The Very Best of Friends
Jessie Morales and the other kids at Odyssey Elementary have come up with a special surprise for Donna Barclay: They've chosen her to be the host of the annual Fall Festival. Everyone is excited about the choice...except Donna. She thanks her friends but says she doesn't ever want to have anything to do with the Festival again.
Jessie is confused and takes the dilemma to Whit. Donna is so talented and outgoing, Jessie wonders why Donna doesn't jump at this honor. But Whit believes he knows why Donna is acting so strangely. He takes Jessie over to the Barclay house to talk with Donna about it. Unfortunately, Donna refuses to admit anything is wrong and demands to be left alone.
While he is gone from Whit's End, he leaves Reginald Duffield in charge of the shop. He runs into Jimmy and Oscar, who ask him to help them put together a Shakespeare act for the Fall Festival. He agrees.
Jessie thinks it's all her fault, but Whit tells her that Donna is feeling bad about a different friend — someone who was around before Jessie came on the scene, Karen. It's been a year since Karen died, and one of the last things she did was the Fall Festival. Whit knows Donna has to release her anger - anger toward Karen for dying, toward God for letting Karen die, and toward herself for having those feelings in the first place.
Jimmy and Oscar are having trouble with "Romeo and Juliet," and Reggie decides that they should play it for laughs.
Whit arranges to take Donna to the one place where she can let go of her bitterness — Karen's grave. At the cemetery, Whit makes Donna confront her anger by turning it over to God. Donna heads out to visit Karen's grave, allowing the healing to begin. Meanwhile, Whit takes a walk to visit Jerry's grave in the same cemetery.
At the Fall Festival later, Jimmy and Oscar put on a crowd-pleasing comedic performance, much to Reggie's delight. Afterward, Donna takes the stage and takes a cue from Karen's performance from last year, reading the lyrics to What a Friend We Have in Jesus in dedication to her friends Jessie and Whit. She is then, finally, able to tell Karen "good-bye."
- Have you ever lost a friend or loved one?
- How do you cope with it?
- How can you cherish the memory of a loved one but also be able to tell them goodbye?
- How could you encourage a friend who is grieving?
- Why was Donna angry?
- When were you angry?
Heard in episode
|Donna Barclay||Azure Janosky|
|Jessie Morales||Erin Morales|
|Jimmy Barclay||David Griffin|
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
|Oscar Peterson||Joseph Cammaroto|
|Reginald Duffield||Parley Baer|
Mentioned in episode
|Karen Crosby||Donna Barclay|
|Mary Barclay||Donna Barclay|
|George Barclay||Donna Barclay|
|Jerry Whittaker||John Whittaker|
|Jenny Whittaker||John Whittaker|
- The events of this episode are a follow-up to those in #50: “Karen”, which took place in Odyssey time a year earlier.
- This show marks the last appearance of Lieutenant Reginald Duffield.
- The comedic version of the balcony scene was later used in #154: “Coming of Age”.
- This is Whit's 100th episode.
- The plot point of two boys comically performing scenes from Romeo and Juliet at a festival would be used again in #528: “The Taming of the Two”.
- AIO Update: Read
Donna Barclay: You ever think about her, Ferg? No. I guess cats don't do things like that. As long as someone's feeding you you're happy. Maybe cats have the right idea. Don't get to close to someone cause they might go away, and then no one will be there to feed you.
Reginald Duffield: When all else fails, attack the enemy straight on!
Jimmy Barclay: I want people to laugh cause I make 'em laugh, not cause I look funny — don't say a word, Oscar.
Donna Barclay: You know this is the second time this week I've been blindfolded? Must be a blindfold sale going on somewhere.
John Whittaker: You're angry, Donna...and you're angry at yourself for feeling this way. I know...the feelings are terrible. Horrible. But what you need to understand, Donna, is that they're just feelings. Reactions. You can't help having them any more than you can help breathing. And it's all right to have them -- as long as you don't let them control you.
Donna Barclay: That's so easy to say.
John Whittaker: I know, I know. And difficult to do. But there is a way, Donna...by taking your feelings to God. Letting him have them. Totally and completely. He wants them, Donna. He can turn them into something wonderful if you let Him.