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017: A Member of the Family I
StarStarStarStar Half
March 12, 1988

Whit's grandson Monty comes to visit him but starts causing problems for Whit and the rest of the town when Monty starts acting out, feeling his grandfather has been treated him unfairly.


Characters
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Character
Actor
App.
# 1
# 17
# 1
# 7


Production Team
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Susan McBride   Steve Harris   Male Missing
Susan McBride   Steve Harris   Bob Luttrell
Writer   Director   Sound Designer


Review
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Written By: Chandler

Whit and Tom are at the airport to pick up Whit's grandson Monty. Whit is ecstatic. It's been three years since he's seen nine year old Monty. As they wait Whit shows Tom the latest pictures of his grandkids. Tom says, "If Monty wants to, he could be a Coyote." Whit exclaims "What!?" Tom clarifies that he meant Monty could be part of the little league team. He is in need of an outfielder. Monty then arrives and the joyful Whit gives him a big hug and introduces Tom. Monty, however, gives them both a cool reception.

On the way home, Tom offers Monty the opportunity to play on the Coyotes but Monty doesn't seem very interested. Asking Whit if he saw the award show for the Odyssey little league the previous night, Tom spouts off a rather confusing little tirade about Heather Bullock being nominated as rookie of the year. He soundly denounces her for not being a good sport. When he finishes, Monty predictably announces that he'll pass on little league.

Once at Whit's house, Monty displays extreme pickyness by not even wanting to eat frozen pizza Whit has made for him. He instead informs Whit that they should go out to eat and asks if there are any good restaurants around. Whit insists they stay there and eat.

After dinner, Whit makes brownies, which Monty eagerly devours. However, even that sours when Whit tells Monty that he can't have any more. Monty storms out of the room and slams the door. Before Whit can confront him, the phone rings. As Whit answers, loud music starts blasting from Monty's room making it difficult for Whit to hear. When Whit shouts for Monty to turn down the music, the volume only goes down ever so slightly.

The call is from LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) informing Whit that a jacket with one hundred dollars in the pocket lost by Monty hasn't been recovered. Whit confronts Monty, first about the music then about the money. Surprisingly, Whit is upset about the hundred dollars that Monty lost. Even though the money was from Monty's own account, Whit seems disgusted that he wanted to bring it in the first place. That confuses me. Why not bring spending money if you're going to be someplace for eight weeks? Maybe Monty was irresponsible with the money, but I fail to see the problem with his bringing the money along in the first place. Whit also lacks compassion for Monty's loss. When Monty asks about getting more, Whit quickly announces that he'll have to work for it.

The next day, Whit takes Monty to Whit's End and shows him what work he can do to earn some money. Monty is disgusted, so when Whit leaves the room, Monty places a phone call to his mom, Jana. He tells her that Whit is horrible and that he took Monty's money away from him. To me, the phone call sounds quite fake. There is no way to tell that someone is on the other end and Monty's lines sound forced.

Following the phone call, Monty decides that he wants to go to the movies. He tries to get the cash register open but is unsuccessful. Fortunately for him, Whit's employee--Jimmy--comes along right then and opens it for him. For some reason, when Jimmy first speaks to Monty, I envision a robot.

Monty sneaks off to the movies but is caught by Whit who spanks him. Whit then lovingly explains to Monty the reason behind the punishment. To illustrate his point, Whit tells Monty a story of little boy who had a puppy on a leash. The puppy was having a great time, but the boy felt bad that his puppy couldn't run free so he took off the leash. Excitedly, the puppy dashed around chasing things until he finally ended up in the street. Sadly, the puppy was killed when a delivery truck hit him. Monty accuses the truck driver, but Whit says the blame actually rests on the little boy. He then compares Monty to the puppy and the little boy to himself.

Thankfully, Monty takes Whit's words to heart and the two of them have a wonderful week together. Then Jana shows up...

Having just driven 250 miles out of her way, Jana is already in a bad mood. But things go from bad to worse when Monty tells Jana that Whit loves him more that she does. The rest of the night and the next day are riddled with arguments among Whit, Jana, and Monty.

Throughout this episode, it's obvious that Whit has some issues with anger that have never been dealt with. We see a side of him that is usually well hidden; but once the right buttons are pushed, the anger rears its ugly head. Not only that, but we see that Jana has followed in her father's footsteps in not dealing with her anger. That in turn affects Monty. Distressed by the arguing, Monty sneaks out of Whit's house, goes to Whit's End, and breaks a window. The police pick him up for the vandalism and Whit and Jana have to go get him.

After that, Whit and Jana argue some more but finally begin to deal with the real issues behind the anger. Some much-needed healing takes place as they both acknowledge their wrong actions and attitudes. Monty gets to join the reconciliation as they all agree to get together again later in the summer.

Although this episode was intended to show Whit wasn't perfect, I still have a very hard time with the anger he displays. It's hard to hear Whit, who's so good with children, yelling at Monty, his own grandson. But listening to the way Jana treats her father with such disrespect is awful. Ultimately, this is a hard episode for me to listen to, and although there's still some good aspects, it is not for younger children.


Trivia
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These episodes did not appear in an album until 2003. Because of this, the episode features the new theme song found on AIO episodes numbered 500+. Also interesting to note is that Paul Herlinger's Whit performs the voice over featured in the opening but it is Hal Smith who appears as Whit during the show.
- Shadowpaw

This episode is a re-airing of Family Portraits #11.
- noname


Goofs
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In this episode Whit has A TV.
- Daniel


Allusions
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Quotes
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