Warning. This is a “gut reaction review”, and contains spoilers. Click the “continue reading button” to see the review.
Ya know what? This was a good episode! I’m just gonna call out the sound effects right now, they were terrific. Little rough around the edges as far as screenplay, and Lilly Mae Stewart as Camilla was fantastic. The message was also pretty good, because dang, that relates to me.
So here’s the question, which is the premise of the episode: when you say the “wrong” thing, the “stupid” thing in that moment to a friend, could you, would you, fix it if you were able to go back and say it again? Now this is a specific instance: something is out of your control. In this case, Maisey’s Great-Grandad has Alzheimer’s. (She calls him Popop, in our family it was always Papa.) What is Camilla supposed to say? She thinks she’s said the “wrong” thing at school, offering to pray for Maisey, trying to make her feel better. What could she have done better?
The long and short of it: nothing. Nawp, zilch. She just needs to faithfully shine the light of Christ. See, and this resonates with me so bad. No details for you, but a good friend of mine and my family’s just lost her dad last night. What do we say? We can’t make it better. We just have to remind her and her family that ultimately, God is in charge of it and their hope is (thankfully) in Christ!
Another thing that resonated with me was that my great-grandfather (Papa) had Alzheimer’s too. He passed away last month. And yeah, it’s tough. Real tough. So I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of “the wrong thing to say”, and really, I wouldn’t have asked for anything different. My friends at youth group offering to pray for me in the most awkward way possible, or texting me when I was tired of talking about it? Ya know what? I’m glad they did.
So enough of this. Let’s talk about the meat and bones of this episode. The sound effects were superb. All the electronic sounds for the Room of Consequence, the marching band, balloons. These were very rich sounds, I was particularly noticing that. I always listen in headphones at about the same volume, and I don’t know if they did something different or what (maybe it’s because I have a headache?) but the sounds seemed a bit deeper and richer than in previous episodes.
The plot itself was structured pretty well. We didn’t dwell too long on any one scene, it was kept moving, and it thankfully didn’t get too crazy. The marching band was the extreme, and it was a good place to stop before we got way too extreme.
I have to devote a whole paragraph to this: I liked Camilla. I liked Lilly Mae Stewart. She plays the character like a real person, instead of over-exaggerating every line and action. Camilla was relateable for once, can you believe this? Lilly Mae Stewart is great for this character and I really hope she plays Camilla in future episodes.
Alright, here’s one of my more major problems with the episode: the lunchroom scene. Specifically, who was tripping over what, and who’s saying who, now? I wasn’t too impressed with the dynamic between Garrett McQuaid and Justine Huxley, and until Camilla started yelling at the “kid with the mashed potatoes” like the fourth time through, I literally could not tell who was falling. The first three times I thought it was Maisey, which only served to confuse me more. What, are they taunting her? But no, it’s a distraction. It just wasn’t explained at all the first times through, and so the lunchroom ended up really muddled for me. Who’s yelling at who, now?
Overall, this is a well-baked, well thought out episode. It’s got a few nitpicky flaws, but nothing overly glaring. I think this is a good start to the new year. Depending on where you are. For me, it’s actually thirty minutes before the new year so this is actually the last thing I’m doing in 2017.
Questions? Comments? Completely disagree? Want to send me a picture of a cat? Drop me a line through the contact page or down in the comments! If you write a review, we’ll publish it! (Fine print down below). This is Kungfunaomi reminding you to come in and nerd out at Odysseynerds!
Fine print: I have to approve the review before I publish it, so no cussing (unless it’s homeschool versions- whatever that is in your family), no dissing on Gary Locke, be aware that Focus on the Family is now following this blog, and if you want extra points, you complement my awesome use of speeling.