Touched by an Angel

Season 6 Episode 15

Life Before Death

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 13, 2000 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Life Before Death
Monica is ecstatic to be assigned to help her beloved Ireland, where she first set foot on earth. Her assignment is a group of teens from Northern Ireland, whom she hopes to persuade to come to the United States through a program called Project Children. However, the group of teens is made up of both Catholics and Protestants, religious groups that have been fighting a bloody religious war for centuries. Recently, a peace treaty was signed, but peace is dependent on the youth of Ireland. Monica interviews teenagers of the program, and finds bitterness and prejudices on both sides. She hopes that two particular teenagers, Tommy, a Catholic, and Rose, a Protestant, will be able to lead the others into peace. Tommy's brother Gavin, whom Tommy greatly admires, also encourages Tommy to work towards peace by accepting the trip to America. In America, the teens find that their prejudices are strong, and they are reluctant to overcome them. The first night, Tommy and Rose both wake from bad dreams of their violent childhood and meet in the kitchen. They share a cup of tea and begin to fall in love. Under the guidance of Andrew, Monica and Tess, the teens slowly begin to cooperate on renovating a house. Late one night, Tommy and Rose meet in secret to share a loving moment, but it turns sour when they discover that Tommy's father was in the IRA and Rose's father was in the British Police. The damages done to both parents during a riot are still scars for the young lovers, and the prejudice that set their fathers against each other is suddenly rekindled in these two young leaders. Monica is extremely discouraged, but Tess reassures her that peace can be reached. The next day a fight almost erupts between the groups. The battle is averted by the arrival of an Irish band, and the teens dance, their common culture uniting them. It seems as if peace has been achieved until Tess arrives with some bad news, Gavin is dead. Although his death was declared an accident, the explosion that caused it makes all the teens suspicious of each other again and widens the gap between Tommy and Rose. As Tommy prepares to go home for the funeral, he and Rose reluctantly approach each other. As they start to fight again, Monica revels herself as an angel and tells that the Father wants them to help lead their generation into peace. Tommy and Rose accept the words of wisdom and finally accept each others love. All the children return to Ireland for Gavin's funeral, and Tommy delivers a message of peace and a promise of goodwill in his eulogy. Led by Tess, the teens unite at the altar and sing "Let There Be Peace on Earth," a symbol of the lesson of peace they learned in America.moreless

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  • "Life Before Death" shows the struggle that was, and will always be remembered in Northern Ireland; the religious differences of the Protestant and Catholics and the battle for respect, equality, understanding of both religions.moreless

    Ireland has always had a special place in my heart and it always will. I have some Irish blood and Irish traits run in the family. As a young child learning about the religious struggles in Northern Ireland hit close to home; my mother’s family mix between Catholics and Protestant Lutherans. We know that our family probably came from Ulster, Northern Ireland, and some of our family; descendants of our ancestors could have been on the two sides of the struggle. Though, then and now, in my immediate family religious debates and conflicts over our two religions don’t exist we embrace that we worship God and share in the beliefs and teachings on the bible and our religions.

    My family has helped me see the world in a different light, a way on understanding and accepting differences and likenesses and taking what is good and helping to overcome the bad. Religious conflicts and differences are all over the world, they are to source of many problems and there is a way out; a convergence and acceptance of being different and worshiping the way you wish. We all can learn from the events in Northern Ireland, and take what they did to restore peace to help in many other conflicts of today and the future.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


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