It's a Pokenberry Christmas, Part 2
Continued from part I... After drying off from the river rescue, Eugene and George return to the hotel, where George pours out his heart to Eugene, telling him he wished he'd never become a pastor in Pokenberry Falls. Eugene cautions him against wishing for something like that, mentioning the lives that George has touched, but George scoffs.
As they go in search of Whit, they realize that they are unknown to anyone, and the lives of the inhabitants of Pokenberry Falls are drastically different. Through a series of misadventures, Eugene hypothesizes they are in a parallel time where George's wish has been granted. To end the mystery, Eugene calls Whit, who is still in Odyssey, and finds out that after George had lost his job, he became terribly discouraged and even lost his faith in God. His family left him and then George himself disappeared. His youngest son Stewart wasn't even born.
George insists on going to the church, where Donna's scholarship celebration was to be held, but because George was not there to intervene, Mr. Lionel has turned the property into a golf course. Eugene exhorts him that even in times of discouragement, our lives have great impact on those around us. After desperately searching in vain for his family, George goes to the same bridge and begs to have his life back, problems and all. Suddenly, back in the river George once again, pulls Eugene from the water. George rushes through town, realizing it was all a dream, and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. At home, a man from the bank is waiting to foreclose on the church and house, but George joyfully greets his children. Mary arrives, followed by members of George's congregation and townsfolk, who have brought money to replace the $800 that was lost.
- 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?
- This is not the first episode where the Barclay family experiences a "wish come true". Donna had a similar experience in #126: “Wishful Thinking”.
- This was the last episode to date in which the entire Barclay family appears and the final episode to feature the characters of Mary, Donna and Stewart Reed Barclay. Both George and Jimmy would feature in future episodes beginning with #534: “Something Blue, Part 2” and #535 – #536: “Living in the Gray”, respectively.
- 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 Bailey as George Barclay and Clarence as Eugene. 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. (Additionally, Officer Ward Bond was named after the actor who played Bert, the policeman.) Numerous other It’s a Wonderful Life References appear throughout AIO.
QuotesPokenberry Falls Librarian: Oh, my. You fell for the old "look at the giant phonebook" trick!
Barry Lionel: Ha! A Happy New Year to you — in Rupert!