Sunday, August 25, 2013

724-725: Home Again, Part 1 And 2

Well, it's been quiteeeee a while, you guys. It's been a long, busy summer - and I'm just realizing that our last review was on April 6. That's about four and a half months since the last review! Ohmeohmyoh. 

Anyways, it's back to work at home and school and in Odyssey. Album 57 has begun! I already have thoughts on Your Servant is Listening, and I would have thoughts on No Chemistry Whatsoever if there was any episode up online whatsoever. (UPDATE: It's on AIO Wiki!) But that's cool. The goal (and we have a lot of failed goals) is to do Push the Red Button this week and Listening this weekend. Hopefully, we'll catch up from there. But then...there's also Candid KOnversations. The season premiere for Candid KOnversations is...Saturday, November 2! I know it's a while, but we want all y'all to focus with us on Album 57 while the season progresses! And it looks like we'll have a lot of interesting Call to Something More stuff to talk about. Check out the Candid KOnversations page for more information.

With our busy schedules (practicing and learning instruments, homework, new clubs, old clubs, new projects, old projects), I think I've managed to figure out some kind of schedule that puts up posts here at least semi-regularly. The goal (anotherrrrr one) is to post at least once a week. Since I have super easy classes this semester, hopefully, we can make that happen! And now, to our review.

THE ODYSSEY TIMES (Facts, notes, and quotes about Odyssey from these eps):
- Don't go, Jack and Joanne! Eugene, quick, sabotage your inventory system so THEY'LL NEVER LEAVE!
- Thank you, Joanne, for your book endowments to the Whit's End Library!
- I'm still not fully comfortable with Whit's new chuckle.
- Why is Whit so surprised that Jason drove all the way back from Washington? Joanne and Connie have done it before (Album 41: In Hot Pursuit).
- Oh, Connie. Connie, Connie, Connie.
- "Prayer means you're dealing with something hard!" Connie, I bet you prayed for that new red Prelude - and I wouldn't call that something hard.
- Nice reference to Something Old, Something New for continuity.
- Why did Connie miss Jason so much? Wink, wink.
- Nice reference to The Green Ring Conspiracy for continuity.
- Wooton outsmarted Whit? Never thought I'd ever write that last sentence.
- They're building another cabin on Trickle Lake.
- "The spiritual disciplines are called disciplines for a reason - they require work. Times of solitude aren't always restful." - Whit
- Jason...really likes coffee.
- Jansen's Jewelers - is that a reference to former EP Al Janssen?
- "It'll make you thirstier so you can appreciate the water more." - the walk from picnic to #3
- "Yes, it's that hint of naïveté in the voice. He's not bad." - Rudolph on Eugene
- Connie sounds abnormally happy to see Jason.
- When was the last time we heard Jason talk to Wooton? 
- "You know where I live?" "Wooton delivers the mail!" "Ohhh...kay..." - Jason and Penny
- Kron's Jewelers is down the street.
- Do the criminals really have to reveal their plans right in front of Eugene?
- Katrina sends really long texts.
- The Judo flip, the Vulcan neck pinch...we've got some intense martial arts action happening in Odyssey.
- "What I want is time to be with God along with time to be with family and friends." - Jason

The fact that it won three Avery Awards shows the love for Home Again from the fans. It definitely brings back a sense of nostalgia, with previous mainstays like Jason, Jack, and Joanne back on the radio once again. But is that all the episode was? Did it only win for the nostalgia? 

Two elements stood out to me that prevented it from getting my vote for Best Episode. The score for this episode felt very disjointed in certain places, as if they'd just picked up a couple of old John Campbell selections to fit. They didn't all fit well. The end cue was a typical Campbell chord-tingling, heart-racing, emotion-gathering closer, but the rest of the score didn't add much to the story. Eugene's jewel thief storyline also felt disjointed in a similar vein. As Campbell's score felt out of place, the cartoonishness of the whole Rudolph thing felt very disjointed from the dramedy-ish main plot. The "let's capture the criminals" scene near the end with Jason and Whit confronting the thieves was laughable and very unreal. That kind of cheesy capture has worked in previous episodes, but they worked because the entire tone of the episode was in that light-hearted realm. This episode did not need that tone at all, and it added a little bit of a bitter aftertaste (afterhear?) for me after listening.

Courtesy AIO Wiki
But let's look at the positives. I loved hearing new dynamics that have never been heard on the show before. I AIO wikied it and found that this was the first time that Wooton and Jason have ever been heard together! I also liked the comedic interactions between Joanne and Eugene. Normally, Eugene went to go talk to the Allens for perspective from both Allens. I thought the chemistry between Will Ryan and Janet Waldo was fantastic - it felt raw and real and hilarious. Townsend's monologue as Jason toward the end of the first part was also incredible. It gave us an inner look at Jason's thought process, especially the settling down after a lifetime of spy work part. Coleman managed to inflict the emotions of trying to find peace while managing to add comedy with the whole coffee thing. The sound design was also spot-on. It was pretty subtle, but that's often what makes the design great. 

I was also proud to continue to see Connie, Penny, and Jason grow as characters. If you've read some of my previous posts, you'd know I was upset that they seemed to grow stagnant from Albums 51 - 54. Connie's been learning about letting go of regrets and making assumptions since Something Old, and it's really interesting to learn and grow along with her. Penny has been making some steady progress, and although her journey can be a little annoying at times (repeating the same process as Childish Things with Happy Hunting), her growth is growing on me, so to speak. Jason's vulnerabilities are beginning to be more fully explored again, which is a great move for the show, from the end of The Labyrinth to now. That's why it was so saddening to see him once again resort to the action hero archetype at the end. Thankfully, his new job heading J&J Antiques should bring in plenty of new story for him. Oh, and the thing with Connie and Jason? That deserves its own article.

Home Again is not my most favorite episode of Album 56. The writing wasn't completely airtight and was too disjointed in trying to craft its theme into all of its plot threads & stuffing in old John Campbell cues to hobble together a score. But for all of its disjointedness, it makes up for it in characterizations, acting performances, sound design, and new dynamics. The very presence of Jack (so good to hear you, Alan Young!) boosts this up a couple more points. I give this episode a 92/100, or a


Post your comments below or email us at!

Catch up on Josh's summer by reading his blog from the past several months here
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. It's great to read your reviews again!

    FYI, Jason and Wooton have talked to each other before in The GRC, Part 12. Yes, Jason was pretending to be the Stiletto then, but it still counts. ;)

  2. "Jason and Connie (December 2013)" can't you just do that post now ? ;D

    1. I wish. But...but...Album 57! And Candid KOnversations! We'll get to it as soon as we can!