Saturday, February 23, 2013

722: The Lost Riddle

Well, hi there, everyone. I've been visiting some colleges during my break this week and it's starting to make me realize just how little time I have left until it's time to move on to a new stage in my life.

Well, Grover Cleveland, that was a rather dim way to kick off this review.

College hunting was also fun to check out different campuses and ask questions and do awkward things (like normal), but I had to do a lot of investigating this week. You might say in fact, as much investigating as EMILY AND MATTHEW DO IN TODAY'S REVIEW.

Oh, come on. Was that a great tie-in from real life to review or what? Just wait till the next review: Groundhog Jay. Haha, alright, let's get serious (not) and head into a Jones/Parker/Jacobs mystery.

THE ODYSSEY TIMES (Facts, notes, and quotes about Odyssey from this ep):
-I sympathize with group partners not doing their fair share.
-Emily grunts quite loudly when banging herself against her locker.
-As Ben Warren noticed, in all the years since the riddle has been in the locker, NO ONE HAS NOTICED IT? Hey eyedoctors, there's a great opening for you at Odyssey Optometry.
-"I have never been, am always to be; no one ever has, nor ever will be a witness to me. You cannot touch me or taste me, I neither grow nor decay; but if I did not exist, you would all pass today." - #riddlemethis
-Matthew and his wry comments on Emily's case-naming skills. Love 'em.
-Whit taught 25 years ago. My deduction is that if 25 years ago in the real world was 1987, and Whit was at Whit's End then, Odyssey time either runs slower, or this mystery happened over five years ago. I won't know until I review the other seven hundredish episodes I have left. That shouldn't take too long.
-Mrs. Mays w/ motorcycle is played by Mary Pat Gleason. I searched her up, and she's been in dozens, if not hundreds, of TV shows and movies, including Guiding Light, 1600 Penn, and The Island.
-I appreciate the sound design in the filing room, as I do with the rest of the show.
-"Dale Jacobs of the Odyssey Times? Dale Jacobs of the need for pimple cream." - Emily and Mrs. Mays
-THE SOUND OF DALE JACOB'S VOICE ON ODYSSEY ONCE AGAIN; IT'S BEEN SO LONG SINCE...oh wait, he was in The Labyrinth. Never mind, nothing to see here, carry on.
-Secret Codes 101: Put water on laminated cards and messages can appear as the ink outside of the card rubs off. When you put all the letters all together, it'll create groups of words. Then you put them all together into a simple message. Lemon juice can be used for invisible ink and can be viewed when you put heat on it.
-The Science of Secret Codes 101: The acid of the juice weakens the paper fibers.
-Whit tells Emily and Matthew "happy hunting" - inspiration for the name of the episode two eps prior?
-Kenny Rutherford writes the Big Jack Brannagan mystery series.
-From AIO Wiki: It is revealed that Whit was a teacher while Dale Jacobs was still in middle school over 25 years ago. As Whit stated that he that he was teaching part time this means that Whit was either in his 50s or 60s at the time putting Whit in his 70s or 80s now and putting Dale in his 40s or 50s now which would make sense taking into account Robyn and Melanie are living on their own.
-In addition to all of that, if Dale was in middle school 25 years ago, yet Robyn and Melanie were already preteens 25 years ago, the timeline gets screwed. The time paradox continues...
-"And I'm a big fan of your books, Mr. Rutherford! And I'm...her friend." - Emily and Matthew
-"With my guilt, I read into everything you did and didn't do." - Kenny Rutherford

I've developed a special relationship with the Jones and Parker Detective Agency mysteries over the years. I enjoy reading them in Ally's Clubhouse, but the first time I was introduced to them was through Game for a Mystery. My, oh, my, have times have changed. While definitely disenchanted with the Agency at first, they've steadily improved from Stage Fright to The Case of the Missing Appleberry (name coined by me) to Something Old, Something New. This mystery continues off where Something established, which was to make us care about the case. Quite honestly, Barrett's voice was so irritating and annoying back in Album 51 that I didn't really care that he'd lost his video game. Emily hadn't been established long enough to make me want to care about her solving the ghost problem (that, and the fact that it was once again all a ploy by a reality TV show). But as the characters of Emily and Matthew have developed, I've started to care, and the writers have latched on to that whole "caring" notion by connecting Penny and Connie in their last case.

The Lost Riddle brings back Dale Jacobs to our ears to help Emily and Matthew solve this case, so we already have someone we know and love to care about, and since Emily has been made much more sympathetic and vulnerable with her character arc, we care about the crime-solvers as well. Since this case was about a riddle, there were elements of this case that the listener could try and solve for themselves, something that fans complained about back when Game for a Mystery first came out.

I must admit that I was one of the fans who complained that Odyssey had once again ripped off a past show, in this case, Buried Sin. But after relistening to the show for the review, I had to slightly retract that thought. The idea, skeleton, and structure for the show were similar, but it was the tone that was different; I guess you could say that this was slightly more comedic. Nonetheless, I'm still disappointed that Odyssey has to resort to recycling old ideas after steadily coming up with new material for 20 years, but hey, that's another article for another day.

The music and sound effects sounded even better when I listened via headphones. The scenes really came alive, especially in the aforementioned filing room scene with Mrs. Mays. The tie-in with Jay fit, and not only was a case solved, but a lesson was learned by the case solvers.

The Lost Riddle takes an old Odyssey idea and adds some new elements that work, with excellent production design, although it lacked some originality. Nonetheless (and partly in thanks to the very presence of Dale Jacobs), I give it a 89/100, or a


Buy this episode and 11 others on Album 56: The Grand Design via CBD
Talk about this episode and a bunch of other Odyssey stuff over at Campbell County


  1. The question is, what it deliberate copying? If so, it would be a homage. If not, it's odd, and perhaps a bit disappointing. But it's impossible to be sure if it's a homage to buried sin, rejuvenating the story into the modern day with a new pair of characters, or one of those deja-Odyssey moments Odyssey Scoop reminds us amusingly of. But an entertaining episode is an entertaining episode. In the end, all that matters is Jones and Parker were once again in a funny and engaging mystery, and this time, it was even moving and thought provoking.

    1. That comment right there should've been my summary - lol thanks.

  2. Oops, forgot to say, excellent work as always. Loved every word.