However... I will start out with this quote from Ben Warren from his review at The Changing Times. I thought he summed up my core feelings about this episode very well in this paragraph:
Ultimately, "Child's Play" is significant because it delves a little more into Eugene and Katrina's married life, and these sorts of stories are always more worth telling than stories about children or characters we may never hear from in 5 years. It also included scenes that highlighted the beauty of marriage; there's something very nice about listening in as they sit in their bedroom, getting ready for bed, discussing their concerns and fears with one another. That's the point where Eugene and Katrina feel, not only interesting, but real.And that's what I thought made this episode another great story to add to the other excellent stories in Album 55. We haven't had an episode totally focused on Eugene and Katrina since their wedding episode "For Better or for Worse" in Album 44. And I thought it was very nice. The episode was slow-paced, and it gave us a look at what Eugene and Katrina's relationship is like behind closed doors. We got tastes of this in "How to Sink a Sub" and "You're Two Kind," and we got a closer look in "To Mend or Repair," but since this was a whole episode dedicated to their experience with babysitting children, it felt different, like we got to learn more about them than we have in a long time.
I really liked the kids in the episode. They were both very realistic, and they had great actors. Unless I'm a terrible judge of this, I was pretty certain that adult actors were not used for the kids. ;) That was a great choice. I don't think I would have liked the episode as much if the kids weren't played by real kids. I also liked the distinct, different personalities each kid had. It was a humorous situation for Eugene to have to keep up with such an active Kyle, and it was an interesting challenge for Katrina to stay sane while Joy asked her so many questions.
I thought Wooton was great in this episode. For once, I didn't think Wooton was annoying. He did his part, and he didn't intrude into anyone else's part. He felt like the old Wooton to me. You know, the one that was around at the same time as...Cal Jordan! Oh, it was so great to hear an old character mentioned! No longer do we have to think that all of the people at Whit's End suffered some sort of amnesia that caused them to forget everything and everyone that came before Album 51! But, yeah, it was nice to see that nod to the last generation of Odyssey kids...even though Cal's record was beaten about five minutes after we know it existed.... :P
Connie was also interesting. I thought it was, again, realistic, that she got tired of Joy's questions really fast. I would have been the same way. Which is why it was all the more admirable that Katrina was able to cope with them for so long. It almost leaves you wondering why the writers teased us with this episode, when you know the Meltsners won't be getting any kids of their own, apart from a miracle. Eugene and Katrina seem like they'd be so good with kids, but they can't have their own kids, so what's the point of knowing that?
But aside from that, I really liked this episode. It was entertaining, and yet not silly or too fast-paced. Just seeing a husband and wife, whom we've grown to love over the years, grow together and love each other was material enough for a superb episode. I hope there are more stories like these in the future. But...then again, I don't, because I think it was the uniqueness of this episode that made it so good. :)
What did you think of the episode? What did you think of what I thought of the episode? I'd love to hear about it! You can write me at Adventures in Odyssey Colorado Springs, Colora.... No wait, you can write me right under this post! ;) Please comment!