Season 9

Episode 904: “The Sixteenth Minute”

Episode 904: “The Sixteenth Minute”
Original Air Date:October 5, 2002
Written by::John Wierick
Directed by:Jim Charleston
Produced by:

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

Guest Cast:
Ed Grant Shaud
Gwen Romy Rosemont
Marla Rachel Luttrell
Norris Sam McMurray

Ed Gold is an underappreciated underwriter for Brewster Financial Services, and he’s in a rut. His bills are behind, his paperboy keeps throwing the morning edition into the sprinklers, and he feels like a nobody. To top it all off, his wife, Gwen wants him to ask for a raise. He knows he won’t get it, but he’s resolved himself to asking. His boss, Mr. Norris, is even less eager to help, than he is to remember Ed’s name. But with a little angelic intervention, in the form of Monica as the new PR person, Norris is only too eager to show his willingness to invest in his employees. And as his boss goes off to put in a request with payroll, Ed feels like a new man. To celebrate, he heads home to spend his lunch hour with Gwen.

Near the side of the road, amongst the hills, and deep in the earth, a silver mine is set to collapse. As its supports buckle, a dog breaks away from his owner, chasing the sound of the stressed supports. Once he’s in the mine, his owner, Marla has no choice but to go in after him, cutting short her afternoon run. But now that she’s inside, the mine grows even more unsettled and Marla makes a mistake. She leans against one of the beams to steady herself, causing a cave-in. When the dust settles, she’s trapped under the debris with no help in sight. Unseen, however, Andrew waits with her.

On his way home, Ed sees a dog, barking madly, outside of an abandoned mine. He eventually grasps the situation and calls 911. As he waits for help to arrive, he becomes more frantic about the person trapped inside, and with only a moment’s hesitation, he hurries inside to lend a hand. Once he finds Marla, though, another cave-in begins and Ed must throw his shoulder into a beam to keep it from falling. He feels that he has to stay that way until help arrives, despite Marla’s assurances that there’s an angel with them. He doesn’t believe her, and maintains his Herculean feat for five and a half hours.

By the time the rescue is complete, Ed is a bona-fide hero, and Marla is forgotten. As the days pass and Ed’s fame grows, Marla loses her leg and begins physical therapy. The man that Ed was, the kind who would risk himself for others, changes into a glory hound, too concerned with his image to actually do things to help others, and too self involved to notice anyone else. He spends his days on the phone, trying to keep on top of his celebrity status or convincing Monica to set up appearances for him. He neglects his marriage, and ignores his job. And as his fame begins to fade, he becomes even more frantic to resurrect it, so much so that he tries to use Marla’s misfortune to his advantage, and fails to keep Gwen from walking out on him. When he hits the bottom of the barrel, he heads back to the mine to challenge the Angel that Marla insisted was there. Andrew appears with Monica and help Ed to realize that he was a good man before, and his desire to help a stranger was more valuable than fame ever could be. Sobered, Ed heads back to the hospital, where he apologizes to Marla, and reconciles with his wife.

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