Title: My So-Called Life S1.E15 “So-Called Angels”
Released: 1994

Drinking Game Tally: 11 drinks, 1 shot, 0 chugs
‘90s Fashion Award: The Angel
My So-Called Winner: Patty
My So-Called Loser: The Angel
Brian Krakow vs. Jordan Catalano: Jordan

Good Friday to you, and welcome to the Christmas episode of My So-Called Life! In this episode, they finally picked up on my thing of labeling everything ‘so-called’!!! I’m so excited! And wondering just what kind of ‘so-called’ angels could be included in this episode: angel Christmas decorations? Angel cookies? Little angels in a Christmas pageant?

Well, whatever kind it is, I’m sure it’ll be so-called awesome! Okay, that joke didn’t really work. So let’s get on with the show!

What Happened

There’s snow! Oh no! And someone vomitting blood into it! And that someone is Rickie! Aaahhhhhh!! OMG RICKIE!!!! What happened?!! Why is nobody helping him! Why aren’t you helping Rickie, strangers on the street?!!! He staggers into an alleyway as a girl starts playing ‘Silent Night’ on the guitar on the street. Camera fades to Angela playing the SAME song on the piano. Danielle gets largely ignored as the Chases discuss religion and why they don’t go to church.

Rayanne is remarking surprisedly to Angela in the hall at school about how ‘people really get into this Christmas stuff, huh?’. Wha? Then Angela sees Rickie and is appropriately upset by the state of his face. He explains that it wasn’t just your average Christmas hate crime, oh no, he slipped on the ice. Having lived in New York and New England for 18 years, I can tell you that this is a good cover, because ice is slippery.

Sharon is volunteering for the student help line on Christmas Eve, and Rayanne comes over to flirt with taunt her. Come on girls, you know you love each other. Then Brian Krakow, who had volunteered to work at the help line with Sharon, unvolunteers in a huff for no apparent reason other than he’s Brian Krakow, and changing his mind in a huff is what he does.

We find out that the Krakows have gone on a cruise. Yay! But they left Brian home by himself! Boo! It’s just like poor Kevin! Except they don’t actually celebrate Christmas, so whatevs!

Angela takes the garbage out and somebody’s in the shadows! It’s Rickie! He totally saved Brian Krakow from a -1 stalker point just now, and is obviously homeless and dirty and hungry, so Angela feeds him. Then she tells her parents she doesn’t think he has a place to stay. Graham and Patty are reticent to get involved with a runaway situation, and Rickie overhears and leaves.

Later, Rickie is standing obtusely on the street corner, when he meets Jordan Catalano! In a striped knit cap! Oh man, I wish Angela was there to kiss him in that cap. Anyway, Jordan knows of a place that Rickie can stay, ’cause his old man used to smack him around, too, before Jordan got wise and threw a chair at him.

Brian Krakow doesn’t get what the big deal is about Christmas. The way people are acting, it’s like the second coming, or something. Hehe. Oh Brian. Sharon tries to explain why people get so stressed out around the holidays, and why she needs Brian to help her help the stressed. But Brian walks off in a huff. Again.

In the girl’s bathroom, Sharon complains to Rayanne about all of this, and the two of them are totally sewing the seeds of love! Rayanne volunteers to help.

Angela is looking for Rickie, and leaves a note for him in his locker, but she is drawn by the siren song of the bohemian chick we’ve seen wandering around town wherever Rickie was. Dangit, I had hoped it was a coincidence that the camera always landed on her. But oh no, she ‘s not rocking boho-chic, she’s just homeless! We can tell ’cause her fingers look gangrenous. Oh, and she can never get warm, ’cause she has holes in her shoes. She tells Angela not to worry about Rickie, that she’s been looking out for him, but I’d say not very well.

Angela runs into Jordan in the hallway, and he offers to take her to the place where he dropped Rickie off, and the chemistry between them is STILL INTENSE. In case you were wondering. So Angela starts wandering around this old abandoned warehouse, and there are SO many homeless teenagers there. And it’s SO SAD. And the bohomeless girl is there and singing again, and I know this is supposed to make me feel really bad, but it’s kind of terrible, so I’m just chuckling cynically.

Rickie is not happy that Angela came to get him, and yells at her to leave him alone when she tries to get him to come with her. Needing to do something, Angela trades boots with the bohomeless girl while the latter is sleeping. When Angela gets home, the family has decorated the Christmas tree with the help of Brian Krakow, but they saved the angel for the top for her. Brian asks if Rickie’s okay, and Angela relays her experience in the warehouse. AND they get into a fight. Like they do. Graham and Patty are listening in on this, and decide they need to do something.

SO Graham and Patty go to the police, where they learn A VERY IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON, you guys! There are runaways! And throwaways! And missing children on posters on the wall! Was this even big news in the ’90s? Am I so jaded to be laughing at how terrible and over-the-top this episode is? Oh god, as the camera pans over the faces of the missing kids, you can HEAR the kids PRAYING for HELP. Wow.

When they get home, Angela has set the table, and she wants to invite Rickie and the bohomeless girl to Christmas Eve dinner! Patty is NOT pleased, and they get into a fight, because that girl COULD BE ANGELA.

Of course, Angela leaves, and when Patty figures it out, she goes to find her. Brian Krakow shows up, because, he… uh… doesn’t really have anything to do. AND I JUST REALIZED!! Brian Krakow is a total Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence. He’s going to pine after Angela/Jo but eventually settle for Danielle/Amy. (Stalker Point -1)

Anyway, Brian calls the help line, and Rayanne totally recognizes his voice and treats his loneliness with phone sex! This is so hysterical it almost makes up for the praying children. Almost. Sharon looks on, turned on disturbed.

Patty is searching for Angela, and so she stalks bohomeless girl. Meanwhile, Angela calls from a church! They brought all of the kids from the warehouse to the church for Christmas Eve! Graham gathers up Danielle and Brian Krakow and heads to church.

Then Patty thinks she sees Angela, but it’s bohomeless girl again! She was confused because of the boots. And they start talking, and it turns out that bohomeless girl was a girl EXACTLY. LIKE. ANGELA. She ran away from home because of a fight with her mother. And THEN, Patty asks her how she died!!!!! Stop the presses, everybody! Bohomeless girl is an ANGEL!!! Or a so-called angel. And while this is ridiculous, I think that Patty’s acting has caused my heart to grow three sizes, because I may or may not feel a tear up in my eye.

Of course, Patty turns around, and the bohomeless angel is gone, but Patty is AT THE CHURCH. She goes inside, and sees Rickie praying! Like the kids on the missing board. Rickie turns to see her, and he starts crying and Patty gives him her hand and they hug and now I kind of hate them for making me feel this way.

Angela finds them and there is more hugging and crying and feeling. Then Graham and Brian Krakow and Danielle join them, making Patty’s wish of Graham joining her at church on Christmas Eve come true. There’s lots of choir singing and a pan across Sharon and Rayanne’s precursor to college days, followed by a gratuitous shot of Jordan Catalano smoking a cigarette out his window. Then we SEE the angel fly away, white feathers and all. Wow. But that is made better by Rickie’s voice coming on and telling us to call the number on the screen if we know a child who is missing! Rickie just makes me able to tolerate anything.

Drinking Game Tally: 11 drinks, 1 shot, 0 chugs

’90’s Fashion Award

Let’s hear it for the angel! And her bohomeless-chic thing!

Lessons I Learned About High School

The choir practices Christmas carols with the classroom door open.

My So-Called Winner

Patty! For making me cry! And for realizing that she was judging Rickie harder than Brian Krakow because of his appearance/orientation. And for, once again, coming through in a clinch. Also, for recognizing dead people!

My So-Called Loser

The angel. What was she doing? What was her mission? To steal Angela’s new boots? She doesn’t need them in heaven.

Brian Krakow vs. Jordan Catalano

Jordan wins this time around! Because he provided rides and because in this episode his hair has finally reached the classic Jordan Catalano perfect hair length! And also because of my realization that Brian Krakow is Laurie.

Life Lessons Learned

Oh man. This one full of life lessons about homeless kids. And while I poked fun at the telling of the message, the truth of it is nothing to laugh about. So if YOU know of any missing children, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: www.missingkids.com / 1-800-THE-LOST

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.