This episode was a little disappointing. We didn't learn much of anything new at all, but it was more that the good characters were really frustrated over the fact that they weren't getting anywhere with the mystery. And while they are still trying to fit the pieces together, the bad guys are getting ready for the big operation.
I'm going to do the review much the same way I did last week, because if I didn't, I'm not sure there would be much for me to say. This episode didn't really have much to it, so I'm going to try to go through it scene by scene, without making it too incredibly long.
The episode starts out with Detective Polehaus frustrated with Buck because he refused to give any information about the counterfeiting ring. He claims not to know anything about counterfeit money, the green ring, what was on the AppleBerry, or whom it was that knocked out and captured Monty. But my question is, what else did he think all of the printing equipment that he was around so often was? And back when he was first commissioned by Mr. Skint to get the phone, Mr. Skint made it seem like Buck knew what was on the phone and how bad it would be if it got into the wrong hands. I believe him that he doesn't know about Monty, but Polehaus obviously isn't going to believe him since his DNA was found at the spot. He's convinced that Buck may look like a kid, but he's actually a criminal genius who's playing a big part in the conspiracy. Then he takes a shot at Buck's relationship with Mr. Skint, saying that it doesn't seem very nice of Skint to leave him like this. But we find out later that Buck knew all along that Skint hadn't abandoned him, and that he was set to meet up with him ASAP.
But because Polehaus thinks he's gotten an emotion out of Buck, since he suddenly goes quiet, he tries to retrieve some information about the compound and the truck that showed up. Buck doesn't give him anything though; he just says it was probably taking stuff to the carnival from their big storage area. Polehaus says Dosh showed him that area, and there wasn't anything there. Buck is at a loss for words and says he doesn't know anything about it. I'm not sure what to believe about what Buck knows. His actor does a good job of hiding whether or not he's telling the truth or not. But from what he says to Mr. Skint later on, it seems that he knows more than he was letting on. Something still tells me though that he doesn't know much about the counterfeiting ring.
Anyway, Katrina saves Buck from having to give Polehaus a real answer because she's playing Ms. Over-Sympathetic again, concerned that Polehaus is questioning him too long and hard. Apparently, as a minor citizen, Buck has rights to having a guardian or a lawyer or somebody with him if the questioning goes on for too long, so Katrina's concerned that this conversation might not hold up in court because Polehaus didn't obey the law. I guess it's a legitimate concern, but since when has Katrina been so interested in the law, and why is she still being so sympathetic toward an obvious criminal. I know this is supposed to go along with the story about how the people at Whit's End are being so compassionate and loving to Buck, but I think this takes it a little too far. We should be loving, but not so much so that a criminal might get out of a punishment. Surprisingly, however, the "very compassionate" Detective Polehaus decides to let Buck go. But compassionate nothing. He just wants to get the boy headed back to Mr. Skint so the policemen can follow him.
Then there's one more little exchange between Katrina and the detective right before he leaves. Polehaus warns her, "Look, this is not a kid you wanna get attached to." After he leaves, she says under her breath, "No, of course not." I'm not sure, by the tone of her voice, if she meant that sarcastically, or if she was actually considering taking his advice for once. I think she's really torn emotionally over him, because she genuinely cares about him, but she's disappointed that he's gotten himself into this mess. I don't remember if I've mentioned this before, but my theory is that when all this is over, Buck is going to be found not guilty of knowing much about the conspiracy, and then he's going to need a guardian because Skint is in jail. So I think that Eugene and Katrina are going to adopt him. That's just a thought--one that doesn't have much evidence behind it--but I think it would be interesting, to say the least. I've always thought Eugene and Katrina should have a kid, and I think it works out better for them to adopt one than for them to have a biological one.
Anyway, the scene finally changes, and we go to the basement of Whit's End where Whit is coming down to check on Eugene, who's working on the broken AppleBerry. He says that although the phones are supposedly known for their durability, he's not getting anywhere very fast, so they won't be getting any information out of it for now. Whit tells him that Detective Polehaus is counting on him to be the one to fix the phone, so if they're going to get anything from it, it's up to him. Whit goes to leave for the hospital, and you can tell by the change in music that Eugene's about to start the short, spiritual conversation of the episode. He stops Mr. Whittaker to tell him that he has a strong sense that they're losing this battle to the bad guys. Whit, of course, reassures him that he's sure there are key pieces to the puzzle that they just haven't found yet, and God knows where they are. This implies the idea that if it's in God's will for them to solve the mystery, He will give them help in just the way He's always planned to. This is a timeless message that all of us need to hear at some point in our lives. I know I've had my share of trying times--Marvin's going through one right now--and I'm sure that all of you readers have known days where you feel like the devil is winning the war for your soul. All we can do when we're in those situations is trust that God has us in His hands and he won't ever let us go. He knows what we're going through, and He, if you are truly His, is working everything together for your greater good, and for His glory. So this story actually had a pretty good spiritual application, if you elaborate on it like that.
Well, now we switch gears and head over to a story that we haven't heard much from recently. Connie is visiting Wooton at what sounds like late at night while all the other stuff is going on. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this either, but the chemistry between Connie and Wooton has always been amazing. Whenever Connie's bothered about something, Wooton (unless she goes to Whit) has always been able to help her get in a good mood. Penny's entrance into the picture has almost totally destroyed that connection, and now the Connie-Wooton scenes have become uncomfortable and...just...out of character for both of them, I guess. With all of the episodes that they've been in together, I think they'd make a great pair--much better than Penny and Wooton. Yeesh. Anyway, after a somewhat humorous, but unneeded and distracting exchange about Wooton's doorbell, the two of them sit down on Wooton's porch swing to talk.
Connie starts to try to tell Wooton what I assume was going to be her advice about not getting too close with Penny because of her strange beliefs, but the fingernailless, nervous wreck-Wooton assumes that she must be bringing the bad news that Penny doesn't like him the same way he likes her. With the subject slightly changed, Connie reassures him that everything's fine, and Penny and she are just going on a hike together. Then she tries to get back to her original reason for coming, but Wooton takes the ball and runs with it, inviting himself to their outing and making plans for an all-out surprise picnic. Connie tries to tell Wooton that she's concerned, probably because 1. she'll end up as a third wheel again, and 2. she still hasn't talked to him about being careful with Penny because of her strange "Christianity." But Wooton, in his always-jovial food-based mind, thinks she must be concerned about what food to bring. She tries one more time, but there's no getting a word in when the smitten Wooton has a chance to be with Penny. *sighs*
After a commercial break, we finally get back to Buck and Polehaus. Polehaus having set up a meeting between himself and Mr. Skint the next morning, Buck is free to go back to the compound, and he's going to be escorted by a police officer. After he leaves, Katrina expresses her doubt that they'll show up for the meeting the next morning. Polehaus agrees, adding that he doubts Buck will even go home in the police car. So he's set up agents all over the area who he's sure will follow Buck wherever he may run off to. Katrina asks him if he's sure about that--Buck's a shrewd young man, she says. But Polehaus is counting on his team of experts to be able to track a fourteen-year-old. Oh...what's that old, biblical Proverb? Pride comes before a fall? :D I knew this next part was coming.
Polehaus slams his fist down as the next scene cuts in. Of course, his men call and tell him that they've lost Buck. He yells at them to find him, hangs up, and mutters that he's "got the Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, and the Keystone Cops all rolled up into one unit!" Katrina practically tells him that she told him so, and then Whit appears out of nowhere, probably having just come up from the basement and states the obvious: that Buck is probably headed back to Mr. Skint. But no one knows where Skint is, so that's no help. Polehaus storms out of Whit's End ranting about his bad fortune and screaming for Martin.
Eugene enters from the basement, and is surprised to see Katrina still there. The two have a husband-wife chat, where Katrina admits to Eugene that she has to prove that Buck is a willing accomplice to Skint before she believes it. She says she'll find him one way or another, and then she's really going to get to the bottom of all this.
Marvin mentioned somewhere that he thinks Mr. Skint has his own music that always starts the scenes that he's in. Having listened to the first six episodes of Album 53 again now that I have the CDs, I agree. We hear that little ditty as we go to the next scene where, sure enough, Buck meets up with Mr. Skint at Trickle Lake. Buck updates him about what happened in Whit's office. He's proud of himself (which means he inserts his annoying southern laugh into every other sentence) for not letting any new information out, and for getting away without being followed. Skint is very happy with him. And again, I find it hard to believe that Buck could know nothing about what Skint is up to, because, especially in this scene, they seem to have a very close relationship. Mr. Skint doesn't at all seem to be involving him in this by force, so I don't see how Buck could end up being innocent of anything.
Well, now, to Skint's surprise, Uncle Archie walks up, commenting on Skint's use of the word excellent to describe the current situation. I really like the chemistry between the two of them in this scene, and I think it's great to finally see Skint as not the one in ultimate control of everything. Anyway, Archie is concerned that Skint is endangering the success of the next morning's operation with his incompetence, but Skint assures him that everything is going according to plan. And I think he's right--so far anyway. The folks at Whit's End are at a dead end. They have absolutely nothing to go on currently. Archie isn't satisfied though, because, he says, the benefactor is not happy. But Mr. Skint is sure that by the end of tomorrow, they'll all be laughing about any doubts they had that the maneuver would go off without hitch. Buck adds, "Yeah, all the way to the bank!" (Again, I really think he knows more than anyone thinks.) Archie warns that the alternative is, of course, crying all the way to jail. He then tells Skint to clean himself up for the big day tomorrow, to ditch Archie's pickup truck that they've been using, and not to go back to the compound, but rather to sleep at the carnival. Finally, he leaves them with one final direction: Get rid of Whittaker and Polehaus--by whatever means necessary!
The next morning, Whit goes down to check on Eugene, who's gotten an early start in the basement again. Eugene reports that he's retrieved a few bits of information, but the one thing that caught his attention was a text message consisting of a string of numbers that looked familiar to him. He remembered that they were on the piece of paper they found in the backpack with the money. (Does anyone else remember that, because I don't!) Whit acknowledges that it's the best lead they have, so they should see if it leads somewhere.
But then Matthew and Emily come in, and Emily's whining about how she missed all the excitement yesterday. Matthew shoots back at her that it was her fault, because she didn't want to be embarrassed. Then Emily shoots back that he's the one who--Whit interrupts them, and gets back to what he was saying when they came in. He was thinking that since the counterfeiters have been working out of this area for so long. They need to figure out the identity of the man (I assume the "benefactor") who's been in town all along making the counterfeit money. He says that there should probably be a little something in newspaper archives at the library, and of course the kids immediately volunteer.
While Eugene goes to get his and Mr. Whittaker's new walkie-talkie/earphone invention that should help them stay in contact, Emily asks Whit if he really thinks Buck is in trouble because she's worried about him. She wants to believe that she can trust him. Whit says that he doesn't know either way, but that he understands how she must feel. She opens up about how horrible she feels about how he used her to accomplish his evil purposes. (Anybody thinking of Richard Maxwell?) I hadn't really thought about how she would be feeling after finding out what he did. Whit advises that they should pray for Buck, and for themselves--that God would give them the grace to forgive him.
Then the scene skips over to Mr. Skint who's trying to wake Buck up. Buck hesitates, and then nearly jumps out of his skin when he opens his eyes and sees Skint. He's shaved, and cut his hair, and...he's wearing a tie!! After calming down, Buck reveals his thoughts to Skint about what Archie said the night before. He doesn't like the idea of hurting Mr. Whittaker or any of the other "good people" at Whit's End. But Mr. Skint tells him that they need to be looking out for themselves, not caring about anyone else. Buck says that if it comes to hurting anyone, he won't do it. Skint returns, "Not even to protect me?" Then Buck does one of the smartest things he's done all season: He turns that back toward Mr. Skint and asks if he would have come to help him if he'd gotten caught by the police the night before when he ran. But Skint dodges the question and changes the subject--he reminds Buck that everything they've worked for gets paid off today.
The end of the second commercial break brings us to Detective Polehaus giving his team a synopsis of the day's coming events. He delivers a speech reminiscent of an army general addressing his soldiers before a battle, directing them to watch every bit of activity at the carnival, because it's usually on the big day that the bad guys get careless. He ends telling them that they must report anything and everything--no matter how unusual, and then the team heads out. Meanwhile, Whit comes in to tell Polehaus about something he found in his office.
The scene switches over to the office, where Whit tells the detective about the numbers that Eugene found in the AppleBerry which match the ones on the sheet that was found in the backpack. Then he advises Polehaus to check the traffic cameras around town to see where the pickup truck went. But Polehaus tells Whit that he's a step ahead for once, and Martin's on the job right now. As if like clockwork, Martin walks in the door and shares what he's found--the truck went into the city from the compound, going to first, the Burger World Drive-In, and then to Trickle Lake Concrete, before finally ending up at the carnival. But there's one more very interesting piece of information that could finally turn the whole case around--the Old Ross Compound is owned by The Consolidated Arts Company, which also owns Uncle Archie's Carnival. I knew Dr. Trask had to be involved! What else could it mean? Maybe Whit and the gang will finally get to the bottom of this. The scene ends with Whit telling Polehaus he'll have his "Crack Investigative Team" check out the Consolidated Arts Company.
Of course, that team is Matthew and Emily at the library, which is where we go next. It's a short little scene where they make contact with Eugene via their walkie-talkie-earphone thingies, and they tell him what they'll be looking for in the database. Eugene calls Emily a super-sleuth, and Emily is surprised. After they sign off, Emily asks Matthew about it, and he *gasp* confirms the compliment! And he did it in an almost flirty way, because as soon as she tried to pursue it, he changed the subject. Hmm... I'm not sure if I should be happy with this or not. At least Emily seems to have let go of Buck!
Then we finally get back to the Stiletto storyline. In this last scene, Jason comes to Archie in what I assume to be his office at the carnival. Archie had apparently sent him a message that he wanted to talk to him. So Jason came, and now Archie is breaking the news to him that his services are no longer needed--of course, this is because somehow Jason's cover has been blown. At this point, Archie's goons come in and, at his command, start tying Jason up with duct tape. Jason tries to fight, but stops when Archie points six "good reasons" at him. :) He tells Jason that Mr. Groat (or Grote, as Marvin spells it) wants to meet with him, and he's not happy. My guess is that this is when Jason is going to be disposed of. I still can't figure out who could have blown his cover though. But it doesn't help anything that Jason is so ignorant of anything. Maybe that's what showed him to be phony to begin with.
The last bit of interesting information in this episode is given by one of the goons taking Jason out the door. Archie asked if he took care of the business, and he basically says that he took the engraving plates to TLC--which I assume to be Trickle Lake Concrete. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the next episode. I can tell it's going to be exciting!
Okay, so I guess that wasn't a very short review at all. I actually think it was quite a bit longer than last week's. Oh well. Hopefully you read the majority of it. I'll try to get the review of Part 11 out earlier than I did with this episode. Thank you for reading! Please comment!