|7: Promises, Promises|
Promises, Promises was a good ep. to a certain extent. It did an excellent job showing that mankind is basically evil, saved only by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Connie is convinced that if everyone in the world would just get together and talk about their problems, then there wouldn't be as much war going on in the world. When Whit tells her that it will never happen she tries to prove to him that it could happen by making a promise not to loose her temper and to be nice to everyone. Within just a few days she blows up because a group of kids at Whit's End have a problem solving a fairly simple riddle.
Rating: 3 stars (out of five)
|8: Dental Dilemma|
I've heard this ep so many times, now when it comes on the radio, I have totally lost interest in it. That being, it is still a pretty good ep.
Emily Forbes is excited about her first visit to the dentist. Anyway she's excited until her older brother, Mark, fills her head with a bunch of scary things that the dentist will do to her. Mark has fun with his little game until he has an appointment with the dentist on the same day.
With the dentist's help Emily gets Mark back for all the scary stuff her had told her. This ep show a good lesson about teasing other people and dealing with other people.
Rating: 4 stars (out of five)
|12: The Tangled Web|
Despite the average frame story, the inner story of this AIO is great. The inner story deals with Jeremy lying about his loss of his money's mother. For awhile it seems to be running along pretty much as expected, and even Connie says so. There are the predictable parts where Jeremy makes up a story and where more and more emphasis is added to the alleged crime. But then! The totally expected ending of Jeremy never telling his parents about his lie gives much emphasis to the message of the impact of lies. Included in the inner story is a rather humorous slapstick encounter with a policeman which set a standard of verbal word-play which would often be used by Eugene, Bart Rathbone, and even Edwin Blackgaard.
Rating: 3 stars
Whit certainly does have a thing for dramatic entrances. This much-needed episode chronicles how Whit purchased Whit's End and much of its past and even a bit on Whit's family and history. The "drama" side of AIO went up a few notches on this one, with the scenes of Jenny's collapse and the husband and wife of many years saying tearful good-byes. Other excellent scenes include the angry Whit at home with Officer Harley and Tom Riley (could you tell a friendship was beginning?) and the scene with Whit and young Jenny at the Fillmore Recreation Center. The technical quality of AIO also raised with this episode. Listen carefully at the council meeting for the echoing room effects and the panic when Jenny collapses. Overall, a wonderful emotional episode.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
|20: Mike Makes Right|
I enjoy this ep each time I hear it. The sound effects along with characters talking (like the fight scene between Mike and the school bully) make the show even better.
Basically, Mike gets himself in a fight with the school bully. To his shock, he lands a "lucky punch" and wins the fight. Even though he hadn't meant to, Mike let the victory go to his head and he began to have the reputation of "school bully". That is until another kid puts him in his place.
We also get a good verse out of this ep (as with many eps)—Proverbs 16:18—Pride goes before the fall and a haughty spirit before destruction.
Rating: 4 stars (out of five)
|27: A Change of Hart|
A Change of Heart was a good ep. Freddy wants to change schools because the kids pick on him and he is convinced that changing schools will be the best answer. His parents talk it over and decide that if he will be more happy that it may be a good thing for him to go to another school. Yet, at the new school the kids still pick on him. When he comes home one day wanting to know if there was any chance his parents would want to move, his dad has a talk with him about not being able to move every time things don’t go the way we want them to. As a result of this, Freddy becomes a Christian.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars (out of five)
|28: The Price of Freedom|
I liked this ep. It was done with good taste, and it showed what many people who had lost people in the Vietnam War went through—especially kids who had never known the parent who died in the War. We also get to see the other side of it....what people who lost their kids in the war felt. Now true, not everyone feels the same, but it gives an idea.
Rating: 4 stars (out of five)
Family Vacation, Part 1
32: Family Vacation, Part 2
Continuing characters are the people who hold the fabric of a series together and the Barclays hold AIO together like few other characters. Only Whit and Connie have been in the series longer, and Whit took a two and a half year absence while the Barclays were still around. In this, their first episode, we are introduced to a family that we would see grow and mature for ten years. While other families came and went, the Barclays were always there showing us just what one Christian family in a small town was like.
The episode introduces the family by having them leave town. Instead of some of the earlier AIO kids (who often weren't around for more than an episode or two), the Barclay kids are developed into real three-dimensional characters. Through these episodes, Paul McCusker manages to make them sound like real kids and also give them their own individual personalities and quirks.
The point of view of Jimmy's diary, ur, journal, was an interesting way to tell the story and was one that would continue for many other episodes. Through it, we get to hear just what a normal person Jimmy's age would think of the world and it makes you wonder why the world isn't more simple. Why would adults want to take work on a vacation? What's the point to leaving all the "fun stuff" at home and filling up suitcases with shirts that make your neck itch?
The best scenes in the episodes occur when the whole family is together. Those scenes in the car sound just a little too familiar to me and are very well-written. The episode as a whole lacks a little on the overall theme, but its not meant to be a complicated episode. It's a simple story of a family on a vacationa family that we would grow to know very well in the next decade.
Rating: 3 stars
|42: The Last Great Adventure of the Summer|
The Last Great Adventure of Summer revolves around Terry Johnston and his father, "Cat's Paw." When Terry Johnston discovers, via a confrontation with a guy called Nigel, that his dad is a CIA agent, they have a misadventure that takes them to London. Of all the stories in the collection "Grins, Grabbers and Great Getaways," The Last Great Adventure of Summer is one of the best. It has all the elements of a great adventureexcitement, mystery, and the CIA.
Rating: 4 Stars of 5
Nathan's Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Karen, in my opinion, was very well done. The way they
presented it made it suitable for any age. I admire the AIO staff. Karen was
the first of only two episodes that a kid dies in real life (anyway, real life
in Odyssey.) The second was in “A Lesson From Mike."
But anyway back to the episode Karen. One of Donna Barclay’s
best friends dies from bone cancer. The first few minutes of this episode, I
knew what was going to happen and so I tried to get my younger siblings out
of the room, but NO they wanted to listen. My youngest brother (4 years old
at the time) didn’t have much trouble with the content the way it was written.
Although, like any younger child he had plenty of questions about death.
I think it was better that Karen had only been in the episode that she died.
If she had been a regular character, it would have been a lot more emotional.
(Come to think of it, we didn’t even hear Mike’s voice in A Lesson From Mike.)
I also enjoyed the fact that they didn’t present death in a negative manner but rather a positive one ( or as positive as you can present death.)
Overall, great job.
Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
Connie, Part 1
52: Connie, Part 2
I loved this ep. It is one of the few that no matter how
many times I listen to it, it never gets old. Connie gets the chance to go to
California to be with her dad. As she’s about to get on her bus, whit gives
her a Christmas present...a Bible. She gets on the bus happy to be getting away
When Connie gets to CA, it seems that the only thing she
can think about was Odyssey and the people there. Connie gets a surprise visit
from one of her old friends, Pamela, who had recently become a Christian. Pamela
invites Connie to a bon fire her church is having. Connie tells her that she’ll
think about it. Connie arrives at the bonfire, and shortly there after, tells
Pamela that she wants to go back to Odyssey.
Meanwhile, Whit is trying to adjust to his newest employee,
Eugene Meltsner. Eugene is really
into computers and sets out to “computerize” everything in Whit’s End. Whit
speaks with him about it and asks him to put everything back to the way it was
before. Whit explains to him that Whit’s End needs heart....not computers running
Connie gets back to Odyssey shows up at Whit’s End and asks Whit to help her become a Christian. It really was a very touching ep.
Rating: 5 stars (out of five)