The opening act has Chris being mobbed by shoppers in a scene resembling Black Friday. That beginning, unfortunately, has little to do with the episode and its exciting drama only serves to set high expectations for what otherwise is another lackluster show. While listening to this episode you are very conscious of how the narrative is being shaped to fit a certain mold and the results don’t seem realistic. Odyssey usually does a good job of depicting parents. But ironically in the episode titled Honor Thy Parents they fall short.
Laura-Jean Fremont doesn’t respect her parents because she thinks they’re hicks. But I would draw your attention to the real flaw I see in her parents. They don’t discipline their daughter. Laura acts very rudely to them on multiple occasions but they never reprimand her. They act like their goal is to appease their daughter, not to raise her properly. Their pushover attitude requires the intervention of Mr. Whittaker. Because they won’t confront Laura Whit must step in to set her straight. It is only as a result of Whit’s discipline that Laura has a change of heart.
Laura’s parents are not just people who reject high society. They seem to be over-the-top stereotypes like those commonly present on TV. To put that in perspective, they are almost as goofy as Wooton Bassett but lack his level of humor and appeal. But of course they’re not just silly. They’re good people. Really good people. You might call them saints. The father has compassion on his boss for wrongly shouting at him and both parents together run a homeless shelter for the needy. Whit convinces Laura to appreciate her parents by showing all the good things they do that she was unaware of. At the end Whit says respect for your parents should not be based on what they do for you or others but on what God commands. While that is of course true, it is undermined by Whit’s actions in this episode. Whit doesn’t talk to Laura about the fifth commandment. Instead he shows Laura the homeless shelter her parents started. The righteous actions of Laura’s apparently unblemished parents who do so much good for everyone are used to justify why they deserve their daughter’s respect.
Whit’s mixed message about the reason you should honor your parents is a real problem. Parents in reality are not perfect and most of them haven’t led the way in starting homeless shelters. This gives kids unrealistic expectations of how their parents are going to act. I wish this episode had instead focused on parents who had obvious flaws but should still be honored by their children because it is what God wants. The only flaw Laura’s parents do have, the fact that they are too timid to discipline their child, is almost seen as a virtue rather than a weakness. While Laura was indeed neglecting the fifth commandment, her parents need to work on training her to do the right thing like it says in Proverbs 22:6. This episode gets 1 out of 5 stars.