In this episode we learn that Odyssey is afflicted with small town gossip. Whit even says it’s hard to have privacy in a town like Odyssey. But is that really fair? First of all, it’s debatable whether Odyssey really is that small of a town. But the incident in this particular episode really has little to do with Odyssey being a small town. Aside from a passing remark from Jack’s mom, there are no adults involved in the spreading of rumors about the Kirban family. It’s only kids. This could be more accurately described as school gossip. It would be pretty ridiculous for adults to start believing the rumors we hear in this episode. Add to that the audience. I doubt it was ever intended for these outrageous rumors to fool the listeners into going along with them. Maybe if the rumors had been more believable, this would have made for a better story.
But that wasn’t what this episode had in store. The rumors being spread in this episode are intense and probably inappropriate. And yet kids are the ones who supposedly come up with these rumors, which involve cocaine, terrorist weapons, body bags and the mafia. I feel like these are not things elementary school kids would jump to and their inclusion in this episode is probably not the best way to introduce the kids in the listening audience to these issues.
This is Lucy’s first episode chronologically. So at this point her character isn’t very developed, which is probably why she seems so one-sided. In this cautionary tale Lucy is the cautious one. But she’s cautious not because she’s responsible, but because she’s the most scared. She actually seems to believe the rumors. Considering Lucy is the one who later becomes a newspaper reporter, I would have liked to have her take a more active role. Between the two of them, Lucy is the true investigator. She should have tried to set Jack straight instead of running away from the action, if you can call it action.
Just as David is a hero in the Shepherd and the Giant and Mike is in Mike Makes Right, in this episode Jack wants to be a hero. But after watching too many TV shows, Jack seems to believe being reckless is synonymous with heroics. This would have all ended terribly if Mr. Kirban really was a criminal or a mass-murderer. But this is Adventures in Odyssey and not one of the Brother Grimm’s fairy tales so Jack doesn’t have to worry about losing his life as a result of his curiosity. Overall, the story was intense but not in an entertaining way. It had dark elements to it but its theme wasn’t as deep as it could have been. There was little character development and mostly just a long buildup to the conclusion. I was glad when it was over, especially after that inevitable anticlimactic ending. This episode gets 2 out of 5 stars.