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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekly Review: The Perfect Church Pt. 1 10/6/12

     I never thought I'd take a two week break. Let's just say an alien attacked me and I broke free this morning. Anyway, here is my review of The Perfect Church Pt. 1...

     The Imagination Station has been a staple of the Adventures in Odyssey canon ever since it was first introduced way back in the good ol' days, when AIO was new and the Barcalys were still around. It was used many times after that, taking Odyssey kids (and adults, in Back to Bethlehem and Moses, the Passover) back in time to witness the action-packed stories of the Bible, as well as history.
     However, though the IS was always used infrequently, after The Imagination Station, Revisited, it was never given a second look, except in the rather dreadful Fast As I Can. Until now...

     The Perfect Church is, in many ways, unlike any recent AIO episode. I notice, after listening to 8 of the 12 episodes in Album 56, that Odyssey is really going back to their roots with this album more than any album since... oh, I don't know when, with nostalgic episodes for the fans who have been listening for 10 years or more. The Perfect Church is one of these nostalgic episodes.
     The nostalgia (I love that word!) started in the very first scene. I don't know if anyone agrees with me, but seems as if Whit hasn't been at the counter listening to one child's problems in a long while. But someone might find another recent occurrence.
     I also noted that Matthew's voice had changed a bit, or was at least starting to change. I don't know how this will affect the character, but I hope he can stick around. I sure like that kid.
     I noticed that Eugene replaced Mabel! I wonder what made the Odyssey team decide to do that. Perhaps so he could be the one to state the word definitions, very fitting for his character. I almost missed Mabel, but who knows? She could be back next time.
     At this point, Matthew is meeting Seth and Rhoda. I was expecting a Georgina Dolenz role in this album, as Paul McCusker mentioned that she would have one in a podcast, and I think she did a fine job. Her voice was well-suited to the part, though it could get a bit annoying at times.
     I originally thought Ananias would have a larger role in this episode, but it turned out he was just in two scenes. Perhaps in part 2 he'll be more prominent...
     Anyway, Matthew is navigating the area and finding that this church isn't so perfect. I loved Eugene's dictionary, but I do hope it will be used sparingly. It could become overwhelming in a future adventure if Eugene comes on to give us a definition every couple of minutes. Thankfully, however, Paul McCusker didn't go overboard with this plot device.
     I loved the scene where Steven talks about Pentacost, though I had already heard it from the podcast preview. It was brilliantly done, and the music was terrific during that part. Bravo to John Campbell for this episode! He went above and beyond and composed some truly great music that fit the mood of the story.
     Later in the episode, (bear with me while I skip ahead a bit) Seth has an interesting breakdown of sorts after the blind man is healed. I think it was well-done, and truly showed the magnitude of spreading the gospel. I honestly thought that after that, Seth would stop following Jesus, so what he did next surprised me.
     I actually feel like Matthew had almost no role in this episode. He was a mere spectator, watching everyone else while not really doing anything himself. This irked me, as I believe he could have had a big role in the adventure, as Sam and Rodney did in the Saint Paul episode. But, considering that's essentially my only complaint for this episode, it's pretty minor. And perhaps Matthew will have a larger role in the story in pt. 2.
     I was simply captivated by this church, all the twists and turns of this church. Seth selling his house and giving the money to the poor was unpredictable. And the appearance of Saul was quite exciting at the end. I'm not sure whether they'll show his conversion experience again in Pt. 2, but, considering they already showed it in the Saint Paul episodes, I hope not.
    In conclusion, this episode was a terrific season opener, with great music, great acting, and an interesting moral. I'm eagerly awaiting pt. 2 and have high expectations. I just hope Paul and Marshall don't let me down.

     The Perfect Church Rating: 8/10

     Well, that's it. Until next time, Thanks for reading!


  1. It's good to be back Victoria. It's nice to have you reading! I'm hoping to do a more in-depth review for pt. 2, as well as for the rest of the album.