Season 4

Episode 413: “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”

Episode 413: “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”
Original Air Date:December 22, 1997
Written by::Ken LaZebnik
Directed by:Michael Schultz
Produced by:

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

Guest Cast:
Sam Paul Winfield
Wayne Randy Travis
Joey Paul Wittenburg
Edna Monique Ridge
Mark Twain John Collum
Katy Leary Helena Carroll
Jean Kate Fuglei

When Joey breaks the Christmas angel while he and Wayne decorate the Christmas tree, Wayne leaves him alone to monitor the turkey while he goes out into the snow to buy a new angel.  As the storm causes the lights to go out, Monica arrives to console Joey by telling him the story of the Christmas she spent with Mark Twain in 1909.  Monica begins, explaining how Twain had returned home on Christmas eve after a long absence to find his beloved daughter Jean, his housekeeper Katy Leary, a townswoman, Mrs. Allen with her daughter Helen.

Immediately prior to Twain’s arrival, Jean shows the others her Christmas gift to her father, a copy of a lost verse from Twain’s favorite Longfellow poem.  When Twain arrives, Jean hurriedly hides the scroll on the tree.  Twain then arrives and, as Mrs. Allen and Helen leave, Twain comments that such sweetness is the stuff of Heaven.  Twain reflects on the deaths of his wife, daughter and infant son and says he is too old to be cheered up.  Back in the present, Edna, the church organist, arrives to use Joey’s phone but the lines are dead.  As Wayne’s truck swerves off the road, Monica resumes the story with the death of Jean on Christmas morning. While attempting to console Mr. Twain, Monica is lambasted and told to leave.

In the present, Tess arrives with the sheriff who tells Joey that he found Wayne’s truck but not Wayne and Joey’s becomes more worried.  Shortly thereafter, Andrew, the Angel of Death, enters and Monica continues the story.  Monica is sent back to Twain by God and prays for help.  At that very moment, Sam, the internal affairs angel, arrives and approaches Twain but is soon thrown out as Twain topples the Christmas tree.

As Joey sits listening to the story, he is now convinced that Wayne is dead and topples his own Christmas tree.  Monica then manages to calm Joey down for long enough to hear the end of Twain’s story.  She continues with the young girl, Helen returning to present the scroll that was to be Jean’s surprise gift.  As Helen finishes reading the known verses, Twain reads the lost verse.  “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.  The wrong shall fail, the right prevail.  With peace on Earth, goodwill to men.”  This restores Twain’s faith and, in the present, Joey echoes his sentiment singing “Peace on Earth.”  As Joey sings, Wayne arrives and all join in and sing around the restored Christmas tree.

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