|296: Red Wagons and Pink Flamingos|
This is one of those "two-pathed" AIO stories where two storylines exist and both are tied up nicely at the end. Sometimes these work well with each story complementing and adding to the other. Here the stories have almost nothing to do with one another except for a near the end conversation between Erica and Jack Allen. While I partially liked the video game story, the outcome was basically inevitable. However, the Erica and Kim story is one that is used over and over again not only in AIO stories, but in hundreds of movies. The two friends break up over some issue they find to be silly later. We know through the entire episode they will get back together so through all the "confrontation scenes", we are just wondering how long it will take them to realize they are still best friends. The only rather interesting scene that brings this episode up is the scene where Erica and Kim send Courtney back and forth across the hall because they are unwilling to talk to each other.
Overall, the episode was interesting for the video game ideas, but for little else.
Rating: 2 stars
|297: Blackbeard's Treasure|
Funny episode. It doesn't really have to do anything with AIO storylines, but tells about Jack and Whit's childhood friendship.
|298: I Want My B-TV!|
I Want My B-TV was the beginning of an innovative idea on AIO: a variety show! Still heard periodically throughout the series, this format is well-suited for being explored about once an album or once every 10 or 11 episodes. It works well for putting many short stories and facts into a half hour program.
This first version of B-TV may actually be my favorite not only due to some of its hilarious content, but also to its editing style. The entire show is fast paced and very-well done. Notice the quick cuts from "Live from Odyssey, it's..." and "Don't go anyway! There's more to come!" Dave Arnold did a spectacular job.
The show begins at the television studio. AIO has always had great parodies of television shows, not only as subjects of episodes (see AIO295: Soaplessly Devoted and AIO321: Hidden in My Heart), but also in the background as commercials (such as the Ultra-Fork and Super-Watch). These rate up there with the best as short, quick, completely entertaining parodies of modern television shows (notice that all four deal with dinosaurs).
The rest of the story is a collection of skits, facts, and stories that Bernard, Eugene, Jack, Connie, Sam, and Courtney put together at Whit's End. All of them are wonderfully well done.
The first is of Percival Finwick and contains a large number of great throw-away lines (...a dignified proposal...please, please, please, please). It demonstrates the quick editing style again and is a wonderful skit. The ending line by Sam is also great!
We then have a "Did you know? Well, you know it now, and dont you FORGET it!"
Then comes possibly my favorite AIO skit ever, comparing only with the ones in Hidden in My Heart. It's The Lyin' Thing! The lines ("Malt Bisby presents!", "Are you off your nut? Give it to them?!", "Circle of Life this isn't!"), the announcer's voice ("Coming to a Bible classroom near you"), the accents ("church!"), the music between quick segments, the sound effects (especially that "exclamation sound"), and the editing are all WONDERFUL. It is hilarious and so perfectly put together. (It may also be noted that this may be the only place we hear Eugene and Connie married! :) )
The "Pig story" is also very good, but since the rest of the episode is so quick and this story is a little slower, it doesn't quite measure up. The pace is a little dull even though many of the lines and voices are good.
Overall, a wonderful episode introducing a new cool idea: B-TV!!
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
|299: The Truth About Zachary|
I really liked this episode. Zachary is first introduced in this episode and later on becomes a reoccurring character. This episode also clears up the Lucy thing, as described further in the Notes below. It was neat how they tied that in to make Zachary feel less alone.
|300: Preacher's Kid|
Well thought-out episode, showing just how hard it is sometimes to "do what Jesus would do".
|301: The Good, the Bad, & Butch|
The Good, the Bad, and the Butch is one of those episodes that you know is supposed to touch you, but in the end you just can't help it. It's a nearly perfect emotion episode that sets up many later events in Darkness Before Dawn. The actors do a great job with this sensitive material, especially the two central characters. Sam sounds just like the naive, overly trusting character should sound. Butch is great as well. At first arrogant and overbearing, then uncertain, and finally worried and afraid.
The story begins simply with the reunion of two best friends who grew apart. One stayed as a "church kid", the other had joined a gang. After a brief turn of events, Butch ends up at Sam's house and taunts him about what a good kid he is. The hurt in Sam's voice is rather evident.
Later, as Butch pretends to be Sam's friends, we sense how both of them feel. Butch is bored and just wants to get this job "over with". Sam, however, thinks everything is back to the old ways. Then Sam brings out a baseball card and memories flood over Butch. Gradually as the episode continues, Butch sees how important he was and now is to Sam. He spends more time with him.
The scenes with Rusty, Rodney, and Butch and the scenes with Sam and Lucy are good, but the true heart of the episode are the touching scenes between Sam and Butch. Butch is tortured the entire time by "knowing" what he thinks he needs to do. There is a great section where the two are on Trickle Lake and Butch reacts to a policeman on the shore. Finally, there is the scene where Butch is nearly heart-broken but still decides to continue with the plan.
We hurry to the banquet and quickly the prank is put into effect. It almost seems like a scene is missing here, but on a second look, I guess that one is not really needed.
Finally there is the best scene of all where Sam confronts Butch and asks why he was used. Butch states his case but they both realize they can't be friends. At least not as the situation is now. The scene has excellent dialog, emotional music, and is perfectly acted. The episode ends abruptly, really allowing you to consider this situation and how it played out.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
|302: Share & Share Alike|
Okay episode, but not really dealing with anything important.
|304: St. Paul: The Man from Tarsus|
This episode, the first of the Saint Paul series, is interesting in how it deals with characters, stories, and situations. It is a very well-written, well-produced episode. It introduced many interesting story threads which were unfortunately never followed through in the second episode.
The episode begins by introducing a new derivation of the Imagination Station. This time the people going back will be one of the characters, not only just an observer. An interesting idea, certainly, but also one which brings up the perpetual question with Imagination Station adventureshow do you help children listening to the episodes distinguish between people in the true story and made-up people in this version of the story?
After this introduction, the episode goes through the a few annoying redundancies that seem necessary in every AIO episode. How many times will people accidentally take adventures in the IS? Surely eventually some kind of alarm or "people-sensing" device would be put up. Secondly, every time some one goes in the Imagination Station for the first time, they must confront people in that place and ask them how on earth they got there. Finally, in nearly every adventure we have the same silly joke. Im from Odyssey. Oh, you are Greek! (or Do you think youre in Greece?). Every episode that joke comes up. The first couple it was cute, but now it's more than a little annoying.
After a little rough start, the episode gets down to business and is a far better episode. It includes excellent adaptations of the Bible story and some of the "added scenes" are wonderful additions. Consider the place where Saul gives Rodney the stone to throw at Stephen. Confronted with actually trying to kill someone, Rodney backs away but peer pressure forces him to throw the stone. Also consider the scene where Rodney tells Saul that he is having fun and Saul tells him that he doesnt like this work at all. He is only doing what he believes God to be telling him to do. In addition, Peter's farewell speech to the Christians in his home is well-done.
The episode utilizes wonderful cutting between scenes. We can be in the middle of intense action, such as Stephens stoning, and then we will cut directly to a calm scene with birds singing. Both types of scenes, whether major action or quiet yet powerful dialogue are necessary to the episodes success.
The music of the episode is especially good and the sound effects are very good in most places. Listen to Stephens stoning for a blend of both of them. The only sound effect that wasnt quite up to par was the "vision" sound effect that was used when Saul is confronted on the road to Damascus and when Ananias receives his vision. It is a little hard on the ears and reminds me of fingers on a chalkboard.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
|305: St. Paul: Set Apart by God|
This episode has a very dual nature. I can look at its many positive qualities and the power of its conclusion. Or I can look at the many irritating and disappointing qualities of its center section. Overall its a good episode, but leaves many unanswered questions and wide open set-ups.
The major complaints I have with the story have to do with Sam and mainly Rodney. In this episode they both add very little and if anything distract from the story. I was hoping that at least Rodney would learn something from the incredible adventure and the power of what he saw on the road with Saul. The previous adventure hinted at mixed feelings he had about stoning Stephen and the fear he had of God on the road to Damascus. But apparently he even quickly forgets that experience. In addition through much of this episode, Rodneys character is forced to simply stand and make wisecracks or whine about the situation. I didnt even bother to count the times that important scenes were interrupted by a smart remark to which Sam would immediately yell, "Quiet Rodney!" So what is the real reason for having Rodney in these episodes? He didnt learn anything. He didnt add to the story. He may have even been more put off by Christianity by his adventure. Couldnt Eugene have left him in so perhaps later in the episode, when everyone is struck by the power of Barnabus forgiving Saul, Rodney may have at least felt something?
In addition I was just a little disturbed at how the Bible story were seemingly altered slightly in this episode. Jason Whittaker and Sam lower Saul, not his followers as the Bible says. I dont really like it when modern characters take the place of Biblical characters no matter how minor. Its fine if theyre there to observe the story, but when they add to it, it sometimes confuses the children who hear the story.
One final complaint is that this episode did not seem to have as much Biblical substance as the earlier episode, dealing more with added material and the modern storyline. This no doubt stems from the fact that the first episode dealt with eighty-seven verses of the Bible, while this one only deals with twelve.
But now on to the positive characteristics of the story. The plot of the story gains its power from a device that is sometimes used in modern dramas. Will people be able to accept someone into their midst who has killed one of their friends? Ananias doesnt hesitate for long because God spoke directly to him. Barnabus, on the other hand, has a harder time accepting Saul. Saul killed one of his best friends. Peter, who has seen little of Saul, also wonders about this new "friend." Barnabuss speech to the council in Jerusalem is a great conclusion. Barnabus once used words to describe one of his best friends, Stephen. Now he is using those same words to describe Saul, Stephens killer.
In addition, most of the Christian characters are strongly voiced and have strong lines. They acknowledge the source of their strength and boldly face what is put before them. They dont fear death. Additionally, The music and production values are just as high as the last episode. They give this episode what is necessary to bring it up from its low points.
Rating: 3 stars
|306: A Victim of Circumstance|
While Adventures in Odyssey has very strong stands on various political issues, it does not often confront them directly for an entire program. "A Victim of Circumstance" defies that standard. A very "full" episode which explores various aspects of a complex issue and manages to present a strong "adult" viewpoint perfectly on a childrens radio program. The writing style allows children to hear the episode and get a lesson on responsibility but also allows adults to hear the episode and get a lesson on the modern system of justice in America. Its appropriately humorous, fast-paced, and strongly worded.
The humor in the episode is typical AIO, with wisecracks by the Rathbones, repeated jokes (the many pronunciations of Weasel), and various sarcastic comments. All fit well into the episode.
The episode begins with Jason admiring a new skylight at Whits End. Suddenly, in an excellent sound design, Rodney Rathbone falls through the skylight and sustains a "pretty serious cut on his head". After a brief scene at the hospital where Bart at first seems receptive and willing to give Rodney the responsibility, the rest of the episode becomes scene after scene of political commentary mixed into perfectly written scenes. People who win millions for spilling hot coffee on themselves are mentioned, as are frivolous lawsuits, emotional dourest, and defamation of character. The scene in the Room of Consequence is short, but not too short to get the message. Where will this end? The scenes are written so that children will understand just what they need to understand and just accept the rest, but adults may get a deeper message. The court battle ends with really the only way it can end. It's a interesting resolution that makes you wonder why courts can't work that way in the real world.
The last scene between Jason and Jack is especially well done. Jack says, "We lost more than a court case today. We lost some of our innocence." They both know they cant run Whits End the same way again.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
|308: Subject Yourself|
A good, interesting episode about obeying those in authority. The story with Lawrence and his braces is OK, but the story about the new curriculum is better still.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5
The Perfect Witness, Part 1
310: The Perfect Witness, Part 2
311: The Perfect Witness, Part 3
SPOILER WARNING: There is really no way to talk about the success of this episode without revealing many of the crucial plot points and surprises that occur throughout the episode. DO NOT read this review if you have not heard the episode yet.
There have only been six three-part series in AIO history and all have them have been very creative and interesting. All have needed all three parts to properly bring out the storyline. The Perfect Witness is no exception. It is one of those crowning episodes of AIO. You can really enjoy if you have heard every AIO that was ever made, but you can also completely enjoy and understand it if you havent heard a single AIO before this one.
The episode should probably be noted first of all for its technical achievement. Its a very novel idea to begin an episode with a dramatic event and then re-examine the event through the rest of the series and see what was really contained in it. The process gives us a real insight into the world of radio production and the world of reconstructing a crime.
The opening episode itself is excellent. We begin quietly in bookstore and then suddenly we are in the middle of a robbery. The tense action, the subtle sound effects and the menacing music all add to the effect. When the thieves decided to take Jenny and Katrina pleaded, "No! Take me instead," the scene was real for me and it was powerful.
The rest of the episodes are a reconstruction of this first scene. We hear the conversation in the getaway car and then we hear it with the background sounds. These discoveries are clipped back and forth with discoveries by the detectives, Eugene, and Katrina. This brings me to one of the key points of this mystery. It allows you to try to solve the mystery along with the characters. Not until near the end does it reveal more than what all of the main characters know. Since we are on their level listening to the episode, we feel like a part of the "team effort" solving the mystery.
All of the scenes with people discussing the "clues" are intelligent. They dont ask silly questions. They ask and discuss just the questions we are asking. None of the scenes are annoying like some TV mysteries where we know exactly what the characters should do long before they do it.
The scene looking at the map of the city is an example. The detectives sound like real detectives. The clues match up with what we have already discussed.
The Hogart book is another example. Just like the characters in the story, we as listeners we completely drawn into this "red herring". It threw me off the trail while listening and I, just like the detectives, was very confused at the end of Part One where Eugenes computer suddenly figured into the case and in Part Two where suddenly the Hogart book was NOT a part of the robbery. Gradually with the characters we discover that Eugenes report may have something to do with the entire robbery.
Though most the episode revolves around talking and reconstructing the initial scenes, the few "action" scenes are handled with excitement. As Chief Quinn finds out there is another site and tells Detective Ethan all about it, we can just imagine the two of them walking very quickly down the hallway as Quinn breathlessly details Ethan on the issue. Then we speed out to the site. The other excitement scene is the break in to Johns house to arrest him. The smash cut to the police breaking in is wonderful and almost makes you jump in your seat.
The only weakness with the episode is that you know the bad guy the very moment he is introduced. Every thing about this person tells you that he must be the bad guy. He is basically standing around the episode with nothing to do so he must be the bad guy. While writing the story, Paul McCusker probably realized that most would figure out he was the bad guy, so he only keeps that secret for one scene. With all the rest of the mystery in the story, it was not really necessary to wonder about the bad guy anyway.
Even though it is a three-part series, we never get bogged down. Every scene is fast-paced and filled with detail. The episode is very engaging in every way. The conclusion and final "filling in of all the details" makes the conclusion fit in and make sense with everything we had learned so far, but yet it was also a conclusion that we could not have foreseen.
The episode ends nicely, on a sweet note. Overall, in the trio of best AIO mysteries its just ahead of The Mysterious Stranger and The Case of the Secret Room. A wonderful, entertaining, powerful, and fun episode.
Rating: 4 stars
|313: Top This!|
"Top This!" is one of those split AIO episodes where one half of the show is brilliantly funny, but not incredibly impacting. The other half of the show is meant to be the "lesson" part of the episode, but pales in comparison to the humor half.
This episode is written by Marshal Younger, and thus, the comedy is hilarious. Cryin Bryan Dern is spectacular in every single one of his scenes, especially the one where he is giving away polka CDs ("Were giving away the Schmidtke Trio This album could be standard by which all other polkas are measured. This album has always stood out as a lighthouse in the midst of polka mediocrity.") and the one where he has spent ninety-four hours on the air. ("That was a song sung by a singer.")
The other half of the episode deals with a conflict between Courtney and Hannah. Although they never admit it, they are in constant competition with each other. The episode cuts between their constant competition and finally ends with Courtneys admission to Jack Allen that she is exhausted. The entire thing is well-played and acted, but still feels inevitable. In the end, it feels like it was simple for Courtney to end a lifetime of competition in just a few short minutes with Jack Allen.
Overall, however, the episode did present a valuable message on competition and was very funny. Even if Bryan Derns scenes did not add a huge amount to the story, they were still fun in themselves.
Rating: 3 stars
This is an extremely funny story. The Courtney\Hannah rivalry isn't particularly excellent, but is still pretty good. However, the Cryin' Bryan Dern part is *very* funny. There are some brilliant lines:
(During the "What could possibly be more annoying than all this
Polka music contest?")
Bryan Dern: And we have a caller!
Man: Well, if you don't like Polka why don't you listen to Odyssey 105?
Bryan Dern: Wait.. I think we have a winner. YOU are more annoying than all this polka music!
This is one excellent episode. Amongst the humor the message can get a little stifled, but there is also good advice to ending rivalry.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
|320: Where is Thy Sting?|
This episode follows on where "A Touch of Healing" left off as regards Connie's grandmother. It's emotional and touching. It's nice to see Eugene and Connie getting on better, for while their bickering can be funny, it gets a little irritating. In Bill's state of mind when we last see him, I can't help but wonder what happens to him. This is the last time he's been seen, and I hope there will be more episodes with him in.
(SPOILER WARNING) It's good to see June finally become a Christian, although in general I find the fact that most main characters have become Christians a little unrealistic. I think Odyssey needs someone else to be a non-Christian main character. On it's own, however this episode is very good.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
|321: Hidden in My Heart|
Hilarious collection of 3 skits. One of the funniest of all time. A "must listen".
I am a person who likes to laugh, but rarely do such as much as I did during my first listening of "Hidden in My Heart". Every listening still brings big laughs. Marshal Younger truly went to his fullest in his love for parody in this phenomenal episode, the most humorous AIO ever produced.
The episode contains three main skits: Rescue 119 (A parody of Rescue 911), Laffy the Wonder Dog (A parody of Lassie), and Star Trip (A parody of Star Trek). Each one is loaded with stabbing comedy and hilarious in-jokes, especially the Star Trip one. Its difficult to explain these episodes without giving away much of their humor, so if you havent heard the episodes, Id recommend skipping this review.
The first skit captures the spirit of Rescue 911 in fabulous form. The combined effort of the narrator, "Candy Jakes" dialogue, and the wonderful lines with the Psalm 119 operator ("Are you on a cordless phone?" "Yes." "Take the phone with you."), this skit was an absolute success.
The next skit is shorter than the other two, but still portrays its comedic sensibility immediately. Timmys underacting and Shirleys nasal delivery really add to this scene and bring the humorous lines to life.
Finally, possibly my favorite AIO skit of all time may be Star Trip. The scenes are incredibly funnier for Star Trek fans, since they will understand the infinite number of in-jokes in the skit. From the initial monologue ("To seek out new life, with new spin-off series.") and conversation with Zuzu ("What's our present speed?" "Really fast.") to the Captains clumsiness ("Open that door."), overacting ("Im being tempted!"), and repetition of previous characters lines to Crocks frequent monotone in the face of danger ("We appear to be trapped.") and ramblings about logic, every scene is modeled after the original Trek series. All three skits contain great production values, but this skit contains especially interesting sound effects for the various zaps and beeps and some really neat three-dimensional effects for the scripture phasers. Every scene is just hilarious. I could go on and on about this skit, but Im sure most of the readers of this review will discover it for themselves.
What a great episode, Marshal Younger! You really have the touch for comedy.
Rating: 4 stars
This is one of the best funny episodes. Both Rescue 911, Lassie and Star Trek are parodied in this episode, to great effect. The Rescue 119 sketch has a believable scenario (except for the Rescue 911 operator..) It isn't as funny as the other sketches, but that is only because the Star Trip and Laffy stories are so funny. Laffy the Wonder Dog is very good too, with the "I think she wants to tell us something" line is nicely overdone. The atmosphere is done well while the problems are ones that are really encountered. The crowning glory of the episode, though is the Star Trip sketch. Hearing "Space...one of the last places to be explored. These are the voyagers of the USS Aerobercise, on a five year mission to seek out new life and spin- off series, to saturate the market with action figures and plastic pointy ears.." etc. with the voice and music just right is one of the funniest moments. I could ramble on about how good this episode is, with all the good jokes and the way the message is brought across well, and sticks in your memory well, since it is so integral to the story.
One of the best funny stories, and probably the episode with the best parodies.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
|323: A Little Credit, Please|
Nice episode. Though not really having to do with rest of album; must have been used as a filler for the empty slot.
|324: Small Fires, Little Pools|
A wave of vandalism and petty crime hits Odyssey! This is an interesting episode. As well as being tied up with of the DBD bigger things we see how the people of Odyssey react to vandalism. Connie mentions trying to counteract or stop the vandalism...a foreshadowing of things to come. The subplot with the bikes doesn't seem to serve much purpose other than to re-establish the Sam/Butch story.
The cliffhangeralthough exiting when you first hear it, is too much of a cliffhanger for a cliffhangers' sake. It doesn't contribute anything to the story, and if it wasn't the end of an episode, wouldn't be there. This isn't quite as good as some of the other DBD episodes but that's because some of them are so excellent.
Rating: Hmm.. Hard to say with a series.. 4 stars out of 5
This episode starts the ball rolling for the DBD series. Those who havent heard AIO will be fascinated by the complex plotlines and diverse characters. Those who know the show will suspect right away that the Bones of Rath are behind the vandalism, that Jack is calling Billy MacPherson about the Israelites, and that Butch will end up helping the good guys. Its the anticipation of these things that really keeps us listeningwe want to see these plots and characters come together.
Sam and Butch have such a believable chemistry, as do Bart Rathbone and Brian Dern as they discuss Tom Rileys press conference. At one point, Bart says "I think Riley needs glasses"in all the pictures Ive seen of him, Tom does have glasses. Also, Connie tells Sam and Lucy while shes cleaning up that only employees are allowed in Whits End, but Tom is in there talking to Jack. Of course, Tom is the mayor and a close friend, and she couldnt very well have said "employees and government officials," and it doesnt really matter anyway.
The one thing I dislike about this episode is the endingwe dont need a cliffhanger. This episode has built up enough tension to keep anyone listening.
"The very idea of him using city funds to help people!" Bart Rathbone
"I have a fishing date with the wind." -Lucy Cunningham-Shultz
|325: Angels Unaware|
I must stress DO NOT READ THESE REVIEWS WITHOUT HAVING HEARD THE EPISODES.
Most of this episode is about the Israelites, and Lucy and Connie not knowing about them and getting suspicious and finding out about them. The Lucy/Connie subplot doesn't really have any useful purpose other than to have emphasis on the Israelite activities. The cliffhanger was better and more sensible, but not as good as some of the later ones.
Rating: The whole series gets at least four stars, but this isn't one of the really gripping ones.
This episode builds on the last one, but doesnt, in itself, accomplish much. We finally learn that Bart doesnt own the Electric Palacehe "got involved in this" by signing the loan papers. This, and the talk of "him" sending someone to replace Rodney, is the first concrete clue that theres someone higher up. Sams "Something has happened, and we need to talk" to Butch sounds very urgent and creepy. The scenes with Butch, Rodney, and Rusty are especially fun to listen to.
The news report on the Israelites is well done, the way its continuous and we got to see first Lucys, then Connies, then Bart and Rodneys reaction to the various parts of it. Nice background sounds in those scenes, too (like Ralphs "Hey, look, guys! Im on TV!").
When someone calls to tell Lucy to look in her driveway, whose voice is that? It doesnt sound to me much like Sams, Butchs, or Billys.
I found it odd that Lucy was the one who wanted so much to find out what Sam was doing, and Connie was the one with misgivings. Sure, it wouldnt have looked good to have Connie, who is older and more of a role model, leading Lucy astray, but Lucy, with her occasional slip-ups, has always had such innocent intentions. In DBD, she played more of an active role.
|326: Gathering Thunder|
The beginning of the episode has some more Israelite activity, specifically Connie and Lucy joining and the cleaning of the war memorial. We hear about the "higher up" person who's ordered the vandalism and Jellyfish arrives on the scene. This new "baddie" (who sounds just like one of the smugglers in 255: The Boy who Cried 'Destructo!') quickly takes over the Bones and organizes them with alarming efficiency. I don't understand the way the name Jellyfish is puzzled over - the Complete Guide says it comes from a rock band. I thought it after the sea creature. Butch's discovery was easily foreseeable, yet the disbanding of the Israelites was carried out so well, with the dramatic lines, this easily had the best ending yet.
Rating: Again, 4 stars out of 5
This episode introduces Jellyfish. Since we havent seen him before, his appearance doesnt point to who the guy in charge is. I wonder how Jellyfish would have been involved in the grand schemeor if he would at allif Rodney had done his job. There are some fun scenes in which Jellyfish talks down to the Bones. Rodney gets on his bad side from the start by acting without thinkingpurchasing spray paintand Butch gets on his bad side by questioning his directions.
Before Jellyfish comes, the Bones try to destroy the war memorial and the Israelites show up to clean up after them. They chose a great way of showing us this scene, from the point of view of an observer we dont know, who knows less than we do about the situationwe know its the Bones and the Israelites.
The humorous "Rocky" bit in the movie theater balances Jellyfishs unspoken threat to Butch when he catches him trying to call Whits End. After that, Billy and Sam tell Butch not to spy for them anymore, but he runs across Jellyfish in the forest. The thunder in the background was a nice touch, but earlier in this episode (after Barts spot on the news) the reporter reports "a great forecast". Apparently, he was wrong.
The Israelites are disbanded, and this episode wraps up one bit of Darkness Before Dawn, which goes on to one that involves more peopleprimarily more adults. The Israelites are still important, but not central, to whats happens.
Sam: "Did the Bones beat you up?" Butch: "No, the Vienna Boys Choir."
Doug: "Its a gang of Arabian janitors!"
|327: Moving Targets|
The first three episodes, Small Fires Little Pools, Angels Unaware and Gathering Thunder all seem to be part of one "chapter". This one starts with a full opening sequence rather than a "Previously on Adventures in Odyssey.." opening. At first the style is calmer with people discussing the happenings. Things soon hot up though, with Glossman and Professor Bovril turning up. More mysterious references to "him", as someone "higher up". Glossman's reference to the things to come ("I think Tom Riley will have much bigger things to worry about..") is a nice touch, foreshadowing things to come. The other big thing is really surprsingJack resigning! I feel that this is odd in line with his comment "every ounce of my instinct tells me I should be here" earlier. This episode has a calmer tone in a way than some, yet is one that ties between the beginning, with the Israelites and the rest of the DBD episodes.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
|328: Hard Losses|
SPOILER WARNING! As DBD progresses, the stage is almost set. By the end of this episode all the players except for one are on the metaphorical stage. Richard Maxwell, of all people, turns up. He goes to Tom Riley, to warn him. He thinks he knows who's behind it.. Dr. Blackgaard! Although I'm sure quite a few listeners will have worked that one out. Tom Riley is not amused to see Richard, since he still holds a grudge against him. The brief, cold, encounter between Richard and Jellyfish is very good also. The next shocking event is the Edgebiter scandal fed to the press. Cryin' Bryan Dern and Bart jump all over it. Dern must have had a pretty red face when the truth came out. The scene is now set for "his" coming, as Bart says worriedly.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Love Is In the Air, Part 1
336: Love Is In the Air, Part 2
SPOILER WARNING! In this episode, at about the end of Part One, Jason asks Tasha to marry him. Also, you find out that while away from Eugene, Katrina has been dating another man. (Contributed by Luke)
SECOND OPINION REVIEW: Love is in The Air is brilliant. As an episode to introduce Tasha and re-introduce Katrina, it is a well-done comedy of errors. It has some great lines [Connie: "I know, I know! You shaved off your mustache!" Jason: "Wouldn't pluck it off be more like it?"], and some great scenes, especially when Eugene explains the hug. The whole episode plays up the "basic but somewhat adversarial friendship" that Eugene and Connie have; the entire day after Tasha comes to town is fraught with emotional conflict. The ending in the airport was a bit predictable, but still was a great way to wrap things up. This is one almost-perfect Odyssey episode.
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
Good episode, and a nice way to talk about this kind of situation.
W-O-R-R-Y, an excellent episode, has Sam and Erica both learning a lesson about worrying. When the Academic Olympics at Sam's school involves spelling, and Erica gets a bad haircut, both are wracked with nerves. However, they learn that even though we can take precautions, God is still in control. Well-paced and thought-out, W-O-R-R-Y works very well.
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
|338: Easy Money|
Only "post-Bones of Rath" episode dealing with the Sam-Butch relationship fully. Tells about the dangers of gambling in a way kids can relate to and understand.
|339: Do, for a Change|
Good episode, really shows how hard life can be on new Christians.
SECOND OPINION REVIEW: Do, For A Change, though somewhat flat, does have it's moments. In the vein of the AIO twin-plot, Zachary and Eugene both realize that being a Christian is not always easy. Eugene's prayer, and Zachary's pushing a kid in a volcano are over the top, but work really well. Some of the scenes are really touching, such as when Zachary gives back his Bible.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars out of 5