Season 1 Episode 11

Home by Another Way

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Dec 10, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
183 votes
  • It starts off with Livia preparing for something, getting all dressed up and ready to enjoy the festive period, then we see Dan in the kitchen talking to Katie about a family get together, so off he goes to the paper as he was summoned there by Hugh.

    Dan gets to the paper, meets Hugh, gets told that he is part of the next round of cuts, as he is leaving the building, he jumps back in time to the night at the paper when the old owner dies, with the legend of being with Nancy Stokes. He is joined by Livia, who mingle but then Dennis in a drunken stooper says to Dan that he saw Livia first and she's his, Dennis takes a swing, misses and gets hit by Dan.

    Back at the house, Jack has to go and get his mom from the airport, then both Jack and Katie cover for Dan, but then he walks down the stairs and admits that they were covering for him. They then all start to settle down and prepare for the festive period, Dan feigns a work call and heads off back to the paper. Where he meets up with Livia once more, manages to hand back her locket and get more information regarding the night that the old owner of the paper died.

    Jack catches his doctor girlfriend in the bathroom checking through the family meds, making sure that there isn't any cases of mental illness in any form, Jack doesn't understand until she says as she wants to know if there is anything hereditory for their child. They make their excuses and leaves, but stopping at Jacks place, he even shuns work so that he can spend time with her.

    Katie and Dan's mom get closer, there were some slightly catty moments and comments prior to the festive singing, but a brief chat sees a much better improved relationship.

    Dan manages to persuade Dennis not to get rid of the staff, well more of a blackmail thing, he clears that all up and then goes back to the party,, checks with Jack about what Dad said when he left, he told the boys a reason, then they all enjoy the singing and the festive period. Livia is asked by her boyfriend to marry her, she says yes.
  • great episode

    Dan is given the news by his boss that many of the staff are getting laid off. Just after Dan hears the bad news, he gets taken back to the 70s in the same office where he works at the present time. It turns out that his dad is there as well. Livie shows up just in time to assist him in his quest. He learns that something in the 70s might help him prevent the firings in the present. This is a really exciting episode. Seeing Dan in the same office where his dad used to work. Seeing people in the 70s who were young. It's a great episode, it's really well made.
  • Holidays are stressful enough, imagine the possibility of losing your job thrown in the mix..

    Dan has to deal with the fact that his lack of production at work (due to his jumping) is grounds for his layoff. How eerie it would be to come face to face with your father, who has left, and have him tell you his feeling which mirror your own. How do you handle it? This episode dealt with a few father and son relationships: Dan and his father Frank, the Almbachers, and Dan with his son. Also interesting was the interaction between Katie and Dan's mother.
    We get to see some of Livia's past (or is it hercurrent life). Is Henry going to play a bigger part or just a passing love interest?
  • A convenient resolution, but still a strong episode

    Despite my high expectations for this show, I'm still impressed by how strong the writing has become. Ever since the shaky first half of the pilot, I've been deeply impressed by the maturity of the writing, and that hasn't changed. The same elements keep bringing me back for every new episode: the insightful exploration of personal relationships, the implications for Dan and Livia, and the dense continuity. Loose ends are few and far between, and that gives the audience a reason to return.

    This episode certainly delivered on the first promise. Christmas-themed episodes can be too much of a temptation for a writing staff; they can become mired in nostalgic sentimentality or pretentious self-importance. Above all, they have the annoying tendency of including a holiday-inspired message, draped in the potential for long-term character growth, but often a momentary nod to audience expectation.

    This Christmas episode was far more compelling because it left most of the clichés off the table. Instead, it explored some of the realistic aspects of the holidays. Dan found himself remembering his father's decision to leave, worried that he might be forced to make the same decision. Katie found herself suffering the aftereffects of the traumas of "Blowback", finding an unexpected ally in the process. Jack and Theresa struggle with the prospect of a future together, even as Jack wrestles with the reality of keeping Dan's secret. There's no sense of immediate or magical Christmas resolution to any of the issues; it's all just a stepping stone to the next crisis.

    Similarly, the implications for Dan and Livia had less to do with the holiday and more to do with the inevitable consequence of their situations. The possible layoffs at the Register were established long ago, so regardless of the holiday timing, the issue was going to hit the fan. Dan's lack of performance was likewise established, a reasonable outcome of his unexpected travels. Livia's personal situation had been slowly revealed in recent episodes, but Dan's family life was clearly meant to factor into her decision to marry. It's all just peeling back on the layers of the story.

    Which is why, in the end, the resolution of the layoff situation was such a disappointment. Dan's gambit should never have succeeded, at least not as presented, and it all smacks of the holiday-inspired sentimentality that the writers had so carefully avoided. More to the point, it hinged on the idea that various characters, otherwise quite observant, would fail to recognize the similarities between Dan Carson and Dan Vassar. Granted, Dan's ability to reverse his own layoff could be cathartic to anyone currently suffering the same indignity, but it just seems too easy and contrived.

    In the end, it's the difference between an excellent episode and just a very good one, which is hardly a bad position to face. Had the network had its way, this would have been the final episode for "Journeyman". Thanks to strong fan support, at least two more episodes will see air. Hopefully those episodes will give this first (and possibly only) season an even better sendoff.
  • Review

    I liked the episode a lot, with the episode not having too many down moments for me. I thought Dan getting to speak to his father a lot in this episode gave us a lot of answers and it also showed Dan devolop as a character. All of that also tied in well with the newspaper situation that was at hand. Dan lost his job in the beginning of the episode but tracked the man who owned it so that now he could have his job. Loved the twist of the man watching his own father die and then the expression on his face in 2007 when Dan told him about it. I thought the filler scenes in this episode were really good too, with Dans wife getting some chance to step into the spotlight for an episode. Shes still dealing with the aftermath of what happened 2-3 weeks ago on the show, with a man holding her hostage in her own kitchen. I wonder how long she is going to have to deal with this. Jack getting the news that his girlfriend is pregnant wasnt expected. Again, the episode had a whole lot of information in it and I didnt really find any of it at all boring. A lot of character devolopment in this episode.
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