NOTE: This post is in part a response to the Was Morrie Right? series on AIO Audio News. I recommend that you listen to those before reading this post.
Was Morrie Right? This question has been going through the AIO community ever since The Rydell Revelations, Part 3 debuted on the Adventures in Odyssey Club. People have had a problem with how Morrie was portrayed in Part 3. Morrie was portrayed as being right in his actions in previous episodes, they say. Most of us would agree that he was wrong to lock Matthew and Emily in the escape room, so what’s going on here? Let’s dig into it.
Phil Lollar, I think, is trying to make a point. AIO isn’t supposed to be your babysitter, it’s supposed to encourage discussion, especially within families, about the themes portrayed in the episodes. The intent of Focus on the Family isn’t to make something that parents will let their young children blindly follow. I’ll even be so bold as to say that if you’re thinking of Adventures in Odyssey and FOTF as moral authority. In no way do I mean that FOTF is unbiblical. From what I’ve seen in AIO, they don’t even differ much (if at all) from my personal opinions and beliefs. Your only moral authority should be the Bible. It’s good to have mentors, pastors, and parents who can guide you but in my opinion you shouldn’t regard anything or anyone, including me, as an absolute moral authority other than the Bible itself. I want you to question this, and approach my ideas portrayed in this article skeptically. I too want discussions to arise, and feel free to object to anything I’ve said that you have a problem with in a comment.
Part of what I think Phil Lollar wants for AIO is to not simply state the moral at the end of each episode. It can be, and I know that you don’t necessarily mind it being so, ambiguous. He has demonstrated this in other episodes such as Millstones. The Rydell Revelations leave the question of whether or not Morrie was right in his actions unanswered. The episode might not have been harsh enough on Morrie, especially Part 3, but I think that Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off will explore more of Emily’s side and of Morrie’s motives. I hope that both of their feelings will be shown and that will make up for how TRR P3 portrayed Morrie.
Having said all that, I think the answer to the question “was Morrie right?” is a resounding “no”. It is most definitely not right to hire someone to lie and deceive someone (The Good in People), to lock people against their wills in a room and threaten to kill them (A Sacrificial Escape), or to break into someone’s phone and edit their personal recordings to frame that person (The Rydell Revelations, Part 1). We all agree on these points, I think. The controversial point is how Morrie was portrayed in Part 3. It seemed that he was passed off with a small slap on the back after threatening to kill people because he (supposedly) had good intentions.
I’m excited to hear how things are wrapped up and how these subjects continue to progress in Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off and later episodes. It was revealed that Morrie’s more would become clear about Morrie’s motives. Possibly his motives weren’t as pure as he made it seem to Whit. We can only see what happens in the future, but we can discuss it in the meantime. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment on this post about what your expectations and hopes for Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off (anyone have a less clunky abbreviation than LCTWTO?) are.
I must push back on two things. One, Morrie did threaten with there not being oxygen in the tanks (certainly not out and out killing), but it had no backing whatsoever. There was enough air in the room itself to keep them alive for a few hours, which at that point the police would get them out well beforehand. Even if not, Morrie wouldn’t have let anything bad happen to them.
Two, the recordings were not edited. They were as they were recorded. Morrie was genuinely worried about Suzu at that point, so why would he edit the recordings? He was going to conceal a number of later recordings, but conceded and shared them all to Whit.
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I don’t think we ever find out for certain whether or not Morrie actually manipulated the recordings, but I felt like it was heavily implied. “Someone who could do that could certainly manipulate the recordings on a phone.”
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That’s what Whit thinks. Just because a character thinks something doesn’t make it fact.
Thank you for this post! it was extremely thoughtful and insightful. I agree with you about what you said in the beginning about FONTF. There are also… not really gaps but things that are important but very controversial in the Christian life (such as Baptism.) that AIO doesn’t go into detail about because of the various listeners. And I believe that having parents/mentors are important but no one will agree on every single thing. (like is is wrong to have a kitchen in a church building, or call your church building a sanctuary.) Personally, I believe that if you have a question, go to the bible. You can ask other people and even google it if you want but your final decision should come from prayer and studding. And I believe that AIO/FOTF does a good job of portraying this and not… offending people. idk. but these are my personal opinions. (sorry this was long. ) Thank you again for this post!
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Thank you, Domenica! In fact, I did do a little bit of research for this post. Good guess.