A review by Jenni:
Here's hoping Andrew's in this half more... Although I liked
part one well enough. Just woulda liked it better if, well,
ya know... the Lovely One adds so much. A girl's got her
priorities and all.
What I love about this episode:
"When God heals something, He doesn't just patch it up. He
makes it stronger than it was before." Excellent quote from
Tess when she and Monica are discussing the Winslow families at
Cynthia's such a good sport. You can tell she's creeped out
by "Danny" but she handles it with class.
"I've seen all sorts of things happen for no good reason
whatsoever but I've also seen God take things like that and use
them to create opportunities that you could never imagine."
From Monica to Rebecca. I *love* that. It's very much
in line with what I believe. I don't believe God wills all
that happens. I can't see how He would want rapes and
genocides and homicides, etc. But I do believe He can bring
goodness and love out of hate and chaos.
"With God all things are possible." From Monica to
Lila. An oldie but a goodie.
I have a lotta respect for Lila. The way she holds it
together when she visits Diana is amazing.
I love that they have Jed commenting that he hasn't stopped
believing in God but "He just seems awful far away right
now." I know some people lose their faith after tragedy and
those stories need to be told. But my experiences have
always run more along the lines of what Jed feels so I like seeing
that expressed. And I do, with the best part of myself,
agree with Lila that God's not the one who moves.
"I guess I decided I'd rather lose my mind than lose him."
Beautifully written line spoken by Diana. That is most
definitely a temptation when we're grieving.
Diana talking to Monica in the graveyard is really getting to
me. The things she told herself... Josh is sleeping, Danny's
in the other room... they echo so much of what I've told
myself. He's on a fishing trip. She's on
vacation. It's a really common name... it isn't that
John. But then you wake up and face the truth.
"I don't know what God's plan is for you, Diana. But I know
that if you keep going, you will find out." Another Monica
I like it when Diana stands up to Rebecca about her faith. I
don't think therapists should be bringing their religious beliefs
or lack thereof into the counseling sessions unless they bill
themselves as therapists of that particular focus.
I like Tess' and Cynthia's interaction out in the hospital
hall. Woulda liked to have seen more of that!
That's very profound when Lila tells Carter that he's blaming Jed
cause he's afraid to blame God and get labeled a hypocrite.
"It's no shame to struggle with your
faith." Another Monica quote, another sign of this being one
of the more sensitively written episodes, IMO. "Don't try to
be the perfect example, try to be the honest example of someone
who held onto his faith in spite of his doubts." I like that
part, too. I want to try to be that.
I like that we see Josh's spirit.
"God didn't bring you this far to see you fail now." Monica
again. I love these quotes. Just wish they'd been
divvied out a bit.
I'm glad that Rebecca's still finding her way at the end but on
the path towards faith. Had she all of a sudden been talking
about God and angels, I'm not sure I woulda found it believable.
What I didn't love about
I wish Cynthia coulda recognized J.D.'s gift
earlier. I've heard some good sermons but I've heard a lot
more music that moved me spiritually.
I appreciate TBAA tackling an issue so difficult as deciding what
to do when a person is brain dead. But a part of me wishes
they'd resolved it without Monica doing a revelation cause most
people who face that don't have an angel verbally guiding their
decision and translating for the person. Plus, I personally
like believing that when people are brain dead, they're already in
Heaven. The idea that Josh just loomed around for years
makes me sad.
This is the last time we'll ever have just our trio in an episode
sans Gloria and they couldn't find one line for Andrew?!?
Is it freaky for actors to play dead or, as with Jon
Schneider here, comatose? That would weird me out.
Although it'd probly be harder to see someone I knew and loved act
So why... other than the fact that John looks exceptionally
gorgeous with the sky behind him... was Andrew standing up on the
cliff as the bus sank? You would think he would be on the
bus with the people who were dying. Unless maybe those that
were going to die, died on impact and so when we see him on the
cliff that's after he's already taken them Home.
I obviously disagree with Rebecca's assertion that God is a
crutch. However... this has been on my mind lately: how do
you know when maybe your faith is a crutch? How do you know
when you've crossed the line between having a strong belief in
Heaven and squandering this life by spending so much time
pondering and imagining and daydreaming about the next?
that made me feel swoony:
Diana is right. Andrew most assuredly is a "nice lookin'
As mentioned above, he looks gorgeous... albeit terribly and
understandably sad... up on that cliff.
He also looks super lovely with trees behind him. Have
always thought that. And it's good to see him smile.
Still kinda hard and beautiful all at once to see Andrew walk into
Gah. The boy makes me wanna jump into that caddy.
Aww. He climbed into the back seat. I always loved it
when he did that.
Have just realized we do not hear John's amazing voice once in
this... I feel deprived.
Music: Nell Carter sings
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken" as Keb' Mo' and Delta Burke play
along on the guitar and piano. They go onto sing something
as the second segment opens that I don't recognize. It has
the lyrics "steal your heart away" at the end. When we first
see Jed, he's singing "Don't Ever Sell Your Saddle." Keb'
Mo' joins him after a bit. (ETA: Hallmark cuts this but
Monica actually hears Jed before she sees him. During that
segment, he's singing "See Myself in You.") He then sings
"God Trying to Get Your
Attention." When Lila arrives at the psych facility, Diana
is trying to sing "Shallow Water" which reprises a couple more times in that
scene. Randy Travis sings "Baptism" over the final scenes.
-They cut a scene that begins with a shot of
Monica, Cynthia, and J.D. in the caddy driving through
Memphis. Monica parks and is looking around a busy
sidewalk. Cynthia is irritated. Nashville was enough
of a stretch for her... She says if they cross state lines,
it's a federal case. Monica reminds her that she didn't
kidnap her, she came of her own free will. Monica keeps
peering down the street, she's hearing Jed singing. J.D.
comments that he'd rather be in Memphis with Monica than back home
prepping a sermon. Cynthia swats at him. J.D.
reiterates that he's just not a preacher. Monica shushes
them and asks if they hear the singing. She tells J.D. to
get his guitar then rushes down the sidewalk. The siblings
follow, J.D. saying that Monica is following the spirit.
Cynthia comments that she hopes so cause she's killing him when
they get home. At least two different cuts of them walking
down different sidewalks follow. Finally, they spot Jed and
stop a few feet away. Monica points him out, Cynthia is
aghast that he's a "bum." Then it went to commercial and
when it resumed, Jed was singing "Don't Ever Sell Your Saddle"
which is where THC picks up.
-And clearly I'm just making stuff up now cause I coulda swore
there was a scene of Andrew on the bus, standing, as the ride
starts to get really rocky. Alas, there is no such scene.
Further on down the road...
I have to admit, it was hard for me to even get excited about
watching this episode knowing Andrew doesn't get a single
line. And I know some people may think that's bad given
Andrew was not the point of the show. Believe me, I know
that and I don't think he should have been. But he was the
part of the show that was filling a place in my life that was
empty and/or confused. For TBAA's entire run, I was in
Catholic school and part of a quite spiritual Christian
family. It was always, always nice to hear "God loves you"
on the show but I wasn't searching for that. And, to be
honest, while I fully support TBAA keeping the scripts
non-religiously specific and am very glad they did that, I am
Christian. So I respond more fully to specifically Christian
spirituality. I love learning about different faiths and
their spiritual practices and beliefs. But I know what mine
are. To really, fully engage me spiritually... Jesus has to
figure in. So if I'd only been looking for "God loves you,"
I probably wouldn't have even stuck with the show. I would
have respected it, certainly, and been glad it was out
there. But I likely woulda spent less time watching it and
more time reading C.S. Lewis or similar. Sometimes TBAA
would blindside me by filling a spiritual need I didn't even know
I had and that was great. But the only element that
constantly kept me coming back because I wasn't finding that
element anywhere else... well, that was John Dye's performance as
Andrew. So, yeah, no matter how engaging some episodes are
(and this one really is well written IMO), if he's not much
involved then I do kinda zone out.
At least the music is really good. I wish Monica and Tess
weren't talking through "Will the Circle?" though...
Am I the only one who thinks this shrink is woefully
unprofessional? Like I said above, I always thought, unless
they billed themselves as such, they were supposed to keep their
religious beliefs or lack thereof outta their practice? Why
alienate clients like that?
So apparently it's a bit hokey that Monica, J.D. and Cynthia are
able to move around so much seemingly on the same day.
Nashville to Memphis and back again. I just looked it up and
I guess it wouldn't be impossible. Not much time to dawdle,
though! And woulda had to have been during a spring or
summer longer daylight time, I think.
Ya know, maybe why I feel lukewarm about this episode is it
doesn't even really seem like it had to be a TBAA episode.
like it could have been a good Hallmark Hall of Fame movie but the
angels seem so incidental. This is pretty obvious when Diana
admits that she believed Monica was an angel, no longer does, but
is nonetheless moved and healed by her involvement. The
episode would have still worked without angels. The best,
most real exchanges are between the humans IMO. Hence, while
I by no means think this is a bad episode, it's one I'm not much
interested in. Cause if I'm gonna watch TBAA... I wanna see
quality angel time. Otherwise I would just watch HHOF movies
instead. When Joshua speaks is the first time it really
seems like TBAA to me.
Going back to my first paragraph in this section, simply the use
of Joshua as a name highlights the lack of the Jesus element for
me. I hear them say it and am like "Joshua!? Where!?"
and then a split second later remember they're not talking about
Jesus. Which, again, I'm totally fine with. But it is
why I could never get really into TBAA just for the God
talk. I think it's great. But it leaves me wanting
something it's not going to provide. That wasn't an issue
with Andrew. I needed a concrete way to think about what
happens at death. That was provided. Actually, maybe
this is a lot my issue with the way people sometimes talk about
religiously themed movies, shows, and books. I think, too
often, people draw a false parallel between how someone views such
a product and their faith. I do feel like I was sometimes
judged for being more drawn to the portrayal of Andrew in TBAA
than its portrayal of God. That does NOT mean I feel more
strongly about AODs than God. It just means that for all I
love about TBAA, it's portrayal of God while very nice wasn't at
the level I need and was sometimes downright off to me.
(Still cannot fathom that the real God would allow Gloria's
creation and early days to unfold like they did on the show, for
example.) It's not about their presentation or mine being
better or worse or superior or inferior. It's just personal
the Episode Guide
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