Mistaken for Good

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#707: “Mistaken for Good”
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Original Release Date
Date Recorded
October 7, 2011
Recorded at
55: The Deep End
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[[:Category:{{{genre}}} Episodes| {{{genre}}}]]

Psalm 9:16

16The LORD is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. Higgaion. Selah

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Mistaken for Good

“Mistaken for Good” is episode #707 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Bob Hoose, and originally aired on March 31, 2012.


Jay's visit to a nursing home takes an unexpected turn when an old woman mistakes him for her grandson -- and offers him money as a birthday present.


Jay Smouse enters Whit's End carrying a load of things for the retirement home. After dropping some things, he asks John Whittaker (Whit) for a soda. Jay explains that he's only going there because because his mother is making him take this stuff there. Olivia Parker tries to explain that visiting the retirement home is a great thing to do, even though Jay doesn't really care. Jay chugs down his soda and makes his way out of Whit's End and goes to the retirement home.

At the retirement home, Mrs. Kramer meets Jay and accepts his donation for the home. As Jay turns to leave he runs in an older woman named Helen Wilson. She mistakes him for her grandson, and consistently calls him Humphrey. She pulls $20.00 out of her purse and after some resistance Jay eventually takes the money. After a farewell hug, Jay leaves the retirement home.

Jay makes a stop at the comic store and buys eighteen dollars and fifty cents worth of comics. After checking out, Vance King approaches Jay and asks him about the stack of comics he just bought. After pressing Jay for details, Jay tells Vance all about Mrs. Wilson giving him $20 for thinking he was her grandson. Vance sees this as a great opportunity to get more money out of her. He explains that Jay either goes with him and gets more money out of her, or Vance will tell everyone that Jay is conning old women out of their money. Jay agrees seeing that he really doesn't have a choice.

Later Jay and Vance go back to see Mrs. Wilson, and she thinks that Vance is Humphrey's cousin, Teddy. They bring her chrysanthemums and then explain that they can't stay long. They hint that they need money for bus fair, and she gives them more money.

The next day, Vance convinces Jay to return to the nursing home. Jay is a little reluctant about visiting her so much, but Vance insists that they should keep it up. After discussing it a little, Jay tells Vance to go on in with the yellow socks. Jay stays in the hallway, and bumps into Mrs. Kramer. Jay is concerned that Mrs. Kramer might know what he's doing, but instead of yelling at him, she thanks him for what he's doing for Mrs. Wilson. After talking with Mrs. Kramer, Jay feels terrible for what they've been doing. Vance finishes his visit with Mrs. Wilson, and joins Jay. Jay tries to suggest that they shouldn't do it anymore, but Vance doesn't listen. Vance leaves, and Jay decides to go in and talk to Mrs. Wilson. Jay tries to tell her everything, and that she shouldn't give them any more money. Mrs. Wilson tells him how much he reminds her of her husband, Donald. She shows him the flat tire ear rings that he gave her. She tells her about a Clair de Lune music box she once had from him too, but she lost it a long time ago. Jay leaves feeling pretty guilty about what they've been doing.

The next day during school, Olivia leaves her class to get something from her locker and finds Jay inside her locker. Olivia tells him to get out and explain why he was in her locker. He explains that he needs to buy a Clair de Lune music box. He says they have one at J and J Antiques and that he'll pay for it. He explains that a lot of the guys live near there, and he would look silly buying it. Olivia is a little suspicious about Jay being nice, but Jay just tells her to get the box and then take it to some bushes, and look for him wearing an eye patch. Without waiting for her to say yes, he turns and walks away.

Later outside J&J Antiques, Jay meets up with Olivia. Olivia gives him the music box, and moments later Vance joins them. Jay tries to just forget the whole thing, but Olivia insists that the box should go to Mrs. Wilson. Vance says that he's not giving up his part in the take, and that they should all go in. Olivia goes ahead of them, and Jay tries to convince Vance to stop taking money from Mr. Wilson. Vance says that they will keep squeezing money from Mrs. Wilson until Jay gets caught. The two join Olivia inside, and then Mrs. Kramer joins them to give the box to Mrs. Wilson. They enter her room, and find that Whit is visiting Mrs. Wilson too. Mrs. Wilson loves the music box and Jay asks her for some money. Jay admits that they've been taking money from her for the past week. Whit has them all go into the hall. Whit calls both of their parents to get things sorted out.

Later, Jay enters Whit's End and is greeted by Whit. He explains that he's been painting at the retirement home with Vance. Whit tells Jay that he talked with Mrs. Wilson, and was surprised to hear that Jay asked her not to give them anymore money. Whit explains that she appreciated Jays visits more than he realizes. Whit picks up on some compassion in Jays voice, but Jay tells him to keep that to themselves, he doesn't want to lose his reputation. Jay asks Whit to give Mrs. Wilson a greeting card to go on her bedside table.

Discussion Questions

  1. Was it wrong for Jay to keep coming back for the money?
  2. Why or why not?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Silvia Smouse Jay Smouse
Nick Smouse John Whittaker
Vince King John Whittaker


  • When Mrs. Wilson talks about her "Clair de Lune" music box, the beginning of the piece can be heard in the music cue in the background.
  • Jay refers to Greek Titan Atlas when he staggers into Whit's End with his load of donations. Atlas was known for holding the world on his shoulders.
  • Jay refers to the game Jenga.


Mrs. Kramer: I've been watching you visiting Mrs. Wilson a lot lately.
Jay Smouse: Uh, you have?
Mrs. Kramer: Yes. And she thinks you're her grandson, did you know that?
Jay Smouse: Wellll...
Mrs. Kramer: But you keep coming back anyway, and I've only got one thing to say.
Jay Smouse: Now, look, I wasn't--
Mrs. Kramer: You have got to be one of the nicest kids I've met in a long time.
Jay Smouse: What?

Mrs. Kramer: For someone your age to take interest in an elderly woman, well, it's a beautiful thing. It restores my trust in the youth of today.

Jay Smouse: Make way, make way, Atlas is entering the building.
John Whittaker: Jay! Here, let me help you with that.
Jay Smouse: No, don't do it, it's carefully stacked. I'm a human Jenga puzzle.

Vance King: I thought that was you! ye- what did you do to your eye?
Jay Smouse: Uh, freak spit ball accident?
Vance King: Huh?