While last week’s episode was my least favorite so far, this one is by far my most favorite. I was pining for “iconic” moments, and iconic moments I received!
I mean, if this were an ice cream cone, it would be Triple Scoop Iconic flavour (Canadian spelling).
1. Anne and Gil’s Spelldown!
I adore this scene in the book, too, as it shows Anne’s surge from scared, flailing girl to fiercely intelligent force to be reckoned with! One of the reasons I think Gilbert Blythe is the bee’s knees is because he admires Anne’s mind and relishes the neck-and-neck competition between them. He was ahead of the world by a century, too, our Gil…Awww! As the words get harder and harder, it’s Anne V Gilbert in front of Avonlea school. Who will be the spelling victor? Why, Anne, of course, and Gilbert takes it like the gentleman he is. “I should have added an “e” at the end,” he quips to her after she wins. To which she nods curtly, lifts her “haughty” (one of the spelling words) chin and strides back to her seat.
Her win is all the more impressive here because we know she has just gotten her first “womanly flowering time,” as Marilla calls it. To which every woman in Canada (and watching on satellite dishes or illicitly in the US) hooted, loudly.
Yes, they gave Anne her period, something quite unmentionable when Lucy Maud was writing her novel. Poor dear thinks she’s dying, which gives her lots of reasons to wax on and on in the dramatic fashion for which we love her. Fascinating plot choice, don’t you think? It made Anne jump off the pages of the book in a new, multifaceted, relatable way. How Marilla handles it is a testament to her growing empowerment as a parent.
2. Puffed Sleeves!
I could not love RH Thompson more as Matthew Cuthbert. Matthew fans–you will be tickled pink by episode 5. PINK! First of all, he notices everything about Anne. It’s the sweetest thing. He notices how she feels out of place and not pretty enough and not enough–and he takes courageous action to do something about it. In my book, “Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me,” I have a chapter about Matthew called “Twenty Pounds of Sugar and a Garden Rake,” because that’s what Matthew buys instead of a dress for Anne. He’s addlepated out of his wits by the stress of dress shopping and interacting with female humans not living in his household–especially one female human! Yes, the writers of “Anne” have given our Matthew a CRUSH. Oooh! I am squealing here. I just ate it up when Matthew and Jeannie (the proprietor, I think, of the store he goes into to find a dress with puffed sleeves) are doing their oh-so-subtle emotional tango.
“Do you remember that you once left something on my desk…?” Jeannie asks carefully.
And then, people, it is ON! Can’t wait to see where this goes. Let’s just say she offered him the “old friend discount” for the dress with puffed sleeves. Anne will need them more than ever after the…
3. Raspberry Cordial Debacle
While Marilla and Rachel work in the kitchen together (and Rachel flirts quite bodaciously with Mr. Lynde!), Anne is hosting Diana for tea. In this retelling, both of them enjoy liberal amounts of the bright red drink thought to be Raspberry Cordial but is actually Marilla’s famous, non-medicinal Red Currant Wine! In the interests of research, I’ve now had both, and I have to say, it’s hard to know how someone could mix them up! I also suggested to a fuschia-haired bartender on PEI that she start mixing Raspberry Cordial Martini’s, to which she said, ‘I can’t believe we didn’t think of this before!”
Yup, both Anne and Diana get snockered and are making entirely too merry when Mrs. Barry, pinched of lip and pinched of soul, comes upon them giggling, glazed and infused.
There’s nothing reasonable about Mrs. Barry, and she basically bans Anne from her pristine Diana’s life. We know it’s not Anne’s fault, but no matter. She’s banned. And our girl has her tender heart broken again.
Have any of you been able to watch?
What do YOU think about what me and other viewers have been saying?
Are you prepared to buy into some serious revisions here? Or would you prefer, as I do in my heart of hearts, that all of this phenomenal writing and acting and filmmaking would reflect Maud’s original story?
I’d love to know your thoughts! Every comment on my blog until the Anne series has properly aired on Netflix (May 12) will be entered in a contest to win a fetching Anne of Green Gables art piece or frameable quote from my favorite Etsy shop, Carrot Top Paper Shop! So comment away, won’t you, Anne Internet Friends??