"Perfect Little Angel"

A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:
Okay, I have to say that this is Rafael at his most likable for me.  I truly thought he was very pleasant in this episode.  Kudos to both him and Andrew.  I know guys who would be horrified and even embittered about having to help with pageant preparation.  But they're both great sports from the start.  This may come as a shock but I actually thought Rafael's "bing!" when he handed Tracy the crown was really cute and sweet.  Not swoon-inducing but nice.

Favorite line: "Would you mind moving your Aspen Snowflake?"  Awesome job, Tess!

I really love the piano piece they chose for Tracy to play.  Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, I have to remember that.

Again, I have a pro-Rafael moment.  It's great how he seems excited by the prospect of babysitting Nick.  That poor kid probly already felt awkward about everything that was happening and might have been embarrassed by the prospect of being handed off to a reluctant babysitter.  But Rafael seems so excited and the kid smiles and it's great.  Maybe they just shoulda had Rafael interact with little kids more...  I might have a better feeling about the guy then.

For the record, I think Monica's dress during the revelation scene is way prettier than any of the pageant dresses.  Whatever other disagreements we may have, I do like Monica's style.  Most of the time.  Definitely here.

This line from Tess really jumped out at me: "What God wants is to work wonderful things in your life."  I think too often we lose sight of all the beauty and joy and wonder God wants us to have.  I'm grateful for the reminder.

Another great moment from the revelation scene is when Monica assures Tracy that God has known about Nick the whole time and loved her the whole time anyway.  It's beautiful to think about how God knows every single issue, big and small, that we've ever had and still not once stopped loving us.

All in all, nice episode.  Not particularly relatable for me but I enjoy it.  And I think the screen time was really very well balanced, especially with four angels.

What I didn't love about this episode:
Tracy does irk me towards the beginning of this episode.  Her "You've never heard of a college, period," remark to Don was really snippy.  Especially since he was being concerned and helpful.  True, maybe all his ideas weren't the best (stripping) but he did give her a long lunch break and sure seems to have accommodated her training for the pageant.  And to top it off Tess bites his head off multiple times.  Poor Don.  The scenes with him just seem kinda mean-spirited.

The snotty pageant people are cringe-inducing when Tracy comes to register.  Yikes.  A little more subtlety with those portrayals woulda been nice, I guess, but I do realize they only had 45 minutes so...  I'll cope.  I don't wanna hand precious Andrew screen time over to a kinder, gentler pageant runner lady!  And there are snooty people, unfortunately.

I gotta wonder if Tracy was a little concerned by Tess' and Monica's solemn tones when Andrew first appeared.  It seemed so foreboding!  And like maybe he wasn't the type of person one would want around.  I always feel terrible for Andrew when Monica seems not entirely pleased to see him.  But generally an assignment doesn't get to witness that ambivalence.  It seemed a little odd.

It's always thrown me when TBAA makes it sound like whatever AOD is on screen should know the story behind each and every death.  Here Andrew seems a little surprised that Tracy's parents dying in a boating accident doesn't ring a bell.  And it does turn out to be a lie.  But the implication seems to be that if they had truly died that way, Andrew would have known.  I'm not following.  Cause the case coulda just as easily gone to Adam, Henry, or the countless other AODs we glimpsed in other episodes.  The exchange kinda gives the impression that if I randomly threw out a name of someone, Andrew would be able to recall the facts regarding their death.  But he can't in all cases.  There's no way.

Lingering questions:
I know this isn't a romantic comedy with a full fashion montage but...  I would have loved to have seen Andrew and Rafael attempt to pick out evening wear.  What would they come up with, ya think?  First, they're guys and so that could make it difficult.  Second, they have no inherent interest in making a woman look alluring given they're angels.  So I just think it'd be amusing to have seen their attempts.  Course, I think they could both do far better than that horrid green and silver number Monica came up with for a first attempt.  Eeek.

I read waaaay too much into the smallest things but here's a question: why does Andrew flinch and move away when Tracy drops the baton?  He's immortal so, assumedly, wouldn't need to be created with all the self-preservation instincts we have.  And, in fact, at times the angels won't react in any way at being shot at or having a bat swung at them.  No flinching or blinking.  But here Andrew does flinch and move away.  So... do the angels develop these pain-avoidance behaviors as a means of blending in when among humans?  Or would it actually just develop as it does for us since they're in human form and those instincts would be part of being human?  Does that even make sense?  If the baton had hit Andrew would it have hurt?   Or would he just pretend it smarted a bit so it didn't seem odd?  I am so obsessive...

Parts that made me feel swoony:
I dig that scarf Andrew's wearing in his first scene.  Well, I spose it's more accurate to say I think he looks wonderful in that scarf.  Cozy.  I'm sure if the scarf were simply draped over a chair I would really not care about it.  But on Andrew... lovely.

It's super cute when Andrew, alone, laughs at Tracy's remark about rotating tires being her talent.  Actually, I think Andrew was the most responsive at that table.  If I were Tracy he'd totally be my favorite sponsor (shocking, huh?).  He's also the only one to say good bye when Tracy leaves.  Andrew's so attentive...  Sigh.  And, by the way, that blowfish face he makes at the very end of the scene is hysterical.

Andrew's bluish shirt with that black suit... kinda looks 70s-ish... amazing.  Love it.

And how adorable is it that Nick is so excited to see Andrew?  And the idea that Andrew has been checking in on the lil boy for a year?  Love that muchly.  A sick child is very, very sad and I wouldn't wish for Andrew to have more cases involving them.  But Nick's reaction to him must be soooo much more assuring and joy-inducing than how scared, angry adults sometimes react to poor Andrew.  Sweet scene.  And it ends with Andrew tousling Nick's hair.  He'd be a great dad...  By adoption.  Strictly by adoption. 

Andrew's the first to clap after Tracy's revelation.  I love him for that.  Ya know, cause I totally hated him before that moment.  ;-)  Okay, okay so I love him for a lot of things but that's definitely one.

Andrew crosses his arms over his chest a lot.  That doesn't really make me swoony but I wanted to make note of it for use in future JABB stories.  And they can make me swoony so... it works.

Of course, my mind always seems to make episodes angstier than they really are.  I had to wonder if Andrew at all related to Tracy as far as the whole "must be perfect" drive.  Sometimes when Tracy would talk about her mistakes, I kept flipping back to Andrew at the end of "Beautiful Dreamer."  Poor love.  The message I took from this episode is there really are no perfect angels (little or otherwise).  I wish he got that memo...

Random thoughts:
This episode always amuses me and makes me nostalgic cause the actress who plays Tracy played Sarah in Newsies.  And that movie was a huge part of my high school years!  I crushed on Jack Kelly/Cowboy before I ever crushed on Andrew.  ;-)  But, no worries.  Jack can't hold a candle to Andrew with me these days. 

Monica being a lil sad about not getting mail drew a completely weird reaction outta me.  I got huffy and thought "Well, if you spent more time in Dyeland maybe you would get mail.  Andrew gets tons!"  I'm tired... my mind is blurry.

I would never want everyone or every media product to agree with me in spiritual matters.  That would be really boring.  But I do feel that I need to offer a sorta counterpoint to Tess saying that "People aren't supposed to pray to angels."  I think it depends on what you mean by prayer.  I pray the "Angel of God" fairly often and see no problem with that.  So long as it's not a worshipful prayer, I think it's fine.  I don't really see any difference between asking my guardian angel to be at my side than asking a loved one to stay with me during a hard time.

It's really weird to realize that Tracy is supposed to be 4 years younger than me in this.  Eeek.

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