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S01.E07: The Prodigal Son

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Miles is forced to face uncomfortable truths about his family when the “God” account points him toward his Uncle Terrance. Also, Cara’s father pays her a visit, and he discovers that she’s reconnected with her mom, who left them when she was a child.

Airs Sunday, 11/11/18.

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I want Ali's patchwork print blouse.

I'm glad Miles and Ali were smiling stand-ins for Uncle T at the end, because when Miles' dad was saying he couldn't imagine giving a sermon without Uncle T sitting there smiling, I thought: Seriously? What if he dies tomorrow?

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Very good episode. I like how Miles and Cara both found out that people they put on a pedestal are human and flawed, It's like they both grew up. 

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The conceits in this ep were enormous. 

"I am not going to put him in prison."  Well, Reverend, that is not your call.  Nor do you have that power.

"It was MY right to know I was contacted."  Nope.  You were incapable of understanding the dangers of an alcoholic parent and the overwhelming odds against her being truly "sober."   Not your call then, sweetie.

"I needed the money."   Yes.  Yes, you did, Terrence.

I don't much care what happened when the Board went into special session.  My DVR cut off at that point.  I do care about Lena's loss.  SO many like her who invested everything only to have that trust blown up.  Tragic.

The overwhelming bright white light in most every scene is becoming ridiculous.  We get it.  God is at work.   The settings are hurting your point, TPTB.  You are creating a new world, not depicting this one.  I want this show to lead folks to good choices and faith.  That is more difficult when NYC is a veritable Shangri-La.

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38 minutes ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

. . . That is more difficult when NYC is a veritable Shangri-La.

All true^, @Lonesome Rhodes, but then I can't recall any NYC-set shows where even the newcomer characters mention the stench of urine or have to step over human feces.

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Well, I was afraid the show was biting off too much with this plot - they somehow managed pull it off without choking hazard but it was a narrow escape. As others have pointed out Hasan coming around happened too fast, I was also bugged that by the fact that we were never given more insight into David's family or you know what the mother of the bride was thinking - did she even have a name? That's a whole other can of worms that remained untouched. And as usual with plots about inter-faith marriages nobody asks about the faith of future kids. But yeah, unraveling the complicated dynamics between religion and cultural identity can't really be done in 40 minutes - so I'll take the good feels.

I actually like it that Miles still isn't willing to accept that God is behind the god account. 

Bit meh, about that last scene. It was too much painting/writing by numbers: let's meet the love interest/main-ship-stumbling block for Miles.

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11 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I want Ali's patchwork print blouse.

I'm glad Miles and Ali were smiling stand-ins for Uncle T at the end, because when Miles' dad was saying he couldn't imagine giving a sermon without Uncle T sitting there smiling, I thought: Seriously? What if he dies tomorrow?

I want Cara's cherry earrings!

Agree, both Miles and Cara showed some growth this episode.

I felt for what Lena is going through because of Terrance.  

Just because someone might die, doesn't mean it's possible to imagine that person never being there again.  None of us are promised tomorrow, doesn't mean we can imagine what happens after.  

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9 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

The conceits in this ep were enormous. 

"I am not going to put him in prison."  Well, Reverend, that is not your call.  Nor do you have that power.

"It was MY right to know I was contacted."  Nope.  You were incapable of understanding the dangers of an alcoholic parent and the overwhelming odds against her being truly "sober."   Not your call then, sweetie.

"I needed the money."   Yes.  Yes, you did, Terrence.

I don't much care what happened when the Board went into special session.  My DVR cut off at that point.  I do care about Lena's loss.  SO many like her who invested everything only to have that trust blown up.  Tragic.

The overwhelming bright white light in most every scene is becoming ridiculous.  We get it.  God is at work.   The settings are hurting your point, TPTB.  You are creating a new world, not depicting this one.  I want this show to lead folks to good choices and faith.  That is more difficult when NYC is a veritable Shangri-La.

In my opinion your trying too hard to be negative about a show that there isn't much to be negative about. I love this show.

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9 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

"It was MY right to know I was contacted."  Nope.  You were incapable of understanding the dangers of an alcoholic parent and the overwhelming odds against her being truly "sober."   Not your call then, sweetie.

This was my thought, too.  I wish someone had told her "You were 14!" 

Aside from that, I liked it.  This is my feel good show.  I don't care if some things are predictable, I still like it,

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12 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

"I am not going to put him in prison."  Well, Reverend, that is not your call.  Nor do you have that power.

Actually, I heard over the weekend here in below-freezing temps of a guy who offered to take a homeless guy home for a hot shower, but on the way, Homeless Guy (probably with mental health issues, IMO, but not in the report) stabbed the good Samaritan and drove off in his SUV, wrecking it.
Since Good Samaritan "didn’t want to sign complaints," Homeless Guy was only "charged with several misdemeanor and traffic offenses" (chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-homeless-stabbing-20181110-story.html ).

Plus, churches are known for covering up stuff for various reasons. I attended a non-denominational neighborhood church in the 90s in which some people "cased the joint" during the service, then came back and stole the (expensive) music equipment. For reasons I'm not getting into here, the perps were forgiven and became church members.

So they likely could have kept him out of prison, but, yeah, I have to agree, to watch this show you really do have to be willing to walk a pretty high wire/rope of suspension of disbelief regarding the "real life" parts of the scripts. IMO, a more well-written show would handle that better.

I finally watched an episode of The Good Place, which seems better that way.

 

 

ETA: Re:

2 hours ago, mommalib said:

"It was MY right to know I was contacted."  Nope.  You were incapable of understanding the dangers of an alcoholic parent and the overwhelming odds against her being truly "sober."   Not your call then, sweetie.

Plus: Isn't Cara old enough to realize this now??

Edited by shapeshifter
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4 hours ago, dcinmb said:

What the heck happened to Michael Vartan? I barely recognized him, he's so gaunt now.

I Googled “Is Michael Vartan sick?” after watching. He looks really bad  

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4 hours ago, dcinmb said:

What the heck happened to Michael Vartan? I barely recognized him, he's so gaunt now.

I don't know, but I felt really old when I saw he was playing Cara's father.

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While I did like seeing more of Cara and Miles' families, this episode didn't really engage me that much. This is the first one where I felt it was slightly below average. I think it might have been some of the actors' performances.

I did like Miles showing up at his father's church at the end, though.

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So uncle T can embezzle money from the church twice and it’s all good  because he said ‘Sorry’? $600,000?  Well, strike 3 is on its way.  This storyline irks me.  I live in a very small village and our clerk embezzled $100,000. In fact, several small towns around here have had it happen.  Several businesses in the area have had employees steal from them. 

Why should Lena forgive him? She’s got a life to live, bills to pay, and old age to save for.  What kind of husband is he to her?  But, oh, he’s a  nice guy.  

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6 hours ago, dcinmb said:

What the heck happened to Michael Vartan? I barely recognized him, he's so gaunt now.

Time. I'd still hit that. That smile still makes me feel all giddy when I see it.

Edited by MVFrostsMyPie
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13 hours ago, shapeshifter said:
15 hours ago, mommalib said:

"It was MY right to know I was contacted."  Nope.  You were incapable of understanding the dangers of an alcoholic parent and the overwhelming odds against her being truly "sober."   Not your call then, sweetie.

Plus: Isn't Cara old enough to realize this now??

At first, this is what Mr. Yeah No said, but I chalked it up to her youth and immaturity.  I'm old enough to realize it, but I don't know if I would have been at her age, and even if I did my emotions might have taken over anyway.  The actress that plays Cara is only 22.  14 wasn't that long ago.

14 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Plus, churches are known for covering up stuff for various reasons. I attended a non-denominational neighborhood church in the 90s in which some people "cased the joint" during the service, then came back and stole the (expensive) music equipment. For reasons I'm not getting into here, the perps were forgiven and became church members.

So they likely could have kept him out of prison, but, yeah, I have to agree, to watch this show you really do have to be willing to walk a pretty high wire/rope of suspension of disbelief regarding the "real life" parts of the scripts. IMO, a more well-written show would handle that better.

I agree.  Speaking of suspension of disbelief, even some of the relatively small stuff irks me on this show.  I'm a lifelong Episcopalian and there were a few glaring issues in this episode:

First of all, an Episcopal church would never be named after the area.  There would never be a "Harlem Episcopal Church".  Other denominations do that, but not this one.

Secondly, The "board" of an Episcopal church is called the "vestry".  I was a vestry member for years.  It's never called a board.

Thirdly, when Miles' dad burst out with wanting to sell "the house", they were clearly in a rectory house done in a similar style to the church, which is what an Episcopal priest would live in, and which would be part of the church property, not his possession to sell.

Now, I know most shows don't get stuff like this right, but a show that is filmed in an Episcopal church and is all ABOUT this stuff SHOULD.

That said, I still like this show a lot despite its flaws.

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1 hour ago, Yeah No said:

Thirdly, when Miles' dad burst out with wanting to sell "the house", they were clearly in a rectory house done in a similar style to the church, which is what an Episcopal priest would live in, and which would be part of the church property, not his possession to sell.

That's what I thought too, but there was also the line shortly after that implying that the "board" had to agree:

  • [Miles] You're gonna sell the house? No. No, you can't do that. There has to be another way.
  • [Dad] There isn't. And I won't send your uncle to prison. Let's just hope the board feels the same way. I've got to get down there.

—which does imply it's not Miles' Dad's house to sell. It's just that the prison line was wedged into the middle of it, which doesn't fit. And Miles' lines made it sound like it was his Dad's to sell, since he hadn't asked the "board" yet, so "you" didn't seem to be referring to the governing body of the church. It's like someone pointed out all the problems with the script that you noticed, @Yeah No, but then that person didn't get to read the re-write or something.

 I also thought (at another point) that it was highly unlikely that a priest or pastor would yell angrily at a family member in public. I thought maybe Joe Morton was auditioning for a different role, heh. But then I figured it was supposed to be like those TV private conversations that characters have 2 feet away from everyone else that nobody else can hear even though they're speaking at a regular volume.

This show isn't worse than most; that's just not saying very much.

Edited by shapeshifter
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8 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

That's what I thought too, but there was also the line shortly after that implying that the "board" had to agree:

  • [Miles] You're gonna sell the house? No. No, you can't do that. There has to be another way.
  • [Dad] There isn't. And I won't send your uncle to prison. Let's just hope the board feels the same way. I've got to get down there.

—which does imply it's not Miles' Dad's house to sell. It's just that the prison line was wedged into the middle of it, which doesn't fit. And Miles' lines made it sound like it was his Dad's to sell, since he hadn't asked the "board" yet, so "you" didn't seem to be referring to the governing body of the church. It's like someone pointed out all the problems with the script that you noticed, @Yeah No, but then that person didn't get to read the re-write or something.

There was also one other thing that they got wrong, I can't remember the exact line but Dad also made some mention about the congregation or something like that being involved in the decision.  It it would actually be the Episcopal diocese that would decide whether or not to sell the rectory house, not even the vestry.

I'm actually living through something similar right now.  My husband and I sometimes go to a church in another town, and even though the vestry tried to prevent it, the diocese decided to sell the church and vacate the property.  Neither of us is on the vestry and we aren't in on all the details, but this decision seemed strange to us because there was never any mention of financial hardship on the part of the church to the congregation.  But it's the diocese's decision in the end, and it's very sad.  The congregation right now doesn't even know what's going to become of the more than 100 year old property.  It has a beautiful organ, too.

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I guess this is just Alternative-Universe Episcopalian. I generally hate it when posters call writers "lazy," but it does kind of feel that way when we can imagine the writers sitting around a table saying to each other: This is a show in which God is literally in the machine. Why bother Googling how the Episcopal Church works? Now who wants pizza?

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4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I guess this is just Alternative-Universe Episcopalian. I generally hate it when posters call writers "lazy," but it does kind of feel that way when we can imagine the writers sitting around a table saying to each other: This is a show in which God is literally in the machine. Why bother Googling how the Episcopal Church works? Now who wants pizza?

Especially when they're literally filming the show IN an Episcopal church.  It's not like they couldn't ask a few questions while there!

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Somehow I am really having a hard time seeing Jaya as this super-dedicated aspiring doctor. IMO everything we know of her thus far has made her seem rather shallow and for-the-moment, not the kind of person you'd picture buckling down through med school.

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I don’t think the writers meant that the board would be involved in selling the house. I think they meant the Rev. hoped the board would accept the money from him in lieu of sending Terrance to jail.  So, I don’t think the writers thought the church owned the house. 

Miles comment was more in line to mean that the house was his Dads, the family home and it shouldn’t  be sold to pay Terrance’s debt. 

Edited by mythoughtis
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19 hours ago, mythoughtis said:

So uncle T can embezzle money from the church twice and it’s all good  because he said ‘Sorry’? $600,000?  Well, strike 3 is on its way.  This storyline irks me.

Yeah the embezzlement part of the story irked me too. And I think this was the first "mission" where the subject committed an actual/major crime (in the present). But a church is probably the only organization that might be willing to forgive something like that.

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9 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Especially when they're literally filming the show IN an Episcopal church.  It's not like they couldn't ask a few questions while there!

BTW, for the episode with the Muslim and Jew who wanted to marry, I noticed in the credits a "Islamic Consultant", so they know what to do if they wanted to!

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7 hours ago, mythoughtis said:

I don’t think the writers meant that the board would be involved in selling the house. I think they meant the Rev. hoped the board would accept the money from him in lieu of sending Terrance to jail.  So, I don’t think the writers thought the church owned the house. 

Miles comment was more in line to mean that the house was his Dads, the family home and it shouldn’t  be sold to pay Terrance’s debt. 

You are very likely correct in your interpretation of what was intended, but at least a decade before I attended various Christian churches, most of which had church-owned homes for the leaders of the "flock," I learned about such Church-owned properties from reading Jane Austen's novels. This is definitely Bizarro World—and not just because of the God Facebook account.

 

 

2 hours ago, Trini said:

BTW, for the episode with the Muslim and Jew who wanted to marry, I noticed in the credits a "Islamic Consultant", so they know what to do if they wanted to!

And now I wonder at what point they are willing to hire a consultant. 

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I am much confused.  No shock, that.  :)

If the house in question is not, in fact, the Reverend's personal property, what freaking gall does that man have to propose that the Church accept a sale of their own property so as to avoid reporting the theft to the proper authorities!

While I do find the writing to be somewhat lazy at times, my sense is that the avoidance of terms like "vestry" is intentional.  The more non-specific they can be as to faith, the less exclusive they can be, to a more broad potential audience.  They certainly do not want to hit us over the head with Episcopalian this, Episcopalian, that.  Not the choice I would have made, but there are reasons I am not in the media ratrace no mo.

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29 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

You are very likely correct in your interpretation of what was intended, but at least a decade before I attended various Christian churches, most of which had church-owned homes for the leaders of the "flock," I learned about such Church-owned properties from reading Jane Austen's novels. This is definitely Bizarro World—and not just because of the God Facebook account.

 

 

And now I wonder at what point they are willing to hire a consultant. 

I am familiar with the term parsonage.   It used to be commonplace that churches would provide rent free homes for the pastor.  I think it’s fallen by the wayside in favor of housing allowances( or just extra salary) because of the cost of upkeep. 

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Having known Episcopal clergy who chose to live in homes that they owned personally, I can buy into that bit, that it wasn't a church-owned home or 'parsonage' - especially if, as I felt it was implied here, that it was a long time family home.

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4 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

If the house in question is not, in fact, the Reverend's personal property, what freaking gall does that man have to propose that the Church accept a sale of their own property so as to avoid reporting the theft to the proper authorities!

Yes, exactly, good point!

4 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

While I do find the writing to be somewhat lazy at times, my sense is that the avoidance of terms like "vestry" is intentional.  The more non-specific they can be as to faith, the less exclusive they can be, to a more broad potential audience.  They certainly do not want to hit us over the head with Episcopalian this, Episcopalian, that.  Not the choice I would have made, but there are reasons I am not in the media ratrace no mo.

I'd agree with that but then why did they go and refer to the church as "Harlem Episcopal"?  If they wanted to remain generic they shouldn't have made everything about this church including its name, its location and its vestments so identifiably Episcopal.

2 hours ago, saoirse said:

Having known Episcopal clergy who chose to live in homes that they owned personally, I can buy into that bit, that it wasn't a church-owned home or 'parsonage' - especially if, as I felt it was implied here, that it was a long time family home.

Having seen a few rectories in my time it really looked like one, not that this show would be that realistic, but still.  Besides, something that grand in Manhattan would be rare and worth at least a few million right now if not more.  Sell all that just for the sake of $687,000 (or whatever)?

Edited by Yeah No
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15 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

I'd agree with that but then why did they go and refer to the church as "Harlem Episcopal"?  If they wanted to remain generic they shouldn't have made everything about this church including its name, its location and its vestments so identifiably Episcopal.

The show wanted to be a "little bit pregnant" but not enough to scare off folks.  I believe they wanted to be identifiably mainstream, so they went with a known/respected faith.  My bet is there will be fewer and fewer direct references.  YMMV!  

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5 minutes ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

The show wanted to be a "little bit pregnant" but not enough to scare off folks.  I believe they wanted to be identifiably mainstream, so they went with a known/respected faith.  My bet is there will be fewer and fewer direct references.  YMMV!  

They know most people don't know what a "vestry" is so I think they probably changed it to "board" to make it more understandable to the rest of the world.  Which is OK, I get it.  It just adds to the already growing suspension of disbelief this show already requires, which is getting toward my maximum threshold as it is.

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23 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

Having seen a few rectories in my time it really looked like one, not that this show would be that realistic, but still.

I'm sure they shot it in an actual rectory (or other church property), but I think it was supposed to represent their family home.

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7 minutes ago, Trini said:

I'm sure they shot it in an actual rectory (or other church property), but I think it was supposed to represent their family home.

Maybe, but it's yet again another instance of fiddling with reality to make things more "mainstream" or whatever.  I think they need the equivalent of a Muslim consultant for the Episcopal church.  I suppose it's more PC to take liberties with the fictional presentation of Christian churches than with other faiths, but I for one have a little issue with that.  YMMV.

Contrast this with the "Sex and the City" episode filmed in the Church of the Transfiguration in Manhattan, the church my parents and I got married in - The Priest there was depicted as Celibate so we were to assume that it was a Catholic church, but since the show never gave any specifics about the church, it didn't bother me at all.  Plus it was a single episode.  This show is an entire series and several references to it being Episcopal have been made already, so I would expect a little more consistency with reality.  Again, YMMV.

Edited by Yeah No
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I was never a big Alias viewer, but Michael Vartan was hot back in the day.  He's 50. Hmm. I think part of it is that he is thin. Sometimes when people have a little more weight on them, it fills out their faces and makes them look younger.

Cara's parents didn't show a lot of self-control at the lunch meeting. "We can never tell her!"  Cara notices that something is up. "OK. We will tell you."

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19 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:
19 hours ago, Yeah No said:

I'd agree with that but then why did they go and refer to the church as "Harlem Episcopal"?  

The show wanted to be a "little bit pregnant"

Hah! "The show wanted to be a 'little bit pregnant'" will be my mantra whenever the show does stuff like this:

19 hours ago, Yeah No said:

 something that grand in Manhattan would be rare and worth at least a few million right now if not more.  Sell all that just for the sake of $687,000 (or whatever)?

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Cara and Miles showed some growth realizing that the people they saw as their heroes were humans, and I loved Miles showing up at church to support his father, knowing his uncle wouldn't be there. 

That being said, I dont see what Cara’s dad and Miles uncle did as being in the same league. Maybe what Cara’s dad did was wrong, but he clearly did it to protect his daughter, and I totally get why he did it. Its all well and good that her mom is better now, but so soon after she left? After apparently been burned before? I dont blame him at all. Miles uncle, however, embezzled from his families church out of pure greed. Yeah he came clean, but that doesn't change that he did an awful thing, and got a slap on the wrist for it.

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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

That being said, I dont see what Cara`s dad and Miles uncle did as being in the same league. Maybe what Cara`s dad did was wrong, but he clearly did it to protect his daughter, and I totally get why he did it. Its all well and good that her mom is better now, but so soon after she left? After apparently been burned before? I dont blame him at all. Miles uncle, however, embezzled from his families church out of pure greed

It wasn't clear to me what motivated Uncle T to get into so much financial trouble. Early in the episode he said, "For the people who live here built by the people who live here. Money stays right here and it's all good for the community," but then it turned out that we need to verify everything he says. The writers kind of destroyed his character for future plots. Plus, builders of low income housing high rises tend not to be saints.

The writers seemed to be throwing Cara's dad's character under the bus too by having him say the real reason he didn't want Cara's mom back was to avoid having his own heart broken again—sort of like doing the right thing (protecting Cara) for the wrong reason, I guess.  If Cara's mom had not stayed sober, her dad's decision would have been likely applauded by Cara. Or they could have had her Mom say that she would not have gotten sober if she hadn't "hit bottom" when Cara's dad turned her away—but I guess they wanted parallel stories of fallen father figures.

Why?

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On 11/13/2018 at 12:22 AM, shapeshifter said:

I guess this is just Alternative-Universe Episcopalian. I generally hate it when posters call writers "lazy," but it does kind of feel that way when we can imagine the writers sitting around a table saying to each other: This is a show in which God is literally in the machine. Why bother Googling how the Episcopal Church works? Now who wants pizza?

Or in future episodes they will just retcon and give the church and different name like the later episodes of GCB changed from a Methodist Church to a Community Church 

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I don't expect much realism and accuracy from a show about a guy who gets friended by God.

Edited by mojito
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On 11/14/2018 at 1:15 AM, Yeah No said:

Maybe, but it's yet again another instance of fiddling with reality to make things more "mainstream" or whatever.  I think they need the equivalent of a Muslim consultant for the Episcopal church.  I suppose it's more PC to take liberties with the fictional presentation of Christian churches than with other faiths, but I for one have a little issue with that.  YMMV.

So in a book series I loved, the Mitford Series, Father Tim was able to buy the rectory he lived in when the church decided to sell the property. I guess I just presumed something similar had happened here. 

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4 hours ago, joanne3482 said:

So in a book series I loved, the Mitford Series, Father Tim was able to buy the rectory he lived in when the church decided to sell the property. I guess I just presumed something similar had happened here. 

I had forgotten that I read that series. And I have forgotten almost everything about it, so that didn't occur to me. But now that you mention it, these lines fit with that situation:

On November 13, 2018 at 1:55 AM, shapeshifter said:
  • [Miles] You're gonna sell the house? No. No, you can't do that. There has to be another way.
  • [Dad] There isn't. And I won't send your uncle to prison. Let's just hope the board feels the same way. I've got to get down there

Maybe this show's religious underpinnings are based on the Mitford series.

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21 hours ago, mojito said:

I don't expect much realism and accuracy from a show about a guy who gets friended by God.

Hah, perhaps I just post to too many show threads where even the littlest details are picked apart and called unrealistic, even on sitcoms!  Right now I'm listening to a whole bunch of scientists/librarians kvetching bitterly on everything from the lighting being too dim in the university library to the unrealistic way a scientific study was portrayed.....again, on a sitcom.

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On 11/15/2018 at 1:56 AM, shapeshifter said:

It wasn't clear to me what motivated Uncle T to get into so much financial trouble.

I think maybe he didn't have enough money to pay the workers for the amount of time the construction was going to take?

Also, could someone explain how he was able to pay the church back for the embezzlement so quickly? I saw him face Miles's dad and take responsibility in front of the "board," but I don't understand how he fixed the $ problem.

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40 minutes ago, Bringonthedrama said:

Could someone explain how he was able to pay the church back for the embezzlement so quickly? I saw him face Miles's dad and take responsibility in front of the "board," but I don't understand how he fixed the $ problem.

He had kept a small share in the construction project, which he was presumably counting on to increase in value so he could start paying off loans and use it as a seed for future projects. He sold it (to the bank?), so now I guess he has less than nothing but at least won’t go to jail.

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On 11/15/2018 at 1:56 AM, shapeshifter said:

It wasn't clear to me what motivated Uncle T to get into so much financial trouble. Early in the episode he said, "For the people who live here built by the people who live here. Money stays right here and it's all good for the community," but then it turned out that we need to verify everything he says. The writers kind of destroyed his character for future plots. Plus, builders of low income housing high rises tend not to be saints.

The writers seemed to be throwing Cara's dad's character under the bus too by having him say the real reason he didn't want Cara's mom back was to avoid having his own heart broken again—sort of like doing the right thing (protecting Cara) for the wrong reason, I guess.  If Cara's mom had not stayed sober, her dad's decision would have been likely applauded by Cara. Or they could have had her Mom say that she would not have gotten sober if she hadn't "hit bottom" when Cara's dad turned her away—but I guess they wanted parallel stories of fallen father figures.

Why?

Cara's Dad was right, though.  Both "reasons" are true.  He didn't want his own heart broken again and he didn't want to risk Cara's heart (or well being) by letting Mom back in.  I saw it more as Cara's Dad being the more mature and responsible parent by saying "yeah, it was selfish on my part."    From what I understand, families of alcoholics run into this sorta problem quite often. 

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Catching up to the few episodes I've missed (this seems to be a pattern recently), I've had some issues with this episode. I knew I was right in that the writing won't always be strong enough because they tend to fall on tired cliches.

First off, as much as I like Cara and her family, her plot is riddled with things I'm not a fan of. I think that the lunch scene with her parents was sloppy writing. Cara being mad at her father for lying about her mother coming back when she had every opportunity from Cara being 12 to now is ridiculous. Her blaming her father is easy and very poor writing. Her blaming her father and not her mother is badly written as well. As an adult, Cara should realize that her 12 year old self cannot make the decisions about an alcoholic parent and the choices that they make. Her father may have been trying to protect himself, but he was also protecting her, and it can be both. Not only is Cara's father an adult, but Cara's mother is as well. She may have respected his wishes and stayed away, but nothing stopped her from seeing Cara once she was eighteen. She made that choice on her own. She could have been the bigger person and chose to show how much she changed by finding a way to see her daughter. Instead, Cara's mother ran away and started her own family while never reaching out until Cara found her. 

So, Cara's father was right in a way. She was always going to end up hurting younger Cara because she could never really be there for her. I appreciate Cara and her mother fixing that relationship that was broken, but let's not forget that her mother hasn't done the right thing for over twenty years.

However, I still liked the plot. The writing was simply lazy, but the actors were all fantastic.

Miles' uncle's plot was also lazy writing and a story I've seen played out a million times before, so nothing was new. I can't see Miles' uncle Terrence being redeemed well after this. They have presented him as a lying scumbag and everyone has enabled him up until this point. I appreciate him coming clean at the end, but he still did what he did for years and ruined a lot of good relationships. He's already forgiven, which is great and all for the family, but he's going to need to work real hard for me, as a viewer, to like him.

It's odd because I do like this show and find the actors really good. Sometimes, the writing is even decent, but I do find that they're relying on used storylines and there's little originality. 

Although....I want to end this post on a serious positive. I am thrilled that this main mystery is being known to everyone. No secrets about the God account are being held, which means there is a direct line of communication when Miles helps people. It's actually quite refreshing to see honesty. When Miles told his uncle about the friend request, I recognize that other shows with a major mystery element to it wouldn't have had this type of scene, so there would have been a lot of confusion as to why Miles would have been pestering his uncle so much. With everyone knowing about Miles getting his uncle as a friend request from God, it answered that question immediately and allowed the story to flow better. So kudos for this show for not withholding THIS secret, at least.

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ITA with your whole post^ @Lady Calypso
however:

  • Regarding "No secrets about the God account" being a "refreshing" change from the usual I've-got-a-secret that has been used since at least since the '60s Bewitched, My Favorite Martian, Mr. Ed (the talking horse) and countless others:
    While I too appreciate this openness to the secrecy gimmick, I suspect it may just be easier to write rather than being indicative of inspired writing.
     
  • About Cara's dad being thrown under the bus for turning away Cara's mother 10 years ago:
    I too was indignant about this on behalf of the dad, but then I read @Yeah No's post pointing out that Cara is only about 22, and I recalled my own eldest daughter, who, at 21, upon locating her absent father, was willing to accept him and even make up excuses for him. She's 40 now, and I'm glad she has a relationship with him and his family, but I did not appreciate fictionalized accounts that made me look like I had not gone through heroic efforts to engage him and his family for her first 3 years.
    And, here again, I think the writers similarly just left a lot unsaid because it was easier rather than them purposely leaving stuff out to provoke the viewers.

So, maybe the writers will stumble into enough serendipity in their "fractured fairytales" to keep viewers watching.

Edited by shapeshifter
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