"The Word"

A review by Jenni:

First... drum roll please... it is almost 9 PM and I'm just now drinking my morning coffee.  Technically, I had coffee earlier but it wasn't *my* morning coffee.  I had to have a blood draw and, thus, couldn't have any coffee at home.  So I had to settle for work coffee.  Not the same.  So... now I can enjoy my coffee, pumpkin pie, and Andrew.  I'm actually quite psyched about this episode.  I know I've seen it but I don't remember it well so, unlike some S9 episodes that remain quite clear to me, this'll be almost like new.  I hope I like it!

What I love about this episode:
I like what Tess says about how all the children in the resource room are God's children... even the just plain mean ones.

I'm totally backing Charlee on the whole not being able to write at school.  I couldn't write there well.  And I can write even less at work.  Home's the way to go.  And I also think school sometimes contaminates what you wrote after the fact... 

Ha!  Monica's cell phone has an antenna!  I love it!  It makes me feel good cause I have the oldest cell phone of anyone I know but it's not even that old.  Granted, we're also not living in 2002 now but still...

This is a small thing but something I notice cause I know so many teachers.  First, I love that Monica does a home visit cause I imagine they would be immensely helpful in cases when a student is struggling.  Second, I love that Monica *and* Andrew do a home visit.  I realize that they're there in two different capacities.  But it's just smart.  One of our local school districts is doing a pilot program involving home visits but sending teachers off alone to make them.  And I just think there's safety in numbers.  So... it'd be nice if all real school districts were run like this.

I really like the idea of using fables and fairy tales to express ourselves.  The teachers pre-Monica may not have had much staying power but whomever came up with that assignment had something going for them.  The style hasn't survived for eons without good reason.  We've been using fables to help us probly forever.

I appreciate Tess telling Charlee "There is no magic pill to solve all your problems."  In this day when we medicate everything, it's good to keep that in mind.  No chemical is going to make your life perfect.

I like that, via Charlee's mom, the writers stress how conditions like OCD often have a genetic component.  And/or a learned one.  So it's certainly not something anyone chooses and should be treated like any inherited disease without any stigma.

Holy cow.  That card from Kobe is awesome.  I rather like him.   He's much braver than I was over the whole seizure thing
.  And I like how he describes having a seizure as being like traveling at the speed of light.  It's accurate in more ways than just the getting back before you knew you left aspect he brings up.  The exhaustion afterwards does make it seem like you must have moved somewhere very quickly when you haven't.  And I used to have the sensation of lights rushing at me. 

I'm glad Tess stood up for Gloria when Monica started getting worked up about Gloria putting in a report on Rolando.  I've been on the flip side of this when a parent was being negligent and no one bothered to file a report.  (Note: NOT my own parents.  I used to work with foster kids... that's who I'm talking about.)  It's awful that a child may be taken from a loving parent but if the flip side is a child might die... I can't say I could fault a zealous social worker for filing a report.

"You're in God's care.  There's no safer place to be."  Thus says Monica to Charlee when she touches her and the panic attack ends.  Something to think about when we all feel panicky.

I remember the glowing writing.  It's one of the few things that stuck with me over the years even as I forgot a lot of this episode.  And I really like that in the first shot of it, the only words illuminated are "Once upon a time."  Magical words!

"It won't always be easy.  But you can do just about anything if you set your mind to it."  Another solid Monica quote.

I rather like the vague ending, cutting off just as the mom is about to enter.  Lets ya imagine the possibilities.

What I didn't love about this episode:
For frigging crying out loud!  Would Monica please stop giving Andrew that look of dread when he shows up!?!  It's been 7 years at this point!  Looking at your friend like he's carrying the plague won't accomplish anything except lead to me spending well over a decade fantasizing about escaping to Europe with him to get away from you!  (I feel like running around the moors would do Andrew a lot of good.  Who's with me?  Group rate on airfare?  ;-)

Lingering questions:
Did Kobe get put in the resource room cause of his attitude problem or the epilepsy?  I hope the former.  Cause it seems odd to me that someone would be placed in a resource room over epilepsy.  Speaking of which... I have petit mal seizures and am usually so zonked after one that I can't focus on anything and just want to curl up and go to bed.  So it seems odd to me that Kobe would be good to go after a grand mal seizure that, I assume, would be much more draining than petit m
al.  But maybe not?  Also, it seems he has them more often than I do so maybe has built up resistance to the fatigue?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Sky blue is a really lovely color for John.  I wanna hug Andrew...  He looks distressed and I can't remember why but a hug seems like a good solution.

OMG...  Andrew only spoke maybe 3 words of Russian (or whatever that was... couldn't tell) but it was super cool.

Thatta boy!  Andrew's amazing.  When Monica confronts Rolando about his illiteracy, the man gets indignant and quickly points out that he's accomplished a lot.  Andrew readily agrees with "Yes, *sir,* you have."  I just really like that cause it's obvious Rolando is feeling put down but the way Andrew responds show respect.  He was so good at the little signs of courtesy.

And apparently Andrew is fond of Treasure Island and David Copperfield.  I would assume so, anyhow, given he cites them as examples of books Rolando might want to read.  Love those lil tidbits.

Lovely Andrew.  Even though I'm kinda surprised he was reluctant about Gloria filing the report on Rolando given his history and what he's no doubt seen... I'm glad he squeezed her shoulder.  Poor Gloria was obviously really upset by the thought that she may have messed everything up just by following protocol.

Lovely smile at the end...  I'm glad Andrew was the last angel we saw in this.  And that he was so mysterious.  Just a voice that had to be listened to... 

Random thoughts:

Music: There's some lame heavy metal in Monica's classroom at the start.

So...  Not that I'm blaming the show or anything but I think it's really weird that I'd gone 10 months without a seizure and then the night I watched this, I woke up twice during the night and had seizures both times.  It's almost like just thinking about them at length brought them back. 

Scenes Hallmark cut:
- They cut a little of the conversation between Charlee and her father when they're on the run.  He suggests they take the backroads and then turns off the main highway.  Charlee frets because there's no water there and she'll need to wash her hands if they get dirty.  Her dad tells her not to worry about it.  She counters that she can't NOT worry about it.  He tells her fine to worry about it then assures her that he'll stop for gas and get some water then.  Then she worries about her aunt not helping them which is where THC resumes.  It's a really brief bit they cut.

Further on down the road...
Wow...  It's been too long.  I actually had to look up what I call this section.  This is exciting!  I can't even tell you when the last time I watched TBAA was.

Lovely, lovely Andrew...  I can't even remember if he's in this one much.  I know he speaks Russian!

Sigh...  Let's all stare at Andrew like he's the plague.  Cause that's healthy...  Get it together, people!

 Seems odd to me to let a student who says they can't breathe walk alone to the office.  What if it had been an asthma attack and they'd passed out in the hall and not been found til a class change?  Even if Monica knew the situation, it still looks weird to me.

"Close your mouth, open your mind, keep writing your story."  Monica's response to Kobe being mouthy.  I feel like I should post that on my puter for when I'm procrastinating on writing and just ranting about whatever.

The thing with this medication is, true, it's not like I've been on tons of meds but I've never had anything where I was supposed to take more than two capsules at a time.  If Charlee has been on medication in the past, which she seems to have been, you'd think the father would have a frame of reference.

That pop-up card is darn impressive!  The dynamic of this relationship between Kobe and Charlee is really interesting.  They're very chill with each other in private and yet so adversarial at school.

It's hard for me to not compare Gloria to Violeta... and Gloria doesn't come off so well.  Not so much the character, just the way she was handled.  I just can't shake the feeling that it was a mistake to let the audience see her be born and then so quickly expect us to be okay with her dealing with trauma and drama.

The thing about the hearing... if God speaks to the "jury" then how do we explain people who are put to death and later found innocent?  Or even in cases where they weren't killed but instead spent years of their life behind bars, innocently?  My assumption would be God spoke to them but was drowned out.  So it's still a matter of free will.  So how did Monica know the outcome of the hearing?  I guess, because it was a revelation scene, God was feeding her lines.

Yay!  I watched a whole TBAA episode without interruption! 

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