Season 7 Episode 1a
There are a few episodes that go into the "Arthur can't catch a break" category and this is one of them. For starters, Arthur couldn't even get an afternoon at the museum with just his dad (and you can't convince me that D.W. whining about it during the open didn't have anything to do with it). Then when it's finally time for just them to go to the lake, Mr. Read has commitments come up, and instead of just postponing his weekend trip with D.W. to some other time, he makes his trip with Arthur an entire family affair. I've noted before that Mr. and Mrs. Read have a lot of trouble saying "No" to D.W. and this episode is a prime example of that.
If I'm not mistaken, this is the only time that Whale Lake comes up in the series, but it sounds like a very interesting place. First of all we find out that the area where Elwood City is located is on Iroquois land, and then there's the not-so-small matter of the whale that lives in the lake. Unfortunately though, the area leading up to the lake clearly had become tourist trappy, and that was definitely part of Arthur's frustration. When we finally catch a glimpse of the lake itself, it's clear that it is still a very pretty place. Arthur, however, just cannot win in this episode as he hurts his ankle whilst trying to fish.
It would feel just extremely frustrating to have a trip that was supposed to be just him and his dad end up the way it does. The fact that D.W. was using the Mary Moo Cow music to lure the fish out of the water just added insult to injury for Arthur. But one could say that Arthur got the last laugh by seeing the whale in the lake, something his dad never did. So everybody won in the end: D.W. got to go fishing and Arthur got to see the whale. Mr. Read owes Arthur another father and son weekend trip though.
By Guthrie Edson