Welcome Home, Mr. Blackgaard
Things are rough for Edwin Blackgaard. Having recently fled Odyssey, Edwin has spent his time with Walter Shakespeare, doing a two-man Hamlet in Hooterville and Pecanburg, where we catch up with him. After a particularly disastrous performance (in which the town’s livestock actually outnumber the people in the audience), Edwin is visited backstage by Morton Dunkey, attorney at law. Morton informs Edwin that he has been named in his brother Regis’s will!
Edwin has inherited a piece of property in Odyssey, a store called the Electric Palace! At first, Edwin refuses his inheritance, but the stipulations of the will force him to accept. Shakespeare doesn’t understand why Edwin is so hesitant to go back to Odyssey. Edwin explains that the townspeople will probably never forgive him for running away during his brother’s takeover. Now he’ll have to face the music.
They head back to Odyssey. Edwin braces himself for the trouble he is sure he will encounter. But he doesn’t come across any problems. In fact, the people of the town, including Jack Allen and Tom Riley, welcome Edwin back with open arms. Edwin is so grateful, he feels he must do something for everyone. He decides to give away all of the merchandise in the Electric Palace!
After the store is cleaned out, Jack visits Edwin and convinces him that it isn’t the people of Odyssey who need to forgive him, Edwin needs to forgive himself. Edwin realizes Jack is right. That night, Edwin gets proof that the town isn’t holding a grudge against him. Everyone throws him a party and brings back all the merchandise they took from the store. Edwin is again grateful, so much so, he decides to treat everyone to a one-man performance of Hamlet which is almost bad enough to make them take back their merchandise again.
- Why was Edwin so certain that the townspeople of Odyssey would hate him?
- Why didn’t the townspeople hate him?
- Jack told Edwin he needed to forgive himself.
- What did Jack mean?
- Have you ever done anything for which you needed to forgive yourself?
- At the end when everyone is talking at once you can hear Doris Rathbone say 'pork rinds'; yet another reference to her and Bart's affinity for pork rinds, which debuted in #258: “Aloha, Oy!, Part 3”.
- This is the first of two episodes to follow a plot pattern of Edwin being visited by a straight-laced professional who frightens Edwin and threatens to upend his life as he knows it with news regarding the Electric Palace. The problem is compounded by the antics of Bart Rathbone and the solution involves Jack Allen referencing a Shakespeare production. The second episode, of course, is #359: “The Merchant of Odyssey”.
QuotesEdwin Blackgaard: ...I'd like to thank you for allowing our two man troupe to bring a little Hamlet, to your little--hamlet.
Edwin Blackgaard: Have you forgotten how we left? Under the cover of darkness, cowering with our tails between our legs like stray ducks?
Walter Shakespeare: I think you mean dogs, sir. Cowering out of town like stray dogs?
Edwin Blackgaard: What difference does it make?!?
Walter Shakespeare: Sir? Sir, I really don't think you need to duck behind me anymore. No one seems to be taking notice of us. And those who are-
Passerby One: Good morning!
Passerby Two: Good morning!
Walter Shakespeare: Good morning.
Edwin Blackgaard: Ahh!!!
Walter Shakespeare: Sir, those who are taking notice of us are very cordial.
Edwin Blackgaard: They're setting me up for the kill! Lulling me into a false sense of security! Be prepared to run, Shakespeare, especially if you see tar and feathers!
Morton Dunkey: I'm a partner in the firm Dunkey, Dunkey, Dunkey, Dunkey, and McCormick. Actually, I'm the third Dunkey.
Edwin Blackgaard: Well, congratulations. I'm so happy for you.
Edwin Blackgaard: Well, that's just ducky, Mr. Donkey!
Morton Dunkey: That's Dunkey
Edwin Blackgaard: Whatever.
Edwin Blackgaard: After all, if I were them, and I did what I did to me, I wouldn't forgive me for doing what I did! Would you?
Edwin Blackgaard: I... I'm speechless! I never expected to drink so deeply of the milk of human kindness. This token, this powerful symbol of acceptance and forgiveness, will ne'er be forgotten!
Bart Rathbone: I thought you said you were speechless.