Season 7 Episode 11

April 9th

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

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • This episode Shoots the It's for Kids excuse out the window

    It's for kids, is the most common excuse most people have towards reviewers, who criticize episodes or TV shows for bad writing. It's as if these people don't care about writing, and think that if it's for kids, it can be written as poorly as possible and still air on TV. Let's look at this particular episode in a show aimed specifically at children. Of course, this episode is an allegory to the 9/11 tragedy, but it displays so many sides and reactions to it. First off, at the start of the episode, we get a monologue from Sue Ellen about how before the event was just an ordinary day. That's very true, people remember what happened before a tragedy right down to the most detailed points. We then see a series of reactions from Arthur and friends. Arthur almost lost his dad in the fire when his dad was catering a breakfast at school. Sue Ellen lost her journal in the fire, along with a post card from a pen pal, Binky is traumatized by the fire, and Buster is disappointed because he didn't get to see anything. These are all very justifiable reactions to any tragedy. Sue Ellen, lost an item that contains memories from a person who lives far away, Arthur almost lost his father, Binky saw a fire for the first time and hides it because of his reputation, and Buster wanted some excitement to see. Later on, we learn that Binky is so traumatized, even the mention of the word fire scares him. Muffy then tries to help Sue Ellen by getting her a new journal, but Sue Ellen refuses because it was more about the contents as opposed to the actual journal itself. Again Sue Ellen lost memories from a pen pal. Also, Buster tries to make up stories about how he saw the fire, but is revealed as a fake. Later, Buster goes to the hospital and visits an employee of the school at the who got injured from the fire named Mr. Morris. Despite not seeing the fire, Buster finds out is very interesting and they begin to bond a little. Also, Arthur is still scared for his dad's life and hears that his next catering event is at an aquarium. Sure, there's a very low chance of an aquarium catching fire, but Arthur has bad dreams about how his dad could still be in danger. Soon after, Binky pulls the fire alarm at the replacement school, and gets in trouble for it, he is then sent to do community service with Francine's dad. Binky then learns Mr. Frensky was a volunteer fireman and discovers that when you're afraid of something, it's best to talk it out. Later, Arthur's dad discovers that Arthur is afraid for his safety at the catering event, and tells him a story about how Grandma Thora, was in an accident that scared him. He then tells Arthur to not worry about him and that most of the time lightning doesn't strike twice. Sue Ellen then gets a new Journal and an idea to paint a mural now that the school is open again. Afterwards, Buster learns Mr. Morris is retiring to live with his daughter in New Mexico, then the episode ends with Sue Ellen writing about on how to stick together through a tragedy. This is how you write people, and using it's for kids as an excuse for bad writing should be shoved aside.
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