909: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

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Peachey Keen
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909: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

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After the controversial revelations, what say you all about this aftermath episode?
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MasterLink4eva
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I was disappointed. I thought there would be more of an impact on this, and plus it was a bit misleading. So mixed-feelings really.
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Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. I didn't have super high expectations for the episode but it seemed like a poorly put together mystery. The jokes didn't seem to land hard, and I feel like Emily's attitude was inconsistent, one minute she's cooperating with he Rydells and happy, the next she's angry (rightfully so) and the writing seemed to on the nose at times (ex. "You used to do things like that, but you've changed, that was your old life"), some of the lines seemed forceful. The acting was fine, it's just hard to act great with clunky lines, and I feel like after the excitement and hype of The Rydell Revelations, Pt. 1-3, I wasn't expecting an odd mystery. The premise was great, but I feel like the episode gave easy answers, too late into the episode and confusing, like did buck really need to set up an entire elaborate scheme just to get the diary, it had to do with Jay all along etc. I was excited when Buck showed up because it was an awesome twist, but everything fell apart from there. I also couldn't stand Morrie and Suzu. The fact that they asked to be part of their team was downright infuriating, Emily has every right to be upset, not to be rude (which she kind of was) but to be upset, and I fear that her character isn't going to change for the better because of Morrie's schemes.

In conclusion, the episode had an interesting premise, fairly decent acting, odd music, meh execution, and overall a somewhat dissatisfying story. Objectively it's a 4/5 at best, but if I give my honest opinion, it's a 2/5 or 6.5/10
Last edited by Matthewparker2 on Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unfortunately, it seems like every album has an outlier, one episode that feels like it either doesn't fit or isn't as good. In an album of awesome episodes, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" is definitely the odd one out. Not as bad as "Rightly Dividing" was compared to the rest of Album 67, or how "For a Song" was significantly worse than the others in Album 69, or how B-TV: Trinity was starkly different in tone than Album 66, (and most B-TVs for that matter), but it was still pretty bad.
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Monica Stone
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Well, now that album 70 has finished airing, I can now say I liked all the episodes on the album! It feels good to say that, especially after album 69 had exhausting multi-part episodes that I wasn't crazy about ("For a Song", the only single-part episode, was my favorite). I have many thoughts about this episode and would love to discuss this with fellow Soda Shoppers!

So my thoughts are this:

The audacity of Morrie calling himself Emily's supportive friend...I laughed aloud. Nice one, Morrie.

Morrie & Suzu obviously do not understand the gravity of their actions (as I assumed) & that's at least partially on Whit. He may be teaching them "Christian stuff" but if he doesn't get to the root of Morrie & Suzu's problems at the gateway, things will continue to go badly. Whit himself doesn't understand the gravity of the Rydell's actions and their effect on Emily. If he did, he would encourage Morrie & Suzu to give Emily space instead of discussing some kind of team-up. Here's to hoping the rest of the arc will continue these characters in a good way...unlike "The Rydell Revelations, Part 3." O.o

Initially, I was annoyed that this episode was a mystery but I realize it had to be that way for Emily to reluctantly be involved with the Rydells again. However, the mystery itself was enjoyable but the resolution to the mystery could have been handled better. The diary plot point was introduced too late and therefore had to be introduced & resolved through major exposition/info-dumping in a single scene.

EMILY. So good. I love her. Cristina Pucelli did a fabulous job -- all of Emily's emotions were so felt through her performance. The writing for Emily was excellent. I'm going to focus on her last scene in particular. She vocalized her distrust in the Rydells & Whit and her "rocky" relationship with Matthew (does that line mean we still have more Emily/Matthew episodes? Please?). Not only that, she explicitly pointed out her trauma (although as a struggling abuse victim, she doesn't call it "trauma" as she likely doesn't realize it's trauma). And even beyond that, she even expressed that she was praying to God to remove her suffering/anger, but He hasn't and she doesn't know what to do. That hit me like a freight train and I'm very excited/nervous to see where the show goes with this. Is she going to fall from faith (harkening back to Wilson's nudge that "one of three will fall")? Whether or not that happens, we have a lot of stories left with Emily & her struggles and I can't wait for album 71.

This episode's enjoyability may become better or worse, depending on how the rest of the arc plays out. If Emily's feelings & struggles are not shown through an antagonistic lens and are dealt with delicately and appropriately, then I will be so happy and enjoy this episode. If Morrie & Suzu's want to team-up with Emily are shown to be virtuous and Emily's unacceptance as problematic, then I will be mad. But I'm going to be cautiously optimistic -- the mindset I try to have going into any piece of media.

Hah. And I tried to summarize my thoughts briefly.
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MasterLink4eva
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So is episode proof that Buck loves Jules and will do anything for her, or what?
Last edited by MasterLink4eva on Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Monica Stone
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MasterLink4eva wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:38 pm
So is episode proof that Buck loves and will do anything for her, or what?
This episode is further proof Buck & Jules make for a disaster duo. Jules is constantly dragging Buck down the wrong path through her own immaturity and irresponsibility. Buck bends over backward for her and for what? I don't understand what he gains from the relationship anymore. I mean, it's obvious that at least he likes her, probably romantically, but she is bad for his growth and development as a person.

Suzu Rydell thinks Buck is a worse person when he's around Jules. Suzu Rydell. And if even she notices that, I hope the writers have taken notice and have written some episodes to deal with the toxicity of their relationship.
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Yeah, I liked this episode overall. But I was really hoping to see interaction between Whit, Morrie, and Suzu (thanks to our LCTWTO theorizing). Or even Emily. But what we got was quite interesting, for reasons I'll get to in a minute.

It was pretty great to see Emily exploding at the Rydells/being rude to them the entire episode. Okay, it wasn't nice, but it confirms our theories about her. Especially that last scene. Though I'm not sure they would ask her to join their 'team' after she blew up at them.

Like you guys mentioned, I am really annoyed with the Buck and Jules combination. If you look back, Jules has caused Buck nothing but trouble by suggesting schemes. :x And it is also Buck's fault for being so easily swayed. Is it possible that Jules is using Buck like how Richard Maxwell used Lucy?

But I am seriously intrigued about the next Rydell episode because I wonder if it will address any of these unanswered questions:
  • So, why did Suzu randomly know the number of the secretary, and apparently the principal, if she wasn't trying to fake that the phones weren't hers? (like Emily suggested)
  • If Buck was behind the whole thing…why did he have to plant the phones on anyone? And even if he did have to plant them...why did he plant them on Emily, Morrie, and Suzu of all people?! Unless I'm missing something, the school should have been empty by that time, and everyone, including those three, would have gone home. He didn't really have to get them out of the way by putting them in detention. Alternatively, he could have just hidden the phones somewhere and left them out of it - all he needed was for the office to be empty.
  • Emily asks Buck where he got the three phones he planted on them...wait, why didn't she just say, "Oh, how did you steal those phones?" Or is she suggesting that the phones didn't belong to those three?
  • When Morrie and Suzu ask Emily about their team, they include Whit in it. What? Why? I'm extremely curious about the answers to all these questions.
Unless I'm missing something (please tell me if I am), there are a lot of loose ends in this episode, and I am pretty sure they were intentional and not mistakes.

I'm going to give Let's Call The Whole Thing Off a 4 out of 5 stars. This was a great album! :clap:
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I liked this episode! And it seems as though all our theories about it were wrong. :lol:

From the day we found out that the episode “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” will be the next Rydell episode, I assumed that it would be about Whit taking in Morrie and Suzu. Taking the kids into his home and getting them settled down and through that Morrie and Suzu would come to the realization that Whit cares about them enough to keep them in Odyssey. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t about that, but I’m okay with it. Maybe the next Rydell episode will focus on that aspect.

Monica Stone wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:30 pm
EMILY. So good. I love her. Cristina Pucelli did a fabulous job -- all of Emily's emotions were so felt through her performance. The writing for Emily was excellent. I'm going to focus on her last scene in particular. She vocalized her distrust in the Rydells & Whit and her "rocky" relationship with Matthew (does that line mean we still have more Emily/Matthew episodes? Please?). Not only that, she explicitly pointed out her trauma (although as a struggling abuse victim, she doesn't call it "trauma" as she likely doesn't realize it's trauma). And even beyond that, she even expressed that she was praying to God to remove her suffering/anger, but He hasn't and she doesn't know what to do. That hit me like a freight train and I'm very excited/nervous to see where the show goes with this. Is she going to fall from faith (harkening back to Wilson's nudge that "one of three will fall")?
YES! I loved how Emily was being cold and avoiding towards Morrie and Suzu throughout the episode. Emily has been through a lot. I absolutely loved the last scene where she blows up at them. It was great. I feel for her. I definitely think she will be falling from her faith. And I highly doubt that she is going to accept Morrie and Suzu's offer to join their 'team'.

It was good to hear from Ms. Adelaide again. The last time we heard from her was in only one scene with a few lines in "Bridget, Redefined", so I was very happy that she appeared for a longer time in this episode.

I liked Jay in this episode. He had some funny lines. When I first heard this episode, I thought it would be Jay who was behind the whole scheme, so I was very surprised when Buck came into the office.

One thing that I feel I must point out is that Buck needs to be in trouble as well; he broke into the office and he wasted the principals’ time by making them have to close up the office during working hours to retrieve a phone that they weren’t even going to get back. I don’t know, that's what I thought. Maybe if he'd had some dialogue when Emily, Morrie, Suzu, and Jay were picking up trash to show that he wasn't let off the hook.

Overall, this was another great episode in album 70 and I’m sad to see it end. I am looking forward to the next episode in the Rydell Saga!

Oh, and needless to say, Emily RULES! :P ;)
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Monica Stone
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ASmouseInTheHouse wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:31 pm
So, why did Suzu randomly know the number of the secretary, and apparently the principal, if she wasn't trying to fake that the phones weren't hers? (like Emily suggested)
Morrie's explanation was that she was good at remembering things. It was probably just a red herring in the story. Not to mention, Morrie & Suzu are very resourceful, so it doesn't surprise me all too much.
ASmouseInTheHouse wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:31 pm
If Buck was behind the whole thing…why did he have to plant the phones on anyone? And even if he did have to plant them...why did he plant them on Emily, Morrie, and Suzu of all people?! Unless I'm missing something, the school should have been empty by that time, and everyone, including those three, would have gone home. He didn't really have to get them out of the way by putting them in detention. Alternatively, he could have just hidden the phones somewhere and left them out of it - all he needed was for the office to be empty.
Ehh, the mystery is kinda convoluted, isn't it? I think this is one of those mysteries that the writer(s) came up with the story as they went & then somewhat messily tied it all together. Like, sure, it works, but it could be more thought-out. I've heard the episode 2.5 times. When I listen again, I'll keep your thoughts in mind so I can decide whether or not it's convoluted or clever. It's probably the former.
ASmouseInTheHouse wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:31 pm
When Morrie and Suzu ask Emily about their team, they include Whit in it. What? Why? I'm extremely curious about the answers to all these questions.
Whit isn't apart of this "team" Morrie & Suzu have schemed up, but just an encourager of it. That's what makes me very anxious. If Whit is on Morrie & Suzu's side, upcoming stories about the conflict between Whit/Morrie/Suzu vs. Emily will probably favor the Whittaker/Rydell side of things (which is exactly what I don't want). Either that, or the show will have to come out and say "Whit's on the wrong side" which I highly doubt they'll do. Unless the story treads very delicately & doesn't have an explicit "us vs. them" conflict, I'm afraid Emily will be portrayed antagonistically.

I assume this "team" Morrie & Suzu desire will be a detective agency. Morrie & Suzu are well-aware Emily loves mysteries but no longer has a partner, so they likely want to start a new agency of sorts. Characters have hinted about an Emily/Suzu team-up for awhile (but now Morrie might actually be involved). It's obvious Morrie & Suzu like Emily, but have treated her in a twisted, abusive way.
Polehaus53 wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:16 pm
Oh, and needless to say, Emily RULES! :P ;)
Wrong thread ;) No, but seriously, she was amazing in this episode. Her development will be amazing to hear.
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I liked this episode. I was am not totally convinced that they did all of that scheming for a diary. Do you guys think that the diary had something really significant in it? Or was it all a set up for the three of them to work together? It just seemed odd that Buck/Jay/Jules would do all of that for a diary..
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I HONESTLY AM SICK JULES USING BUCK AS A WAR TOY!!! Ok, maybe that's not the right way to put it. But the point is, Buck is almost always getting in trouble because of Jules. Yes, they make a good couple, but Jules needs to grow up a bit. Buck seems to be way more responsible, unlike the person who he seems to like romantically. If they got together, I wouldn't be surprised if they broke up shortly after or got counseling like Eugene and Katrina. They probably will get together eventually, but Buck seems like he's getting ready to become a Christian. What about Jules? I guess we'll just have to see what's in store for the two.
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I'm a little late on this one but nonetheless, here I am to spout my insignificant opinions in areas which I'm underqualified to do so!

For the sake of tying things together, there are a lot of things, like mysterious monologues and unanswered plot points, in this arc that understandably can't, and won't, be accounted for. While it was a little disappionting at first that this storyline hadn't been planned out from the start, I think the future of this arc will be a lot more concise and correlated, LCTWTO being the first of these episodes. So putting the past in past, I tried to enjoy this episode for what it was.


Perhaps my biggest personal takeaway (and what will most likely be my most controversial) is that I really like how Phil writes Morrie and Suzu. Are they bad friends and morally askew? Absolutely. Do I actually like their characters and enjoy how their personalities mesh and interact with the ones around them? Yup.

It's kinda unfortunate that their characters (as well as really exciting plot points like the escape room) will likely be tainted permanently, due to the inconsistent and somewhat controversial writing, because they are so flipping fun. I think that, while their characters are, in my opinion, likable, looming over them will always be the knowledge that these kids are basically sociopaths and have not atoned for, or learned from, their mistakes at all.

I also think it's really interesting that Emily hasn't forgotten the severity of the escape room while literally every other character plays it off as just another average day in America's second-favorite small town. Phil obviously hasn't forgotten either, as he has chosen to have Emily linger on this, but has intentionally written every other character as to downplay it which is as amusing as it is equally frustrating.

Like, Emily is over here, carrying the episode's emotional integrity, confronting the people who have really hurt her, and being genuinely honest and raw with them, and then we got Morrie and Suzu over here like:


"Haha! That's cool Emily! Wanna join our team lol?"


Many have pointed this out, the real question here is if Emily will be painted as in the wrong for these feelings. If I had to predict how things will go, I think Phil will write everyone here in the wrong (except maybe Whit, I am so genuinely unsure what is going to happen there).


On the topic of Whit, the choice to not include him was surprising and also pretty smart.
First: His absence helps to further the drama and divide between the main cast.
Second: Emily being upset with Mr. Whitaker deserves at least an entire episode's devoted attention. A character, especially a child, losing their trust in Whit is an incredibly serious and revolutionary development in and of itself, but that character potentially being justified in those feelings has the potential to change everything we've ever known about the show.
Third: Whit fostering Morrie and Suzu is also more than worthy of an entire episode to itself. I'm actually really surprised this wasn't the direction that the episode took.
Fourth: Half the fandom hates him right now lol


Kinda shifting gears here, I really dig the environment and sound design. Like, it's always good but this episode just felt especially immersive to me(?). Maybe I was just paying more attention.


I agree with many of the comments above on how the mystery was a bit contrived. I think the episode was kinda self-aware in knowing that the mystery wasn't even close to the focus or point though, so while it was a little eh, it did well highlighting the real core of the episode being the tension between Emily and the Rydells.

Something I did appreciate about the mystery was that it kinda reeled the Rydell arc back into the rest of Odyssey. The last couple Rydell episodes have felt kinda desynced from the other episodes on the album because they are so different in tone and cast. Like, we do not hear from Morrie, Suzu, Emily, or hardly even Whit if it isn't an episode relevant to the Rydell saga. So, to me, this episode did a good job at kinda crossing that bridge and bringing some familiar faces and environments to ground the episode in its Odyssey roots.

Small note here but one thing I've really missed about modern odyssey recently is that tight, core ensemble of kid characters. I really liked how this episode tied some of those characters together again.


As many have commented on, I think it's hilarious and equally alarming that Jules is the whole reason behind everything. I know this has already been touched on so I'll merely echo it. Even though it makes for a "cute" dynamic, I hope we get to see Buck and Jules' relationship evolve into something healthier where they both benefit. If not, I hope that this behavior is called out, or addressed. Buck has worked incredibly hard to cement his new identity, not only to the Odyssey community but to himself. The thing is though that Buck will do anything for the people he cares about and Jules knows this and CONSTANTLY uses it for her own gain. The term manipulation is thrown around in context to the Rydells a lot and rightfully so, but I'd go as far as to say the case with Jules is more troubling because Emily and the Rydells were never close-knit but Buck and Jules are best friends. I 100% think Jules' actions are redeemable. It can be easy to unconsciously do things sometimes, but it needs to be addressed.


One of the only things I didn't really care for was...the ending? I can't explain it but when the music got all uplifting at the end I wanted nothing more than to sulked in angst and irritation (not to knock the music though cause it was, once again, muy bueno). I covered this a bit early, and while it's funny that the Rydells literally are not hearing a word Emily is saying, the tonal shift here just sets me off. Emily continues to be the voice of the listeners, reacting in incredulous shock. Like, of course, it's going to be explained in the coming episodes but like...what? Do they want her to be their partner? Are they part of some syndicate of highly intelligent juvenile criminals?

I would be so overwhelmingly overjoyed if the next episode just opened with Emily saying "nah", spawn-killing this weird plot point.

I did like the episode though.
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After relistening to the episode I found it better, I actually laughed a few times and really enjoyed the music. I absolutely loved the last scene, the script was still a little weak and the acting a bit all over the place, but I enjoyed it overall and the last scene had me excited about the future. I am like others said 'cautiously optimistic' about the future of the Rydell saga and Emily. But I'm very excited to see how 'falling from her faith' or at least doubting God is handled.

I think with more recent episodes you need to listen to them more than once to get a solid opinion. I didn't love it at first but learned to at least appreciate it after two more listens. Some episodes take time to grow on you, whether it's because of the story, acting, writing style, etc. Along with the recent "The Clown Hero", the Perkins episodes from Album 70 and "If I Never Told You", LCTWTO is easier on the ears and less infuriating after a relisten. The first time you're expectations may be dictating your reaction, but I think after further examination you can find more to like (and dislike) about an episode.
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All that said Album 70 slaps, and is probably the best six-episode album.
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