Touched by an Angel

Episode 311: “The Journalist”

Episode 311: “The Journalist”
Original Air Date: December 1, 1996
Written by: Ken LaZebnik
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Produced by:

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

Guest Cast:
Sam Paul Winfield
Rocky McCann Kay Lenz
Horace Wittenberg John Randolph
Zelda Wittenberg Peg Phillips
Paul Stettling Robert Gossett
William McCann Harley Venton
Annie Kyla Pratt
   

At a television news station, Monica is the new weather girl and Andrew, a cameraman. Sam explains their assignment is Rocky McCann, a hard-edged investigative reporter. Evasive regarding Tess’ whereabouts, the special agent angel tells the duo he is supervising them because of the universal ramifications of broadcasting. Monica, attempting to befriend the reporter, agrees to help her with research. Andrew’s first assignment with Rocky is a story about Horace and Zelda Wittenberg, an elderly couple with four foster children.

Impressed during the visit, the Angel of Death is mortified when Rocky’s story airs: it is an exposé alleging child abuse. Monica, whose biggest story is an upcoming lunar eclipse, sides with the reporter, while Andrew is frustrated by her rush to judgment. He confronts her, but Rocky tells him overlooking details on an earlier story led to a tragedy. After she reports Zelda had been arrested decades earlier for kidnapping her own son, the Social Services Department removes the foster children from the household. Chagrined that Monica uncovered that research, Andrew reminds her Rocky needs an angel, not a research assistant. Sam then advises Monica to concentrate on the weather, hinting the eclipse may be more important than she thinks. Andrew revisits the Wittenbergs to apologize for Rocky’s actions and learns Zelda’s kidnapping charge had been dismissed because she rescued her child from an abusive first husband.

The angel’s visit ends abruptly when the police raid the house searching for evidence. Rocky soon learns her anonymous tip about the elderly couple came from a dubious source. Heartbroken, Horace and Zelda intend to commit suicide until Andrew appears, revealing God still has work for them. Monica discovers the reporter’s zealousness resulted from an accident on a Ferris Wheel, the Eclipse, that disabled her husband. The angel informs Rocky God wants her to be His child, not His avenger. Once exonerated, the Wittenbergs agree to help the newswoman take care of her husband, William. At the conclusion of the case, Sam reveals Tess has been on loan to another department–Natural Phenomena and Acts of God–responsible for the lunar eclipse.

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