"Connie Comes Back to Town"
Written By: Shadowpaw
I assume there's plenty of Adventures in Odyssey fans out there who are just as sick and tired of the Mitch/Connie storyline as I am. Unlike Eugene and Katrina, who have wonderful chemistry and who's relationship has set the stage for some amazing episodes, Mitch and Connie's relationship can be summed up in one word: Nauseating. Eugene and Katrina took eight years to finally tie the knot... EIGHT! Can you imagine listening to Connie and Mitch spit out 'romantic' (and I use the term lightly) dialogue for nearly a decade? Connie Kendall was a wonderfully charming and lovable character for much of the show's first fourteen years. Now that she's growing up, her character's development and reputation has been severely tarnished by a gag-inducing story arc. I'm sick of her acting like a baby when Mitch is around, I'm tired of her whining, and I'm fed up with the dialogue we've been forced to stomach for the past two years. It's not Connie (the way she acted in "First Love" proves this... she was far more mature), and it's not good for Odyssey.
Or, at least it wasn't. "Something Blue II" signaled the end of a forgettable era: Connie and Mitch decided to part ways. And with that, fans of the show opposed to their relationship can breath a collective sigh of relief. Oh sure, there's lot of girls out there who are in love with the idea of Connie being in love, and even a few boys, but their relationship could only have been a detriment to the series. Perhaps one day Connie should find the right guy and settle down... but not yet. However, I'm getting wildly off topic here. The point of my rambling? "Eggshells" is hopefully the last episode featuring the poison the Mitch residue has left on the series. Thankfully, the episode was about Connie's ability to get over him... thank God most of that happened off-air.
The episode itself is your average show, with the folks in town trying to get Connie to cry on their shoulders. Thankfully, she would have none of it and surprisingly doesn't turn into a basket-case by the show's end. The issue certainly needed to be dealt with as Connie can't just move on and forget this emotional and critical moment in her life. Much to my relief it was done as quickly and efficiently as possible. This season so far has been very strong in my mind, and I firmly believe a large part of that is related to limited Connie use. With Eugene missing in action, Connie's been forced to carry the show on her shoulders for the past few years... and unfortunately, it's worked against her. Katie Leigh is a terrific actress, but the character of Connie has been overused. In one episode, the writers need her to be the strong mature one, and the next they need her to be the damsel in distress. This see-saw roller coaster we've been on with Connie has been frustrating. Personally, I'd like to see her behind the counter at Whit's End dishing out ice cream and arguing with Eugene. But in the absence of Eugene, I'll be happy just to have her dish out that ice cream. Maybe one day she'll even be ready for a real job! But until then...
It was great to hear from Jared and his younger brother, who was further developed in this episode. There were moments where I was reminded why I spoke of his "robotic acting" in my review for "My Girl Hallie", as sometimes his dialogue sounded too perfect, but he's still a great kid. Perhaps the deWhite's are the family we've been waiting for since the Barclay's moved to Pokenberry Falls. And all this time the writers introduced the Washington family as a decoy! To be honest, I'm more invested in the characters of Trent and Jared, than I have been for any other kid characters (save perhaps Alex Jefferson), since the Barclays moved. Throw in a funny father and caring mother, and we could have ourselves another family to love and cherish.
Speaking of family dynamics, June and Connie were great together. Considering June took a seven year leave of absence, it's still amazing how good these two sound together. And the movie they were watching was hilarious... Marshal Younger has yet another soap opera scene to chalk up on his Odyssey resume, all of which have been classic.
Whit was great too. Paul Herlinger had a superb performance in "Something Blue II" and was great again here. The scene he had with Connie one-on-one near the end was nice, especially the mention of Jana and her divorce. It gives us a bit more perspective on Whit's relationship with the Whittaker-Dowds, who have seemingly dropped off the face of the planet. And for a brief moment, I was expecting Whit to be crying while they were watching the movie... but not here. Fittingly, Whit asks for a bucket.
With the way the Connie and Mitch storyline has been treated, there's no question what he wants it for. But rest easy Whit... things are looking up!