Pokenberry Falls, R.F.D., Part 2
Outside the church, George and Mary learn from Ellis and Vivian that Ellis's brother Owen is an unstable man with shaky employment and an anger problem who vents his frustrations by destroying glass bottles that he gathers for income. Inside, after narrowly escaping one of the flying bottles, they learn that Owen is upset because of the possibility that a new pastor for the church will displace him from living at the rectory. Ellis reminds Owen that his living situation was only supposed to be temporary and encourages him to attend the deacon's meeting tomorrow, where he will have a chance to vote against the pastor and thereby keep his home. Owen reluctantly agrees to this and remains behind to clean up his mess. On their way out, George asks Ellis about what Ellis just said; astoundingly, Ellis responds that Owen is a church deacon.
Arriving back at the Ellis home, Jimmy Barclay storms upstairs as Donna explains to Amy why they refused to drink with her. Amy is incredulous, not knowing anyone in Pokenberry Falls (other than her grandparents) who doesn't drink.
The next day, George and the others confront Ellis about his sugar-coating of the town's status and learn that the church only consists of about thirty people total. Ellis assures them that his only intent was to give a good impression, but George responds that all they truly wanted was an accurate impression. He and the family tour around town on their own for the rest of the day and end up driving up to a vista overlooking the town where they discuss their positions on the prospect of moving. Jimmy is open to the possibility while Donna is more conflicted, being torn between Pokenberry Falls's obvious need for them and her fondness for Odyssey.
Later that day George meets with the church deacons, including a hostile Owen. Their meeting is cut short, however, by the arrival of the brusque, abrasive and somewhat-abusive lead deacon Barry Lionel, who obviously holds the reins of the church board all by himself. He asks George point-blank why he should approve George's being instated as their new pastor. George refuses to pander and instead responds in kind, insisting that the church is owned by God — not Mr. Lionel or anyone else. Mr. Lionel is impressed by George's boldness and gives the rest of the board his approval. The meeting is adjourned... despite Owen's protests.
Later than afternoon at the Ellis home, Amy confronts Jimmy and Donna about their differences. Donna explains that while they sympathize with her plight, they recognize that many towns have problems like the ones seen in Pokenberry Falls and that the difference comes from how people respond to those problems. Amy scoffs at this, daring Donna to live in Pokenberry Falls for two years and still be able to have the same attitude.
That night George preaches a sermon at the church, after which they prayerfully fly home to Odyssey.
The tape recording session is just wrapping up when the family hears the doorbell ring: the movers have arrived to pack up their things. It's time for them to say good-bye to Odyssey and hello to Pokenberry Falls.
- Why did Amy and the kids of Pokenberry Falls feel the need to drink alcohol?
- George told Mr. Lionel that it wasn’t up to either one of them whether George became their new pastor, but it was up to God.
- What did he mean?
- How would the Barclays know if God said “yes” to the job?
- The Barclays knew that Pokenberry Falls was a place that really needed people who knew Jesus. Where are some places around where you live that really need Jesus?
- This episode takes place away from Odyssey: Episodes That Take Place Away from Odyssey
- Jimmy stood up to Amy about drinking, but later in #536: “Living in the Gray, Part 2” his girlfriend Felicia has the same problem.
- The RFD part of the title stands for “Rural Free Delivery,” a reference to the show “Mayberry RFD,” a short lived spin-off of the Andy Griffith Show.
- The elder Barry Lionel is based off of Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life--his name comes from the actor who played Potter, Lionel Barrymore.
QuotesVivian Birch: Look, there's no point in wrapping an onion up in Christmas paper. I like these folks too much not to completely level with 'em!
Ellis Birch: Well it's all in the way you look at things, Vivian—
Vivian Birch: Well, look at it from their point of view. Quit givin' em the nickel tour and lay out the cold, hard facts, Ellis!
George Barclay: [to his family] Do you all hear what you're saying?
Ellis Birch: I do! And I like what they're saying!
George Barclay: Thanks- thanks for the input, Ellis!
Owen Birch: Nay! I vote nay!
Ellis Birch: Be quiet, Owen...
George Barclay: But... but what was all that about a meeting tomorrow? I thought it was a deacon's meeting!
Ellis Birch: Uh-huh. He's one of our deacons, ya know.
George Barclay: ...oh.