You guys are ready to see No-Face again, right? Cause this is another episode that blindsided me.
We wish our friends "bon voyage" and see them off on their long journey, hoping they will experience fun and excitement -- and secretly expecting them to stay essentially the same when they come back to us. And on the other side of things, that voyaging friend kind of expects life back home to be in a kind of stasis until they return. It's fascinating because this is all kind of a ridiculous assumption, and we should know that it's ridiculous, right? Time marches on! The cruel, inevitable march of entropy spares no living thing. Yet it's always a huge shock, whether we are the returning person or the expectant relatives back at home, to see just how much has changed.
This episode nails that feeling beautifully, and let's talk about it before I start bleating "Landslide" at you. Uncle Traveling Matt, as advertised in the title, has come to visit Fraggle Rock after exploring the human world for, let's say, about a year. When he left, Gobo was much less mature (indeed, he even looked younger thanks to some early installment weirdness regarding his character design.) Matt still treats his nephew as a naive little kid, a well-meaning but misguided older relatives often do. And honestly, it's heartbreaking to see (the reprise of "Every Mornin'" is a hell of an "I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying" moment.)
Uncle and Nephew eventually reconcile, but it takes surviving a rough journey and some intervention from Wembly before they come to an agreement. At the end, the feeling is more bittersweet than anything, but at least the two explorers of Fraggle Rock have come to respect each-other.