"Secrets and Lies"

A review by Jenni:

Well... it's finally come to this.  I'm watching and reviewing this one from my bed.  I thought I had enough discipline to keep TVs and puters outta the bedroom as the experts suggest but, alas, I do not when it comes to TBAA!  (Okay, really it's John Dye.  Cause I will be watching ToD and MSW from bed, too.)  In my defense, I was at my Grandma's 80th birthday and, thus, am starting this after 11:30 PM. 

What I love about this episode:
I can't even imagine being a parent and getting such a dire diagnosis for my child.  The reaction shots in the hospital room and earlier when Erica's parents notice the bruises come off as very real to me.

Imagine being Robby...  In the matter of a few minutes, you meet your dad and find out you have a half-sister who is dying who you may be able to save.  I like that Robby turns out to be the most mature person in that house.  Come to think of it, TBAA and PL often depicted young people who really knew what they were about and did good things.  Unlike some shows today...

I remember The Little House!  I wonder if I have it...  I love when TBAA brings up things from my childhood.  Makes the show seem even cuddlier and more comforting.

Robby really is a great person to not only show up at the hospital but not expose Alan out of the blue when his wife has no clue what's coming. 

Monica did a good job acting a bit surprised over Robby's paternity.

"The truth can be painful but it doesn't cause nearly the damage a lie does."  Something to contemplate from Tess.

The scene between the two kids in Erica's hospital room is really good.  I love the dramatic irony of it with Robby referencing his one sister.

"Everything follows you.  Your joy and pain, your triumphs and transgressions, your choices.  When the past catches up with you, angels follow, too.
"  I really like that quote from Monica to Alan.

"Listen to the still, small voice in your spirit."  Same scene.  That's a lesson I'm trying to learn more and more.

"God didn't send me here to condemn you."  That quote from Monica sums up what I think was one of TBAA's finer points.  The angels weren't gonna let wrong go unspoken of.  But they didn't judge.  And that made the show amazing.

I love that Monica stresses that Erica's illness is NOT punishment for Alan's sin.  Cause that theology needs to die.

"Isn't it time to hand this burden over to God?  He will take it from you if you will just ask Him for His healing, for his mercy.  And
He will give you and those that you love a peace greater than you have ever known."  I forgot how many great quotes were in this one.  Though that one from Monica seems to be about guilt in context, out of context it really speaks to me regarding grief, too. 

"You know, healing only begins once you've cleared away everything that's diseased and damaged."  There's our boy.  And it does sound like life.

Wow.  Goosebumps when Erica tells her dad that Robby is not a mistake but a miracle.  I really do like these kids a lot more than I like the grown-ups. 

I love that each of the three main angels has a moment of reckoning with the three parents.

Aww.  And Alan got to tuck Robby in sorta. 

What I didn't love about this episode:

Sigh...  Ya know, I was actually getting to kinda like Gloria as, at times, she seemed more considerate of Andrew than Monica and Tess.  But I think this is the first episode in which she "Oh no's..." him when he appears.  I know it's not personal but how would you feel if your friends often said "Oh no!" when they first glimpsed you? 

Robby's mom bothers me.  If my son just met his father and found out he had a severely ill sibling, I wouldn't deny the sibling relationship nor would I turn away from him.  At leas
t I sure hope I wouldn't.  If I did, I hope someone would be around to knock me upside the head til my sense and compassion returned.

Lingering questions:
This actor playing the father...  I know he played the dad on some TV show I used to watch.  Now which one was it???  Duh.  I was thinking of the Home Alone movies.

I wonder if the requirements for bone marrow donation are the same as with blood donation?  Huh.  In some ways it actually seems not as strict.  Info here.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Gloria's "Oh no..." aside, I'm glad Andrew's in this opening shot.  I think he looks very handsome in those first moments.  Something especially boyish about him.

Andrew!  I was missing him then saw those blue scrubs and felt happier.  And I really do love his hair at this stage.  Love the bangs. 

He's so lovely when he leans down to promise Erica he'll talk to the doctor when she's so nauseated.  If I had to be sick... I'd want Andrew there to talk like that to me.  And when he strokes her hair and tells her she won't be dying on his watch...  Swoon.  I always believed the most beautiful man in the world probly lived in some remote jungle or on a tiny island.  Unknown.  I like to think of God as having a keen sense of irony.  And that would be ironic.  But in moments like this, I'm convinced the most beautiful man was born in Amory, MS.  Such a lovely, gentle, caring smile and a beautiful soul.

I am so conflicted on being so near the end of Season 8.  I *love* Andrew in Season 9.  I mean I lov
e him in Seasons 2-8.  But something about him in Season 9...  So I'm so excited to reach Season 9 but I also hate that I will.  Cause then soon it'll be over.  And I felt sad about that last year.  I didn't want to see TBAA end again and have to say good bye to Andrew again.  But I at least held out hope of it NOT being a good bye to John.  But now we know there won't be another movie or show or play.  Well, not until we all go to join him.  So now I really don't wanna get to Season 9...  But I know I'll enjoy it when I do.  Cause I still love that guy.

Random thoughts:

Music: I didn't notice any.

It would have been interesting to see TBAA tackle the issue of people having a child to save another child.  Those are some complicated moral issues but I think they coulda handled them sensitively and compassionately.

Scenes Hallmark cut:

Didn't notice any again!  I really do think some of these episodes were just shorter in the original form so made THC's job easier.

Further on down the road...
Couldn't figure out why I was seeing captioning...  I forgot I'd turned them on cause I was watching a British series and was struggling a bit with the accents.  ;-)  These folks I can understand without help.

Would a kid really commit so far to a prank that they'd go face first into a hard floor?  Don't get why the dad didn't clue in at that point...

I feel sad when Andrew is greeted with "Oh no..."

Is it really common for people to suck their own blood when they accidentally cut themselves?  I have never done that.  Grab a Kleenex!

I still can't stand Robby's mom's reaction.  What the father did was awful.  But for her to deny her son his own choice and just walk away...  You're a mother.  Your kid's feelings after such a revelation deserve more care than a heartbreak from well over a decade ago.  Put on the big girl pants!

Oh yay!  Andrew's back at 17:00.  Briefly...  Sad.

Yay Robby.  Also, imagine this...  If Robby hadn't been eavesdropping then he might not have even known Erica was sick until news started spreading around school.  Then what if, after she was gone, Robby pieced together his parentage?  And what if he sought out Alan and then found Alan had visited the house to ask for Robby's help?  I would freak out if I were Robby and be so angry at my mother.  Also just the horror of thinking what might have happened if Erica and Robby met at school and hit it off.  Geez.

Sigh...  Sweet Andrew.

I do agree that a good lie is possible.  This, however, isn't an example of one.

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