Highway to Heaven

Season 2 Episode 21

The Torch

Aired Unknown Mar 12, 1986 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

out of 10
9 votes
  • Good acting, naive plotline

    The pacifist message of this episode was well-intentioned and communicated honestly with a minimum of stereotyping. The Jewish activist, played by Herschel Bernardi, starts out believing that peaceful coexistence is the solution to all bigotry and hate. But when his own son is murdered, his old beliefs are quickly abandoned in favor of vengeance. But a spiritual awakening returns him back to his old pacifist self.

    While the acting was generally effective (Mary Ann Chinn was chilling as the neo-nazi's wife nearly driven over the edge by the violence that surrounds her), the message is rather one-sided.

    Everett Solomon's attitude adjustment from peace to vengeance was actually an accurate parallel of history. Both England and the Soviet Union had signed peace treaties with Germany, only to see Hitler turn right around and attack them. Their response, however, was not another round of peace negotiations but all-out war. Switching Everett back to a pacifist seemed to almost confirm another character's opinion that he was "soft" in the face of bigotry.

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar ("NYPD Blue") makes his TV debut as 12-year-old Rolf Baldt.
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