"The Man Upstairs"

A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:

The big clown!!!  I've only been to Vegas once when I was tiny.  But I have this vague memory of the Circus Circus clown.  So I got excited seeing that big clown in the intro Las Vegas shots.  Andrew was somewhere I was...  Okay, it's Valentine's Day.  So if you're reading this... just know I might be needlessly and goofily sappy through out this review.  We'll see.

Before I get any further, I just want to say that beyond any plot issues I might have with this episode... it's special to me.  It really hadn't been but then one day a few years ago I found myself in an upsetting situation.  So, I felt like I really needed to get myself outta it.  So I called a cab and checked into the Holiday Inn.  I'd *never* spent a night alone before that.  So it was really comforting when I checked in, got into my room, flipped on the TV and "Lost and Found" and this episode were on.  And, needing little reason to daydream about Andrew but especially prone to do it in times of stress, I thought about how cool it'd be if he were working in "my" hotel.  So between that and the actual episodes... what had been a sucky, sucky day turned into a really fun, relaxing night!

Whoa...  It's freaking cool that Tess is singing "My Funny Valentine"!  I totally didn't realize this had been a Valentine's-esque episode.

I have my issues with Monica.  They're well-documented here.  But her offering to dance with Gus was incredibly sweet.

Aww.  I like how excited Tess was at Gus' wedding.  And just that she was at his wedding.  I like it when it turns out an assignment had a previous brush with one of the angels.

This is a really good, touching performance from Michael Jeter.  And hearing him talk about Heaven has even more of an
impact now that he's passed.  Aww, him singing "This Little Light" gets me.

What I didn't love about this episode:
I just think Monique is beneath the writers.  Evil twins belong on soap operas or in fanfic.  It's nice that Roma Downey got a chance to show off her acting in a different way but... still years later I look back on this and just find it a bit lame.

For some reason the idea of TBAA writers penning Roma Downey's character declaring herself and her twin "fairest of them all" kinda bugs me.

Lingering questions:
Am I the only one who thinks this card game is suspicious... I mean even if a demon weren't involved?  The way Monique deals cards, she could totally be seeing what they are.  But I guess Gus is too out of it and intimidated to lodge a complaint.

Is that freaky bust in Monique's office anyone in particular?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Oooh...  Andrew got called Andy but didn't even really react.  I'm glad cause Gus certainly doesn't need an indignant Andrew to deal with but it still makes me feel bad for Andrew.  Just last week I got called Jen by someone 10 seconds after meeting them so... I feel his pain.

And it's just occurred to me that as a hotel employee, Andrew is kinda working for Monique in this...  Grrrr.  Considering what she puts him through by extension in "Two Sides"... I think I'd like to beat her up now.  And hug him.  Ooof.  And I guess Tess would kinda be working for her, too, in a manner. 

Andrew is awfully cute in his concerned, suspicious, compassionate way when he confronts Gus over the security code.

Andrew *is* hope...  This according to drunk Gus.  Considering I said Andrew is love in JABB today, I can go along with that, too... but he's legitimately hope.  Not just "get me into a restricted area" hope. 

Andrew and Tess are NOT a dreary crowd!  I've moved on from beating Monique up.  Now I think I'll go all Catholic and sling some holy water on her.  Whilst playing those hymns Andrew was listening to in "Feather on the Breath of God."  And burning incense.  No reason for the latter, I just like it.  Oooh and reminding Monique that Andrew is way better looking than any of her minions.  Actually... if I was in this episode... I wouldn't be wasting my time on Monique upstairs with more pleasant company to be found downstairs... even if his bell hop uniform is kinda dorky... cutely dorky.  ;-)

As misguided as it was, Andrew trying to teach Monica poker was cute.  As is his determination to help Gus *somehow.*

Random thoughts:
Music: Starts with Tess singing "Taking a Chance on Love" which is reprised at the end.  You can hear piano music in the casino through out.  "My Funny Valentine," of course.  Lame wedding march on a keyboard at the Elvis chapel.   Michael Jeter touchingly sings "This Little Light of Mine."

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-In a scene, I think it's right before Andrew approaches Gus at the bar to say he couldn't get him upstairs, Gus complains to Monica about how too much changes.  People move, get divorced, and nothing's permanent is basically the gist of his rant.  He also bemoans that the chapel where he and Esther married is now some goofy neon Elvis chapel.
-Yikes.  I can't believe I didn't notice this when I watched the Hallmark version 4 days ago...  They cut the scene where Monique tries to talk Gus into killing himself so his insurance money can be used for Esther!  With out that, Gus being suicidal comes off completely different.

Further on down the road...
I'm working on a RAOK for the Pay It Forward site as I watch this.  So I may not have as many comments as I need my hands to make chocolate roses.  :-)

Still have a moment of shock when Gus calls Andrew "Andy."  Noooo....

No matter how many times I watch this, I still don't really get what's being served by having Monique versus any old demon.  It just seems so needlessly soap opera-ish to go the "evil twin" route.  I suppose there's a psychological warfare argument to be made.  It probly screwed up Gus' mind more to have the same face on one trustworthy person and one evil person.  And this sure isn't as irresponsible as I think "The Occupant" is nor as annoying as the demonic lion in "The Invitation."  So there's that!  I think I'll go to my grave annoyed for that poor lion...

Waiting is sometimes the hardest thing God can ask anyone to do.  Not just angels.

Still surprised that Andrew was gonna go along with this playing poker for a soul idea.  I wonder if he can teach me to play a fiddle so I can go on down to Georgia...

"In t'he beginning was the Word.'  Words started everything!"  I really like that quote of Monica's cause I've been thinking a lot lately about the power of words.  No greater example than creation!

"Words have meaning.  You say them and you give them life."  Another good one from her.

"God wants you to know that no matter what you've done, He loves you."  Also Monica.

A Word from Travis:
I do agree with your assertions regarding “The Man Upstairs” that the Monica/ Monique thing was lame and was probably a low point in the series.

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