"A Rock and a Hard Place"

A review by Jenni:

I guess I need a few moments to reflect before I start.  With this episode, I reach the point I've been wanting to get to for years now... since I started this Episode Guide.  I loved Andrew in Season 9 more than in any other season.  And now here I am... moments from seeing him.  But there's such a different feeling now.  When I started this Episode Guide, I would never have imagined that on it I would wind up charting my emotions as I mourned John.  I couldn't have foreseen the sadness and the bittersweetness.  I would have been shocked to discover that I'd find myself helping a wonderful but grieving team build a memorial site for John.  And yet... a lot hasn't changed.  I come to this episode still loving John for giving us hope, for teaching us about God's love.  And there's an even deeper gratitude to him now.  He helped me find peace in knowing that those I loved and lost are being held by an all-loving God.  And there is peace in knowing John himself lives with that same God forever now.  As I write this on the eve of Pay It Forward in Memory of John Dye going live, I pray that John knows how utterly loved he is by so many and I thank God for John and all the blessings He has given us.

What I love about this episode:
I think something must have happened with how TBAA was filmed starting with this season.  It just looks so much brighter and clearer.  I love it!

I like Monica and Tess bantering at the start.  It seems like an earlier, more playful episode for a bit with Monica teasing Tess about her age.  I'm with Tess.  Rustic over French country.

Just wanted to take a moment to say it says a lot about how much I like this show that I love this episode as much as I do.  Cause apocalyptic stuff drives me batty.  But the way they handle this seems so real and not crazily hyped up to me.  It's a sensational topic but still really just about family and love.  And some guy with insanely good looks and fashion sense and a charming soul...

Kinda amusing that for a moment Monica appears to believe Andrew trashed the car.  One wonders what mischief he's gotten up to that would make her imagine such a thing.  ;-)  Maybe she was thinking of "Sins of the Father."

"There's no such thing as coincidence."  An oldie but a goodie from Andrew.  I believe that now more than ever!

I want to go be in the country and see the stars...  Bonus if Andrew's there, too. 

I love seeing the trio preparing a meal together.  So cozy.

Mildred is awesome.  And has impeccable taste.  Andrew sure is a "Cutie."  Although I still prefer His Studly Awesomeness.  Although "Cutie" is definitely more succinct.

Wow...  Gonna have to agree with Monica.  Shocker.  I do think a lot of the fun of a trip is the planning of it.  All those days of looking forward to it...  The organizing!  The wardrobe planning!  The studying up!  Okay... I sound so nerdy.  Going with the flow can be nice, too.

"I've learned that you never really know what it takes to bring two people together but... ya just gotta recognize that chance when it comes because sometimes that window opens and closes very quickly."  Awesome line from Andrew.  Carpe diem.

I love that Tess squeezed Andrew's shoulder after Mildred left the room.  Everyone should love on Andrew.

"It may sound old fashioned, Andrew, but I'm a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit kinda gal and I'm not afraid to die."  I want to steal that quote from Mildred.  And I loved that Andrew responds with "I don't think that sounds old fashioned."  Love him... 

And now Mildred is making me cry.  During some dark moments, I have really struggled with liking this world when it no longer physically holds the guy I've had a crush on since I was 14.  I can't imagine, then, how much, much more of a struggle it would be to live in a world without the man one actually married at 19.  Unfathomable.  And yet Mildred continued to live fully.  I really do love this character.

"You must not hate what God loves.  And God loves you."  From Monica to Joe.

"All sorts of things get broken in this life... Hearts get broken.  Pieces of rock are broken off from distant worlds but you can'
t worry about the myriad things that can break in the universe.  Just remember that God can heal all of them.  God can heal this world in His time."  That Monica quote really speaks to me right now.

"We praise God for what we understand and we praise Him even more for what we don't understand."  I think that quote from Tess pretty well describes what we'll be doing tomorrow.  "Because He understands everything," she goes onto say.

What I didn't love about this episode:
I've got nothing.  And that's great!

Lingering questions:

One wonders if Andrew was actually there when that asteroid hit Siberia or if he's merely heard of it...  I'm thinking he's referring to the Tunguska event.  I had to Google "asteroid Siberia" after he said that.  A brief browse makes it seems as if no one died.  But maybe he was there to deal with the fear of death it no doubt brought to people there.  Hmm.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
He's so adorable with his complete disinterest in lodge styles.  ;-)  Just focused on timing!  So Andrew.  And so... so...  Wow.  Best looking nearly forty year old ever...

Oh...  So after my sobfest last week, I mentally promised John that I'd be more swoony and positive tonight.  It's so on.  Plain white tee layered with black button-up and the always awesome jeans...  And the shaggy hair... 

"Rustic-y, log cabin-y, country, cottage-y... umm... chalet... it's nice."  I want to go there...  Sorry, I had a Liz Lemon moment.  But really... that's an adorable description.  I would so go to said chalet if Andrew did a commercial for it and delivered that line.  Which reminds me... I think John's the only actor I've ever rewound just cause of how he delivered a line.  Awesomeness.

Oh... I love this white stripey shirt of his.  But, like I often say, I have a feeling simply seeing the shirt thrown over a chair or hanging on a rack wouldn't get much of a reaction from me.  It's all about the guy wearing the shirt.  :-)

Note to all who have pondered along with me... Mildred calls Andrew "Green Eyes."  So at least here... John's eyes are green. 

Pocket watch!!!

Aww.  When Andrew tells Joe he's not a dad but he knows what it's like to love someone and not be able to get through to em...  It hits me in a couple different ways.  I wish all of John's dreams could have come true.  But I know God's way of answering prayers and requiting dreams isn't always clear to us.  Secondly, poor Andrew.  All the angels really.  But clearly I have my preference...  It must be hard to feel so much love for assignments and then just have to watch them screw up... sometimes with deadly results.

I just love his scene with Mildred out by her bike, when she talks about her husband.  Andrew just gets things that Monica has to find her way to.  He understands how Mildred feels, wanting to be in Heaven with the man she loves. 

Oh, thank God.  THC didn't cut the part with Andrew on the dark road with Ricky!  And I totally forgot he rode up on the motorcycle.  Oooh... so awesome.  The shots of him during this scene are among my favorites.  So beautiful.

I've been saying for a long while that if I could have the death scene of anyone from movies, TV, or books... I'd take Mildred's.  And I stand by that.  She dies in Andrew's arms and God's... 

Minimal tears.  Lotsa smiles.  Lotsa swoony moments.  I kept my promise to him.

Random thoughts:

Music: Didn't catch any for a long while but I'd totally forgotten about how Tess sings "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."  Beautiful.

They're staying at Angel's Crest Lodge.  Might be good to know sometime...

It concerns me just a lil that I haven't lived nearly as long as Mildred and I think I understand the answer to Monica's question.  I don't have a death wish.  I'm not suicidal.  I would never do or not do something in the hopes of hastening my own death.  I'm here for the duration.  But I can't see myself getting all worked up about possibly dying quickly and soon via asteroid.  If it's time, it's time.  Of course, I would feel awful for those of a different sentiment.  It would bother me much more to think of those I love dying.  But if I was like Mildred and had lost all I loved... I think I'd be pretty calm, too.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
- In the original, right after Andrew gives his line about coincidences, he peers at Gloria and asks if she got new glasses.  She giggles and asks if he likes em.  Andrew, Monica, and Tess refrain from answering but their expressions suggest they do not...  Gloria seems bummed.  Okay...  Kinda an awkward moment.  But yay for Andrew being observant.  I never notice new glasses.

-THC makes it look like Tess misses talking to Ricky when he runs off but she actually did visit with him.  She finds him smoking in Andrew's pickup (poor Andrew... now his vehicle is smelly).  She asks him what he thinks he's doing.  Ricky says he's going home.  Tess says "Let me get this straight: you're gonna get stoned, steal my friend's tow truck, ride a 100 miles an hour down a one lane road and try to outrun an asteroid?"  You know the tone.  She tries to takes the keys.  They argue.  Tess tells Ricky it's not a good time to have his head in a cloud of smoke.  Ricky turns on the truck.  News comes on.  The announcer is saying that the president ordered curfew for everyone in the Western U.S. in two hours.  National Guard is called in.  He tells people to sit tight, there's no where to go, say a prayer.  *Then* Ricky drives on and Tess pleads after him to come back which is all THC kept of the scene.

Further on down the road...
Gotta say...  I feel like I'm in a completely different place emotionally than when I did this review initially.  A lot of the sadness is gone.  Actually, the only thing making me nervous about this is last time I watched this episode, I was among friends.  Feels kinda lonely watching it by myself!  However, I am glad to get back to these episode reviews.  I've missed em while I was writing my 1,000 plus page The Great Divorce fanfic.  Yep, that's what I'm calling it...  Well, at least one of the things I'm calling it.  "Thing That Consumed the Last Five Months of My Life" works, too.  Or, simply, "The Carpenter."  :-) 

The scenery is so beautiful in this.

I still really like Mildred but I've had a bit of a change of heart.  I can still understand wanting to go to Heaven and be reunited with one's beloved and God.  But I really don't understand being so brazen about hundreds of other people dying.  "The sooner it hits the better"?  Seriously?  Way to put your pain above everyone else's...

Andrew wasn't a dad then but...  ;-)  Kinda wanna pause this and go write about him and Belle but I won't.  I actually watched both this and "The Sixteenth Minute" a few weeks ago so kinda feeling a bit restless.  Weirdly, I'll be glad to get to "Two Sides" even though it's a hard episode.

The Jesus Taboo got broken!  Sorta... 

Ricky's outburst makes me very glad I'm not an atheist...  I can't imagine going through life thinking that so much didn't really matter.  And, don't get me wrong, I totally understand that some atheists find great meaning in life.  But I find meaning in doing things only I will ever know about.  Learning things and such.  Cause I figure I get to take my intellect with me and will get the answers I could never find here on Earth.  Not sure how I'd feel about those things if I thought this was it.

I wonder why shows like this make up presidents.  The radio guy started to say "President Ha..."  Why wouldn't they just say "the President" and make it sound more real?   Maybe it's some sorta etiquette thing.

This episode has some really wonderful quotes.  There are a few where I struggle to pull out a single quote beyond "God loves you" but this one... so many beautiful lines.

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.)