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Friday, August 19, 2005

Mother's Daughter -- Fifth Installment

Returning home to Pennsylvania, Elizabeth is left with the realization that she may have had ten more years with Hannah than she was ever supposed to have. She seems to take comfort in that, and in the love of her two remaining children.

Here are a few of my observations from this episode...
Although the mothers came from two severely different worlds, they were bound together in both love and grief for their daughters.

If not for the Director's commentary, I would not have noticed that when Hannah threw up icy pond water, you could actually see frosty vapors coming out of her mouth. Kudos for such an eerie effect!

I was impressed with Elizabeth's competence, how strong and unflinching she was, determined to find the answers she needed to help her daughter. She held her own in any situation, whether dealing with an elder in her community or these 'paranormal experts'--outsiders who may have mistaken her faith and way of life for meekness.

I thought that Paul was particularly strong in this episode. Usually, Alva takes the lead, setting the tone somewhat as to how things will be handled. From the beginning of this case, he seemed to hand the reins over to Paul. Because Paul's life was forever changed by the death of his mother, he was determined to do everything he could to spare Elizabeth and Hannah that same painful fate. **Skeet was outstanding in this episode! He instinctively kept Paul 'in control' while still allowing us to see his vulnerability and emotional distress over his failure to 'save' Hannah.

It seems fitting to show some examples of a very popular Amish quilt pattern called Sunshine and Shadow. In this episode of Miracles, I noticed a constant theme of dark vs.light, good vs.evil. This was a 'dark' episode, not just in content, but in how it was filmed. The use of light and shadow to illustrate the changing mood and tone on this show was impeccable! This went so far as having Paul in a crisp white shirt, and Alva in darker clothes. Hannah, in her traditional black Amish dress, virtually 'became' Lucinda once she put the white dress on. And even the solitude and deep darkness outside Hannah's bedroom window, against the bustle, life and light in the view from Lucinda's.

(next and finally...movin' on!)