Greetings and salutations, everyone. I apologize for this late post. I have been planning to do other things besides episode reviews. However, “The Clown Hero”, this month’s Adventures in Odyssey Club exclusive episode was released, and I have a few thoughts on it.

First of all, let me just say that this episode was unexpected. Seriously, it came out of nowhere. It all started when AIOWiki abruptly announced the title sometime in February and said that it would March’s episode. I was very intrigued by this title. Clown hero? What’s that supposed to mean? Does a clown save someone? The news that a clown would appear in the AIO Club was not surprising; We already knew that a Club episode this season would have something to do with clowns from this Club season’s official summary, which was announced on the official site and on AIOWiki. Notice that ‘clowns’ are mentioned.

There’s lots of snow in the forecast as we start Season 8. Expect laughs and drama, clowns, art thieves, talking animals and a clash with Bigfoot! We’ll also spend more time with the Perkins and Calhoun families, and learn about important ministries such as Cadence International and Trans World Radio. Bundle up. It’s gonna be a great year!

AIOWiki and adventuresinodyssey.com

So, although I was aware that clowns would appear, I had no idea that a clown would be featured in an episode title. I was quite intrigued and thought up a whole bunch of theories of what possible could happen that a clown could be a hero.

Then, at the end of February, the AIO Facebook page posted this episode’s artwork early. It features two kids (Olivia and Zoe) wearing a clown and a donkey costume walking in a park at night looking upon a homeless man. Behind a tree is someone with binoculars watching them. This artwork actually looked creepy. With high hopes, I was excited for it to release on the Club in March.

All of this goes to show, never judge an episode by its artwork. I was not severely disappointed by the episode, it just wasn’t what I thought it would be. Although there was no parental warning, this episode was interesting. The plot was also very unique.

Let’s start by talking about the characters who appeared here. I have thoughts on those:
First of all, considering how the Parker family has been appearing in less episodes recently, I was surprised that Olivia and Eva Parker appeared here. But I’m not complaining. I’m happy that the Parker’s are still alive and appearing in Odyssey. They are one of my favorite families, and I hope they still continue to appear in future Odyssey episodes.

Second of all, I am very happy that Valerie is appearing in Odyssey more often these days. Even though she was up to her old tricks again and being mean, it was good to hear from her. I must say, though, I am annoyed that she has apparently learned nothing after her Room of Consequence experience in the episode “Take Every Thought Captive”. But that’s another post for another time.

Third, I really liked Ted Humphries being in here. His investigation was entertaining. I’ll get to that in a moment. I liked how he starred in the episode “Breaking News”. Good to be hearing from him again and I hope he continues to appear in future episodes.
Okay, enough about the characters. On to the actual episode.

The first point I want to bring up is who on earth is Diane Gilbert? The episode starts with Olivia receiving an invitation from Diane, someone who we have never heard of in Odyssey; unless she was mentioned in a Clubhouse Magazine that I missed. The dialogue that follows has Olivia to explain to the listeners—uh, I mean Zoe, that Diane is a kid at school who always has fancy birthday parties and that Olivia has never been invited until now. I’m not a fan of AIO creating mentioned characters to fit episode plots. In my opinion, it would have been better if they had used someone who has already appeared in Odyssey. But that’s just me. It works.

The scene where Olivia and Zoe are picking out costumes for the party is another point I want to bring up: About the question of remotely recorded episodes. Was this episode remotely recorded? It is not specified anywhere and I usually can’t tell which ones are. But there was something about this episode that gave it away. In this scene, Valerie walks in to the store her voice sounds odd. The first words she says, “What are you two doing here?” just sound strange. Not as in the actress has a cold, but as in her voice sounded filtered. Hollow. Like she’s talking into a microphone. Or that she’s on the phone. I don’t know what it was, but something sounds off. But she was only in a few scenes so its not too bad. Just something I noticed.

Like I said, this episode plot is unique. While dressed as a clown Oliva gives a homeless man her coat. The man turns out to be Ted Humphries, doing a show called ‘Unexpected Heroes’. Oliva, who isn’t supposed to be out, runs off, resulting in Ted doing an investigation of who this “Clown Hero” is. The scene that follows, where Eva Parker is watching the investigation on TV and Olivia trying to get her to turn it off, was great! Ted has some hilarious lines:

Ted Humphries: <on TV> And upon closer inspection, we found this: A hair.

Zoe Grant: <whispering to Olivia> Did you shed recently?

Ted Humphries: We examined said hair carefully and while the police stubbornly refused to allow access to their DNA equipment, we did conclude that it is indeed a hair of a human…

Eva Parker: Well, that doesn’t narrow it down much.

Ted Humphries: …Or perhaps a dog with really long hair.

The Clown Hero

Moving on, I find it interesting how Odyssey has been bringing in modern technology for plot points in recent episodes. Think about it: In “Man of the House” we see the Perkins family using video calls to talk to Mr. Perkins overseas. In “The Protector” Wyatt Perkins is looking up online videos about protection from bears. “For A Song” is entirely about using social media. And in the next scene of this episode, we see Olivia getting a news alert on her phone. I somehow have a hard time seeing these things used in episodes when Odyssey first started.

Compare the episode “Rewards in Full” to this one. In “Rewards in Full”, there is one point where Connie takes out a portable television to show Jack the news story of Bart falsely taking credit for the food drive idea. In this one, Olivia gets the news alert on her phone about the news story where Valerie falsely takes credit for being the Clown Hero.
Now that I think of it, the two episodes are similar in that way. Both feature people (Bart in that one and Valerie in this one) taking credit for something they didn’t do. Although I guess the situation is different here: Valerie is outright lying and making up stories about being the hero.

I found it funny when Olivia and Zoe were going, “yuck! disgusting!” when Ted Humphries falsely attributed Valerie as the hero. I also thought it quite interesting that after Olivia explains the situation to her mom, Eva gives Olivia and Zoe permission to barge into the TV studio and pronounce the truth. By the way, it was great continuity mentioning how Zoe interned with Ted in album 68: Out of the Blue.

Okay, I have a slight confession about the next scene. On my first listen I actually thought Olivia should have called out Valerie live on television. When Eva worries that Valerie would be humiliated, I was in agreement with Olivia’s initially insensitive, “What about Valerie?”. It was my initial thought as well. She deserves it, taking credit for what she’d never do!!! I actually eagerly waited for Olivia to jump in on the interview and give Valerie the humiliation she deserves. But she didn’t. Olivia did not call her out. She acted in kindness and did not let her pride control her actions. That is something I would have a hard time doing if I was in Olivia’s situation. Excellent job, Olivia.

By doing nothing, allowing Valerie to take the spotlight, Valerie’s lies were naturally exposed: Ted realizes that Valerie is probably not the clown hero when she refuses to put on Olivia’s coat to show that it fits her to prove that she is the hero.
And Olivia was rewarded for not doing anything. By making her deed go uncredited, it resulted in being an inspiration to the world of Odyssey: people secretly doing nice things for each other.

Overall, I thought this episode was good! A very unique plot, excellent choice of characters, and a good lesson learned from it. My final rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for reading! I’d like to hear your thoughts on this episode. Did you like it? Dislike it? Be sure to leave a comment! My next post will be something other than an episode review.

-Signed, Polehaus53