A Rathbone of Contention
A new business is going up on the old site of Blackgaard's Castle. It’s called “The Electric Palace,” and its proprietor is Bart Rathbone! Bart is on such an aggressive schedule to get the place up and running that he’s cutting major corners. First, he hires Rodney to take care of the promotion. Rodney hires Lucy to write fliers, but he never bothers to pay her. Then, Bart “borrows” Eugene to set up the computer. And when Bart's certified electrician can’t make it in time for the building inspector, he pulls Eugene off the computer installation to do the wiring for the building. Eugene protests — he doesn’t know enough about electricity to wire a whole building! But Bart insists, so Eugene ends up giving it a try.
When Whit finds out about Bart and Rodney’s shoddy business practices, he tries to stop them. But before he can, the building inspector comes. He okays everything in the structure but notices that the place is still operating off a generator. Bart says they were just about to switch over to city power. He orders Eugene to throw the switch. Everything seems fine for a moment. Then the place goes haywire, nearly blowing up! The Electric Palace doesn't get passed by the inspector — and Bart has plenty of time to dwell on the folly of taking shortcuts.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- Why is it usually best not to take shortcuts?
- What are the benefits of taking your time?
- Have you ever taken a shortcut on a project when you knew you shouldn't?
- Did you learn from your mistake?
- At the end of the episode, when Rodney Rathbone is apprehended by Officer O'Ryan, there is an allusion to Dragnet: Rodney calls O'Ryan 'Joe Friday'.
- There are all sorts of subtle hints referencing the Blackgaard saga, making this episode more central to the saga than is first apparent. Bart Rathbone describes the Electric Palace as a store with "every conceivable electronic device for every conceivable need." Careful listeners will remember that Dr. Blackgaard says the exact same phrase in #155: “Waylaid in the Windy City, Part 1”. That, and the fact that the Electric Palace will be owned by Webster Development Firm (Dr. Blackgaard's company), should alert listeners that Dr. Blackgaard isn't quite finished with Odyssey yet. Also telling is that the Electric Palace will be constructed on the same site as Blackgaard's Castle.
- Given that Dr. Blackgaard owns the Electric Palace, it's quite possible that he is the person to who Bart is talking to on the phone, which might explain why Bart sounds nervous.
- The art on the back of the next album, "Album 12: It All Started When...", shows Eugene working on a fuse box. This art was most certainly supposed to portray Eugene's role in this episode. However, it was used on the wrong album!
QuotesLucy Cunningham-Shultz: Rodney, you scared me.
Rodney Rathbone: Why, doing somethin' you're not supposed to?
Bart Rathbone: Our grand opening is in three weeks. Turn around and show 'em, Rodney.
Rodney Rathbone: Okay.
Eugene Meltsner: Opens in three "weks"?
Bart Rathbone: Uh, that's supposed to be three weeks. Rodney!
Rodney Rathbone: They got the point!