Episode 513: “The Medium and the Message”

Tess and Monica arrive at the offices of NNT Television to pay a visit to T.K. McKenna, a network executive who once dreamed of “being the best” and now only wants “to be first.” As T.K. is bragging about the ratings on a show featuring a hijacked bus which explodes, Monica arrives in T.K.’s office. But T.K. is not surprised, telling Monica that people drop in to tell him things all the time and that he has no idea who they are. Monica then tries to sell him on the idea of a show about angels in which the angels are sent by God who loves us all. McKenna wants to know more and Monica tells him that like some of his visitors, angels are often undercover.

We then see a series of clips from previous episodes where the angels play a variety of roles. T.K. then dismisses Monica and the idea. As Monica leaves, T.K. is told by another executive that 76% of people believe in angels. Outside, Tess tells Monica to change the heart of the man in order to change the network. T.K. finds Monica outside of the building and convinces her to “pitch” her idea to another group of executives who immediately start to tear apart her angel premise. When they say they need a more “edgy” show, we see clips of previous episodes where Monica experiences shootings, bombings, car crashes and assassination attempts. Monica then tells them about how the angel of death, Andrew, takes people home to Heaven rather than killing them. The executives don’t seem to understand and Monica leaves the room in disgust. Monica runs into Irene, T.K. ‘s secretary as she is leaving to catch a bus. Irene tells her that T.K. once dreamed of being a writer and wrote a very good script.

Later, as Monica ruminates on how to approach T.K., Tess tells her to comfort him, that a bus was hi-jacked and blown up. T.K. responds to the tragedy by trying to cover his responsibility to the Board of Directors. Hoping to change the image of the network, he asks Monica to pitch him the angel show again. When he says the angels don’t have enough attitude, we see clips of Tess in action. When T.K. begins to complain about the whereabouts of Irene, Monica informs him that she was on the bus that was blown up. Crushed, T.K. throws everyone out of his office. Andrew hands Monica T.K. ‘s original script and tells her that Irene wanted T.K. to have it. When T.K. asks where the angels were for Irene, Monica tells him there are angels for everyone. We then see a series of guest angels. Monica tells T.K. that God exists, hands him his script and asks him to take a leap of faith and follow his dream of writing. T.K. then pitches his simple show about a family trying to live well to his fellow executives, refusing to take no for an answer.

Episode 512: “Fool For Love”

Sara Parker, a successful big city district attorney, is forced to come to terms with her past when an ex-boyfriend, Jesse, is arrested and she must interrogate him. Rather than face Jesse, who still has some strange kind of hold over her, Sara retreats to a pub for some sanctuary. Monica, who is waiting tables at the bar while Tess serves drinks, offers to listen to Sara’s story. Sara is reluctant at first, but then proceeds to tell Monica her story of ten years ago: As a 17 year-old high schooler, Sara meets Jesse, a handsome troublemaker. Much to her mother’s disdain, Sara and Jesse fall in love and, when he suggests they move to California to start a new life, Sara agrees. Sara is worried when she finds a gun in Jesse’s glove compartment, but when Jesse says it’s for protection she’s too blinded by love to disagree.

Soon, however, their money runs out, their relationship sours, and to make matters worse Sara learns she is four months pregnant. In order to get some money Jesse robs a liquor store. Sara meets Andrew who, posing as a hitchhiker, tries to convince her to return home. Sara, unwilling to admit she has made a mistake, stays with Jesse. The baby is born at a motel and Sara names her Abby. Sara and Jesse meet Sam, posing as a motel owner, who lets them stay at his motel and offers to let Sara phone home. A furious Jesse refuses and storms out of the room. When he returns, Jesse is in a much better mood and explains to Sara that he met a man who sells babies on the black market, and who will give them $10,000 for Abby. Sara is horrified and rather than let this happen, she takes Abby while Jesse is asleep, and leaves her in a church sanctuary with a note. Sara has a change of heart and realizes she can’t leave her baby, but when she returns to the church Abby has already been taken.

When Sara goes back to Jesse he hits her and leaves. Sam takes care of Sara, helping her to get back on her feet, and ultimately through law school. Back in present-day, Sara admits to Monica that Sam was the closest thing to an angel she has ever known. Monica tells her that she’s right, that Sam is an angel, and that her, Tess, and Andrew are angels as well. Sara can’t believe that God can love her after all that she has done, but Monica reminds her of the story of the prodigal son and how God waits for his children to return. Sara admits that she wants to return both to God and to her home, and with this choice Jesse’s spell over her is broken. When she returns home, Sara’s mother is overjoyed, but tells her of a little girl named Abby, whom Andrew had brought to her ten years ago, after she was abandoned in a church. Having reunited Sara with both her mother and daughter, the angels drive off, their mission complete.



Episode 511: “An Angel On The Roof”

Charley, an aging south Texas motel owner, gets a Christmas Eve visit from Monica, who tells him not to fear, because she brings him tidings of great joy.  Charley in a drunken daze, thinks the beautiful glowing angel before him is merely a hallucination, and begins a dialogue with this “vision” as he decorates his Desert Star Inn for the holiday.  Monica tells Charley that he will receive a miracle this Christmas Eve, and he, somewhat skeptical, hypothesizes about what this will be.  He hopes it will be a new star, something he has been waiting quite a long time to see through his high-powered telescope from the roof of the inn.

Meanwhile, Tess serves coffee to three lonely truckers who celebrate the holiday at a truck stop.  As they leave, Tess points them to the inn, but the truckers muse at the thought of spending an evening at the dilapidated motel.  Elsewhere, Jorge and Marisol, a young Mexican couple, illegally across the border, panic when pregnant Marisol begins to show signs of an early labor.  Rafael arrives telling them that they are needed to help someone this evening.  When he says he is from their village in Mexico, they go with him.  In another part of the state Andrew sits on border patrol with Carl, a cynical deputy, who is anxious to catch some “illegals.”  Monica, still glowing atop the motel roof, stirs up a dust storm, which makes driving difficult for the truckers.

At Tess’ instruction via CB, they head towards a light in the desert, the light Monica exudes, and the only thing visible on the stormy landscape.  Rafael, Jorge, and Marisol, driving through the storm, run out of gas.  They, too, see the light and begin to follow it.  When the three arrive at the inn, Charley, obviously prejudiced against Mexicans, at first refuses to give them a room, and rather than call a doctor, he calls the border patrol.  Carl and Andrew head for the motel.  Charley reveals to Monica the reason why he is so bitter: as a young man he traveled in Mexico and fell in love with a young woman named Estrella, whose parents wouldn’t allow them to marry.  Later Estrella’s father told Charley that the heartbroken Estrella killed herself.  Charley tells Monica that he intends to do the same as soon as he sees a new star, something no one else has ever seen.  Monica pleads with Charley to do something that will “make the angels sing,” and become a man with faith in the God who loves him.  Marisol gives birth to the child as the truckers draw near, and Monica and Rafael proclaim this child to be the miracle, something which no man has ever seen.

The baby girl is named Estrella, after Marisol’s grandmother, the same woman Charley loved, who is alive and well in Mexico.  When Charley hears this news he has a change of heart and when Carl and Andrew arrive to arrest any illegal aliens, Charley hides everyone by working them into his nativity scene, including Tess as a shepherd and the truckers as the three wise men.  As Charley makes plans to visit his old love in Mexico, Monica and Tess bid everyone “Peace On Earth and Goodwill to Men.”

Episode 510: “The Peacemaker”


As part of his application to New York University, seventeen year-old Mark Tanner videotapes the morning coffee ritual that his parents, Scott and Michelle, began during his recovery from a recent drug addiction. Although all appears well, Andrew warns Tess and Monica not to waste any time with this case. Scott arrives at the police precinct where he is a hostage negotiator to meet his new partner, Monica, and invites her to dinner. When Scott is paged by the precinct during dinner, Michelle lashes out, blaming Scott for always choosing his work over his family.

Later, as Michelle rifles through her “Memory Box,” Mark enters. She shows him the wrist watch Scott gave her for their first anniversary but adds that he meant to have it engraved. When Mark asks if they are going to be okay after he goes off to college, she reassures him but her face registers doubt. As she exits, Mark finds divorce papers in the memory box and becomes angry with his mother. Later, while painting a portrait of her most recent client, Tess, Michelle confides that she had considered divorce earlier in their marriage and had not gotten rid of the divorce papers. Tess urges her to do so and she returns to the memory box to find that the watch she had shown Mark is now gone. Beginning to suspect that Mark may have stolen the watch to pay for drugs, her suspicions are further compounded when she interrupts him while he has a secretive phone conversation. Michelle then calls Scott to discuss her fears but he is interrupted by a hostage situation at a bank robbery. When the robbery is over, it is learned that Mark was killed by the robbery while trying to withdraw money from his college fund.

Desolate after losing their son, Scott and Michelle blame each other. When a message from a man named Ivan is found on Mark’s answering machine, both Scott and Michelle are convinced this person was Mark’s drug dealer and both become obsessed with finding the man while deciding to get a divorce. Tess and Monica then intervene by showing Scott and Michelle the videotape Mark had made and it turns out to be a plea for them to work out their problems. Andrew then arrives with Ivan who is not a drug dealer but rather a video editor.  Mark had taken his parents’ home videos to Ivan to have them edited together to show them how much love they truly have for one another.  Now understanding the error of their ways, Scott and Michelle vow to stay together.

Episode 509: “The Wind Beneath My Wings”

When Andrew arrives in the court of Judge Dorrie Chapin to notify her that she is the governor’s first choice to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat, Dorrie and her ever-dependable mother, Emma, are overjoyed. Having met Tess while sitting in the gallery of her daughter’s courtroom, Emma invites Tess and Dorrie’s new assistant, Monica over for dinner to celebrate. Later that afternoon, Emma is the subject of show and tell in the classroom of Dorrie’s daughter, Jenny, and tells of her days as one of the only female pilots, the Lady Tigerettes, during World War II.

When Emma and Jenny get lost on the way home after leaving Jenny’s school, it is apparent that Emma is beginning to show the first signs of aging. The angels attempt to tell Dorrie that her mother is simply getting older but Dorrie is unwilling to accept that her steadfast mother is faltering. Dorrie tries to rationalize the situation, suggesting that her mother will be fine with lifestyle changes and vitamins until Emma falls asleep in the courtroom, waking to not recognize her own daughter. Tess again appeals to Dorrie, telling her that her mother still has important work to do. Dorrie then goes to her mother’s house to find her affairs in shambles; bills are unpaid, important prescriptions are unfilled and the insurance has lapsed. When Emma catches Dorrie snooping through her things, the issue comes out into the open and Emma reiterates what the angels had said earlier, she is getting older and simply can’t keep up anymore.

Still confused as to how she will cope without the support of her mother, Dorrie hears a custody case involving the welfare of an elderly man, Mr. Miller. After hearing his children argue over whether or not to put him in a nursing home, Mr. Miller appeals to them both to live their own lives and to visit him often. Dorrie then breaks down in her chambers as Andrew arrives to tell her that the governor needs to know if she will accept her appointment to the supreme court. Dorrie initially refuses the appointment, fearing that she simply cannot go on without her mother’s support. Emma is also resigned to give up all of her duties rather than just limiting her schedule.

The angels then reveal to both Emma and Dorrie, telling them to give up their fears of being alone, of growing old, of losing each other, because God will never leave either of them. Monica tells Emma that God has another task for her; together with the other surviving Flying Tigerettes, she is commissioned to share her wartime experiences so as to ensure against future wars. As Emma departs on her nationwide Tigerettes bus tour, Dorrie enters the Supreme Court where she will now serve proudly as a State Supreme Court Justice.

Episode 508: “Psalm 151” (100th Episode)

Monica, Tess, and Andrew celebrate Monica’s one-hundredth assignment with a cake in a park.  In the same park Audrey, a single mother who writes commercial jingles, celebrates her son Petey’s birthday.  Petey tries to blow out his candles but is racked with coughing, an effect of his disease, Cystic Fibrosis.  Monica arrives at Petey and Audrey’s home as a prospective border and she meets Celine, Petey’s best friend who is Celine Dion’s number one fan.  Celine introduces Monica to Audrey and Monica moves into their home.

Petey plays a song for Monica on tape that Audrey began to write when Petey was born but has since been unable to finish.  When he collapses on his way home from school, Petey is rushed to the hospital where, upon his release, he and Celine overhear some nurses saying he doesn’t have much time left to live.  Petey tells Audrey, who is having trouble accepting the fate of her little boy, that when he dies, he wants to die at home.  Petey, with Monica’s help, begins to compile a list of the things he wants to do before he dies.  His items include: Learn to play the piano, find a home for Fluffy (his pet iguana), find someone to sing with Mom, find someone to shovel the snow.

With Tess and Andrew’s help these things come to pass (Tess agrees to take care of the iguana).  Petey and the angels move on to the more tricky items on the list, including introducing Celine to the real Celine Dion.  Celine is blindfolded and taken to a concert hall to meet Celine Dion in her dressing room before the show.  Celine Dion tells Petey and Celine, who is in shock, that she will sing a special song for them.  Later during the concert she sings “Love Can Move Mountains” to the children.  At the end of the concert Petey becomes very sick and, at the hospital, Audrey comes to the realization that Petey will soon die.

Celine, with Tess’ help, resolves to help make it possible for Petey to die at home, another item on his list, and they visit the HMO in hopes of getting a medical waiver allowing this.  When they are denied Tess demands to see the manager, who happens to be Celine’s father.  When he says he cannot make an exception to a rule, even for Petey, Celine returns to his office in a gown and pearls, and sings “Love Can Move Mountains.”  She pleads with her father to prove he loves Petey and he pulls some strings.  Petey is brought home and, while he sleeps, Audrey discovers his list, including the wish that Audrey would finish her song.  Audrey tries to finish the song, but breaks down in tears when she can’t get past the first verse.

Monica reveals herself to Audrey, comforts her, and asks her to tell the whole world about Petey’s love with her song.  Audrey works all night to finish the song, and in the morning wakes Petey, telling him to cross that item off his list.  Petey is taken outside to find many neighbors gathered to perform Audrey’s finished song, “The 151st Psalm,” the main chorus of which proclaims, “For as long as I shall live I will testify to love!”  Petey tells Andrew, “It is finished,” and the young boy dies as the crowd continues to sing his song.  Monica crosses the final item off of Petey’s list: “Go to Heaven.”

Episode 507: “Beautiful Dreamer”

Tess substitutes at a school in Washington D.C. and asks the students what they want to be when they grow up. One of the children, Calvin, tells the class he wants to be an assassin. Tess tells Calvin that being an assassin is nothing to be proud of and to prove it Tess tells the class the story of John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. On April 14, 1865 Sam and Andrew arrive in post-Civil War Washington. Sam tells Andrew, then a caseworker, of his next assignment, Mr. Booth. Andrew meets Booth backstage at Ford’s Theater, where stagehands are busily preparing for the evening’s play. At the White House, Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary make plans to attend the play.

Monica, currently working in Annunciations, arrives as Mrs. Lincoln’s seamstress. While Monica fits her dress, Mrs. Lincoln confides in Monica her worry for her husband’s health, especially in light of a recent dream the President has had. That afternoon Andrew approaches Booth in a saloon outside the theater, and after a political discussion, comes to realize the depth of Booth’s hatred for Lincoln. Andrew realizes Booth plans to kill the President.

Meanwhile, Monica speaks to the President about his dream. Lincoln realizes that Monica is an angel and he tells her of the dream, in which he sees his corpse laying in the White House. Monica comforts Lincoln, and assures him that, whatever lies ahead, his work will be continued. The Lincoln’s go to the theater. Booth, having a few drinks before the show, is delighted to learn that Lincoln’s bodyguard is also in the saloon. Andrew struggles over stopping Booth from killing Lincoln, but Sam tells him they cannot interfere with a human’s free will. Booth shoots Lincoln and flees the theater.

Later Andrew appears to Booth in the barn he is using as a hideout, revealing himself to be an angel, and tells Booth that he did not act according to God’s will, but that God offers Booth forgiveness. Booth is shot by a soldier and dies, unable to ask God for forgiveness. Andrew reports back to Sam, who informs him that God has a new job for him. God wants Andrew to be An Angel of Death, and his first assignment is to escort Lincoln home. Back in present-day, Tess takes young Calvin to the Lincoln Memorial, where he admits what he really wants to be when he grows up – the President of the United States.

Episode 506: “Lady of the Lake”

Andrew and Tess show Monica how to skip stones on Lake Paradise, and notice that this lake is “dead” in that it has no birds, no fish, no people. It is Monica’s assignment to help revitalize this lake, and at the same time, revitalize the life of Blake Chapman, who has returned to Lake Paradise after twelve years, as a representative of the Mayforth Corporation, the company that wants to purchase the property around Lake Paradise. Blake is stunned when “Monica’s Bait and Tackle Shop” springs up on the lakeshore, especially when he realizes that Mayforth doesn’t own the small patch of land the shop rests on.

Monica, enjoying her new job as storekeeper and friend of the worms, refuses to sell the shop, thereby impeding the company’s progress and infuriating Blake and the townspeople, including, Earl Gray, an old-timer, his hearing-impaired daughter Laurel, her son, Jeremy, and Eb and Flo, one-time Vegas performers. They all stand to profit in different ways if the property is sold to Mayforth, which the townspeople presume will turn the lake into a resort. Laurel is somewhat shocked to see Blake again, who suddenly left town after an accident on the lake (the night he was to propose to her) ruined his chances of becoming a professional hockey player. Monica realizes that twelve-year-old Jeremy is Blake’s son, and encourages Laurel to tell him.

But when bulldozers come to the lake to begin destruction, Monica chains herself to a tree to make them halt. She asks Blake to reveal the true reason Mayforth wants the property, to build an outlet mall. The townspeople feel Blake has lied to them, and Laurel tells Blake to “go to hell.” Blake has Monica arrested. In jail, Tess reprimands Monica for her methods, but when Blake arrives Monica makes some progress. She tells Blake that he lost his soul the night of the accident, and he came back to Lake Paradise to get it back. Blake goes to the lake to think, and he is visited by Monica, the Lady of the Lake.

She reveals herself as the angel who saved Blake and Laurel the night of the accident, and tells him that God spared Blake’s life so that he would realize life to its full potential. After some time in deep reflection, God reveals to Blake that Jeremy is his son. Blake reunites with Laurel, and the next day they go to the lake, where, in front of the townspeople, Blake tears up the Mayforth contracts, proposes to Laurel, and makes peace with himself. At the same time fish and birds return to the miraculously revitalized lake.