Touched by an Angel
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Episode 706: “Restoration”
Written by: R.J. Colleary
Directed by: R.J. Visciglia, Jr.
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.
|Chandler Crowne||Robert Loggia|
|Stevie Noonan||Noëlle Parker|
|Ruby Rice||Adria Tennor|
|Sid Lumsky||Ken Lerner|
|Young Chandler||Steven Petrarca|
|Barney||Gregory Scott Cummins|
|Professor McArdle||Sierra Pecheur|
Cantankerous 102-year-old film director Chandler Crowne wants to die, but Andrew tells him he’s got unfinished business. Enter Stevie Noonan, twenty-something student filmmaker who’s making a documentary about the famous director who built his reputation on dark, depressing subject matter. Stevie’s task is to persuade the reclusive genius to share why he abandoned his early comedies for the dark films which became his trademark. In flashback, we find a young Chandler directing his leading lady, Ruby, in an ambitious and inspirational film called “Redemption.”
Besides dealing with a temperamental leading lady, Chandler had to contend with Sid Lumsky, the head of the studio, who fires one of his actresses for having an affair with a member of the crew. Forced to choose from a bevy of young unknowns, Chandler chooses Monica. Chandler then breaks off prematurely, leaving Stevie with unanswered questions. On her way out, Stevie lifts Chandler’s pocket watch, only to return later with the pawn ticket as a bargaining tool to get him to give her the exclusive she needs. Chandler resumes his story as we flash back in time to the day Chandler filmed the fateful scene which changed his career…and his life.
With Lumsky breathing down his neck to finish shooting, Chandler films a stunt involving Ruby crashing into a tree. The stunt goes awry and Ruby is killed. But Stevie, aware deaths during the making of movies were not uncommon in those days, doesn’t understand how that changed his whole cinematic vision. With her deadline approaching, Stevie returns the next day with Chandler’s watch, hoping to get the missing piece of the puzzle. Chandler explains how he argued with Lumsky over the ending of the movie and how he snuck into the projection booth the night of the premiere and cut the happy ending. Lumsky was furious until he heard the enthusiastic audience reaction. Chandler explains he cut the ending because he was mad at Lumsky. But Stevie is still unsatisfied, having expected some sort of epiphany. Stevie lashes out at Chandler for belittling her search for answers, hoping to find answers for her own personal pain.
Monica then reveals herself as an angel to Chandler. She explains how God gave him a gift, which he could have used to encourage and uplift millions. But instead, he only used it to perpetuate his private pain. Monica tells him it’s not too late to encourage one person — Stevie. Chandler finally confides in Stevie that he changed the ending to his movie, not because he was mad at Lumsky, but because he was mad at God. Not only were Ruby and Chandler married, but she had just told him that she was carrying his child. Chandler then screens the original unedited version of the film for Stevie, with the restored happy ending. Stevie is moved, but remains dubious about the real world, which doesn’t always deliver happy endings. Chandler encourages her to look again, that life is what you make it, and gives her the original restored version of the film, before Andrew escorts him to the hereafter.