"Mi Familia"

A review by Jenni:

This has been one of those days I wish I could do over.  I totally drank too much caffeine yesterday cause I knew I had to get John's memorial/birthday JABB together last night.  But I way over-estimated the caffeine necessary and was up til about 3.  Woke up at 6 something and have basically been a laundry-doing zombie all day.  I tell you this in case parts of this review sound nonsensical.  I probably should have waited except all day I've been looking forward to watching my show, drinking my tea, and having some biscotti.  So that is what I am doing!

What I love about this episode:
Oh yay!  I'll get to try out my newfound affection for Rafael!  Normally I start to like an actor because their character appeals to me.  Very seldom do I start to like a character because of the behavior of the actor.  So this'll be a new experience for me.  To reiterate: I've absolutely never had anything against Mr. Cruz who seems delightful.  But Rafael lost me with one line in "Children of the Night."  But since Mr. Cruz posted a very nice message about Mr. Dye, I feel like forgiving Rafael for that lapse.

Poor Rafael stalling is amusing.  Ceramics class.  :-)

I appreciate that TBAA made it clear that "You have a baby, you must get married now!" isn't always the ideal solution.

I very much like Andrew telling Miguel he needs to know how to care for his baby and not just leave it up to Anna.

Henry is super adorable.  All that hair!  I was a totally bald baby so appreciate the hair.  :-)

This is a pretty well-balanced episode screentime-wise, especially considering they had a fourth angel to figure in.  I wish it could have been like that in all the episodes.  I mean I coulda done with more Andrew, of course.  But it's better than many other episodes.

This episode just makes me want to send Andrew around to schools and churches and whatnot.  Door-to-door even...  I like that he tells the guys that it's their responsibility to teach their kids right and wrong.  It sounds simple but sometimes I get the impression a lot of parents just didn't get that memo...

I love that Tess stops to pray when the ambulance goes by.  I do that, too.  As I was taught.  I just think it's a nice thing to do.  I really like that she calls Tommy out for not praying.

I love when, after Miguel flees the hospital, Tess yells at Tommy "This is NOT about what you want!"  Sometimes we are far too prone to see everything only from our perspectives and our wants.

I was moved by the part where Rafael points out to Miguel that despite what's going on in his life, he always runs back to the church because he let its teachings into his heart when he was a lil boy.  I can relate to that in a way.  I no longer run to physical churches.  Something is deeply broken between aspects of the Catholic Church and me and sometimes being in a church has the opposite effect on me than it should.  Yet its teachings and rituals are clearly in my heart.  I notice it especially when I'm grieving.  There is comfort and warmth in what the Church taught me to believe, even if now I have some issues with it.  I like that someone with TBAA realized that a person can firmly believe something even if, outwardly, they don't seem to be towing the party line.

"He loves you.  Because you are *His* child.  Cause even though there's rules, there's also grace."  I love that quote from Rafael.  Grace is never really something I've thought a whole lot about but have here in the last few months.  And I've thought about it a lot in the past couple weeks.  So it's a great time for me to hear that quote.

"He'll go wherever He's needed.  And wait as long it takes.  That's what a loving Father does."  Monica to Miguel.

What I didn't love about this episode:

It makes me realize how car stupid I am.  I totally got concerned cause I thought Miguel's car rear-ended Tess' caddy.  It wasn't her caddy at all. 
Sheesh.  And then when Monica pulls up while Miguel is walking in the snow, I thought it was the thugs! 

After saying Miguel fears his child, Tess uses "it" in reference to the baby.  Why?  We know Henry is male.  Babies aren't its...

Lingering questions:
Why do some people kiss their fingers after the sign of the cross?  No one I know around here does but I see it a lot on TV and movies. 

I've always kinda wondered... if I saw an angel would I, like Miguel, kneel?  I don't think it'd necessarily have anything to do with worship for me.  Just plain shock and going weak-kneed.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Normally unmarried people spouting off about marriage gives me pause.  But I would like to hear more of Andrew's thoughts on marriage.  Cause, really, I just want to hear more of Andrew's thoughts.  He would definitely know about commitment, of course.

This is one of the perfect examples of when you can totally tell Andrew has a lot going on in his head.  Watch JD in the background as Tess is talking after the not-quite-bride-and-groom go their separate ways at the start, right before the credits.  He looks troubled and like he's envisioning possible fall-out.  That's one of the things I really loved about the portrayal of Andrew.  He thought a lot and deeply.

Andrew teaching parenting class... this is a dangerous thing.  For me.  OMG.  He asks if baby Henry is on solids or bottle-feeding.  Something about that is insanely attractive. 

I love what Andrew says about how having a kid doesn't make you a man but raising one does.  Of course, there are definitely other ways of becoming a man.  Cause Andrew clearly is one.  An incredibly awesome one. 

Here's something that always disturbed me about all the angels but especially Andrew since, well, I like him best.  And it came back to me watching him talk about what makes a man.  As a single human, I sometimes find myself really angered by bad parents.  Because I know there's a possibility I might have a hard time becoming a mother when the time comes.  So they have something I would love to have and they don't appreciate the blessing at all and, worse, sometimes are out right abusive or negligent.  I, however, have a chance.  Andrew and Co. do not.  Andrew can't father a child.  And yet we know he sees terrible child abuse.  And I just wonder if that's hard for him to think that he, who loves children and would be an excellent father, cannot be a dad when some monstrously behaving human can.  This is why, in Dyeland, Andrew will have lots and lots of nieces and nephews.  So that I can feel better about this!

On a less serious note, I love the jeans and green sweater.  He always looked especially fantastic in green.

He looks strangely and exceptionally alluring appearing amidst the smoke after the car crash.  Or that could just be the sleep deprivation talking.

All right... Andrew is sitting on church steps, wearing a flannel shirt, and talking about holding a child.  What are they trying to do to me!?

Andrew smiling about Henry smiling makes me smile.

Andrew's walking through the hospital halls in his tan suit.  The man could say so much without even speaking... 

Andrew leaning down to caress Henry made my eyes well up.  And then I had to go run when he walked away.

Random thoughts:

Music: Well, the thugs have something playing in their car after the failed wedding.  All I made out was "I got no..."  It won't be one I'll be searching for!  There's something playing at Anna's dad's diner.

The church in this is "Our Lady of Lourdes."  Just FYI.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-The segment after Miguel fails to shoot the other guy (the one that closes with Andrew and Rafael looking concerned), begins with the three guys in the car.  The one in the back seat (Alex, apparently) is freaking out because he knows they were IDed.  Miguel apologizes and the driver kicks him out of the car.  Miguel cries "Gonzo!  Please!" but the car speeds off.  Miguel begins walking home.  He ducks behind a car when he sees another coming.  There's a cut and then that's when he enters the house which is where THC starts the act.

-THC cut a lil off the top of the scene that starts with Miguel walking in the snow.  There's probably nearly a minute of him walking, a car honks at him at one point, before Monica pulls up which is where THC started it.  I almost missed it so I'm thinking there may have been other lil cuts like that.

Further on down the road...
Since tomorrow is Labor Day, I'm watching extra TBAA!  And having pina colada cake.  :-)  Super yummy.

I don't think this wedding is legit...  For the couple to get married, I think more than a signed permission slip would be required.  What happened to the Pre-Cana stuff?  I thought that was required.  And if they had gone through with it, you'd think the priest woulda been more knowledgeable about the situation and he seems not to be. 

Andrew teaching parenting class makes me kinda sad...  "Here, please tell people how to be something you can never, ever be!"  Although I spose that's not entirely true.  He could pull a Kelly.

Sigh...  I just wanna hug him when the car drives off and he knows something bad is going to happen and he's dressed in such a cuddly fashion...

There is a lot of plaid in this episode.  Andrew's shirt, Tess' jacket, the mom's shirt, Monica's skirt, the walls of the room Monica's staying in. 

I totally forgot that you find out that Miguel's dad's death was totally not what he'd grown up believing.  Geez. 

Snow...  I miss snow.  I don't want to be buried in it.  But it is pretty. 

I like Monica's pep talk about taking responsibility and at least trying to do good.  Sigh...  I really like her in this episode but then they had to go and ruin her with "Netherlands" which I never got over.

While I like Rafael's talk with Miguel I'm not sure I totally follow the logic.  Seeking solace in a church is not the same as still holding to the church's rules and not even necessarily what they told you were God's rules.  I still feel something in my old church that I now disagree with in some fairly significant ways.  And I feel something in places of worship with teachings I'm not even real clear on.  Anyhow, maybe God told Rafael that Miguel came back because of attachment to the rules and it wasn't simply conjecture.

Sigh...  Andrew leaning over the bassinet.  I wish we'd seen more of Andrew with babies... in the caseworking capacity, of course.  Of course, that probably wouldn't have been good insofar as me actually accomplishing things and not just watching that over and over!

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