Hi there, Chris! First, thank you for taking the time out to read. It's humbling and rewarding, being a music critic by trade, to have the tables turned and have my own work scrutinized. I really appreciate your in-depth commentary and I thank you for the nice words. I did immerse myself in Huck's world because I didn't want to insult Mr. Millar by presenting anything less than the world he conceived.
That being said, I feel your insight validates what I flagged in retrospect as a weakness. I took the prompt of being a simple story perhaps too much for granted. My other scripts, I usually come out swinging, be it with action, conflict or prose. It comes down to the marketing ethos that you only have "x" amount of time to make an impression.
An impressionistic version of Huck is what I suppose I came up with. I was looking to honor Mr. Millar and the character by celebrating what it is about Huck that makes him special outside of his powers. I wanted the focus to be purposefully minimalist so we could establish what a kind, grateful soul he is, and then clout the reader with an action-packed finale, which is tough to execute within 5 pages, but of course, a pro tackles this challenge with ease.
I think the points you bring up are on-point, but with the limited pages, I ended up (wrongly) targeting the soul of Huck as a prelude to the events already established. I ended up writing more of an homage, so I get why my entry was passed. I agree with you about the missing person scene, and I sat on the fence about it through the first few drafts, but then I (again wrongly) decided to give us insight as to why he would just go find a missing person i.e. the events penned by Mr. Millar. I wanted a similar scene to justify his rationale, rather than revel in what was already created prior to.
I wanted the conflict to be about him finding that next big good deed so that new readers could see he is not only compelled, but honor-bound and dutiful to do this. I was thinking in terms of showing new readers what a gentle, kind man Huck is, which makes his powers and explosive rescue more impactful. I realize perhaps the conflict should've hit earlier, thank you for pointing that out.
Thanks again for your comment, man! I will return the favor later in the day.