God Friended Me Episode 5
Last week’s episode surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. I was pretty sure it was a one-off.
God Friended Me managed to hit me with another good episode.
Anybody can get a calling, but why you answer, that’s the real question.
The episode started not with a monologue from the Millennium Prophet, but with Miles (Brandon Micheal Hall) and a family friend affectionately dubbed Uncle T, playing basketball.
It was a welcomed moment away from the podcasting and Miles’s complaining about this podcast numbers. Like Miles, we needed a break from it, as well.
Miles expressed more than his usual bemoaning about the God account to Uncle T. He voiced fear if he failed to help; this was a burden he didn’t want.
This was a reason I could’ve wrapped my head around, rather than the half-hearted excuses that the God account was ruining his podcast career and life. Miles’ doubt and concern about his aid fitted his character more than the endless complaints. It was also great foreshadowing when the God account abruptly disappeared after Miles refused to help the next friend suggestion: Rachel Blake.
Rachel’s loss of her sister, her guilt about their last moments and her drinking showed us what kind of show God Friended Me can be. The episode took a darker tone with Rachel and showed us not everything could be easily solved.
Maybe the God account’s down for scheduled maintenance?
With the God account gone, Miles believed he could get back to his life. It’s what he wanted, right?
Except Cara (Violett Beane) and Rakesh (Suraj Sharma) appeared disappointed that the account was gone. Despite Miles’s bravado, you can tell he was feeling unmoored as well. It’s undeniable the God account changed his life and by extension, Cara and Rakesh’s lives are changed as well.
Maybe it’s time I get back to mine.
The episode continued to reset things: Cara reconnected with a changed Eli, Rakesh was alone again and spiraling back to insecurity because Jaya was going away on an internship out of state.
Despite things rolling back to before the God account ever existed, Miles was reminded of all the good he accomplished. He ran across a poster for Beaker’s new presentation. Karen Brooks posted an update about her autistic son’s first piano recital. Widower Ray posted about taking Isaac to his first Giants game.
It also served as an excellent summary of the episodes so far: a flashback episode without the blurry sepia-toned clips.
I saw this whole thing as a chance for a clean slate.
The episode once again scaled back on how many story arcs it was going to juggle. We got a mini-drama, Rakesh-what-do-I-do arc when he panics after finding out Jaya was going to Minnesota for a year. Cara reconnected with Eli, who turned over a new leaf after their break up. And Miles reached out to Arthur after Rachel got blinding drunk after Miles’s initial attempt to help her.
Deep down Miles just wants to help people.
Miles went through a sort of evolution through the episodes. You can argue his growth started with the pilot, but to me, it felt more like he was resistant all the way until Beaker and Fliss. He claimed relief the account was gone, yet he decided to check in on Rachel later on.
The fact is, cutting back to focus mostly on Miles and the friend suggestion worked for me. Uncluttered, I was able to appreciate what Miles had done and continued doing. It was a nice bit of continuity also by bringing back mentions of previous “friend suggestions.”
You a guardian atheist?
For Miles, seeing all the people he helped gave him the push he needed to look up Rachel. This was the first time Miles voluntarily sought out a friend suggestion without Rakesh or Cara prodding him.
It was why the first few episodes felt out of sync for me: Miles was going along with the God account begrudgingly. Not the case with this episode.
Leave the door open.
Miles’s arc with his father was pulled into the main storyline after Rachel got drunk, upset after Miles reminded her about the accident: she survived and her sister didn’t. Miles was torn about what he found out about Rachel’s sister Emily. When the episode switched scenes to the church, it made sense after what the opening scene hinted.
Can’t quit the God account, can you?
Before you applaud the show finally lacked randomness, the episode did abruptly jumped to Ali and Rakesh in the bar where Ali played bartender therapist once more. There was a throwaway line about Rakesh supposed to be helping Miles, but it wasn’t enough to keep his storyline organically woven it. He was back to the “woe is me,” and Ali was back to advise across the counter.
With Jaya off doing doctor-y things, I hope it means Rakesh gets involved with the God account rather than alternating between hacking and lamenting. Rakesh had one of the weaker story arcs of the show.
The actor has great comedic timing; it was a shame he was wasted on a side plot that contributed zero to the main plot. His character growth plateaued after meeting Jaya. My fingers are crossed the new change will jumpstart Rakesh’s story.
I just want you to know what we did was kind of amazing.
As for Cara, I’m not sure what the show was trying to do with her. At first, there was great chemistry between her and Miles (still does). Then they threw in the trope of her career versus her love life. And now they threw in Eli.
Eli did serve a purpose in showing Cara how she affected the people she’s interacted with, which in turn, harkens back to the lives she helped change with Miles. Even if nothing else comes with Eli (but for drama sake’s, I expect Eli will be sticking around), this reminder could strengthen her resolve to help more people.
You really are my guardian atheist.
As for Miles, this episode was a role reversal and leap in his growth. Miles was always just along for the ride each episode.
Miles was participatory in the episode rather than being dragged in by Rakesh or Cara. In previous episodes, it was Ali who brought father and son together. The God account pulled in Cara in the beginning. Miles looked up Brooks as he waited for his podcast interview. He only went to the planetarium after the God account crashed. Miles came across Ray after the taco truck suggestion.
The fact Miles decided to look up Rachel was a significant development in Miles’s character. It legitimized his actions in the episode. I hope future episodes will have this new Miles: fully present and fully invested.
This was a good twist to the format of the friend suggestion of the week. It showed us God Friended Me isn’t just about the light-hearted shenanigans and the cutesy scenes of God jokes and poorly executed geek humor (Rakesh’s Spiderman quote scene was a bit much, because really? Churchill?)
There were feel-good vibes and the happy ending as usual, but this time, the episode yielded a bigger payoff. By trimming down on the arcs and constricting the spotlight, I got a chance to enjoy Miles’s progression from reluctant hero to someone who, like his father, may have found his calling. Fewer distractions made for a riveting episode.
For once, Miles sought out a friend suggestion on his own; he also sought out his father on his own volition. In the end, Miles sought out the God account after its return and he sent it a friend request. It was accepted, of course. And Miles appeared glad.
And after this episode, me too.
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