|"Arthur's Faraway Friend"|
|Number in season:||12A|
|Original Airdate:|| April 7, 1998|
September 8, 1998
July 27, 1999
|Written by:||Joe Fallon|
|Storyboard by:||Brian Anderson|
"Buster Hits the Books"
"Arthur and the Square Dance"
When Arthur hears that Buster will be away with his dad for several months, he fears it may be the end of their friendship.
The episode starts off with a fantasy sequence. Arthur as Robin Hood scales the wall of a castle in the middle of a forest. He climbs through a barred window into a jail cell. Pal's being held captive. Robin Hood Arthur scoops up his pal, Pal then makes his escape.
Not so fast—the guards rush in. All of them look like Binky, dressed like Norman soldiers. They try to trap Robin Hood Arthur lowering the portcullis, shaking fists, and chasing him. Arthur manages to escape from the castle, but the guards are hot on his heels... he needs a getaway vehicle.
Buster, as Friar Tuck, comes around the corner in a big 1930's convertible roadster. He wants Arthur to get in. Arthur still holding Pal says that there weren't convertibles in Robin Hood's time.
The scene repeats. This time Friar Buster comes around the corner in a wagon pulled by two horses. Robin Hood Arthur jumps on and the two ride off with Pal while the Binky guards shake their fists and shout at them. Robin Hood Arthur tells Friar Buster that they make a great team. Even Pal agrees, by barking.
Arthur and Buster are up in the treehouse, lying side by side on their stomachs reading a copy of Robin Hood. Buster finishes the page first and he's impatient for Arthur to finish, so they can turn the page. They are at a particularly cool bit of the story.
They finish the book and the two friends are both happy and sad. They are happy because Robin Hood was so great. They are sad because the book's done and there aren't any more Robin Hood adventures to read. They wish there were.
Maybe there could be... Buster has a great idea. How about they write more adventures themselves? Arthur says that's an excellent idea since he figures he could come up with a hundred stories. They start working on the story, brainstorming, and writing together.
They come up with having brigands (more Binky guards) attacking the treehouse. Some of them are climbing up ropes, four are on hanggliders, and two are on a dinosaur. Buster's thinking up the story at this point, and Arthur's writing it down. Arthur pauses—how is "Apatosaurus" spelled?
We see the story being imagined... Buster and Arthur are in the library at a table, when the Binky brigands attack. The dinosaur lifts the roof off of the library, and starts growling. Ms. Turner looks to the left then to the right to see where the noise is coming from.
Then she looks up at the dinosaur and tells it to "shush" The dinosaur goes quiet. Then we cut to the actual library. Arthur and Buster are being told to shush this time by Ms. Turner since they ARE in a library. Oops. They got a little carried away with writing their story.
We cut to school the next day. Mr. Ratburn's classroom is the place. Arthur comes racing in, clutching a wad of paper, which is the latest installment of the story. When he comes into class Buster is sitting at his desk looking glum. So are Francine and Brain.
Arthur suggests Buster tell some jokes to cheer everyone up. Buster's the reason for the three's sadness though. Or rather they're sad since Buster's moving away for a couple of months to spend some time living with his Dad.
Buster's parents divorced when he was young, and he doesn't get to see his dad very often, since his dad is an airline pilot. Buster kind of wants to see his father, but kind of doesn't want to leave his friends and Elwood City as well.
Arthur and Buster sit lying down in Arthur's yard under a tree. Arthur says that they can't take this lying down. The way Arthur sees it Buster should be trying to avoid having to leave. Buster says that he doesn't want to leave yet, but he kind of does want to see his father. Arthur says he's got a plan. He grabs Buster and they race to Arthur's garage.
The great plan Arthur's come up with to keep Buster from having to move away is to dig a pit under his house and have Buster live in it in secret.
Arthur can bring Buster leftovers of food from meals to keep him fed and that way nobody can take Buster away from his hometown. Buster's reluctant to help out understandably. Arthur can't believe it. Arthur doesn't understand. He thought Buster didn't want to go.
Arthur imagines the team of Robin Hood Arthur and Friar Buster. There's a cliff overlooking the ocean, and Friar Buster's holding onto a rope while Robin Hood Arthur climbs up. Both are struggling, but Arthur will soon be safe. But Friar Buster says he has to go and then he drops the rope.
That night at dinner, Arthur practically touches his soup. Mom and Dad notice. Arthur asks if he can leave the table. Mom understands. She says she'll be up after if he needs to talk. Arthur leaves the table. D.W. asks if she can have Arthur's dessert.
Arthur's at the playground the very next day. Francine's on the seesaw with him, and Sue Ellen's on a nearby swing. Arthur explains how Buster didn't say yes to the "living in a pit" idea. Sue Ellen has some words of wisdom which actually are quite useful.
She asks Arthur to consider how Buster must be feeling. Sure they're all losing their friend Buster, but everything else will stay the same for them. Buster on the other hand is losing all of his friends and he's going to live somewhere strange and different.
Sue Ellen says she knows how Buster must be feeling, since she's had the same experience lots of times, her family has to move around a lot because of her father's job. Arthur sees Sue Ellen's point. Right now, Buster needs a best friend more than ever.
Arthur plans to visit Buster, jumps from the seesaw, and rushes off. This is bad news for Francine though; down she goes with a THUMP! Ouch!
Arthur finds Buster waving at his bicycle. Buster tells Arthur how he was just about to say goodbye to his favorite places around Elwood City. He invites Arthur to come along. Together they wave goodbye to the School, Library, Jack's Joke Shop, The soccer field. Binky's practicing, and he waves to Buster.
Inside The Sugar Bowl, Buster waves goodbye to a milkshake and then drinks it. Arthur and Buster look down on Elwood City from a crest giving them a good view of the city. Buster waves to the city. Buster's now feeling sad. Arthur says that going somewhere new is tough and it's okay if Buster feels scared. Buster shouldn't worry.
The day Buster leaves finally arrives. Buster is sitting in his Mom's car. She is taking him to the airport. Buster takes one last look at the treehouse. Arthur says it'll still be here when he gets back. Arthur says goodbye to Buster as the car starts driving. Arthur chases the car and waves to his friend as the car drives off. Arthur is now feeling depressed that his best friend is gone. He walks away sadly.
For the next couple of days, Arthur can't get used to Buster not being around. He keeps wanting to invite Buster over do stuff like go to The Sugar Bowl but Buster's no longer around. Arthur's especially upset when he realizes that he won't be able to work on the story with Buster anymore.
During lunch, Buster appears above Arthur's head, in white robes in a glowing thought bubble cloud. Arthur doesn't get it. He asks Buster what he means. Buster says he doesn't know. He just thought it sounded cool.
Arthur goes over to see Buster's Mom, Bitzi to see if he can get Buster's address so he can write to him. Bitzi says she can give Arthur the address, but Buster won't be there to get it. Since Buster's Dad is a pilot he's been taking Buster to all of the places he's flying too. So it'll be a while before Buster gets his mail. Bitzi consoles Arthur.
Some time later, Arthur receives a large package in the mail. He knows it's from Buster before he opens it, since Buster always spells Arthur's surname "Read" "Reid"... Arthur comments on this as he opens the parcel.
Inside the parcel are some souvenirs like a model of a skyscraper. There's also a letter from Buster, including a list of the places he's been, and the places he's going, like Paris and New York.
Best of all Buster's included the continuation of the story they were working on together, incorporating all of the places he's seen. Arthur says that this is great. With the list of places Buster's going to go, Arthur can write to Buster suggesting things to see to incorporate into the next installment:
Friar Buster and Robin Hood Arthur escape from Binky guards down the front of Mount Rushmore and use suction cups to climb up the sides of the Empire State Building in New York City. Perched on the top of the building is the dinosaur from the story.
Buster and Arthur escape from Binky guards by climbing from one ski cable car to another as it ascends a mountain... The Binky guards shake their fists In a chocolate factory, a tour is interrupted by Binky guards popping out of a vat of molten chocolate.
The tourists rush off. Buster and Arthur show up. Arthur writes his letter, suggesting places for Buster to visit to get details for the story. We see Buster and his father sitting at a cafe in Paris. Dad's reading a newspaper.
Back at Arthur's house, Mom looks at the calendar, and comments that Buster will be back soon. He returns on the 30th of August, according to the calendar. Arthur comments that that's not such a great thing—which surprises Mom and Dad. How come?
Because they're having such a good time working on the story via mail the way they are. And the episode wraps up with a shot of Arthur's bulletin board. Pinned up are loads of pictures of Buster all over the world waving.
- In Arthur and Buster's fantasy, Binky Barnes is always portrayed as the enemy.
- When Buster waves good-bye to Binky, Binky is colored slightly darker than he usually is, or he is a different person.
- In the previous episode Buster Hits the Books Arthur was the faster reader, but in this story, Buster is the faster one.
- The pictures Buster sends to Arthur can be seen as a slideshow in the episode, The Ballad of Buster Baxter.
- This marks the last major appearance of Buster in Season 2, considering the fact he makes cameo appearances in other Season 2 episodes such as Arthur and the Square Dance, Arthur the Unfunny, and Arthur the Loser but doesn't appear much. He will start making major appearances again in the Season 3 premiere Buster's Back.
- In Arthur and Buster's own Robin Hood story, the two riding the dinosaur are Binky and a white Rattles.
- When Arthur is playing hockey, Buster appears in a cloak it is a reference to Star Wars, when Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker to use the Force.
- When Buster said good bye to Binky, Binky's skin turned dark brown.