A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:
In general, this is just a sweet, uplifting episode.  I can't relate deeply to it nor does it come to mind when I think of favorite episodes.  But it's pleasant and that was good for me today while I'm feeling a bit anxious.  As for specifics...

I like Monica's idea of naming the car "Big Red Boat Car."  It woulda fit in well with the Jolly Green Giant, Coolest and Loveliest of Mini-Vans.

I'm amused by Monica's statement that she "had a cappuccino once."  That statement woulda needed to be updated in a big way in later seasons.

I really like Manny/Luis.  He's so sweet and smart!  I don't know that I woulda been able to concoct the whole being smuggled into the country under a blanket thing.  And then to be able to stick to it without too many mistakes?  Genius!  Not that I'm applauding deceit but... okay, I'm kinda applauding deceit.  But he lied with the best of intentions.

I love the grounds of their home.  The home itself is too stuffy but one of my earliest memories of this episode was the wild yard and huge slide and clubhouse.  Awesome!  I'd love to have a yard like that.

My heart melts when Manny tells Harrison "It's okay if you want to practice with me" as far as being a father.  Aww.

The scene when Manny asks if God made his mom's heart stop and Harrison listens to his heart and declares it "one of the best hearts I've heard in a long time" is also very sweet.

And when we learn from Monica that Manny prays to God asking Him to give his mother a kiss...  That's right: sweet.

"Snobs aren't born, they're created."  I think that line from Tess is really great.  And it makes me think of the whole nature v. nurture debate which is interesting to consider.

"The Office" fan in me really likes the scene where Amelia tells Harrison the truth of his origins.  Her dry sense of humor, forced tactfulness, and euphemistic phrases make it awkwardly funny.  At least for me.  I hope it wasn't supposed to be really serious...

I don't know why but I get goosebumps when Harrison gives the speech and gets to the part about naming the hospital simply the Children's Pavilion.  Not big goosebumps but definitely lil ones.

I like the idea that God's message to someone, sent by an angel, would begin with the phrase "big deal."  It's so light-hearted yet gets to the serious point that God loves Harrison just as he is, no matter who he is.

I also like the idea that God created us and what we then make of ourselves is what we give back to God, as Monica tells the doctor.

What I didn't love about this episode:
This is a total nitpick but it took me outta the episode for a second when Tess protested that "daisies are yellow."  *Sometimes* daisies are yellow but not always. 

The song played during the golf scene was way, way too loud and jarring for me.  It seemed like filler that was thrown into the DVD version but I checked back on a taped-from-TV version and it was the same song. 

Lingering questions:
How come Monica could basically prod Tess into being her assistant with the party?  At other times it seems like she's wished Tess could take on a particular role and it wasn't possible.  So what's the determining factor?

Would you want fish as part of a centerpiece at your parties?  Beyond the awesome yard slide, one of the things to stick with me through the years about this episode is that I woulda said the heck with kinetics and kept the fish out.  Goldfish die all the time!  I would not want my guests chowing down in front of belly up fish.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
I watched this episode cause I wanted to knock another non-AOD one out but I promised myself I'd also watch an Andrew episode I already reviewed yet today.  So I'm psyched for that cause there was nothing swoony here.  Although the following quote from Monica seemed perfect for Andrew and his Dyeland family:

"This is a family.  Not people who share a name or a lineage or a background but people who belong together because they love each other."

Aww.  That's totally them.

Random thoughts:
 I always feel very badly for people struggling to get pregnant.  I'm not sure why I feel especially strongly about it since it's not anything I've experienced.  But parts of this episode really get to me because of that.  Not only the sadness Barbara expresses but also Amelia's careless way of speaking about it.

 "I'm running out of cheeks," Monica's response to Tess' reminder to turn the other cheek, seems like it should be remembered and utilized at certain times in life.

This episode made me think of the movie Garden State.  In that one of the minor characters was a sponsored child that did end up living with the people who sent him money.

It makes sense to me that Tess would approve of The Car as her car's name since her dog is simply Dog.

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