Season 9 Episode 10a
Maybe one of the biggest issues that kids around Arthur’s age face comes up in this episode: food allergies. The writers do a great job showing the trials and tribulations of Binky finding out that he has an allergy to peanuts. It is not easy to navigate when all of a sudden, you have to be extra cautious about every last ingredient in the food you buy, and you can’t eat your favorite cuisine anymore. It definitely felt like Binky was going through several of the stages of grief at the beginning of this, and it’s understandable that he would be upset about no longer being able to eat his favorite foods.
I really like how they had Jenna as one of the main characters of this episode, as she hasn’t ever really been a main character, except for a couple episodes (in one of which she was being mocked by Francine). It definitely makes a huge difference when other people can relate to things like allergies, and Jenna was there for Binky when he had the allergic reaction to the cashews. I also like how in the later seasons, they show the kids having more gadgets, and thus more responsibility, in this case Binky having a cell phone to call his mom in case of emergency (although his mom called him more than he called her). He used it for pretty much that purpose and that purpose only, unlike Fern a few seasons later.
It’s also understandable that Binky was frustrated at having to sit at a special peanut-free table, further stigmatizing him and his allergy, as we saw in his nightmares (Dr. Legume=parody of the Planters peanut logo). But in reality, his friends still sat with him, with their peanut-free lunches. And just like in “Arthur’s Eyes,” Bionic Bunny revealing his allergy to salt was what helped Binky start to cope with his allergy better. Binky even discovers a new Chinese restaurant which uses alternatives to peanut oil, making it a happy ending for everyone involved.
By Guthrie Edson