Writers: Nathan Hoobler,
Director: Nathan Hoobler
Music: John Campbell
Theme: Goals, aspirations
Scripture: Proverbs 16:9
Review Written by:
Ben Warren, Staff Writer
Rating (out of 5):
As Emily pursues
her hopes and dreams, she journeys in the
Imagination Station to see Whit as a young boy.
Avery Whittaker, like many species in the animal kingdom, is no stranger
to "molting", casting off a layer of skin every so often. That's the
only explanation within the realm of Adventures in Odyssey for
why John Avery Whittaker can look and sound so different every decade or
so. The problem, however, is that with every re-birth, audiences must
ultimately re-invest themselves into loving a new version of Whit. And
it's not always so easy.
Thus far, Andre Stojka had done
a spectacular job portraying Whit. He's captured the personality and
spirit of the character well. But there was still one thing
Andre Stojka was missing
that Paul Herlinger had the
advantage of right away. When Paul arrived, he had nearly forced us to
like him by not only taking on Whit's history, but adding to it through
The Search for Whit,
The One About Trust.
on the other hand, had filled Whit's shoes, but he hadn't really added
to them; in other words, he hadn't been a part of any significant
What can I learn about
Whit that makes me care about him? In
we find out that Whit once made a list that included finding the source
of the Nile, witnessing a
solar eclipse from a pacific island, and visiting all U.S State
Capitals. We also learn that it was the kids of school who gave him the
name "Whit", his interest in interning with National Geographic, and, to
my surprise, the time he wanted to become a screenwriter. Who knew? But,
as cool as all of these revelations were, I gave a great big grin―as
I learned that Whit is taking flying lessons. Could this mean that he'll
soon be unveiling the Strata-Flyer in a future episode?
Most of the other
snapshots, of course, simply filled in what we already know about this
character. We got to hear about the time he was called off to the war,
moved into his apartment with Jenny, and retired from teaching. These
were all nice moments―each
featuring a solid performance from
Jim Custer. If I had any criticism, I would say that young John
Whittaker sounded a little too similar to Eugene's childhood self in
A New Era.
Whit, to my knowledge, was never a creepy brainiac as a child―at
least, not according to what we know of him in
Thank You, God
A slight inconsistency, I think.
provided a theme relatable to both young and old fans of Adventures
in Odyssey. Older listeners can relate to Whit; we can all think
back to these particular moments of our lives and see how we arrived at
where we are today―how
we had certain dreams, gave up others, and slowly inched towards here
and now. Young listeners can relate to Emily; they may dream and plan
but, as Great
Expectations teaches, our skills
and circumstances may not allow us to accomplish those dreams. And
At first, it seemed inevitable that the episode's biggest drawback would
be that Emily Jones is the star of it. You may have wondered why Matthew
Parker, Barrett Jones, or anyone else couldn't have been picked to star
in this episode. However, Emily Jones was really the most logical
choice. As was shown in
When You're Right, You're
this is a character who loves to tell people how to live their own
lives; here, however, she's come to the horrifying realization that she
may not even be in control her own life.
Cristina Pucelli, quite
smartly, tones down the character's usual pompousness
and over-assertiveness and provides the perfect amount of emotional
angst for me to relate to her.
To further prove how mindful
was of its characters, they make a smart decision regarding the future
of two of the show's most beloved individuals, Jack and Joanne. It turns
out that they're packing their bags, selling J&J Antiques, and heading
towards the runway. Was I sad when Joanne first broke the news to Emily?
Absolutely. But it was a bittersweet feeling. On the one hand, it's sad
to hear that two of the most beloved characters on Adventures in
Odyssey are finally bidding "adieu". On the other hand, those who
had grown up loving their presence on the show appreciate the fact
they'll be getting some sort of closure. This was a smart, respectful
move and I applaud the decision.
Despite all the characters and moments vying for attention, in the end,
the star of this episode is Whit. We see how Whit is still as animate,
richly-drawn, and mysterious as he's ever been.
with its important theme, pitch-perfect execution, and absolute respect
for its own history and characters, is―I
Adventures in Odyssey classic.
Note: Joanne mentioned that Jack was in Scotland visiting
"long lost relatives"? Could these have been his long lost grandchildren? ;)
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