Episode 418: “God And Country”

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.


Episode 417: “Breaking Bread”

A timid baker named Matt Coletti is closing up his bakery one evening when two white men attack his black assistant in the street.  Matt witnesses the crime but is too frightened to come forward.  Tess tells Monica that it is their job to help him make a stand against the criminals, members of a white supremacist group.  Andrew poses as a representative of the state attorney’s office, asking questions about the incident, trying to determine if it was a simple robbery attempt or a hate crime.   Monica is hired as Matt’s new assistant and dons an apron.

Matt goes to the local church where Tess, the visiting preacher, unveils a beautiful new stained glass window which Matt has financed.  The next day the two criminals show up at the bakery to ensure that Matt remains quiet about the incident, but a young mechanic named Derek threatens them and they leave the store without a fight.  When a swastika-covered rock is thrown through the stained glass church window, it is a sign that the community must take action.  A town meeting is held and the people decide to form a community group to respond to the crimes, but Derek, reminding the group of the risks this could entail, convinces them to give up the idea.

Matt, under pressure from Tess to finally admit his role as a witness to the crime, tells the people his story.  Matt, in fact, had seen three people the night of the beating, the two white men and another figure riding in the backseat of the mens’ car, a figure Matt realizes was the devil himself.  Of course no one believes Matt, not even his wife and the two separate.  To make matters worse a bomb explodes in the bakery, and Matt, though not hurt, laments the loss of his reputation, family, and business. Monica, Tess, and Andrew reveal themselves to Matt, and explain that God wants to use him as a prophet who will lead the townspeople against the satanic forces in the town.  Matt rises to the challenge and rallies the people to confront the physical manifestation of the devil, Derek, and the two criminals.  Matthew breaks a loaf of bread and passes it among the group, and vows never to be frightened by the devil again nor to give in to his own prejudices.  The two men are arrested and the devil, defeated by Matt’s moral stand, disappears.


Episode 416: “Redeeming Love”

As Monica and Tess take a walk through the city streets, they stumble across Monica’s next assignment, a young woman sleeping under a pile of garbage.  The woman’s name is Lydia and she is a crack addict.  As Monica follows Lydia into her apartment building, her beautiful clothes become like Lydia’s, ragged and dirty.  Lydia’s landlord, who hasn’t received the rent, resolves to evict her, but Monica pays the rent and becomes Lydia’s new roommate.  Meanwhile Lydia grabs Monica’s coat and tries to sell it on the street.

Monica tails Lydia to her parents’ home, where Lydia breaks in to steal money.  But Lydia’s parents show up, as do the police, and Lydia flees to a crack house.  Monica finds Lydia smoking crack and causing a disturbance among the other addicts.  Lydia runs into the street and gets hit by a car.  When Lydia’s parents arrive at the emergency room the doctor informs them that Lydia is not only an addict, but she’s also pregnant.   Their disbelief is short-lived when Lydia delivers a crack-addicted baby girl.  Tess, acting as a drug counselor, talks to Lydia’s parents about Lydia’s upbringing, reminding them that they are partially to blame for Lydia’s condition.  Lydia sneaks out of the hospital and tries to get an old job back; instead she steals some money from her boss and returns to her parents’ home.  She asks her parents for money and they refuse, choosing to take Tess’ advice and allow Lydia to become so desperate that she must help herself.

Lydia returns to the hospital, steals the baby, and takes her to the crack house.  Andrew tells Monica that if they don’t find the baby it will die.  Monica and Tess search for the child.  Monica finds Lydia, who is too high to realize that she has lost the baby.  Monica reveals herself to Lydia, and tells Lydia that God has a better plan for her life, but she must choose His help.  Lydia does.  Monica and a choir of angels gather around Lydia to sing and comfort her as she goes through withdrawal.  Meanwhile Tess finds and rescues the baby.  Emerging triumphant but shaken from a seven-day struggle, Lydia, accompanied by Monica, checks into a drug rehab program.

Episode 415: “The Trigger”

As Monica gives Tess an ice skating lesson we meet the seemingly happy Craig family at the rink where the son, Alex, is finishing hockey practice.  This family is Monica’s next assignment as she gets a lesson that things aren’t always what they seem.  Linda and Ray Craig bring their children home to welcome Linda’s sister Holly, who is in town for Linda’s graduation from law school.  Holly is overwhelmed to be back in the house of her childhood, a house that the Craig’s recently bought back.

Andrew, Alex’s hockey coach, arrives at the house to return Alex’s hockey gloves, which he left at the rink.  This upsets Ray, abnormally so, and it becomes clear that there is a tension in this family when Ray grounds Alex for the whole weekend.  Holly questions this, but Linda covers for Ray, explaining that he’s had a bad day.  Holly also finds a gun in the hall closet, and questions the safety of having a loaded weapon in the home.  Later that night Holly wakes up to hear Linda and  Ray having a heated argument.  She goes downstairs to find Linda on the floor bleeding from the head.  Monica arrives as a policeman to investigate an anonymous domestic disturbance call, but Linda and Ray both agree that Linda fell down the stairs and bumped her head.

Later at the hospital Linda explains that Ray has been upset recently, after losing his position as head of the emergency room, a consequence of endangering a patient’s life.  Tess arrives as a family counselor and encourages Linda and Ray to seek counseling, but Linda will not admit that Ray has been violent with her.  The situation seems to improve when Ray is really sweet to the kids, but when Alex gets into a fight during the hockey game, it is clear that he is taking after his father.  When Holly suggests that the family needs counseling, Ray becomes furious and starts beating Linda and Holly with a hockey stick.  Believing that Ray will kill her sister, Holly gets the gun and shoots Ray, ultimately killing him.

Because Linda won’t admit the abuse, Holly is arrested for murder.  Linda is also angry at Holly for killing her husband, who she claims was just trying to “scare” her.  Back at the house Monica offers to pray with Linda, and they do, in hopes that this will clear Linda’s mind about the events.  Monica reveals herself to be an angel, and this triggers Linda’s memory about her childhood, when her father beat her in the same house, and about how Holly saved her by hitting him with a stone.  Linda digs the stone out from under the closet floorboards and brings it to her sister, thanking her for her protection.  The murder charges having been dropped, the two sisters are reunited and resolve to ask God to help them pick up the pieces of their lives.

Episode 414: “Deconstructing Harry”

Monica and Tess arrive at the DMV where Tess has been instructed to obtain a driver’s license.  Now ready to take the driving portion, Tess meets her instructor and assignment, Doris.  Midway through the driving test, Doris tells Tess to follow a hearse which leads them both to the funeral of Harry Applegate.  Doris enters the funeral and steals the ashes of her former lover as Andrew arrives outside as a state policeman.  With Harry’s ashes in her arms, Doris commands Tess to flee while Harry’s widow, Stella convinces Andrew to pursue in his patrol car.

Monica prays at the DMV where she is still waiting for Tess to return and soon is guided to her next stop in the journey that both Doris and Stella are now taking.  Doris tells Tess they are going to Pizmo Beach where she is going to spread Harry’s ashes.  Instructed by Doris to find food, Tess stops at the “Heaven on a Bun” where Monica is now working and quickly exit.  Andrew then arrives with Stella and Monica tells him they are going to Pizmo Beach.  Tess and Doris then stop at a gas station to use the restroom and exit quickly.  Andrew and Stella arrive soon thereafter as Doris realizes she left her wallet and picture of Harry in the gas station bathroom.  When she and Tess return to the station, Stella is in the restroom and gives out a cry as she learns that her husband’s mistress is outside the door.  Doris wastes no time fleeing the scene.  Monica tells Andrew that the two women must not meet yet and he stalls Stella’s pursuit, citing engine failure.

Tess and Doris then stop at Del Ray’s Honkytonk where Tess tries to convince Doris that there is a better life for her than the lie she lived with Harry.  Harkening back to a happier time, Doris sings “We live on Borrowed Time” and the two have dinner on the house.  No longer wanting to hear what Tess says’, Doris attempts to leave as Tess’ car is being stolen.  Andrew and Stella then arrive and the confrontation begins.  Stella pulls a gun on Doris and the both Andrew and Tess try to appeal to reason.  Doris gives Harry’s ashes to Stella as Andrew takes the gun.  Stella then begins to insult Doris and they are soon wrestling on the ground.

As both women rail on each other, the waitress from the Honky Tonk explains that Harry spent every Saturday night at the Honky Tonk, talking to her about the dilemma of his situation with both women.  The waitress then explains that Harry was constantly in turmoil over the life he was living.  Andrew then reveals himself and explains that Harry’s dying wish was to reconcile his life with his loved ones.  Andrew tells Stella that while it is too late to repair her marriage, God can repair her heart if she will let him.  Doris apologizes to Stella for the pain she has caused and Stella accepts.  With Harry’s life now reconciled with his loved ones, his ashes are swept into the air as all wish him a fond farewell.

Episode 413: “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”

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.

Episode 412: “Venice”

Tess and Monica arrive in Montana to help the elderly Annie Doyle reconcile her life before she loses her failing eyesight.  Offering to help Annie with her daily errands, Monica escorts her to the weekly bingo game at church where Annie admits that the only reason she plays bingo is to “tick off” her nosy neighbors, Emily, Russell and Markus.  After winning at bingo, Annie and Monica return to the house where Emily explains that she has always wanted to see Venice.  Monica thinks this is her mission and offers to take Annie to Venice but not before Annie realizes that her sight is finally gone.

Dr. Waldron arrives to say that Annie has been losing her sight for a long time but, like the other townspeople, he seems unsympathetic.  Crushed by the loss of her eyesight, Annie tells Monica to get out of her house.  Tess encourages Monica, explaining that God wants Annie to see the truth about her life.  Monica returns to Annie and asks to be her friend.  Annie then explains that her husband, Tommy, died the day after they were married thirty-five years earlier and the town has blamed her for his death ever since.  Annie met Tommy while the town was financing his medical schooling.  Tommy promised to return to the town and practice medicine, but he was bitter and did not want to live in such a backward area.

On the day of the wedding, Annie and Tommy wrecked the car into the local river and Tommy saw the chance to escape his duty by faking his death.  He vowed to keep contact with Annie, leaving her in town to verify the story.  After a few correspondences, Tommy stopped writing and Annie was left to deal with the town.  Annie knew how much the town had favored Tommy and did not want to reveal him for the scoundrel he was.  As a result, the town had blamed her for his death and even questioned whether or not she had orchestrated the accident.  The truth finally known, the angels then confront the townspeople, enlisting them to help ensure that Annie’s dream of seeing Venice would become a reality.  With the angels help, the townspeople recreate the sounds and smells of Venice in the local YMCA pool and Monica shows Annie to her gondola where she is transported, if only in her mind, to the Venice of her dreams.

Episode 411: “The Comeback”

Thirty years after suffering stage fright during her Broadway opening, Lillian Bennett returns to Broadway to discourage her daughter from following in her footsteps.  Arriving just in time to attend her daughter’s audition, Lillian sees her old understudy, Amanda Revere, who has now become the famed diva she once dreamed of becoming herself.  Monica arrives to audition for a supporting role and miraculously wins the role while Allison becomes her understudy.

After Monica falls ill with a cold, Allison takes her place and Amanda takes an interest in her.  When Lillian and Amanda finally meet in the presence of Allison, she demands an explanation.  Lillian explains how she received yellow roses every night after rehearsal until the opening night when her “lucky” roses didn’t come.  Convinced she was doomed to fail, she stared into the prompter’s box and froze, as Amanda had told her she would.  Allison thinks her mother is jealous and doesn’t realize why she can’t just be happy for her.  With the orchestra warming up, Lillian carries a “lucky” yellow rose as she meets Freddy, the stage manager who knew both she and Amanda from years before.  Freddy tells Lillian Amanda was the one who sent her flowers after every rehearsal.

Realizing that her superstition was used against her by Amanda, Lillian confronts her and warns her against hurting Allison.  As Amanda screams at her to get out, she loses her voice.  Monica then reveals herself to Amanda, telling her that God wants her to help Lillian to finally shine.  Meanwhile, Tess finds Lillian at the train station and tells her to stop believing in luck and help her daughter.  Returning to the theatre, Lillian is met by an apologetic Amanda.  Amanda then pushes Lillian onto the stage to face the fears that defeated her years before.  Initially stumbling, Lillian finds her courage and belts a rousing rendition of  “I’m still here.”  As Allison looks on with a newfound appreciation of her mother, the angels smile at another job well done.

Episode 410: “Charades”

With the approach of a special tribute to the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist to be given by the Hollywood Screen Guild, Tess and Monica arrive to help Libby Glaser, a powerful Hollywood agent, learn the truth about her Blacklisted father’s last days. Monica arrives as Libby’s new assistant and quickly impresses Libby with her “connections” by managing to connect her with the head of the Hollywood Screen Guild. Libby learns that the Guild has chosen to restore her father’s name to a film he made during the Blacklist Era when he was forced to write under a pseudonym, and that they want Libby’s mother, Vera King, to present the award with her co-star in the show, Clive Hathaway.

Vera flatly refuses to present the award with Clive which surprises Libby as he was her father’s best friend. Simultaneously, home movies from Libby’s childhood mysteriously appear from an unknown source and Libby’s memory is jarred as she views them. When Libby confronts her mother, Vera tells her Clive is the one who ruined her father’s career by naming him as a communist and that he didn’t die in an accident, he killed himself. Libby then sends Monica on a search for her father’s FBI file and it is soon delivered by Tess. Tess then explains to Monica that she was Budd’s angel and that she was unable to convince him not to kill himself, suffering under the burden ever since. She continues to say that Budd wrote a note to Libby just before driving his car over the cliff but that the note was lost during the fire.

Libby, now armed with her father’s FBI file, plans to ruin Clive Hathaway as he ruined her father. As the Blacklist ceremony is in progress, Vera begs Libby not to expose Clive, finally telling her the complete truth, that she had “one sad weekend” with Clive and that he was her real father. Now wrecked, Libby enters the stage intent on ruining Clive. Monica then freezes time and asks Libby to forgive. As time resumes, Libby then realizes that she is no longer holding the FBI file but the note from her father asking her to forgive those involved and telling her that she will always be his little girl. Libby then gives an emotional speech, denouncing the tactics of the Blacklist.

Episode 409: “My Dinner With Andrew”

When the angels find themselves at a posh “Books and Bachelors” luncheon to benefit medical research, Andrew is quickly chosen to be auctioned as an eligible bachelor. When the prominent research scientist, Beth Popik, begins to bid on Andrew, her chief rival, Kate Calder, outbids her and then refuses the date with Andrew, explaining that she wasn’t bidding for Andrew, she was bidding against Beth.

Adam, another “angel of death” arrives, thanks Andrew for covering for him, and asks about the date with “the doctor.” When Andrew tells him that she refused to go to dinner, Adam explains that he MUST go on the date. Andrew then convinces Kate to have dinner with him, while Monica and Tess begin preparing an elegant restaurant for the meeting. Andrew and Kate then meet for dinner in the “controlled environment” of “Chez Tess.” Monica plays waiter while Tess cooks and although this is supposed to be a private engagement, another patron, Norman, enters and insists of being served.

During dinner, Kate tells Andrew that she is going to die of Leukemia within several years and that she believes in science, not in God. She continues, stating that her research is all that matters to her and that her goal is to find a “gene sequence” before she dies and in that way gain immortality. Adam then interrupts the dinner and privately tells Andrew that “the doctor” is going to die “tonight.” Andrew then reveals himself to Kate while Norman begins to choke on his food. Kate rescues Norman but not before he recognizes Andrew as the Angel of Death. Kate follows Norman out of the restaurant and questions him about Andrew.

Now a believer, she returns to find that Andrew and the restaurant have disappeared. She then runs to the safe where her research is being held and finds Andrew waiting for her. He tells her to share her research so that others may live. They then go to Beth’s house to find her on the verge of death due to carbon monoxide poisoning. After saving Beth’s life, Kate visits her at the hospital, tells her about her recent discovery and suggests that they work together to find a cure. “You can do wonderful things if you don’t care who gets the credit.” Andrew then leaves Kate’s life telling her he doesn’t know when she will die, but that when it’s time, he’ll see her for dinner.