"What are Friends For?"

A review by Jenni:

What I love about this episode:

I have to start out by saying I really don't have any connection to this episode.  I don't have close college buddies.  I left college with the same friends I came in with.  I certainly don't have friends who abuse my trust as much Billy does.  So I don't really have much to say good about this and it's not that this is a bad episode.  It's just not an episode that personally touches me much.

I'm glad Monica defended teaching when Carrie seemed to be lamenting that Billy was a teacher and not an actor or something.  Yay, Monica.  Too bad Billy had to be such a lousy teacher but still... good thought!

The whole friends v. husband dilemma Carrie faces is interesting to see explored.  I have no idea how I'd balance obligations to my husband v. obligations to my friends if I were married.  Her hubby is definitely understanding!

Even though it's way creepy, I did like that the phrase "on the roof" ended up being Carrie's tip off that Billy was guilty.  I just like, in literature and film, when phrases repeat and take on different meanings.

This episode does give us some nice quotes from Monica:
"No one has the right to ask you to compromise who you are."
"The heart that He made for you is precious and He doesn't want to see it get broken."
I would like to share the latter with Andrew...

I could kinda relate to Carrie wanting at least some things to never change.  Although I don't think I'd take a friend's maturity level as one of them...  Her desire to protect people was even a bit more relatable to me.

I thought it was appropriate to shoot the Carrie and Billy final confrontation in front of the Office of the Mayor.  Fitting.

I guess I did have a fair amount to say about this!

What I didn't love about this episode:
I think this episode was WAY too easy on Billy.  They made more about what a crappy friend he was (for shame, he expects to be bailed out!) than what a horrible mistake he made as a teacher (he engaged in a sexual act with a minor, for crying out loud).  He didn't just commit a crime.  What he did was immoral.  I thought it was kinda a cop out that they made the girl nearly 18.  I don't care!  Even if she was 18 or 19 he was her teacher.  And I don't care if she came onto him first.  He was the responsible party.  What he did was wrong, wrong, wrong.  I feel bad for Carrie but I resented the implication I got that Billy's gravest sin was taking advantage of her and being a user.  That's really bad.  I agree.  But being with a student... way worse in my book.  Carrie was his equal and an adult.  Carrie could have cut him loose years before.  The girl was not his equal.  She was his student.  I don't care how mature she is or what she thought she wanted with him, it was his job as an adult and a teacher to resist.  He did not. 

Lingering questions:

How do I seem to have completely missed the lesson(s) on passive v. active voice in school?  I wish they woulda let Monica go on a bit longer on that during the speech meeting cause I need help knowing the difference!

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Andrew's kinda blink and you miss him in this episode.  Nonetheless, parts of it bring him to mind.  Like I can't help but think of him when Tess and Monica are discussing how tender human hearts can get squashed by less sensitive people.  I think, perhaps, they shoulda just left it as "tender hearts," skipped the species reference, and maybe next time Andrew was upset paid a lil more attention to him.  But that's just me...

I want Andrew to come make me a Shirley Temple!  I love those.  And I love him.  So it would be a nice combo.  Plus, I would pay a lot of attention to him... unlike this episode does.  Though, to be fair, I'm watching the Hallmark version which may have cut stuff.  Grr. 

Wow...  I know I'm gonna sound wacky but...  I think Andrew's body language is really telling in the aforementioned scene.  Or else I'm just a psych nerd.  And the latter is quite possibly the case.  Anyhow, after Andrew gives Monica her drink, she says "It's nice to have friends who know the real you."  And Andrew averts his eyes.  What was that!?!  To me it almost said "Yeah... but I wouldn't know."  Necessary disclosure: I spent most of the morning writing a very emotional story about Andrew.  So I'm probly sappifying everything.  But still... it really jumped out at me that he looked away right after Monica said that.

On a lighter note, there is major eye brow action when he's mixing Monica's drinks.  Very cute.

It gets to me when you see Tom walking away with Andrew's hand first on his shoulder and then with his arm around him.  Sad for Tom but I'm glad Andrew was walking alongside him.  That image will stick with me for a few days.

Random thoughts:
Someone at TBAA must really like that "quality of mercy" line from Shakespeare.  That and the St. Crispin's Day speech cause both get worked into at least 2 TBAA episodes. 

Scenes Hallmark cut:
-The CBS version has a montage of Carrie cutting ribbons, kissing babies, etc.  Admittedly, this is not a scene that would have grabbed my attention on Hallmark.  So maybe it was there.  But I don't recall it.  My guess: it was cut or at least cut down cause it goes on for quite a bit in the CBS version.  Luckily, Andrew is not seen so you're not missing him.

And further on down the road...
"It's not about having a lot of friends.  It's about being a good friend to the ones you've got."  That quote from Tess is so true.  I've never been one to have massive amounts of friends.  But I really do try to be a good friend and so appreciate it when people are true friends.

That part where Tess talks about a tender heart being squashed makes me really sad...  No longer on a purely fictional level.

Wow.  These people graduated the year I was born.

Weird... and not cool...  On the DVD they replaced Journey's "Open Arms" with some other song that doesn't even sound like it's from the 80s.  It's actually a decent sounding song but very much 90s if not actually the Aughts.

I still want Andrew to make me a Shirley Temple.  And then I'll make him dessert or something as payback.

"Sometimes memories keep people harmonizing together long after the music is over."  I know in this episode that Tess quote is sposed to be a negative thing but... I like it.  Billy and Carrie did need to go their separate ways.  However, for many people being joined together by memories is a really wonderful, life-affirming thing.

I would not like it if my husband called me "kiddo."  But other than that, Carrie's husband is extraordinarily patient and kind.  Wow... he put up with a lot.

Something about this episode makes me think of the very early TBAA episodes.  I think maybe it's just the frankness of it.  Sexual misconduct, college era flings, the rather complicated take on the student, and politics.  Kinda "Fallen Angela"-esque.

Not even close to enough Andrew in this...  I do still love that gentle hand on Tom's back...

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