"My Brother's Keeper"
A review by Jenni:
What I love about this episode:
I think I like it quite a lot when an episode begins with Tess
making some sort of grumbly joke. So I laughed at her
comment about how if God wanted us to ski we'd have been created
at a 45 degree angle. And I had to nod in agreement to her
statement that snow "makes people crazy." Of course, I was
thinking more of on-the-roads crazy and stir-crazy! But I
can see her point, too.
After having Utah sub in for so many different locations, it was
kinda novel to have an episode actually be set in Utah!
I applaud the show for bringing up the issue of assisted
suicide... although I'm not sure they handled it as completely as
I would have liked.
I think sometimes fiction has a tendency to put a saintly, rosy
aura around people who are unwell. I think this is
demeaning... unless, I spose, the person really is saintly.
It's better to depict people as they truly are. So I think
it's good TBAA didn't make Jett all sweet and repentant right
after his injury. Frankly, I just didn't like Jett. I
think he had some major personality problems. So I would
have been really annoyed if the writers had written this in such a
way that I would have felt manipulated into forgiving him all that
because of how well he handled his injury. Pre-injury and
post-injury Jett each have their issues. Although he does
have his good points. He seems loyal, even if he does seem
to sometimes put Will down.
"You don't tell God to do anything. You ask Him. You
pray to God for help, for healing." Good quote from Monica
I liked how Monica brought up that God knows what Will needs as
opposed to what he wants. That distinction is one I need to
be reminded of every so often.
While I have some issues with Monica's revelation, I do like that
she confronts Will about being bitter over Jett's and his father's
failure to recognize his sacrifices... when he hides those very
sacrifices from them. I think I've been guilty of doing that
and it's good to be mindful of it. You can't be mad at
people for not giving recognition of something you've hid from
"Live your life in truth." Another good statement from
Monica. It was part of a longer quote to Will but it was
that bit which touched me.
I wish I had Will's guts to simply respond with "I'm gonna love
you" when someone challenges me.
I'm glad that Jett got to meet Andrew and know that someone like
him (wonderful) was with his parents when they died.
What I didn't love about
Frankly, this isn't a favorite episode for me. I'm not
athletic, not very competitive, not reckless, I don't think
anyone's out to steal my dad, etc. So it's not that I have
anything strongly against this episode. It just doesn't
really speak to me much. But there are definite highlights.
TBAA tackles the sport parent phenomenon again. But I'm
starting to wish they hadn't always seemed to show these
money-driven, win! obsessed parents. Some sport parents have
it together, I'm sure. Maybe I'm just not remembering those
This episode makes me feel old. Why? Because I get
dizzy just watching the skiing. And I used to adore roller
coasters! This is not cool.
Seriously, Monica doesn't know what a yo-yo is?!?! I think
they were trying to be cute but I'm not buying that a 5,000 year
old doesn't know what a yo-yo is.
Frankly, how some of the characters are handled here just really
seems off to me. During her revelation scene, Monica
basically gives Jett and the dad a pass by saying they only
accepted the false image of himself that Will showed them.
That seems to over-simplify matters quite a bit to me. I
mean they both definitely had their jerky moments. After
Jett's injured, rather than show compassion for his son, the dad
seems more interested in showing anger that they'd take a risk
before a competition. I realize he was probly grieving, too,
but it was wrong. And it really didn't have to do with Will
holding back. And Jett was just plain conceited at
points. Will was definitely not the only one who needed to
change his behavior.
As for the assisted suicide issue, I guess I felt this was another
issue on which Jett got a free pass. It just seems weird
that Monica would be assigned to Will to show him not to make any
more excuses or use Jett as an excuse to not put in his all and
take a risk. Yet no one addresses Jett trying to pass
responsibility off to Will. It's not that I'm saying Jett
should have been condemned for thinking about suicide. I am
not saying that at all. God knows what I'd think in his
state. Still... he was asking Will to do something that
could haunt Will for the rest of his life. I just would have
liked to have seen someone confront Jett with this fact. Did
he even think about what impact his request would have on
Will? I'm not really convinced he did. I'll admit that
the fact that I watched a movie starring Christopher Reeve right
before this probly didn't help when it came to Jett. It was
hard for me not to draw a comparison between Mr. Reeve who fought
long and hard and Jett who seemed to make a very rash,
ill-considered decision without thinking of the impact on those he
Is it just me or does the night/day issue not really work
here? When Monica confronts Will by the fire, she makes a
comment about how she thought he'd be sleeping. And it
looked like night. But then Jett challenges him and next
thing you know, it's broad day light. So... was it actually
very early morning when Monica comes upon Will and the sun had
risen by the time the guys suited up? Or is this a case of
Hallmark cutting a transition scene? Or did they just really
randomly switch from night to day?
I am all for anything that gives us an extra glimpse of
Andrew. However... is it really necessary for him to take a
ski lift to the site of Jett's crash? I mean let's suppose
Andrew was around when the Titanic sank. I'm pretty sure he
just woulda appeared there. I doubt he would have obtained a
boat and rowed out to the scene.
Why do all hospital waiting rooms look the same? TBAA's
hospital waiting rooms all look the same to me and then they look
like the waiting rooms I've been in. White or beige walls,
neutral couches, nature paintings in pastels. I'm sure it's
supposed to be calming but at this point that look kinda just
screams "hospital waiting room, be nervous!"
Parts that made
me feel swoony:
Andrew just silently standing by, watching, always has a
weird effect on me. Part of it's just the drama, part of
it's the idea of simply having to stand there and just watch and
not be able to shake people and say "Straighten up!" Poor
I want an Andrew... I want someone who will assure me it
wasn't my fault when someone stomps off in a tizzy after I try to
help them. Lucky, clueless Monica.
Okay... what does it say about me that when Andrew's listing off
all the things he says he's seen Jett do I was thinking
"Sigh... It would be awesome to know Andrew was watching
over me..." Yes, it did occur to me right afterwards that
Andrew was listing off all the dangerous stuff Jett did and that
Andrew wasn't exactly joyful about witnessing all that. But
still... It just kinda gave me
the warm-fuzzies for a moment there. Of course, if Andrew
watched over me... he'd see a lot of me obsessing over him.
Maybe that wouldn't be great...
Good gosh... Like I said above, this is not my favorite
episode. And, really, Andrew is not in it much. But
Andrew fans need to watch this if only for his revelation to
Jett. He's soooo expressive. Seriously. Andrew
is usually pretty expressive but he had so many facial expressions
and things his eyes were doing and hand movements that when I
tried to cap this, many shots were blurry. He was moving
that much! He's just... wow. I just wanted to keep
watching that scene.
I am torn. Andrew suggested he and Tess do the luge.
Tess suggests cocoa. I love cocoa. But doing the luge
with Andrew... I'm just going to cut myself off right there.
Coco!!! Okay, I
know that at the end Tess was talking about cocoa as in the
drink. However... when she kept repeating it, my mind jumped
right to... Conan O'Brien. I'm with Coco!!! Anyhow, I
know that was NOT the intended reaction of the TBAA writers or
Della Reese but I was amused with this episode's final moments
allowing me to be fannish about Mr. O'Brien who I hope finds a
really good show to be on in 7 months.
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-Fairly early on in the episode (the first night, I believe),
there seems to be some party going on in the lodge. Will
leaves and wanders outside for a few seconds. Then Monica
comes and sits with him. Still outside. She says she's
fact-checking and asks about how Jett came to live with Will's
family, how Will felt about that, etc. Will answers, says
how his dad taught them to ski. It was actually quite
similar to their later conversation by the fire.
Further on down
Watching this on Sunday morning. Maybe it'll be a good way
to start the day rather than end it.
Sometimes I'm really glad Andrew seems to be a bit
near-sighted. Maybe he doesn't see the "Ah no... Andrew..."
looks some of the other angels sometimes give him when he appears
on the scene. :-(
The whole yo-yo thing still seems a bit absurd to me. If
nothing else, you'd think Monica would know them from working in
schools. Yo-yo is often the word used to stand for the
letter Y in Kindergarten and such.
I've become really paranoid about house fires... At least I
don't smoke or else that'd make me even more nervous hearing Will
tell about Jett's parents... and probly sick!
After that brief shot at the start, Andrew doesn't reappear til
22:07. I've decided that if I like a plot, as with "Fool for
Love," Andrew's absence isn't as glaring to me. But with an
episode like this where I can't really relate to the sports aspect
or the brotherly love... I notice and start to mentally drift.
As for Andrew... it is a little strange he had to take a ski lift
to reach Jett. It was a cool shot so I'm sure that's why
they went with it. But it doesn't make much sense. He
doesn't need to travel by standard means to reach
assignments. And I realize I already wrote about this.
It's weird to me that the dad uses "Jett Rudin" twice in speaking
to Will after the accident. What other Jett is there???
Until assisted suicide is legal... if it ever is and I'm not
saying either way how I feel... it's really pretty selfish of Jett
to make that request of Will. It's tantamount to saying
"Please risk a drawn out trial and potential jail sentence and a
lifetime of problems for me."
Will's talk with his dad really is touching. I think that's
the first moment in this episode where I really feel
something. Crying dads always get to me.
"Even angels don't know God's plan." That's from Will,
actually. I believe it's true and without that this show
really wouldn't have been terribly interesting so yay for that.
And finally at 40:20 a substantial Andrew scene! Gah I love
his eye brows...
the Episode Guide
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