308 The Great Spontini

The Great Spontini

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Kevin the cockroach was something Tommy Thompson pitched during his initial meeting with Don Bellisario and the writers, he said that Don would always mention Kevin and they'd always share a laugh whenever they met. How sweet :)
I've always had a soft spot for this one. I must concede that in many ways it is probably deserving of only an average rating. But I personally like it for several reasons.

First of all, I really like Jamie, and her bond with her father/Sam. The interactions between them are what really catapulted the episode up for me. Another highlight of this episode for me was the one in front of the judge, where Al kills the handlink. I think this must have been the last time we were ever supposed to see this version of the handlink before the gummy bear version appeared. But of course, the order the episodes were filmed in was different to the order in which they were aired.

The lawyer character, Steve, is easy to dislike and is in fact one of my most hated characters that ever appeared on the show. But in some ways I actually disliked the mother, Maggie, even more. Not only for running out on her kid but also for completely using Steve. It's clear to me she was only using him as a lawyer to get her daughter back. As much as I disliked Steve, I do think he genuinely cared for Maggie, so I did feel a tiny shred of sympathy for him at the end.

My rating. Good. A sweet story that continues the trend of good episodes in season 3.
Why couldn't Jamie hear Al?

It may be talked about somewhere else but at what age do kids stop being able to hear/see Al? He was trying to tell Jamie to get off the dangerous magic trick and then said "why am I talking to you, you can't hear me". It made me wonder why some kids can hear him and others can't.
Pool Hall Blues vs Rebel w/o a Clue

Why did they have the same actor play Grady in Pool Hall Blues and Ernie (the diner owner) in Rebel Without a Clue? These episodes aren't that far apart in sequence and it seems like they should have got a different actor.