Touched by an Angel

Anatomy Lesson

Season 5, Ep 18, Aired 3/7/99
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  • Episode Description
  • When Dewey Burton dies of a heart attack while running for help after finding a young girl trapped in a deep drain pipe, Tess tells Monica that his body is the key to saving the young girl and she only has four hours to do so. When Dewey's body arrives at the coroner's office, Monica arrives at the assistant to the skeptical pathologist, Ivar. Ivar believes that everything about a man's life can be determined from an autopsy. While Tess remains with the little girl, Jamie, Monica begins trying to change the heart of Ivar by telling him the story of Dewey's life from the details of his body. Monica begins by looking at the man's hands, deducing that he worked in construction, building homes which he could never afford himself. Tess continues to comfort Jamie as Dewey's wife, Faye, begins to search for her missing husband. As the autopsy continues, Monica learns more about Ivar, that he believes, "In the end, we are helpless and what doesn't change anything," and that he used to practice medicine but changed to pathology. Jamie's mother alerts the authorities as her missing daughter and a search begins, but Ivar turns off the radio of as news of Jamie's disappearance is the broadcast. Ivar's younger daughter calls, telling her father that she wants to have a funeral for her goldfish, which has just died, but Ivar is unsympathetic. Meanwhile, Jamie is unconscious but Tess refuses to pull her out due to instructions from God. Monica continues recounting John Doe's life by telling how he fell in love, was married and lost a child. Ivar is no longer tolerant of Monica's story telling. He breaks down, telling her how he had a son die of leukemia and that there was nothing he could do to save his son. Monica then reveals herself to be an angel, telling Ivar how she also was there to comfort Dewey when he lost his child. She tells Ivar that his child is happy in heaven and that he still has work to do. Ivar then looks closely at Dewey's body and begins to piece together where he might have been when he died. As the radio announces that the missing Jamie was wearing red gloves, Ivar realizes Dewey's connection to Jamie, and where to find her. Rushing to the drain pipe, Ivar rescues and resuscitates Jamie. When Faye arrives at the scene, Ivar must tell her about the death of her Dewey. He tells her of his daring attempt to rescue Jamie. His faith now fully restored , he comforts her. "He was a good man, I could see it in his face."moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Roma Downey


  • John Dye

    Andrew (Episode 23-9)

  • Della Reese


  • Ken LaZebnik

  • Sandor Stern

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • Monica: John Doe wasn't just another builder. For him, God was in the details.

    Notes (1)

    • Music: My Bonnie by Tess & Jamie

    Trivia (3)

    • When Dewey first met his wife he sang "Home on the hill" for her.

    • Written on the wall in the coroner's lab: My friend was ill, I attended him. He died, I dissected him.

    • Monica appears as a doctor assisting the county coroner.

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