D.W. Became A Cop, And Other Reveals From The Arthur Series Finale

Pretty unreal how the long-running PBS animated show, "Arthur," aired its final episode on February 21, 2022, ending its 25-season, 253-episode legacy by bringing character fates full circle. Nearly all residents of Elwood City were allowed to peek into their futures, with the titular Arthur, now sporting facial hair (!) becoming a graphic novelist, which is so heartwarming. Based on a series of books by Marc Brown, "Arthur" has always had a sweet core message at its heart, which was actualized in the season finale, "All Grown Up," wherein each character is allowed a glimpse into the future via a fortune-telling game.

Of course, D.W. is a (traffic) cop...

Irrespective of whether you're an "Arthur" devotee since it first aired in 1996, or a casual viewer who enjoys the occasional "Arthur" meme, the end of the show sure feels like the end of an era. Arthur, our favorite aardvark, becomes an author, thanks to a freak accident in which he is handed an instructional drawing book in the library that he is not even supposed to get. The episode ends with him reading out the first chapter of his book to his friends and sister, which is a recollection of his arc through the years (yes, it gets pretty meta).

To absolutely nobody's surprise, Arthur's bratty sister D.W. is now a traffic cop, and she absolutely does not allow her own childhood friend, Bud Compson to wriggle out of a traffic ticket. On the other hand, Muffy is now running for mayor of Elwood, hoping to defeat Mayor Hirsch (who is STILL in office). Perhaps the coolest glow-up is sported by Francine, who now sports an edgy, cool haircut, having gone into business, and is now the CEO of a company that makes sneakers. Then there's Buster, who had always been at the nexus of wild tales and questionable science throughout "Arthur," who is now a teacher, telling Arthur stories about his students. Also, George is now the new owner of Sugar Bowl Cafe, while Binky is shown to have become a local news reporter (he sure is living his dream).

Per the Los Angeles Times, head writer of the show, Peter K. Hirsh commented about the metanarrative that the ending of "Arthur" creates, bringing all characters full circle:

"The idea occurred to me that this whole series has been something Arthur has created. So the suggestion is this has all been his memoir. We thought, 'Oh, that's fun. It's a little meta.' It also gives young viewers a chance to see that what makes them special might turn into their career. "Life addresses you most of the time. It takes you on these different twists and curves, and then it's up to you to see how it fits."

This is an endearing message for viewers of the show, who will find the finale episode, and the end of "Arthur" bittersweet, given the long-running nature of the show. "Arthur" has always been about the challenges of growing up, friendships, and the various paths one can take as they evolve, and showcasing the fates of its core characters is a nice way to tie a bow to a beloved show.

The season finale of "Arthur" aired on PBS and PBS Kids on February 21, 2022.