"On Edge"

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?

Once again, we have an episode at least partly set where it was actually filmed: Utah! 

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 believable.

What I didn't love about this episode:
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 cringe-inducing.

So not cool watching Bart let his own daughter take the fall for him.  Grr.

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... silently.

Lingering questions:
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 not!

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 swoony:
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!

Random thoughts:
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 Sam.

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 u

Seriously... 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.

How 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 Andrew...

"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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