|Album 36: Danger Signals|
Episodes:462: The W. E.
463: Green Eyes and Yellow Tulips
464: The Triangle, Part 1
465: The Triangle, Part 2
466: Snow Day
467: Broken Window
468: Chains, Part 1
469: Chains, Part 2
470: Break a Leg
471: Fifteen Minutes
472: Welcoming Wooton
473: Breaking Point
The album kicks it off in high gear with The W.E. This episode introduces the storyline of a new Whit's End in Connellsville, which is continued in Chains. To be honest, when I first heard this storyline, I wasn't impressed at all. But it sort of grows on you. Mary Hopkins is an interesting addition to the cast. I can see a lot of stories happening with her, though I'm not sure using the actress that played Jenny Whittaker was a good idea. We'll see what comes of this storyline. The W.E. suffers a lot from the problem of having a story to tell but not knowing how to tell the story. Chains is the better episode of the two and introduces the characters of Tony and Brianna. I hope to hear more from these two.
Then comes Green Eyes and Yellow Tulips. A very interesting episode that provides Connie with a love interest. Mitch could be an interesting character. The Connie/Mitch storyline is defiantly an interesting one. The episode contains a lot of clever lines and "classic" AIO moments. Bart and Joanne are very well done in this show. I like how Connie has gone from disliking Joanne in "The Decision" to being able to sit down and talk to her heart to heart. It also continues the Novacom storyline started in album 35.
Snow Day, Broken Window, Break a Leg, and Fifteen Minutes are the slice of life shows in this album. They are all good, only Broken Window is a little weak. The Connie/Mitch storyline begins to heat up and Connie just didn't act like herself in this episode. I like the idea of the storyline, but I don't like the way this episode handled the storyline. Snow Day is a clever story, though it doesn't really have much of a point. Another controversial episode that a lot of people hated but many liked. Fifteen Minutes is a good episode, though it would have been better if they had used one of Connie's friends that we had actually heard from before. Break a Leg is a classic Edwin Blackgaard comedy. Funny on a few occasions and hysterical the rest of the time.
Welcoming Wooton introduces the character of Wooton Basset. To be perfectly honest, I've never cared for any of his episodes and this is no exception. Wooton has a lot of problems. What was the message of this episode? That we don't have to be responsible in our lives? To be honest, I was bothered by the way an irresponsible, untrustworthy character was held up like some sort of beacon of hope or something. Wooton could be a good character, if he is held down to a maximum of one episode per album.
Breaking Point also continues the new Whit's End storyline. A very well done episode, it has the same feel as Red Herring. It introduces yet another villain in Odyssey; I hope to hear from Mr. X in the future.
The best episode in the album though, is The Triangle. It was great to go back into Whit and Jack's past. We hear about how Whit and Jenny met; something that was alluded to in For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll but never explained further. We also hear a bit about Jack's history with his wife, something that was briefly touched upon in A Question About Tasha and is only briefly mentioned here as well. The episode has several allusions to past episodes, something that AIO doesn't do near enough. It's interesting how, in this episode, Jack refused to forgive Whit, but in Clara Whit refused to forgive Jack. I like hearing about Whit and Jack's past, I hope we'll get some more episodes like this.
Almost every episode in this album deals with some storyline or another. This is great. AIO hasn't had a storyline since Malachi's Message. The only current storyline that isn't addressed in this album is Eugene/Katrina. When will we ever hear the resolution to their relationship? Only time will tell. Again, Eugene is mysteriously absent from this album. AIO could have fixed this absence in the same way I suggested for album 35, but they didn't and it's spilled milk I guess. He is mentioned in The W.E., but only in passing. It seems obvious by this point that Will Ryan has left the show indefinitely. It also seems obvious that the characters of Mitch and Wooton are introduced in this album to fill the gap left by the absence of Eugene. Mitch is computer skilled, Wooton talks funny. Together they can replace Eugene, right? Wrong. Mitch is okay, but not as a replacement for Eugene. Wooton should more like a replacement for Harlow Doyle (also played by Will Ryan, and therefore absent indefinitely). Harlow is best left at one episode every once in a while, so is Wooton.
The album art for this album changed drastically. It looks far out and the characters are different looking. I wish they had stuck with the art style they used for albums 21-35. Those were more like works of art instead of a scene out of a cartoon, which is how this album looks. Don't get me wrong, it's not terrible, I just don't care for it as much as the old style.
The album is a great addition to the AIO cannon. Still not quite as good as some but better than most in recent memory, even surpassing The Big Picture.
Favorite Episode: The Triangle
Rating: 3 ½ stars
The original cover art for this album is shown at right.Contained parts of Novacom saga, including the opening of a second Whit's End in Connellsville.
GOOF ALERT: The original release of the CD version of this album had several errors. Most notably, The Triangle, Part 2 came before The Triangle, Part 1 and it said "turn over the tape" on Part 1 of the show (even though it was a CD version). Green Eyes and Yellow Tulips also featured the old "pre-Malachi" AIO theme, rather than the new one. Focus recalled these CDs and is releasing new ones. The few copies that were not recalled may be collector's items in the future. (Contributed by various fans.)
GOOF ALERT: The cassette label for Welcoming Wooton contains a period after the title. (Contributed by Harlow Doyle.)
(or is it?): The album cover shows a microphone stand sitting very near the
edge of a step. Depending on how you look at it, it looks like the stand should
have fallen over. However, it also looks like it could be just about
to fall over, which is possible, considering the riot that was occuring when
this picture took place. (Contributed by Harlow Doyle.) Order from
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