God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17 Review: Harlem Cinema House

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As the world deals with the coronavirus outbreak, God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17 provided audiences with a feel-good escape that highlighted the importance of found families. 

There were several poignant themes throughout, including forgiveness, acceptance, and letting go, which made the standalone episode a true gem. 

And for those who have been wanting to veer away from Miles looking into who is behind the God Account, your prayers have been answered. 

Theater Owner - God Friended Me

Ali got to partake in the Friend Suggestion action, which came on the heels of fans asking for her to get more directly involved. It was sweet to see her working alongside Miles, Rakesh, and Cara. 

It was particularly special because the Friend Suggestions (Miles got a total of three) were from their childhoods -- Mr. Johnson, who ran the Harlem Cinema, an independent movie theater that Miles and Ali frequented as kids. 

In fact, according to Mr. Johnson, the Finer family's ties go much deeper as Arthur took their mother there on their first date. 

It was evident that the spot, though never mentioned previously, had a very important place in Miles' and Ali's hearts. 

Going to the Movies - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

And when it became the target of a Friend Suggestion, it was all hands on deck. 

Ali needed the distraction after finding out that her cancer treatment wasn't working. 

When she fainted on God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16, she believed it was just exhaustion, but now they've learned that a more aggressive approach would be needed to fight the cancer. 

Playing hooky with Miles not only allowed her to get her mind off of things, but it also allowed her to enjoy one last "normal" day. 

Harlem Cinema House - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

Once she starts undergoing intensive treatments and radiation, she's no longer going to have the strength or energy to be herself. 

Mr. Johnson wasn't the only suggestion, as I mentioned before, as the other two employees -- Leo and Haley -- were also a big part of it. 

At first, it was unclear how Miles and the team could help. The obvious answer was that they were supposed to help save the cinema house from shuttering its doors, but without capital, it seemed impossible. 

Even Mr. Johnson said he exhausted all of his prior options.

Cara and Rakesh - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

It turns out, the God Account had something bigger in mind. To save the establishment, Miles and the team had to preserve the foundation that, despite looking pristine, was showing some cracks.

And I'm not talking about giving the building a little makeover (although, that was necessary, too), I'm talking about mending the rift between Johnson and his employees. 

He called them "family" and said he would do anything for them, but something was bubbling under the surface that they learned was sort of the catalyst for Johnson's financial woes. 

Haley, who Johnson hired despite her record, admitted to stealing his wife's wedding ring, which was worth a fortune. 

There's Signs Everywhere - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

When she tried to get it back, she accidentally revealed the ring's real worth, which ensured that it was gone forever. 

However, the answer was never in the ring. 

Johnson was less upset that his wife's prized possession was stolen and more upset that Haley, someone he trusted and loved as his own family, lied to him. 

There was a huge emphasis on forgiveness because once Haley decided to turn herself in, Johnson told her that if she hadn't stolen the ring, they might have never crossed paths. Meeting her was worth more way more than any ring.

Geeking Oout - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

The answer to saving the cinema house was in front of them the whole time as the God Account kept suggesting the film, The Maltese Falcon.

It wasn't clear how the movie could help, but once Miles mentioned it, Leo recalled seeing the original poster for the film downstairs.

That's where they unearthed a secret door that led to a room filled with original prints of some of the most famous films in the world. 

The collection was worth enough to save the theater and renovate it so that it could compete with the big chains. 

I'm a Coder - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

That's another crucial point of the episode: supporting small and local businesses is crucial. 

Unlike box chains and multiplexes, small businesses rely on the support of the neighborhood and provide a personal experience that truly cherishes the customer. 

Mr. Johnson wasn't in it to make money -- he hadn't turned a profit in years -- but the theater was an important staple to the community and his family's legacy. 

There was also a side story concerning Leo and Rakesh that honed in on the message "never give up on your dreams."

We're All in This Together - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

It was uplifting to see Leo, who didn't believe in his filmmaking, see his film on the big screen and get an immediate reaction from the audience. 

Sometimes, you just need someone else to believe in you. Although, I'm starting to get annoyed with how Rakesh can just "hack" into anything. 

Arthur was struggling with letting go of his past and it influenced his decision to cut funding from Reverand Elias' program.

Rev. Elias was right to assume that Arthur's decision was personal as they never got off on the right foot once Arthur assumed the role of Bishop, but it wasn't personal in the way Elias thought. 

Movies Galore - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

It took Trish to point out to Arthur that he decided to save the shelter at Harlem Episcopal over Elias' program because it was a shelter he started with Ali when she was a young girl. 

Arthur was holding onto the memory and legacy, but unlike with the movie theater, it came at a cost to other more worthy and necessary programs. 

When the realization dawned on him, he knew he had to make amends and do the right thing. 

Maybe Arthur and Elias will be able to see eye-to-eye after all. 

Saving the Cinema House - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17

As I said, there wasn't much movement on figuring out who is behind the God Account, but with fans expressing disinterest in the storyline, taking a break from Miles' search to offer up an episode with inspiring messages and heartwarming moments was a worth it. 

We'll likely get back to the core mystery in the upcoming episode as Miles mentioned that the running and winning theory is that DARPA, a government agency, is behind it all.

What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

And if you're "social distancing," be sure to catch up and watch God Friended Me online now! 

Harlem Cinema House Review

Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
  • 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.

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God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 17 Quotes

Miles: And you can call in sick.
Ali: I can tell them I have cancer.

It looks like the God Account really did want us to go to the movies.

Ali