James Block, a man with a heart condition, and a criminal past, gets a second chance after a near death experience. He suffers a heart attack after marrying his girlfriend, Rachel to prevent her from testifying against him. While "dead" James sees Andrew walking toward the "light", though himself moves in the opposite direction. Realizing he must change his ways, James initiates a campaign of goods works. Tess and Monica are assigned as nurses at the hospital where he is fulfilling community service he received for a crime. Neither angel is impressed, however, with his apparent change of heart, especially when they realize he records his good deeds in a notebook. James finds a kindred spirit in Amy Ann McCoy, a teenage Elvis Presley fan with cystic fibrosis. A bit of a con artist herself, the girl is unaware how serious her illness is. Meanwhile, James is haunted by a recurring nightmare if his near-death experience, finally realizing he was headed toward a roiling chasm of unending darkness. He again encounters Andrew, who admonishes, "Even if every one of your good deeds was a step towards heaven, it would never reach high enough." Unnerved , James destroys his notebook and plans to skip Amy Ann's birthday party. Tess confronts him, telling him the teenager will soon die, and only her faith has sustained her all these years. James rails at God, but Tess tells him not to blame God for the mess he has made of his life. As Rachel starts to apologize to Amy Ann for James's absence, he arrives. but he puts a damper on the proceedings by telling the birthday girl how serious her illness and that God doesn't care. A furious Tess orders him to leave the room, and Rachel tells her husband she hopes never to see him again. Seeing Andrew in the corridor, James realizes he is the Angel of Death and attacks him. But Andrew avoids the human's assault, until Monica appears holding the notebook he had earlier destroyed. She tells him that hell is separation from God, and if he was on his way there, he was sending himself. Andrew the clarifies his earlier statement to James, no one can earn there way to heaven because only God's mercy can lift a soul up and take him there. Repenting of his misdeeds, James prays and turns his life over to God's. Overhearing her husband, Rachel realizes her prayers were answered. James returns to a dying Amy Ann, reassuring her that God exists and to take his hand and walk toward the light. The teenager dies as Elvis's song,"Precious Lord" plays on a turntable.moreless
People talke about Heaven and Hell, but this is one of the first TV productions that takes on the question about their actual existence and nature.
Using only the simplest of special effects, the episode does a good job illustrating the difference between Heaven and Hell.
Con man James Block gets a second chance following a fatal heart attack. A lifelong nonbeliever, he finds himself haunted by visions of the Angel of Death and is literally "scared straight." Anxious to reform his life, he obsessively engages in an endless series of good deeds. But he finds out that his approach to redemption is completely wrong. The episode illustrates in unambiguous terms that getting right with God is beyond anything that good deeds can attain. It is a tough lesson, especially for nonbelievers who feel that living a good life should be sufficient. But it is one of the core beliefs of Christianity.moreless
Although I'm not a particular fan of this show, this episode is special to me. Before she was a star Kiersten Dunst appears as the young Amy-Ann McCoy, suffering from cystic fibrosis and unaware she is dying. The skill that young Dunst shows playing the role is emense and convincing. The plot of redemption is also quite good. The final scenes of Amy discovering her impending death, James finding redemption for his sins and sitting with Amy as she passes, with the soft tones of the king, play is soemthing that will leave you in tears. A must see for fans of the show as well as fans of Dunst herself.moreless
Please read the following before uploading
Do not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!