Episode Reviewed: Under the Influence I & II (488 - 489)

Original Airdate: March 23, 2002 - March 30, 2002

Rating (Out of 5 cones):


Part One

Opinions... they're the facts of life. You have 'em and I have 'em. They're what make me me and you you. We all have had our opinions on Aubrey's character over the past few years since she popped into the show. And do you know my opinions on Aubrey? If you don't then I will refresh your memory (and you'll probably hate me) in the following paragraph:

She's good.

There. What a loving paragraph! It's such an unloving paragraph in which no one actually enjoys reading. Just put yourself in anybody's shoes. Imagine for a minute as you stand in those filthy sneakers. Play out those two words in your mind for a second. What do you see? S-H-E-'-S G-O-O-D. "She's good." The two-word paragraph insinuates that she's good, therefore, she is not bad. For if the paragraph had said "She's bad" then obviously we would read "She's bad" and think that she's not good. If you were writing a novel with a two-word paragraph to describe a good character, you would most likely write, "She's good." Therefore, you know the character is not bad and obviously she is good. So now I must remind you of the character in which we are referring. Aubrey. Aubrey is the she. Is she good or bad?

She's good.

See? I just attempted, in an ineffective way, to brainwash YOU as YOU listen to ME talking to YOU because I want to try and convince YOU that I am right. MY opinions count. YOUR opinions don't count. In reality my mind has just gone wacko because when I begin writing a review, Extra Extra, or just plain anything, there's no stopping me from writing the most insane and problem child works of literature. But wait. Why did I write all this? Oh yes, I remember. The purpose of wasting precious moments of my life is to convince you of my opinions on a certain artificial character named Aubrey. And I have. Aubrey's a good addition to society.

She's good. So there.

Now we must actually get to the point of the writing. I intend to show you my opinions on Under the Influence. And I will. You see, the actual reason for mentioning my thoughts on Aubrey is because a lot of people do NOT like Aubrey in any way, shape or form. I do like Aubrey. What I wrote above doesn't reflect on my being. I don't know a single thing about brainwashing and I don't intend to do it either.

To get to the review, I'll talk about the actual scenes of the episode first. During part one of the show, Aubrey conveniently hitches a job at Whit's End. This doesn't seem all that accurate to me. Why would Whit hire another employee to work for him when:

a) He already has three employees working for him: Connie Kendall, Eugene Meltsner, and Nick Mulligan.

b) He also has a fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh employee working for him.

So why would he? If you didn't catch my meaning to letter B above, I was referring to Jack Allen, Jason Whittaker, Tom Riley, and Mary Hopkins. They drop in on occasion and help out with the shop. It doesn't seem likely that Whit would need any more help with such a small ice cream shop, which also happens to be in a small town. Not that many kids are usually at Whit's End at one time unless there's a winning baseball team dropping in for ice cream or there's a new invention.

I was annoyed at Aubrey working at Whit's End right out of nowhere. Besides that I was happy with the episode.

I did fail to mention one thing I was annoyed by during the course of listening. Aubrey's friend Erica is into all the latest styles and hairdos. It is possible that some AIO fan, maybe a teenager, could get the impression that it is okay to color your hair and conform to the world. Even though the character that does all these things is not a Christian, it is possible that wrong impressions can occur. The red, white, and blue hair wasn't a good idea. I think it's a great dishonor to America to wear a flag as clothing, whether it be painted on, ironed on, sprayed on, etc. You might not think that, but yes, I do stay with my opinions.

Nothing else in Under the Influence comes to mind. The sounds, music, and all that were played out well and I was glad to hear more of Connie's thoughts towards Mitch.

Part Two

Under the Influence part two was even better than part one. But that's just my opinion. Not only did it tie in very nicely with part one, Aubrey Shepherd finally became a Christian! A very reliable source of mine, who happens to hate Aubrey's character, openly admitted that... yes... this episode was pretty good, and Aubrey wasn't that bad. I'll just leave it at that. Some of you probably know who I'm talking about. :)

I really enjoyed the emotional scenes with either Aubrey or Mr. Shepherd crying and/or thinking in the chapel and/or praying. Their conversations reminded me of the old days when there was a sense of family relationship between the characters. Dialogue between families was almost all the time. Now... well we're lucky to have one ONCE per season. Hey, there's a start! Now if they could up it to two that'd be swell!

Conclusion...  The part where I finally wrap things up.

Before I end my review of parts one and two, I just have to mention one minor thing that bothers me. I listened to parts one and two, and the scene relating to the "Novacom/Andromeda/Veil Industries" saga doesn't fit. If you haven't noticed, Focus on the Family picks and chooses which episodes it plays. In a few years or so, FOTF will be choosing which episodes it plays on the weekly broadcast and the Novacom saga will be rather... let's just say difficult. Under the Influence would make a perfect episode to play on the radio during its allotted time, but... will someone new to this episode understand what is going on? Yeah... Whit talks to the Novacom's new manager about their programming. Won't the listener want to know why? I think that this scene should have been saved for a future episode, not thrown in with a "normal" episode. Just a thought to ponder.

I give Under the Influence a resounding 4 1/2 cones. It's very likely that this two-parter can lead someone to Christ.

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