"The Southbound Bus"
A review by Jenni:
So I've concluded I'm not really fond of this episode... Probly a
good thing that it wasn't actually the first episode I saw.
What I love about this
While I may not
love this episode as much as others, there are points I really
liked. For one, I liked Monica taking on those bullies for
David's sake. Bullies getting freaked out is always good!
Plus she looked really fierce which I liked. Because I grew up
believing angels were mostly our protectors and, hence, could be some
rather tough folks. I've since expanded my belief in them but
it's still nice to see that reflected sometimes.
Adam. He's lovely.
More on that in the section I usually
reserve for Andrew.
I'm amused by the scene of the two women seeing Monica seemingly
talking to herself. It's a wonder that didn't happen more often
to the angels.
I thought the red herring with Ruth Ann only borrowing Christine's star
necklace was pretty ingenuous.
The scene with Tess and David giving each other the evil eye is really
This episode is chock-full of nicknames! We have Dinosaur Boy,
sweetheart and sister from Tess. Probly others that I just
I *love* Monica's dress from the desert scene. It's gorgeous and
probly one of my favorite TBAA costumes ever.
While much of that desert scene strikes a wrong note with me, I do
think Monica's line about "why did You give me a heart if You didn't
want me to use it?" is where 90% of TBAA's psychological drama
originates. I think about that inner struggle the angels must
feel a lot while watching episodes.
Finally, I thought the shot of David joining his parents' hands was
adorable and heartwarming.
What I didn't love about this
The snake at the beginning disturbs me. I hate snakes. But
TBAA shouldn't be held accountable for that.
Monica walking barefoot on the gravel makes me cringe but, again, an
idiosyncrasy of mine that really says nothing about TBAA. My
brother laughs at me cause I won't even go barefoot in my own house
which I vacuum regularly.
Pretty annoyed with Monica being so dismissive when she says she
thought caseworking would be "more than babysitting." Babysitting
is tough work, lady! I'm even more annoyed that Tess doesn't chew
her out about it.
I know the writers can't be expected to know where their show will go
over 9 years during the pilot but... it really grates on me when Tess
reminds Monica that she's not been in human form for more than a few
minutes at a time. So obviously we hallucinated "Face on the
Barroom Floor" and "The Compass" and others.
I cannot believe that a cop would leave a child as young as David home
alone. Unless they were living in Mayberry. Clearly David
wasn't responsible enough to be home alone. He was stealing money
and trying to get on a bus! What the heck!?!?! And then
dear old dad is totally unfazed by Monica being in his house. I
would so NOT be okay with coming home to find my kid there with a
complete stranger. He's lucky Monica was an angel and not some
deranged person. That character lost all credibility with me
Monica tells David's dad she has no vices. Really? I beg to
differ. I mean this episode even highlights a couple of
them! Monica often seems to think she knows best. Which
then leads her to disobedience. Yep, no vices there!
I don't really get the Christ-like/Gethsemane thing Martha Williamson
and the commentators are talking about when Monica prays in the
desert. Jesus was praying in Gethsemane because He'd obediently
followed God's will to a very painful, demanding place. Through
no fault of His own, Jesus was going to die but He put all His trust in
God while in that garden. Monica, on the other hand, was
disobedient and then got upset and doubtful when her efforts seemed to
fail. At the scene's end she seems lost and like she's given
up. At the end of Jesus' prayer, He gets up and goes to face His
fate head on. I sympathize with Monica a great deal there but I
really don't see the comparison. I think there are definitely
other times Monica seems Christ-like (the end of "Liberty Moon" for one
and the desert scene in "Netherlands" for another) but definitely not
here for me.
I believe God can take our mistakes and bring beautiful things out of
them. Nevertheless, I'm a little troubled by the message of this
episode. Disobey God and a family will be reunited! It's
somewhat saved by Monica telling Tess that she prayed. Which
makes it sound more like Monica's prayer, not her actions, helped bring
the family together. But still... Really Monica's
disobedience sunk a lot of this episode for me, I guess.
So after the family's reunited Monica exclaims "I pulled it off!"
Thankfully Tess adds "You and who else?" Assumedly reminding
Monica of God's involvement and maybe Tess' own. But Monica
doesn't seem to reply. So could I please add "occasionally
self-important" and "fails to recognize the successful input of others"
to the vice list?
Do Search and Rescue angels, when they get promoted, always go to
caseworking? Because Tess tells Monica she has a promotion and
unless I missed it Tess doesn't say to what. Monica just replies
"Hallelujah! I'm a caseworker!" as if it's just an automatic
process. So maybe it is. Just makes me curious.
If Adam doesn't handle SIDS cases who does? Monica's later
conversation with Christine seems to suggest that guardian angels do
since she says the angel that was with the baby when she died is still
with her. But I dunno. Until that bit I was thinking an
archangel or even God.
I can remember at one point someone on some TBAA group or another
speculating that Ruth Ann went on to become Sister Theodore from
"Minute by Minute." It's been so long since I've seen that and I
can't recall if that works. Anyone know? I'd say we could
wait til the S8 DVD release and check then but we might all be in
retirement communities by then... Grr.
Parts that made me feel
Adam is a big relief in this episode. As far as adult male
characters with important roles, we've only got him and Officer
Clueless so... Adam definitely gets all my swooniness in this episode.
First, he's so graceful looking when he's walking towards Monica.
But not in a manner that makes one feel klutzy in comparison.
That's what I liked about Adam. He always looked much more
dignified and even regal than even Andrew did yet he also had that same
kind of warmth and approachableness. You can totally see it here.
I would love to be Monica when she gets that big ol' hug from
Adam. He's so happy for her!
And then sadly Adam goes away for the rest of the episode... Sob.
Tess says it takes a century to take off weight once angels gain
it. I think she was joking but struck me as an interest tidbit,
The score in this episode seems much giddier and more country-style
than in later episodes.
I found it interesting that Monica describes herself as being in Public
Relations. I guess that makes sense but I think the later use of
"counselor" and such makes more sense.
I forgot that Monica fixes the caddy up. That makes her getting
the car in the finale more acceptable to me. For a while it made
to the Episode Guide
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