This is a nice, simple holiday episode. Its title indicates a prayer of thankfulness to God. It is Adventures in Odyssey’s first Thanksgiving show and interestingly it takes place at Whit’s End. This really emphasizes how the shop isn’t just a business, which doesn’t make any money, but that it is a place where family and friends can gather to enjoy fellowship together. It is a refuge for those who might otherwise be separated or alone on Thanksgiving Day. The Kendalls, for example, find themselves welcomed to this Christian gathering. June Kendall says she’s surprised that Connie is turning into a grown up and mature daughter and credits this change to her job at Whit’s End. That’s a big compliment to Whit and a testament to how his Christian influence has positively affected Connie.
The scene is which Fiona realizes her blindness is particularly memorable. She’s annoyed that everything is dark and frantically calls for lights. It’s a sad and powerful moment because the audience is allowed to slowly come to the realization on their own that Fiona has lost her sight. And her denial at first followed by her realization is definitely dramatically engaging. Speaking of her, in this episode Fiona is the hero. This goes against the stereotypically mean or evil stepmother you find in other stories. This stepmother is loving and understanding. She has compassion on Whit again and again when he doesn’t deserve it. She never gives up, even through the hard times. And she’s always thankful to God, which was the point of this whole show.
AIO didn’t choose to teach us about thankfulness by showing us a perfect family which has everything they could want. They presented the audience with characters who go through suffering. Both Whit and Fiona have lost something. But in the midst of it, Fiona has joy. This was the perfect way to talk about giving thanks. Thanksgiving should take place no matter our circumstances because, according to Ephesians 5:20, we should give thanks “at all times and for everything.” Fiona says that we should be thankful not just for the roses but for the thorns as well. This reminds me of Lamplighter Theatre’s production of The Hedge of Thorns, which I highly recommend you listen to, which shows that everything has a purpose, even if we can’t see it from our limited perspective.
This episode is very good. It tells a beautiful, original story from Whit’s childhood which doesn’t appear on the surface to have much to do with the holiday of Thanksgiving, but as the story progresses we see how it deals with the heart of the holiday’s meaning. It doesn’t give us many unnecessary details and instead leaves us wanting even more stories and information about Whit’s past. It has sad elements but overall it stays entertaining, funny and uplifting throughout. And it shows how everyone can and should be thankful to God. This episode gets 5 out of 5 stars.