A review by Jenni:
What I love about this
I love Tess in this episode. She's got the tough love act
at its best here. She is not taking junk from Ray from the
when she calls him "sweetie"... whew! That's
about the most unsweet use of that word I've heard!
The whole idea of the cycle of violence in families or, as Tess
"violence begets violence," is explored very well here. The
obvious way is in showing how Alex picks up on his father's
violence. First he gets in the fight at hockey
Then he actually shoves his mother. So that's the cycle of
to abuser. But they also depict the cycle victims
experience. Because abuse was part of her family of origin,
seems more accepting of it in her marriage. That fear and
to downplay the abuse is already infiltrating her daughter who
up with her aunt and described her parents' fight as a
discussion. I think TBAA did a great job of showing how
even if physically limited to Linda and Ray, eventually affects
I thought Ray was written in a pretty convincing way. People
about how abusers can become very kind, affectionate, and fawning
they've gotten violent. TBAA shows that. Ray goes from
monster to Prince Charming and back more than once in the course
Holly's probably my favorite human character in this. Can
imagine your best friend and sister getting married and then later
seeing what a terrifying union that is? I think the acting
she's at the police station is quite impressive. For a while
there her voice sounds childish, like she's reverting back to the
times of her childhood. Your heart really goes out to her.
I'm going to have to hand it to Monica. When Holly tells her
her shooting Ray was partly due to Monica's advice, I expected
to go all "woe is me, I'm a terrible angel, I need to cry
But she totally holds it together! That's the Monica I
be when I grew up!
I really like the shot of the light coming through the hospital
window while Tess is speaking to Ray.
Finally, I very much appreciate that TBAA tackles the spiritual
abuse can take. Several shows, TV movies, films, plays, etc.
explore the cycle of violence, the physical and emotional wounds,
etc. But this is the first instance I've seen of a show
character say "there's never been a him worth trusting" and
understanding how that would make faith in a loving Father very,
difficult. So, again, I'm really impressed by Monica.
hits the nail on the head when she says how for some people the
"father" means pain and disappointment. She understands that
makes it difficult for Linda to hear about a loving Father.
think that was an important sub-topic to be brought up.
What I didn't love about
Not fond of Ray
that's obvious. One thing I did catch this time that I don't
recall from previous viewings is Linda saying that Ray doesn't
her to cry. My God. Physically abusive and emotionally
repressive. Which brings me to...
Instead of continually talking about anger which was obviously an
issue, I wish the angels would have spoken more about power,
Because I don't think Ray's abusiveness was always spurred by
much as a need to demonstrate he still had power.
Monica seriously just discovered mushrooms in this episode?
Where's she been??? Maybe she just meant she'd just
how tasty they were but, obviously, had some experience with them
before. I can't imagine being 5,000 and not knowing the
wonderfulness that is mushrooms.
Why does Tess, not Andrew, speak to Ray about God's love?
Andrew's done it before and he was in the room. We know
asks him about it later. Did they just not think Ray, who
obviously distanced from God, would take to an angel of
Maybe the writers thought Ray having to lay there silently and
to a female more powerful than himself was a lil bit of
restitution? I like that theory.
that made me feel
Andrew's such a wonderful coach! He encourages the boys when
do something impressive. Yet he doesn't take anything
untoward. And he makes house calls! And he knew Aunt
was coming which means he was pretty involved in his team members'
lives. So sweet. Makes me wish I were a hockey mom...
I still wouldn't be wearing lipstick. ;-)
I feel swoony when Andrew shows up to deliver the skates to the
cause it's such a kind thing to do and he looks really manly and
all. But then I move into "poor Andrew" mode cause he looks
troubled (with good reason) when Ray starts to yell. Which
me wonder this: I think most men in that situation would be
and angered by Ray's disrespect. But I wonder if it makes it
difficult when Andrew (when on Earth) has to lead a solitary life
then there's this guy who has a whole family and chooses to abuse
them. Basically Ray's throwing away a gift Andrew can never
have. And I'm not saying Andrew wants a wife and kids.
don't believe he does. But he might want a close bond with a
confidante. Ray coulda had that in his wife but... no.
Andrew gets to witness that refusal.
I also feel bad for Andrew when Linda expects him to back her up
home invasion statistics and guns. Not only is that just
awkward position to be put in but the way he answers... He
he's seen what can happen with guns in the home. With my
limited experience, that still brought flashes of incidents to my
I can only imagine how many incidents Andrew would be able to
Andrew looks so dejected and lonely sitting on what seems to be
outside the Craig residence after the shooting. That poor
his stairs... I really can't imagine being a creature born
love who, for the most part, only ever feels love and then
such violence and grief. If there are AODs like Andrew... I
they should all be canonized.
I was thinking quite
about Andrew during his scenes but on a
lighter note I do have to say... his AOD ensemble in this episode
stunning. He looks so handsome and dignified!
I wanna ice skate with Andrew... Not that I can ice
I'd probly have to hang onto him... that wouldn't be so bad.
Even in the best of circumstances (which are certainly not on
with this family), I think it'd be kinda odd to live in my
house without them. Of course, one of my uncles does that
doesn't seem to mind. I'm just not sure I'd want that many
memories of my previous life as I'm in the midst of a new
A couple months ago I was watching the film Amadeus. And I
thinking Stanze Mozart looked really familiar but I couldn't place
her. So I checked IMDB.com and... she's Aunt Holly!
really she's Elizabeth Berridge who played Aunt Holly and Stanze
I'm sure ya got that. :-)
Linda cites home invasions as a reason to have a gun. I'm
going to state my position on gun ownership but I will say that a
my friend knows said that a dog is one of the best ways to prevent
invasion. And they're much nicer to cuddle with.
A Word from Travis:
If I remember correctly, when Linda shoots her brother-in law
in self-defense, he dies. I think this is one of the series’ best
episode in the sense that the story is so relatable (whether
directly or indirectly). So many women are victims of physical
abuse at the hands of their spouses.
the Episode Guide
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page are from "Touched by an Angel" and
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