The Undeniable Truth
Leonard Meltsner is suffocating in Eugene and Katrina's home. Though Eugene tries to encourage his father to leave the house occasionally, Leonard is too afraid of Dalton Kearn to face the outside. Bored, Leonard asks for something to do. Eugene suggests that he assist Hand Up in their philanthropic efforts. He tells Leonard about their recent project to send Christmas presents to the Ashanti village with a program called Christmas For the Children. Leonard agrees to help Eugene fill out paperwork for the project, though he doesn't see as much value in the endeavors as Eugene does.
At Whit's End, Mayor Margaret Faye stops by to see Eugene. She confronts him with an article in the Odyssey Tattler which quotes a local garbage man who found boxes intended for Christmas for the Children in the trash. Eugene explains that they did discard some unused boxes and offers to put Margaret in contact with the people at the Christmas for the Children organization. Satisfied, Margaret thanks him for his cooperation.
Meanwhile, Leonard has found Eugene a job at Campbell College. Eugene tells his father that he's not interested and that he is much too busy with Hand Up. A disappointed Leonard throws a fit - claiming that Eugene's pursuits should be a hobby rather than a profession.
Margaret again confronts Eugene with the news that his contacts at Christmas for the Children have no record of his involvement with the project at all. When Eugene investigates, he discovers that Leonard signed the paperwork with an alibi rather than Eugene's name. Leonard rationalizes that Dalton Kearn could find Eugene if his name were attached to anything having to do with the Ashantis. Eugene has no way to explain the situation to reporters, since he cannot involve his father without putting him in danger, and struggles with a solution. Though Margaret believes Eugene, she needs proof to show reporters. Whit offers to use the Edu-Link, set up at the Ashanti village, to show the denizens of Odyssey that their packages were truly sent to the Ashantis. Margaret organizes a press conference to occur at the lighting of the Christmas tree ceremony at City Hall.
Whit visits Leonard and they discuss their beginnings in archaeology. Leonard tells Whit that when he was a boy he had wanted to be a cook before his father advised him to do something more important with his life. Leonard tells Whit how unenthusiastic he is about Eugene's work with Hand-Up, believing that Eugene is wasting his talents cleaning parks when he could be curing cancer. He expresses frustration that Eugene is devoting his life to spreading the gospel around Odyssey instead of doing things Leonard feels are more valuable. Leonard bitterly tells Whit that he feels Whit has turned Eugene into a robot and warns Whit that he will protect Eugene - even from Whit.
Though Eugene encourages his father to come to City Hall to watch the Ashantis opening their presents, but Leonard remains to afraid of Dalton. Eugene gives his father the second Edu-Link unit to watch and goes to City Hall for the ceremony. Unfortunately, the unit Eugene took to City Hall is not functional! Katrina hurries back home to get the other Edu-Link unit from Leonard. The unit at the house is working perfectly and Leonard is enjoying watching his friends open their presents. He admits that he has never seen them so happy. Katrina tells Leonard about the difficulties they are experiencing with the Edu-Link and leaves for City Hall with Leonard's unit. After she describes the distortion, Leonard turns on the TV to see the setup at City Hall. He calls Eugene to try to tell him what's wrong, but Eugene doesn't answer.
When Katrina arrives with the Edu-Link, just in time for the press conference, Eugene sets it up only to encounter the same distortion as before. Panicking, Eugene tries to solve the difficulties. His father runs up and convinces Eugene to move, suggesting that the statue they are set up near is made of a natural magnet that is causing the interference. Sure enough, when they move away the feed begins to broadcast, showing the Ashantis with the gifts the people of Odyssey sent. Leonard disappears and Eugene finds him back at his house. Eugene apologizes that his father had to leave the house and Leonard replies that it was an emergency. When pressed, he admits that seeing the kids on the video helped him realize how beneficial the work Eugene is doing truly is, and that Eugene has found his calling. He then tells Eugene something he's never heard from his father: that he is proud of him.
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Heard in episode
|Eugene Meltsner||Will Ryan|
|Katrina Meltsner||Audrey Wasilewski|
|Leonard Meltsner||Phil Proctor|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Margaret Faye||Alexandra Kenworthy|
|Ken Blanchard||Spencer Binford|
Mentioned in episode
|Wooton Bassett||Eugene Meltsner|
|Thelma Meltsner||Leonard Meltsner|
|Dalton Kearn||Leonard Meltsner|
|Garvey Hiram Meltsner||Leonard Meltsner|
- This is Mayor Margaret Faye's first episode appearance since #408: “Malachi's Message, Part 3”, eight years prior.
- This is the first episode to mention the The Odyssey Tattler since #368: “The Other Woman”, ten years prior.
- Leonard uses the alias "Gordon Shumway" in this episode. This is the name of fictional alien Alf, from the famous sit-com of the same name.
- In the closing wrap up, Chris calls this episode "An Undeniable Truth" — possibly a reference to the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
Katrina Meltsner: Leonard!
Leonard Meltsner: You should be on my side, Katrina! You know he's better than this! His mother never would have stood for wasted potential, and you shouldn't either!
Katrina Meltsner: I don't stand for wasted potential. I happen to believe that what Eugene does is admirable.
Leonard Meltsner: What Eugene does should be a hobby, not a life pursuit.