A review by Jenni:
So, according to the introduction by Martha Williamson on the
"Hope" DVD, this is the top favorite episode among fans. I
always felt rather bad because it doesn't even crack my top
ten. It's NOT that I dislike this episode, it's just never
grabbed me the way some have. That being said, I do like it
a lot. So here goes...
What I love about this episode:
The lil party with the trio at the beginning is so cute. I
wish we'd had more scenes of them just having fun and
relaxing. Andrew seems so happy. All three do, of
course. But sometimes I do worry a bit about his fun factor
I *love* Monica's coffee cup pajamas. Those are
adorable! Yep, that's a really profound note to start this
I think Petey and Cornelia are portrayed really well.
Sometimes TV kids seem too scripted. But these two are
believable. I laughed at Cornelia not imagining wanting to
live past 30. I can remember thinking that was really
old. Now I am almost 30 and don't even feel that mature all
the time... let alone actually old. Their friendship reminds
me a lot of a couple of kids I know. Almost brother and
sister-like. It's very sweet to watch without being
saccharine. They tease each other and maybe here and there
ya get a hint of annoyance. I think watching their
relationship in this episode was my biggest hint that I've grown
up. (Another comes later and is covered in Andrew's
section.) I didn't see them as my generation at all even
though they were when this episode aired. I didn't feel
exactly maternal about them... but close. Like... future
maternal. When they're sleeping and Petey turns and his arm
goes over Cornelia, I wanted to do a weepy "Aww" and put a blanket
over them. So, okay, maybe it WAS maternal.
This episode still seems new. When Audrey was telling Petey
about the health insurance company being the one to decide whether
or not he could die at home, I half expected a senator to
interrupt the program and tell me how such a scene wouldn't happen
under this or that health care plan.
Celine Dion, who I have no special attachment to, works really
well in this episode. Sometimes when TBAA pulled non-actors
in, it could get scary. I don't want to directly call anyone
out but there was one episode that was almost like fingernails on
a chalkboard to me due to a real person stepping in. But Ms.
Dion plays this like you'd imagine she'd actually act in this
situation. It didn't seem like "Celine Dion plays Celine
Dion." She just was. Whether it was her or the
writing, I thought it was a great scene. Of course, real
people being in TBAA always makes me feel like Andrew should then
be real, too, since he's conversing with this real person but oh
I still get chills in the final scene when the choir starts up.
Petey saying "You're coming, too" to Andrew pretty much locks up
my relatively newfound belief in angels of death. If Petey
wanted someone with him, it makes perfect sense to me that most
people do. Thus, the AOD is important. And, yes, I
know God is there. But something about there being another
*creature* there is important to me. Petey's relief reminds
me of that.
The flag switching from "Petey Lives Here" to "Petey Lived
Here"... nice touch.
What I didn't love about
This is soooo nitpicky I almost didn't write it BUT... This
isn't Monica's 100th caseworking gig. Because some episodes
begin with her leaving an assignment that we never saw. Plus
there are some like the New Yorker in "The Pact" who she trades
Now, maybe he and others like him don't count because maybe Monica
didn't complete that assignment. Still, I'm pretty sure the
count isn't exact.
Kinda wanna whack those indiscreet nurses with those pillows they
were fluffing. Sheesh. The scene where the kids
inadvertently learn from them that Petey will soon die makes me
wonder how often stuff like that happens. I would hope not
too often. And I do understand that being a nurse is hard
work and talking over its tragedies helps but... close the door!
And the receptionist or whatever she was at the insurance
office... Horrible! When she chides Tess and Cornelia
with their inability to promise that Petey will die in two
weeks... wow. I can get being trapped by a company's
policies but that was just an inane, heartless thing to say.
I hope the copier ate her reports, her stapler got lost, and the
water cooler was empty when she went to it. And the coffee
also out. And I hope a telemarketer kept calling her
line. Also her computer should freeze.
I don't know why but Monica blowing the flag at the end just bugs
me. I would have preferred it being very still then just a
gust of wind, seemingly from God, unfurls the flag. Monica
doing it just seemed weird to me.
Monica says she's been an angel from the beginning of time.
What exactly is "the beginning of time"? Is "the beginning
of time" the moment of the creation of Earth or something
else? And does this work with other episodes? In "Life
Before Death" don't we learn that Ireland was the first place on
Earth that Monica set foot? So was Monica in Heaven for a
while before coming to Earth? And doesn't she say in "Holy
of Holies" that she's 5,000? Maybe that works if you're a
strict creationist. But, personally, I think creation is
older than 5,000 and "the beginning of time" either coincides with
creation or precedes it. So for me Monica being
5,000 and existing since the beginning of time don't work but oh
well. Plus, why does she seem so much younger than Tess and
even Andrew then? Could they exist before time? Here's
my theory: The beginning of time is when Earth was created.
Why? Because we're the ones hung up on time. God
didn't need it. So I suppose it's possible that God created
the Earth and Monica right around the same time (thus, for me, the
5,000 years age for Monica is wrong). Andrew, Tess, and
others are *older* than time and, for all we know, actually helped
God create. So then they're still older than Monica (I
simply can't fathom her being as old as they.) If you're
confused reading that... you're not alone.
What would you put on your bucket list? I tried to make one
a while ago but then looked back on it later and realized I
actually didn't care about half the stuff on it... just felt that
I should. Maybe Petey had the right idea. Pick things
close to home and go beyond your own wishes. I was focusing
on travel and stuff like that. I just might need to retry
drafting that now.
Parts that made me feel swoony:
Want to be Monica... That was my thought when Andrew blew
her that kiss. Some girls get all the luck. Sigh...
Andrew's just adorable through out. But his looks when he's
trying to help find a home for Fluffy... super cute!
This didn't make me swoony but Andrew carrying Petey out of the
ambulance definitely got to me. And this was where I, again,
realized I've gotten older. When I first watched this, as
tasteless and insensitive as this is gonna sound, I'm pretty sure
a part of me was jealous of Petey. Now I watched it and
found it heartbreaking and sweet and beautiful. And when
Andrew rested his cheek against Petey's hair and just the look in
his eyes, I mourned not only Petey but the fact that Andrew can't
be a father. So this is how I know I've changed. At
some point I shifted from solely "Drat it all, Andrew would make
an ideal boyfriend but, alas, never shall be" to imagining the
father he'll never be and finding that infinitely greater a
loss. And just when I get really depressed
about that, I remember "As It is in Heaven" and feel better.
Also, I just watched The
Nativity Story last night so... I'm a lil hung up on the
idea of a compassionate, faithful man raising a child that's not
his own and being outright awesome at it. People, you should
be seriously grateful I was not a TBAA writer. Else you'd
all have watched this wonderful show devolve into "My Father's an
Angel" wherein Andrew adopts a slew of children whilst continuing
to juggle the AOD gig. Hilarity and drama and weepiness
ensue. Angst, too.
So Andrew definitely does say "It is finished" in this
episode. Once upon a time, some other fans and I were
discussing Andrew echoing Jesus' final words. His "into Your
hands" from "Children of the Night" has always grabbed me.
And someone brought "It is finished" up but I had no recollection
of it. It's here. Right at the end. Very moving.
Cornelia kinda reminds me
of myself when I was little. Except it wasn't Celine Dion
that I wanted to be but Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
I had the dress and the glittery red shoes and, yes, asked to be
called "Dorothy." These days I'm glad it's not my name!
Music data dump time: Wynonna as Audrey sings a commercial jingle
early on. Later, Audrey and Petey sing "You are My
Sunshine." We get snippets of Audrey singing "Psalm 151"
solo. Mother and son also sing "Simple Gifts" (not "Lord of
the Dance" as I first thought). Tess and Petey play "Heart
and Soul" on the piano. Of course, we have Celine Dion
singing "Love Can Move Mountains" which is later reprised by
Cornelia, backed by Celine on the CD. Wynonna sings "You
Were Loved" over a scene. Finally, "Psalm 151/Testify to
Love" is reprised with Audrey leading a choir.
Scenes Hallmark cut:
I have not seen the Hallmark version of this episode. But
thanks to a JABB member, Kate, I know the following sad fact:
-Hallmark cuts the scene of Petey arriving home and Andrew
carrying him inside (pictured above). So apparently their
version of the episode cuts from Cornelia singing in her dad's
office to Petey automatically being home and in his own bed.
Very unfortunate cut.
Thanks, Kate, for reporting this!
Further on down the
What a week... Our family dog isn't in the
best health right now so I've been majorly distracted. I
started watching this again last night and, half way through,
realized I hadn't been paying attention at all and wasn't writing
any observations. So I'm trying this again... from the
comfort of my bed. Yay laptop.
I really do wish we coulda seen a party for Andrew...
I do love seeing Andrew sneak some frosting off the cake.
Not hygienic. But cute!
It's so weird to think these kids are in their twenties
now... And I'm 30! So Celine's line about "Who wants
to live to be that old?!?" probly has new meaning for each of
These nurses... I still want to throttle them. At the
very least they should have shut the door before talking about a
It's just so sad to think of a little kid having to 1. Think about
his death and 2. Fret over not being able to die in his own home.
John really does sound twangier to me in this episode than in many
others. I love it. And his "find a home for Fluffy"
look makes me smile!
Wow. Mini "Et tu, Brute?" moment when the insurance honcho
is revealed to be Cornelia's dad.
That insurance lady is SOOO crass! She should be
fired. Along with all the stuff I wrote above.
Teared up over Andrew carrying Petey. So sweet.
"That's why God gives us inspiration. He puts into our
spirit things that could not come out of our own minds." I
believe that quote from Monica. I love thinking about
creativity as a sort of partnership with the Creator.
Monica talking about how Petey brought everyone in his life closer
to Heaven really makes me think of John now. He could
definitely check that off his list.
I wonder if Petey saw Andrew glow or how it was he knew he was
coming to Heaven, too? That moment... it's beautiful.
the Episode Guide
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