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Arbor Daze - Recap

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The episode begins and Virginia and Maw Maw are busy sifting through a box of stuff. Burt is dressed in a costume made of leaves. Jimmy arrives with Hope and Sabrina and Burt hides behind the couch. They remind Jimmy that it’s 3 days before Arbor Day. “Oh my god, are we doing it?” Jimmy asks. Sabrina is baffled as to what everyone is talking about. Jimmy asks Maw Maw to take Hope to her room. Maw Maw does as is told and Burt comes out from behind the couch. Sabrina again asks what they are all talking about. “Only the most magical day of the year…Arbor Day” Jimmy says. Sabrina is happy to find out they celebrate Arbor Day. Sabrina asks why they celebrate Arbor Day.

Virginia explains that when Jimmy was a kid they used to celebrate all the holidays starting with President’s Day. It’s then shown how grandly the day was celebrated. Next they celebrated Groundhog Day. Then they celebrated Arbor Day with Burt wearing his “Papa Woody” costume. Jimmy recollects how Arbor Day was his favorite holiday. Sabrina too feels the tradition is great and wants to be a part of it. But, Sabrina isn’t very happy when she finds out the Chance family pulls trees out of the ground on Arbor Day instead of planting them. They use those trees for a bonfire on the Chinese New Year. Burt describes how they used to steal little saplings from a nearby park for Arbor Day.

Sabrina is shocked to hear this, because it was she and her scout troop that used to plant those saplings every year in the park. “You people don’t respect Arbor Day, you defile it” she says outraged. “You people are monsters” she adds and storms out in anger. Next day at the supermarket, Sabrina tells Virginia and Burt that Hope isn’t going to take part in their “tree genocide”. Sabrina asks them if they really know what Arbor Day is all about. Barney takes this opportunity to describe to everyone why Arbor Day is celebrated and how it started.

Basically it’s a tree planting holiday started in Nebraska. Turns out, over a million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. Sabrina tells Burt and Virginia that she is more than happy to partake in all their other traditions of Arbor Day, but she can’t participate in their senseless execution of trees. Burt and Virginia feel the trees are the most important part of the tradition and hence they can’t do away with that. “If you don’t want to come you don’t have to, just Jimmy and Hope can come” Virginia says. “None of us are coming, we aren’t exposing our daughter to your crazy tree holocaust” Sabrina says. Both parties then turn to Jimmy and ask him what he wants to do.

Jimmy is forced to choose between the traditions of his parents and the wishes of his wife. He chooses to go with Sabrina. In the night, after Sabrina, Jimmy and Hope celebrate Arbor Day in rather unexciting fashion, the ghost of Arbor pays her a visit while she is sleeping. Sabrina is terrified and tries to wake Jimmy up. “He can’t hear you it’s a dream” the ghost tells Sabrina. “I am here to shows you visions of Arbor Day, past, present and future” the ghost says. The ghost shows Sabrina how little Jimmy was sad on all the other holidays because Burt couldn’t afford to buy him expensive toys.

But, on Arbor Day he was really happy because Burt and Virginia celebrated the day grandly when no one else did. Sabrina is touched to see little Jimmy so happy. On the other hand, the ghost shows Sabrina how lonely she was as a child, because her parents were too busy with their own lives. The ghost then takes her to the present and shows her how sad Burt and Virginia are, because they are spending Arbor Day by themselves. “Wow that’s really sad” she says. “Well what do you expect, you ruined their Arbor Day” the ghost tells her. He also shows her how “bummed out” Jimmy is. He then takes her to Arbor Day future and Hope is now a teenager. She sees Jimmy is now bald and is shocked.

The ghost says the baldness is stress related because she stopped Jimmy from celebrating all the minor holidays, so he is under a lot of pressure to buy Hope expensive gifts on the major holidays. “Behind every bald man there is ball busting woman” the ghost says. Sabrina then sees her future self and is shocked. Turns out, she too is balding because of the stress of celebrating the major holidays in a big way, because she eliminated the minor holidays. Also, neither Jimmy nor Sabrina has time for Faith, because they have to earn money to buy her the expensive toys. Basically, Hope is now as lonely as Sabrina was when she was a child. Sabrina then wakes up from her dream and goes to the park to steal a sapling, but is caught by the cops.

Later, Burt and Virginia bail her out of jail. She returns home and tells Jimmy why she got arrested and also about the ghost of Arbor Day and things he showed her. She says she ruined Arbor Day, but Jimmy counters she was right about not ripping out trees, because it’s illegal, which is why she got arrested. Virginia and Burt agree with Jimmy. But it turns out; Jimmy put a sapling in the living room with treats hanging from it. Hope is really excited to see this. Later the Chance family plants saplings in the park. Sabrina has to do it as a part of her community service and the rest of the family is happy to help. The episode ends at this point.

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Warning: Raising Hope season 3 episode 18 guide may contain spoilers
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