|Tom tells Connie the story of Whit's wife, Jenny, and her battle for the Fillmore building which is the present-day Whit's End.
Written By: Chandler
Connie bursts into Whit's End apologizing for being late--the beginning of a long-standing pattern of hers. To Connie's surprise, it's Tom behind the counter. He tells Connie that Whit is visiting his wife Jenny's grave. Realizing she doesn't know about Jenny and the formation of Whit's End, Tom tells Connie the story of Jenny's death.
The fate of the Fillmore Recreation Center is being decided: Jenny is working desperately to save it, but City Councilman Philip Glossman favors tearing it down in order to sell the land to the Webster Development Firm. Although it's not obvious on this episode, Dr. Blackgaard was the owner of the firm. He comments later to Richard Maxwell that he tried to buy the land before it was Whit's End and this was what he was referring to. Considering Glossman's insistence that they sell the land to Webster Development, he must already have been working for Blackgaard.
Whit isn't interested in saving the building at the time, much to Jenny's disappointment. She brings witnesses before the City Council to try to prove why the building is worth saving. One witness Jenny had lined up was a Sheriff Moorhead. I mention this for two reasons. First, there's already been some Moorheads on the show heard in "The Life of the Party". Since that last name is rare, I have to wonder if the sheriff was any relation (although Odyssey does have two unrelated Fishbine families proving that coincidences do happen :o) ). Second, Odyssey seems to be covered by sheriffs, whereas in later episodes, the city has its own police department (though the sheriffs still appear from time to time). After Jenny's witnesses have testified, Glossman cleverly strikes down her arguments. But the building isn't on anyone's mind when Jenny collapses in front of the Council.
At the hospital, the doctors run tests on Jenny to determine what is wrong. Then the doctor gently breaks the bad news to Whit--Jenny is dying. Heartbroken, Whit goes in to talk to her. The scene is superbly acted out as Jenny reminisces about the past with Whit. The emotions sound so real and the music fits the scene perfectly. It is beautiful, yet very sad at the same time. As often occurs in scenes where emotion is high, the music runs throughout. It keeps the scene flowing and yet impresses in you the intense feelings. The scene concludes with Jenny's dying words: "I love you, John."
For about a month after Jenny died, Tom explains, Whit was hardly seen. We know from "Clara" that he went to Nebraska for a while. Wondering if Whit is interested in trying to save the Rec Center, Tom and Cadet Harley went to visit him. Whit is clearly still grieving. Bitterly, he accuses the people of Odyssey of being responsible for his wife's death. That is a side of Whit not often displayed; it stands out in stark contrast to the end of the show where he cheerfully greets Tom and Connie. It's good to see, however, that Whit is human like the rest of us--he didn't recover from Jenny's death in just a few days. It's also good to see how Whit rid himself of his bitterness and put Jenny's idea to good use. While viewing the wreck of a rec center, Whit meets a little girl who confides in him her sadness at seeing the building torn down. When he hears her name is Jenny, Whit is deeply touched and vows to save the building for Jenny.
The next scene has the City Council about to sell the land to Webster Development. Philip Glossman starts the motion and another voice is heard saying "Second the motion." I point this out because the voice is that of Hal Smith who did Whit. We know it's not Whit speaking because he burst into the room about fifteen seconds later with an offer from Universal Press Foundation. The Foundation wants to buy the building and the land (other shows say just the building) for 3.5 million dollars. That must have been a huge sum to offer because you can hear people in the background saying "Oh, my!" and "Goodness sakes!" Whit confronts Glossman's objections and succeeds. The council accepts the proposal (even Glossman votes for it when he sees that everyone else does) and the rest is history.
A lot of the history behind the founding of Whit's End is explained in this episode, making it very relevant. I enjoy hearing the story from Tom Riley's perspective and Connie's reaction at the end by hugging Whit and telling him he's "an incredible man." There's a lot of emotion heard in this episode and I find it all very believable. I think Hal Smith did great work bringing out Whit's various moods. He actually sounds tough and threatening when facing Glossman at the council meeting, something that I don't think we would hear with the current Whit. Anyway, this is a great show and one of my favorites of the Early Classics.
This show introduces Whit's wife Jenny and tells the story about Whit's End's history. It also introduces Philip Glossman, who plays a large role in later episodes.
Philip Glossman promotes an offer from the Webster Development Firm which we later find out is owned by Dr. Regis Blackgaard.
In this episode, listeners finally learned about Whit's background and Whit's End's past.
This episode introduces the Webster Development Company (which was presumably owned by Dr. Regis Blackgaard). It can be said that this show is what really began the Blackgaard Saga.
During this episode (between the time that Jenny dies and the time that Tom Riley and Officer Harley visit Whit at his home), Whit and Jack Allen must travel to Nebraska and all of the events of "Clara" must take place.
One of the 3 reamianing rements of Officer Harley. He only has brief apperances here and on Gifts for Mage and Guy and Peace on Earth everything else is probably gone forever.
In the orginal broadcast of this episode as Odyssey USA, there were a few lines of Harley that were edited out when he comes to visit Whit with Tom.
- Erwin Springer
Whit in "Whit's Visitor" says he started Whit's end because of"Jenny's apple pie's".But in this episode Jenny had died.
- Jared DeWhite