Malachi's Message, Part 1
During a quiet morning at Whit’s End, Connie Kendall and Eugene Meltsner are discussing Connie's college plans and Eugene’s future career plans while they power up the machines at Whit’s End. Suddenly, they realize the Imagination Station is on and someone is inside! Opening the door, they find an unconscious man inside, whom they immediately take to the hospital. When Whit shows up in response to Connie's breathless phone call, the man tells Whit that his name is Malachi and that he is an angel with a message from God. Then he suddenly disappears from the room.
Meanwhile, kids from Oswald Heights, which has high crime and gang activity, are visiting Tom Riley's farm. Two boys from the group go inside Timmy's cabin and accidentally damage the floor. Tom catches them and, as they are talking, Tom finds a necklace that belonged to Timmy, his deceased son.
On the way back to Whit's End from the hospital, Malachi appears on the side of the road, causing Whit to swerve across traffic, scaring Connie. After dropping Connie off at Whits End, Malachi appears in the back seat of Whit’s car. They go to see Tom, who shows Whit the necklace he found, wondering why Timmy had taken it off. Malachi tells Tom that the reason Timmy wasn't wearing the necklace when he drowned was that he had taken it off to put it with his other treasures, heard Tom coming, and dropped it into the dirt under the floorboards. Malachi reasserts that he is an angel with a message of purpose from God and that the necklace is just the beginning and he must dig for the rest. While Tom is skeptical at first, he decides that it can’t hurt to dig. He and Whit uncover a banker's box full of Timmy’s treasures, including his diary.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- When Malachi first showed up, everyone had a different opinion of who he really was. Who did Malachi turn out to be?
- Besides having angels appear, what other ways can God use to change direction in a person's life?
Heard in episode
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Eugene Meltsner||Will Ryan|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Tom Riley||Walker Edmiston|
- The character of Malachi from this three-part episode is played by Radio Theatre's "jack-of-all-trades" Philip Glassborow.
- In this episode Malachi quotes from Whit's article "Of Men and Of Angels". This article is mentioned again in #464: “The Triangle, Part 1” when Whit meets his future wife Jenny. The original quote was used by C.S. Lewis, referring to Jesus being a horrible liar, a raving lunatic, or the Lord of all—or, in Malachi's case, an angel.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Timmy's cabin since its introduction and revelation as a historical landmark in #202: “Timmy's Cabin”.
- Eugene makes a mention in this episode to the college fund Whit set up for Connie. This was previously revealed and discussed at some length in #381: “The One About Trust, Part 2”.
- This episode marks one of the few instances during the program where Connie shows obvious interest in a man. The next time would be #463: “Green Eyes and Yellow Tulips” when she meets Mitch.
- This is the first episode to feature the 3rd AIO theme song.
- In this episode Eugene tells Connie that he started college at age 14. However, in both #405: “The Graduate” and #76: “Eugene's Dilemma”, he says he was 13.
- Malachi's hitchhiking on the side of the road during this episode could be a reference to the TV show Highway to Heaven, where the pilot show had the angel hitchhiking on the side of the road. This series of episodes may also have itself been inspired by the popularity of CBS' prime-time television drama Touched By An Angel, which starred Roma Downey as Monica, an angel who takes human form to help people through difficult times in their lives. Downey used her natural Irish brogue in the role of Monica, and Malachi has a British accent in this story.
- The Odyssey Scoop: Read
- This three-part episode topped Alex Jefferson's (of Just Another AIO Blog) list of the Top 100 AIO Episodes Of All Time.
- Malachi's Message is almost universally praised among fans for its spiritual subject matter that borders on supernatural, deviating from the AIO norm.
Connie Kendall: No offense, but, uh... are you trying to kill us?!
John Whittaker: Oh, I'm sorry, Connie! I saw him! He was hitchhiking on the side of the road back there!
Connie Kendall: Well, I don't see anyone!
John Whittaker: I'm sure I saw him—as clearly as I'm seeing you right now!
Connie Kendall: ...Are you seeing me clearly right now? How many fingers am I holding up?
Connie Kendall: Can I drive the rest of the way?
Malachi: You're now trying to decide if I'm a liar.
John Whittaker: Yes.
Malachi: In which case you hope I'm not violent and can be persuaded to return to the hospital. Or if I'm a lunatic, in which case you wonder if you should quickly pull the car over and call the nearest police man. Or there's only the one thing left.
John Whittaker: What?
Malachi: You're considering the possibility that I am what I say I am—a messenger from God, an angel. In which case you don't know what to do or how to respond.
John Whittaker: That's an understatement.