A review by Jenni:
It's been a rough couple weeks. Someone I know was killed by
a drunk driver last week. So I was going to skip my episode
review this week because I just knew that, in light of that very
real tragedy, seeing Monica go to pieces over mere annoyances
would make me want to hurl things at the screen. However...
my desire to see Andrew in a novel situation (it's been so long
since I've seen most of these later episodes that they seem new)
overrode that. And a part of me kept saying "Watch it.
Watch..." Turns out that this episode, which I remember only
as being super-annoying, offered me exactly what I needed to
hear. More on that later on... in Andrew's section.
What I love about this episode:
Always good to see Cliff Clavin!
Something about Monica's matter-of-fact way of saying "The angel
of death is in the taxi behind us," amused the heck outta
me. I needed a smile. Needless to say, I'd have hopped
into that taxi. AOD or not, Andrew is awesome.
Gotta admit, the camera angle as Flynn flipped Monica off was
"The world is full of anger and people have a way of saving it up
and then dumping it on the next unsuspecting poor soul that gets
in their way." That quote from Tess is so true. I
admit that I've been guilty of doing exactly that. Beyond
the anger aspect, I think the world would be a better place if we
were all taught constructive conflict resolution as
children. Because that right there is where the bulk of my
anger comes from. I get ticked at someone but then don't
have the guts or words or means or whatever to confront *that*
I can't help but laugh when Monica says "Human
beings are really starting to get on my nerves." Cause she
gets on my nerves a lot. So there.
I love the idea of anger as a contagion. Because it really
and truly is. Most if not all negative emotions are. I
went through a really bad space of time a couple years back
because I failed to distance myself from a really negative
person. Her aura was just so toxic that I couldn't snap away
from it. So I firmly believe in this kind of chain reaction
depicted in this episode. I would have liked to see in an
eventual episode, though, how to cope with people who are energy
vampires. Because the big issue for me is even energy
vampires are God's children. So it feels wrong to ignore
them. And yet... it also seems wrong to let them diminish
who you are and your enjoyment in life. So I woulda loved to
have seen the angels delve into how to morally cope with those
"Fallen angels always have something to learn before they can get
up." Nice quote from Tess that I think applies equally well
I liked the "happy reality" that Tess shows Monica. It
really makes ya think about how tiny things can alter the way a
bigger thing turns out. But if you think too much about it,
your head will probly explode!
All the mentions of the Queensboro Bridge makes me feel smart
cause they cause the following to run through my head: "The city,
when seen from the Queensboro Bridge, is always the city glimpsed
for the first time." The Great Gatsby. Although I actually
remember it more from Beauty
and the Beast than
my two readings of that novel.
I appreciated this episode's balance of Monica understanding the
little things that make up Wendy's longing for her deceased
husband. The good night kiss, etc. However, via
Wendy, the writers also make it clear that Monica could not
possibly understand the full depth of that loss. She
doesn't need to continue on in grief, she's not alone.
That's the balance I want with angels. Compassionate
understanding and yet acknowledging that our way of living is
different. Cause I'm sure I can never fully understand
"The world *is* a beautiful place, and there are good and kind
people in it. You just forgot that today. You forgot
because something got in the way of the goodness and the
kindness that could have kept you going." I like that
quote from Monica and clearly I'm not the only one as someone
already put it on my TBAA quote page.
Ditto with this one: "Life *is* worth living, and you never know
when a little thing will come along that will change your
life. Or a little thing that you do might change the life of
someone else. No one is alone. We're all
connected.” This past week, I've really noted how truly
connected we all are.
Finally, I like that the episode shows how a bad mood can truly
damage others and yet it also showed that it's never too late to begin to set
things right. Monica was able to help Wendy. Things
worked out for Flynn. The brothers were reunited in
time. This episode could have come close to just making us
want to throw our hands in the air and say "It's too late!
Things are too mucked up at this point!" But it leaves us
with hope as the best TBAA episodes do.
What I didn't love about
of Andrew's line, which I'll get to below, this episode will now
remain special to me. However, there's still a lot that
bothers me about it. So to start...
Monica using guilt to get Merl to give her a cab ride was kinda
low, IMO. The guy was off for the night. He probly
worked a long day. Monica pulling rank and calling upon the
fear of God seemed rather abusive.
It's not pleasant to be flipped off. But Monica saying it
feels like Flynn is "trying to kill me"... wow. I've been
accused of being too sensitive. And even I'm gonna have to
say that Monica is being way, way too sensitive there. And
she knows what it feels like to have people actually try to kill
her! It can't possibly really be the same feeling as some
stranger just momentarily freaking out and walking away.
Further, her reaction to the hooting and hollering men also annoys
me. Simply because she's merely annoyed. She's lucky
that annoyed is all she needs to feel. That happened to a
friend and I once and then the two guys started following us and
we had to run into a store cause we were scared. It's
something that lots of women need to deal with and it can be
freaky. And seeing Monica just roll her eyes and use it to
further her campaign of annoyance bugs me. She has it easy.
Really Monica is just over-the-top annoyed here. I mean
getting annoyed about being asked by the hostess if only 2 people
were eating!?! That's a valid question. Lots of people
arrive in separate parties intending to eat together. I mean
I get annoyed and have trouble letting go sometimes. But my
annoyance tends to fixate on the original offender. I don't
go looking for annoying things in random folks so I can gripe
about it. Monica is really too much here for me.
I don't like it when Andrew is made to seem like someone to be
escaped or outrun... I know he doesn't take it personally
What would a drink with onions taste like?
Yuck. I'm having trouble imagining that.
Did Andrew know what was in the deceased
wife's letter? I kinda started to wonder if maybe he was her
AOD, she begged for his help, and this seeming caseworking gig
with Simon was actually just fall-out from that AOD gig.
that made me feel swoony:
Andrew sounded twangy in his first scene. Love the twang.
Andrew is cute as always the few times he pops up. I love
that he never gives up on Simon or lets him off easy. He
pushes him to do what he needs to do. But Andrew is scarce
here. And yet it was him who gave me this episode's shining
I mentioned above that this has been a very sad time. And
while I'm beginning to make peace with what happened, there are
still images and thoughts that bother me to no end. And
they're the sort of things that it's difficult to discuss with
people cause you don't want to impart your horror to them.
I'm beginning to make peace with the death of this person we
lost. But not with how she died.
I gasped when Wendy revealed that her husband had been killed in a
car accident. Like I said above, I barely recall these
episodes. I kinda thought maybe he'd died. But I also
thought maybe he'd walked out. I didn't at all remember that
he died in a crash. I almost turned the episode off at that
point. But something told me not to. I cried along
with Wendy. Because I, too, hated thinking of them trapped
in their car, alone. That image haunts me. And it's
not being acknowledged. No one is talking about what
happened. So that's why no one's said what I most needed to
hear. Until Andrew did. I needed to hear that she
wasn't alone. And he said that. And then he said this:
"I held his hand. I told him he was safe. I told him
that... that God loves him." That she's forgotten whatever
pain she felt.
I know Andrew wasn't really there. But his saying that line
validated for me my belief that someone was. That someone
said those things to her. Someone who cared. Someone
beautiful. Someone loving. So now I know I was meant
to watch this episode this weekend. Times like this, I
wonder if the entire purpose of my crush on Andrew was just so I'd
come to these moments when I most needed them.
Music: Piano music at
Flynn's Bar and Grill. I couldn't ID any of it.
Simon's son's annoyance with the waitress telling her favorite
dish reminded me of an article I read. It was some guy's
list of 100 tips to people opening restaurants. And he
strongly urged against that for exactly the reason the son states:
I don't know you, why do I care? And I couldn't get over how
many passionate responses to that were made! Both pro and
con. Honestly, I've never even thought much about that
Simon and son's discussion of their wife's and mother's burial
made me think. I wonder if it should even really be up to us
to decide whether we're cremated, buried, or other. Because
I think at that point... we probly matter the least. We've
moved on. But it's the people left behind that still
need to cope. I mean I would hate to make known a strong
desire to be cremated only to have that cause a survivor to be
agonized. So I hope when my time comes, the people I leave
behind just do whatever. Ya know, except for some sort of Weekend
at Bernie's scenario. I'll have to put my foot down
on that one. ;-)
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-Before the first scene at Flynn's, they show him walking to the
restaurant while on his cell. He's clearly speaking to
someone representing the bank officer. He asks them to tell
him he's sorry for missing him earlier and thanks him for
rescheduling and asks that he call on the cell when ready.
-They cut Simon's son arriving. He calls the bartender
"Honey" right after his dad has treated her rudely. She does
not take kindly to that, tells him the waitress isn't a "honey,"
either, and just waves him to the table where he and Simon end
up. *Then* Tess makes the remark about the bad mood going
through the whole place.
-I'm gonna have to side with THC on this cut... the segment after
Monica passes out begins with her on the floor. But the
voiceover is her in the cab talking about how it was
terrible. Flynn says she did look like an idiot lying
there. Monica explains that she was overwhelmed and that his
words were like bullets in her heart. Flynn tells her it
wasn't like he was trying to shoot her. Monica goes onto say
how words can be just as hurtful and tear at the soul,
etc. I'll agree that words hurt. Sometimes
immensely. Especially if you have to live an entire human
life with the memory of them. But Monica continuing on with
that murder metaphor is straining my patience, hence thinking it
was a good cut. In the wake of local violence, an immortal
crying about being verbally shot at kinda makes me want to shake
said immortal and haul them to scenes of actual shootings or the
resulting funerals. Anyhow, then it goes to the crowd
murmuring as Monica begins to rouse which is where THC starts.
-Hopefully I caught them all. I didn't feel well when I
watched the THC version and now I really don't feel well watching
the CBS version so my attention span isn't good.
Further on down the road...
Strange. The last time I watched this episode, things
were very sad at my workplace. Now this episode rolls around
again and, once more, things were very sad at my workplace.
Thankfully, this time around things turned out better than
before. Thank God for that!
Whatever else my personal feelings about this episode, I do like
the in medias res aspect.
"Rather abusive"? Earlier me was clearly being nice.
Monica was so wildly WRONG to use guilt to get that cabbie to take
her. She screwed up. Majorly. He shouldn't have
to deal with fear of divine retribution just to cover her sorry
backside. If "The Journalist" was the beginning of my
breaking away from Monica, this was probably what prompted the
separation. "Netherlands" was the divorce.
Ha! My Bible study just talked about wellsprings!
"Guard your heart, Angel Girl. It's the wellspring of
life... Well, your heart and your soul's like a river that
can be poisoned very easily if you're not careful." Love it.
"Words can be just as dangerous." Uh, yeah, Monica. So
sorry you felt like bullets flew into your heart cause some guy
you don't even know got angry. But you threatened a man who
had done nothing wrong using God!!! THOSE are dangerous
words... especially when said by someone claiming to be a
messenger of God! No sympathy for you!
It crossed my mind that maybe my reaction to Monica would be more
sedate if I ever watched this episode during a good period.
But I just don't think so. It's really the cabbie thing that
I can't get over. Using God-themed guilt against a person
strikes me as singularly terrible whether it's a bright, sunshiny
day or a miserable one.
Sigh... finally to Andrew's lovely part. Still makes
me tear up. I needed to hear that so much the last
time. And I'm grateful because I felt such a surge of
emotion and gratitude for John. In his last few months on
this earth, I thought of him with renewed appreciation. It
helped me to remember that when January came. That single
scene redeems the entire episode for me.
But things with Monica were never repaired. I think I must
have some sort of number of strikes that I've unconsciously
chosen. A character gets X number of strikes and then
they're outta there. Whatever that number is, she went above
it. I continued to love the show. But I didn't trust
The reunion of the two brothers is another definite
highlight. Ya know, I love the interconnectedness of this
episode. I wish there was a way to keep that and remove the
Monica badness from it. Oh and the birthday card...
How lovely of the mother to think of that. Maybe that's what
annoys me so much about this episode. There are some really
wonderful touches that may have added up to this being one of my
favorite episodes. But Monica running through it derailed
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