Touched by an Angel

Episode 309: “Into The Light”

Episode 309: “Into The Light”
Original Air Date: November 17, 1996

Written by: R.J. Colleary
Directed by: Victor Lobl
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Amy Ann McCoy Kirsten Dunst
James Block David Marciano
Rachel Carson Block Lori Alan

James Block, a man with a heart condition–and a criminal past–gets a second chance after a near-death experience. He suffers a heart attack after marrying his girlfriend, Rachel to prevent her from testifying against him. While “dead,” James sees Andrew walking toward the “light,” though he himself moves in the opposite direction. Realizing he must change his ways, James initiates a campaign of good works. Tess and Monica are assigned as nurses at the hospital where he is fulfilling community-service he received for a crime. Neither angel is impressed, however, with his apparent change of heart–especially when they realize he records his good deeds in a notebook.

James finds a kindred spirit in Amy Ann McCoy, a teenage Elvis Presley fan with cystic fibrosis. A bit of a con artist herself, the girl is unaware how serious her illness is. Meanwhile, James is haunted by a recurring nightmare of his near-death experience, finally realizing he was headed toward a roiling chasm of unending darkness. He again encounters Andrew, who admonishes, “Even if every one of your good deeds was a step to heaven, it would never reach high enough.” Unnerved, James destroys his notebook and plans to skip Amy Ann’s birthday party. Tess confronts him, telling him the teenager will soon die, and only her faith has sustained her all these years. James rails at God, but Tess tells him not to blame God for the mess he has made of his life.

As Rachel starts to apologize to Amy Ann for James’ absence, he arrives. But he puts a damper on the proceedings by telling the birthday girl how serious her illness is and that God doesn’t care. A furious Tess orders him to leave the room, and Rachel tells her husband she hopes never to see him again. Seeing Andrew in the corridor, James realizes he is the Angel of Death and attacks him. But Andrew avoids the human’s assaults, until Monica appears holding the notebook he had earlier destroyed. She tells him that hell is separation from God, and if he was on his way there, he was sending himself. Andrew then clarifies his earlier statement to James: no one can earn their way to heaven because only God’s mercy can lift a soul up and take him there. Repenting of his misdeeds, James prays and turns his life over to God. Overhearing her husband, Rachel realizes her own prayers have been answered. James returns to a dying Amy Ann, reassuring her that God exists and to take His hand and walk toward the light. The teenager dies as Elvis’ song, “Precious Lord” plays on a turntable.

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