I get what PennyBassett is saying, but there's a massive difference between cheering up the tone and just tossing the previous tone in the trash can and hitting you over the head with it to an obnoxious degree. There wasn't any gradual shift, either and that just made it way worse.
As far as covering Tom Riley goes... I think it goes without saying that in a perfect world, his passing would have been acknowledged years ago. The Odyssey team made a mistake by not addressing this sooner. But, I can understand why that might have been the case; Mr. Edmiston was a key player in the show and a good friend of the team for many years, and maybe it was too hard emotionally for them to cover it for quite a while. Writing about it then would have been like "Gone..." again, except Walker's character actually dies, while in '94 they left the door open for at least the possibility that Hal's character could come back or make a cameo.
When people address the subplots and especially the Western as "silly" or "forced", though, I think they miss a good part of what Walker and Tom Riley were about. While he was sometimes consumed with emotions brought on from the past, overall Tom very much lived in the moment. His character was upbeat, down to earth, not at all self-conscious, and liked to have a good time. Also, the actors and writers had worked with Walker for many years, and I'm sure they were inspired by their knowledge of him. We can conjecture from his time on the show and his portfolio elsewhere that he probably had a lot in common with his character. It's not unlikely that he liked Westerns and the kinds of skits that they did on AIO, especially in its earlier years ("Over the Airwaves" comes to mind), and they felt it would be appropriate to include something like that into a tribute. It seems that a good part of Walker Edmiston and Tom Riley's legacy was and is living and having fun doing it, which the characters and actors seemed to do in spades. So, what better tribute? I'm not sure that having an episode two-parter like "Life Expectancy" would have fit either the actor or the character's personality, and in any case it would be more than a little odd to try to do something in that style now, after not mentioning him at all since album 50.
As far as the plot and the pacing of the episode, I liked it overall. I won't deny that the circumstances that bring the troupe into play are a little contrived, but they aren't totally improbable, and this is not the first time AIO's ever required a little bit of suspension of disbelief here. Maybe the circumstances in the show were intended to parallel the real world; if so, all I can say is "Good for them". The writers, Will Ryan and co. took advantage of the opportunities and some apparent 'coincidences' God gave them and turned it into something that a lot more people could enjoy. The forest-set scenes were weaker than the others, but I don't think it's enough to wreck the entire show.
Legacy isn't a great two-parter, but it's better than people are likely to give it credit for and winds up the various plotlines reasonably well.
The skit is a significant part of the second episode, so I'll cover it a little bit. I liked it a lot overall. My main complaints are with the villain song, which is very reminiscent of the one from "Thankstaking", but isn't as clever, and that Buck's character gets out of death through what amounts to a cheap trick. It probably wouldn't have bothered me so much had I not been recently reminded of the Chronicles of Narnia, where Aslan literally dies in a way that is explicitly evocative of the Crucifixion. It made me think about Christ's sacrifice more, and that's what I was thinking about when Odyssey presented something else that was clearly meant to be inspired by that. But it seemed to present a cheapened version of it. "He gave himself up to die... but not really". I mean, 'Buck' doesn't even get hurt. It's also worth noting that he took action to resist the bad guys, instead of being "led like a lamb to the slaughter". That said, seeing as Buck's character was not supernatural, I admit I can't think of any other way he could have avoided an untimely demise otherwise.
Right now I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.
The second episode (from what I do remember) was not nearly as good, and the musical seemed very rushed in the episode.
In general, I think it was another "Something Old, Something New." First part was pretty good, the second part was awful.
I'm Monty Whittaker's greatest fan. member of the K.R.E
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.
"Why does Connie shower all of the time?" ~CGM_Games
I really agree. We all knew Tom wasn't coming back, and Congrats to aio for finally facing the fire. But it was cliche and quite boring to be honest.Connie G. wrote:This episode was bothering to me. Yes, I knew Walker had died, and Tom was unlikely to come back. What I found troubling was that it came across to me like "Oh, hey, yeah, by the way, Tom died... like a long time ago... Sorry =p Yeah and it's like oooh, we're just FRIENDS and then oooh lets put Jules and buck in a forced mushy we-really-do-like-each-other dorky musical with her little singing friends OH I WONDER this may make JULES and BUCK realize they REALLY DO LOVE EACH OTHER and then we can create MORE DRAMA for Connie and everyone to FIX because that'll be INTERESTING! Ughh I tried y'all I tried to like this episode but I literally could not stand it. Sorry.