It's a Pokenberry Christmas, Part 1
At a quiet Whit's End, Whit reads a letter from Mary Barclay that discusses how discouraged George Barclay is in Pokenberry Falls. Things are so bad he is considering quitting the pastorate. Whit and Eugene decide to visit the Barclays over the holidays as an encouragement to George. As his family, Mary, Donna, Jimmy, and Stewart Reed Barclay, plays in the snow, George attempts to justify his church budget to Barry Lionel, the sole financial supporter of the church. Mr. Lionel can't see the value of spending his money on the poor members of the congregation and tells George that he may have to close the church.
Discouraged, George stops at the church office and finds Ellis Birch, the church treasurer, frantically trying to find the deposit slip for the $800 he was supposed to deposit in the bank the previous week. Without the money, the church can't pay its bills. The two desperately try to find the money, but it's nowhere to be found.
George gets more and more frustrated and angry, especially when he hears that Stewart has injured himself falling off his bike. He visits with Stewart and agrees to fix the pedal from the bike while Stewart rests. Frustrated with the day and with life in general, George storms out of the house.
Meanwhile, Whit and Eugene have checked into a motel and, after calling Mary, decide to go look for George. George has gone to Mr. Lionel for help, but Mr. Lionel refuses, suggesting they just let the church die. Whit and Eugene find George on a bridge. Believing George is about to jump, Eugene runs to stop him and instead falls over the edge into the river himself. George jumps into the river to save Eugene. The story continues in part II...
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- Why would Eugene assume the worst: that George Barclay was considering throwing himself into the water?
- And though George denied it later, was there any truth to Eugene's assumption?
- Have you ever been in a position like George's, where God has called you to do something that would be impossible to carry out without Him?
Heard in episode
Mentioned in episode
|Jason Whittaker||John Whittaker|
|Jana Whittaker-Dowd||John Whittaker|
|Armitage Shanks||Eugene Meltsner|
- This episode takes place away from Odyssey: Episodes That Take Place Away from Odyssey
- The entire plot of this show is based on the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", with George Barclay in the role of George Bailey and Eugene as Clarence. The miserly character of Barry Lionel is an obvious reference to Lionel Barrymore, the actor who played the miserly character of Mr. Potter in the 1946 film. Numerous other It’s a Wonderful Life References appear throughout AIO.
- Jimmy and Donna reference both It's a Wonderful Life and Dickens' A Christmas Carol in this episode when Jimmy quotes Tiny Tim's line "God bless us, everyone!", to which Donna replies "Wrong movie."
- The original album art contained a scene from this episode: that of Eugene and George falling into the river. In the episode Eugene slips and falls into the river and George jumps in after him. In the album art, George is below Eugene, which would mean that he fell first. Interestingly, the pre-release art for the album cover is much more canonically correct.