Home at last! Bernard and Eugene drive onto the main street of Odyssey. But things are strange: Banners are hanging across the street that say things like, “Good Bye and God Bless,” and “We’ll Miss You!” Curious, they park in front of Whit’s End. Connie frantically runs outside. She grills Bernard and Eugene: Where have they been? Why didn’t they keep in touch? They calm Connie down and ask what’s wrong. Her answer hits them like a punch in the stomach: Whit has left! He’s gone!
Right after Bernard and Eugene left town, Whit got an urgent call from the board of directors at the Universal Press Foundation in Chicago. Dr. Baynes, Whit’s friend and mentor had passed away and left his archaeological mission in the Middle East without a director. Whit came up as the best man for the job of replacing him. Whit thought about it, prayed about it, and talked to several people about it. Then he decided to go.
Eugene nearly falls over from the news. He decides that Whit can’t leave without saying good-bye to him! Connie calls the airport and discovers that there is a slight chance that Eugene could get there in time. Eugene leaves. He does everything humanly possible to get to the airport before Whit leaves. Eugene even nearly gets arrested for running out on the runway after Whit’s plane. But it’s no good. The plane departs.
Eugene is disappointed, but he’s not the only one. Jack Allen, one of Whit’s old friends, has arrived on a different plane to see Whit. Jack and Eugene go back to Whit’s End. They watch a videotape of Whit’s farewell speech to the town and hear a few of Jack’s stories about the early days. Eugene goes back to his dorm room, alone with his thoughts. He peruses his mail and finds a note from Whit. It expresses how much Eugene means to him. The note leaves him with one last, hopeful thought, “The best is yet to come.”
- Why did Whit feel the need to go to the Middle East?
- Why was Eugene so frantic about saying good-bye to Whit? What do you think Whit meant in his letter to Eugene, “The best is yet to come”?
- Have you ever had a good friend move? How did you handle it?
- PARENTAL WARNING: This is a highly emotional episode. It may raise several questions about why Whit had to leave. This episode could be an opportunity to talk about death with your child. Recommended maturity level: 8 and up.
- VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The album version adds a scene with Harlow Doyle after Connie slams down the phone. Harlow becomes convinced that Whit has been kidnapped. Apparently this scene was only added to the cassette version since the CD version doesn't include it. This is followed up on in the next episode, ...But Not Forgotten, where it becomes a minor plot point.
- This is the final episode to feature an opening narration by Hal Smith as Whit.
- This episode introduces a long term character Jack Allen, who shared Whit's personality with Jason while Whit was in the middle East.
- In the wraps of this episode, Chris merely says the address and credits in a somber tone.
- Due to the passing away of Hal Smith, Whit's lines in this episode were taken from several other episodes. See Whit's Foreign Lines or this Article to see where they were taken from.
- The speech which Whit gives was a recording of Hal Smith actually addressing the staff at Focus on the Family after his wife passed away.
- This is Walker Edmiston's 100th episode acting.
- This episode has parallels to the M*A*S*H, season 4, episode 1 "Welcome to Korea," in which Hawkeye returns to the 4077 to find that Trapper has been sent home. He rushes to the airport, hoping to say goodbye, only to find that he missed Trapper's plane by mere minutes. While leaving, he runs into Trapper's replacement, BJ, who travels back to the 4077 with Hawkeye and Radar.
- Jack Allen said that he came because Whit asked him to come visit, which is somewhat odd considering the circumstances surrounding the reunion between Whit and Jack (see #365: “Clara”). (Although he could have just said that since he was hesitant to admit what had happened during that episode.)
QuotesBernard Walton: Look at City Hall. I haven't seen it so decked out since President Eisenhower came through. They set up a podium and everything.
Bernard Walton: That's one of the best things about Odyssey. Whit's End is always the same.
Eugene Meltsner: Indeed.
Bernard Walton: Say good bye to who?
Eugene Meltsner: Whom.
Bernard Walton: Quiet. Say good bye to who, Connie?
Connie Kendall: To Whit! He left Odyssey!
Bernard Walton: Wait a minute. What are you doing?
Eugene Meltsner: What else? I'm going to run to the airport! I can't let Mr. Whittaker get away!
Bart Rathbone: So why are you runnin' in da middle of dis field?
Eugene Meltsner: Why are you drivin' in da middle of dis field?
Tom Riley: Eugene, you never cease to amaze me.
Jack Allen: It's nice to meet you all. I'm Jack, Jack Allen.
Eugene Meltsner: What? A letter from Mister Whittaker! What is it? A Note? <reading> Dear Eugene, I'm sorry I missed you. We've been trying to find you but I'm afraid we won't be able to before I leave. There's a lot I could say, but time has suddenly become very short. So rather than embarrass you by saying how much I've come to love you and how I will pray for you every day, I'd like to leave you with one simple thought:
John Whittaker: The best is yet to come.