Anne (Anne with an E): Season 1/ Episode 6 “Remorse if the Poison of Life” – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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For those wondering what life could have held for Marilla if it wasn’t for her brother’s death, this episode is for you.

The Heart Is a Longing Organ (Marilla)

Gilbert’s dad dies this episode, and it is revealed to us that John once fancied Marilla. In fact, the adventurous young man asked of her to join him on his travels. However, with her brother dead and mom never recovering from his death, she had to stay home. She wasn’t brave enough to abandon it all for the love of a man and it seems she may regret that decision. Especially as she looks over John’s old letters to her.

Commentary

Cassidy Fox as Young Marilla
Cassidy Fox as Young Marilla

After the reveal of what life Matthew loss, it seemed clear Marilla would be next up. However, who’d imagine it would be so much more devastating. If only because, in a way, you can see that sparkle that was once in Marilla’s eye. That gleam which held possibility, especially as John was there beside her. Yet, now it isn’t necessarily gone but surely lost its luster. Life and the pursuit of survival have become an obligation. So even though Gilbert is the one who deserves pity, it’s hard to not give some to Marilla too. Especially since, even at her present age, she still hadn’t the courage to venture to the man of her dreams.

Grief Is the Price of Love (Anne, Gilbert, and Ms. Josephine Barry [Deborah Grover])

Gilbert is naturally taking it hard that his dad died. Though part of the reason why is because, of his formerly big family, he is all that seems to be left. His brothers are gone, the mother is too, and now his dad died. Of what exactly, it isn’t clear. Heck, it isn’t even 100% fact that they all died and didn’t just have John’s travel spirit and just left somewhere. However, either way you look at it, the boy is now alone. [note]Which seemingly is making him a fish in shark infested waters. For people are already asking about buying his land. Though, from what it seems, Matthew, with the help of Jerry, plan to keep him afloat. But with a boat named Dal Marie going down, and seemingly carrying Matthew’s crops, he may not be able to afford to manage two farms.[/note]

Something Ruby wants to, for a lack of a better term, take advantage of to show how she can be perfect for him. However, it is quite clear Anne is who he wants. For even if she doesn’t know the perfect thing to say to console him, his feelings remain. Hence why, even after her stumble, he defends her name in front of the other boys and punches one who dares call him bud while he besmirches Anne’s name.

Though when it comes to Anne, she doesn’t know how to feel about Gilbert. There is still this rivalry between them and while there are burgeoning feelings, she doesn’t know how to decipher them. Can you believe that? The one who romanticizes everything can’t even see a crush before her little-freckled nose. Which is why Diana’s aunt Josephine couldn’t have come into Anne’s life at a better time.

Deborah Grover as Aunt Josephine
Deborah Grover as Aunt Josephine

You see, with Aunt Josephine’s lifelong partner Gertrude dying, she is now living in Diana’s household. And while Diana and her little sister Minnie May don’t like her, Anne’s usual charm warms her right up. If just because Anne is her own person and Aunt Josephine admires that. To the point that Anne sees Aunt Josephine as a role model, a mentor of sorts. For with Aunt Josephine, so she appears, never marrying and just being a lifetime friend of someone, she gives Anne hope.

Yet, Aunt Josephine is clear that Anne need not set aside love as a foreign thing only made for others. For if she truly sees herself as someone like Josephine, she must realize that while it may not be right to, like Diana and ruby, obsess over someone’s love and limit your dreams to the household, there is nothing wrong in pursuing it. For while grief maybe the price of love, all the years you spend with another are worth it. Hence why, even though she is grieving, she has no regrets.

Commentary

I so hope Aunt Josephine sticks around! Not just because she seemingly is queer, but also because she seems like she can be such a good mentor for Anne. I mean, she is sophisticated, reads, clearly has a sense of curiosity, why else would she enter Anne’s little hut thing? Plus, while Matthew is supportive, and Marilla loving in her own way, I do believe Josephine represents what neither is able to give. Not money, but experience. Since it has become clear that with the older brother’s death, both Marilla and Matthew really stopped living. So what Anne needs, more than ever, is to align herself with someone who did live.

That aside, I do wonder what is going to come of Gilbert? With white clothes and benches on tables when Anne visits his home, after being unable to write a letter, does that mean he is gone? Is he off to Alberta to never be seen again? The next episode is the last of the season so I hope we aren’t left too much of a cliffhanger.

Back Together Again (Anne and Diana)

Before I forget, thanks to Anne’s previous experience taking care of children, she saves Minnie May’s (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) life. With that, Eliza Barry, Diana and Minnie May’s mom, takes back any horrible thing she said and now seems to be #TeamAnne. Meaning, the girls are now back to frolicking and being the best of friends.

Commentary

I’m left wondering how much must Anne do so that people see how wonderful she is? She keeps housing from burning down, saves children’s lives, so why are there still people who have such a dislike for her?

That thought aside, can I just say I live for Diana’s facial expressions whenever Anne says something odd or she doesn’t like how someone reacts to Anne? If I was about making .gifs, pretty much I would have a folder dedicated solely to her reactions. Leading me to really hope when these two actresses are older, they reunite in a movie or show. For they have such good chemistry together.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I love this series. I think the adaption is very well done. The creators have managed, in a way, to modernize it with the changes they made to the original book.
    I have been pondering on something, though… In the book Billy Andrews is in love with Anne (he wants to marry her, as a matter of fact). And in the series Billy’s behaviour resembles at times that of a boy pulling pigtails. I wonder if the writers see the character heading in that direction.
    Not that it really matters, because Gil is Anne’s perfect match. However… I think I would really enjoy a scene where he grovels at Anne’s feet. Either because he confesses and is shot down, or Anne punching him.

    • I’m trying to imagine Anne’s reaction to being in love and it just makes me tear up. Just imagining how happy she would be and how validating that would be for her is just heart warming.

  2. Thank you for loving the show as much as I do! Paragraphs=separate thoughts.

    You are right – John Blythe would be of the same generation as Marilla and Rachel – the latter whose children are all grown up presumably with families of their own – all three being older than the parents of most of Anne’s classmates. Gilbert could be an only child or the youngest and the only one left at home. There is a reason why John Blythe wanted to go to Alberta one more time before he died – memories? Family?

    That blue ribbon in the flashback – isn’t that the same blue ribbon that Marilla gives Anne before she meets the Barrys?

    Seemingly queer! Gertrude and Josephine had a marriage of sorts – whether the family caught on or not. What does Anne want most – to be liked the way she is – she says so to Marilla early on. I think that is why Josephine confides in Anne – the need to be accepted for who she is. That Anne had read and memorized verses in a book that made Josephine cry somehow made Josephine feel she could trust Anne not to shun her – and then there is their shared love of books. You didn’t get your wish concerning the cliffhanger – I figure that they would rather be well fed while they case out the joint looking for valuables, but if they think that their cover is blown that they could turn very violent.

    You mention Ruby – she’s had a crush on Gilbert for a long time (ie he is handsome and a gentleman and from a good family) – but she seems to be trying to prove that she would make a good farmer’s wife assuming that Gilbert would want to be a farmer – something he says that he doesn’t want. Shepherd’s pie in this episode and a song about a Shepherdess in the next episode that has Anne threatening to kill Jerry – if he doesn’t stop singing it.

    Mrs Andrews speaks of feminism and big dreams for her daughter Prissy Andrews – who seems headed for a shotgun wedding – mean while her son Billy Andrews is the worst sort of misogynist pig. Billy Andrews has been a jerk to Anne since the beginning – no wonder Gilbert doesn’t want to be his “bud”. Anne says that she can take Billy Andrews in a fight – hope she gets her chance because he really need to be taken down a peg or two. How will his male chauvanist pride take being bested in a fight by a girl, though. Can’t wait.

    RE: “I’m left wondering how much must Anne do so that people see how wonderful she is? She keeps housing from burning down, saves children’s lives, so why are there still people who have such a dislike for her?”

    That is becoming a pattern – Anne saving the day … whatever else is going on with her, she is good in a pinch. Ruby didn’t start liking Anne because she kept her house from burning down, though, but because Anne tried to cheer her when she was feeling down. Anne had no reason to be kind to Ruby, but she saw a need and filled it.

    PS. Forgot to check the boxes last time.

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