second they came after my glasses. 

Andrew encouraging Billy is so sweet.  And here's where I start crying. 

"Ya never know."  Perfect answer to Billy's asking if he's an angel.  And it's very cute how his eyes go wide.

"Nobody's promised tomorrow.  So don't pass up the opportunity to tell somebody how you feel about em."  It's a really great quote from Andrew.  But it really hurts.  Because sometimes you don't get to tell people.

He's so lovely in that lilac shirt.  Sometimes I just still can't believe this situation.  And this episode makes me feel like a real angel should show up and do something, say something.  Maybe they have but were just more low key.

He looks all sorts of awesome when he steps up behind Peter and scares him away from Zoe. 

Random thoughts:

Music: Lou plays piano music through out the scenes in the Monte Carlo.  Debbie Reynolds performs "Make Someone Happy."  Della Reese reprises it at the end.  "Heartache Tonight" by the Eagles plays as the ladies get ready for Happy Hour.  A couple sings "You Made Me Love You" at karaoke.  "For Me and My Gal" is being sung when Andrew asks Gloria to dance.  Monica "sings" something I'll dub "I Want to Be Your Friend" with some guy.  Debbie Reynolds sings "The Man That Got Away" when Zoe's ex leaves and Della Reese joins in.  A buncha people sing "Give My Regards to Broadway."

It would have been nice if this episode had ended with Valerie Bertinelli doing a PSA about why women should stop wearing ridiculous shoes.  Someone should... 

I forgot that Billy was killed by a drunk driver.  I mean I remembered that he died but couldn't remember the circumstances.  And it just made me think again about someone I knew who was killed by a drunk driver back in October.  And how much Andrew helped me cope with that.  And then not a full 4 months later, it was John I was grieving.  (ETA: Last night I dreamed about that person's widower.  I don't think it was a vision at all but it was the future and he was happy and at peace.  It gave me hope for this fellow and for all of us who grieve.  So maybe it's good I watched this when I did.)

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-They cut a bit from Gloria's first scene in the office.  After she sits down at the computer and Penny answers the phone then hangs up, Gloria notices her magazine.  She asks if she's getting married.  Penny responds "some day" and then tells Gloria that she has a blind date that night.  Gloria takes her literally and responds with "I once met a man with a wooden leg."  Monica looks over, a bit embarrassed.  That's when Zoe approaches with the baklava which THC keeps.

-Aww.  I had a feeling Andrew was funnier in this episode than THC lets on.  And he is.  The segment after the girls arrive at the Monte Carlo begins with the two people singing "You Made Me Love You."  It then goes to Andrew, Tess, and Betty.  Andrew is looking across the room and says "You know, when you think of angels your mind just doesn't automatically go to spike heels and lip gloss."  Ha!  And I'm surprised he even knows what spike heels are.  Go Andrew!  Tess then turns to Betty and says "It's the new millennium, Betty.  We've got to get in the trenches."  Betty sees the girls motion for a waiter and comments that they order the same thing every time: a pitcher of margaritas.  Then it goes back to the ladies' table where THC resumes with them keeping an eye on the front door for Penny's date.

-Right before the scene of Zoe and Billy in the booth with her listing off his noble qualities, there's a scene of Monica, Gloria, and Maggie back in the booth.  The latter is bummed out being the only one in her group not with a guy at the moment.  Maggie says "I'm happy" while looking at Zoe and Billy.  "And sad," considering herself.  Then again "and happy" for Zoe.  She then calls it a night and leaves Monica and Gloria.

-They cut some off the top of the final act.  That segment resumes still in the office NOT at the Monte Carlo.  Maggie presses the RDS driver, asking if he's really sure about Billy's death because it's very important.  He assures her he is and apologizes.  Zoe leaves the room.  Monica tells Gloria she'll go after Zoe.  Gloria assumes she will go, too.  However, Monica tells her to remain and fix the computer.  Gloria stresses that she wants to go with Monica and be an angel.  Monica replies that "You need to be an angel fixing a computer.  You'll be fine."  Monica leaves a disappointed Gloria then it goes to the Monte Carlo scene.

Further on down the road...
For starters, I'm just glad that this episode is on the same DVD as I already had in my puter cause I am exhausted from Christmas decorating and didn't wanna get up again.

I am single and never once have I felt compelled to sit in a park and wistfully look at couples.  Too much to do.

Okay, see, I'm not as bothered by Gloria trying to kiss Andrew as some other Gloria incidents.  Cause no one was hurt.  It was funny.  Worst case scenario, Andrew woulda gotten a hilarious kiss.  But what comes up in "Chutzpah" is not hilarious and just really does make God look like a sucky parent to me.  Which, of course, He is not.  Plus, it doesn't even make sense continuity-wise coming after "Holy of Holies."  Oh well.  But the almost kiss is fun.  Although maybe someone shoulda told her it's okay to do cheek kisses if one's an angel.  Or hair kisses.  Hand kisses.  Andrew kissed a lot of people in those ways.

I realize creeps can be found anywhere but everyone's talking like this place is a dive and Zoe is better off elsewhere.  It's a nice place!  And she's with friends.  It's not exactly a toxic situation until she chooses poorly.  And that could happen in a church.

Aww.  Getting ready montage just is NOT the same without "Heartache Tonight."  This filler music is awful.  If this were my office, though, the episode woulda gone this way:
"Any plans tonight?"
"No...  I'm zonked.  I just wanna go home and pass out on my couch."
"Yes...  With a bowl of cereal."
The End.  Work exhausts me.  I just wanna go home and crash.  I can't imagine going out after work so often. 

Monica's "song" still creeps me out.  Kinda don't wanna hear angels talking about having a lover or getting pregnant.  Even while acting.  But ya gotta do what ya gotta do to get a point across, I guess!

Sometimes this episode makes me wonder if I should be angstier than I am.  I do not really relate to these ladies.

Zoe just needs to try the Bend and Snap.  ;-)  Sorry, couldn't resist.  Billy made me think of the UPS driver from that.  Worked on him...

If we had a place like this, maybe I'd actually go there.  Looks kinda fun.  Our karaoke places just look rowdier and darker.  More bar-like.  This is like a nice bistro type setting.  Nice.

With all due respect to Tess, really hoping "happily ever after" happens in Heaven, too.  I mean it can't be badly ever after!  Ah and I see I wrote something very similar before so I must feel pretty strongly about it!

Glad to be watching this and not sobbing. 

Sigh.  I love when Andrew walks in and gives creepy Peter the stare down.  I want to non-marry him and adopt his babies.  Yeah...  Still looking for a solid Andrew equivalent to "I want to marry him and have his babies!" 

I love that Zoe ended up volunteering with the same lady who Billy did.  Aww.

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