#922 The Team

Grab your AIO albums, and find a table! What makes your favorite episode the best? Have an episode you really dislike? This is the place to review and discuss AIO episodes and albums.
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MonkeyDude
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#922 The Team

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The Rydell Saga continues! What are your thoughts?

I actually really enjoyed it!

Emily this episode was *chef's kiss*. Phil has a really great handle on her character and I love how he balances her reluctance to associate with Morrie and Suzu with her unquenchable curiosity. (Also, I love that she just straight-up walked away after the end of LCTWTO without responding. #girlboss)

I've said it before, but Emily is genuinely one of the most well-developed characters on the show. Her growth has been a lot more subtle than the powerhouse characters like Connie and Eugene and, while not subtracting at all from Connie and Eugene's growth (because it's awesome too), it's been really rewarding to see. On that note, I love that she's the moral compass in this episode; it was a really good role for her. Even though she's clearly been struggling with faith and trust, she's still retained a commendable grip on the good morals she's learned.

It was also great to hear from Simon but...whaaaaat? WhY Is He SO cALm??? Does he know everything that's gone down with the Rydells??? He was really chill and by far the best voice of reason we've had so far but I'm just surprised he isn't more protective I guess (kudos for not being a helicopter parent though). It just feels like if your daughter was in a dangerous-near-death-but-not-actually experience you'd be slightly cautious about her hanging around the people WHO PUT HER THROUGH IT ON PURPOSE. Like, Emily is CANONICALLY traumatized and we haven't been shown a single figure in her life other than herself that has acknowledged it??? I don't think it would be a big deal if they just pulled what they usually do in Odyssey where people almost die but then it's ok and everyone just swiftly forgets and moves on but nO, EmIlY HAs goNe OUt OF HeR wAy tO sAY MULTIPle tiMES ThAt SHE IsN'T OK--

Also, this episode raises the point that maybe Emily isn't the one who is going to fall out with her faith. This episode ended surprisingly hopeful, and while things could DEFINITELY go south pretty quick (Morrie and Suzu are definitely causing problems that only they can solve and I don't care who this random other kid is), it seems as though Emily has a really solid foundation. Anyways, really excited for the next few weeks!
*Finger guns aggressively*
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cheesesoup123
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I LOVE it, i think this will be my fav album
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Monica Stone
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I'm making my fandom comeback for this album! I've been really disconnected from Odyssey due to life and just feeling burned out. But I'm hoping for the best with this album and I can't wait to discuss this album with y'all.

This episode only reaffirmed my pro-Emily agenda. I love her so much! MonkeyDude, I also love that it was revealed she just walked away when LCTWTO ended. "Friends don't make other friends think they're going to die" and telling and the Rydells to "take a hint" was just satisfying to hear from an audience perspective. Yet through it all, she maintains her ground, sets limits, and says it how it is without being unkind to Morrie & Suzu. Is her writing showing that Phil Lollar is being self-aware? I hope so. She has a firm moral grasp despite her faith struggles and I truly appreciate that! I still believe Emily is the "one of three" who will fall. It's so easy for writers to write a character who is struggling in faith to become increasingly immoral, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. Despite her strained faith, she wants to do what's right and seek truth. I'm optimistic for the future of this arc. I love Emily's portrayal. It's probably the only thing I've consistently enjoyed throughout the Rydell Saga and that trend continues into this episode. Also, I cannot wait to hear what she says to Whit. I'll touch on that more later in this post.

As the title would imply, the episode deals with the team Morrie and Suzu began to pitch at the end of the last album. I will give Morrie credit for one thing: The EMS Team is clever. Now, I get what the writers are trying to do here. They like having a springboard to write fun mysteries for some fan-favorite kid characters to solve. But I just feel that the mysteries they've written as of late have been riddled with inconsistencies (big or small) and are hard to get invested in. This episode's plot was much better and less convoluted than LCTWTO, but it's just hard to get invested, not with the characters, but with the story. Yes, I care about Cooper & Emily (jury's out on Morrie & Suzu). However, these mysteries don't even try to be solve-it-yourself or at the very least engaging. I'm just listening to characters spew jargon about phone GPS's, computer walls, & hacking and coming to conclusions about the aforementioned things. I feel that this has been a problem with many of the recent J&P/Rydell mysteries. It's just not interesting, IMO. I feel that I'm struggling to get my point across, but if you understand, please let me know your thoughts! I am glad the mystery didn't try to shoehorn a pre-established character as the villain because I can't think of any character who wouldn't feel forced.

Morrie and Suzu continue to be...Morrie and Suzu. They're supposed to be so smart and Morrie is supposed to be brilliant at reading people yet they are utterly oblivious with Emily. Either that or they purposely ignore what she has expressed both explicitly and implicitly so they can force her into a corner to be friends with her. The former is bad writing and the latter makes them even more unlikable. Then, after helping Emily under the agreement that it would be conditional and one-time, they're suddenly bummed when Emily leaves at the end, frustrated at them for continuing to nag her about the team?? Huh? I feel like we missed something with Morrie and Suzu's turn from oblivion to (finally) realizing that Emily may not be interested in their team after all. In addition to being frustrated at their oblivion, the siblings are so freaking blasé about their past with Emily. Emily points out that good friends don't trick the other into thinking they'll die, yet they seem to tune out her words. This is nothing on the actors (more on the director), but the characters are played so utterly cheerfully in every.single.scene after "Rydell Revelations" it feels off-putting. My 12-year-old sister (who enjoys the Rydell Saga infinitely more than me) even mentioned it annoys her that Morrie, in particular, seems unable to be anything but excited and giddy. I wish the writers would focus on developing Morrie and Suzu away from Emily. I want to see them adjust to a completely new life now under Whit's care. I thought that that was what was being set up at the end of "Rydell Revelations", but I guess not. It's far more interesting to me than Morrie & Suzu's weird hyperfixation on befriending Emily.

SIMON JONES IS BACK! Words cannot express how overjoyed I am! I love him so much and we haven't heard from him since 2015! Just hearing his voice again was great! *coughs* Anyway, fangirling aside, I'm not entirely pleased with his portrayal. Firstly, this isn't necessarily a criticism but an expectation letdown, but I expected him to be a protective papa bear. That has always seemed to be within his character. My actual criticism with his writing here: he seems too okay with letting Emily team up with Morrie and Suzu. He knows what happened between the three of them. Whit has been filling him in on the phone frequently and I'm sure Emily spoke about what's happened. He frames it as a problem of not trusting the Rydells (which he rightfully affirms as valid). Yet, this all goes beyond simple distrust. Emily is shaken in every sense of the word and she continues to verbalize her feelings. Simon says that maybe Emily is the right person to join the Rydells exactly because she doesn't trust them and she's what they need in terms of moral leadership. I just don't like the message this is sending. Emily isn't responsible for being a good influence on Morrie & Suzu. That's Whit's job. Emily shouldn't have to partner with her past abusers (because that's what they are) because she would be good for them. On Emily's side of things, I see how mysteries breathe fresh life into her and keep her mentally stimulated. Her motive for joining them seems to simply be that they can be useful assets and they can help her solve mysteries that she couldn't solve herself. But that's literally it: she sees them as helpful assets, not as people she actually desires to team up with. She hates what they've done to her and being around them always seems to reopen her fresh wounds. Ehhhh. I just feel it's way too early for this. But I'm not going to say anything too definitive and wait to see how this all pans out. I feel that her call with Whit will be important in regards to how my feelings develop with this story. What do you think she is going to say to him? It's kinda nerve-wracking. How's Whit going to respond to this? Are we going to get "Jumping Off, Jumping In" Whit or "Rydell Revelations" Whit?

This post may appear extremely negative and while I definitely have some negative feelings toward this episode, it was better than I thought it would be, which certainly surprised me.

I can't wait to read what you guys have to say! I have written way too much lol.
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djchatswithu
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Whit's character's definitely off, in Nothing to Fear Whit comforts Shirley and berates the kids who teased/tried to scare her. now two kids get locked in a machine and told one of them is going to die, and Whit's response is "I knew you weren't actually in any danger." and I know this is Whit, but you'd think he'd be more firm and serious with Morrie and Suzu. I mean, what was their punishment? all we hear is "go and be friends with the girl you said was going to die". I thought Morrie was meant to be whit's new nemesis, not Emily's. at this point, Connie and Eugene are nearly better guardians than Whit is, it's like they swapped roles in a way! I'm definitely intrigued as to what Emily says to Whit.
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Polehaus53
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Everyone here has great thoughts!
Monica Stone wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:46 pm
I wish the writers would focus on developing Morrie and Suzu away from Emily. I want to see them adjust to a completely new life now under Whit's care. I thought that that was what was being set up at the end of "Rydell Revelations", but I guess not. It's far more interesting to me than Morrie & Suzu's weird hyperfixation on befriending Emily.
YES! I completely agree! I really, really, really, really, really want to see the Rydell kids’ at Whit’s house and how everything is working out. I had assumed that’s what “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” would be about, but it wasn’t. And it wasn’t for this one either. I hope this is done at some point. It seems as though Morrie and Suzu will be sticking around for a while, so I think it’s likely we might get that.
Monica Stone wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:46 pm
it's just hard to get invested, not with the characters, but with the story. Yes, I care about Cooper & Emily (jury's out on Morrie & Suzu). However, these mysteries don't even try to be solve-it-yourself or at the very least engaging. I'm just listening to characters spew jargon about phone GPS's, computer walls, & hacking and coming to conclusions about the aforementioned things. I feel that this has been a problem with many of the recent J&P/Rydell mysteries. It's just not interesting, IMO. I feel that I'm struggling to get my point across, but if you understand, please let me know your thoughts!
What do you mean by “it’s hard to get invested with the story”? I agree that it isn’t much of a solve-it-yourself type of mystery. It’s more of the listener just hearing the characters solve the problem. In this case, the problem they were solving involved complicated computer/phone jargon. The listener just listens. That’s how it usually is with any other episode, right? Or are you saying that you expect the episode to have a situation in which the listener tries to solve the mystery themselves like other Jones and Parker episode? The story itself, however, I thought was fine. It works development with Emily and the Rydell kids. Not sure what you mean by “it’s just not interesting”. Considering all that you’ve written, it must have been pretty interesting, right? ;)
Monica Stone wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:46 pm
I feel that her call with Whit will be important in regards to how my feelings develop with this story. What do you think she is going to say to him? It's kinda nerve-wracking. How's Whit going to respond to this? Are we going to get "Jumping Off, Jumping In" Whit or "Rydell Revelations" Whit?
I have a feeling that we may get “Rydell Revelations” Whit. Before Emily calls Whit she says the words, “before I commit”, referring to the Rydell kids’ team. After listening to that last scene, it seems to me that Emily is planning to join Morrie and Suzu’s team. I can’t see Emily saying anything that we want to Whit. So as much as I want to see Whit called out for his actions, I’m just going to go ahead and Expect the Worst and guess that Emily will either apologize to Whit or thank him for encouraging Morrie and Suzu to start this team. :anxious:

I wish I had time to respond to everything else. But anyway, on to my thoughts on this episode. I’ll need to hear this episode more, but for now I’ll say that it was pretty good. I’ll just give a few general observations of things that I liked.

-First of all, Emily was great in this episode! I’ll be posting specific thoughts about Emily in the E.R.K. Be sure to stop by.

-The scene where they executed the plan was quite stressful. I would’ve been at the edge of my seat if I was sitting down when I heard it.

-The part where Cooper tackled Seymore was great. Very good sound design on that part, I must say.

-Seymour Krelborn is an interesting character. I’m hoping that he appears in future episodes. :yes:

-SIMON JONES RETURNED!! His last appearance was in “B-TV: To Tell The Truth”, an Adventures in Odyssey Club exclusive episode which was released in 2015. It’s great to hear from him again, 6 years later! \:D/
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll need to hear it a few more times before forming a more solid opinion, but for now I’ll say that it was pretty good, and I look forward to seeing what the rest of Album 71 holds.

May this episode remind all of us that Emily RULES! ;)
-Signed, PolehausFifty-three

Member of The Emily Rules Klub (est. 2012)

“We have it translated in every language: (กฎของเอมิลี่, Emily es la mejor, 艾米莉规则, Emily Quy tắc!, エミリーは最高です, emilyyay ulesray!, Эмили Правила!, Emily é a melhor, एमिली नियम!, Emily est la meilleure!, إميلي هي الأفضل!, Emily Kuralları!, אמילי שולטת!, Emily Regeln!, 에밀리 담당!, Si Emily ang pinakamahusay!, എമിലി രാജ്ഞിയാണ്!, એમિલી નિયમો!) that Emily RULES!”~The E.R.K.
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greatkindheartedbush
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Here's my rambling thoughts on it.
It was good to hear from Cooper again, I like that Odyssey is including some more high schooler characters. I hope he gets more character development in the future. Thought it was weird that Emily immediately went to Morrie, who she doesn't trust for help with tech instead of asking Matthew who she does trust first. Now I realize "tech" is a huge area(coming from a guy trying to learn network administration who gets annoyed when people want my help on some computer problem I have no clue how to fix), and Matthew might not have the same skillset as Morrie, but it seems better to ask him first. I applaud Emily's decision to be careful about trusting Morrie and Suzu again, because there's a difference between forgiveness and wholehearted trust. Still think she's working on the forgiveness part understandably. Normally, I don't like Emily focused episodes but she seemed written pretty well this time.
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