Junior gets a sneak peek at life with the help of an angel. He meets his parents, two very different and very scared people who are nevertheless becoming wrapped up in anticipating his arrival.
The angel shows little man all about the real world, senseless and painful as it often is, but highlighted by the fact that with love and hope, people can still wring a lot out of it.
People at the Blue Moon office are getting into the spirit of things as well, throwing a shower and generally bubbling over with glee. Except, that is, for Herbert, who is pretty much weirded out by the whole thing. In a hilarious scene, Agnes reminds him that it’s the boss, for pity’s sake, so he’d better go, and he’d better like it.
David is in a much different place than he was when he had to deal with Maddie’s brief marriage. Here he is back by her side and preparing to help her raise the child. The reality is that fatherhood is bound to change his life; although he might miss his old party days, the new way brings its own rewards, and he can finally see himself in that life as well.
After work, the staff assembles at a restaurant for the party. It’s wonderful—the scene is just an absolute joy. Everyone has a terrific time, dining and laughing and dancing. David and Maddie take their turn around the floor; in a touching moment, even shy Herbert gets up the nerve to cut in and ask the very pregnant Ms. Hayes for a few steps of her time.
But this wonderful state is not to last. The celebration—a parallel to another type of reception that would not be—is interrupted by tragedy. Things turn rapidly from the happiest to the worst. The baby’s soul heads off to another place, and his parents are left to deal with the consequences.
I will be frank and say the end is deeply shocking and saddening, sometimes hard for even longtime fans of the show to watch. However, this episode is still laudable for many reasons. It features an excellent script including that unflinching scene where Jerome tells the child about the reality of the world, the part where Herbert asks to dance, the baby hears his parents fighting and gets upset (“Did the noise frighten you?”), and many other high points. It is well-acted and directed, and has the power to uplift as well as break your heart.
“The saddest words are these: what might have been.”