"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 to Will.

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 them.

"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 this episode:
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 characterizations.

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 loved.

Lingering questions:
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 Andrew. 

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.

Random thoughts:
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 the road...:
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.  Oops.

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...

Back to the Episode Guide

(The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)