An episode title like Mike Makes Right, which is based off the phrase “might makes right,” would have been clever if Mike was an established character. But this is his first appearance so it’s clear his name was chosen specifically so it could fit into the episode title, similarly to A Change of Hart from Album 1. Mike, however, is a much more likeable character than Freddie Hart. A Change of Hart leaves you feeling depressed and completely disconnected from Odyssey. Mike Makes Right, while it still has Mike acting sad, defeated and anxious about his inevitable fight, is actually entertaining and funny. This was probably the result of the better writing quality as well as David Griffin’s acting ability.
Billy Barton the Boxer is a brutal bully and there’s nothing you can do about it. He’s a larger-than-life figure who everyone is afraid of. Interestingly, this episode was placed on Album 3 right after The Shepherd and the Giant. Whit even references David and Goliath several times in the episode. This was a good connection to make but the episode is still unique enough because it doesn’t just focus on the fight between Mike and Billy the Barbarian, but it deals with the aftermath. As for the fight itself, it is a little hard to imagine that at the elementary school no teacher or adult notices or intervenes when the punch-up occurs. This is especially strange because this fight apparently brings every kid at recess to crowd around and cheer for it.
Magnificent Mike’s quick rise to fame makes himself into a prideful bully, which isn’t hard to imagine considering he only starts angrily attacking Billy the Bulldozer in revenge for tearing his shirt. He doesn’t want to defend himself until he has nothing left to lose and then he reacts by switching into payback-mode. Mike keeps this new angry, tough guy persona until a boy named Sam puts him in his place. It’s amazing how Mike’s friend Freddy deserts him to welcome Sam who had just punched Mike in the stomach. So much for that friendship. That’s where the similarities between David and Goliath end. Freddy clearly is not Jonathan to Mike’s David.
David Griffin does a great job portraying Mike’s transformation from the bullied to the bully. His interaction with the principal was a highlight of the episode. As for the negative aspects of this show, what really didn’t make sense was the school environment. If the principal was absent the day Billy fought Mike it seems he might be absent a lot. He runs a school where it is well-known that everyone is afraid of Billy Barton because he beats people up. And yet he does it on school property during school hours where he could easily be stopped if the principal had the initiative. Odyssey Elementary is a little too lawless for my taste. This episode gets 3 out of 5 stars.