Touched by an Angel

Episode 902: “The Word”

Episode 902: “The Word”
Original Air Date: October 19, 2002br/>
Written by: Ken LaZebnik
Directed by: Stuart Margolin
Produced by:

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

Guest Cast:
Rolando Nicholas Turturro
Charlee America Ferrera
Kobe Dempsey Pappion

Monica becomes a substitute teacher for a class of “resource students”. Their learning disabilities and health problems have aggravated a number of subs and none of the temporary teachers have stuck around. One student especially needs her help. Her name is Charlee, and she has obsessive compulsive disorder. As a result of her disorder, she is constantly plagued with worry. Before class she checks her locker numerous times to make sure it is locked. Later on, she thinks the air is dirty and after a few minutes, she gets so worked up that she has trouble breathing and is sent to the nurse’s office. The nurse, Tess, tries to comfort her, but Charlee insists on going home, and her father, Rolando, agrees to come get her. However, in order to do that, he must sign a release form though he has trouble locating the signature line. Rolando can’t read.

With this realization, the angels decide that Charlee is not the only assignment here. They go to visit Rolando that evening, in part to talk about Charlee and how she can keep up in school, and in part to confront him about his illiteracy. As soon as the subject arises, Rolando is on the defensive. He denies having a problem and asks Monica and Andrew to leave, which they do. Charlee meanwhile is still panicked from her OCD episode earlier that day, so Rolando goes to the pharmacist to pick up her new medicine. When he gets home and Charlee once again gets too worked up to breath, he gives her the pills. The problem is, he can’t read the instructions, only the number “4”, so instead of giving her a pill every four hours, he gives her four at once, causing an overdose. At the hospital, Gloria, who is working as a social worker, reports the incident to social services, and Rolando finally realizes the harm his illiteracy can cause.

When a letter from Social Services is hand delivered to Rolando, he rushes to the hospital to have Charlee read it. She does and discovers that she is going to be taken into foster care. Rolando takes her out of the hospital and tries to run. He has no intention of giving up his daughter, but no plans of where to go. On a deserted road outside of town he is stopped by the angels, who give him a glimpse of the miracle of reading as well as a revelation. He agrees to learn and Charlee agrees to teach him. When he is granted a hearing with social services, he will be able to prove to them that he’ll do whatever is required to keep his daughter.

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