“I’m in love with Gilbert Bltyhe” so proclaims Anne at episode’s end. Why and how does Anne get to this realization? I will get to that in my recap. Before I start my recap, I’ve come to the realization that Moira Wally-Beckett is deviating from the Anne books completely to create her own world. I am not 100% sure I am on board with this. Anne’s realization of love for Gilbert is one deviation that I don’t really like.
One of the things that I love about the books and the 1985 mini-series and its sequel is that Anne is totally oblivious/in denial about her feelings for Gilbert. I love that Gilbert is totally in love with Anne and he thinks that her feelings are unrequited.
In this episode there is a little bit of that. I think that this is a good starting point for our recap.
The students of Avonlea of come to the school house to study for the Queen’s College entrance exam only to find that the school house burn down and the printing press gone. Every one is livid and they pretty much know who is responsible: the men of the school board.
Anne storms off to confront Rachel Lynde because she is on the school board. However, Anne soon realizes that Mrs. Lynde had no clue and she too is horrified at what happened. This spurns Mrs. Lynde to confront the school board and blackmails them to get equal amount of women on the board or else she will reveal that the men burned down the school and took away the printing press to spite children. The board agrees and one of the new women on the board is Marilla
But the kids and Miss Stacey can’t let them distract them so they head to Miss Stacey’s house for their study session. It is there that Anne and Gilbert connect even further.
But you know who is not connecting? Diana and Jerry. Diana essentially breaks up with Jerry saying they are just two different but Jerry thinks it is because he isn’t good enough for her and that she is ashamed to be with him. Diana stays silent, which speaks volumes to Jerry.
Diana and Anne are also still not speaking as their friendship seems more fractured than ever.
Before I continue what happens to the poor students of Avonlea and the Queen’s College Entrance exam, I want to pause to talk about the other storyline that was happening. At the top of the episode we see Ka’kwet make her perilous escape from the residential school. Ka’kwet is resourceful as she escapes and manages to survive as she makes her way back to her Mi’kmaq and her family. Ka’kwet collapses in tears as her mother and father embrace and comfort her. I am not sure what is going to happen to Ka’kwet but I am hoping that she is safe with her family and that she won’t be forced to go back to the residential school. However, reading that next week’s episode is about Anne and Matthew helping Ka’kwet, I am not hopeful.
Now the time has come to for the kids to take the exam. Everyone is nervous especially Moody and Charlie. There is a surprise student taking the exam: Diana. Aunt Jo encourages Diana to take the exam and live the life she wants and not what her parents want. So Diana has to sneak off to the take the exam.
Once the exam is over, all of the kids celebrate with moonshine and really party it up. Meanwhile, Gilbert, who has taken the exam in Charlottetown, is dining with Winnifred and her family. Winnifred’s dad approves of Gilbert and even offers to fund his medical degree at Sorbonne if he proposes to his daughter.
We don’t see how Gilbert responds but we see him return to Avonlea and comes across his fellow classmates still celebrating. Gilbert sees Anne make pirate jokes and just being her and free. Gilbert definitely takes notice and wants to speak to Anne alone. Gilbert lays out the choice between him and asks Anne what to do. Anne doesn’t understand what is Gilbert’s dilemma. Anne doesn’t understand what is holding him back but Gilbert says there is one thing and that is her. Gilbert needs to know how Anne feels about him but she is speechless. Anne pretty much tells Gilbert that his only option is Winnifred as Gilbert gets the education he wants and the girl that is much more suited to him than her. Before any more can happen, the other girls interrupt wanting Anne to do one of her rituals.
The next morning, Anne seeks Aunt Jo’s advice and admits that Gilbert is the only person that she has thought of in a romantic way. But Anne still doesn’t see how it will work out for them and still is unsure of her feelings. Aunt Jo says that she will gain clarity to her feelings at a moment of peace in her mind.
Gilbert also has come to realization and that he is going to propose to Winnifred. Bash asks if Gilbert is sure because he knows that his friend is in love with Anne. Gilbert assures Bash that he is sure but we know that he isn’t.
Back to Diana, who finally comes to realization that she isn’t living the life she wants to live after Minnie May tells her that she doesn’t want to be like her big sister. Diana rushes over to Green Gables and apologizes to Anne. The two best friends renew their friendship and all is well with the two. As the two just sit in silence after their renewed friendship is when Anne makes the declaration that she is in love with Gilbert.
Elsewhere in Avonlea:
- Bash’s mom comes to visit and it brings out the worse in him.
- Once Bash’s mom arrives at the Blythe homestead, she seems to think that she is a servant in the household and not a member of the family. Bash’s mom also tries to get him to make that separate with Gilbert.
- And it seems the show is setting up Miss Stacey and Bash as a potential romantic pairing as I believe I predicted in another recap.