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The Great Sock MysteryEdit

===Episode #701===

"Cast Away" / "The Great Sock Mystery"

Synopsis by KorraIsBack & Dave

Images by Dw_divastar

Comments by aardvarky_tarrlok,

TheArthurCircus,AwkardLeixia,TXC,Jeriah02,Majordomo_arthur,DetectiveSokka, & Bloomdream_girl.

SYBAR2011

This one starts out a bit mysterious, sort of like the part after the teaser in #31302 - "Francine and the Feline." In between two tree branches, we can see the back of the Read family household. The branches part to the edges of the screen so that we can see Mom exiting the back door. She's humming to herself and hangs up a sheet on the clothesline.

In the background, you can hear panting. The camera pans to a mouse squeaky-toy, which is then covered by a shadow. We leave the outside and go inside the laundry room. There, Mom grabs two socks and folds them. The music gets a little spooky as Mom hears a rustling noise.

The camera zooms in on some gardening tools in the corner of the basement and a pair of eyeballs opens. Whomever those eyeballs belong to throws out the toy mouse onto the basement floor. Mom's startled -- she heads up the stairs asking if it's D.W. that's causing the noise. The camera moves back to the eyeballs and the panting starts up again. It continues as the scene focuses in on a sock hanging over the edge of the laundry basket...


*** The Great Sock Mystery ***

Buster reads the title card. It's the one where Pal notices the empty circle and howls.

Written by: Peter K. Hirsch

Storyboard by: Stefanie Gignac


Presumably sometime later in the day after what happened in the teaser, D.W.'s getting dressed, and wants to know how she can wear her red and purple dress with only one red and purple sock.

Ah, D.W., master of color coordination. But you know what? Quit whining. Especially with this new voice actor of yours.

She thinks that maybe he wanted to use it as an ear-warmer for his "crazy dog." Speaking of Arthur's "crazy dog," D.W. notices him barking at Baby Kate and tells him to get away.

Mom: Relax, they're just playing!

Pal had apparently been trying to stretch the mesh of Baby Kate's crib using the powers of his mind...

Pal: (to Kate) She ruined my concentration! I was so close to making a hole big enough for you to escape.

Kate says that it's okay. He can try again later. She's concerned that D.W. seems to be very upset about her sock.

Pal: I'll say. Don't you people usually put two of those things your feet? Why does she only have one?

D.W. continues whining to Mom about how it's her special sock and that her foot's getting cold. Pal decides to go find it -- if he doesn't she could "be like this for days."

Mom wants to know if D.W. maybe left her sock in the hamper. (Mom Rule #1 -- Go for the obvious.)

D.W. has another idea. She figures Arthur stole it. (D.W. Rule #1-- Can't come up with a solution? Blame Arthur.)

Like the snowball, I purpose ?

She thinks that maybe he wanted to use it as an ear-warmer for his "crazy dog." Speaking of Arthur's "crazy dog," D.W. notices him barking at Baby Kate and tells him to get away.

Mom: Relax, they're just playing!

Pal had apparently been trying to stretch the mesh of Baby Kate's crib using the powers of his mind...

Pal: (to Kate) She ruined my concentration! I was so close to making a hole big enough for you to escape.

Kate says that it's okay. He can try again later. She's concerned that D.W. seems to be very upset about her sock.

Pal: I'll say. Don't you people usually put two of those things your feet? Why does she only have one?

D.W. continues whining to Mom about how it's her special sock and that her foot's getting cold. Pal decides to go find it -- if he doesn't she could "be like this for days."

As was the case in #21802 - "D.W.'s Very Bad Mood". Pal heads for the basement and checks the dryer. There's nothing in there but lint though. He eats some of it and then tells himself to get a hold on things. Snooping around some more, he spots something suspicious. On the floor are a brown hair and a fish scale.

Later, as Mom and Dad are moving the washer and dryer to look for the sock, Pal shows Kate what he found. Kate wants to know who they know who is "cunning, devious, and likes fish." They think for a moment:

Pal and Kate: Nemo!

Arthur's taking Pal for a walk. Wait, rather, Pal is taking him for a walk. Arthur opens the door to Francine's and says that Pal pulled him there.

Nemo: Well, well, well, if it isn't Arthur's runt. I wish I could say "Look what the cat dragged in," but, alas, I didn't have the pleasure of dragging you.

Pal: Hand it over, Sugarpuss.

Nemo asks what it is he's supposed to be handing over. Pal chases and confronts him. He horks up the hair he found in the laundry room.

Nemo: That's not my hair. It's brown. My hair is black and white. Are you colorblind?

Pal: As a matter of fact, I am.

Nemo says that he was never in Pal's yard. He says to ask "that silly toad who hangs around your yard."

Toady Wartface, as introduced in #11301 - "So Long, Spanky."... Introduced, and then forgotten, since we've never seen her again, at least up until now...

Pal wants to know who could have took the sock if not Nemo.

Nemo: Beats me. But remember that ham bone you buried in the flower pots last spring? It was delicious.

Pal growls at Nemo and Arthur pulls him away. It would seem that's going to be all for this confrontation.

Back at the Read's, Kate talks with Toady.

Toady: Ever since I left D.W., things have been good. I have my own pad nearby.

So that's what happened to Toady. I wonder if D.W. was as upset over the loss of Toady as she was during Spanky's time of death.

Kate asks Toady if she ever gets lonely living on her own. Toady admits she does sometimes, but she "hates the pond scene."

Kate asks if she's seen any strange animals lately. Toady says that she saw one just yesterday.

Pal comes over and he's not in a good mood. He gripes that the ham bone is "definitely gone." He checked the flower pot, the rose bushes, everywhere. Kate's not really concerned about this. She explains to Pal that Toady saw something. Pal asks if it was a cat. Toady's not sure, she says that it was large and breathing heavily. She imitates the breathing for them. Pal considers this. It could be a raccoon. Or maybe a Tibble.

That night, Pal grabs the baby monitor out of Mom and Dad's room. Baby Kate is able to communicate using the one in her room to talk to Pal. Pal gets some donuts from the kitchen.

Pal: What's a stakeout without donuts?

He then heads outside. Over the radio, Kate says that now they wait. Some shots of the crescent moon passing through the night sky are shown to represent time elapsing. Sometime during the night, Pal fell asleep, with a full belly. So only Kate's awake when something appears to swipe the sock that she and Pal have planted.

Kate: Pal, he's here! The sock!

Pal: (waking up): Aha! Caught you red... no! It can't be!

We see why Pal's so shocked -- the sock bandit is Amigo (the dog belonging to Arthur's neighbours, the first Hispanic family who were introduced in #60502 - "Arthur and Los Vecinos".)

Kate: And to think his name means "friend!"

Pal confronts Amigo. Amigo defends himself, saying that it's not what Pal thinks; it's for a good cause. Pal, surprised, asks if there's a charity for humans without socks. Amigo says that's not it, it's more complicated. He'll show him. Kate tells Pal to be careful. If he's not back by sunrise, she'll "call the parents."

On the way to, well, wherever it is they're going, Amigo tells Pal about how a while back, some pets decided to form a secret group called the "Fur Masons." This group is dedicated to finding new ways of helping people. Some trained dogs to help people who are blind. Some taught cats to catch mice. They even sent some into outer space.


One of these would probably be Laika, the first dog in outer space.

Amigo: But their greatest gift to the humans is this (he opens a door)... The Sock Exchange!


"Fur-mason" and "Sock Market" are not only season's dumb parodies so far, they've got to be a couple of the worst jokes for the entire show's history.


The building is full of dogs and cats of all different types, all with socks. All of the dogs and cats are trying to make deals on the socks they've brought in, all talking at once.

Scottish Terrier: I've got an Argyle here. Who needs an Argyle?

Pal: This is amazing! But how does all this help people?

Amigo doesn't really know, he says that it's complicated. He sees someone who could maybe help Pal. He introduces him as "Alan Greenspaniel." Greenspaniel's a boring-looking dog wearing oversized glasses and a tie.

Amigo: Good evening, Mr. Greenspaniel. My friend here wants to know what the purpose of the Sock Market is.

Greenspaniel: (in a undead-like tone) Our challenge is to ensure that we extend the favorable macroeconomic performance and bolster the capabilities of all to share in the prosperity that is being generated. Alan Greenspan is the Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve. He was recently bestowed with an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth.


American citizens admitted to British Orders of Chivalry like a knighthood don't get the right to be called "Sir", but Mr. Greenspan is entitled to place the letters KBE -- for Knight Commander of the British Empire -- after his name. Other people who've received this honor include former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, General Norman Schwarzkopf, former presidents Bush and Reagan, and film director Steven Spielberg.


Spans

Mr. Greenspaniel / Alan Greenspan, KBE

Pal says that he didn't understand a word Greenspaniel said. Amigo admits that he didn't understand either. Nobody does.

Amigo: All I know is: we take their socks, they buy more. It's good for the economy.


Pal considers that for a moment. So that's what happens to all the missing socks. All he really wants though is D.W.'s sock back. The problem is, Amigo doesn't have it anymore -- Pal will have to trade to get it back.


Pal: You mean, I should (gulp) "play the Sock Market?"Yes. Amigo gives him some sage advice -- the thing to do is to "buy low and sell high."

Okay, okay, "play the stock market" and "buy low and sell high" being the standard piece of advice for people who do that.


We're shown Kate giving Pal her socks... buying low -- Kate's socks are small. He takes them back to the Sock Exchange. This seems to be working at first. Pal's progress is shown as red arrow heading upwards, superimposed over the screen. But then suddenly it dips, soon hitting bottom.

Back in D.W.'s room...

Pal: I've lost it all, Kate! (sob) Every last booty! We're ruined!


Kate doesn't mind. She doesn't like wearing them anyway. She's just sorry that they never found D.W.'s special sock, and it appears that the effect of losing it is making D.W. lose her mind.

The camera pans to D.W. on her bed. She's using a red and purple sock as a sock puppet.



Pal: She misses it so much, she's pretending that the other one is alive.

Sockppt
D.W.'s using her sock as a sock puppet.


Just then, Amigo calls from below. He's found the investor who has D.W.'s sock. He told the investor that Pal's out of booties, but he may be willing to trade it for something else. He'll meet Pal in his yard tomorrow.



The next day, Kate is in the backyard with Pal, wearing a cute showercap with dark blue spots to keep the sun off her head.

Pal shows her the items that he's managed to scrounge for the investor. Kate says of them that they're "very tastefully arranged" and she's sure there's something there that the investor will want. The "investor" arrives on top of a sad-looking dog called Hans. He's a slick-talking toad named Mr. Toad with a hot dog in his mouth for a cigar.

Some at the Yahoo Arthur group thought this might mean he was some kind of mafia guy or something. To me, it just represented him being a corporate fatcat.

Pal: Is that a hot dog in your mouth?

Mr. Toad: 100% pure beef, kid! A cat in the deli gets them for me cheap.


Mr. Toad wants to know what they can trade him for the sock.

Kate: How about this? I think it's called "money." (She holds up a five dollar bill.)

Mr. Toad: Nah, found a ton of that stuff at the Crosswire Palace. Used it to line my pad.

She shows him a set of keys. He wants to know if they're to a motor car. Kate wants to know what that is. Mr. Toad decides he's not interested, saying he's not supposed to drive anyway.

Until I was working on this review, the fact that he says "motor car" struck me as odd. Now I get it -- this is a reference to the book "Wind in the Willows". It makes sense that he's not supposed to drive -- in the book, Mr. Toad keeps buying fast cars and smashing them up.

Kate: How about a Woogle?

Mr. Toad: (annoyed) Please! That fad went out with the 90's!


Kate shows him a lollipop. Well, she tries to, but after getting through with her sales pitch, she grabs it, only to find that Pal ate it. Mr. Toad says that what they have is "slim pickin's," they'll have to do better. He wants to trade for Pal, to use him as transport.

Mr. Toad: You see, my current dog is getting a little old. Time to trade up.

Kate: You can't have, Pal! He's my best friend!

Mr. Toad: Come on, baby! He's not even your species!

Anyone catch the double-play on the word "baby" when Kate was called that by the frog? You know, the fact that Kate really is a baby? :)


Mr. Toad taunts them, saying that it's "the dog or the sock, the dog or the sock..." Just then, Toady Wartface hops in. She recognizes Mr. Toad, they knew each other from when she was just a tadpole. It's been a long time since they've seen each other. It seems that they fancy each other, and hop off for a "slug or two."

That takes care of their problem with Mr. Toad. His dog, Hans, drops the sock in front of Pal and Kate and leaves. Kate says that they did it! She hopes D.W. will be happy.


Pal wants to know if Kate would have traded him. Kate says that she wouldn't for all the socks in the world. Pal heads for Mr. Toad's hot dog/cigar that he dropped.


Kate: Oh, Pal! You're not going to put that in your mouth, are you?Pal: If there's one thing I've learned in my days at the Sock Market, it's this: "It's a 'dog eat dog' world." He gobbles up the hot dog and that's:

The End.


CreditsEdit

Andrew Porporino is now listed as an executive producer along with Carol Greenwald. And Greg Bailey is now credited as "Producer/Director."


The CastEdit

Arthur and D.W. have new voice actors (Mark Rendall and Jason Szwimer), but then again, we already know that from the 'It's Only Rock and Roll' special. The Brain has a new voice actor: Alex Hood. He's not a very good match for The Brain; The Brain sounds like he's on helium. More about that in #70201 - "Francine's Split Decision." Jenna gets a credit: Bridgit Tierney and so does Mr. Morris, he's voiced by Al Gravelle.


Other StuffEdit

Chuck E. Cheese's is now a sponsor of the show. I remember back when they were called "Showbiz Pizza." The "Believe in Yourself" remix of the main title theme is gone. Perhaps the viewers or those in charge of the show didn't like it, or maybe they were only planning to run it for Season 6 anyway, to promote the "Arthur's Really Rockin-Mix" CD.

COBAREdit

I liked The Secret Life Of Dogs & Babies, but I don't want the talking animals to be overused. I was disappointed with the explanation for the missing socks, as I was hoping it would be more of a cosmic paranormal phenomenon, such as "a break in the time-space continuum," as Arthur once mentioned in #21702 - "Arthur the Loser". The entire story seemed to be premised on illustrating the rather weak pun of the "sock exchange," although the inclusion of a (Alan, presumably) "Greenspaniel" was appreciated. The ending seemed utterly inexplicable -- why did Mr. Toad suddenly drop everything because he saw Toady? Also, a toad holding a whole hot dog in its mouth like a cigar would have to be huge to maintain proper proportions. The only good line was: "What's a stakeout without donuts?"

Other animals that could have been included: Walter Deer and his extended family, the bats from Francine's bat-mobile and from #50402 - "The Cave", the narwhal Francine wanted, the insects from #40701 - "Binky Barnes, Wingman", Sue Ellen's pet snail or the missing chameleon from the vet, Perky, the snake from #40201 - "Hide and Snake", the ghost of Spanky, the chickens from Grandpa Dave's farm, the horses that Francine and Catherine learned to ride, the dog owned by Rattles, the cat that Buster saved, all the aquatic creatures from #50302 - "The Shore Thing" and of course Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat, voiced by Holly Gauthier-Frankel (Fern!).


Comparing "The Great Sock Mystery" with "The Secret Life of Dogs & Babies"Edit

Okay, so #60302 - "The Secret Life of Dogs & Babies" was sort of our introduction to the idea of an episode where we can hear Baby Kate and Pal talking to each other (as well other animals.) "The Great Sock Mystery" seems to have a somewhat more complex story synoposis.


Praise For This EpisodeEdit

This episode was one of the first Season Seven episodes that members of the online Arthur community learned about. Executive producer Carol Greenwald told me about this episode by name when I spoke to Josiah back in April. Like "The Secret Life of Dogs & Babies," I enjoyed it. My favorite parts are the Revelation-esque parody and the confrontation with Mr. Toad.

is is quite a turn-around in quality from the horrible lead-in episode, #70101 - "Cast Away"! This one was much more funnier and entertaining, and all the old episode references (like the return of Toady, Amigo, and the Woogle) and parodies were hilarious! The two most funny characters were the Alan Greenspaniel dog and the mafia-ish/corporate-fatcat frog :) . Lots of cute things in this story, like the Sock Market, and just the way the animals talk so intelligently.

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