Eugene’s search for his father continues as he visits his foster parents to find clues.
Eugene Meltsner, hesitant to involve anyone else in his emotional roller coaster, continues his search for his father by following time consuming and ineffective leads - including calling every Meltsner he can find a phone number for. Katrina convinces him to let Whit help him bear some of the burden of his search. She suggests that Whit might be able to provide leads more helpful than those Eugene has attempted to procure.
Whit, appropriately shocked, promises to help Eugene track down Leonard. The only evidence Eugene has so far is a fax from Around the World Missions specifically asking for Eugene to go to the Ashanti tribe in Africa. It is signed with the initials L. M. and is written in what appears to be Leonard's handwriting, so Eugene believes that his father wanted him to be there.
As Eugene attempts to distract himself from the search for Leonard he reminisces about a science experiment he did when he was six that destroyed their bathtub and frustrated his father. As he and Katrina discuss this, Katrina mentions that it would be far easier for Leonard to find Eugene than for Eugene to find Leonard. She makes an offhanded comment that Leonard will be able to find Eugene whenever he wants, which causes Eugene no small amount of distress as he worries that his father doesn't want to see him after all!
Whit contacts a man named Martin at Around the World Missions who is able to provide more information about the request for Eugene to go to Africa. Martin tells Eugene that Leonard didn't write the request for Eugene on the fax after all - Martin wrote it himself and requested Eugene personally because he felt that Eugene's expertise suited the mission. Eugene is discouraged by this information and tells Whit of his fear that Leonard has no interest in finding him since he has apparently made no effort to find Eugene. "Why hasn't he come for me?" a devastated Eugene asks Whit. He worries that he has somehow done something that would cause his father to not want to contact him.
Upset, Eugene decides to go visit his foster parents, Maddie and Frank Burnette to see if they have any answers. The Burnettes are very excited to see him and relay multiple stories about Eugene's childhood and his antics. Maddie has set the thermostat to his old favorite temperature, cooked his childhood favorite meal, and convinced Frank to park the car down the street to avoid offending Eugene (who, as a child, disapproved of cars because of the exhaust fumes). Frank asks Eugene to fix his DVD player, to Maddie's chagrin. Frank jokes that it's the least Eugene could do after all he put them through when he lived with them.
Unfortunately, the Burnettes know nothing about Eugene's father but suggest going through the paperwork they received when Eugene first came to live with them. As they dig through the attic, discussing the past, Eugene finds, in with his old academic trophies, a piece of the broken soap dish from the bathtub he destroyed. He muses that his father must have considered his failed experiments a valuable learning experience and is comforted by this knowledge. No longer afraid that his father hates him, he and the Burnettes share affectionate goodbyes.
Back at Whit's End, Whit tells Eugene that he will be glad to help him in whatever way he can to help look for Leonard. As they work on an invention, Eugene tells Whit that he has learned a valuable lesson about God's providence and how He gives us exactly what we need when we need it.
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Heard in episode
|Eugene Meltsner||Will Ryan|
|Frank Burnette||Phil Crowley|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Katrina Meltsner||Audrey Wasilewski|
|Leonard Meltsner||Phil Proctor|
|Maddie Burnette||Pat Blore|
- This episode takes place away from Odyssey: Episodes That Take Place Away from Odyssey
- Amusingly, Whit's comment that "not everybody uses the Internet" has become quite dated over time.
QuotesKatrina Meltsner: You called someone who almost has your dad's last name?
Eugene Meltsner: Am I smelling like desperation to you?
Katrina Meltsner: Either that or you need to take out the garbage.
Eugene Meltsner: That doesn't make any sense! My father just happened to send out a request that happened to come to his own son? How could there be such a coincidence?
John Whittaker: I never said it was a coincidence.
Eugene Meltsner: Yes, I know you don't believe in them. But—but this is too complicated to think about otherwise.
Frank Burnette: So... need anything? Wall Street Journal? Abacus?