Friend Or Foe

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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Kungfunaomi
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Friend Or Foe

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What did you guys think? I have the plot and review here: https://odysseynerds.wordpress.com/2017 ... nd-or-foe/

I know that some people say it was just like Under the Influence but I heartily disagree, though there are some nods to that episode.
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Shadow
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I rate this one 8.75 out of 10.... cause I hate Valerie.
Last edited by Shadow on Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PennyBassett
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I enjoyed it a lot. All the Jules arguing with Connie and with Buck scenes were really good. The only thing that I would change is how perfect they made Buck. He literally did nothing wrong in this episode. Maybe I was just going into the episode thinking Buck was going to go along with whatever crazy stuff they were going to be doing. I forget that he's a perfect little child now.
Can we talk about how cringy Vallery's crush on Buck is? I think it's up there with the Doris/Eugene scene in The One About Trust. The way Vallery gushes over him and seems to get a little handsy is just very uncomfortable.
This episode really reminded me of Twisted Pathway, First Love (The party side of things), and Modesty is The Best Policy. I'd say that's a good thing overall, because I love all those episodes, and then the episode feels more classic.
So yeah, great episode overall. I didn't fangirl quite as much as I was hoping to, but I honestly don't care, it's well written, brilliantly acted, and the sound design (specifically the music) was exceptional. I was really hoping that we'd get a good episode after Find A Penny, and we did!
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Kungfunaomi
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PennyBassett wrote: Can we talk about how cringy Vallery's crush on Buck is? I think it's up there with the Doris/Eugene scene in The One About Trust. The way Vallery gushes over him and seems to get a little handsy is just very uncomfortable.
Well, and in both the Doris/Eugene, and Valerie/Buck, both Doris and Valerie were being artificially impressed, I think. I said in my review that "Valerie sounds like she's fishing", and I meant that she is just seeing if he will take the bait. She's not actually impressed, I don't think.
PennyBassett wrote:So yeah, great episode overall. I didn't fangirl quite as much as I was hoping to, but I honestly don't care, it's well written, brilliantly acted, and the sound design (specifically the music) was exceptional. I was really hoping that we'd get a good episode after Find A Penny, and we did!
Totally. And it was interesting too, I was expecting to fangirl, but it's just an episode that is almost above that.
Also, I think that Buck was not the main character so there was no reason to have him do anything wrong at the moment. If they did that would detract from the Jules focus.
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Autumnal
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It has the same premise as Under the Influence, but the stakes are much lower, and Under the Influence was a better episode. And this is coming from someone who's not very big on Aubrey. This episode isn't bad, it's actually pretty decent, but I'm getting tired of Jules. I liked her when she was first introduced, but she's not really being a particularly unique, or even interesting, character. AIO's seen characters in Jules' archetype before and putting such a primary focus on her is old. I get what the writers are going for with Connie--making her grow by basically raising a younger version of herself--but it isn't interesting. Because she's so much like Connie, we've already seen (heard?) her kind of character before. Multiple times. The writers aren't trying anything new with this character and it's boring to listen to. They need a reason why this character's arc is different from Connie's or Aubrey's, and so far, we don't have that. They need to do something different with this character pronto.

I definitely agree with PennyBassett about Buck too. He's been way too "perfect" and it's not interesting. This episode, on a technical level, was good. It told a cohesive and perfectly competent story but it just wasn't interesting. It did everything you expected it to and nothing more and nothing less. Connie's lecture to Jules at the end was excellent, however. Katie Leigh's delivery of it was amazing and the stand-out part of the episode.

I didn't think Valerie's crush on Buck was that cringey, though. It was very shallow but I think the writers meant for it to be like that, especially since it fit with Valerie pretty well, and it's actually like some shallow crushes I've seen from my peers, so it felt pretty realistic (of course "realistic" does NOT equate to "good", but that's neither here nor there). I don't know why the writers included it, though. Unless it plays a part in another episode, they should have cut it out. One of the main rules of writing is that if it isn't important for something, leave it out.
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Kungfunaomi
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Autumnal wrote: One of the main rules of writing is that if it isn't important for something, leave it out.
That's why I love this episode so much, though, because versus so many other episodes of AIO lately, this one keeps on track almost 100% of the time and actually accomplished something- versus part two of Legacy or the many wedding/ Wooton and Penny episodes. Of course, there is a place for those, but to me this episode is like a breath of fresh air.

I can see where the rest of your opinion comes from and I won't argue, however, I personally like this episode over Under the Influence. And I am not a big Aubrey person either.
So you say they need to do something different with this character, what do you suggest? I am trying to make it a rule not to complain unless I have a solution for my complaint as well. It seems to me that Jules is already different- though I do agree, they still have her here to the end of having Connie raise a mini Connie.

And I mean- going to tack on a little bit more here- talking to Nathan Hoobler about episodes in general, he told me that people can complain but unfortunately the writers have to do what is best for the show, not necessarily based on whether the fans on a whim like it or not. I have to try to remember that when I hate an episode, and while I can complain and tell them what I hate, I usually have no solution to the problem, while the Odyssey team has to figure out something, which is a whole lot harder than just stating what you or I hate. Just keep that in mind as you fire away. I'm not saying don't fire away. Just keep that in mind.

I personally like that they are establishing characters that I generally like. At some point, Connie and Eugene are going to have to disappear from the show, and while that generally may be a long way off, they are being smart and preparing ahead of time, I think.
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TigerShadow
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The thing is, though, Jules has been around for three years now. By this point in both Connie's and Aubrey's tenure on the show, their characters had actually been taken somewhere. I mean, if Jules is actually going somewhere and at least changing in some way for some reason, then fine, but if she's not, then I can understand the complaints. My opinion may not hold much water because I haven't listened to the most recent episodes and haven't been really interested in doing so, but then again I never cared very much for Jules in the first place; to be honest, she seemed like Connie or Aubrey without the charm.

And to be fair, there's a difference between firing off an angry rant and calmly stating an opinion, the former of which is probably more in line with what Nathan was talking about. There are people who are still hung up over the split episodes of almost two decades ago, and some even still criticize the show in its early years, never mind what their opinions are of the shows now. 'Tis the way of a long-running show.
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Kungfunaomi
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TigerShadow wrote:The thing is, though, Jules has been around for three years now. By this point in both Connie's and Aubrey's tenure on the show, their characters had actually been taken somewhere. I mean, if Jules is actually going somewhere and at least changing in some way for some reason, then fine, but if she's not, then I can understand the complaints.
I suppose she is getting worse, but in light of thinking about her for a little while, I think I do have to agree that there has been less progression either way than people would wish. She was pretty bad when she was first introduced, and in her return in The Ties That Bind.
TigerShadow wrote:
And to be fair, there's a difference between firing off an angry rant and calmly stating an opinion, the former of which is probably more in line with what Nathan was talking about.
You are right, I stand corrected. :yes:
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Autumnal
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Kungfunaomi wrote: I personally like this episode over Under the Influence.
Why do you prefer this episode over Under the Influence? Is it just personal taste, or are there several reasons you can pinpoint?

I prefer Under the Influence over Friend or Foe because its stakes are higher and it's paced better. A lot of Aubrey's arc was leading up to this episode, because we see her constantly being challenged in her beliefs and learning about the world in all of her episodes, which isn't the case for Jules. Under the Influence felt earned and a natural part of Aubrey's growth as a character, whereas this episode felt more obligatory to remind us that "Jules isn't as bad as so-and-so".
Kungfunaomi wrote:So you say they need to do something different with this character, what do you suggest?
I think I'd get Jules more of an "edge". Unlike Aubrey or Connie, she has very little parenting and is therefore very reckless because of it, and likely has a lot of other issues that stem from it. This is actually done fairly well with Kelly, but she was dropped pretty quickly and her character arc was wrapped up without much of anything. Of course she was about ten years old and Jules is fifteen, so the latter would be a harder sell. For this to work, though, the writers would need to make Jules changing and learning (and remembering), otherwise it wouldn't work. In fact, a lot of teenagers are like her in real life--jaded, cynical, etc., so she could be an excellent character that works with the times, but probably won't be too dated come a few years.

Her having issues with authority is talked about in the show so it wouldn't come out of nowhere, either. The idea's played with a little bit, but it's never taken fully advantage of. The writers could go all out and make her a foil of Buck as well; both of them had very little parenting but whereas Buck is looking to "be better," Jules isn't. The writers could work on Buck's and Jules' character arcs simultaneously by mirroring their storylines. They already more or less seem to be doing that with Connie and Eugene, who were always foils so this is a nice progression, so why not these two characters as well?
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Kungfunaomi
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Autumnal wrote:Her having issues with authority is talked about in the show so it wouldn't come out of nowhere, either. The idea's played with a little bit, but it's never taken fully advantage of. The writers could go all out and make her a foil of Buck as well; both of them had very little parenting but whereas Buck is looking to "be better," Jules isn't. The writers could work on Buck's and Jules' character arcs simultaneously by mirroring their storylines. They already more or less seem to be doing that with Connie and Eugene, who were always foils so this is a nice progression, so why not these two characters as well?
I like it! Polar opposites since they insist on having Jules' moment, and then Buck's moment. It truly does feel like they are trying to even them out so I agree that they need to bring Buck one way, and Jules the other.
Autumnal wrote:Why do you prefer this episode over Under the Influence? Is it just personal taste, or are there several reasons you can pinpoint?
It seems long to me. And yes the stakes were higher and I do enjoy that aspect of the episode. Also, I really don't like Aubrey. I know you don't either so this is about as lame as an excuse I can make. Totally admit it. So at this point I am just going to have to make the non-argument and say I like Friend or Foe better. So there. :D
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Autumnal
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I've always loved character foils that are more than simply "differing personalities and they clash because of it" so having character arcs mirror the other is something I constantly look for in fiction. AtLA's Aang and Zuko really made me start setting the bar really high for things like that.

I totally get liking something and not really having a reason why. I'm guilty of it myself a lot of the time. cx
Lathiapenny1213
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I like this episode.
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