Writer: Paul McCusker
Director: Paul McCusker
Music: John Campbell
Airdate: 12/08/12 - 12/15/12
Review Written by:
Ben Warren, Staff Writer
Rating (out of 5):
Whittaker finally returns to Odyssey for peace
and quiet, the excitement surrounding his return
makes it hard to find either.
It's January. It's time for you to head back to school.
You're really excited about seeing your group of friends because you had
such a blast with them last year―the pranks you guys played, the
chemistry you had, the overall group dynamic. However, this year, you
noticed things have changed. Why? There's a new kid at school. She's
started to hang out with you and has become "part of the gang". Your
friends seem to like her, but things just don't feel the same anymore.
For one thing, everything revolves around her now. And now you're
wondering, "Why can't things just go back to the way they used to"?
This is how I felt while listening to
Home Again, the
long-awaited episode about Jason's return to our lovable town of
Odyssey. I was happy to hear that an old group of friends had
finally gotten back together: Jason, Whit, Connie, Eugene, Joanne,
Jack. I had even accepted that Wooton was now part of that gang,
too. And as the episode starting rolling, it felt like old times.
Unfortunately, the magic of the reunion was destroyed by the show
awkwardly trying to stuff Penny Wise into it.
The biggest mistake this script made was giving Penny so much
attention in an episode that should have focused on the people who
knew and cared for Jason the most. Did Adventures in Odyssey
populate the episode
Home, Sweet Home with characters like Jared, Cody, or Mandy? Of
course not! It wisely brought in characters that had previously
interacted with Whit and/or great stakes in his return. In the same
way, Home Again
should have made characters who were emotionally invested in Jason's
return drive the action. I wouldn't have minded Penny's presence if
she hadn't driven the action as much as she had.
You see, I couldn't really buy the character's motivations from the
start. From the beginning, Penny asks Connie, "So, when do we see
Jason? I don't think it's very nice of him to come back and hide
under your nose. [...] I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you happened to
drop by." Penny admits that she doesn't know who Jason is, yet
continues to speak of him as if she does for the remainder of the
episode. Since she had barely any interaction with Jason in the
past―and was even told by Connie not to go look for him―I
kept wondering why on earth she was so eager to go look for him
throughout the entire episode. Was she simply bored? To me, this
obsession rang false from the start.
You would have thought that an episode about re-introducing Jason
back to the show would have made Jason the star of the episode.
Honestly, the sub-plot involving Eugene and the diamonds evolved
into something greater than I expected it to. And it turned out to
be more distracting than entertaining. In an episode that was
supposed to be about Jason returning to everyday life, I wondered
why it was necessary to have him get entangled with another
mystery―especially since it had very little to do with the main
story, at all. It felt like Jason's desire to rehabilitate into the
world of Odyssey should have been its own one-parter episode while
Eugene's crisis with the Karazinsky boys could have been its own
So, forgetting everything else, what do I think of the Jason that is
given to us? If you're a habitual reader of my reviews, you'll know
I've often reviewed episodes featuring Jason with a degree of
frustration. In my
review of The
Green Ring Conspiracy, I wrote:
As most fans
may remember, what made Jason Whittaker such a strong, memorable
character wasn't his run-ins with villains, or his Indiana
Jones-like persona, but his need to suppress his inner recklessness.
[...] we see how Jason's inability to see straight when his own
emotions got in the way made him such a fascinating character. What
ever happened to his missionary gig? Why has Jason returned to being
Agent Ethan Hunt in
No Way Out,
The Top Floor,
and the atrocious
More importantly, what ever happened to the conflicted Jason who
once had to wrestle with his inner demons?
I was looking forward to
because I expected the episode to finally explore Jason on a more
intimate level than it had in the past 10 years since
Shining Armor or
Once again, however, Jason's personal story arc wasn't touched upon
in any way until the end of the episode once Agent Billings forces
Grote inside the coffin and Jason is forced to talk with Dale about
what happened. Up until this point in the episode, he's really just
your one-dimensional action hero.
Time and time again, I've criticized the way Jason's
character was been handled. It's not that I don't like the action-packed
episodes, it's just that incessant action and little character
development gets repetitive for over ten years. Although Jason yet
again fails not to get involved in a sinister plot, we see how
Home Again got things
at least half-right; Jason literally had to struggle with "suppressing
his inner recklessness" in the cabin while trying to spend time with
God. These are nice scenes―although, somewhat reminiscent of moments in
At long last, I felt like I had gotten a glimpse of the old Jason we
used to know and love, and now that he's armed with the keys to the J&J
Antique shop, I'm sure we're going to witness all sorts of neat
adventures in the upcoming years.
The episode's most memorable moment is certainly worth mentioning.
Home Again signified
the departure of characters Jack and Joanne, two of the show's greatest
characters. It was bittersweet. I assumed the reason Jack Allen was "off
visiting relatives in Scotland" had something to do with the actor's
availability; the truth is, Alan
Young and Janet Waldo are
getting older―like we all are. The last scenes with all of the
characters huddled around the phone is one I'll remember for a long
time. Although I certainly hope this isn't the last time we hear form
these two characters, it's a fitting end to their time on the show.
After all, most departing characters don't get to have the luxury of
even having an ending.
Having Jason, Jack, and Joanne together again helps us to ignore
inadequacies. It's just too bad there are so many distracting bits that
pull us away from getting to the meat of the episode. It's entertaining,
and there are some nice moments here and there, but I found the finish
line much more rewarding than the journey. At long last, welcome home,
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