Season 8

Episode 802: “Minute by Minute”

Episode 802: “Minute by Minute”
Original Air Date:April 13, 2002
Written by::Rosanne Welch
Directed by:Robert J. Visciglia, Jr.
Produced by:

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

Guest Cast:

Sister Theodore

Mary McDonnell


Jonah Rooney


Lukas Behnken


Dwight Armstrong

The angels stand outside of Our Lady of Hope Senior High, watching as Sister Theodore enters the school. It’s early, 6:00am, and all is not well. Punk Rock music blares from an old car as it pulls into the parking lot. John and Cory sit inside, both are seventeen and they’re about to do something terrible. In the backseat of the car sits a box, and in the box are ten homemade bombs. They plan to blow up the school at seven o’clock, while everyone is next door at mass.

Bobby is also seventeen, and he’s the one responsible for building the bombs. When he arrives at the school to meet John and Cory, he realizes that he can’t go through with it. Instead he heads down the street to Millie’s, the greasy spoon diner where he works. He apologizes to Tess, the new manager, for being late, and starts his shift teaching Gloria how to work the register. They get along well.

Inside the school, Monica appears to Sister Theodore, telling her about the boys’ plan. She tells her that God will help her find the words to get through to the boys. Sister Theodore heads out into the hall with an invisible angel at her side, to confront her students. In a move shocking even to Cory, John pulls a gun from his pocket and shoots Sister Theodore in the shoulder. He then changes their plan. He tells Cory that they will now set the bombs to go off at eight when everyone is in the building. Cory doesn’t want to do it, but neither does he fight when John tells him he has no choice. They set about placing the bombs.

At the restaurant, Bobby grows increasingly nervous as seven o’clock draws near. Finally the time comes, but there is no explosion to be heard. He breathes a sigh of relief, figuring that his friends came to their senses.

Andrew stalks the halls of the high school with John, trying to talk him out of his misguided attempt at easing the pain in his life. When the bombs are set, Cory joins John. He is surprised by the presence of Andrew, who tells him that it was always John’s plan to set off the bombs when the school was full.

Monica helps the wounded Sister Theodore through the halls to the boys. She finally finds the words she needs to get through to them, and tells them of her past. She tells them that before she was a nun, her name was Mary Renaldi, and she once thought that destruction was the answer too. After the death of her brother in Vietnam, she helped blow up a college chemistry lab that was developing weapons. It was supposed to be empty, but turned out to have someone in it. She ran away and has lived with that regret every day. Cory runs, crying from the building to warn the incoming students, but John will not relent. Meanwhile Bobby has entered the school, and uses a fire extinguisher to knock John out and drag him to safety.

None of the entering students believe Cory, who they think of as a dork, and continue toward the school. Sister Theodore sees this, and turns back to sound the fire alarm, even as the clock strikes eight. The students are saved and she is redeemed.

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