A Simple Addition is about how love grows in a growing family. It’s also the third episode in the Lost Episodes about sibling rivalry. It follows in the footsteps of My Brother’s Keeper and Dental Dilemma in how it shows the older sibling picking on the younger. Except this time the older sibling is actually a sympathetic character. We understand Nicky’s feelings and don’t blame him for his behavior. While most listeners are probably past the age when they are expecting new siblings, jealously between siblings can still exist which makes this episode very relevant.
There are two notable scenes in this episode that stood out to me. The first was Nicky snuggling up to his dog in the doghouse. He feeds both chicken and cake to the dog and then Nicky talks to him about his troubles. That’s the scene that endears the audience to the character of Nicky the most. He opens up about his feelings and his fears that his parents won’t love him as much anymore because of his baby sister. He doesn’t feel like there’s room for him in his family so he keeps telling his dog to move over and make room for him in the doghouse. And the fact that he’s opening up to a dog makes him even more likable. He laments about how he used to love his toy lamb which no longer plays music. The scene ends with him singing Jesus Loves Me. It seems even before Nicky’s parents tell him they still love him Nicky already knows that God still loves him.
The second scene that made the episode was the conversation between Nicky and his father. Despite the father’s analogy about how a mother cat looks after all of her kittens, which often isn’t true when one of them is a runt, and his false explanation that the father cat is gone because he’s at work, Nicky’s father still manages to make the case that he will always love his son. He gets him excited for the first time about being a big brother. In this episode we see genuine reconciliation between siblings like we haven’t had before, even though Nicky’s baby sister isn’t actively participating.
Again, this was another simple and predictable storyline. The fact that it tries so hard to be heartwarming at the expense of being entertaining, as well as its slow, lazy pace, makes it an average episode. Its message could be oversimplified to just being nice to your siblings but it is actually deeper than that. It is about the love that comes from parents and about the unfailing love of God. And what’s interesting is that Whit doesn’t take a very central role. In fact, he’s the least important character. He isn’t the one explaining the message of the episode. Instead he’s just the grandfatherly figure in the background who kindly looks after Nicky. Overall the episode accomplished what it set out to do, which wasn’t a very complicated objective. It gets 3 out of 5 stars.