A note of about the ratings... All ratings are out of four unless otherwise noted.
The words on the lips of Odyssey fans everywhere are "Eugene is back!" Celebrations are taking place all over the country, though they are tempered with the question of...is he really back? Much of the discussion of the heavily hyped April 2 episode is about what will happen next instead of what actually occured in the episode itself. Fans are wondering if that was really Will Ryan's voice as Eugene and if he is back on the show "for good."
Perhaps much of the speculation is about future possibilities because, as many reviewers point out, not much happens in this episode. Despite all the fun and humor, the plot isn't forwarded that far. It was mainly set up for the ending.
But most fans are saying, "Who cares?!" The episode was great fun and included stellar characterizations, writing, acting, production, and all the other things that make a great Odyssey show. Oft-noted positives include Bernard's hilarious comments, the scene where the group brings coffee to the agent, and of course, the big moment that ends the show.
All in all, few would disagree that this show represented a return to a "classic" Odyssey feel.
NOTE: I limited the amount of "theories" in the reviews below to make them an easier block to digest. For more theories on what's going to happen in future episodes, visit this The Town Hall thread or this Town of Odyssey thread.
After hearing the preview for next episode, I'm wondering if Eugene has no memory because of the Novacom experiments he was doing and Whit is trying to help him get his memory back? Wonder where Katrina is?
All in all, there was a feel of reunion in this episode. Bernard, Tom, Connie and Whitthree of which were around in the first few episodes. Plus, with Eugene and Katrina back in town (for good? please?), the family feels like its back together.
Of course, all of the episode was leading somewhere, and we all really wanted to get there instead of enjoy the ride. However, Bernard's mundane ramblings about the upcoming mayhem that ensues when Whit get secretive was well worth it.
Good episodeI just hope this isn't just a quick stop in town by Eugene and Katrina.
1. Bernard! We really haven't heard much of Bernard recently, and his somewhat cynical lines were very refreshing. "Stuff me with spinach and call me a soufflé!"
2. The Stimulation Station. Ok, what I think is happening hear is Eugene and Katrina's respective memories are gone. Utterly and completely. I know we only heard Eugene's voice, but Whit said something about "they" being in the IS, and I'm going to assume that the memory loss came from Novacom. I could very well be wrong of course.
3. Eugene in danger? At the end, when listening to scenes from next Sat.'s ep, it sounded like Connie was crying. Hmm... either she's upset because he doesn't remember her, or he really is dying. Not exactly the most happy thought in the world.
I guess that's all I have to say. 5 out of 5 stars to AiO! I can't wait to hear more!
Well, no, but I'm going to anyway. Eugene Meltsner, the beloved character missing for several years, has returned.
But that's not the only reason I'm giving it a perfect rating. The acting, and writing, were terrific. Paul McCusker is still a great writer for the show. Tom and Bernard made a great team. Connie acting on her "curiosity" as only she can also worked beautifully. Paul Herlinger also gave a great performance.
Which brings me to Whit. Something isn't right here. He was acting very odd, and Eugene didn't sound right either. I expect the reason for this to be revealed next week.
Classic Odyssey is back. Wonderful job AIO.
This seems so negative. I really didn't mean for it to be. I'm trying not to be over-excited and then be let down later. It was a good episode, but I can't declare a three-parter awesome without hearing the other two parts first.
Not the return of "Eugene" alone. It's the writing of Paul McCusker (who hadn't written since ep 502 and really since ep 477) and Bernard, Tom etc.... No sign of Wooton helped as well.
I just hope it's Will Ryan...The ep's will lack that special something if it's another "Herlinger" (but still should be ok).
Look at aiohq.com... Upcoming episode "Two Friends and a Truck."
I think Eugene has lost his memory and all the computers will fail, but a trip with Bernard in the truck will rekindle the memories...just a hunchif I'm right, I'll make a proud 'I told you so'.
For once, I feel like the idiot. I accepted the fact that Eugene was gone, and that this episode had nothing to do with him. I believed other members who were intent on having him come back in this episode werent the brightest peas. So whats happening? ...
Yes, it was an introduction to the rest of the episodes. But, fortunately, it didnt leave us with nothing to think about. This is big enough. Eugene is back. Or is he? If he is, then it makes Odyssey not as inconsistent as it seems to be when Eugene left.
But what of the other characters? Nick, Aubrey, and Wooton. Those three chracters, I felt, really filled the void of Eugene especially Nick and Wooton. Oh sure, they werent smart or anything. But they presented themselves as someone in his place. For Nick, it was a male employee for Whit and a somewhat sidekick. Just look at "A Lambs Tale" and "The WE." Those wouldve been with Eugene, not Nick, if Eugene was around. And for Wooton he was there with Connie. "Do or Diet"? Would that have been with Wooton, or Eugene? When Mitch had died, would it have been Eugene or Wooton, comforting her.
If Eugene is back; lots of changes are in store. ...
Well, one correct guess some of us had was the writer of the episode: Paul McCusker. I found the way he portrayed Whit was odd, but other than that, he did an absolute wonderful job; both he and Nathan Hoobler.
Intense and Classic. It will be an episode Ill listen to again and again. This may be the best 3-parter in the series.
These are the episodes which remind me why I listen to the show
It is good. I have given it 4 as i don't know yet how it turns out. I think the way they question the "government agent" is sooo funny.
And Whit MAY be being bad. That sounds interesting. LOL!
The whole episode seemed a little strange when it started, but it was quickly redeemed. Bernard was in his element in this episode, he was great! As was Tom, his mechanical challenges always make me laugh! But Whit was a little, well, it seemed like he was in the background here, yes, he made the program, but it was centered around Connie, Bernard and Tom wondering what Whit was up to. But it sounds like he'll be more involved next week. Other than that, I couldn't find anything wrong with it.
My pre-guess, which I posted on the TH a while back, was that the return character was Eugene and that I was afraid something sci-fi or supernatural was going on with the IS. (I like realism vs. sci-fi)
Well it is Eugene! I am oh-so-happy. Happy, happy, happy! I am oh-so-happy, and so I say-hey-HEY-hey: Happy, happy, happy! Yea!
And a memory stimulator program is sci-fi, but to my surprise it isnt too wacky for me. I dont mind that at all. It couldve been a lot worse. ...
I enjoyed Paul's writing on this episode. I agree with the other posters, that this had the feeling of an "old Odyssey". I would love to see Phil Lollar come back to Odyssey as well. I heard somewhere that Chuck Bolte is doing consulting for the scripts and overall direction of Odyssey. If this is true, then we will see Odyssey return to it's glory days. Many of the original Odyssey team are returning or lending their insights to the current Odyssey episodes.
And EUGENE IS BACK!!!! (I hope.)
Wow.... um yeah this is big. Cannot wait until next week. Lets hope they don't disappoint us.
Connie was her usual self with the way she went snooping around Whit's End but Bernard and Tom seemed unlikely accomplices. I can't quite figure out how they managed to disturb the cameras. "Whit, I'm going to dust the tunnel now!" I'm sure Bernard would find lots of windows in there to wash. Or even trash cans to empty. Beyond that, wouldn't Whit notice if some of his cameras were malfunctioning? Considering his top secret project it would seem that Whit would be a little more cautious.
When Bernard and Connie saw the burgler alarm go off (who triggered it?), they concluded that Whit was inside. But both seemed to rather easily conclude that Whit was nowhere in the building when they looked at the Imagination Station. Why?
So are Eugene and Katrina staying in a secluded cabin up in the mountains? Does Whit pick up Eugene at night for experimentation and then drive him back "home" at dawn? How does all of this tie in with Eugene's research? Why are Jason, Jack, and Joanne so conveniently out of town?
So many questions...
Whit seemed a little too secretive, but maybe that's just my opinion. Hopefully I'll be listening more regularly now
I rated it four stars, and a few pounds of laughter at Bernard's comments. Heh. There isn't much to draw upon in the first part as far as plot-direction predictions, though... or at least I think so.
I'm very excited to see how this all will pan out. There was talk of Eugene using his research. If I remember correctly, his was turning Brainwaves into RadioWaves, correct?
It's also great to hear from Bernard again. He always delivers unexpected off-the-wall comments. I am surprised, and a bit disappointed, that Tom would join Bernard and Connie in sneaking behind Whit's back. I would expect Tom to simply confront Whit (not at 4 am by sneaking into Whit's End), but in an upfront and honest fashion.
Jack, Joanne, and Jason all being out of town is maybe a bit too convenient, but, in my mind, necessary. There can't be too many characters running around or it will get confusing. However, I think it should have been said that Jason was doing missions work somewhere remote, which would make perfect sense, as last time I checked that's still what Jason was doing.
Overall, a great episode and I can hardly wait for the next 2 eps.
The voice of Katrina certainly sounded suspicious...although if Will Ryan has returned, I wouldn't be surprised if it actually was the voice of Pamela Hayden.
Overall, I thought the episode was a great setup for the next two episodes...Bernard and Tom are hilarious together. When you throw Connie into the mix, the three make for an outrageous trio.
Whit has gotten into one of those moods. He never gets like this unless something big is up. Obviously, he has stumbled upon a finding which ultimately will impact Odyssey like never seen before. Could it be the exit of a primary character? Or the return of one?
Loved the way the writer(s) hinted at the whole Novacom saga. It'll be interesting to see if Eugene's studies of transforming brain waves to radio waves comes up...
I applaud you, AIO, for what you've given us thus far. It's lived up to all the hype...at least my personal expectations, anyhow.
I think it was great to have the primary cast of characters because while Jack, Joanne, and Jason would care about Eugene coming back there is a special bond between Tom, Whit, Bernard, Connie, and Eugene that has made AIO what it is.
The way Whit was acting is so reminicent of episodes such as Applesauce and The Nemisis/The Battle. It gives newer listeners who haven't yet heard the earlier episodes a taste of what the show was like. Two thumbs up.
The one thing I liked the most in this show was when Bernard, Tom, and Connie teamed up to talk to the "government agent."
I think one of the reasons Will Ryan may not have been credited is that Eugene had only one line, and it was barely distinguishable at that.
The show starts off with a clip that was available on the web months before the show aired and doesn't really offer anything new (except for some background sound effects that wasn't in the original clip). Although it has been heard before, it still manages to set the scene for the rest of the show, which is to say that the show is mainly a rather "balanced" showit's not completely boring but it isn't overly exciting.
The show continues on from there from mainly the "point-of-view" aspect of Tom, Bernard, and Connie. The whole show is really about them finding out what Whit's up to. There are many "most intriguing questions" brought up in the course of the show and most of the questions are not answered. At the end, Tom, Bernard, and Connie are "captured" by Dr. Foster and Whit and then there is one of those things they try to make sure that we tune in next week, which didn't really impress me. The show comes to a close with some clips from the next show.
The acting was great, the music was very good, and the writing was entertaining (I'm glad to see that Paul McCusker wrote another AIO show after such a long time without doing so). Unfortunately, the writing is only thatentertaining. It doesn't go much deeper. Apart from a quick prayer stop (an annoying thing they insert into many Christian resources so as to have some basis for them to be labeled "Christian"), there is no spiritual dimension to this show. Though probably the best AIO show for a long time, it lacks what should be found in a Christian radio show: a strong Christian message. It might be a little too early to say that this show is void of a Christian message (it is a three-parter; there are plenty more scenes to redeem themselves), but it really took away from the show. Apart from that, A Most Intriguing Question is certainly a different Odyssey show that I enjoyed very much.
The long-awaited return of Eugene being greeted by positive, but not overly enthusiastic reviews. Most are saying they enjoyed the episode a lot, but had a few hang-ups.
By far the most talked about point in the episode is that Katrina was not played by Pam Hayden. Many were disappointed by the new voice, though some reviewers applauded a new actress for being "close."
Another oft-discussed point is the spiritual content, or lack therof. Many wished that the show had more Christian or spiritial content.
Others thought the show felt awkward, with Connie greeting Katrina and the gang talking to Eugene. (Some thought this was intentional).
All agree, however, that it's good to have Eugene back and everyone's looking forward to the "Extraordinary Conclusion" next week.
Although, I like the old Katrina voice......the new one did a very good job. I really like how Eugene said "Howdy." I can't wait to see what happens next! The preview for next week sounds good!
I'm positive now that Katrina is no longer voiced by Pamela Hayden. Why?
Well I have more thoughts but I'll have to post them later. Keep up the good work AIO! WAIT!! I totally forgot to include my favorite line of the show! Eugene: "Howdy!" You'll know what I mean when you hear it!
I certainly found it interesting to see Eugene speak the way he did. While I have never spoken to one with amnesia, it sure sounded like he had it. When he cried out, "I want my life back!" it almost reminded me of something Tom (or was it Agnes?) said during the Novacom arc. Anyhow, I'm sure this was merely due to his memory loss, but some of Eugene's lines seemed forced and out of character. Maybe it's just me. I am thankful, that Will Ryan, was back to play the part of Eugene. You could just hear the smile in Chris' voice as she said, "And Will Ryan as Eugene." It was almost a gesture to the fans who had waited so long for Will Ryan's return... "Yes, everyone, Will Ryan is back!" Temporarily, at the very least.
It was unfortunate AIO couldn't get Pamela Hayden back. I commend Audrey Wasilewski for stepping up and giving it a try, but it just isn't the same without the real actor who voiced Katrina those many years ago. I felt the same about her as I did Whit in "The Search for Whit." Although the voice was similar in several ways, it simply wasn't the one we all remembered. In a way, the combination of the "fake" Katrina and the amnesiac Eugene made for a somewhat bizarre episode. Almost as if everything was out of place in some shape or form. Yet, I will still give the episode 4 stars out of 5 because of its rather interesting storyline. There was a good touch of humor throughout the episodecertainly not the easiest thing to do considering the circumstances surrounding Eugene and Katrina.
I'm intrigued by this idea of converting Connie, Whit, Bernard and Tom's brainwaves into radiowaves . . . and then converting them back into brainwaves so Eugene's memory can be stimulated through the Imagination Station. It will definitely make for a most extraordinary conclusion, indeed.
I look foward to next week's episode and hope that Eugene does get his memory back, because it will make it feel more like the older Odysseys.
I also enjoyed 'Howdy', it was funny that he said something like 'I said this word often?'.
These eps are, of course, very contrived. Bernard even admits to that. At least this is still connected to Novacom and not just something out of the blue. Also, they did do something "big" when Whit was coming back, too.
BTW, it was very foolish of Whit to try the technology out on himself without telling anybody (though he might have told the doctor).
It must have been a challenge to write this episode, but I think, for the most part, it was done quite well. I think I'll save the rest of my judgements until part 3.
The first scene of this ep (actually the first several scenes) and the last scene of last week's ep did not match up. After all that buildup and tremendous and exciting, dare I say breathtaking ending of last weeks ep, I expected the beginning of this ep to be just as tumultous. I expected the trio of curiousity, especially Connie, to be fighting Foster and Whit for information. I expected Whit to be firm and hesitant at telling them. I expected Foster to be reprimanded for his carelessness and the trio to be criticzied for digging around like they did.
My other complaint was how it ended. For me, that made next week's episode predictable. A bunch of turmoil ending happy.
My third big complaint was Katrina. Sure, the voice was similar, but that's it. The attitude and interaction with other characters just won't be the same, and that's a sad fact.
Again, I liked the episode, just had some complaints. Other things I liked were Connie's reaction at her and Eugene's first meeting. Not only was it really within her character, but it sounded real.
While it was good, I cannot give it 5/5 b/c of the reasons I stated above, so I'm giving it 4/5.
As part of the series, I think this may be the weaker of the three. However we'll have to wait until next week to make a final judgement on that.
My main complaint was the first scene with Maud on the telephone. It sounded a bit contrived and unnecessary. I think Whit could've given us a better rundown of why Eugene came back, instead of Bernard and Connie giving the audience a review of it via Maud. That's my nit to pick.
I also enjoyed the humor.
The "howdy" line was great! I loved it!
... I miss the "old" Eugene! I know that Will Ryan wasn't supposed to be the old Eugene in this episode, but I look forward to the day where Eugene will just be hanging out with everybody at Whit's End or whatever, without anything major in the way.
I'm looking forward to next week, and the extraordinary conclusion!
It was a bit predictable. I already figured that someone had amnesia, and when I heard that Eugene was back, I figured that the someone was him.
It is a little sad...
I agree that this was actually a pretty weak episode. I think that the only reason some of us are giving it so much praise, is just because Eugene is back. I wouldn't be surprised if, a few years down the line, after Eugene's been back for a while, most of us look back and wonder why we liked this episode.
One BIG thing that was lacking in this episode was anyone mentioning prayer for Eugene or finding out whether Eugene knows he's a Christian. God was left out of this episode.
As an episode itself: I enjoyed it. As a sequel to last weeks', it failed in many ways.
Firstly, and the most noticeable point is Katrina Shank's voice change. I know, and I'll accept, that theres nothing that you can do about it. It's a sad thing, because the scene between her and Connie would've gained so much more effect if it was Pamela Hayden.
The topic is of time. And were trying to regain the feel towards Eugene...and what the listeners were hoping to hear the most was the marriage between Eugene and Katrina. For a series which spent approx ten years having them engaged, they sure haven't put much stress on them getting married.
Is this a dedication to Terry Schiavo? What happens when your wife/husband is not the same as you first married? Will Odyssey stress on that point? Should you keep loving them? Should you keep being married? We know the answer as a deffinate yes...but for Katrina, it's a bit more difficult. They're both young. And he has no memory of her at all.
The major flaw it today's episode was at the beginning. The entire previous episode was a time of intrigue and mystery...including a shocking ending to keep us hanging until next week.
The beginning of this week's episode, however, sounded more like a slice of life episode. ... They should've kept it going. They should've had Whit actually upset once he learned they found out (since he made such a big deal to kick them out...and to actually imply last week's theme of "curiosity"). However, you'd notice he came out of the room and nonchalantly answered Connie's question. ...
Why isn't Whit excited, by the way? Why doesn't he feel happy, or sad, or distressed? Yes, we've all been over this, "Whit having no personality" bit, and I've always disagreed. However, he acted as though Eugene was simply a client who aimesly walked into his shop to get a doctor's checkup.
Yes, Bernard did have a nice little duo with his proverbial mute wife, Maude. In the past, we get the impression that Maude is the calm/reserved/sophisticated woman who sets Bernard straight on a lot of things (and enjoys visiting her family). However, we now know that Maude is just as nutty as Bernard is. Funny how they don't have any kids.
The whole "amnesia" bit seemed way to clichéd for my liking. Theres sci-fi...and the there's this. Bernard hit it on the nail so perfectly when he said, "This thing is straight out of a bad TV series. And I know about such things. And they always have the hero lose his memory when they can't think of anything else to do with him." Paul McCusker probably did this so the listeners who weren't enjoying this could relate.
If only they had continued investigating. I dislike stories where you spend 300 pages reading it, discover nothing, and then have a wise guy explaining what you apparently did not figure out in less than two paragraphs near the end. This is what Whit and Dr. Foster did. Sure, we wanted to know the answer...but don't give it all away in one dose.
Another thing I was bothered about was the fact that they didn't mention at all Eugene's spiritual life. Here they are asking questions, "Do you remember me?" "Do you remember when I tought you to drive?" "Do you remember our road trip?" (Mind you, I was happy they talked about the past)... Well, what about, "Do you remeber when you accepted Jesus Christ as your saviour into you heart?" Did Odyssey simply feel they didn't want to go into that area? If someone sufferes from amnesia, after accepting Christ, will they go to heaven...or hell? I believe the answer is heaven, since God will be looking at your circumstances. I'm wondering if they're going to plug in a theme into this.
Just a few extra remarks:
- How did Eugene and Katrina get out of the room? Whit came out and announced, "Okay, they're gone." Where did they go? I'm somewhat confused with the blueprints of Whit's End, but I forget which door is where.
- Connie, Tom, and Bernard entered the room in last week's episode, and they only noticed a person in the Imagination Station. However, in this weeks' episode, they see Eugene AND Katrina in the room. Why was Katrina in the Imagination Station? If she was waiting with Whit, surely she would've been seen by her friends.
- Bernard and Tom are the comic relief of this episode...however, why are they intent on hitting their friend with a shovel, and re-arranging his vocabulary?
That last point was the problem of this episode. Either you make this a funny episode, or a serious episode. If they want us to accept the fact, and take seriously, that Eugene has amnesia, then they shouldn't be portraying it in a "slice of life" way. But, Connie's cry definitely made up for it. The whole scene previous to it was awkward and fake...I mean, you haven't seen a guy in five years, and you simply say "hi" to him once you see him again. Kudos to Connie for brigning life to the show.
Maybe my expectations were wrong. I expected Eugene to be sick, and slowly decaying. I was expecting a huge moment where everyone hugs and is happy to be reunited. Maybe I just have to wait until next week to hear that...
Speaking of next week, I have high hopes. This "new" Eugene sounds like a madman! And I'm hoping for some real intensity, here. A battle. An escape. A struggle with your friend. Whit had to battle his villain in the Imagination Station...but can he battle his close friend? Sounds promising...
Much like last week, this episode made full use of it's 25 minutes. Most of the time, what happens, is that they use only 16 minutes, and try to slip them all together. Right now, we have nearly 50 minutes of good stuff. And next week's episode better take good advantage of the time they have.
However, having Eugene back IS good. And we should all be thankful for that.
Anyways, overall, I felt last week's episode was a bit better...but this episode had good stuff in it as well.
I look foward to next weeks episode and hope that Eugene does get his memory back, because it will make it feal more like the older Odysseys.
I gave it a 5 for one reason, EUGENE'S BACK! Folks, we have waited YEARS for Eugene's return and some of us really doubted if he would ever come back. Sometimes I think some of you expect way too much from the writers. I think for the most part they did a great job. I agree with Mandy, this will become one of my favorites. There was only one part that I thought was kind of odd. When Connie meets Katrina there should have been hugs and "great to have you back's", instead there was "uh, nice cabin." Maybe the writers thought with Eugene's problem, it needed to be awkward. I'm okay with the new Katrina, her voice sounds pretty close.
As far as the lack of spirituality, I've pretty much excepted the fact that they're not going to add any more. We've all complained about it but the writers really haven't listened. I just hope Eugene's here to stay, I can't wait until he meets Wooton!
Can't wait for next week's episode!
Tom's and Bernard's humor, while perhaps a bit overdone, reminded me of the old eps in a way. When they're done right, nobody can beat Odyssey's one-liners!
I'm hoping not only that most of this mess will be sorted out, but also that I don't end up with a perfect happy ending. Maybe there could still be flaws in Eugene's memory, or something along those lines. A bittersweet ending. A bittersweet ending with Biblical Significance. *cough cough*
Also, I hope Eugene and Katrina can stick around for a while longer. It would be great to see how they've matured as a married couple, and what will happen when (not if) they have children.
The main problem with Something Big, Part Two is that it goes places that I don't want to see AIO going. They've gone there before and it ruins the credibility of the people and events in the town of Odyssey. It's fantasy. When someone figures out how to convert brainwaves to radio waves, then the credibility of the show is gone. This started with the Novacom saga and, unfortunately, it's still happening now. It doesn't make for a great show. I hope we hear less of "fantasy" in AIO in the future.
Apart from the fantasy aspect of the show, it was a pretty good episode. There was some hilarous comments from Tom, Bernard, and Connie which almost made the show, it was very well produced (with the sound effects and music), andthe best thing about the showthe return of Eugene. Sure, Eugene was a little different, but it didn't really matter. He's back! Most of the acting was well-done (Yes, Connie will win another End of Season award for this), though it was disappointing to see that Katrina is played by a different actor. The writing was pretty well done, also.
Now, about the lesson in this show...yet again, I was left unhappy with the spiritual dimensions, or should I say the lack of them. There wasn't anything to do with God or salvation or anything, not even a prayer break (I believe the Focus on the Family magazine said the theme of this show was prayer, too). The show relied heavily on being entertaining, like most of the shows lately on AIO. That's dissapointingway more disappointing than Pamela Hayden not playing Katrina anymore. I hope that the writers try to incorparate some spiritual lessons into future episodes.
"A Most Surprising Question" is an important show, if only because of the return of Eugene. It was hilarious and had some good moments in it. Though I didn't like any of the fantasy aspects, this show is one of the best this season.
The grand conclusion of the "Eugene Returns" three-parter is getting the same kind of mixed reviews that many milestone AIOs of recent years have gotten. ("Exit," "Plan B," "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?" and "Something Blue" come to mind.) There are three basic camps: The "It was awesome" camp, the "It was pretty good, but overall a bit disappointing" camp, and the "It was not a good episode" camp.
On the positive side, many liked hearing the many Imagination Station flashbacks, though some wondered if it was too similar to "The Time Has Come." Most liked the ending scene with Eugene recounting his love for everyone and Connie rejoicing that Eugene was "really back." Most appreciated Tom confronting Whit with the need for prayer, though some didn't believe that Whit would wait that long himself. Nearly everyone loved hearing Whit pray with Eugene and having the spiritual elemnt brought out at the end.
On the negative side, almost everyone agreed that Eugene's memories came back too suddenly and too quickly. Others felt that after all the build up, the episode itself was disappointing. (Some pointed the closing clips of Part 2 or the buildup on WhitsEnd.org for taking away or leading to unrealistic expectations.) Many felt that the spiritual aspect of the story came out too late. And many found the entire story to be "predictable."
But, of course, everyone agreed that it's great to have Eugene back. Who knows what adventures are ahead for him and the whole town of Odyssey?
It had an awesome message! Tom and Whit did a great job bringing out the importance of the power of prayer! I love having another married couple in Odyssey again! It had a beautiful ending, as well as hilarious just because its Odyssey! They did an awesome job with this! It couldn't have been any better!
I suppose that is why they called it a surprise. It literally was a surprise! I cannot believe their weak writing, and all the times they wasted gem moments while drawing out nonsensical ones. The pathetic writing, and consequent lacking storyline especially floored me. ...
When you are reading a good mystery, and the pieces are so wildly unconnected, and you have no clue what is going to happen, and yet the story is interesting, what do you do? You keep reading till it all comes together, and you shout Ah ha!, I get it now! Wow, that was so brilliant. I never wouldve guessed that! ...
Take Dr. Foster for an extreme example. He was a 100% intriguing character, from his doctored clues on .org to the entire first episode. He snuck into Odyssey, spied on our intrepid characters, talked mysteriously with unknown persons, and befriended (or possibly even bamboozled) the worlds kindest man, all the while somehow very knowing about, and interested in, the one missing Odyssey character everyone in the entire Odyssey world is also intensely interested in.
That was Dr. Foster until the absolute last second in part 1. Part 2 picks up immediately from that moment. And from it to the final scene in part 3, Dr. Foster is about as interesting as a tunafish sandwich without pickles. ...
[About the "backstory" scene.] Ok, theyre gone. Oh, hi. I am not surprised you are still here since Im the one who ordered you away 60 seconds ago, using all of the fatherly authority Ive earned for a dozen+ years. Oh, by the way I might as well tell you everything I have been keeping away from you like the bubonic plague. ...
Connie was the best-written character. Which it the opposite of far too many episodes unfortunately; but that was the best part of the whole episode. (Yes, I love that Eugene is back. But fellas, its not a good idea to automatically give 5 stars because of that. The actual story must be worth those stars!)
Bernard, my favorite old-timer, was given the poorest material to work with. He is pure wit. Well, he was.
Its Maude on the phone. This is the worst scene. It is worthless to storyline. It is not funny. It is not serious. It makes Bernard look like a half-wit, and his wife half that. Which is pretty bad. It also makes this episode, well, half-witted. ...
In the beginning of this episode again Whit says Eugene wanted Whit to help him. Why would he? I can see Katrina grabbing at any hope, but why would Eugene-less-his-memory want to? ...
There is so much left unexplored in this episode, it should be embarrassing. There was so much potential!
Especially, especially, this next scene: It is the Tom and Bernard trying to change Eugene one. It was an unpolished gem. It had the potential to be HUGE in all time Odyssey comedic moments. Instead it was two seconds long, and ended again with no sense!
Connie bursts in right after the conversation begins, and the potential of a great moment is shattered. Thats the disappointing part. Heres the nonsense part: We hear her come in, so ALL she hears of the conversion is the following:
... howdy in my normal speech? -Eugene
well, Im not saying you say the word a lot Tom
Thats all she hears. Theres no way she could know what was going on from those sentences! But she demands they stop, because she knows what they were doing. And Eugene doesnt use big words she says sarcastically to one of their comments. How did she know that is what they told him? ...
Ok, I am going to backtrack to what should have been THE moment of the entire three episodes: when they go to the cabin and actually see and talk to Eugene. It is plastic and unbelievable. Aside from the fact Katie tried her best, and she did clearly, the writing could make any actor's efforts seem wrong.
Eugene was not written right. How should he have been? He should have had problems. He should have been frantic. But because he was so matter of fact, he shouldnt have been in Odyssey at all. ...
In trying to make Eugene the Eugene of his 1st days in Odyssey, they made an error. The only reason why he was in Odyssey then was because of he attended Campbell College. Take that rational Eugene reason away, and he would be far away from Whits End. ...
All of a sudden Eugene wants his memories back. Bad. A desperate longing he has developed in seconds! What changed him? The pictures he couldnt remember? The happiness when they believed his lie about his memory returning? Was it Whit saying they could try to input their memories into Eugene, and that it might be the answer- although its risky?
No, its just that the writers didnt take the time to make a logical explanation . So they made logical, calculating Eugene suddenly have emotions so huge they make him shout with passion, Ill do it! Ill risk my mental health to remember. I WANT MY LIFE BACK! ...
...We hear some rerun memories of far better episodes, when we had hoped (and expected!) to hear new and ORIGINAL good parts in THIS episode. Tom wont join in the new experiment. How does God fit in with all this technical mumbojumbo? Eugene needs real relationships
... Whit rushes over, Eugene asks him to pray with him. (While that always a good idea, it is yet another eye-roller. Because its ONLY something a full memoried Eugene would do! Make up your minds, writers!!)
... The I remember! Its all coming back! part should have been another highlight, but its just came too late, and too oddly.
... Now, here is another eye roller. He wakes up with perfect memories in the hospital after another concerned talk, and it is galling instead of miraculous.
It took a lot of work in the previous two episodes to make such a joyous and anticipated occasion to be such a bore.
... Unfortunately, I dont have a lot of trust in whitend.org promotions anymore. They promised, and they didnt deliver.
I expected a whole lot more pepperonis on a Something Big pizza.
This episode featured Bernards first ride in the Imagination Station!
Hehe. As I mentioned previously, last weeks episode was the downward slope in the series. This episode greatly made up for it. There were plenty of great comments that I can mention but, lets begin with the negative ones:
-- Why did Whit decide not to pass on his technology to those in need? Yes, prayer did answer the problem but the Imagination Station was the means. You cant expect to pray and someone just healing automatically. Its like praying for someone in the hospital, and not giving them the medicine, because you believe God has more power then the actual medicine. The power is from God but he uses the means. The right thing to do was for Whit to pass on whatever he can do to help.
-- Whit and Toms conversation was moving, and great. But I wished it was longer. I knew where Tom was going in what he was saying but it wasnt clear; especially for the younger audiences. However, again, it was a good scene.
-- People are talking about the plotline of the story. I partially agree. On the one hand, it wouldve been good to have a surprise ending because, thats what we were expecting. But, now that I think about it, it wouldnt have worked. The episode was about Eugene, his spirit, and his memory. If you were to have a complex storyline, we wouldnt have gotten to focus on Eugenes personality and his relationship with his friends. You notice that this entire series was reminding us of who he was, and how he had a relationship with each other the characters. Thats why we had the flashbacks.
-- Speaking of which, and on my last negative note, I felt the flashbacks in the Imagination Station was too much like "The Mortal Coil" and especially "The Time has Come." Those flashbacks were its special "thing" or "identity." It was still nice, however, and was a necessary tool. Why necessary? Well, I didnt realize it until later, but the prayer actually was the reason both in heaven, and on earth. Let me explain myself; the prayer in this episode came when his soul was most needing it and also in "The Time has Come." Same thing happened. One prayer for the Lord connected him to the other. My analysis of the event makes sence in my headand there is so much more I want to go intobut it's having difficulty going onto screen. I'll leave it there.
So, on the hand its all up to interpretation. Its up to the listener to figure out how Eugene got back to normal.
And now, the positive remarks;
-- The Music was great: Completely moving and different.
-- The Whit and Eugene scene will be remembered for a long time. I dont know why, but it gave me the same feeling as felt when I first watched Sam and Frodo climb up Mount Doom to throw away the ring of fire. It showed their true friendship. It was something that was missing in the first two episodes. In parts 1&2 we saw Eugenes relationship with Connie, Bernard, Tom and Katrina and Whit seemed to show no emotions whatsoever on weither he was worried about for his friend. But in part 3, however, it was essential that we did see it. And the Odyssey team succeeded gracefully.
Again, this trilogy wont be remembered for the plotline or Action. But thats fine At a glance, it looks like it failed but for the angle they were attempting to portray, they succeeded.
When was the last time weve had Whit, Eugene, Tom, Bernard, Connie, and Katrina in one episode? I mean, seriously; Malachis Message, perhaps?
The only problem was the misleading of clues that we had on WhitsEnd.org. Our expectations were all off. After all, I believe that most of us were expecting suspicion, and intrigue, and an introduction for a saga, but instead, got our favorite characters battling for the mind and soul of their comrade. If you ask me; I prefer the latter. ...
I feel bad for the one who will listen to this for the first time when it comes onto CD. The biggest flaw with the episode would be how the 2nd and 3rd part was a change of "feel" from the 1st part. Inconsistent; slightly.
The great thing is that this episode will soon be adored and loved by many in the weeks to come. We will all forget the little flaws and all of the preferred endings we had in mind and simply enjoy the episode for what it was.
Eugene has come back. I would never have had it any other way. Welcome home, dear friend.
For those of us who have listend to AIO for years the whole plot line was weak, clichéd, and predictable. For people who started listening to AIO after Spring 2000, it introduces them to Eugene's character.
So, in conclusion, this 3-parter is now on my list of favorite episodes. I loved all three of them, and can't wait till they come out on CD.
It seemed rushed. Very. We jumped from one flashback sequence to the next in a matter of seconds. The scenes where Whit hears Eugene is gone and finds him and all that, it was again rushed. Sure, having a four-parter would've been a tad too drawn out, but it seemed rushed to me. Then Eugene passes out, we don't know why, he wakes up. Again, rushed.
And speaking of the flashbacks (there is stuff I like and didn't, and I'll talk about the stuff I did like later on) I almost felt like they were trying to make it like "The Time Has Come." If Eugene had stepped out of the IS after the final sequence and his memory was back because of that, the episode would've been ruined for me.
Katrina's voice, but since I can't do anything about that, I won't complain about it here. Except that hearing her voice in the flashbacks, and how short that sequence was (rushed again?) reinforced my disappointment. The thing I fear most is that the chemistry Pam Hayden and the other actors (particularly Will Ryan) formed with their characters will be drastically different.
Using technology to heal mental problems. And I'm not talking about modern medicinal technology, I mean using a machine to "stimulate" memories from one person and having the second person view those memories. I might be off my rocker, but that's toying with something we should leave to God, I believe that's going too far. In fact, I was greatly surprised Whit went along with it. And along those lines, aren't we toying with God's timing to do stuff like this? Where was the stuff saying God works on his own time (that we often can't see) and to trust him? That he was working through it for the ultimate good of Eugene and the gang (Romans 8:28, a verse often used in Odyssey)? Yes, we heard it eventually, but too late in my opinion.
And that brings me to Whit. The Whit of old would not have gone along with this. Sure, he acted rash in The Mortal Coil, but he wasn't toying with people's minds. He went a whole three episodes (and over a week in Odyssey) before he dropped to his knees. Yes, I know he said he was praying, but he still, for over a week in Odyssey time, relied on man too much.
Now for the things I liked.
Tom. I applaud his insistence that Whit was "going about it the wrong way." He refused to "stimulate" his memory in the machine, and I was glad to see someone showing some sense.
The flashbacks. The memories they bring (no pun intended) and the clips we heard were well done. The music was excellent. Of course it can't begin to compare to perfect music-driven sequence in "The Time Has Come," but it was good nonetheless and I enjoyed them.
The prayer scene. It's been a long time since we've heard fervently and passionately pray like that, and I loved it. It was heart-warming, a relief after several episodes with virtually no mention of God in the midst of a crisis. When they came to the end of themselves, they fell to their knees.
It was also well done after they prayed (the only part that wasn't rushed) where Eugene asked where Jack was. Another good scene.
And of course, I'm glad Eugene has finally returned. Odyssey hasn't been the same without him.
In conclusion, this episode was a mixed bag. There were plenty of good and bad, and since they pretty much balance each other out, and Eugene is back, I'll give it 3/5 stars.
Maybe I expected more. Maybe being this big of a fan, which leads to overanalyzing new episodes isn't a good thing.
I can only hope things improve from here.
I thought the first episode was the worst since it really didn't tell you anything. You really don't need to listen to the first episode, just listen to the "Last week on Adventures in Odyssey..." at the beginning of the second episode and your all set. Episodes 2 and 3 is where all the meat is at. I also disagree with rachelavonlea about the conversation between Bernard and his wife. To me it was CLASSIC Odyssey. It was hilarious! And the scene where Tom and Bernard were trying to convince Eugene that he used to say "howdy," well I absolutely LOVED it! All those years trying to get him to talk "normal" and here was their chance! CLASSIC!
The only problem I had with episode 3 was Eugene did get his memory back too fast. I mean, 20 seconds after their prayer and ZOWEE!! Eugene remembers everything! Not that God can't do that but I think it would have been better if maybe Eugene had remembered being saved and then over the course of 4 or 5 episodes gradually get his memory back.
I really liked the prayer between Whit and Eugene. I agree that the story seemed a bit rushed, but all in all I really enjoyed it. Also, Katrina's new voice doesn't bother me at all (at least in this series), we will have to see how she does in future episodes.
I'm thrilled Eugene is finally back and I can't wait until he gets together with Wooton!
Overall, the only main downside of this small series has been the voice of Katrina being changed. Now I was fairly surprised to hear a few members suggesting that the whole deal was because of money, but nevertheless she's gone for now. For the rest of the episode, I thought most of the acting was good, as well as the music (which I thought was better than normal) and sound.
Yes, it was predictable but would
you want Eugene stumbling around Odyssey trying to relearn everything?
I was pleased that Whit credited the memory recovery to prayer and not the Imagination Station even if the whole process did seem a bit quick. Go through all the hassle... then finally Tom Riley has to remind everyone to pray... Oh yeah! *light bulb turns on* They have a little prayer ... and then voila! Problem solved. Yes it works that way sometimes but it is a bit frustrating when it seems like the AIO characters always forget to pray until things are bad. That's probably not what the writers are trying to convey... but I expect more out of Whit who's supposed to be a mature Christian.
As I was guessing they did those
little montages with clips from previous episodes. Since I love that kind
of thing it fit right in for me. As a devoted fan, I reconize all the clips
and love the memories they evoke in me. I noticed some similarities between
that sequence about Eugene's becoming a Christian and the one from "The
Time Has Come." However the clips on this show were shorter and didn't
have music driving them.
Kudos to the writers for making this sort of a bookend event or closure to the fact that Whit was away when Eugene got saved. Whit was missing then but now he gets to be alone with Eugene as he relives the experience and unlocks his memory. You notice that Whit prayed with him too... it wasn't a prayer to become saved but still the scene was touching as it wrapped up the lack of Whit then and tied up Eugene's return now.
Boy, I'll have to remember if I'm ever going to pass out ot make sure that it's convenient for the others involved and that there's someone there to catch me! Perhaps that was just a bit contrived...
Oh yeah, and Eugene being unconscious without them knowing why. I'm not sure of the point since Eugene magically woke up without them really exploring that area. Some things really moved too fast for you to think much about them.
I'm going to quit talking now because I really should hear the show again. I've only heard it once so far and since I was busy posting I know there were tidbits that I missed. I'll probably have more to share later on.
Welcome home Eugene and Katrina!
Honestly I can't decide if I liked it being so much like "The Time Has Come" or not... like I said it's one of my favorites, so its cool to have all the nods to it, but I haven't decided if it had enough identity of its own. Maybe I'll give it another listen when I'm paying more attention to it.
Regardless, it was still good, and its great to have Eugene back... so, yay.
I was pleasantly surprised with the events that took place in the final chapter of this three-episode saga. I must admit, however, that the preview clips from the previous episode took away a significant portion of the mystery factor from this episode. From what we heard last week, it was pretty evident what Eugene was going to do. In retrospect, I don't think they should've divulged the clip when Katrina said something regarding Eugene's absence. It made it rather clear that Eugene would return to the Imagination Station after a previously failed attempt...and that his memory would ultimately return to him. By making the third episode rather predictable, the only thing the listener didn't know for sure was HOW Eugene would regain his memory. Yet, in the end, I'm not going to complain. The AIO writers did a fantastic job overall, and I quite enjoyed all aspects of the episode.
First, I absolutely loved the flashbacks we heard in the Imagination Station. There's just something about hearing those clips from past episode that gives an AIO fanatic chills. Can you say nostalgia? Interesting how there was virtually no gap between hearing the memories of Connie, Bernard, and Katrina (though I wished they had used more clips of Katrina). We were fortunate to hear more IS flashbacks when Eugene went into the Imagination Station for the second time. Glad they remembered the "rollercoaster" aspect of the IS, and I'm glad Eugene exhibited that fact ("Whoa...").
Second, I really appreciated the Christian perspective they infused into the episode, especially the whole part about how God uses our bad experiences to help shape us into the people He calls us to be. Admittedly, we do not necessarily have to undergo bad experiences for God to develop us, but I'm glad Tom was there (once again) to remind Whit of the value and importance of prayer. "But I think Eugene needs real relationships with God, with us. And a lot of time, patience, and prayer." I appreciated Tom's word regarding relationships, and how they're more important than what any machine can do. Amen, Tom.
Once again, the whole experimentation showed the human side of Whit: he isn't always perfect. I'm glad, though, that Whit, in the end, turned to God for the ultimate healingalbeit, it was Eugene who asked Whit to pray with him. Thumbs up to AIO for keeping the whole prayer and not cutting the scene off mid-prayer, which they have done in past episodes. While doing so was effective in past episodes, I appreciated the fact the writers didn't cut off Whit's prayer in this episode. If I remember correctly, we haven't heard a full prayer in quite a while. I was really wondering how Eugene would eventually be healed, and kudos to AIO for focusing more on the prayer as opposed to what the machine did.
... With regards to how AIO portrayed the power of prayer, I mostly agreed with how it was used. One must remember that God won't always give us what we want or heal the people we want him to heal. At the same time, giving our infirmities to Him is much more important than any feeble attempts we can do to fix our or anyone else's problems.
Third, I was glad that AIO wisely provided the listener with dispersed moments of comic relief, primarily through Bernard's character. This particular episode certainly did not demand much comedy, as some of the episode's focus would've been taken away had it included more humor. Yet, you had to give the listener at least a few moments where they could simply laugh. Eugene: "Forgive me, but I'm afraid I'm going to pass into unconsciousness." I think we all knew Eugene would be fine, but I thought it was rather humorous the way Eugene casually stated it.
Bernard: "This is the best fight I've seen since my Aunt Bertha threw away my Uncle Ted's golfing pants."
In conclusion to my review of the conclusion, I have nothing left to say except end with the words of one Connie Kendall.
"Eugene is back! He's really back!"
I liked that prayer and God was pointed out to be the real cause of Eugene's returned memory. I also enjoyed the humorous scene where he remembers about how everybody was - Connie's "I do not!" was funny!
I agree with some of the criticisms that have been made of these three episodes, but I also recognize that no matter how Eugene's return had been handled, there would be problems. We as fans have been waiting for this moment for so long that we've built up hopes and dreams about what could/should happen. There is no way that a real episode could live up to all of those expectations. While the episodes had their faults, I think that it's the future episodes, with the "real" Eugene, one who is himself again, that will be what we should have been looking forward tonot the return, but the regular presence of Eugene.
The storyline was interesting and actually quite unexpected. I was thinking that the IS would probably "heal" Eugene. If that had happened, what kind of message would AIO be getting across? Leaving God out of things works! That's the message that I'd be getting from the show. Thankfully, it was quite the opposite: Asking God for help works! This spiritual message, while rather simple, really helped the show be relevant to the listeners. Could an average person listening to the show identify with having amnesia? No. Could an average person identify with relying too much on themselves instead of God. Yes! The message of this show was a good one and helped it be more memorable.
Aside from the mesage of the show, the storyline worked okay. I'm a person who likes characters to come back and be the samenot exactly the same, but very similar (like in the case of Whit). When Eugene came back, he was different. The actor was the same, but the character was not. Hopefully we'll hear more of the classic Eugene in shows to come, but the character doesn't quite seem the same here. The rest of the characters were well-written and acted (Tom Riley was wonderfulI love it when he sets Whit straight) and you could even hear a little bit of classic Odyssey in there.
One of the best aspects of this show, production-wise, was the music. It fit the mood perfectly and added tension (and warmth) in the right places. The sound effects were good too and the flashback clips were well-put together. The Odyssey team really made sure the production quality was high in all three parts of Eugene's return.
In conclusion, I liked A Most Extraordinary Conclusion. It isn't my way of choice to bring an old character back, but it still makes for fun listening. Great job, AIO team!
Of course, the biggest reason why this episode pleased myself and other fans so much was the return of Eugene, which is an event that fans had been hoping to hear since his disappearance during the Novacom saga. I knew before this story aired that if Eugene were to ever return, he wouldn't simply walk back into Whit's End, pretending nothing had happened. However, I had no idea how his reappearance would be explained, if it ever were to happen. After hearing this episode, I was impressed with the way the writers handled this situation. As they pulled off with Whit back in 1996, they once again came up with a creative and interesting storyline to bring Eugene back, and it fit with everything that had previously taken place.
Until this story, we hadn't heard Paul McCusker's name in the credits for several years. I was happy that he co-wrote these episodes, considering he created the main character of this story! I think that he and Marshal Younger did an excellent job at making this story suspenseful and enjoyable to hear. Both of the first two parts ended on cliffhangers, and they made me interested in what would come next.
While I had no complaints about the writing or storyline, I do have one complaint about the acting. It was very obvious that Katrina is now being played by a different actress. Now, I am happy that Katrina came back, and I thought the new actress did an excellent job, but I didn't think this actress sounded like Pamela Hayden (the original actress). I had a hard time listening to the episode and trying to place Katrina's character with the new actress's voice. Besides this, I had no other problems with the acting. Will Ryan did a fabulous job at Eugene, as he usually did before his exit, and all of the other actors and actresses also performed well.
I was pleased that this story ended up having a lesson after all was said and done. After hearing the first part, I was afraid that this storyline would be without a theme. I may be incorrect, but from what I understood, the theme had to do with the value of relationships. This theme fit well with the storyline, and it didn't sound as if it was thrown in at the end, in my opinion.
The sound design for these episodes was also well-done! To sound realistic, this episode required good sound design, and I think it had that. This episode sounded realistic to me, and everything seemed to flow together as it should.
I also enjoyed hearing the flashback scenes in the Imagination Station. I was reminded of "The Time Has Come" during these scenes, and it was enjoyable re-living memories of episodes from years ago. I was pleased with the way this portion of the episode was handled.
So, now that I've listed almost
all positive comments about this show, I am going to give it a 4.5 out of
5 stars. I enjoyed these more than any other episodes that have aired since
the Novacom saga, and like most of the other fans out there, I am thrilled
that Eugene has finally returned! I look forward to hearing what will happen
to him and Katrina next.