"Vengeance is Mine (aka
Saving Grace)Part II"
A review by Jenni:
What I love about this episode:
I really like the idea of leaving letters, recordings, etc. behind
for our loved ones when we die. So I like that this episode
explores the power of those messages via Darlene's poems to her
daughter and mother.
was bothered by how placid Nathaniel was when Sondra had him in
the woods. And when he pretty much said he wouldn't say
anything about it being a kidnapping, I thought "Oh no...
Please tell me TBAA isn't gonna excuse this behavior just because
Sondra is a sad, wronged person." So I was very glad when
Monica showed up and nudged Nathaniel towards telling the truth
and letting Sondra face the consequences. I remain bothered
by the fact that she really wasn't punished but at least it didn't
seem like God and the angels were giving her a complete pass on
terrorizing a kid.
I really like Dinah in this episode. She's very brave to ask
to see Darlene and then to have the confidence to read her poem
aloud to a virtual stranger. I was impressed. And it
made me miss having characters on TV that remind me of myself as I
was even a lil bit. When I see teens on shows now, it makes
me feel like I musta been of a different species entirely.
My friends, too.
Claire's quiet, emotional reaction to Dinah's poem really moved
me. I think it played so well because it was so
understated. I probly woulda had Claire bawling and that
woulda distracted from the scene.
Frankly, I'm just impressed Tracey Gold took the role of
Darlene. It's really not what I would have expected and she
does a really great job.
I love the part where Tess tells Sondra that God "counts every
hair on your head." It's such a visual, touching way to do
what TBAA did so well: assuring us not only that God loves us but
that He knows us, notices us.
What I didn't love about
What I didn't love actually says a lot for this episode because
it's this: the good bye scenes with Darlene really get to
me. Too much. I just have this sense of being
compressed and suffocated. So while I really dislike that
feeling, well done to TPTB behind those scenes because I think
they definitely work.
I love Andrew but it really bugs me when he, or any of them, use
the phrase "the angel of death." It would be like me saying
"I'm the woman." I'm *a* woman among many. Andrew's an
AOD among many. It'd be fine if it was "I'm the angel of
death assigned to you" but simply "I am the angel of death" sounds
I love Tess' last scene with Sondra cause she's so forceful yet
gentle, too. However, I can't help but feel she uses Andrew
as a threat in telling Sondra she and her son almost met
him. It sorta strikes me as similar to when a parent says
"Straighten up right now or you're grounded!" Andrew is not
a punishment. Or if he is... I'm apparently an aspiring
masochist and I really don't think I am.
to wonder if I could do what Claire and Dinah did: reach out to
someone on death row. I'm not sure I could. Death can
be so difficult to face when we have to that I'm not sure I could
willingly enter into a relationship of any kind that had a set end
date. And I really doubt I'd allow my child to. So
kudos to the Greenes for being braver and more generous than me.
Parts that made me feel
I'll admit I was a bit disappointed cause for some reason I
remember this episode as having lots of Andrew. Not
so. But what's here is very good.
Is it just me or does his very short hair make his eyes look
bigger and more puppy dog like? They just seem really sad
here. And endearing. Although I miss the hair.
I'll be happy with it again about mid-season.
When Andrew first strokes Darlene's cheek then holds her...
I begin to understand why I remember this episode as
Andrew-filled. That single moment looms so large for
me. He's so tender and loving. Like one of the big
brothers of the world entire.
Dinah references the PL
episode "Take Back the Night" wherein she was attacked (and
escaped from) a rapist. This just makes me less impressed
with the Gospel Music Channel refusing to air that episode.
But I won't go into a full blown rant about that here, I promise.
Josh sometimes really reminds me of my brother when he's so
practical and sarcastic as he is at the family dinner scene.
Eeek. Almost scary.
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-Didn't notice anything here, either.
And further on down the road...
First, I remain really glad that this episode and other PL
crossovers were included in the TBAA DVD sets. I was
concerned they wouldn't be as the 2nd halves were actually PL
Oh and I really like John's short hair now. I know above I
didn't seem to and I guess I didn't at the time. But it's
grown on me. My new maturity, I guess. ;-)
"Everyone has angels watching over em." A quote from
Monica. Mine probly gets a bit tired of angst. ;-)
"People stop listening to God. They figure they can decide
what's right and wrong for themselves and it leads to a whole lot
of trouble!" And that would be Tess. Always good to
look to God. But I must admit sometimes it's hard to discern
what He's saying back sometimes.
Among the human characters, I think Erasmus had some of the best
quotes. Here's one: "There are times when maybe the only
thing we got to go on is not what we know but what we believe on
faith. And maybe this is one of those times."
Claire follows it up with a pretty great one, though.
"Haven't we learned by now that it isn't up to us to figure out
how everything fits in? It's up to us to deal with
it." Life in a nutshell.
Is it just me or do the episodes featuring death row have
especially good scoring?
"You don't hit bottom. You hit God." Tess tells that
to Sondra. It also reminds me of the episode "Redeeming
"God loves people so much that He gave them choices: the choice to
love Him, the choice to listen to him." Tess goes onto say
we also have the choice to drive recklessly but out of context
that seems odd so given these will end up on my quote page, I'll
leave it at that.
"God's judgment and man's judgment are different." Also from
Tess. That's a hard thing to live with sometimes.
From the same scene: "God will show you more mercy than you show
yourself." Love that! We're so hard on ourselves
"God made you. He counts every hair on your head." I
know I mentioned that Tess quote in my original review but I
wanted to note the whole thing.
"There's a whole bunch of people out there with their 'if
onlys.' Say goodbye to yours. Step into the
future!" Gosh, this entire scene with Tess and Sondra is
great (barring the aforementioned Andrew thing.)
"Where you're going, God is already there. Yes, He
is." Same great scene.
"The only thing better than forgiving is being forgiven."
Finally one from lovely, darling Andrew. I'm glad I'm
catching all these quotes this time.
Made it through that whole episode without crying then lost it in
the final moments as Dinah read Darlene's letter. There are
a lot of open arms I'm waiting to run to. Plus, it hearkens
back to what I first wrote when I began this review back in
2009. There is amazing power in the messages people leave
behind when they leave us.
I wonder why the episode title changed?
the Episode Guide
(The photographs used on
this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS
Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.
They are not being used to seek profit.)