The Tangled Web
Connie's friend Debbie has gotten tickets to the hottest concert of the year - a concert Connie is sure her mother wouldn't want her to attend. In order to go, Connie deceives her mother into thinking she is just spending the night at Debbie's. Next, Connie works at trying to persuade Whit to let her take the afternoon off.
Whit appears, carrying a box of manuscripts - old stories he's written that he thinks the kids might enjoy reading. Connie makes her request. Whit says "yes" - if they finish cataloging the manuscripts. They dig into the box, and Connie comes across a story called "The Tangled Web." Whit asks her to read it aloud.
It's a tale about a youngster named Jeremy Forsythe, whose mother asks him to go to the store to get flour for her after school. Jeremy doesn't want to go to the store - he'd rather go to Whit's End to get free ice cream and see a display on how movie cameras work. Rather than miss out on fun at Whit's End, Jeremy decides to do both. But somewhere along the way, he loses the money his mother gave him. When she questions him about it, Jeremy panics and says someone took the money.
Jane Forsythe interprets this to mean that someone stole it, and Jeremy picks up on this theme. He concocts a wild tale about a teen-aged thug who pushed him into an alley and threatened to hurt Jeremy unless he handed over the cash. Mom is horrified and takes action. Soon the police force is out looking for the thug, and the school board, town council, and mayor is singing Jeremy's praises. The mayor even decides to honor the youngster for bravery! Jeremy realizes that his lie has gotten way out of hand. When it's time to receive his award, though, he steps nervously to the podium...and graciously accepts it!
Connie is dumbstruck - the kid got away with the lie; however, Whit points out that he really didn't. Jeremy's lie would haunt him for the rest of his life - just like Connie's lie will haunt her if she goes through with it. Whit leaves Connie to think about this. She sighs...then reluctantly calls her mom.
- Connie believed that half-truths aren't really lies.
- Why was Connie wrong?
- Have you ever lied like Jeremy did?
- Like Connie did?
- If so, how did it affect you?
- Why does God hate lying so much?
*Appears only in the original Odyssey USA version (1988)
**Appears in the Adventures in Odyssey remake currently available (1991-Present)
Heard in episode
- #11: “Addictions Can Be Habit-Forming” had another preview for this episode: File:012 Broadcast Promo.mp3
- The original script for this episode contained the predictable ending, where Jeremy would get up on the stage and confess.
- Harry Snoopnagle's habit of saying "Huh? Huh? Huh?" is a nod to Deputy Warren Ferguson from The Andy Griffith Show.
- This episode marks the debut of June Kendall.
- In the early days of Adventures in Odyssey, the regular cast (aside from Whit, Tom Riley, Connie Kendall, June Kendall and the ill-fated David Harley) was constantly shifting. As a result, it wasn't uncommon for characters to appear in only a couple of episodes and actors usually found themselves playing a different character every episode. For example Phil Lollar (who would later play Dale Jacobs) plays Roger Forsythe and David Griffin (who would later play Jimmy Barclay) played Jeremy Forsythe.
- The original Odyssey USA airing does not feature June Kendall saying "Hello?" when Connie calls her at the end. This was added into a later version (presumably when scenes had been re-recorded to remove Officer Harley).
- The title is taken from the couplet by Sir Walter Scott: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."
- This episode was used in Radio Scripts, Volume 2 (and still contains Officer Harley).
Harry Snoopnagle: Now, what we're going to have to do here is gather all the pertinent facts, and you know the quickest way for us to do that is?
Roger Forsythe: By getting a real police officer?
Harry Snoopnagle: No, but that was a good guess. The easiest way to gather all the pertinent facts is by using what we call in the trade the four W's. That's who, what, where and when.
Jane Forsythe: What about why?
Harry Snoopnagle: Make that the five W's.
Roger Forsythe: And let's not forget how...
Harry Snoopnagle: All right, the five W's and an H! Anybody want to add any more letters?
Connie Kendall: Sounds like Jeremy's getting himself in pretty deep. I think I know how this is going to turn out, too.
John Whittaker: Well, maybe you do, maybe you don't. The only way to find out is to keep reading.
Roger Forsythe: Well, take my word for it, son: even when you're grown up, someone's still making decisions for you.
Jane Forsythe: Roger, I need you to do something for me!
Roger Forsythe: See what I mean?