Season 4

Episode 418: “God And Country”

Episode 418: “God And Country”
Original Air Date:March 15, 1998
Written by::R.J. Colleary
Directed by:Bethany Rooney
Produced by:

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

Guest Cast:
Rafael Alexis Cruz
Victor  Edward James Olmos
Tomas Vincent Laresca
Maria Rose Portillo

Rafael enters the army in an attempt to befriend a bitter soldier named Tomas. Tomas hates the army, in particular his commanding officer Colonel Victor Walls. Both men are Hispanic but Tomas feels that Col. Walls has rejected his heritage by failing to use his original surname, Paredes. Tomas requests a transfer from this base, but Col. Walls denies the request. Rafael meets with Col. Walls, who suggests he change his name to Ralph as a means to get along better in the army. When Tomas hears of this, a fight breaks out in the barracks between Rafael, Tomas, and another soldier.

Rafael gets a scolding from Tess for being the first angel to hit an assignment and all three soldiers end up in the military jail. It is in jail that Rafael learns that Col. Walls is actually Tomas’ father and he has another son, Paul, who is missing in action in Bosnia. This is a further source of frustration for Tomas because the army cannot give the family any straight answers regarding Paul’s situation. Monica arrives at the jail as the army lawyer who will represent Tomas, and she reprimands him for his attitude towards his father. Later, when Tomas is out of jail, he brings Rafael with him to a family dinner at the Walls (Paredes) home. A fight between father and son is stifled when Andrew appears at the door as a casualty officer, bearing the news that Paul was killed in battle.

Col. Walls guards his emotions, and this further drives a wedge between Col. Walls and Tomas, who doesn’t believe his father loves him. Col. Walls brightens at the news that Paul was killed saving other soldiers’ lives, making him a hero. When an ambiguous postcard arrives posthumously from Paul to Tomas, a confused and despairing Tomas confronts his father with a gun, hoping to learn the truth about his brother’s death. But when he sees that his father is unafraid, Tomas turns the gun on himself, pleading for his father to tell him the truth. When Col. Walls doesn’t, Tomas leaves.

Monica reveals herself to Col. Walls explaining that although he has served his country, he needs to serve God and tell his family the truth. Col. Walls returns home to tell his family the truth, that he pulled some strings to get Paul a dangerous assignment. Tomas is upset by the news and leaves. Rafael appears and reveals himself to Tomas, urging him to forgive his father for his wrongdoing. The next day at the memorial service for Paul, his parents and the angels are unsure if Tomas will attend. As Col. Walls begins the eulogy Tomas, enters the service. Col. Walls speaks of the mistakes he has made both as an officer and as a father and professes his love for Tomas. The father and son salute each other respectfully, then break down into a tearful embrace. Tess, Monica, Andrew, and Rafael smile, realizing their assignment is complete.


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