WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS: CLICK “READ MORE” TO CONTINUE
Connie the Counselor is episode 807, and the first episode of album 62: Let’s Put On A Show! I listened to it once before I reviewed it.
My first thoughts about this episode were in the opening scene with Jules. Thoughts, I should say complaints. I had completely forgotten that Jules had showed up after the credits of A Very Bassett Wedding PT. 2, and thus I was struggling to remember what on earth Jules was doing there. However, it wasn’t a big deal, as she explained that she told her mom she was visiting her dad, and she told her dad she was visiting her mom. Very clever. Jules is obviously here to stay for a few albums, as she said herself, “A couple of months or so.” Unless of course this album has REALLY long gaps in between the episodes.
I noticed right off the bat that Katie Leigh’s age is reflecting in Connie’s voice a little bit. I love Katie Leigh, she is one of my favorite actresses ever, but I really noticed the way Connie sounds older than she is supposed to be in her time warp, say 36 or so. Eugene (played by Will Ryan) has also been doing that since Album 52 or so, just another thing to get used to.
Connie asks Eugene for a favor, mentions her counseling class, and he says NO. I liked that in contrast with Do Or Diet, where it takes Whit, Wooton, and Bernard a few moments to realize that she is asking them specifically for help.
Ha! Eugene is stirring his coffee, but there’s no coffee in the mug! I thought that was a good joke, clever. Very clever. That one got me because I was automatically on Eugene’s side to be like, you’re overreacting Connie, and then boom. She is not.
I was hoping the counseling sessions, as much as I like Buck, would have more to do with Eugene’s feelings on not having any of his own children, since we never really got to hear that. I was thinking that since he had already had counseling from Connie’s mother, Connie could kind of try to step into that role, and then have her own breakdown as she realizes she is filling her mother’s shoes or something. Connie needs counseling.
However, the turn it took with Buck as the subject of the counseling is pretty well played out. I thought it was hilarious the way Eugene was getting on to her about looking in her textbook, but when she came up with the colors and animals thing? GEEEEEEEZ. I was really, really hoping that Eugene wouldn’t take that advice, because I knew that this would only lead to trouble, and here we go, it does.
I already forgot when the scene with Buck and Jules comes, but I hated that whole scene. Not because of the acting, the acting was terrific, but I absolutely hate how everyone has a romance or something. It really got me in The Key Suspect when Matthew has a crush on Suzu. I get that’s natural, I’m a teen, but GEEEEEEZ!!! I’m tired of hearing about everyone’s romantic interest! I was sitting there going slap him and walk away, Jules, just walk away. IDK. I think it’s partially due to the fact that like three girls have already stated having a crush on Buck and I haven’t so I’m jealous. 😛 No. But seriously Buck has too many girlfriends. He’s like Bill Kendall.
Robby Bruce should win the Avery awards for best actor. This next scene with Buck and Eugene was the best played out in the whole episode. Here we go, Buck walks in, Eugene gives himself away with the overeager tone. Should have just walked away. But he can’t do that. So then the next question about how are you feeling and he said that he’s hungry absolutely cracked me up!
“No, I mean deeper than that!”
Beautiful response, poor Buck is already confused. And then we get the beluga whale and gray, I think that Eugene’s scene should have been written more as if Eugene already knew this wasn’t going to work. It would have been better, I think. But the acting on Robby Bruce’s part was beautiful, the whole “Katrina’s home! I should go help her with… anything-” Is just one of the best delivered lines I have ever heard, right up there with Walker Edmiston’s delivery of the “Rod Rathley Brone” scene from I Slap Floor.
I was glad when Eugene comes back to Connie with a beluga whale and heartburn that he was totally skeptical by then, but I wish he had been earlier. Oh, and then embarrassing moments in Eugene’s life! Albums 1-50 do exist!!! Yes!!! Love the throwback to some of my favorite AIO episodes, A License to Drive, Naturally I Assumed, and Love Is In the Air parts 1 and 2. And Connie is the problem! That had me sitting there busting up, I was like go Eugene! Yes! And poor Connie is having a heck of a time trying to figure out what to do if the counselor is the problem. Great acting by both Katie and Will in this scene.
OK so now I’m forgetting the order of things here. Eugene and Connie both end up at the police station because Buck and Jules have gone and set off fireworks from the top of the water tower. PHIL PROCTOR!! Great to see him again, Don Polehaus is one of my favorite characters. His delivery of “Do I look like I’m having fun?” was another line that should win the Avery Awards, that was great. I could almost imagine him pointing to his face, he’s not smiling or anything, kids. I almost got the feeling of a Sergeant Carter scene from the tv show Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C..
Whichever scene it was that had Eugene telling Buck that he was a foster kid once, that was a cool scene. Not as good as Old Tricks, but it was cool. Me like. Especially Eugene insisting that he’s not good at something, this parenting business, that’s something I’ve never heard before. This is character development!
OK the biggest disappointment in the whole episode was not hearing the conversation between Buck and Eugene in the car on the way home from the police station. If it was any more honest than the confrontation from Old Tricks then it must have been RAW. Old Tricks was one of the best episodes I’ve ever heard just because of the raw talk and the raw anger and sadness and stuff, I would have LOVED to hear that conversation in that car! It’s like, we have character development here, but there surely would have been more of it if we had heard the one in the car. PLEASE DO THE ONE IN THE CAR! I know it’s way too late, but aw man. Buck should have character development priority over Jules because we all like him better. I feel like Kathy is trying to even them out a little bit, Buck for the boys and Jules for the girls, or vice versa. (Ha!). Yes, now they feel more evened out, but it cost you what could have been a GREAT scene.
And Jules is the one who ordered the fireworks. I knew it would be, that really wasn’t a surprise to me. I had originally thought in the beginning that Jules can’t have only ordered clothes. And Connie really ought to go through those packages. I’m on Paul McCusker’s side, hacking into that phone was ethical.
And I forget how the episode ends, which is probably good, because I probably don’t have a complaint about it. I do know that it left me wanting a whole album with this kind of thing in it.
So, overall, on a scale of one to ten, this episode gets a 8.0. Not the best done episode, Old Tricks still holds it over by a 9.5, but it was pretty dang good. The supposed ‘surprise’ that Jules ordered the fireworks really wasn’t a surprise, the one scene I really wanted to hear wasn’t in the episode, but the clever construction of this episode makes it one I will definitely listen to over and over again.