Well, for the first time in a long while, another blog beat me to the latest news. *gasp* But I guess being the second one with the news out is just as good. :D The episode summaries for Album 54: Clanging Cymbals and the Meaning of God's Love have been released (in case you couldn't read the title of the post)! Thanks to AIO Wiki, we can now know which episodes to look forward to, and which ones during which to conveniently be busy as they air. Just kidding. But a couple of these do concern me a bit. Here they are:
Wooton Knows Best:
Olivia and Matthew Parker compete for a chance to be Wooton Bassett's camp assistant.
(We haven't had a camp episode, I don't think, since Champ of the Camp; and, at least for me, that is one of my favorite camp episodes. I don't know what to think this one could be like with Wooton in it. Hopefully it will turn out well, and who knows, maybe it will actually be a genuinely funny Wooton episode. It's written by Marshal Younger, who hasn't written many Wooton episodes at all, but he wrote a few over the last couple seasons, so that might not be a good sign.)
A Penny Saved:
Penny Wise deals with the aftermath of her role in the Green Ring Conspiracy and plans for the future.
(This should be an interesting episode, I think. Now, it does have Penny in it, but it doesn't seem to indicate that Wooton joins her, so it might be okay. Penny isn't really bad by herself, it's just when Wooton enters the picture...*shudders* My guess is that Penny will be looking for a job in art--and she'll probably get it--based on a later episode summary. And apparently this episode won't be about her salvation. :( I don't know how intriguing the episode will be, but it's written by Paul McCusker, so it can't be too bad.)
The Amazing Loser:
When Whit's End sponsors a band camp, Matthew, Jay, and Barrett compete in a musical scavenger hunt.
(Another camp episode? It must be summer. ;) I don't know what to expect with a musical episode like this. It's Dave Arnold's only episode of the season, but that really doesn't mean anything, because he only wrote one episode before the relaunch, and since the relaunch, he's written a wide variety of episodes [The Jubilee Singers, Grandma's Christmas Visit, The Malted Milkball Falcon, etc.]. We haven't really heard one centered on music, however, since Odyssey Sings!, though we heard just a little bit in Stage Fright. Odyssey Sings! is an okay episode, but because my younger siblings love to listen to it, I've gotten pretty sick of it. But it looks like this one will have a little mystery to it, and it's a mystery without Emily, so I might like it.)
Frustration abounds as David suggests Grandma Lucia try a test run of her salon business in his living room, and Olivia discovers Valarie stealing the media spotlight for a big parade.
(So, Grandma Lucia is back. She's been in one good and one bad episode, but both times, she's been in a single-storyline episode. This one seems to be two half-episodes put together for the purpose of a singular moral lesson [a la Hear Me, Hear Me or Blood, Sweat, and Fears]. The second story described looks like it will probably be a little annoying, mostly because Olivia is in it. But it will be interesting to hear from Valarie again. This is one of Kathy Buchanan's many episodes this season, and she wrote Opposite Day in Album 52, so I'm not optimistic.)
Forgiving More...Or Less:
After hearing a story from Red Hollard, Camilla Parker decides to make a forgiveness list.
(Seems like quite a simple episode, but it's from Paul McCusker, so something tells me it won't be. We haven't had an episode solely focused on Camilla before [For the Birds was close, but this looks closer], so it might or might not be a nice change. Red hasn't made many appearances either. In fact, I think he totally disappeared over the last two seasons, but many people didn't seem to like him much, so maybe that was for the best. Hopefully this episode can redeem him.)
You're Two Kind:
Ryan decides to partner with Brad for a school project, but has second thoughts when he overhears Brad making fun of him. Meanwhile, Connie gives Eugene a series of bejeweled gifts and he struggles to tell her the truth--he hates them.
(Here's another two-story, one-story episode with two parts that have nothing to do with each other. They both seem quite original, in that Odyssey hasn't really covered the topics before, but specifically the second story sounds really weird. Does anyone know what "bejeweled" means?)
A Penny Earned:
Penny Wise searches for her future in a job and as Connie Kendall's roommate.
(This is the first Penny episode to be written by someone other than Paul McCusker: Kathy Buchanan, so maybe this could be a turn for the better. Mrs. Buchanan wrote all the Connie/Mitch stuff, so hopefully this could make Penny a more likable character--even if Wooton's involved.)
Never for Nothing:
Grandma Lucia recounts to Olivia her story of a childhood friend, an event that taught her that love is "never for nothing."
(I can't figure out what in the world "love is 'never for nothing'" is supposed to mean, so maybe I need a lesson from Grandma Lucia too. But I doubt it. Hopefully this episode can paint her as more of a Whit-like character than she currently is. I suspect it will have some Spanish culture involved, which can be pleasant or annoying, depending on how much it is used. I think it will be Kathy Buchanan's first Spanish-related episode, however, so she could do something good with it.)
Emily, the Genius:
Emily is overwhelmed when a school test shows that she is a genius.
(This is another very simple-seeming episode. But it sounds kinda weird. I thought Emily already knows that she's a genius, based on the episode I so hate from Album 51. Why does she need to be reminded of it? Hopefully this episode will deal more with the issue of pride than that previously mentioned episode did. It's written by Bob Hoose, who brought us The Inspiration Station and An Agreeable Nanny, so there's no telling what will happen.)
How to Sink a Sub:
When Katrina becomes their substitute teacher, Jay and Valerie rouse the class to revolt, even persuading Olivia to help with a plan to get Katrina fired.
(This episode is just weird all around. Katrina a substitute teacher? Jay and Valerie working together? The class is persuaded to revolt against Katrina? Olivia joins the bullies in getting Katrina fired? And all this ties in with sinking a submarine? Very weird. I wish they hadn't put Jay and Valerie together. I had high hopes that Jay could turn around and become more of a nice guy with a suggestive attitude, but Valerie is the opposite, so it doesn't look good for him.)
Jay schemes a way to ditch his cousin Cindy by leaving her with Barrett, but Priscilla grows jealous of the new friendship.
(This just has not-appropriate-for-younger-listeners written all over it. And yet it's written by Bob Hoose, whom I wouldn't expect that from at all. I don't see how this storyline has anything to do with Jay trying to unbecome himself, but I guess we'll see.)
Before a gallery exhibit of her work, Penny tries a variety of methods to decide whom she can trust in life.
(This one seems like it could be kind of boring, but, again, it's from Paul McCusker, so it should be okay. I don't see what Penny's search for trust has to do with a gallery exhibition, though.)
So what do you think? Do any of these look very good or very disappointing or in-between to you? Do you agree or disagree with my assessments? As usual, I'd love to hear from you in the comments--no matter how long a comment you leave. Thanks for reading!