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"When Carl Met George"
Season/Series: 13
Number in season: 6a
Original Airdate: United States April 5, 2010[1]
Canada February 24, 2010[4]
United Kingdom March 8, 2010[2][3]
Germany December 10, 2012[5]
Credits
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
Nick Vallinakis
Episodes
Previous
"Prunella and the Disappointing Ending"
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"D.W. Swims with the Fishes"
Read transcript

"When Carl Met George" (or "George and the Missing Puzzle Piece") is the first half of the sixth episode in the thirteenth season of Arthur.

Summary[]

George is excited about spending time with his new friend, Carl, who seems to understand all kinds of cool facts about trains and about... well, lots of things! Then George learns that Carl has Asperger's Syndrome - a form of autism that makes Carl see the world differently than most people. Can George and Carl remain good friends - and perhaps even learn from each other?

Plot[]

The episode starts with George drawing a lion. Carl tells him that lions used to live around the world, but are now only found in Africa and India. He also tells George that he hates brown. George says that one of the reasons he likes Carl is that he is really honest, and is an amazing artist. George then shows the viewers a picture of a train that Carl drew by himself. Carl explains that it is a steam locomotive and starts to ramble on about it. George then says once you get Carl talking about trains, it can be hard for him to stop. George then plans to tell the story of how he met his friend Carl, who has Asperger's Syndrome.

When Carl Met George

George's dad is teaching a woodworking class at the community center. He sends his son to get more glue. In one of the classrooms, George meets Carl. At first, George does not understand about Carl's disorder, and he thought something is strange because he does not understand if Carl liked him or not. Later, George goes to visit Carl again and shows his blue backpack and his dummy Wally. Carl is unexpectedly terrified of Wally, which causes him to panic. Carl's mother reveals that he has Asperger's Syndrome.

At the Ice Cream Shop, George is telling Brain about his encounters with Carl. Brain knows what Asperger's Syndrome is, because he has an uncle with that condition. Brain shares with George how his uncle described having Asperger's: it is like crash landing on an alien planet that looks like Earth but has many differences; people seem to talk loudly, it can be hard to understand certain expressions/figures of speech, and you might find things funny that other people do not, for example. Since you have no "guide book" to explain how to live on this planet, you need to figure it out on your own. You might have an intense interest in a certain topic, and study just that. Eventually, you might end up fitting in, but you will still always feel a little different. George understands more about what Carl is going through, and chooses to bring him a book about trains (Carl loves trains). George also gives Carl the puzzle piece that accidentally fell into his pocket the first time they met.

We return to George in his bedroom, with Carl sitting at his table (just like he was at the beginning of the episode) still going on about his train picture. He asks Carl if he wants to get juice in a box, not a bottle (the way Carl prefers having juice). Carl agrees to it, and then he says to the viewers "It was nice to meet you" and George explains how he taught Carl to say that, and how Carl taught George to understand his behavior by speaking quietly, being clear, and not to take it personally if he ignores him. He also says that maybe Carl might teach him to draw a better lion.

Characters[]

Major[]

Minor[]

Cameo[]


Trivia[]

  • This is the first episode since "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" to have two title cards.
  • The cold open ends with an iris-out.
  • Arthur is absent from this episode himself except the title card and in George's fantasy.
  • In the A Word From Us Kids segment, the teacher is reading Arthur's Teacher Trouble.
  • In the A Word From Us Kids segment, a scene from the episode is playing on the TV.
  • During George's fantasy, Arthur says, "What's he laughing at? Is it my nose?", which is a reference to Arthur's Nose.
  • The newspaper article that features Brain's uncle is dated to November 22, 2005.
  • This episode is permanently available for free on the PBS KIDS Video app and website.

Cultural references[]

  • This episode's title, "When Carl Met George," is a reference to the 1989 Columbia/Castle Rock film When Harry Met Sally.
  • Carl often states that he likes to have his apple juice "in a box, not a bottle." Not only is this one of Carl's quirks of his Asperger syndrome, it is also a partial reference to James Bond's preference for vodka martinis: "Shaken, not stirred."
  • The use of the puzzle piece in the episode's plot and alternate title is a nod to the fact that a puzzle piece is often recognized as a symbol of autism awareness.

Production notes[]

  • This is the first Arthur episode aired in the 2010s.
  • This episode has an alternate title in some regions and platforms, "George and the Missing Puzzle Piece." On Amazon, On Demand, iTunes, PBS Kids Video and Netflix, "When Carl Met George" is still used.
  • This is the only episode out of the entire series in which Arthur narrates the title card.
  • The A Word from Us Kids segment was filmed on January 20, 2010.
  • Carl's condition was known as Asperger syndrome when this episode was released in 2010 (and he is said to have it in the episode), but since 2013, Asperger Syndrome is no longer a diagnosis of its own, having been merged along with other disorders into "autism spectrum disorder" (ASD). In Carl’s later appearances, characters such as George outright state that he has autism, not Asperger Syndrome. It is possible that this was done due to the categorization modification in 2013.

Errors[]

  • One of the flavors at the Ice Cream Shop is misspelled as "Ananas" instead of "Bananas".
    • However, "Ananas" is the German word for "pineapple," so this may just be a clever reference to pineapple ice cream.
  • The Audio Description mistakenly claims that the Ice Cream Shop scene is set in the Sugar Bowl
  • When George goes back to that room to give Carl the puzzle piece, before he has the fantasy of Carl, the puzzle is not on the table and after it is on the table

Home Video[]

Gallery[]

Main article: When Carl Met George/Gallery

References[]


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