579: "Always"

**SPOILERS**

Archived reviews of Adventures in Odyssey episodes!

Star rating?

5 Stars
12
43%
4 Stars
7
25%
3 Stars
6
21%
2 Stars
2
7%
1 Star
1
4%
 
Total votes : 28

579: "Always"

Postby Sonuna » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:01 pm

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Postby Chandler » Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:13 am

Aubrey is in college?!? :thud:

I'm speechless! :-#



*starts stuttering*

Wha-wha-wha-what a shock! :shock:



I know it'd been some time since we heard her on the show but which one of you here would've guessed that Aubrey would be in college before Connie was? Well, maybe that wasn't so hard, what with Connie in a time warp and apparently getting younger. ;) Still, it's a shock because I thought they were going to do more with Aubrey. I've never figured out what the writers were going to do with her character next. She was such a free-spirited deep thinker when they introduced her, then an average middle schooler, then a troubled freshman, then a new Christian, then a friend of middle schoolers.

As a Whit's End employee, I expected to hear more from her and maybe the writers originally intended to do so. I don't know how long in advance they knew of Eugene's return and how that may have affected storylines. How many employee's does Whit's End need? There was Connie... then Eugene because Connie left... then both because Whit didn't have the heart to let Connie go. Then there was Nick, then Aubrey, and the ever-helpful Tom, Jason, Jack, and Wooton to fill in whenever Connie, Eugene, Nick, or Aubrey wasn't available. :lol: Maybe Whit's End was too crowded so they sent Aubrey away? We hadn't heard from her for awhile anyway.

I hope this doesn't have any forebodings of a similar departure by Nick who really must be older than Aubrey. I hope he sticks around! :pray:


People will probably have their nitpicks about this show but I won't dwell on that right now. It was a good show and it left a smile on my face. Aubrey was good and Bethany was great! \:D/ After Bethany's horrible lines in "Aubrey's Bathrobe" I loved hearing her "older." It does make me wonder why we don't hear her interacting with the other kids. :-k Did anyone notice that they used a different actress for Bethany? I really liked her voice so I was wondering if it was the original actress with a more mature voice (it didn't sound that close to me), but Sarah Pilgreen wasn't listed at the end of the show. Instead it was Abigail Mabitty (sp?). I really have no idea how to spell her last name. :anxious:
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Postby J-man » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:41 am

Wow. I wasn't expecting Aubrey to be in college already! Why do I get the feeling they just want to show what's going on with the Shepards, and then they'll forget about them again. I that doesn't happen. Anyway, I enjoying this show. I'm amazed that this show anly had 4 characters and still was interesting. I thought that the way Bethany was reacting to Aubrey going to college was quite realistic, and the scene in the car was great. Anyway, I thought this was a pretty good episode. 3 stars.
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Postby Evil Chick » Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:01 am

Wow! I was pretty surprised that Aubrey is going to college, as well. This creates yet another strange time-warp in Odyssey...

Anyway, I really liked this episode! It reminds me very much of my family - even though I still have 9 months till I actually start college! Somehow this episode came at just the right time for me! 4 stars.
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Postby Angel Bob » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:18 am

Remember back in Opening Day when we met the Shepards? They had two girls (no boys), both of which were homeschooled.

Ding ding ding ding!

This automatically waves a red flag to some listeners. After all, if they're homeschooled, that equals zero social interaction with the other Odyssey kids, right? Thankfully, the writers gave us a solution: Aubrey's interaction with Lisa. It's just too bad that it only lasted for a few episodes (Blind Girl's Bluff, The Treasure Room). On the other hand, hearing Aubrey interact with the rest of her family ended up being extremely dull, as we saw in episodes like Bethany's Imaginary Friend and others. No matter how hard the writers tried, the Shepard's are just way too different to be related to like the Barclay's. But why? Maybe it's just that not everyone is homeschooled or lives on and works at a retreat center...I don't know. I think it was wise for the writers to bring them in only once in a while.

But finally, we get an episode that may help us relate to them. After all, many families have gone through the emotional stress when one goes to college, right? When I first heard about the storyline, I was pretty excited about this episode. Unfortunately, it turned out to be mediocre. :-( It almost felt like the writers were trying to piece together elements from other episodes and then include emotional performances and dialogue to make it interesting.

The first scene (with the Scrabble game) brought back painful memories of a forgettable episode from a long time ago. Where have we heard a scene where a younger sister tries to persuade an older sister to play a game? That's right, A Test for Robyn. Much of this episode basically goes downhill from there. We hear Mom and Dad crying, and while some of the dialogue is great, I just couldn't find myself feeling for the characters like I did in "...But Not Forgotten" or especially "The Decision."

Finally, Aubrey gets in her car and leaves for school. I honestly wasn't expecting Bethany to pop up inside the car - this was probably the best part of the whole episode. Somehow, the conversation in the car with the two sisters felt "real" and not forced.

Unfortunately, we get back home and the whole storyline becomes predictable. Aubrey gets distracted and thinks that she should stay home. At this point, the only thing on my mind was, "When will someone come around and point her back in the right direction?" This eventually happens in the "horse" scene. While the illustration was rather plain, the acting in this scene (especially by Jerry Houser) was very well done and really made me sit down and think.

The last few scenes in this episode were...all right, I guess. We hear some really cheesy dialogue with Aubrey and Bethany (with the "always" lines). I just found it way too corny. Give me the closing scene from The Pact any day. I was glad to not hear another scene where Aubrey drives out of the house, though. The final scene where Bethany and parents play Scrabble and call Aubrey was kind of fun to listen to (it did tie the whole episode together). But once again, it just seemed like the writers were trying to capture the essence of the Barclay's (or even the Washington's) family-togetherness. It just doesn't seem to work for the Shepard's.

Overall, this episode turned out rather average for me. What I really enjoyed was Jerry Houser's and Danielle Judovits's acting - these two had excellent scenes together. And the moral of the story was one of those that wasn't quite so obvious from the start. It was an okay episode - one of those that had a lot of potential, but was dragged down by unnecessary elements in the dialogue and some of the scenes.

What would be awesome to hear would be a multi-part episode about Aubrey's experiences out at college. :-) Maybe we'd hear Erica or even some of the AIO characters from the past!

(6.5 out of 10)

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Postby Laura Ingalls » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:39 am

noname wrote:This automatically waves a red flag to some listeners. After all, if they're homeschooled, that equals zero social interaction with the other Odyssey kids, right?


Ugghhh...I hate that stereotype! Most homeschoolers have a support group that they interact with, people from church, friends of the family, etc. I wish they had shown some things like that with the Shepards, instead of making them out to be hermit-like.

End of my rant....;)

noname wrote:Maybe it's just that not everyone is homeschooled
True, but a lot of Odyssey listners now ARE homeschooled. :)

Okay, this episode was good I thought...except for the shock of Aubrey being old enough for college all of a sudden! I liked Bethany's new "grown-up" voice.
It was a very realistic situation I think - I missed my older brother a lot when he went off to college. I enjoyed the Scrabble games and the family talks.

I'll give it 4/5 stars. :D
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Postby JesusFreak777 » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:52 am

wow. I seriously think this ep will go on my list of all time favorites, not neccissarily because it was that good, but because it is probably one of the most applicable eps I have ever heard. I was seriously sitting there and thinking, "Oh my word, they wrote this for ME!" Seriously, inless than two months, I will be in Aubrey's shoes. I get to fly all the way across the country for college, leaving my rather close knit family and extended family behind. I had tears in my ees the entire episode. I can see my parents acting like Ben and Ellen, though I'm not sure my sister will be as relunctant for me to leave as Bethany was. ;)

THe other thing that shocked me was the fact that Aubrey actually grew up in a normal amount of years :shock: I think she is seriously the first kid on the show to grow up within a normal timeframe, even though we didnt hear from her the entire time. I was so proud of the team, so Congrats guys! \:D/

I was definately glad to hear from the shepards. I really enjoy hearing them. THis ep brought along the usual humor and sweet moments too. I love the interaction between Aubrey and Bethany. Even though they have their squabbles, I love the relationship they have. Makes me wish me and my little sister were that close.

Ok enough of sappy Jf's wistful thinknig. THe ep was amazing and it has 5 stars out of 5 from me. Keep it up Odyssey, and thank you so very much for this episode. I'm actually dreading listening to it again, (though I know I will) because I don't want to get all teary again. Rats just typing about it is getting me teary. *wipes tears from her eyes*

And now that the world has seen JF for who she really is, a very large sap I will end it here. Great job again! \:D/
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Postby J-man » Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:36 am

I just thought of something. Since Aubrey is homeschooled, she probably finshed high school younger than if she were in public school. So she's probably starting college younger too. It still is a jump in age though.
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Postby Broadcast » Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:45 am

Episode Review: Episode 579: Always
Writer: John Fornof (#37)
Sound Designer: Allan Hurley
??

Title: Gone …but for Always?

Characters:
Major: (greater than 30 eps)
None
Minor: (less than 30 eps)
Aubrey (#25)
Ben Shepard (#12)
Ellen Shepard (#10)
Bethany Shepard (#9)

When we first met Aubrey, she was an obnoxious almost-13-year-old girl that brought about a lot of debate whether the fans on the show enjoyed her or not. Well, at the time, the writers decided to shove in her importance on the show by having her meet up with the villain of all ages; Dr Regis Blackguaard himself. Many fans did not like the episode, and so, whatever feelings they had for her before were most assuredly changed to a form of dislike. Things didn’t look too good for her once the Imaginary Friend, Blind Girls Bluff, The treasure Room, The Long Way Home, and especially The Lyin’ Tale came around. It was almost tragic how her character was attempting to be developed around the time that Odyssey was at its worst. People didn’t like her diary, or the time frame that she was in, or the fact that she complained about not having friends, or the fact that she was home schooled and seemed isolated from the rest of the world, and so, they in turn, did not like her. Luckily, with The Seven Deadly Dwarvesand Bethany’s Flood, the dislike shifted to her sister, as she played a very minor role in those shows.

However, a ray of hope for the character sprung up. Odyssey simply couldn’t destroy her character. She was the center kid of the show since Blackgaard’s Revenge. And so, they played her down a bit. Near the end of, and after, the worst period of Odyssey ended, Aubrey got us revising our hate list with the appearance of two very good performances; Potlucks and Poetry and The Big Deal gave a much less centered annoying side to her. And then of course, The Big Deal got us interested in her salvation, and that’s when Happy Smilers and Under the Influence decided to air. By that time, Aubrey was back on many of the fan’s “good list”, as well as mine. And by the time Potential Possibilities came around, we ‘really’ liked her. Her character had really matured. We saw growth. Fans were also mentioning how much they enjoyed Aubrey’s return from a long absence.

And now…she’s gone.

Or is she? That is what has me puzzled the most. This episode feels really awkward from the rest of the flow of the past few seasons. Out of all my years of listening to Aubrey, I’d never expect it to end this way. And who else expected the end to be college? I had commented before that “either you use her, or get rid of her”, but never actually thought they’d go ahead and get rid of her. However, it all makes sense. She just wasn’t fitting in with the rest of the cast of Whit’s End. Now that Eugene was back, the numbers of employees were piling up. How can those characters develop properly when theirs so many of them? And so, instead of taking away much more important employees from Whit’s End, it made sense that the most recent one should have to leave. Eugene, Connie, Nick, and Wooton (partially) were strong enough characters for the task. If there was at least one good thing that came out of this episode, was the fact that the overwhelming amount of Whit’s End employees was fixed. It was something I’ve been mailing in for them to do for years.

The longer Aubrey waited not doing anything on the show, the longer her character was being ruined. Still, it seems ridiculous that they even allowed her as an employee at Whit’s End in the first. Secondly, it seems pretty silly that Connie, Whit, Nick, or anyone else besides the family didn’t have a part in this episode. It would’ve been nice to have at least Connie say goodbye to someone who she helped through her salvation, or even have Whit give a thanks for helping out at the shop. Of course, it may have destroyed the focus of the story on the family and Aubrey, However, for a character that they DID put a lot of focus on for a while in the series, they sure didn’t put a lot of interest in her leaving. There was no previous indication in the series that she would be going to college soon (aside from a brief mentioning in, Under the Influence). Personally, the whole show felt like a follow-up to something—as if there was a Shepard Episode somewhere in between Potential Possibilities and this one, but I never got to hear it. (More on this topic down…)

To sum up this analysis, I suppose this decision that the Odyssey team was the best. Of course we didn’t want to have a character hanging…and we didn’t want to have Aubrey die away—adding even more holes in the show, and of course Aubrey wasn’t in the place and time to have the attention on her and on her storylines. She simply wasn’t adding to the show. Getting rid of her was probably the best decision to make. And by the impression the episode was giving, Aubrey will just be phones call away if we ever need her.

Though, we could very well be getting ahead of ourselves, entirely. What if this is actually a way to create a storyline for Aubrey? Maybe her faith is tested at College? Maybe she realizes she’s realizes she’s not strong enough in her Christian faith, or perhaps she loses her faith entirely. Several show ideas could spring out of this, which could make the character alive again. Afterall, why did they use her picture on the Whitsend.org website if they knew that she was leaving the show? And why did Chris give no closing farewell to Aubrey, or anything in dedication to the character in the closing wrap-up? But no, the episode opened up so much more potential possibilities than that. I got the impression that Bethany may actually become a centered Odyssey kid, which could work alongside Tamika Washington. Which, I would simply adore because her character is already set with 9 episodes, giving her the advantage to be liked sooner, or, already.. I had predicted that they’d do this with Bethany’s character years ago when the family first appeared. It adds so much more consistency when the show reuses kids like that for their own central purposes. Though, it makes me worried for older characters like Mandy and Liz, who may be pushed out as a result. I certainly see Tamika, Bethany and Samantha (though, perhaps for her much later) as the newest cast of female kids in the years to come. Besides, I enjoy Ben and Ellen a lot as parents, especially Ben, and I hope that they themselves stick around, too. It’s just a shame that they didn’t use Sarah Pilgreen as Bethany in this episode, however, the noticeable change of voices makes sense simply because it’s been such a long time since we last heard her, and the obvious maturing of her voice in Opportunity Knocks. I mean, her voice couldv’e changed to anything, and so, in my mind, I still think it’s her, and not someone trying to be her.

However, these speculations and observations are not what made the show. I’d like to give John Fornof a pat on the back for a well-written episode. Still, I cannot make up my mind if I enjoy John Fornof as a writer or not. On the one hand, he’s written some of the most childish Odyssey episodes, however, he’s written some pretty interesting ones as well. This episode applied to the young listeners, the teenage listeners, and the old listeners. Kids may easily relate to having an older sibling move away, and experiencing loneliness or abandonment. Teenagers are the ones who are faced with the decision that Aubrey had to make, and move away, while trying to figure out what God has in store for them. Parents are devastated that their little child is all grown up and ready to make their own life in the real world. Though this was no action-packed adventure, this episode tackled all three of these issues perfectly, with superb performances from every actor in the show. Thumbs up to Ben and Ellen for pulling off an amusing farewell cry! It was sweet and tender, and not surrounded by an excess of stupidity. Young kids may wander off bored from the show, but I thought the actual mood (not the story, mind you) worked with the balance of the overall variety of moods composing the season.

Then again, there are some noticeable inconsistencies with the progression of ages on the show. I won’t go in great detail, just because I don’t think it’s that important. However, one thing that I do hope that they adjust to Aubrey being is college is the fact that Nick should have already started college too, since he’s older than her by 1 or 2 years. (since Nick was introduced before as being around 14 or 15, and Aubrey is introduced as being 12) It’s only an observation…

In summary, the episode kept me interested from beginning to end. It wasn’t predictable at all whether Aubrey would actually move or not. Of course, although the episode is awkward with the rest of the direction the series is going, it was overall an enjoyable show that only ended up adding the show’s strength by wrapping up the Aubrey storyline to the best that it could. Weither Aubrey is truly gone…

…we’ll soon find out over time.

Acting/dialogue: 5/5
Story/Originality: 3/5
Use of Characters: 4/5
Series Relevance: 4/5
Personal enjoyment/Entertainment Value: 3/5

Total: 18/25= 76%= SCORE:GOOD+

(Rating Grid:
0%=Poison
0-20%=Complete Failure
20-40%=Very Poor
40-60%=Poor
60-70%=Average
70-80%=Good
80-90%=Very Good
90-100%=Terrific
100%=Perfect
)

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Postby gimp80995 » Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:06 pm

I actually thought it was a pretty good show. A bit predictable, but still good.

The scene when she's leaving......predictable. I mean one would expect the parents to act the way Aubrey's parents were acting when their oldest kid leaves for college........though maybe that's just me as I've had the experience of leaving family before.

The car scene. From the looks of reading the previous posts, it would seem I am one of the few who expected Bethany to be in the car. I remember thinking "check the back seat" when Aubrey was told that her sister was missing........though it wouldn't be the first time I've correctly guessed what was going to happen.

The reaction of Bethany not wanting her sister to leave home. Understandable and probably one of the most realistic things in the ep. It would make sense that in a two-kid family, the younger sibling wouldn't want their older sibling to go away (no matter how much they may have fought growing up).

The horse scene...........eh, a bit corny, but I guess it served for a good illustration.

And I must agree with the other views of the "Always" scene between Bethany and Aubrey towards the end. It seemed forced and completely un-natural.

A friend listening with me said it almost didn't "make sense" that Aubrey's mom said "we haven't talked to her in a few days". My friend thought that it would seem normal to not hear from a child who left home (for college or moving) to go several days at a time without contacting parents or the parents contacting them.........I have to say that it was realistic. I've had friends who have become like family that I lived with, and even though I moved out over 6 months ago, if I go a week or more without calling or E-mailing them, they will call or E-mail me to let me know they're thinking about me and praying for me..........for that to happen in real life when I'm not related to them and only lived with them for a few months, I would expect similar reaction from parents of a child when they've been together for 17+ years.

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Postby STRYPER » Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:10 pm

All I can say is I'm glad I got to hear Jerry Houser and Bethany can still be a part of Odyssey even though the actress' voice has matured to much to be her normal self: cute little girl.
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Postby Me » Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:55 pm

As this ep started out and the previews began to play, the thought processes were interesting. First thought: Yay! The Shepherds! The highlights continue to roll: Oh no! What kind of rediculous episode is this going to be? First scene: I'm going to college tomorrow! I was just waiting for the dramatic music to come in and ruin the scene right there. It didn't. I was thrilled. And the rest of the episode was great. As an episode, I'm not sure how good it really was yet. I can't look at it objectively yet, and don't really want to. Why is this? Because I related so well to all of the things going on. But Me, you say, you still live at home! How do you explain that? Simple, really. My schedule is now so wierd that I hardly ever see the family anymore, and I know they miss me. One of the effects of college no matter where you live. It is a huge change, and a time of adjustment for everyone. This helped me really connect with the characters in this episode, and..... yeah. That's about it. Extremely good acting, especially from Bethany. I was impressed. 5 stars.
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Postby AIOfan11 » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:12 pm

4 stars.

Aubrey in College?
Ashburn?
How old is she?
Bethany is how old?

Yes. Those are my questions.

Did any of you think that this episode was a little predictable? Other than the questions above, and being predictable, it was a great episode! :D
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Postby Angel Bob » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:30 pm

By the way, I'm sorry for mentioning the "homeschool stereotype." I didn't mean that I actually believe this; I just thought that maybe some listeners out there may think that.

I'm homeschooled and I know quite a few people. :-)

And also, I did enjoy this episode, but there were lots of times when I felt that it could have been much better.

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Postby Catspaw » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:53 pm

I really enjoyed this episode! \:D/ Like Gimp, I was surprised to find out that some people didn't expect Bethany to be in the car (though I did briefly think that she might be in the trunk, not the backseat :anxious: ).

I was really surprised to hear that Aubrey was leaving for college, but it really isn't that unrealistic, especially since she was homeschooled and could be a bit ahead of some people.

I liked the relationship between Bethany and Aubrey, as well as Ben and Ellen and their kids. I liked the way that the whole family interacted, especially since they were the only characters. They didn't need Whit to save the day or anything. I found it realistic for the most part, and also touching. I liked Bethany more than I had expected to in this episode! \:D/
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Postby gimp80995 » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:40 pm

Me wrote: My schedule is now so wierd that I hardly ever see the family anymore, and I know they miss me.


Same here. There are times I leave the house and have no clue when I'll see anyone else who lives here again. Like yesterday, I left at 9 AM (no one else was home), I came in around 5 PM to change for work last night (again no one was here), Came in this morning at 8:45 AM, no one was home.........didn't see anyone else who lives here until just now (8:28 PM.....over 36 hours from the last time I was in the house at the same time as someone else). Now, such long periods are somewhat rare, but they do happen.

The same also happend on occasion when I lived with my mom and brother a few years back. Now my brother was out of the picture most of the time since back then he drove all over the US. My mom worked days, and my shift was workeing from noon until 6 AM the following morning........so she was on her way to work (the same place I worked) at the same time I was getting ready to leave. Occasionally we'd see each other at work, but since her shift at the hospital ended at 2 and the first 8 hrs of my shift was in the kitchen, a lot of times we didn't see each other even at work.........it was only on the very rare occasion that both of us had the same day off that we were in the house together or really got a chance to talk. Even when my brother was on his time off from driving I didn't see him much either, cuz I'd get home around 6:20 AM, go to bed and sleep until 11 AM when I had to leave for work. If he was home, I'd see him long enough to say "hi" and "see ya later" (both at the same time), but usually by 11 AM he was out running errands.

So I'm very accostomed to the "live at home, but never see the family" routine.

Peace Out

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Postby Taq » Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:18 pm

-Yes for commencing and ending with Scrabble; I love that game. However, the use of it was annoying; the Shepards badly need copy of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, Third Edition.

-I can certainly empathize with Aubrey and her college anxiety.

-The father used a childish yet effective illustration with the horse.

-I was sorely disappointed with the nature of the action; it was dull.

-Though there were high points, including its applicability, I cannot say I connected with this episode. At first I thought I would love it since the subject is appropriate. Maybe because I am close to home and see my family often, maybe because Bethany is annoying. I enjoyed it as a new episode, but this will not get a second listen from me for a long while: 2/5.

-I dislike the title.

-I am glad Odyssey is moving along time-wise.
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Postby MDB17 » Sun Nov 20, 2005 7:45 am

that was just wierd
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Postby Elrohir » Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:05 pm

I really liked this episode. Yeah, it was a bit corny, but it was effective. I liked the title, the story, and I've always liked Aubrey and Bethany. I gave it a 5/5.
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Postby Tim Peterson » Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:49 pm

When they said that Bethany was missing, I immediately thought that she was probably in the car. In fact, I was expecting to get on here and see people complaining about how predictable that event was. ;-)
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