I’ve been trying to move to some more short-form content as I’ve got a really long post coming up, but here’s another long one in the meantime!
Story — Carla and Bridget are putting a rug they just bought into their car. A woman comes up to them saying that a card fell out of her purse. It’s a Taco Teepee card. Carla is embarrassed at the number of stamps they’ve collected on it and tries to explain that they don’t usually eat fast food. She says that she doesn’t have much time to cook because her husband is overseas, and the woman asks if he’s in the marines because she saw a bumper sticker on their car. Carla, when asked, tells the woman that he is deployed in Aljanistan (no Rakistan re-occurence 😦 ). The woman is named Angela, and invites them to a barbeque for military families.
On the day of the barbeque, the Perkins have arrived outside of Angela’s house. Wyatt attempts to reassure Carla by saying that they’ll be good at the barbeque. I wonder if the children often don’t come with the parents to these parties, because when the families arrive Angela asks both the Perkins and Ploskies if the children came with. Anyway, Wyatt heads straight outside towards the trampoline and meets Miles, one of the Plosky twins. He scares Miles with his made-up “facts”. Meanwhile, Bridget meets Miles’s twin sister, Darcy, and eventually reveals to her that she doesn’t make friends anymore to save herself the heartbreak of moving away from and losing friends. In the other room, Carla is telling Shelly about life as the wife of a deployed soldier. Carla tells about the incident where an explosion near Ronald Perkins’s military base was located scared the rest of the Perkins family. When they’re leaving, in the car, all three of them agree that they want to come back for the next event. At the next event, Howard Plosky pulls Carla aside to talk to her. He asks,
“What have you done to my family?”Howard
He tells her that Miles is scared of the things that are said in some fake online articles, with an example being that he won’t drink milk because it’s supposedly 2% rat milk, which is dangerous to humans. He also mentions that Darcy doesn’t want to make friends anymore, and has not been herself lately. Last of all, Shelly is terrified of what might happen to Howard when he’s deployed. Shelly tries to apologize, and tells Howard that they’ll leave immediately. In the car, however, the Perkins decide to try to make things right. Wyatt goes and tells Miles that not every source is reliable; and Bridget looks for Darcy near the bowl of punch. Darcy doesn’t want to talk to Bridget because she’s afraid that they’ll become good friends and then be separated; she doesn’t want to lose a friendship. Meanwhile, Carla starts trying to help Shelly but finds that Shelly has already talked with Angela. Shelly assumes that Carla is a Christian and asks to pray with her. Caral hesitantly agrees, and Shelly prays something to the effect of them both wanting to trust God better. Carla says, in a way that seems genuine, that the prayer really helped her.
Outside, Wyatt has left Miles because their friendship had pretty much been based on Wyatt telling Miles untruths. Angela sees Wyatt sitting alone and encourages him to go over to Miles saying that they can have a friendship without much talking. He does go and apologizes to Miles, asking if he would like to continue with a trampoline-based friendship.
“In the South-Pacific islands, trampoline-based friendships are more common than friendships based on mutual love and respect.”Wyatt
Miles replies with,
“I have so much to learn from you.”Miles
which, in the words of Wyatt Jackson of Adventures into Odyssey, he absolutely does NOT (have much to learn from Wyatt).
Back inside, Howard walks up to Bridget. He talks to her and encourages Bridge to use the great influence that she has over Darcy for good, without implying that Bridget had been trying to influence Darcy in a bad way earlier. Howard tells Bridget not to shut Darcy out. Bridget says that Darcy is the one shutting her out. Howard says that she should try again, because he thinks that Darcy has talked to Angela. In fact, Angela and Darcy are in the den right then talking about friendship and love. Bridget asks to join them, and Darcy is much warmer with Bridget. She tells Bridget that Angela told her that
“I shouldn’t let fear of losing people keep me from loving people.”Darcy
Bridget tells Darcy that she’s glad to be her friend. The Perkins look forward to coming to more of Angela’s events.
Notes — Marshal Younger keeps using the fictional country of Aljanistan, previously visited by Whit and Eugene in the Club episodes When One Door Closes, Parts 1 and 2, rather than going with the long-established but underutilized Rakistan. I’ve been waiting for another mention of Rakistan for a while now.
— The title for this episode was released quite a ways back, definitely before August (when I not-so-impressively predicted that Wyatt would make an appearance in this episode).
— The ministry for this episode, Cadence International, is a ministry for both military families and those deployed. I think it would be interesting to hear an episode from Ronald in Aljanistan where he gets involved with the ministry after hearing about it from his wife.
— Some people who work for Cadence International were interviewed on an episode of The Official Podcast, where you can get an idea of some of the more realistic aspects of the Hospitality Houses, which are more frequently used for bible studies and small groups than barbeque parties.
— When Mashal Younger originally wrote the script for this episode, Wyatt was playing by a pool and not a trampoline. Cadence staff got in contact with him after reading the script and informed him that none of the Cadence hospitality houses in the US had pools. They suggested that he changed it to a trampoline.
— In an early draft of the artwork for this episode, Gary Locke drew Wyatt without glasses. I don’t believe this was a mistake, but that he simply planned on adding the glasses later.
Controversy — I assume that the controversy about this episode mostly lies around the way the Perkins “scared” the Ploskies, and whether or not that was wrong of them. One side argues that Carla and Bridget were just sharing about what their lives were like as a result of Ronald being deployed, and Wyatt was just a typical kid unknowingly spreading misinformation. The other side says that Carla should have toned down her stories and payed special attention to assuring Shelly that events like the scare she had had in Bridget, Redefined were once-in-a-lifetime occurrences that did not happen frequently. Also, Bridget shouldn’t have spoken about how she shuts out friends to avoid getting hurt at all to an impressionable younger child. They might also argue that Wyatt needs to learn to discern truth, and until he does he shouldn’t tell others about things he read on the internet as if they are fact.
Where I Stand
I agree with the second argument completely about Wyatt. He shouldn’t tell others about things he reads on the internet as if they are for sure facts. Interesting how this comes up in a time when many people are struggling to discern the truth from the lies on the internet relating to the pandemic and politics. I have a feeling that Focus is planning on doing an episode, or at least a B-Plot in an episode, about discerning truth on the internet with Wyatt. Remember that prediction when the episode comes out ;).
As for Bridget, I don’t think she was entirely wrong opening up to Darcy about her difficulties. In fact, I think that, technically, she didn’t do anything wrong when talking to Darcy. It was simply that Bridget’s pessimistic personality rubbed off on a fun-loving, optimistic toddler. However, Bridget definitely could have been more in-tune with how Darcy was affected by her. It probably wasn’t the best idea to tell a (often impressionable in general) kindergartner/1st grader (not sure exactly how old Darcy and Miles were) that she doesn’t make friends because it’s painful. Granted, Bridget didn’t know just how impressionable Darcy was, but she should have known that many, if not most, children of her age will look up to and try to imitate teenagers.
Lastly: Carla. This one is a bit more difficult and perhaps nuanced for me. I believe Shelly wanted to know about some of the hardships of life as the wife of a deployed soldier, and that’s why she was talking to Carla. Carla opened up to her, and I think talking to a peer about the emotional difficulties really helped Carla. She, like Bridget, could have been more tactful though. It probably would have been best to tell Shelly about the explosion incident later, once she had gotten to know Shelly better and had felt her out. I don’t think that Carla needed to hide the real difficulties from Shelly and have her go into the situations blind, but Carla should have been a bit more careful about how she talked to an already-scared woman. If she had noticed that Shelly was anxious about her husband Howard’s impending deployment, then she could have tried to mostly comfort Shelly. There is also a method, often used for giving needed criticisms, called the Sandwich Method that could have been employed by Carla. First, Carla could give a piece of comfort such as “we can still keep up with each other and friends here when he’s deployed,” and then a small warning with a piece of hard truth like, “it can be hard not having your husband here and you’ll need to get used to it.” Then, finish it off with another comforting word like, “I’ve gotten through it by [insert how she’s coped], and so can you!” Obviously, if Carla were a Christian she could comfort Shelly with a Bible verse, but since she’s not she would share some of her “methods for coping” that she mentioned in the episode.
Conclusion — This post turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be, so I hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you thought about the episode, and where you stand in the controversy in the comments! Also, let me know if you like more long form content. I’ve noticed that my shorter posts, such as You Might be an AIO Fan If… get more views, likes, and comments so I decided to try to keep posting shorter posts but I’ll keep up the long ones if you like ’em! Thanks to Wyatt Jackson for encouraging me to write this post. I’ll put a link to his podcast, and my review of it below:
The podcast on Anchor: Adventures into Odyssey with Wyatt Jackson and Devon Marshall
My review of his podcast: Adventures into Odyssey | Fan Content Review
Oh, and also:
Let me know if you saw what I did on the image for this post. Don’t ask me why; even I don’t know.