Wow, people really hated this episode. It's always been one of my favorites. Had no idea about the dubbing, although something did seem off about the girl's voice. And the beginning that's shown later, i've seen it done several times as a way to show the audience there's a problem, then they go back and show what led to it, then how it's resolved. No biggie...to me, anyway.
The story itself was awesome. As has already been said, the parents are awful. Seriously, 'loud mouthed kids' 'you darn kids'. Does she really believe she's a good person talking to her own children like that? The father isn't much better. He's not as unkind as the mother, but he's distant with his children.
Now, what's really messed up is them making the children decide who they are going to stay with, and you can tell they're thinking, 'please don't pick me.' Who does this? Are there actually parents in the world that think it's their children's job to decide these things. When the mother says to Sport, 'well, if it wasn't for you kids, we wouldn't have stayed together as long as we did, so you might show us a little consideration' I wanted to throw stuff at my tv. Why do they even have kids?
Now about the portal to Aunt T's, very cool. They got the right actress for the part. She reasons with the kids, even when they want to fight each other, and talks to them like they're people, not property or a nuisance. At first, Sport calls her a kidnapper. Her response is very heartwarming and believable. She's thought about it, whenever she sees children being treated badly, but, as she said, she's always resisted the temptation. It's a natural feeling to want to do something to protect a suffering child. Sport hears her mother calling them, but Aunt T tells her those voices will fade over time. Sport still isn't convinced, and insists their parents still love them. Jeb wants to stay, but Aunt T says if their parents really do love them, they should go back. It's unlikely they can come back for a visit, many who leave don't come back.
Next thing you know, Jeb goes back, with Sport covering for him. She goes and gets him when their mother wants to talk to them. She's still hopeful, telling Jeb that things will be different, their parents are going to love them. It's heartbreaking. Then we're back to the beginning, and the children escape their parents by jumping in the pool and calling for Aunt T. When they suddenly disappear, the father dives after them, and the mother suddenly cares if they drown.
I love the very end. The kids are with Aunt T and the Huckleberry Finn boy, about to dig into the cake, when Sport suddenly stops, thinking she hears something. It's her mother, her voice is very faint, and she's pleading for them to come back. But Sport isn't falling for it this time, they had their chance. She shakes it off, and eats cake, proving what Aunt T said is true, the voices fade over time. I don't even feel a little bit sorry for the parents. They didn't really want children, now they don't have children. Careful what you wish for. Awesome episode.
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