|Jimmy Barclay looks up to "Lightning" Livingston, the star basketball player. When Lighting is accused of using drugs, Jimmy stands up for him but doesn't know what the truth is.
Written By: Chandler
Jimmy Barclay is ecstatic. Lightning Livingston, his favorite basketball player, is opening up a sports store in Odyssey. At the grand opening, Lightning begins asking kids their names. Totally starstruck, Jimmy introduces himself to Lightning as Bimmy Jarclay.
In Jimmy's mind, things are great. He now knows his favorite basketball player personally and he gets to be part of workshops that Lightning puts on for the kids. The only cloud on the horizon is a rumor that Lightning has a drug problem. But Jimmy brushes it off quickly; Lightning wouldn't do such a thing.
Unfortunately, other kids won't drop the subject and Howard Wilby gives Jimmy a hard time. Flying into a rage, Jimmy attacks Howard who yells that Jimmy should ask Lightning about it himself since they are such good buddies.
Jimmy takes Howard's advice and confronts Lightning at his shop. To Jimmy's horror, Lightning confesses that he did in fact use drugs. Heartbroken, Jimmy runs out of the shop. I don't understand Whit's comment about the paper coming out the next day. How did he know there was going to be an article about Lightning? Did Lightning agree to the article or was Malone, the reporter, lurking nearby when Lightning told Jimmy the truth?
The next day, Jimmy listlessly walks into Whit's End. Talking in a monotone, Jimmy asks Whit and Connie's forgiveness for his actions. Whit suggests that Jimmy should also apologize to Lightning but Jimmy says that his trust was broken and his parents no longer want him to see Lightning anyway. After Jimmy leaves, Whit and Connie hear a press conference on the radio in which Lightning admits to his wrong actions but gives Jesus credit for getting his life straightened out. Sadly, Jimmy doesn't hear it.
When Jimmy arrives home, a rather impressed sounding George the Jimmy that Lightning's there to see him. "He's right there in the living room." At his dad's insistence, Jimmy goes in. Lightning and Jimmy exchange apologies and Lightning tells Jimmy a little bit about his newfound Christian faith. Their friendship is renewed and Lightning tells Jimmy a little known fact--his first name is Melvin. Jimmy has a great laugh about that prompting Lightning to once again call him Bimmy Jarclay.
The Complete Guide says that Lightning's lines were recorded separately. Impressively, the guy who does Lightning, Bill D'Anjou, sounds as though he's really interacting with the other people.
An anti-drug message is included but is not the main focus of this episode. Instead we are looking at a "goodness of man" angle. We may look up to people for various reasons, but anyone besides God is bound to let us down sometime because man's sinful nature. Thankfully, God will never disappoint us.
This episode marks the first time Chuck Bolte played George Barclay. He was never played by anyone else after this.