|Lester introduces Whit, Connie, and Trent to his dog Ralph while Eugene learns some valuable lessons as a substitute teacher.
Written By: Shadowpaw
In my review for "Potential Possibilities", I went over how disappointed I was with the Odyssey school system for its inconsistency. Now, in less than a year, Trent deWhite has had three teachers. This isn't strange in junior high, since students have different teachers for different subjects, but apparently Trent has two math teachers? Dr. Hawthorne and now Miss Grapple? And whatever happened with that cliffhanger ending we heard in "Potential Possibilities"? Are we to assume Trent didn't learn a lesson at the end, since he isn't in Mrs. Nietchew's gifted class? At least we finally learned what grade Trent is in, confirming my theory presented in the review of "The Present Long Ago" where I assumed he must be 12 or 13. But the Odyssey timeline fiasco is further compounded when you consider we've heard Max as a classmate of Mandy's in "Teacher's Pest" as well as Liz's in "Hindsight", but here as a classmate of Trent's. When will the kids stop popping up in grades that they don't belong?
Sorry, another rant stemming from years of disappointment when it comes to AIO and the consistency of the school system. Overall, I did enjoy this episode and thought it was a pretty good slice-of-life. Like most fans, I had no idea what they were going to do with Eugene now that's he back in town and having him serve as a substitute teacher was a great way to let him interact with the kids. He also learned a lesson, which we know is a rare occurence in Odyssey since he "knows everything there is to know!" We've only heard from Eugene a couple of times now since his big return, but having him back has already made a marked improvement in the quality of shows he's appeared in. And speaking of characters, Connie didn't play a very big role here which was nice. I think we've been far over exposed to her since Eugene's disappearance and it's a good thing for the series to push her to the side. However, with that said, I certainly hope the writers don't over expose us to Eugene and his character (eventually we're going to get tired or praising how great the shows are since his return), but I think it'll be a while before that happens! Eugene is our prodigal son and we are going to shower him with everything we've got!
The inclusion of Lester was nice if only because we learned what became of him after he left the Washington's house. I can't say I hope to hear from him very often, as he's a weak character and somewhat annoying, but it was nice to get some closure on his story arc. But having him on the show did open the door for a rather touching scene between Trent and Lester which ended with the incredibly cheesy singing of B-I-N-G-O (which was made less cheesy by the great music cue immediately following it). If Lester appears in later seasons, I won't necessarily mind, but I don't know if I want him around more than once a year. It is useful for the series to have someone on the show with his unique challenges, but if his situation is continually addressed, you almost change the focus of Adventures in Odyssey.
And finally, Trent is becoming one of my favorite kid characters since Alex (and before that it was Jimmy... so it's a pretty short list!). He was really sweet towards Lester (after innocently making things worse) and even helped Eugene. He's gradually becoming a well rounded character who hopefully isn't going to be vanishing in the near future. I still would like to hear more from his older brother (as well as his parents for that matter), but for now I'm content with learning more about him.
This is the last time Max is played by Gregg Restivo.
- Jared DeWhite