Season 7 Episode 11

April 9th

Aired Daily 4:00 PM Nov 29, 2002 on PBS

Episode Recap

It all beings as a beautiful normal spring day in Elwood City, as the kids prepare to head off to school. Sue Ellen places her new postcard she got from a friend in Bolivia in her precious journal; Arthur learns his dad will be catering a breakfast at the Lakewood Elementary School and asks if he can get a ride with him; Muffy and Binky are also on their way to school; and Buster is oversleeping as his alarm is ringing... In the usual classroom at Lakewood Elementary School, Mr. Ratburn starts the day. But things begin to go wrong the moment he smells smoke. Right then, the fire alarm goes off and they begin to evacuate the building. But Sue Ellen forgot to get her journal, and has no time to get it, and Binky catches a glimpse of the fire, making him nervous. Once outside, the parents all show up, the kids learn that the school janitor Mr. Morris had injured his leg in the fire, and he is taken to the hospital. Sue Ellen cries at the loss of her journal, and Arthur is worried about his dad, but is happy to see that he got out alive and well. But after all the action occurs, Buster arrives late and is devastated, because he slept through the whole thing! The gang learns that they will have to temporarily go to their biggest rival, Mighty Mountain Elementary School, until Lakewood is repaired. Binky continues to try and cover up his fear of the fire, and Sue Ellen is still upset over her journal being destroyed. Things don't seem to help when Binky watches a Bionic Bunny episode featuring the rabbit hero's fiery arch-villain Hothead, and when Muffy tries to cheer up Sue Ellen with a brand new journal. Buster also feels left out since he was not actually at the fire, and when he lies to the Mighty Mountain students about he was there and how dramatic and scary the fire was, Arthur gets annoyed since his dad could've been really hurt in the fire. Buster's mom then gets an idea for him to do the next day... That night, Arthur learns that his dad's next catering job will be at the aquarium for a deep-sea fishermen convention. Arthur is relieved that it will not be at another school, but that does not stop him from having a nightmare about his dad being attacked by a squid at the convention! The next day, Buster goes to the hospital to visit Mr. Morris, and when he discovers that they both have asthma and love chocolate, it looks like a new friendship has started. The day after that, in their temporary classroom at Mighty Mountain, Buster talks to his friends about Mr. Morris, and Sue Ellen is finally pleased with a new journal Muffy bought for her (complete with personalized cover and a stunning pen), saying she feels much better now. But then a mysterious gloved hand in the hallway pulls the fire alarm, causing all the kids to gasp in fear... Once evacuated, Francine learns that it's only a false alarm, and that it was deliberately pulled. Buster is disappointed that he's still the only one in the class that hasn't been through a fire, and then Binky enters, laughing at how the Mighty Mountain kids reacted to the fire alarm, but then unintentionally slips out that he timed the firefighters in how long it took to get to the school. He then realizes he is in big trouble when this earns him looks, and the fire chief comes up with the knapsack she found near the pull station Binky activated. Binky writes a confession and apology to the Mighty Mountain principal and Mr. Haney. He still tries covering up the true reason why he did it to Mr. Haney, and his punishment is doing some clean-up work with Mr. Frensky in the park. There, he learns Mr. Frensky was a volunteer firefighter in the past. Buster comes to visit Mr. Morris, who tells him the time he worked as a dog groomer, only for the dogs to run into a perfect circle made in a cornfield, and surprisingly, Mr. Morris thinks it was caused by aliens, just like Buster! When Buster offers to get another soda for Mr. Morris, he explains that he needs to get used to his crutches, and that at his age he may need his cast and crutches for a long time... On the morning Arthur's dad is supposed to go to the aquarium, Arthur fakes being sick as an attempt for his dad to stay home, but when Dad finds out the truth, he explains a similar scenario from when he was younger, when Grandma Thora was in a car accident, and how he feared that each time she set foot in a car she would get into another accident, though she was not hurt. To pass the time he'd crumple up pieces of paper and toss them in a wastebasket, which made him feel better, though one time he forgot to do it, and despite being gone for three hours, Thora came home just fine. This makes Arthur feel better. Sue Ellen gets the idea that the kids work together on a mural to paint outside Lakewood Elementary School while it is being fixed up, showing the fire, their thanks to Mighty Mountain, and then the school reopening. When the school is reopened, Francine makes a report for the school paper about how Sue Ellen managed to find a portion of the postcard she lost from the old journal, and does not manage to get anything from Binky. Turns out, back in Lakewood Elementary, Binky can't stop remembering the fire and this upsets him, so he runs out of the school. Mr. Frensky finds him and when Binky finally tells him what has been bothering him, Mr. Frensky said that he had similar problems when he saw his first fire close-up, and that talking about it made him feel better. Binky feels better as well, but still doesn't want to go back to school, so Mr. Frensky calls Mr. Haney to let him know where Binky is, then invites Binky to do some of the garbage collection rounds with him. In the newly fixed-up version of Mr. Ratburn's classroom, they have cake in the middle of class in honor of the reopening, and Buster learns from Mr. Ratburn that Mr. Morris is not in because he is retiring. Turns out, Mr. Morris will be moving down to New Mexico to live with his daughter in retirement, and Mr. Morris gives Buster his daughter's accordion as a present to remember him by. That night, Arthur and Buster talk via walky-talky about the changes the fire has caused, including Mr. Morris's retirement and his friendship with Buster all being caused by the fire. Then as Buster plays "Clementine" on his new accordion for Arthur, his dad returns home from catering Mr. Crosswire's birthday, safe and sound. Sue Ellen writes in her new journal that it will have been one month since April 9th, and that though she doesn't want to go through another fire again, she is happy that she and her friends made it through the situation, then turns off the lights, ending the episode.