A review by Jenni:
What I love about this episode:
It was so Tess that when Monica referred to "our car" when the
caddy was stolen, Tess countered with "my car." Poor Tess
loses her baby again. How many times in the series does
something bad befall that car, anyhow?
we have an episode at least partly set where it was actually
I liked that Haley brought up the valet that got fired. And
Monica later did, too. People tease me about getting hung up
on bit players in TV shows but I was totally concerned for him,
too! I feel vindicated!
I do not like Bart. I feel it shouldn't take a big
revelation to make a person realize that conning and teaching your
kid to con is wrong. Nonetheless... it did get me when they
showed him struggling to fix that music box. Gosh darn it,
TBAA! Going and making me compassionate! ;-)
I really liked on TBAA when the angels would say something like
"God loves you but hates some things you do." That's
basically the message Monica brings to Bart and I think it's such
an important distinction. It's not too soft but it also
doesn't make God seem really scary and vengeful.
Further, I approve of the way Monica addresses abuse in her scene
with Bart. There is definitely more to it than physically
hurting a child. I'm glad that she tells him that teaching
his child immoral, hurtful behavior and even extolling excessive
cynicism is also abuse of a kind.
Nice quote from Monica: "Life is beautiful and people are good and
trusting and worthy of respect."
The whole deal with the music box brought "Tough Love" to mind for
me. I like it when certain themes or elements hearken back
to past episodes.
So I'm not crazy about showing a whole skating routine in this
(see below for reasons) but I must say that I was impressed by
Tara Lipinski's performance. Sometimes when you transfer an
athlete to acting... shudders ensue. But she was very
What I didn't love about
Sometimes I think Monica tries too hard to come up with clever
things to say about God. Did she really think that "God is a
con-artist" bit was gonna go over well? It was good writing,
though, as Monica is like that. But still kinda
So not cool watching Bart let his own daughter take the fall for
I can remember that around Season 5, some viewers on the email
lists felt Monica was getting too weepy, too often during
revelation scenes. I never really was bothered by it.
Nor even noticed it. But watching this today... I did think
the revelation, towards the end, was about two notches too much.
This is another reason the Hallmark edits are bad: I ended up
annoyed by Tara Lipinski's skating routine. Why?
Because it took up precious time and due to the nature of it,
Hallmark couldn't hack at it like they often do no-speaking
longish scenes. So I have a bad feeling Andrew's screen time
suffered for it. And even without Hallmark... I'm just gonna
be honest and say that if I wanted to see a whole skating
routine... I'd watch skating. They coulda written in a short
lil Andrew scene and given him decent screen time instead of
showing an *entire* routine. No offense to Ms.
Lipinski. She's amazingly talented but it's just not the
type I'm looking for from TBAA. Although I guess it did give
us a couple cute smiles and impressed looks from Andrew...
Does anyone ever think that some shows depicting criminals
may actually teach criminal behavior? Bart's $1 v. $20 bill
trick when buying skating passes never woulda occurred to
me. Now I've learned it! No, I won't use it. But
someone might. I wonder if anyone tried it after seeing
that? Even just as a joke or to see if it'd work. Hope
I was a little confused by what Monica said to Bart about
conscience. She said it was what made him different from any
other living thing or something like that. Did she just mean
we all have unique, individual consciences? If so, that
makes sense. But at first I thought she meant that
conscience sets us humans apart. Maybe she did mean
that. If so, I don't know that that's true. I suspect
dogs and maybe other animals have them. Why else do they
sometimes act sneaky when they're doing stuff they know they
shouldn't? And even if you don't buy that, the angels as
presented on TBAA sure seem to have em.
Parts that made me feel
Andrew is really not in this episode enough! At least not in
the Hallmark version. But even if everything they cut
featured Andrew... that's still too little time. But when he
was on-screen, here's what I thought:
It was very cute seeing him "shoe skate." Aww. Andrew
doing anything even remotely nerdy or clumsy always wins my
affection. And lucky Haley getting helped by him.
I was kinda like "Ha, those girls both look a bit smitten by
Andrew! But he looks way older than them! What is with
the teen girls crushing on him?" My obtuseness is sometimes
stunning. I was so one of those teen girls and had the
Andrew covered high school locker and secret Andrew photo hidden
in my wallet to prove it!
I must admit that for a moment I thought Andrew must be a really
sucky D.J. Cause I swear you hear the same New Agey piece
twice at the rink. Then he plays "When I See You Smile"
which he did in "Last Dance." A little variety, man!
But then it occurred to me that likely the pieces were selected by
the skaters for specific routines so Andrew is not to blame.
So sorry, Andrew. But see, people! I can be critical
of Andrew. I really can!
Something about Andrew saying "Ya wanna bet?" when Haley is
skeptical about her foster family strikes me as very cute. I
think it was just his expression and I like it when he doesn't
speak totally properly.
Awww! Andrew took care of Tess' car for her! He's so
sweet and thorough and lovely. And when he's leaning back in
the back seat, looking so relaxed... Sigh. He should
look like that more often!
Notes for the music page:
D.J. Andrew picks some New Agey piece for the initial skating
scene. It sounded like the same piece was reprised later but
I'm not sure. It then went into a song and I could make out
these lyrics (I think): "Until the day I die... give me one more
chance." Later you hear a fast, percussive rock beat as
Monica and Bart discuss the expensive skates. Over the
practice montage of the two girls we have "Color Everywhere" by
Deana Carter (which also is played by Haley's music box).
Right before Bart steals the skates there's another song playing
as the girls practice and I think it had "You wanna go/know" in
it. At the skating event "Somebody's Out There Watching" by
the Kinleys is played, followed by "When I See You Smile" by Uncle
It was completely weird seeing Bart drive Tess' car. It just
seemed so wrong.
Happy 47th birthday to John Dye!!!
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-This one I am sadly sure about... As Alex skates, Andrew
and Haley are at the edge of the rink and Haley laments that
she'll never be that good. Andrew assures her that she can
do anything she puts her mind to. It's here we find out that
Bart told people he was a lawyer, this according to Andrew.
Andrew commiserates with Haley about how it's hard to grow up with
everyone telling you what to do. Haley says that she just
wants to listen to her heart. Andrew counters that he'd
rather listen to his conscience. Haley asks him what a
conscience sounds like and he says "like a friend." True, it
didn't really advance the plot but it was a sweet scene. And
it made Bart bringing up conscience to Haley in the courtroom at
the end all the more poignant but apparently the geniuses at HC
didn't see it that way and cut it.
-I think they also cut a scene of Bart calling a bank to request
an extra cash deposit bag to help with his con on Carl. That
cut I have no problems with. It actually was a pretty
pointless scene. But Andrew's scene... wah.
Further on down the road...:
Oh... I just realized that the last time I watched this
episode, it was John's 47th birthday and I wrote him a happy
birthday above... Sometimes everything still seems so unreal.
valet for a matter of yards? Is that really how that
works? Absolutely ridiculous for able-bodied people.
I suppose maybe it's a time issue but still... I always
thought valet was for when parking was a ways away.
is Monica confused by the term "con artist"? She'd already
met at least two.
Have to be honest and say I'm not sure Andrew's musical tastes
are exactly desirable in this episode. ;-) But I'm
just gonna tell myself he was given a list and had to go off
that. He does look so darn cuddly in this episode,
though. Okay, "When I See You Smile" is a good song.
"You can do anything if you set your mind to it." Lovely
"I'd rather listen to my conscious. It's usually a lot
more reliable." A true one from Andrew... even though I do
sometimes follow my heart over it. But I feel less nervous
if I go with my conscious.
"There's more to life than money." Wise words from Monica.
This is making me want to listen to the TBAA soundtrack. I
love "Color Everywhere."
I really do think this revelation scene coulda been taken down a
notch. I just don't see how this is nearly as upsetting as
other things Monica hasn't cried over.
So adorable relaxing in the back seat...
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