A review by Jenni:
Here's hoping this viewing experience ends up less spastic and
involving less Kleenex than the last.
What I love about this episode:
I'm struck by Monica talking about how she returns to the
mountain, just as she feels us humans do. I can
relate. Although I think it's more often I return to the
place I was *before* everything changed.
Well, I'm feeling hopeful. I know that I won't morph into a
devoted Monica fan in Seasons 8 and 9. But hopefully this
change she's talking about means I won't be so irritated with
Monica so often. Honestly, I mostly just remember Andrew
from Seasons 8 and 9 so I really dunno. Maybe I will like
this changed Monica. I'd like to go back to not just
tolerating her. I like feeling hopeful in the first lil
teaser part and NOT guilty which is what I got from the
"He took your mistakes and made something new and good out of
them." Love that quote from Tess to Monica. I think
God does that so often with us all.
I like what Diana says about how people can have problems and
still believe in God. Unfortunately, I think some people
equate seeking help for problems with a lack of faith. Not
In general, I think this is one of the better
portrayals of grief. I was particularly struck by what
Rebecca says about blocking the loss and how Diana exhibits that
It amuses me that the same actor plays both Satan and a gospel
singer in TBAA. Good for Mr. Schneider. Way to not
Sibling dynamics intrigue me. Looking forward to seeing this
Jed and Joshua thing play out. Starting to feel grateful for
my college-era distraction. I seriously don't know how this
all plays out beyond there being a fatal accident.
It's highly believable that Monica assumes that jealousy tore the
family apart. I'm finding that while things bug me about
Monica, they do have an internal logic within the show.
Monica definitely had her jealousy issues with Andrew in the
beginning so, naturally, she would see Jed's and Joshua's
relationship as the problem.
Diana's descent into delusion to deal with her grief is pretty
poignant. Not too many of us actually hallucinate. But
I've done my share of disappearing into fantasy or indulging in
Joshua is cool. I love how he goes against his dad and gives
Jed his moment.
Another good in-character writing moment: Jed goes off on his dad
for always calling Joshua "son" but him "boy." And not two
minutes later, Carter calls Andrew... who isn't, of course, even
his... son. Whoa. Way to show how outta touch this guy
Keb' Mo'. Enough said. I really like him.
I like how J.D. (yeah, it's a lil hard to type those initials and
not mean John) mentions feeling a pull the day of the bus
crash. I've come to firmly
believe that God whispers to us and prepares us when things are
gonna happen that may be hard to take. And I like that here
God gives J.D. another chance when he doesn't originally heed that
What I didn't love about
Daddy needs to get off his high horse. I
can't imagine being so crazily favoritist with my kids!
This is not a complaint about this episode but a problem I have
with the series in general: "I can only imagine what it must have
been like to watch all of those people die and not be able to do
anything about it." Monica says that to Rebecca about
Diana. And therein lies the heart of what I don't get about
Monica in regards to Andrew. How does Monica so easily grasp
the pain of that in Diana but it never seems to cross her mind
that this is what Andrew does day after day? Granted, he
takes them Home which is doing something. And he has vastly
more experience. And his assignments are not his family
(well, in a way they are but you know what I mean). But most
any TBAA viewer can think of moments when Andrew wished to do
more, to stave off death for his assignments. Yet he
couldn't. And that hurt him. But I don't recall one
moment in 7.5 years in which Monica grasps this part of him and
voices it with as much clarity as she does with Diana.
Am I the only one who thinks Andrew has probly always, or
at least for as long as we "knew" him, had this seeing people from
the inside out gift? Maybe do all angels eventually get
it? Cause it seems like Tess knows the gist here.
Does Monica's new gift ever resurface? I don't recall it in
Seasons 8 and 9 but, like I said, I mostly remember Andrew.
Once again I must ask... did the angels ever think it awfully odd
that some of their assignments were identical to others? Or
that some were identical to fellow angels? ;-)
I wonder how many people were surprised that Diana's son was
dead? I wonder if I was?
that made me feel swoony:
in and no Andrew. I'm getting nervous.
Over halfway through. No Andrew. Really nervous.
Gah. I'm desperate. Just mistook Randy Travis for
John. That makes zero sense.
ANDREW!!!!!! I'm sorry. I know this is a bad
sign. But I just needed to see him and he looks adorable and
I would totally let him in my bus. I could never just leave
him... And he has a book bag. Aww. I have no
idea what I'm awwing about in regards to that book bag. He
just looks cute with it. I wanna take him home.
And now I am having inappropriate thoughts about seating
arrangements on the bus...
He said "ya'll"!!! He's so adorable. And then he said
" 'kay " instead of "Okay!" I know I probly sound psycho but
this is all vital somehow, I'm sure.
His telling Jed "Ya'll take it real slow" makes me wonder how many
times Andrew makes a last ditch effort to avert a tragedy and
isn't heeded. I wanna hug him in those times.
Poor love looks so sad before he boards the bus.
Let it be known... one Andrew scene is not enough.
Music: In the opener, Monica
hears the Winslow family singing "Shallow Water" led by Randy
Travis. In the first flashback, the family sings "Oh, What a
Time" led by the Gaither Band. John Schneider leads em in
"Feet on the Rock." On the bus and at the diner, they
practice "Shallow Water." Diana sings it alone in her
room. During another concert flashback, the group sings
"Because He Lives." Keb'Mo' is strumming along when Monica
meets him. The church choir towards the end sings "Down By
I've had Randy Travis songs stuck in my head all day. Guess
I was psyched for this.
Scenes Hallmark cut:
- Saw this one coming. The cut to the scene of Randy
Travis playing outside the hotel is so abrupt that I knew
something must be missing. And here it is: that segment
actually opens with Monica and Tess on the bus. Monica is
troubled by the fact that she's just sitting on a bus, listening
to the past, when clearly she needed to find Diana right
away. Tess counters by asking what she would say if she
found Diana right then. She goes onto tell Monica that "The
truth is coming, baby. You've got to learn to wait and learn
to listen." Monica silently nods. Then it goes to
Diana in Rebecca's office. She tells her therapist that the
song is driving her crazy. Apparently Jed had written the
song the morning of the accident and they'd only sang it
once. Rebecca comments that Jed wrote many songs.
Diana agrees and tells her that he's so talented and that this had
been the problem. Rebecca asks how. Diana says she has
to back up a bit. She tells Rebecca that they'd needed to
get an early start that morning cause they had a concert that
night in Charlottee. She adds "Not that schedules meant much
in our family." As she's saying this, the scene shifts to an
exterior of the bus and the family boarding and prepping for the
ride. Carter has the driver blow the horn to get everyone to
hurry up. That's when they go to Jed, writing "Shallow
Water," when the Gaither guys approach and ask if he's writing a
Further on down the road...
Well, I've more or less worked through my "Netherlands"
issues. By that I mean that I still don't like that
episode. But I've mentally spun it in a way that doesn't
make me want to rage at Monica. So that's good.
Hopefully I can enjoy this one a bit more though I'd be lying if I
didn't say I'd rather be watching Sleepy Hollow.
Really I'd rather be watching S9 of TBAA but that's not in the
cards... yet. Soon!
I just really am still surprised by how often the writers had
Monica go I, I, I... in this trilogy of episodes.
I am very glad that Tess refers to Monica's mistakes. She
was losing me with the veiled reference to Jesus. Jesus was
tempted because why would Satan not give that a go? Monica
was tempted cause she made a mistake, pure and simple.
I know it won't make sense but I started laughing when Diana says
"God doesn't need my protection." Well, there goes part of
the plot of "The Carpenter." ;-) Not really. God
doesn't need protection... but that doesn't mean someone wouldn't
unwittingly end up protecting Him.
Joshua's gonna screw me up. I basically hear that name as
So glad that, at least last I heard, Randy Travis' health was
Sigh... almost time. Yay!!! At about 28:30, Andrew
finally shows! But then it makes me sad when he tells Jed to
take the drive slow. Poor love really tries to not have to
do his job...
I really, really want to love these two episodes because I know
some fans absolutely love them and the cast is great. But
for some reason, my mind always wanders during them. And I
know it can't just be the lack of Andrew cause there are Season 1
episodes that keep my attention just fine. This is just one
of those episodes that it's not at all that I dislike it. It
just doesn't work for me somehow. I
do love the music. Something with the pacing
maybe. No clue.
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