A Lamb's Tale
Tamika Washington goes to great lengths to retrieve a stuffed lamb, Nick Mulligan tries to find out why Mike passed up a great job opportunity, and Mark Horton attempts to live his life in the best way he can.
It’s Christmastime in Odyssey and the town is buzzing with Christmas spirit: so much excitement for so many reasons! Liz is excited because her older brother Mark is home from the war. He seems different, however, and the adjustment is very hard for Liz. All she wants is her brother back, while all he wants to do is give his stuff away to the charity drive Whit is heading up.
In this episode, Tamika finds herself trying to grow up. Because of this, she attempts to give up the stuffed lamb she has slept with for ten years. She learns, however, that she is perhaps not quite as ready as she thought. While trying to get it back, we find that other plans have been made for the stuffed animal. A young boy named Grady has tracked the lamb down to give to his little sister Samantha who lost hers at the local bus station. She originally got the lamb from their father whom they haven’t seen in a long time. For Samantha, it serves as one of the few remaining connections between her and her father, but Rodney Rathbone catches hold of it.
A visit to Connellsville helps us to see that Mark almost lost his life in the war. It was saved, however, by a soldier from Connellsville who lost his own life in the process of saving Mark’s. This event has caused Mark to feel incredibly guilty and he decides to dedicate his life to charitable causes. During his visit, Mark is comforted by the father of the deceased soldier. The father tells him that his son sacrificed his life, and there is no way Mark can earn that gift back. Ultimately, he needs to accept it, and go on with his life.
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|Ed Washington||John Whittaker|
|Elaine Washington||John Whittaker|
|Carson McKay||Samantha McKay|
|Kristi McKay||Grady McKay|
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] Whit used to say "Happy Holidays!" at the beginning of this episode, but that line has since been removed.
- The ending theme song in this episode was also used in Electric Christmas.
- This was the first Christmas episode since #480: “The Popsicle Kid” in 2001.
- Whit makes a brief reference to his wartime experiences, some of which are explored in depth in #94: “Operation Digout” and #93: “Rescue from Manatugo Point”.
- Grady McKay debuts in this episode.
- This is, to date, the final episode to feature Mike Mulligan or any of the Mulligan family other than Nick.
- Rodney's "America's Funniest Explosions" and "America's Funniest Injuries" are possible parodies of America's Funniest Home Videos. His attempt to blow up a toy by attaching it to a rocket also mirrors the sinister activity of the young villain Sid in the animated Pixar film Toy Story.
- Chris says in the wraps of this episode, “...And I'm Chris, hoping you have a wonderful Christmas season!” instead of her normal sign-off.
- Nick and Mike discuss the Mulligans taking in Nick, which occurred in #377: “Just Say Yes”.
- Mr. Cruz, whose language goes back and forth between English and Spanish says that Ron was always eager to "extend an un mano". However this would translate to his saying "extend a a hand"
QuotesTamika Washington: You have to grow up sometime.
Mike Mulligan: We haven't sorted through this [stuff in the attic] in like--ten years!
Mark Horton: I'm an adult, Liz.
Liz Horton: Long way to go for a lamb.
Nick Mulligan: Kid's gonna get himself killed... I like him!
Mark Horton: In fact he gave his life for mine.
Rodney Rathbone: They wanted a funny injury.
Nick Mulligan: You did it for me, didn't you? You gave up the job offer for me.