George's father has died, and he ends up temporarily taking over at the Building and Loan with Uncle Billy. So much for traveling the world that summer.
The evil Mr. Potter tries to dissolve the Building and Loan, but George and Billy object.
Mr. Potter thinks they're foolish to give loans to people who he thinks won't be able to pay them back.
George vigorously defends his father's policies; they helped people get out of Mr. Potter's slums.
Afterward, Billy and George get the news that the board has agreed to keep the Building and Loan together—but only if George runs it.
It's a very sad scene as he pleads with them to let him pursue his dreams. But, good guy that he is, he reluctantly agrees, giving up his dreams of college and world travel. He gives his college money to Harry, who goes instead.
The deal is that Harry will come back and run the business after he finishes college. Then, it will finally be George's turn.
It's not to be. At a train station after Harry finishes college, Harry introduces George and Billy to Ruth, his new wife.
Harry's wife says he was offered a great job at Ruth's father's glass company in Buffalo.
Shocker. That means George would be stuck in Bedford Falls, running the business.
Harry insists it isn't a done deal, but George knows it would be a great opportunity for him. You can see how deflated he is by the news.
At the Bailey house, a tipsy Billy and George are celebrating Harry's marriage with their guests.
George's mother keeps saying nice things about Mary, even though she's going with George's friend, Sam Wainwright. She's trying her best to be a matchmaker.
George wanders into town, where he runs into Violet.
George invites her to take off their shoes and run through a field, and hike around a bunch of mountains at night. Such a romantic.
She doesn't like the idea at all, and George walks away.
He strolls by Mary's house, and she invites him in.