Touched by an Angel

Episode 424: “Elijah”

Episode 424: “Elijah”
Original Air Date: May 3, 1998

Written by: Glenn Berenbeim
Directed by: Peter Hunt
Produced by:

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

Guest Cast:
Jake Bruce Davison
Tyler George Gore, II
Bonita Melody Garrett
Elaine Doris Belack 
Michael Jeremy Foley
Lisa Jeannie Elias
Young Elaine Nealla Gordon
Young Jake Justin Jon Ross
Leader  Cleandre Norman
Sol Jack Laufer
 
 

Jacob Weiss, a bitter slum lord, is sentenced to spend two weeks in one of his own tenements and the angels arrive to help him understand the error of his ways. As the code enforcement officer, Monica quickly educates Jake on the changes that will need to be made but he is intent on trying to go around the law, offering her a bribe. He then continues to try any legal means of avoiding his punishment until his mother and son urge him to come to Passover dinner which coincidentally falls on the eve when his incarceration is to begin. He then approaches the judge and makes a religious plea.

Unfortunately for Jake, the judge attends the very synagogue where he claims to be devout and, having never seen Jake there, firmly refuses. Jacob then attempts to hide from the police at his mother’s apartment but is picked up in the midst of the Passover meal. Tess meets Jake as he arrives for his internment and places an ankle monitor on his leg to ensure that he does not leave. Jake then settles in to the abysmal conditions of his own tenement and meets a savvy neighborhood kid, Tyler, who arranges to bring him the things he needs in exchange for money. Jake then begins to hear a haunting song and starts to remember where all his troubles began… with the death of his father. In a rare moment of sentiment, Jake then calls his son Michael but is quickly interrupted by a fire in his apartment.

With Monica’s help, Jake extinguishes the fire but is forced to move to the only other vacant apartment, that which he lived in when his father was alive. Once there, Andrew appears, telling Jake he is there to help him remember. Jake then dreams back to the day his father died and to his explanation of the Passover and its message of freedom for all people. When Jake is awakened by Tyler, he is even more desperate to escape the pain of his own memories and offers Tyler more money to find someone who can remove his ankle monitor. Jake calls his wife from whom he is separated to ask for the money, but she steadfastly refuses. His son, Michael, overhears his mother and brings Jake his Bar Mitzvah money. While Jake is being robbed of the money by the supposed monitor remover, Michael is shot. Unable to get help from the neighbors he has abused, Jake listens to Monica and follows his pious father’s example. He smears the blood of his son on his door and sings the song of “Elijah” while Tess sings “Go Down Moses” as Andrew, the Angel of Death, passes over the house.

Bruce Davison was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this episode.

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