Yes, I'm finally going to get around to my last review of the season. Although I was expecting to write it tomorrow, I found out that I won't have the opportunity to sit down and write for a half hour tomorrow morning, so I figured my only time, if I'm going to keep my promise, is this morning. So, here's my review of Something Old, Something New!
Contrary to most people it seems, I actually liked this two-parter. Now, let me qualify that by saying that it did have problems. But I don't think those problems were too big to make it a terrible episode, like others were portraying it. I think I already mentioned here that Mitch's return was a total surprise to me. For once, I had no idea that a surprise was coming. I was expecting a so-so episode about Connie, Penny, and Wooton and "Dreams by Constance."
I hadn't had time to listen to the episode early in the morning like I usually do, so I was tuning in to the radio broadcast with my whole family on the way to soccer. And I was liking what I was hearing. It was an original episode idea, and it was intertwined with a fairly engaging Jones and Parker mystery. It wasn't the best premise in the world, but I was interested enough that I'd look forward to the next week to see how the stories would connect. And Wooton wasn't even all that annoying! Then, as I'm getting out of the van when we get to soccer, I'm about ready to walk away, because the episode's almost over, and I'm already a little late. But as I retrieved my water bottle (which I always forget) from the van, I heard Connie taking calls on Kids' Radio with Wooton. I was intrigued, so I listened. When the second caller started talking, I literally said to my brother, "Heh, that almost sounded like Mitch for a second." Imagine my shock when five seconds later I learned that it was Mitch! I was ecstatic. So much so that I immediately went and told one of my friends with whom I play soccer, but who knows next-to-nothing about Odyssey, all about what had just happened. :P
So maybe now you can see at least a little bit of why, despite how anticlimactic the second part of this episode was, I still really enjoyed it because of my experience with the first part. But then the second part really wasn't all that bad. There were a lot of plot twists. But I didn't think that was necessarily a bad thing. The writers actually had my dad and me totally believing one of the plot twists. I was sure that Maureen was a counterfeit painter, that she was secretly going out with another man ("Cute Guy"), and that Mitch was posing as her fiancee, but was really on an undercover operation to expose her. And my hypotheses seemed to be bolstered by the fact that I thought Mitch's acting sounded quite fake.
But then, as you know, the story took an unexpected turn, and not only were Mitch and Maureen truly going to get married, but they were both agents, working together to expose Jacques Henri, and Maureen wasn't doing anything illegal. So, in that sense, it was pretty anticlimactic for me, since I had all those ideas about Maureen being a fake. And I think, as a 7/8-year Odyssey fan, I still subconsciously wanted Connie and Mitch to be together, despite the fact that I knew it wouldn't work and that their previous failed attempt at marrying should have solidified in my mind that it wouldn't happen.
I think most fans, whether they like to admit it or not, were satisfied with the way things turned out with Connie and Mitch. Not only did it make for a more interesting story when they didn't get married, but it also kept Connie on the show. I mean, do we really think that the writers would have given us stories from Budapest about Mitch's adventures and Connie's trials at home? I, for one, am glad the decision was made to let Connie stick around and to let Mitch go. Yes, I, like everyone else who was very involved in the Novacom Saga and Connie and Mitch's dating relationship, really wanted them to get married. But I think I, like most fans, didn't consider all the implications of what would happen if they did. And now that I have thought about it more deeply, I don't want it to happen. Hopefully sometime in the future, we'll get to hear that Connie got an e-mail or something from Mitch saying that he and Maureen got married, so that we won't have any room left for "hoping" that Connie and Mitch have any chance together.
So that was another reason I liked the episode as a whole. Part I got me really excited that Mitch was back in town. And then Part II gave me time to think logically through the situation, resolved the situation by ensuring me that Maureen and Mitch were together for good, and satisfied me by finally concluding the Connie and Mitch saga.
Now, all that said, I don't think this was the absolute best way to resolve everything. There could have been a better story. Maureen could have been a bit more likeable, Steve Burns could have done a better job acting, so as to make me sympathize more with Mitch and make him feel like less of a dry character, but overall, I think it was a decent, if not good, conclusion. Fans should be moderately pleased with it.
As for other things I have to say about the episode, it was a little overly silly in some parts. I think less time could have been spent with Wooton and his unneeded preparations for the "wedding." And in that sense, I thought Wooton was distracting in this episode, but he wasn't as bad as he has been recently. He was more silly than intrusive and annoying, so I was okay with him. Plus, there wasn't much between him and Penny in the episode, so that was a relief.
This episode made me realize how very detached Andre Stojka's Whit feels from Paul Herlinger and Hal Smith's Whit. When Whit told Mitch, "Nice to see you again," I felt like he had no right to be saying that. I didn't like it. Andre as Whit still seems like a new character who was introduced with Album 51, who really doesn't have much of a connection with the Odyssey before that album. For the most part, I like his interactions with the newer characters--even Monty and Jason, to an extent. But something about his interactions with Mitch in this episode made me really miss Paul Herlinger.
I know the computer virus thing was something else that bothered people. But I didn't really care about that dropped plot line. It seemed like it was only needed in order to send the Wooton-and-Connie e-mail out to the whole town, and it served its purpose. Some people apparently thought it should have come into play as part of the FBI investigation in the second part of the episode, but I really didn't feel like it was a part of the plot that needed a resolution. Maybe it was just me, though.
Well, I think that's about all I have to say. I was very pleased with Album 55--with pretty much every episode--and this was a good way to end it. Maybe not the best way, but a good way. I was satisfied; I think most fans were satisfied in some way or another, so everything is okay. And now I really look forward to Album 56! Who knows, maybe this one will be better than 55? It's certainly looking like it has that potential.
Thank you for reading my review! Sorry it took me such a long time to get it out. I hope you enjoyed it!