"True Confessions"

A review by Jenni:
So I've been waiting to get to this episode because... with its March 19, 2000 air date, it goes down in Dyeland history as the first TBAA episode they saw after real (for them) Andrew showed up in their midst on March 17, 2000.  So there's actually a reference in one of the stories to him watching this with them.  Fun.

What I love about this episode:

While I have some issues with Tess' part of the scene (see the next section), I liked this opening with Monica ready to be rid of winter and then realizing all the wonderful things about it.  I could relate.  Except I'm more anti-summer.  Although I do get frustrated towards the end of long winters.  In any case, I think it stressed how important it is to find the positive in your current season... cause ya can't change the weather!  Honestly, it made me kinda excited for winter.  Although I love the fall so see no reason to hurry through it. 

I could really relate to what Monica tells the prisoners about how you can learn so much about yourself by looking through a characters' eyes.  I don't act but I strongly feel that way about writing.  I've discovered so much about my beliefs and how I feel and even gotten clarity about how others might feel... all just by writing various characters.

I love how the angels use Agnes of God to reach Carla.  Theatre often touches me deeply and I don't think we can stress enough how important the arts are.  Incidentally, I've always thought it was kinda interesting the writers chose this play.  Just cause it's a lil squirm-inducing to think of Monica and Tess having to work with a play that involved someone thinking they'd been impregnated and possibly raped by an angel.  Now I want to go reread the play cause I can't recall how much of the truth Agnes eventually came to.  And it's always a good thing when a TV show makes you want to read! 

"Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord... not yours.  If you want to pray for something, pray for peace.  And you pray to find the strength to forgive."  A quote from Andrew to Santos.  It's a tough one but a true one.

I like how Tess calls for everyone to hush up prior to the play when a quieter Monica doesn't succeed at it.  A funny moment was needed.

"You can tell a lie, you can live a lie, but you can't pray a lie."  Monica shares that with Carla.  Very well said.  God always knows the truth because He is Truth. 

I'm glad that Santos finally got to hear Orbie's dying message: "Tell my Papa I love him."  Heartbreaking.

I didn't fully appreciate this until I watched the CBS version but it's cool that the two truthful flashbacks of the shooting (Andrew's which THC cut and Carla's final one) are in color.  Carla's altered ones are in black and white.  Nifty. 

What I didn't love about this episode:

Wow... I'm gonna come to the defense of Monica.  That's a rarity!  I actually liked how she came from a "Winter bad!" mental space to a "Winter is lovely!" philosophy.  I interpreted her transformation as the importance of looking for the positive.  Cause I complain about various seasons, too.  But I try to step back and think about the lovely things about all four.  But Tess interprets it as "adjusting memories" and uses it to draw a comparison between Monica and Carla.  It's an exceedingly weak comparison.  Monica was not altering her memories.  She was refocusing on certain aspects of memories.   When I sing the praises of winter, it's not that I'm forgetting about having to walk to my parents' for Christmas breakfast following an epic snow storm last year.  It's just that I'm choosing to focus on sitting on my couch with cocoa as Neil Diamond sings Christmas carols and I admire my decor and my dog snoozing away.  Monica was just doing the same. 

Gotta admit, I was getting really exasperated with Monica believing Carla was innocent.  I'm very glad she let that go after Andrew revealed what he knew (Carla shot Orbie and laughed about it) because if she'd kept at it, I would have freaked out and probly ended up having a character explode on her in the next Dyeland story.  But she stuck with the truth and that was good.  Still, my feelings show just how badly "The Journalist" tarnished how I feel about Monica.  I spent the bulk of the episode thinking Monica was going to waffle and disregard Andrew's and Tess' counsel and blindly stick with Carla... as she did with Rocky.  To be fair, I probly woulda been less fearful of Monica relapsing had THC left in Andrew's flashback.  See the bottom section.

Lingering questions:
Why does it take 19 hours from the time Carla is found innocent to her actually being released?  I guess I always thought it was instantaneous.  In fact, it seems kinda illegal to continue to hold anyone for even an hour at that point.  But I have no clue on all that.

Also, what would happen to Carla after she turned herself in?  I wouldn't think she could be tried again due to double jeopardy.  Yet... if someone says they're guilty... how can you just let them go free? 

Parts that made me feel swoony:
It's Pavlovian...  When Monica used "lovely" to describe winter, I immediately thought of the lovely Andrew.  Love the lovely angel...

Andrew as a hospice worker is absolutely perfect.  For a long time, he made me want to be a hospice worker.  Reality (aka epilepsy and, I'll be honest, emotional issues) set in but I know he would do a beautiful job with it.

Ha!  Were we supposed to think of Bergman's The Seventh Seal when there was that image of Andrew sitting across the chess board from Santos?  Because I totally did!  Andrew, of course, is much more attractive than Bergman's guy.  Anyhow...  Andrew's look as Santos tells of his son's death really gets to me.  It's like you can see him replaying that day in his mind.  I want to hug him.  And Santos. 

"You know, people say 'I love you' in all kinds of different ways."  It's a good quote to keep in mind and I like that Andrew assures Santos that Orbie knew of his love.  Also, it makes me think of a story scene wherein Monica is bewildered by LJA ending her phone conversation with Andrew with "I love you."  And she basically says it's because the Dyelanders never know how much time they have with Andrew.  I think it's good they do that but also nice to think Andrew would know they loved him regardless.

Frankly, I just love how Andrew deals with Santos.  He's so gentle and kind and understanding.  I love it when he assures the dying man that he is a good man.

I found myself wondering how hard it must have been for Andrew to see Santos all torn up about wanting to ask Carla's forgiveness when Andrew knew she was completely guilty.  Sometimes not being able to speak up must be insanely difficult.

Andrew's all lovely and reassuring again when Santos frets that he said the wrong thing to an angry Carla at the cafe. 

Random thoughts:

Music:  Someone sings the "Kyrie" during the performance of Agnes of God.

How much of a nerd am I that when Tess told Monica she was taking her "where winter doesn't end," I shouted "Narnia!" in my head?

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-I had a feeling THC cut the murder from Andrew's POV... they did.  So Andrew shows up and tells Monica about Carla laughing after she shot Orbie.  Both versions cut to commercial.  The CBS version returns with a few seconds of play rehearsal.  Nothing vital.  Monica then comments that she can't believe Carla's a murderer.  Tess asks her exactly what a murderer looks like.  Monica says she wants so badly to believe that there's been a mistake.  She turns to our AOD.  Andrew shakes his head and says no, there's no mistake.  Cut to Andrew's flashback.  He's glowing and wearing a tan suit with a white shirt and a goldish tie.  With a tan trench over that.  And the belt is undone and just kinda hanging off the sides.  (Trying to give ya'll a detailed mental image.)  He's walking down the grafitti covered alley.  He looks grave.  He pauses when Carla shoots.  Her boyfriend grabs the gun from her and runs, yelling that they gotta get out.  Carla stares at Orbie dying, the boyfriends drives off, and she begins to laugh.  Andrew looks ticked and pale.  He kneels in front of Orbie and sets a hand on his shoulder.  Orbie can't speak but stares at Andrew who says: "It's all right, Orbie.  I'm an angel and God has sent me to take you Home."  Orbie gathers strength to speak and says "Could you tell my Papa that I love him?"  Carla is staring the whole time and thinks this is directed to her.  And maybe it is cause Andrew turns to her and she shakes her head (to Orbie, I'm sure she didn't see Angel Boy).  Andrew turns back to Orbie and the scene ends.  It resumes at the jail with Andrew shaking his head.  THC resumes it with Monica's "But she said she didn't do it."  I'm sad THC cut this cause there's a shot of Andrew crouching near Orbie that's in my head as an iconic Andrew image.  Woulda been nice to get a screen capture.  But really... they shouldn't have cut this regardless.

-They also cut a scene of Carla's final day in jail.  She's laying on her bunk, talking about the diner she's going to where her daughter will skip through the door and hug her.  Enshake listens from her own cell and smiles.  Carla goes on to say they'll split a milkshake and no one will think twice about just a regular mom out there.  She says she might go in and out the door a few times just to remind herself she can.  (Which is alluded to later.)  The other inmate who plays Mother Superior also listens on wistfully.  Outside the cells, Monica comments that now Carla has no reason to tells the truth.  Tess counters that when she leaves the jail, she'll just be walking into a much worse prison.  The inmate whose name I forget asks Carla what she's doing about the play.  Enshake seems to have assumed she'd still do it and is alarmed by the idea she would not.  Carla responds that she doesn't know, just really wants out.  Monica approaches her and asks if she doesn't want to play Agnes just once.  Enshake says that if she doesn't they have to use Didi (the one who had bad things happen to her then started making it so bad things happened to others) who is "terrible."  Shoot to Didi in her cell telling Enshake to shut up.  Monica tells Carla that it would mean a lot to everyone.  Cut to people filing into the performance area which is where THC begins this segment.  In this episode, that's two scenes they cut from right off the top of an act.

Further on down the road...
Two episodes in one day!  I missed this...

Kinda weird that as Monica is listing off winter's "lovely qualities" Christmas doesn't get mentioned.

They're going to Narnia!  Pre-Pevensies.  ;-)  I can't help that my mind goes there when Tess mentions a place "where winter doesn't end."  Ha!  I just looked back at my original review above and realized I had the same thought then, too.

7:40 and it's Andrew time!  I think death is personal for Andrew a lot...

I think last time I watched this episode, I ended up rereading Agnes of God.  It really is a good play but so eery and sad.

Dear Monica, 
Hi.  My name is Jenni.  How are you?  Good, I hope.  Just wanted to give you a quick message.  STOP FRIGGIN' DOUBTING ANDREW AND WISE UP, WOMAN!  If you don't want him as your friend, can I have him as mine?  Thanks for considering.  Cheers!

Prior to actually taking a bus trip, I had no idea that they dropped off and picked people up at restaurants, stores, etc.  I thought it was all about stations.  But I guess I should have known from this.

How sad for this little girl that her mom tells her she'll never let he go again... and there she is off to jail again.

How hard must it have been for Andrew to have to only state the reported facts for Santos when he knows the truth about Orbie's murder?  And then to hear Santos want to apologize and weep over his need for forgiveness... knowing Carla did it!  Again... I couldn't be Andrew.

I feel like a truly decent person wouldn't have been so harsh with Santos.  Even if, let's say, Carla hadn't killed Orbie... she still contributed to the situation that caused Orbie's death.  So being a jerk towards a grieving father is pretty bad.  Although I guess she was operating under the assumption that Santos kinda framed her.  Still...  Tough situation, I guess.

I really feel like it's kinda disrespectful to have Carla ask Santos for his forgiveness right after she's been so rude (and did she apologize for being rude?).  I get that she's just had a big revelation and God moment but why is he responsible for helping her with that?  He's a better person than I am.  And I wish we could have seen Santos learning that Andrew was with Orbie and that he'll be with him, too.  I guess I just plain don't like that this episode is more about comforting Carla than Santos.  I believe God loves Carla and wants her to be comforted.  But He would want that for Santos, too.  The balance seems off to me.  And I truly am not saying that just cause Andrew was assigned to Santos.  I think Andrew had pretty good screentime in this.

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