Third Degree

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#276: “Third Degree”
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21: Wish You Were Here!
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Proverbs 27:17

17As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

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“Third Degree” is episode #276 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Marshal Younger, and originally aired on August 6, 1994.


In Colorado, Eugene meets a group of people who are just like him. Bernard is not so fortunate; he fights a traffic ticket in court.



Next stop, Colorado. Bernard and Eugene are truckin’ down the highway at a turtle’s pace, as Bernard’s truck doesn’t handle high altitudes well. Suddenly, they hear a siren behind them. A policeman pulls them over and tickets them for going too slowly! Bernard concludes it’s a scam. He decides to fight it in the Municipal Court of Oak Park.

While setting up the court date, Bernard and Eugene become acquainted with a young man named Bryant Jennings. Bryant talks a lot like Eugene. In fact, most of the people in Oak Park talk like Eugene. This is especially obvious when Bernard and Eugene attend a party that night at Bryant’s house. Bernard feels out of place among all the intellectuals. But he doesn’t mind using their smarts. They all help Bernard prepare his defense for traffic court. Unfortunately, when he appears in court, his mind is full of too much information. Bernard gets flustered. He ends up in contempt of court and gets thrown in jail for 72 hours!

Meanwhile, Bryant likes having Eugene around town. Bryant gets his uncle, who runs a computer company, to offer Eugene a job in the programming department. Eugene is tempted to stay, especially when an inmate convinces Bernard to fight the system and remain in jail beyond his three-day sentence. But Bernard realizes that would be a big mistake, and Eugene realizes that he doesn’t want to live permanently among people who are just like him. Bernard pays his fines, and the two of them continue their trip to San Diego.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think Bernard handled his court appearance in the best way?
    • Why or why not?
  2. Why did Eugene ultimately decide not to stay in Oak Park?
  3. What are the benefits of befriending people who are different from you?
    • What is good about having friends who are similar to you?


Role Voice Actor
Bernard Walton Dave Madden
Bryant Jennings Gary Reed
Elizabeth Merilee Brasche
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
Jeffrey Josh West
Judge Matt Hurwitz
Police Officer Matt Hurwitz
Stanley Danny Ackerman




Elizabeth: My name is Elizabeth.
Bernard Walton: Oh, hi, how're you doing?
Elizabeth: How am I? Well, contrary to all of the negative factors that have been impressed upon me in the previous six to seven days, I feel rather energetic, if not vigorous! How are you?
Bernard Walton: Excuse me, I...need some air. <walks away> Okay, Bernard, now what? You're in a room full of Eugenes! Maybe I can just sit in a corner somewhere and they'll leave me alone.

Bernard Walton: Give a man a hammer, and he goes power-crazy!

Bernard Walton: The what? What'd he say? These new fangled houses can't just have living rooms anymore.

Eugene Meltsner: I'd be hard pressed to think of any place I would rather have been tonight.
Bernard Walton: I can think of a couple. Prison. Antarctica.