The time has come for Connie Kendall. What she wanted all along, since the beginning of the show, was to run away from Odyssey and go back to California. Connie is a rebellious teenager. But she isn’t just a rebel against her mother; she is a rebel against God. She wants to prove to herself that she hasn’t changed because of the simple fact that she does not want to have changed. But thanks to God’s grace and involvement in her life, she has to recognize how far she’s come.
Tom Riley describes Connie’s trip as “her own personal Odyssey.” Since the episode Connie Comes to Town when she first arrived at Whit’s End, Connie has been living in a Christian environment. She has been deeply affected by her time in Odyssey. This episode in particular is a journey of flashbacks. It starts for Connie after she meets a version of herself on the bus. She meets a girl who is begrudgingly going to visit relatives but would much rather be in California. This girl does not believe in God or reading the Bible and claims to be in control over her own life. This is just what Connie used to be like and what she claims she still agrees with. But Connie doesn’t respond that way. Instead, she defends Whit’s respect for the Bible as a legitimate viewpoint. And yet, when she’s asked later, she laughs at the possibility of being a Christian herself. That’s exactly what she was escaping from by going to California. But when she arrives, she can’t stop thinking about Odyssey. She has at least one flashback from every album so far and constantly talks about her life in Odyssey. Everyone else recognizes that she has changed. Connie is the last person to be told anything.
This episode has also features the introduction of Eugene Meltsner, AIO’s resident genius. Immediately after Connie leaves, Whit’s End gets another non-Christian employee. It seems Whit likes to draw people in who are still far away on their spiritual journey. Eugene in particular was a great addition to Whit’s End and to Adventures in Odyssey. His dislike of puns, nicknames, and even the word “like”, as well as his advanced vocabulary and love of computers, adds comedy to this episode. It helps to give the audience a reason to stay engaged not just with the storyline taking place in California but also with the storyline playing out at Whit’s End at the same time.
Connie’s conversion is an important point in her life and it brings to a close a nice story arc which spanned three albums. And as with new beginnings, it brings in a new character onto the scene, Eugene, who goes on his own journeys throughout the show. This episode is a milestone and remains a must-listen for even the casual Adventures in Odyssey fan. It is a well-told story with a satisfying ending. It gets 5 out of 5 stars.