We have come to the end of season four, and with that, the last time we will ever hear a Frank story. It is a bitter sweet moment for us as the Midnight Society is changing again. It is also bitter sweet as I originally planed on stopping by summary after the original run was finished, which would have been season 5, but since it is only June and I have until May to finish the entire series, I shall press on until season 7. So lets reflect now on Franks last story as a member of the Midnight Society, so get your coffee and eat your ube cake with coconut filling (as I am, I went to my nephew’s first birthday and so much food, but I am so happy to eat it.) So Shout out to Despi Delite Bakery for making such awesome cakes and pastries, I shall return to eat my weight in your tastiness. There are two locations for this bakery, Evertt on Broadway and Beacon Hill in South Seattle.
Moving right along to our summary…
The night is tense, as Sam paces back and fourth complaining about Frank being late. She says to Kiki “He’s not coming did he call you?” TO which Kiki is all “no, last I heard he was.” Kiki isn’t Frank’s keeper. Betty Ann offers this insight into the situation by telling Sam “Maybe he’s grounded again.” Wishful thinking on her part I suppose? Tucker adds “Maybe he chickened out on coming alone, he is afraid of the dark.”
Sam grow impatient and grabs her backpack and starts to leave.
Just as Sam is about to leave the clearing she is blinded by the light (Go into the light Sam).
But don’t worry just yet Sam it is revealed to be none other than:
Frank shows up and says to Sam “Relax. Not everyone *runs* on the same *schedule* as you.” The Gary isn’t mad about Frank being tardy to the party, because he has deduced that the story is about trains and that excites him (possibly more than Sam excites him). Frank takes his seat on the storyteller’s chair and begins his build up to the story.
Frank confirms to The Gary, that indeed his story is about trains, but he also says “My story is also about wanting something really bad, so bad it’s all your think about. Nothing else matters.
But when you’re finally getting close to it, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you’ve got to watch out. Because that light could be on the front of a big ‘ol train, barreling straight at you.
You might not have any place to run.”
Then Frank submits his story to the Midnight Society (one last time) as The Tale of Train Magic.
Frank narrates “Tim Williamson loved trains, and knew everything about them. His dad was even a conductor. But Tim’s father died and since then Tim spent more and more time playing with his model trains in his cellar and hanging at the central station, where he could be around real trains. Just like his dad.”
One night Tim and his older brother Hank are walking home. Hank is complaining to Tim because he went to sign up Tim for little league try-outs and Tim never showed up. Tim says he was busy, but Hank isn’t buying that, he knows that Tim was just chilling at the train station (Amtrak and chill?).
Hank tries to get Tim out of the house by inviting him to the movies, but Tim declines in favor of spending more time in the basement playing with his model trains. Then Hank takes Tim’s conductor hat and tells him he looks silly in it.
Tim’s hat gets blown onto another track and he runs into this guy:
His name is Ray Lawson, but I will refer to him as Mr. Conductor from Thomas and Friends. He tells Tim “I am the conductor on the 713, passes by every night. Right here on track #1. You know the train?” Tim says he doesn’t know of the train and then Mr. Conductor admits to stalking Tim. He sees Tim every night on the tracks. Mr. Conductor offers Tim his pocket watch, but just before he hands it over, Hank appears causing Mr. Conductor to disappear.
The next day, Tim is at the station helping out Cap, who I shall refer to as Sir Topham Hatt (aka The Fat controller). Tim is helping out with baggage and last calls for trains about to leave the station.
Tim brings Cap his tool set. but it is in a wooden box, so Cap should really take a trip to Sears and get some new tools. Tim asks Cap about the 713, that goes near the tracks by his house, but Cap tells him no there is no such train.
Later that day, Hank is about to leave the house to go play ball when he is approached by Mr. Conductor. Mr. Conductor asks where Tim is, and Hank tells him that Tim is not at home. Mr. Conductor than hands Hank a toy train car and asks him to make sure the little conductor get its.
Tim gets the toy car and adds it to his train in the basement. He looks inside the car first and it is full of details like passengers!
Once added to the train, Tim starts to run his train around the track complete with it’s new car.
All of a sudden, Tim’s house is hit by an earthquake and he is transported into the toy train car. The people in the car are all surprised and kind of look like they are out of the smashing pumpkins Tonight, Tonight music video. The only lady on the train exclaims “Oh a new passenger, look! a new passenger.” The man passenger asks Tim “Do you play poker? I’ve been waiting for someone who plays poker.” Then the train worker harasses Tim for a ticket and tells him “You can’t ride a train without a ticket.”
Ray bails Tim out and tell them all that Tim is a conductor and he doesn’t need a ticket. Tim freaks out and asks who these people are. Mr. Conductor says “Oh you’ll get to know these people Tim, you’ll have to they’re your responsibility now.” Then Mr. Conductor hands Tim a watch and tells him all conductors need a watch.
But Tim doesn’t fall for it and hits the emergency break, sending him back home. The next day he tells Sir Topham Hatt about what happened to him. He kind of laughs it off and says “it could have been nothing, it could have been imagination, maybe it could have been train magic.” Tim inquires as to what train magic is, and Sir Topham Hatt tells him “Well some people look at trains and they see nothing but big ol’ machines. trains got more than that. trains got it’s own language. The sound of wheels on metal,sharp whistling, and pure the song of bells.”
Then once they are back in Sir Topham Hatt office, he mentions something about Time and Tim mentions Ray Lawson and how he lost his watch. Topham Hatt asks Tim where he came up with the name Ray Lawson, and Tim says it is the conductor. Then Topham shows Tim a photo of Ray and says he knows of him. He explains how in the old days conductors would get message, apparently they would leave them on poles on the side of the track and the conductor would have to reach out and grab it while the train went by. Well one night Mr. Conductor (Ray) must have fallen asleep because he never got the message to switch tracks and it caused the train to crash killing a lot of people and the conductor.
Then Sir Topham Hatt has a senior moment and kicks Tim out and tells him to go play baseball or video games. He realizes that the train must have crashed into Tim’s house. He warns Tim to stay away from trains. Later that night, Sir Topham Hatt goes to the tracks to warn Mr. Conductor to stay away from Tim.
Topham Hatt is hypnotized and gets on the train. Mr. Conductor is planing on using him to lure Tim into becoming the new conductor. Back at home, Tim notices that a new passenger has been added to the train car and it is Topham Hatt. Hank mentions that he got the new Zeebo’s big house game and inquires to see if Tim would like to play. Time declines.
All of a sudden the train starts to move on its own. Hank asks him how he did it and Tim replies he didn’t, but it is train magic. Tim then asks Hank for help in saving Sir Topham Hatt, by going to the switch and changing the track to save the passengers on the train.
At the correct time, Tim hooks up the train car to his train and then magically enters the train again. The people are overjoyed to see him and he looks for Topham Hatt, but still gets harassed for a ticket. Topham is like in a trance, and when Tim tries to escape using the emergency pull, Ray announces that he disconnected it. He officially makes Tim the conductor of the 713. He tells Tim that the 713 is going to crash right on time just like every night.
Mr. Conductor tells Tim to take good care of his train, before leaving. Then Topham tells Tim “it’s train magic Timothy, the most powerful kind.” Hank is outside trying to chance the switch but it is stuck.
Then Tim stand up and says “Ray Lawson, this is not my train. And we’re getting off!” Then Tim smashes the watch and at the last moment Hank is able to switch the track and save Tim and Topham Hatt.
Hank asks Tim “What was that?” To which Tim says “It’s the 713.” Topham Hatt explain that Ray now has nothing but these tracks. Tim tells Topham Hatt “That he is probably not going to being hanging around the station much anymore.” Topham Hatt tells him that is good and he will try to catch a game of his, if he can. Hank asks what just happened and Tim says “I think I saved a ghost train.”
We are then taken back to the clearing where Frank ends his story by saying “So, Tim learn about two kinds of magic. Train magic and the kind of magic that happens between brothers
Then Frank ends his story. They all congratulate him on a good story. The Gary stands up and declares the meeting over.
Officially closing out season 4 and Frank’s last meeting as a member of the Midnight Society. We will miss you Frank, and you kick ass stories.
I really love this episode, I think it is because like Frank I also love trains. In fact whenever I got up north to Vancouver BC, I always travel by Amtrak. My dream in life is to travel across Canada by Via rail someday from Montreal to Vancouver. If you cannot tell by this summary, I also was a fan of Thomas and Friends.
- I am sad this is Frank’s last story, but what a way to go out!
- This episode has a young Gregory Smith who would go on to star in Everwood on the WB.
- I liked all the characters in this episode as I felt the acting was on point!
- I wonder why Sam was so intense in the beginning, did she have other plans and not want to wait for Frank? I wish we could have learned why she was in a hurry.
- I felt that this incarnation of the Midnight Society was perfect and the chemistry among the members seemed genuine. I’m just glad that Betty Ann, Kiki and The Gary made it thru all five season of AYAOTD otherwise it could have turned out very different.
Lets all bid a heartfelt farewell to resident bad boy Frank Moore and give his a round of shots for his story: The Tale of Train Magic. Up next a season 4 recap and tribute to Frank. Don’t forget my up and coming interview with the composer of the AYAOTD tribute movie.
Until next time… Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story: The Tale of Moira’s Afraid of the Dark? (But not really): Blog 13 of Season 4 Peace out Peeps!
I would like to interview *cough*Ross Hull or Raine Pare-Coull or Jodie Resther, *cough* I feel that if enough people tweet at them or Facebook them, and let them know about this blog, it can happen! Let’s make my dream come true!
Photo credit: All story photos