Not many of us have ever had to compete to be Wooton's camp assistant or participate in a music-themed scavenger hunt, but most of us have experienced what Ryan Cummings did today. We all have known a Valerie, a cold and intimidating character; and we all have known a Brad, a guy who you're nice to but who stabs you in the back anyway. ''You're Two Kind'' gives us a peak inside a harsher side of school, where back-stabbing, peer pressure, and insecurity are all part of the curriculum.
The reality is that people aren't always divided into ''good and bad'' or ''mean and nice". Many of us are like Brad. We mean well, but because of school pressure we say things we don't necessarily mean to say. We have all gossiped or spoken ill of our friends just to benefit ourselves. It's sad, and it's wrong, but it happens. I like how even though Brad was a bit of a jerk, the episode didn't outright make him into a bully or a bad person in the end. He was just your average guy who messed up.
Today's adventure principally follows Ryan Cummings, who seems underused on Adventures in Odyssey. Adam Wylie--who sounds 13 but is really about 27--plays his role well. Unlike one or two other kids on the show, I feel like I can easily relate to him because he comes across as real person. It's interesting how Ryan--like Brad--is a nice guy, but was willing to do something so harsh and humiliate Brad in front of the class. Overall, because of the way the show dealt with these issues, and because of the actors they chose to deal with them, ''You're Too Kind'' felt like one of the most relatable episodes of the season.
And what about that B-Plot? It wasn't as quite as good as Ryan's story, I'll admit; however, neither was it a waste of time. Ever since Eugene Meltsner came back to the show, fans knew Connie and Eugene's relationship never could be what it once was. It needed to be different. And for a while, up until ''The Green Ring Conspiracy''', it seemed as if the show was in denial, wanting to bring back the classic Connie and Eugene chemistry, regardless of whether Katrina existed or not. If we are to learn anything about marriage from Adventures in Odyssey, a man should not be hanging out around his female co-worker more than he hangs around his wife. All of this is to say, I like that the writing team included Katrina in Connie and Eugene's escapades, instead of pushing her aside or telling the audience she was at home baking cookies. With ''You're Two Kind'' and the upcoming ''How to Sink a Sub'', she finally seems to be getting the attention she deserves.
Did this B-plot sound familiar? A little. Jack Allen also once had trouble speaking what was on his mind in "And that's the Truth". Having Katrina and Connie team up to make Eugene feel miserable makes me wonder why everyone on this show has to be so deceitful in order to ''teach'' others a lesson. I think back to what Whit asks Nick Mulligan in ''The Bad Guy": ''Who tempts people to sin?''. While one could argue Connie and Katrina weren't exactly tempting Eugene to sin, they were purposefully putting him into situations to be dishonest. Furthmore, if the point was to tell Eugene to come out and say what he meant, shouldn't Connie and Katrina have done the same? As is customary in recent years, Whit stands far back and washes his hands of it all.
Overall, I quite liked this episode. Despite being one of the season's simpler episodes, it's delightfully engaging and follows a back-to-basics formula. A kid has his realistic problem; Connie and Eugene have theirs; and Whit travels between both stories and does what he does. Simplicity may be this season's motto, but it works best in "You're Two Kind".