For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll, Part 1
373: For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll, Part 2
374: For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll, Part 3
For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll was definitely a good ep. All three parts kept my focus. Each part had good lines, with great music and sound effects. It was great to see Connie enjoying keeping Jason on the edge of his seat waiting to find out who was getting married. In these eps we ďmeetĒ Margaret Faye, and have the hope that Eugene and Katrina will be the ones to get married. All three parts were full of comedy like the scene at the drive up window (one of my favorite scenes in the entire series).
Rating: 5 stars (out of five)
I've had this one on album for a while, so it's real boring now. But it has got some funny lines in it. Out of the three parts, part two was the best. (It was the funniest part) Some of the laughs on part two were when Fred Holstein gives Eugene an award for a program that Eugene made for Holstein's bookstore, and when Jason talks to the drive through.
Rating: 3 stars (out of five)
This episode ranks with my favorites. It is absolutely beautiful and doesn't have a dull spot at all. Every three parter has been great, but when this one came out, it surpassed all those that came before it. Then Malachi's Message came along and surpassed it. But that's not important right now.
The episode begins with Connie picking Jason up at the airport. He asks what everyone has been doing and the entire episode consists of Connie telling him. The outer frame with them driving home is just as great as anything inside. Connie and Jason are always great together and this is no exception.
Anyway, this episode deals with three couples, Whit and Margaret, Jack and Joanne, and Eugene and Katrina. Each situation involves a proposal, and all we (and Jason) know is that there is going to be a wedding in 2 days, but we don't know whose. That's where the fun comes from.
The first episode deals mainly with Whit and Margaret. She comes to talk to Whit about the election, and they end up dating all summer. Margaret was introduced here and I really thought she had potential, but she really hasn't done much. It bugs me.
The second episode deals with both Eugene/Katrina and Jack/Joanne. Joanne flies in from Chicago to visit Jack. He asks her if she likes Odyssey and says he's considering buying a shop. She says she has to go to the Philipines. And they dicuss what it would be like to settle down in Odyssey. Later, Katrina comesback to work at Holstein's Books for the summer. Eugene is both excited and nervous, as you can probably imagine. He and Katrina spend quite a bit of time together over the next few weeks.
By the end of the second episode, one member of each couple has proposed to the other, and the final episode ties all the plot lines together and finally gets to the wedding. I'm not going to tell you who gets married, because the fun of the episode comes from trying to figure it out.
This was the first new AIO in nine months, and it both tells about what all of the characters have been doing and gets us back into the swing of things. Possibly the best scenes in the whole show come when Whit, Tom, Bernard, and Jack are all together in Whit's End. Very rarely do we here them all together. In fact, I believe this is the only time we hear them all together. It's just a shame Jason couldn't be there.
It is also great to hear Fredrich Holstien and especially George Barclay again. When I heard George's voice I hopped up and did a little dance. Fredrich Holstien should be on more, if you ask me. I mean, he's done what, like two shows total. But he is really good here. This episode is also very funny. We get great comedy from Holstein, Connie, Eugene, Bernard, Jason, and Little Hans, who we never actually hear.
As a way of reintroducing to Odyssey, this episode is great. The next few would introduce the new kids and the Mulligans, but aside from Margaret, this set features only the cast we've come to know and love. Paul McCusker (my personal favorite AIO writer) does a great job of keeping up all the plotlines, and you're not quite sure who's getting married until there is only a couple of minutes left.
Certainly, one of the greatest episode of all time.
Rating: 4 stars (out of four) (Contributed by Anthony Strand)
|376: Chores No More|
This was another very well done ep. A little predictable, but it was good. I mean how many times have kids not wanted to do their chores, or try to find ways out of doing them. The best part was the kids doing their chore presentations to their parents. Iíd say the next best scene would be the next one when they meet at Whitís End and share their experiences.
Rating: 4 stars (out of five)
Chores No More is yet another example of Marshal Younger taking a seemingly simple idea and turning it into an interesting and unique episode. Through a series of rather interesting plot twists we see that all of Heather's excuses are turned back on her. It is also interesting to see Heather turn "into" her mother when trying to work for a chore strike.
One of the things that makes the episode so great is the hilarious chore presentations in the middle of the episode. See our Quotes page for some excepts of this phenomenally funny episode. The sarcastic way they try to get out of chores sounds a little too familiar. The production design of this episode was very good. Listen to all of the subtle sound in the scene between Heather's parents at the computer.
Overall, a funny well-done episode that brings a standard issue some needed excitement.
Rating: 3 stars
The One About Trust, Part 1
381: The One About Trust, Part 2
The One About Trust is an enjoyable ep. Both parts tie in together really well. Connie has to work on Margaret Fayeís campaign. Margaret gets Connie to investigate Whit to see if he is treating her and Eugene fairly. Bart finds out that Eugene is apparently paid three times as much as Connie. He sees the perfect way to get Whit to endorse him. However when he approaches Whit, Whit just laughs at him and refuses to be blackmailed. Later, Connie finds out about the difference in how much her and Eugene are being paid. Instead of going to and talking with Whit, she assumes the worst about her friend. Whit wants to explain the wage difference to both Connie and Eugene, but before he gets the chance, he gets a letter of resignation from Connie. Tom later finds Connie and reads his speech to her, which turns out to be about her and the fact that Whit had set up a trust fund for her college education. In truth, Connie actually makes more than Eugene. She returns to Whitís End and promises to be more trusting in the future.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars (out of five)
The One About Trust involves Connie (who shows her very impulsive side here), Margret Faye, and Whit...a recipe for disaster. When Connie is forced to work on Margret's mayorial campaign by a school assignment, she begins to suspect Whit of unfairness at Whit's End. Margret Faye, who once proposed to Whit, is running for mayor on a policy of breaking up "the old boy's gang" around Odysseysomething that has never existed. But, she begins to suggest to Connie that Whit is treating her unfairly since she is a girl. It is basically a very emotional 2-episode stretch, and is handled very well. The last scene, when Connie comes back to Whit's end is especially touching and very sweet.
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars out of 5
|388: Leap of Faith|
For the most part I enjoyed listening to this ep I did have a few minor problems with the story line, however they were actually so small that I feel itís not even worth it to mention them. This ep brought out the all time lesson of needing to trust God. We also learned a little more about Jessica and her sister in this ep Nick seemed a little out of character toward the end, but in a good way.
Rating: 4 stars (out of five)
|396: Poor Loser|
Poor Loser takes a story which we really know the outcome of already (who couldn't see the whole storyline of Eugene and Bernard's chess games from the very beginning?), but turns it into an entertaining story. I believe the main reason is the always wonderful chemistry between Eugene and Bernard, two of the most well-developed characters in AIO.
Eugene happens to bring a chess game to Whit's End one day to play and Bernard offers to play. Over the next days, Bernard beats him six times in a row. During all of these scenes, Bernard's seeming carelessness and Eugene's utter disbelief and anxiety are perfectly played. Really the best scene occurs when Whit and Connie "break in" to Eugene's dorm and find that he is watching videos of Bernard and has barely gotten any sleep. We get the payback on the "ending with a preposition" gag among many other funny Eugene lines. There was also a good line where Bernard told Connie that he would not "throw" the game.
There is also the plot about Heather's and Julie's volleyball team in the tradition of "split-AIO" episodes, but this storyline is predictable and, well, a bit underwhelming compared to Eugene and Bernard. Overall, an entertaining AIO story about sportsmanship.
Rating: 3 stars
One of the sweetest AIO episodes in a long time, this one deals with how a child like Mandy can see through all the hatred and callousness of the adults around her. She is the only one who will help in this time of need.
The episode deals with the preparation for a tornado, a very brief scene with the tornado itself, and then the aftermath of the tornado. Little of the lead-up is consequential to the final third of the show except Bart's business tactics as he tries to rip off the people preparing for the storm. When the Rathbones find out after the tornado that both their business and their home has been wrecked by a tornado, perhaps they felt sorry for all they had done, but the adults of Odyssey would not hear it.
The best and most crucial scene is with Mandy and Jack in the Antique Gallery where Mandy agrees to sell her most prized possession for a man she doesn' t really like. One good deed leads to another and another and the power of this scene is magnified. In addition, it was a VERY nice touch at the end to see Bart actually pay to return the doll to the girl. Just as in AIO368:The Other Woman, Bart actually shows a human side.
A sweet story with good music, good sound, especially well-done performances.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
SECOND OPINION REVIEW: A sweet story, Tornado is one of the few stories where Bart Rathbone, resident bad guy of Odyssey, has a human side. Well told, with a few humorous lines by Cryin' Brian Dern, it presents a theme ofeven to those who seem beyond suchforgiveness. Though a couple of elements don't match up (such as Mandie's mother saying that Mr. Allen would give Mandie money back, when he actually GAVE her money), it is a very, very well done story.
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
|399: Bernard and Job|
In the tradition of all great Bernard stories, Bernard and Job is well-handled. Here, Bernard visits the Mulligan family, when Nick drives over Lisa's dog she has inappropriatly named "Wolf". Bernard tells an excellent rendition of Job, and Nick gets in a few great lines (check out the Quotes Page). What I was especially impressed by, though, was the sound design when Satan is in the presence of God. Though he does seem rather glib when standing in front of the glory of the Almighty, the story fits together well.
Rating: 3 Stars of 5
|400: The Spy Who Bugged Me|
From unbleached all-purpose self-rising flour to James Bond, The Spy Who Bugged Me, a Jared and Dwayne misadventure, is an excellent episode. Jared and Dwayne are perfect in their roles, and in their paranoia, as are Sarah and the rest of the girls. This episode is basically humorous, but has a good message as well. But as for humour, The Spy Who Bugged Me is full of it, with good "bush" puns, and Sarah's sarcastic "ta-ta!" I'll admit, maybe this isn't a serious or hard-hitting episode, but it did catch my attention and keep it there.
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars out of 5
This episode is O.K. but rather uninspired. Also, the theme of not jumping to conclusions is a rather over used one in "Adventures in Odyssey". I also find the bit about "shooting" a little far-fetched. At least in my experience, I haven't heard people who use the term "shoot" in that way. The part where Dwayne "disguises" himself as a girl is good though, although I didn't really enjoy this episode terribly.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
|401: More Like Alicia|
Another good episode from Marshal Younger; he really has a knack for these "common" episodes. This one deals with self-esteem and popularity. Especially interesting early on are Heather's discussion of Alicia and Julie's rebuttal of her.
Heather wants to be more like Alicia, the most popular girl is school. Both are invited to a costume party. The idea is common and we already know the result. Heather will get to be Alicia for a day (or an amount of time), during which there will be a few close calls at being discovered and during which she will discover how shallow Alicia's friends really are. The surprising part comes with how well this section is pulled off, both with excellent performances and good lines. It doesn't take Heather long to realize that she really does not want to live in this world. The sound production during the party is excellent. The sound Heather's voice when she is posing as Alicia in costume really makes it sound as if she is wearing a mask.
The final scene between Heather and Julie is a little too cute, but still touching.
Rating: 3 stars
More Like Alicia features Julie and Heather, another "new" Odyssey pair. Obviously there are two Heathers in Odyssey, and both of them are friends with Julie, because in 388: Poor Loser there's a Heather that has a totally different personality and voice. However, the story is fun and involving. The idea is original for the most part, featuring someone who has to be the biggest snob ever: Alicia. Heather gets to "become" Alicia at a costume party...and the results are disastrous. But, the scene at the party where a boy in the back yells for Alicia/Julie to speak up is just a little too unbelievable. For the most part, though, the story is fascinating.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars out of 5
|402: Arizona Sunrise|
Not all AIO epic stories are two or three parters. This episode demonstrates that spectacular story can be told in just one episode without sounding rushed. This wonderful story of forgiveness contains wonderful scripting (the "confrontation" scene where all the main characters find out their past), great performances (especially Clinger), good music (especially during the confrontation scene and the final flourish), and excellent sound design (especially during the scenes in camps and the scene at the cliff where Nalicadaeh is far away).
The entire story is told a little quickly, picking up dozens of details in the first few minutes, but still managing not to sound rushed. We find out various characters opinions and biases. There are small scenes with just two people talking and epic scenes of crossing the desert.
But all of the rest of the episode pales in comparison to the main confrontation scene where all of the characters find out their past. I won't reveal all the details here, but the entire scene is at the same time exciting, touching, and very thought-provoking. It allows us to see the situation not only through one character's eyes, but through each of the characters involved. The only problem I had with this scene was how many times can a character escape and be captured again? Overall, though, a very powerful scene.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Arizona Sunrise follows in the tradition of 346:
St. Paul: Voyage to Rome and
347: St. Paul: An Appointment with Caesar, in that the story doesn't involve an Imagination Station trip, but is narrated by a real, live Adventures in Odyssey character. Here, Jack Allen and Cody use the internet to find, and read, the story of Rev. Clinger, a circuit rider in the old West. The fact that it's set in the quiet of the J&J Antique Gallery instead of Whit's End, makes for a quite different atmosphere. The story itself revolves around an old Indian chief, who has gone to his "desert walk." Clinger, with his sidekick Reese, go to save the chief, and enlist the help of a grandaughter of that same chief. The ending, which was a surprise to say the least, is very emotional, but well-handled as well. I say it's a great story.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars out of 5
|403: Faster than a Speeding Ticket|
Faster Than a Speeding Ticket dosen't quite make my faviorites list, but it is a close runner up. This episode shows the importance of standing up for the truth. I enjoyed the conversations between Dwayne and his friends, and Whit and Tom, Connie, Eugene. I thought that it was interesting to note that Whit was positive that he wasn't speeding but wasn't going to contest the ticket until pursuaded to by Connie, Eugene, and Tom.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
|404: Hide and Seek|
Okay, Hide and Seek was definitely the worst ep in the album Days to Remember. It had a good lesson for like maybe two year olds who havenít got the point that you canít hide from the Almighty. Then again this did come out before the Spring 2000 eps. Hide and Seek didnít seem so bad compared to most of them, but compared to eps preceding it, it was one of the worst AIO has come out with.
Rating: 1 1/2 stars (out of five)
|405: The Graduate|
When I first heard it on radio, I thought it was great. After I got the album, and heard it once, I thought it was one of the worst episodes on the album. (Hide and seek was certainly the worst) I would like to note that this episode contains a lot of trivia, especially about Eugene. Maybe three and a half stars would be better.
Rating: 4 stars