Anne: Season 1 comes to what feels like an abrupt end that could leave you slightly uneasy about one of the storylines for season 2.
When The Weight Of The World Comes Crashing Down: Anne, Marilla, Matthew
With learning Matthew took out a bank loan without consulting her, Marilla berates her silly brother. Yet, what was there to do? With that ship sinking the Cuthbert clan has no money and even in his old age, he recognizes his role. Matthew is the man of the house so he plans on taking care of everything. However, a heart attack sees to that idea. But, even then, there are ideas in his head. One of which include committing suicide in order for Marilla to cash in the life insurance policy. An idea so terrible that it is a surprise Marilla didn’t beat him for not only saying it but trying to do it!
Luckily, however, as Anne was selling her dress, she Jeannie into some of what was going on. Making her sudden arrival, a shock to Matthew, the thing which kept him from finishing fumbling with his gun and ending it all.
Watching Matthew toil over the idea of suicide, and also seeing Gilbert in the episode, made me wonder how his dad felt? His dad no longer had the ability to fully be the man of the house. He was bed ridden and likely felt useless. So did he have the same thoughts Matthew had? The idea that, even though his boy would have no one, it is better than forcing him to be trapped. Essentially waiting for his dad to die yet hoping he won’t just the same?
That thought aside, I do wonder, with Gilbert working at the docks, talking like his old man about traveling and adventures, if Anne may see him again? Much less, will he keep up his studies? Though I also wonder, with Jeannie seeing the state Matthew is in, and her seemingly having no family to tie her down, just a shop, if she may try to pick up where she left off with Matthew? For while Marilla’s chances are sadly dead and buried, it would be nice for at least Matthew to get part of the life his brother’s death dragged to the grave.
Reminding me, when are we going to learn how Michael died? For it almost feels like a reminder is given nearly every episode at this point. Yet, despite that, it remains a sort of mystery.
The Kindness of Friends and Deceitful Acts of Strangers: Anne, Jerry, Marilla
While Marilla looked after Matthew, Anne and Jerry were tasked with selling a horse and going to a pawn shop. Then, after that, spending the night at Josephine’s. Now, for Anne, things go well. She meets Jeannie, is able to sell mostly, if not everything, Marilla told her to, alongside Diana’s donations, and she does decent. As for Jerry? Not too long after he sells one of the Cuthbert’s horses he gets robbed. Though, to make matters worse, Marilla puts out an ad for boarders and the two men who jumped Jerry end up being the people she brings into her home.
That aside, as news about the Cuthbert’s money issue spread, Rachel decides to get some donations, even if Marilla is too proud for charity. Though, really, she just wants to hold her head up and say that she and Matthew, as well as Anne, could make it on their own. Heck, Anne even cleans a few houses to help Marilla. For, with Matthew getting ill, it makes the bank very antsy. They want their money by the end of December or else there goes the property. Hence all you have read thus far.
But, over the past few months, maybe even a year, Anne has made many friends. But, perhaps one of the ones which may help the most is Ms. Josephine Barry. For during Anne’s stay with her she comes to the idea of how to circumvent that whole “We don’t take charity” thing. She pays Jerry so he can stay on as a farm hand and still slips Anne some money. Which, thanks to her way with words, she gets Marilla to calm down her pride. If for a moment.
Oh, and on to the topic of Jerry: after getting jumped we see him get a little jealous of all the quality time Gilbert and Anne had. Also, it is revealed, while they are at Ms. Barry’s, that he is afraid of sleeping by himself. If only because, for most of his life, he never had his own bed. So he sleeps with Anne. Which doesn’t lead to them getting closer or anything, but reminds you that as much as Jerry likes to seem tough, and is handling adult responsibilities, he is still very much a child.
I gotta admit, this was perhaps the first episode I wasn’t necessarily over the moon about. For while Anne apologizing to Gilbert was nice, and them calling a truce, alongside Jerry and Anne having this sort of weird brother/sister vibe, not to forget the sweetness of Anne’s time with Ms. Barry and Marilla continuing to show her maternal side, then there are these two boarders. Their presence, which likely will be for a while, worries me. For if it was just Jerry getting robbed and us never seeing them again, I’d be cool. However, it is hard to imagine the boarders’ storyline not going down a conventional road.
I mean, true, there is this unknown element since if they will beat the hell out of a kid what is a red head and two middle aged people? Yet, even if this version of Anne of Green Gables, is supposed to be darker than the others, I’d hate to see it succumb to having drama for the sake of drama, you know? Everything that happened thus far came about naturally. Be it Anne having to grow on people, prove herself a worthy member of the community, and deal with her insecurities. Then with the Cuthberts, us slowly, but surely, getting to know them, learn about Michael and also the drastic effect his death had on their lives.
All of which are stories which haven’t been exploited fully so these two wild cards really seem to be messing with an already good formula. One which I can’t see them making more flavorful but more so watering down this product and slowly morphing it into everything else. Just by taking this most awkward, and maybe even cringe worthy, way of doing so. Which, more than likely, would end with the whole town running them out.
Season Overall Rating: Positive: Watch This (Recommended)
Netflix has its hands in this so with that comes the guarantee of a finale which makes you roll your eyes a bit and seems a bit weak, compared to what came before. However, all things considered, this is probably one of the few shows I can think of where they actually have actors who could be more than the characters they are known for. Since, in damn near every Netflix show, I find it hard to see a real breakout star. Each actor is good in the role they are in, but you can’t really see them as anything else or having a fruitful career when the show is over. However, with Amybeth McNulty, alongside Dalila Bela, you can see a possible career long after this show is over. For Bela seems like a star comedic actress in the making and McNulty, she basically is this show. Without her, there would be no reason to watch, there would be no heart, no depth, no tears. Even at her young age, she knows how to work over her audience and get every emotion out of them. Something you rarely see in child actors and there are few established ones who could do within an hour and a half what McNulty does, just in the pilot, without you knowing who the hell she is, in 5 minutes!
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