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Forever And Ever (Thomas & Friends)

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Forever And Ever (Thomas & Friends)
Forever and Ever.png
Not a good way to make a sequel episode for the series.
Part of Season: 22
Episode Number: 2
Air Date: September 4, 2018
Writer: Andrew Brenner
Director: Dianna Basso
Previous episode: Number One Engine
Next episode: Confusion without Delay


"Forever And Ever" is the second episode of the 22nd season of Thomas and Friends. It aired around September 2nd 2018 in the UK.

Plot

Gordon throws a tantrum after hearing the fact that Henry leaves Tidmouth Sheds and complains about all the changes Sir Topham Hatt/the Fat Controller made to the railway.

Why It's Gonna Suck Forever and Ever

  1. It's a rather bad sequel episode to "A Shed For Edward", an episode that is even more divided with fans than this episode.
  2. Nia, for some reason is instantly at Tidmouth Sheds with no other explanation why she is there and in reality, it would've taken time for Sir Topham Hatt to allocate her to there. To be fair, Thomas did go around the world and Nia went along with him and then back to Sodor at the end of "Big World! Big Adventures!", so this could possibly be the reason why Nia is at Tidmouth Sheds.
  3. As if kicking out Edward from the main cast all because he left Tidmouth Sheds to rest at Wellsworth to focus more on his branch line wasn't a dumb decision enough, Henry also leaves Tidmouth Sheds with no explanation or buildup mentioning why he was leaving with the line, "And Sir Topham Hatt says I can stay in the sheds in Vicarstown from now on!" This makes the decision for Henry to move almost completely pointless.
  4. Like with most of the dream sequences in the BWBA era, the dream sequence in this episode is weird, nonsensical, and just plain idiotic.
  5. The episode itself tries to sympathize with people who don't like change, but it fails miserably. Not that it's done in ways to get a cheap laugh, but the reason is because if you have Gordon overreact about two new engines coming to Sodor, that kills the mood.
  6. The episode moves at a sluggish pace, making the episode boring despite being a 7 minute episode.
  7. Although unintentionally, the episode's moral segment makes a mistake with its moral by saying that change is always good, which isn't true because in real life, a lot of bad things have happened due to change, like the privatization of British Rail in 1997 for example. In fact, change is a rather neutral thing in real life.
  8. Gordon is extremely out of character and unlikable. When he heard that Henry was leaving Tidmouth Sheds, he throws a huge temper tantrum about it, and is a complete ingrate that Nia is at Tidmouth instead of Edward. Granted, it's understandable for Gordon to feel upset Edward isn't at Tidmouth for his own reasons, and that this episode was meant to make him accept change, but it's not executed well.
  9. The episode shows that Mattel doesn’t care about the Thomas brand or Awdry’s legacy, and instead sees this beloved franchise as just a generic kids’ show. Pure disrespect at heart.
  10. This episode was made purely to lash out at the fans who criticized Mattel for replacing Edward and Henry making this a horrible hater episode by portraying Gordon as the angry fans.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Gordon's meltdown is definitely understandable as Edward and Henry are his friends, not to mention that they are the first three railway engines seen in the Railway Series and Edward and Henry themselves were two of the very first characters in the series.
  2. Depending on your view, Gordon's temper tantrum that involves him doing crazy things is really funny, and can sum up the toxic side of the Thomas fandom.
  3. Although there was a moral that was told in an unintentionally bad way, there is a good moral present in the same episode that old friends are still your friends.
  4. Gordon apologizing to Nia yesterday is heartwarming, and the same can go with Nia understanding Gordon's pain, a scene presented before Gordon apologizes.
  5. Thomas, Henry, Edward, Percy, James, Nia, Philip, Paxton, and Emily are still likable.
  6. The voice acting is still great as always. Although, Keith Wickham and Kerry Shale respectively give Gordon some of the funniest acting while recording the lines of the script we have gotten from them.
  7. The animation is okay despite its flaws.

Trivia

  • Nia says that a new engine will be coming to Sodor, foreshadowing Rebecca's arrival in the next episode. The premise of this episode and Henry leaving Tidmouth Sheds was done in response to criticism of the show "not being diverse enough," in relation to there being only one female engine at Tidmouth Sheds.
    • It is also similar to the criticism of the revamp from fans who were complaining about the changes made to the show.
  • Apart from Thomas reading the title aloud, this episode does not include any narration.
  • When first aired in the US, this episode was paired with "What Rebecca Does". All other airings afterward have this episode paired with "Number One Engine".
  • Henry was originally going to stay at Tidmouth Sheds before the decision was made to have him move out. Henry is the only one to not have any major roles following his removal from the main cast. He is, however, the most recurring character compared to Edward and Toby.

Reception

"Forever And Ever" received largely negative reviews from fans and critics of Thomas and Friends with criticism going directly to Mattel for kicking out Henry from the main cast and calling his decision to leave Tidmouth "pointless".

In response, there was a video regarding the reason why Henry left. The reason why Henry left Tidmouth Sheds to move into Vicarstown was because he saw how happy Edward was when he wanted to focus more on his work on his branch line. Henry had the same feeling and reason, except he moved to Vicarstown Sheds with Rosie to work on his mainland good duties (albeit the latter wasn't mentioned, but was said through the Thomas and Friends wiki).

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