"Winners, Losers, and Leftovers"

A review by Jenni:

It's Saturday morning.  I can't remember the last time, if ever, that I did one of these prior to noon.  So we'll see how I like it.  Last night I just tired out too quickly and didn't wanna write nonsense.  Well, more than usual.  :-)
What I love about this episode:

I'm all for anything that involves poetry.  Monica opens this episode with James Kavanaugh's "There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves."  Beautiful and sad. 

Well, this episode makes me glad I don't work in the corporate world.  Yay non-profits!  I actually just saw our CEO.  He's not some dude that only appears via teleconference.

This location actually looks quite similar to where my company has our retreats.  So this feels pretty realistic to me.  Sadly, we do not play musical chairs, though. 

I like the stress on recognizing our co-workers as humans with lives.  That's important.  However, privacy is also important.  I've had some co-workers who really had boundary issues and that can be just as bad as distant, aloof people.

Giggle.  Liam's cell phone amuses me.

That's very sweet that Liam would send his son emails all the time.

Ha.  I love that Tess switches the teams after Liam so deliberately picks them.  Always fun to mess with liars.

I wish we'd do a scavenger hunt at work...  Although I would prefer we did it in the spring.  Oooh!  JABB Meeting 2013 idea!

Ouch...  Powerful stuff when Liam tells Monica to leave his family out of it and she responds with "I think you've already done that."  Good one, Monica.  Here's something I'm noticing... I like Monica better in episodes when she's NOT interacting with Andrew.

That's cool that a memory of Liam's father helps them find the flag.  Kinda sums the whole episode up: you need your family even in business.

Ha!  I could have helped!  As a short person, I've done my share of putting stick tack on a yardstick to reach something. 

Tess once again shows Liam the error of his ways.  Really glad Liam got chastised for leaving poor Neil. 

Wow.  Nice curve ball.  Josh ends up being the good Samaritan for Neil.  I still think the chair deal was disgusting but I like that they show that a single human can be a jerk and savior both.  We're a complicated, contradictory bunch.

"God has sent me here to tell you that He loves you so much...  But he wants you to stop trying to become what you think you need to be."  From Monica to Liam.  Then she moves onto "Think of yourself as someone so precious to God that He will always send a shepherd to bring you back home if you get lost."  Love that.

I'm very glad they had Liam speak to how scary it can be for any parent, but perhaps especially one with a special needs child, to think about how their child will face the future without them. 

"He is with You.  He is your strength and your salvation.  Then what is there to be afraid of?"  Monica again.

"Ask Him.  He will answer you.  It may not be what you expect or what you want.  But it will always be exactly what you need."  Same scene with Monica and Liam.  It's a great attitude to have towards prayer.  Not an easy attitude to have always, of course...

"Will you walk in fear?  Or will you walk with God?  Your Father in Heaven wants you to live the rest of your life in faith.  Will you trust Him?"  This scene is packed with great quotes.  I just wish Andrew woulda gotten some of them.

Matt helping his fellow runner is just awesome. 

That Harlow is in a wheelchair is maybe a lil too neat...  It made think "Augh.  Lame.  Now he's gonna promote Liam because it's all been a good-natured test the whole time."  But then the writers totally throw out the predictable ending and it turns out Harlow's still a jerk.  Way to be, writers.  Way to be.

And the trio with arms linked...  Sigh...  I think, truthfully, more than I ever wanted any couple on any TV show to have a romantic happily ever after (even including Vincent and Catherine)... I just wanted our trio to be happy together as friends forever.  It breaks my heart that it didn't end that way.  But in this episode, all is well.

What I didn't love about this episode:
Well, it would have been nice if, during this episode, a cat hadn't decided to hang out in my yard thus making my dog bark for several minutes straight... keeping my from hearing chunks of this episode.  But I spose the TBAA people couldn't really do anything to prevent that.  ;-)

Wow.  That blonde guy with the company (as opposed to the blonde guy with the Father) is a total jerk.  Apparently chivalry's dead for him.  I can't believe he yanked a chair out from under a woman!  It'd be bad to do to a man, of course, also.

Holy cow... I can't imagine leaving a friend, or even an enemy, wounded in the woods in the winter!  Bad, Liam, bad!

I wish there'd been more scenes of Andrew with the kids.

Lingering questions:
I wonder if the TBAA cast and crew did retreats?  That would have been awesome.

Should you know your co-workers' favorite foods and movies?  Personally, I'm not sure I want my co-workers knowing that.

Umm... did that entire crowd at the end see our trio disappear mid-lane?  Eek.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
"There are men too gentle to live among wolves..."  Monica's opening recitation.  Pretty sure it was not intended to remind me of JD and Andrew both but it does.  And lotsa other people.  Except, to go with Tess' line, I can't imagine Andrew ever attacking anyone.   I think Doc Hock would also appreciate that line.

Aww, Andrew being nostalgic in the opening.  Something tells me he likes the song "Big Yellow Taxi."  I definitely think that scene shows Andrew as the most optimistic of the three.  He remembers the past as being calm and beautiful.  Tess remembers there always being competition.  I agree with her.  But I also think it's a good example of Andrew always hunting for the good side.

"Bang!"  :-)  Andrew's all sorts of adorable with children.  This dude makes me wish I could rewrite the rules of reproduction.  Aww.  His face when Matt introduces his "girlfriend" is adorable.  I had to rewind and rewatch that scene.  I was engaged by 4 so I can relate to the kids.  That relationship didn't work out, obviously.  ;-)

Aww.  I love it when Andrew tells Matt he did "real, real good."  Sketchy grammar by Andrew makes me happy.  I also love it when he uses "real" instead of "really." 

Aww geez.  He's rubbing at his neck again.  Poor love has a lot of nervous/distressed habits.  And then when he says "I'm not dad, I'm afraid," I just wanna hug him.  Then adopt a baby so he can play pretend.  Yep, things would be totally functional and healthy if Andrew were real and I knew him...  ;-)

Andrew's smile when Liam enters the gym is so sweet.  He's always so happy when others are.  I love him...

Random thoughts:

Music: With the exception of "Pop Goes the Weasel" during musical chairs, I didn't pick up on any.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
 -They cut a scene of Liam and his wife in bed.  The clock tells us it's a lil after 4:00 AM.  The wife, Jamie, is sleeping but Liam is reading.  She awakens and asks what he's reading.  It's The Art of War which, apparently, Josh suggested he read.  Liam starts
quoting it, his wife urges him to not go around quoting it like the Bible.  Liam responds that he should have read it years ago.  She replies that she wouldn't have married him years ago in that case.  Liam asks if she realizes what the stakes are.  Jamie expresses doubt that the retreat is some sort of contest to get/keep their jobs.  Liam says that it could be and, thus, he needs to have a strategy and be competitive.  Jamie points out that he's not the latter and reminds him that he doesn't even fight her for the TV remote.  She goes back to bed, Liam returns to his book.  It then goes to Liam explaining the retreat to Matt which is where THC begins the segment in their cut.

-There must have been some sort of glitch when I recorded the CBS version cause a chunk of Monica's revelation is missing on my VHS.  So it's possible THC cut something from it and I wouldn't notice.  I think it's somewhat doubtful, though.  A revelation seems an odd thing to cut into.

-They also cut out a PSA at the end from Timothy Shriver about the Special Olympics.  Cutting a Kennedy... you've got guts, THC.  ;-)  But, seriously, the Special Olympics are still very important so you'd think THC could at least flash a number if not find time for the entire PSA.  So here's the link, at least.

Further on down the road...
I dunno...  For some reason Roma's poetry recitation here, too, just seems so lacking to me.  Like she's just reading the lines but not putting much into them.  The poem itself is very moving but I don't feel like it really means anything to her.  Maybe it's just bad timing.  We've been talking on the YG about how unemotional the Monica and Zack final scene in the finale is after we've grown so used to Monica being so emotional about nearly everything.  So maybe I'm just more observant right now about times when Monica seems less emotive than I would even be.

Augh.  I don't think I wanna end the weekend on this episode.  Nothing makes a person wanna go back to work like seeing workplace bickering and backstabbing!

I don't even wanna know what would happen if my workplace told everyone they had to go on a weekend-long retreat.  Major flip-outage, methinks.

Wow.  I feel bad.  I couldn't answer most of these questions Tess is asking for my co-workers.  Not even those I'm close to.  Of course, I spose it's worth considering that I'm
not sure I even know what my favorite movie or food is.  It depends.  I know foods and movies I've discussed with co-workers.  But not favorites.

How is it that Liam didn't realize this was a full weekend retreat?  Is he just that clueless or did they not make that clear?  If the latter, that's pretty cruddy.  Some of these people probably had to arrange childcare and such.

I wonder if a company would even do something like this these days?  Seems like taking away all cell phones and sending people into terrain is a lawsuit waiting to happen.  If I were on a jury, I'd totally fault a company if someone got injured while trying to get a freaking flag out of a tree and then couldn't get emergent treatment cause they didn't have means of communication. 

Ooh.  Andrew again at around 26:20.  Yay.  So cute saying "Bang!"  :-)  Too bad he has so few scenes in this one.  Well, at least I won't be spending tons of time screen-capping this episode...  Here he is again right before the 40 mark.  Given that Andrew was with Matt during the course of this assignment, I think it would have been better had they shown Andrew's reaction shots during the race as opposed to Monica's...

It's eerie how much Mr. Harlow looks like someone I used to know who was pretty Machiavellian like this fellow.  Even the suit.  Eeek.  The real guy didn't use a wheelchair, though.

Apropos.  Just earlier today I was thinking about a brief stint in my life and how I didn't like who it made me be.  So it was cool to have Liam echo that sentiment.

And they kept the PSA!  Yay!

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