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"Strangers on a Train"
Season/Series: 11
Number in season: 5b
Original Airdate: United States June 29, 2007[1]
Canada December 31, 2007[3]
United Kingdom December 14, 2007[2]
Written by: Gentry Menzel
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"Baby Kate and the Imaginary Mystery"
"The Making of Arthur"
Read transcript

"Strangers on a Train" is the second half of the fifth episode in the eleventh season of Arthur.


Sue Ellen finds a mysterious diary onboard an old-fashioned train.


Sue Ellen and her mother walk into Elwood City Station. Sue Ellen is excited about traveling on the Crown City Star. She thinks about how it will be like in the old movies. After her daydream, Sue Ellen and her mom walk outside and Sue Ellen looks at the train and gasps in surprise.

Strangers on a Train

Sue Ellen is still staring at the train in great shock. Then they board the train only to find that it is run down on the inside. The conductor comes by and tells Sue Ellen that they still have an available snack car. An old lady bumps into Sue Ellen and apologizes. Soon Sue Ellen and her mom find their seats. Her mom goes off. Sue Ellen lets out a sigh as it begins to rain. The same old lady comes back and chats with Sue Ellen for a little bit. Then Sue Ellen remembers the snack car and wants to check it out. When she leaves her seat, she notices a lost diary. She looks inside and it says Property of Betsy Johnson, Age 8. Sue Ellen is excited that there is another girl on the Crown City Star and even tries to return the diary. She makes it to the snack car and looks inside and realizes that Betsy Johnson has gone on many travels. Before Sue Ellen leaves, she sees taffy on the table that spells ENJOY. She wonders who put it there. She goes back to her seat and finds a note from her mom. She finds another note about the taffy on the table. The writing looks familiar so she compared it with the diary. Sue Ellen realizes that they are the same. She goes everywhere to find her, but she still can't find her. She walks, but the train goes around a bend and she falls in a dark room.

The conductor finds her. Sue Ellen stutters as she tries saying that she is looking for another girl on the train her age. The conductor replied there isn't unless she meant The Ghost of the Crown City Star; Sue Ellen shivers. The conductor tells the story of a girl who lost her ticket during the train ride. Because she had no money, she wasn't allowed to get off the train. She went around wandering the aisles all these years, searching for someone else to take her place. Sue Ellen is surprised by this tale. Soon the train comes out of the tunnel and the conductor opens the window. When Sue Ellen heads for her seat, a loose slip of paper falls out of the book. It was written in 1935. She reads the farthest entry: Once again I am on the Crown City Star. It's been very long and I hope to meet someone fun this trip. Sue Ellen remembers everything and runs back to her mom, afraid. She is talking with the old lady, whose name is revealed to be Betsy. Sue Ellen begins to scream; as her mother calms her down, she asks if she knows who owned it. Sue Ellen replies that the owner is named Betsy.. Mrs. Armstrong was surprised because she was talking with Betsy and how she has traveled on the Crown City Star many times. Betsy offers Sue Ellen taffy: in fear, she shrieks. Sue Ellen explained of how she left the taffy on the table and wrote the note. Betsy said it was to lighten things up. Then, Betsy thanks Sue Ellen for returning her lost diary. Sue Ellen wondered what happened to the girl who wrote it. Mrs. Armstrong tells Sue Ellen that the diary is going to be published. After Sue Ellen learns about a little about Betsy's travels, they exchange stories having learned more about each other.






Cultural references

  • The title of this episode may be based on the movie Strangers on a Train, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1951 from Warner Brothers.
  • Sue Ellen's fantasy of the train in its glory days is a reference the The Thin Man film series. Rick and Lola refer to Nick and Nora.
  • The celebrity’s name at Grauman’s Chinese Theater looks like “Myrna Coy”, a possible reference to Myrna Loy, who was a famous actress at the time.

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