Season 3

Episode 301: “Sins of the Father”

Episode 301: “Sins of the Father”
Original Air Date: September 29, 1996

Written by: Debbie Smith & Danna Doyle
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
Robert J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Valerie Hill Debbie Allen
Willis Thompson Carl Lumbly
Pastor George Christopher Darden
Luther De'Aundre Bonds
Samuel Robert Ri'chard
Johnson Richard Gant
Dre Norris Young
   

Monica poses as a journalist to interview Luther Dixon, a teenager on death row. During their conversations, Willis, the prisoner in the adjacent cell often eavesdrops, interjecting his unwanted opinions on Luther’s situation. Meanwhile, Tess and Andrew try to help Valerie Dixon prevent her younger son, Samuel from “gang banging.” Despite Luther’s incarceration, Sam looks up to him as a role model. Monica correctly surmises that the boys’ father–despite abandoning the family during Valerie’s second pregnancy–has negatively influenced both of their lives.

The angel is astonished to learn that Willis, who is sentenced to die shortly for a murder he committed, is Luther and Samuel’s father. Tess informs Monica that years earlier she had tried to dissuade Willis from running with a gang but had been ignored. Monica then reveals herself to Willis and convinces him to tell Luther that he is his father. Luther initially rejects Willis and rails at him for leaving his mom to fend for herself. The condemned prisoner, however, apologizes and admonishes his son to listen to Monica because his failure to heed another angel’s earlier warnings landed him on death row.

The caseworker subsequently reveals herself to the teen, urging him to tell Samuel he regrets the murder he committed and is not a worthy role model. Monica uses her angelic powers to temporarily free Luther from jail to stop his brother from murdering Pastor George, who has incurred the wrath of a gang by preaching against violence. After Willis’ execution, Tess comforts a bereaved Valerie who fears both of her sons will follow in their father’s footsteps. The angel advises her to cling to God and let Him help her guide Samuel’s life. Andrew escorts the boy into the church where he embraces Valerie–the cycle of violence finally broken.

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