A review by Jenni:

No wonder my sense of time is so screwed up of late.  In the past two weeks I've watched Christmas episodes of TBAA and Tour of Duty, Thanksgiving episodes of the latter and Friday Night Lights, and now New Year's with TBAA.  Somehow in all that, I woke up this morning thinking I should get going with Halloween decorating...

What I love about this episode:
Monica referring to Andrew spilling water on Angela as an "unscheduled baptism" was funny. 

Yay for literacy!  I try to cram literary and other cultural references into JABB whenever I can so I really love it when TBAA does it.  This episode is a great plug for Walt Whitman ("Oh! To be alive in such an age!")!  And Edna St. Vincent Millay ("Travel").  And then William Ernest Henley ("Invictus") later on!

I'm always amused by anyone giving Andrew the "Oh..." look.  Like Angela's former student gives him.  Andrew always handled it better than I do. 

Well, the boy might not be one of many words at all times including some times when more talking would be good but I gotta appreciate Andrew's succinct answer that humans dream about being awake.  Can't say I've ever dreamed of anything else. 

Along those lines, I also agree with Andrew that we're at our most honest in dreams.  And Monica suggesting that's why we don't remember them was interesting for me.  It makes sense but I've never thought about that connection.

"Life is a mystery that we can only understand in part because we live on only one side of the mirror.  It's not until life is over and the mirror is taken away that it all becomes clear."  Cool quote from Monica during her revelation to Angela.  Lately I've been on a "we can't see the whole picture" kick.

The reunion chokes me up.  Especially the close up of Carl.  So sweet.  It makes me wonder how often Carl came back even after the box was dug up.

Perching.  I love it when the angels perched!  Why did they stop in the last seasons, it seems?  I think TBAA lost some of its playfulness towards the end but I'm glad it remained here!  Also, that lil bit has Monica reciting what I think may be my favorite verse of "Amazing Grace."

What I didn't love about this episode:
I'm not into the whole degradation spirituality thing.  So Monica's "What are we that You should notice us?" strikes the wrong note with me.  We're creations of God.  If we're so insignificant, that reflects badly on Him.  Obviously, He thinks we're as amazing as the stars else why would He have bothered? 

This is not at all the fault of anyone behind this episode but I thought it was kinda upsetting when Monica talked about how the millennium can be traumatic.  I know she was just speaking to Angela's personal situation but I couldn't help but think how traumatic the millennium became.  Sometimes it's weird watching the pre- September 2001 TBAAs or really any shows. 

Umm... I love Andrew but doesn't he look a lil zoned out to be driving?  He's leaning on the window with only one hand on the steering wheel.  Yikes.  Is that normal?  (I don't drive.)

I'm not sure I'm crazy about the "rewind" at the end of this episode.  It kinda reminded me of The Shack in a way with Angela's old home just materializing so she could make peace.  I would have preferred if they kept that aspect but didn't mess with the time line.  I mean, yeah, I get that Monica and Tess had that whole discussion about God and time.  But Angela chose to ditch Nick, leaving him to worry and alone.  She never had to deal with the consequences.  So basically she chose to toss aside someone's feelings then got a free pass.  That's not real life.  At least it shouldn't be IMO.  Why couldn't they have had her leave, do the whole mystical reappearance of the house, then go back, track Nick down, apologize, explain, and build from there?  As it is, it looks like God covered up for Angela's irresponsibility.  And it also makes a person think that without divine "magic," they can't achieve closure.

It seemed a lil too much like "Jagged Edges."

Lingering questions:
Am I the only one who would be totally weirded out by Monica at the start of this episode?  First, the whole bathroom attendant thing just makes me feel weird.  I just prefer to tend to myself.  So it would really bother me to have someone else drying off my dress.  Unless I knew them.  And the way she seems to read Angela would also creep me out.

Would you seriously go on a road trip with two people you just met?  I just find Angela's willingness to do that a lil unbelievable.  I can just imagine what my nearest and dearest would say if I came out with "Just met this guy about fifteen minutes ago and this girl right after and so now they're driving me to Idaho!"  Right...  A wicked part of me wants to put Andrew's "it's good to do something crazy and spontaneous!" stance to the test in a story by having one of the girls tell him that.  Something tells me his reaction wouldn't be "Awesome!  Have a great time with your two new friends who are transporting you across state lines!" 

So where were the letters between the box being dug up and 2000?  God's storage?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Andrew wasn't even in this scene but I totally thought of him when Nick said how swans are dangerous if threatened.  Cause in Dyeland there's this whole swan symbolism thing leading to one of Andrew's nicknames being Swan Boat.  Anyhow, so then it prompted images of Andrew being dangerous... but only if loved ones were threatened.  Yeah, I know that sounds weird but I had a nightmare last night so imagining that makes me feel better!

Andrew in a tux...  I actually don't love that look as much as the more casual outfits but he's so darn cute in the tux, anyhow.  And totally adorable being all apologetic. 

Angela's so lucky being able to dance with Andrew...  Apparently, I decided to distract myself from my jealousy by riffing on her comment that he should want to dance with someone his own age.  I came up with "He can't.  It's a little difficult to dance with protozoa," and "That'd be nice.  But the Smithsonian gets a little upset if you try to take one of their mummies to a dance."  :-)  I'd dance with him even if he may, in fact, be older than dirt.

For the record, if I ever do have a boyfriend and Andrew shows up: the boyfriend should not suggest Andrew take me out on the dance floor unless he's trying to break up with me.  Cause I ain't coming back.  Just kidding.  Presumably I would care about the boyfriend and wouldn't do that.  But it'd be one heckuvan emotionally loaded moment.

I love that Andrew believes in doing something crazy every 100 years or so.  And now I would like a list of all the crazy stuff he's done.  I'm waiting...  Maybe he flew on a pterodactyl or rode one of the bulls on Noah's ark.

Okay, the tux with no tie look is stunning. 

Hee!  I love the exchange between Andrew and Tess about whether the former put gas in the car.  And then when he gets all up in her face!  Priceless!  I miss that guy...  He went away in the last couple seasons...

Andrew drinks tea!  Yay.  I'm pretty sure he's drunk tea in Dyeland but now I have it documented that according to TBAA he really does. 

Hey... so I'm not super crazy about Andrew using the words "dig my grave."  I understand he was just reading the letters but... ::shivers::  But he was sweet reading them.

Random thoughts:
Music: You can hear big band music a lot at the beginning.  The second number especially, when Angela meets up with her almost-fiance, was extremely familiar but I just can't place it.  Ooh.  I think it's "In the Mood."

This made me want to watch Newsies...  Ann-Margaret is in that.  So it's not as random as it seems!

Whilst watching this, I got to thinking a time capsule would be an excellent idea for whenever I do the Dyeland finale.  I kinda have it in my head that I want to start way into the future then just do lil vignettes covering what happened over decades.  Andrew digging up a time capsule would be the perfect frame!

So younger Carl looked really familiar to me.  But looking at the actor's, James Calvert, filmography... I don't really see a reason why.  I sincerely hope I don't still have Beverly Hills, 90210 episodes locked somewhere in my memory cause apparently he did an episode of that.

Tess could have let Monica have instant coffee.  You still need to use a kettle.  Just saying...

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-Wow... they cut all of 2 seconds at the end of the scene where Angela remembers her promise.  The THC version ends the segment on Andrew.  The CBS version ends with another glimpse of Angela.  I only noticed because I remembered feeling nervous about THC ending with him because sometimes my DVD recorder starts a chapter a lil early so whatever is at the very end of a segment may get cut. 

-Shortly after Angela awakes in the car, she starts pointing out various monuments and places she recalls from her childhood.  Then she briefly gives Andrew directions.  THC cuts this entirely, skipping right from Andrew saying she's home to them arriving at the B and B.

-While in both versions we see Tess offer to let Angela poke around the attic, THC cuts her actually doing so.  While looking around, Angela seems to hear her younger self giggling.  She approaches a cracked mirror and flashes back to her child-self standing in front of it pretending to be a bride.  Her dad approaches and asks who she's marrying and she says him.  Which apparently is a normal kid thing to do.  I wanted to marry Scarecrow from the The Wizard of Oz so apparently skipped that Electral phase.  What can I say?  I've always had a thing for flannel.  Anyhow, that scene goes into...

-Monica and Andrew walk up to Angela as she sits on the porch.  Andrew puts down the shovel he's carrying and suggests she may wanna get started because it's already noon and not gonna get any warmer.  Angela says she wants to wait.  Andrew asks if she wants to wait for Tess.  Angela responds that, no, she wants to wait for her father.  The next segment starts with Angela and her dad filling the box which is where THC starts back up again.

-They cut another two seconds!  After Angela discovers the letters, THC ends with Monica's reaction shot.  CBS ends with another of Angela's after Monica's.

-The next scene begins with Angela going through the letters and reading the addressees: "Angela 1956, Angela 1957, Angela 1958" and then exclaiming that her father *did* come back for her.  THC cuts the addressee reading.

Further on down the road...
I'm doing two in one week again.  I'd just really like to start next weekend with an episode that I haven't recently seen. 

I really like Tess' thread metaphor.  But I'm still a bit confused as she seems to suggest only God sees time as the ball of thread which means the angels must see time linearly.  But then as the conversation progresses, she and Monica make it sound like the linear view is only for our benefit.  Hmm...  Well, personally I think angels live linearly, too, with only God having a full view of time (though I don't rule out the possibility that He gifts someone with a glimpse of the past or future).  I'm not sure, though, about what humans and angels in Heaven experience as far as whether time is a straight thread or a ball.  I do think even then, though, only God has a full view. 

Swans are so pretty.  And there's my random remark for the morning...  Also random: I think this is the first time I've watched TBAA without drinking tea or coffee at the same time.  We'll see if that lasts...  Considering tea actually makes an appearance in this episode, I doubt it. 

Once again, I'm left to feel like I maybe wouldn't be totally comfortable with Andrew's driving here.  Ha.  He looks adorable but one-handed driving on a winter night with a guy appearing to be wearied enough that he's leaning into the car door...  Yikes. 

So I wonder if these stores and such that Angela sees on the drive in were still there in the present or if they were part of the
time shifting, too?

Even though Tess' mood grates on me, I *love* Andrew getting in her face.

Yep, the minute I saw their tea kettle I realized I was cold and needed tea, too.  Yay for the Pause button.  For the record, I'm still annoyed that Tess didn't ask "Monica, Andrew, would you like tea?"

There's one card Andrew reads that is really hard to hear John Dye recite these days.  Every time, even when I've gotten distracted, my breath catches in my throat for just a moment.  But then I'm fine.

That would be so bizarre to realize you spent a night at a place that then isn't there.  Wow.  Trippy.  But cool.  Very cool.  I've read supposedly real stories about things like this.  Stranded travelers share a meal at a house that later can't be found.  Someone is helped out by an apartment tenant whose apartment is later discovered to have been empty for months...  Awesome.  Sometimes the people think they were aided by ghosts (I'd say spirits) and others by angels.  Either way... God does some pretty amazing things. 

Even though I'm now cool with the time shifting, I am still bothered by the fact that Angela thoughtlessly left Nick with no explanation and then didn't have to face that.  True she didn't really.  But she thought she did and made that choice.  Seems morally iffy.

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