|Album 26: Back on the Air|
Episodes:342: Welcome Home, Mr. Blackgaard
339: Do, for a Change
335: Love Is In the Air, Part 1
336: Love Is In the Air, Part 2
343: The Pretty Good Samaritan
321: Hidden in My Heart
338: Easy Money
346: St. Paul: Voyage to Rome
347: St. Paul: An Appointment with Caesar
340: Pokenberry Falls, R.F.D., Part 1
341: Pokenberry Falls, R.F.D., Part 2
Another wonderful album. In the aftermath of Dr. Blackgaard's demise and the huge scandal in Odyssey, the series does some cleaning up. Firstly, it takes care of Edwin Blackgaard, bringing him back to Odyssey in the hilarious Welcome Home, Mr. Blackgaard. In Love is in the Air, it takes care of...or, uh, brings up again, the issue of Eugene and Katrina and reintroduces Tasha. Love is in the Air is a sweet episode, along with occasional touches of humor, but also touches on bigger issues to come for both Jason & Tasha and Eugene & Katrina. Do, for a Change brings back Zach and his struggles with his new Christianity and also Eugene's struggles. A very necessary episode to show that beginning a Christian is not always easy.
After a little clearing things up, we're back to "standard AIO", with some standard episodes, but some very well-done standard episodes. The Pretty Good Samaritan bring a new and interesting (some would say annoying to no end) character, Glenn Adams. He is certainly a diverse character, but perhaps a little too stereotyped. He works well in this episode, though as a good model to whom we are supposed to be Samaritans. W-O-R-R-Y is a good episode in that not only does it have Sam Johnson, one of the main characters in Darkness Before Dawn, and Erica, another one we haven't heard from lately, but it also deals with a very valid issue. When is it right to worry and how should we take precautions? Easy Money is the only episode that deals with the post-Bones of Wrath relationship fully between Sam and Butch. We see that Butch is still reckless but seems to have basically learned his lesson.
Hidden in My Heart has to be one of the funniest AIOs ever, if not the funniest. The parodies of Rescue 911, Lassie, and Star Trek are perfect. Those of us who are Star Trek fans will catch even more of the subtle hilarious sarcasm here. There are so many perfect lines and tones of voice in this episode, it must be listened to a few times to get all of the jokes. Great job, Marshal Younger! You wrote a spectacularly funny AIO and incorporated an important message: Bible memorization. This was, by the way, originally an episode that aired before Darkness Before Dawn.
The two St. Paul episodes, in my opinion, are far better than the first two, which were an Imagination Station adventure. These ones also tell the Paul story from the point of view of character, but it seems more personal from an actual ancient character. Jack Allen's timeless narration also added to the success of this episode.
SPOILER WARNING: Pokenberry Falls is yet another perfect episode for a transition in Odyssey. When I first heard this episode, the ending was a complete surprise and I was genuinely sad that the Barclay's, the family we had seen grow up for nine years, was now leaving Odyssey. The episode is appropriately funny at times, emotional at times, and very powerful in its conclusion.
An excellent series, certainly worthy of four stars.
Favorite Episode: Hidden in My Heart
Rating: 4 stars
Read the Soda Fountain Review
The title of this album is a little confusing. Does it refer to Adventures in Odyssey itself? That doesn't seem logical since the there was only a two-week gap between Darkness and Back on the Air. Does it refer to Kids' Radio? Again, that's doubtful because Kids Radio aired in Risks and Rewards.
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