Album 22: The Changing Times

286: Tom For Mayor, Part 1
287: Tom For Mayor, Part 2
292: Siege at Jericho
285: George Under Pressure
290: A Name, Not a Number, Part 1
291: A Name, Not a Number, Part 2
293: A Code of Honor
289: A Call for Reverend Jimmy
295: Soaplessly Devoted
296: Red Wagons and Pink Flamingos
297: Blackbeard's Treasure
294: Unto Us a Child Is Born


This series is another in a line of great ones.  A very essential moment in Odyssey has just passed as the series begins.  Whit has left Odyssey and Jack Allen has been introduced.  Now what is needed is establishing of new storylines with Jack and new storylines that (obviously) don't focus on Whit.  We hadn't heard anything about the Blackgaard saga since all the way back in album number 10 (unless you count the Electric Palace construction in number 11, and a little discussion when Edwin is introduced).  This album brings it more out in the open.  Not to the forefront, but it carefully and cautiously establishes the pieces.  Glossman shows up again and is revealed to be working for someone (as if we couldn't guess).  And finally Blackgaard is reintroduced in A Name, Not a Number. 

But Blackgaard isn't the only continuing storyline that's developed.  The Barclay family undergo their first major struggles and have the son we were waiting for during the show.  Jimmy learns about following in his father's footsteps.  Then there is the introduction of Jason Whittaker, one of my two favorite characters.  Jason is such a great addition to Odyssey as a good Christian character, but also a character who is not afraid (and sometimes even goes out of his way) to take risks.  He's adventurous and over the top.  He taps into that part of us that always wanted to be a spy and make every day teeming with real excitement.  In Odyssey, he and Jack complement each other well, as shown briefly in A Code of Honor, but mostly in Red Wagons and Pink Flamingos.  As far as careful storyline development, this series is perfect.   It blends old storylines with new ones.  Very few questions about stories are really answered here; they are just brought together to be answered later.

There are of course a few stories that don't really deal with present storylines.   Siege at Jericho is certainly a good episode, but probably the weakest in the set.   Although told well, it lacks the originality found in other Odyssey Bible stories.   Soaplessly Devoted doesn't really deal with most of the main characters directly, but is still a great episode.

The stories themselves are exciting and interesting.  We get a look at a pastor-in-training's family and it's many interesting situations.  We hear some exciting stories like Blackbeard's Treasure and the wonderful Name, Not a Number (which shows us above all that well-written dialog is really more exciting than action).  We hear a mystery (A Code of Honor), and a whole bunch of just plain engaging stories that perk our interest and hold us to the end.  This series is excellent.

Favorite Episode: A Name, Not a Number

Rating: 4 stars

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