The second season of Going Home consists of six dramatic episodes and deals with the real-life theme of those who are about to pass away and the people in their lives, not to mention the legacy left behind.
In one of the episodes, titled “Wonderfully Complicated,” a lady named Lily is close to passing, and her nurse at Sunset House, where the terminally ill reside, Charlie (short for “Charlene”), checks on her often. Lily is in some pain but at peace. Her wish is for her “daughter” to come see her. A potential spoiler here is that Lily has been a foster parent and there is a lot more to her wish than meets the eye. But the viewer will learn that Lily is, indeed, more loved than she possibly realized. Lily is the type of woman whom people can easily open up to, as she is sympathetic and caring, But Charlie doesn’t want to share her problems with Lily, which is that her own mother, who lives alone, just had a fall. Charlie is concerned about her but not entirely sure what to do. Charlie tells someone that their relationship is “complicated.”
Another nurse dealing with a problem is young Janie. Her boyfriend calls to let her know he has a surprise for her. She and her boyfriend have dated for five months and Janie wonders if he might not whisk her away to Paris to propose to her. However, it turns out that he has good news but it’s not what she expected. He has news that will mean he has to make a move. But will Janie be asked to join him?
The episode contains several examples of following God. For instance, Lily says that the scriptures say one should give thanks in all things. She specifically mentions the word “gratitude.” And honoring a mother and father is also illustrated as Lily is treated to and overwhelmed by the love of more than one daughter. And Charlie winds up making an important decision so she can help care for her mother, who is facing something more serious than a broken collarbone. Tamara is a nurse who works hard, as she is called “Iron Woman” by Charlie.
The show features a few funny moments to help lighten some of the drama. In one scene, Charlie gets on the internet and checks her mother’s Facebook page. In a comedic scene, she humorously asks her friend, “When did she go to Fort Lauderdale?” Apparently, her mother visited there at one point and Charlie wasn’t aware of it. And Charlie’s mom, Bonnie, is played by well-known actress Karen Allen (“Marion” from the Indiana Jones films). Bonnie is plucky and independent and sometimes disagrees with her daughter. For instance, she insists on calling her daughter “Charlene” although her daughter prefers “Charlie.” However, there is a soft side to Bonnie, who admits she misses coming down the stairs, in the morning, and seeing her dog Brownie waiting for her. Brownie recently passed.
Another powerful moment in the episode is when Charlie helps a man named Alec, who is part of a grief group. He is still missing his wife who passed. Charlie encourages him to talk to God, even though he is new to talking to God. She tells him that folded hands or looking down in prayer isn’t necessary, just talking to Him and praying. The episode ends with a powerful song titled “Beautiful Stillness.”
In another episode, titled “Unforgivable,” a famous horror author named Hannah Reece, who has gone by the pen name Alisha Raven, is near the end of her life, and she feels as if her life has meant nothing. Charlie shares with her the friendships that people who love her books have shared, and that there is meaning in her life. She also points her to God and His love for her. In a touching scene Hannah is concerned about what her obituary will say but Charlie comes up with a solution to encourage and comfort her. Hannah admits that, even facing death, she feels God with her.
Charlie deals with her own guilt, about having stepped out of a hospital room to get an aspirin, and how a boy died in that moment. She seeks out the boy’s mom to try to come to terms with it. The other four episodes are similar in that they deal with the reality of death, and of dealing with problems and trying to work through them. The episodes all contain a Christian worldview, and people trusting in God’s word and praying to Him. The characters also encourage one another and there is a focus on not only being forgiven by God – but the importance of forgiving oneself. Another terrific song is played during the credits titled “I’m Going Home Today.”
Think about it: There are great discussion moments that can be gleaned from these episodes. The topics center around why a person feels guilt and what they can do about it. Also, how to face death with dignity and peace, and the assurance of God’s faithfulness. In addition, a man has lost his wife and is raising his children alone, and grief and moving forward are significant discussion points as well.
THE DOVE TAKE: This series is worthy of the viewer’s investment of time, as it deals with important as well as eternal themes.