Did you ever have one of those fights where it feels like the fight is having you?

My So-Called Life – So-Called Angels
An angel arrives at Christmas to watch over a homeless Rickie while Sharon and Rayanne man the phones at the Teen Crisis Hotline.

This seems to be the one MSCL episode everyone dislikes. It tries to impart a powerful message about homeless kids, but falls a little flat. Quite the tear-jerker, though. Like the “Halloween” ep, “So-Called Angels” contains a surreal supernatural twist that does not fit the show. It is unfortunate that this ep is overlooked, though, because for every character except Angela it is quite compelling.

First, let’s get the crap out of the way. Angela meets a homeless girl (played by Juliana Hatfield) and realizes what a thin line divides them. In the end, it turns out that the girl died several years ago, and is an angel who brings the Chase family together on Christmas Eve. Blech.

Rickie’s abusive uncle has beat him to shit and kicked him out of the house, so he is living on the street. Jordan finds him one cold night, and takes him to a shelter after admitting that his own father used to hit him. Sharon is in charge of manning the help line on Christmas Eve, and somehow she enlists Rayanne’s help. Meanwhile, Brian’s parents have left him home alone for the holidays while they go on a cruise. Desperately lonely, Brian calls the help line. Recognizing his voice, Rayanne thoughtfully gives him a touch of phone sex to get his mind off his sadness. This is way cuter than it sounds.

The interesting thing about this episode that while Angela keeps saying “she could be me” while talking about the homeless girl, what it really gets across is “she could be everyone else.” Jordan and Rickie are physically and emotionally abused by their fathers. Rayanne’s mother is checked out when it comes to her wild daughter. Brian’s parents have trouble connecting with their son, leaving him utterly lonely. In many ways, these characters are on their own.

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