How did Diesel 10 went from a intimidating and monstrous villain who wanted to find and destroy Lady....
to a light hearted villain who steals Christmas decorations?
Since the episode reviews have now replaced the movie reviews I did, here's another one, this time on Bye George! and why it's such a great episode for George. So without further ado...
Similar to Granpuff, the opening to this episode is good enough to have a paragraph about it. I like how George is at the Skarloey Railway, as it makes it seem like this episode is a sequal to Steam Roller. I also love the hilarious quarrel between George and Skarloey, it's an immediate reminder as to how rude George is and the set up for his redemption arc through the episode. Not to mention that hilarious line, "Rollers are rubbish, so good riddance!"
Percy and George's Journey
"Bumpy ride on rotten rails! I'm glad it's over!"
Percy takes George to an old branch line that George is going to turn into a road. This is a nice touch, since George is getting his wish of turning a railway into a road has been granted. Meanwhile, Percy goes to speak to Thomas and tells him all about George. Thomas tells him to just ignore him, which begins the stories dealing with a bully moral, since if your being bullied, they always say to ignore them because they're only doing it to make you react.
The Incident at the Crossing
"Tear it up, tarmac it!"
George begins ripping up the old branch line, something that gives him great pleasure. Just then Thomas passes on another line, that crosses the closed line further up. George yells at him but Thomas puts into practise his mentality of ignoring him, building on the anti-bullying message by demonstrating how it works. George feels insulted by Thomas' lack of interest, leading to an amusing moment where George calls Thomas "a useless blue puffball". Before long the workmen and George reach the crossing, where they are unsure what to do. (Wouldn't they have already made a plan of what to do when they reach there? Oh, well that's a nitpick). In another amusing moment, George loudly orders them to just tarmac over it, which they do. When I first re-watched this episode after regaining interest in the show last year, I audibly chuckled at this moment due to Michael Angelis' delivery of the line and the pure silliness of the workmen not questioning tarmacing over an active train line. Since the workmen tarmaced over the line Thomas had gone over, when Thomas returns he is heading for trouble. I always found the moments funny, it's mainly the dialogue between Thomas and his driver. The contrast of Thomas' peaceful, happy line "that's nice we don't need to stop" and the driver's line "Yes, we do!" I just find so funny, especially the way Angelis yells the driver's line, I find Alec Baldwin's delivery of the same line to be quite flat in comparison. The icing on the cake is the chicken sounds when Thomas crashes into the barn.
Gordon and the truck
RIP truck: ????-1998
The next day, Percy tells Gordon about George, but Gordon dismisses his warnings. I like this scene since it plays into Gordon's later incident, the episode would've worked just as fine without it, but they added it in, also it adds to the episode's dealing with bullies message. Gordon then leaves and sets off with the express. Meanwhile at Crosby, Duck is taking a train of "empties" into a siding where George has been sent to work, but George is blocking Duck's way and one of his trucks is blocking the mainline. Leading to some more funny lines where Duck and George argue about moving out the way. Since George is refusing to move, Duck's driver goes to tell the station master about the issue, but the signalman has already set the points and changed the signal to let Gordon steam through with his express. Gordon is making great time when, suddenly, he sees the truck, he whistles and yells for the truck to move, but it doesn't, until Gordon forces it, by ramming headlong into and sending flying into the air. By accident, of course. This is another comedic moment not just from the crash by itself but also the lines "until Gordon forced" and "by accident" as well as the face Duck makes upon seeing the truck crash down next to him and get smashed into smithereens. At the next station, Gordon stops and The Fat Controller who was on board vows to find out and punish whoever caused the accident. Leading too...
"I want to get rolling again, but I've got wait a whole week till I do."
George was found out by the Fat Controller and punished, Thomas and Percy see him at The Lumber Mill, looking miserable. George explains that he has to wait a week until he can leave the mill and start rolling again. Thomas jokes that once he does, he will be just as rude as ever, but the narrator and George's face give you the idea that George may have properly learnt the error of his ways.
The dealing with bullies message
The main message/moral of the episode is on how to deal with bullies. Percy is the first victim to get bullied and he seeks help from a friend (Thomas). Thomas gives him some fairly sound advice of not giving the bully any attention, so Percy doesn't. Then, when Thomas meets George, Thomas follows his advice of ignoring him, even after George causes him to crash. Eventually, after George goes on to bully two more people, he gets found out and punished. This demonstrates how you should deal with a child and all of it is done subtlety, not obvious in your face, because that's how the classic era would do things, treat the viewers with intelligence and didn't force feed them information.
The perfect send-off for George?
I was originally going to title this post "Why Bye George! is a perfect send-off for George" but as I wrote more and more, I began to realise how not much of what I was writing was about how this is a good send-off, so I'll wright it here. First of all, George gets his wish of tearing up a railway and turning it into a road, which makes it seem like he has achieved a goal. Second of all, once he gets punished he does seem sorry for his actions, and the narrator hints that George may have permanently learned his lesson, after only being a supporting character in his two previous appearances. Not to mention, he has no major speaking appearances after this, almost as if the writers know that he has turned good and doesn't have much more potential. And finally, in his next non-cameo appearance, in Calling All Engines!, he helps mend the runway at the airport, which is actually helping the engines, which just proves even further that he has reformed. He actually had a complete arc, he went from, "Railways are no good, turn 'em into roads!" to helping the engines after a huge accident, if that doesn't prove he's reformed, then nothing will. And to conclude, although I would've liked to have seen George return with his old personality - and there are many amazing fan-stories that do this - I'm still happy that this is the send-off we got for him.
I made this boxart mockup in GIMP. Tell me your thoughts on it!