Richard Maxwell is back in town, and immediately everyone is on guard, especially Tom Riley and Lucy Cunningham-Schultz. Tom is instantly suspicious of Maxwell, while Lucy just wants to steer clear of him. Richard asks to talk with Whit. In their conversation, Richard reveals the real reason he’s back in town: He wants to apologize to the people he hurt. Whit is happy to hear it, but he clarifies the difference between merely apologizing and asking for forgiveness. The latter means that Richard needs their pardon for what he’s done.
Richard says he wants to ask forgiveness. He starts with Whit, who immediately grants Richard’s request. Richard moves on, asking Connie, Eugene, Lucy, and Tom for forgiveness. Connie forgives Richard almost instantly. Eugene grants him conditional forgiveness. That is, he will accept Richard’s apology with the understanding that they won’t become anything more than acquaintances.
When it comes to Lucy and Tom, however, Richard runs into large and painful brick walls. Lucy is still hurting from the way Richard used her during the Blackgaard/Applesauce fiasco. Tom refuses to trust Richard any further than Tom can throw him. Richard decides to leave town. But just before he boards the bus, Lucy rushes up and tells Richard that she’s done a lot of soul searching and realizes that she, too, must forgive him. Richard thanks her and leaves. Only Tom is left holding his grudge...which he and Whit later bring humbly and earnestly before the Lord.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- What is the difference between apologizing to someone and asking for their forgiveness?
- Which do you think is harder to do?
- What does the Bible say about forgiveness?
- Do you need forgiveness for something you’ve done?
- Do you need to forgive someone else?
Heard in episode
Mentioned in episode
|Hank Bonsall||Tom Riley|
|Regis Blackgaard||Tom Riley|
|Nicholas Adamsworth||Jeff (a)|
|Connie Kendall||Richard Maxwell|
|Mr. Schultz||Lucy Cunningham-Schultz|
|Mrs. Cunningham-Schultz||Lucy Cunningham-Schultz|
- Many references to previous events from the Blackgaard saga are mentioned in this episode, including the grade-changing scheme involving Nicholas Adamsworth in #76: “Eugene's Dilemma” and the burning of Tom's barn in #78: “The Nemesis, Part 2”.
- The "Hank" from the city zoning committee that Tom mentions early in this episode is most likely Hank Bonsall, who would be seen years later during the Darkness Before Dawn mini-series.
- This episode marks the beginning of the clearing of the land where Blackgaard's Castle once stood in preparation for the construction of the Electric Palace. The job would be completed in the next episode.
- Tom's bitterness toward Richard would remain unresolved until #333: “The Last Resort”, four years later.
- Listen closely as Richard Maxwell is getting on the bus at the end of this episode: the PA announcer says that the bus is headed to Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is where Focus on the Family was moving at the time.
QuotesRichard Maxwell: Once again, you've saved my life in more ways than I deserve. Boy, that was poetic.
Tom Riley: What does he want?
Eugene Meltsner: Well, Mr. Maxwell, if I may be so frank, I'd like to say that seeing you now is approximately 1.2 millions years sooner than I would have preferred.
Richard Maxwell: Is that a yes?
Eugene Meltsner: A conditional yes, yes.
Richard Maxwell: I'll take it.
Eugene Meltsner: If it wasn't locked down you'd take it.
Richard Maxwell: I am... sorry, Mr. Riley. And I hope you can forgive me... one of these days.
Tom Riley: Just get out. Get out.
Tom Riley: I knew I should forgive him. But it hurts! Before God, it hurts more than I can say!