Anne with an E: Season 2/ Episode 1 “Youth Is The Season of Hope” [Season Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Anne as she rests in a tree.

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As we return to Green Gables, and Anne’s whimsy ways, the boarders begin their final act of trickery to con the entire town.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Helen Shaver
Writer(s) Moira Walley-Beckett
Air Date 7/6/2018
Actors Introduced
Sebastian Dalmar Abuzeid
William Barry Jonathan Holmes

A Boy With Options: Sebastian, Gilbert

Off on the sea, Gilbert continues to work and get on nearly everyone’s nerves. Particularly because of his singing. Which is especially troubling for one man named Sebastian who looks out for Gilbert and tries to keep him from getting fired, even if it means his own neck. Which, with him Black, by means of Trinidad, and having known nothing but being a trimmer, he reminds Gilbert of his privilege. While also letting him know he cannot sing for squash.

Commentary

Sebastian talking to Gilbert about his decisions to risk his and Sebastian's job with his antics.

While I’m all for diversity, I must admit Sebastian checking Gilbert about his white privilege seemed kind of off. If only because it seems like something I can’t strongly imagine someone saying in the times of Anne with an E. Not to say there might not have been intelligent people like Sebastian who spoke this way but it just seems too agenda base. One which, as a Black person, I support, but also find myself side eyeing Sebastian coming out the gate making it clear as much as he may not have social mobility, he is socially conscious in a way.

And For A Time, It All Seemed Good: Anne, Marilla, Nate, Jerry, Matthew, Mr. Dunlop

It’s autumn, around October, and also harvest season! And for the first time in Anne’s 14 years, she finds herself on the beach, feet kissing the ocean, and you’ll probably fall in love with the character all over. Though, love, if not infatuation, isn’t just between Anne and nature. Nate has put a bit of a spell on the ladies of Green Gables. For Anne, it is just the fact he has knowledge she doesn’t and that is instantly alluring. As for Marilla? Well, it is him touching her hand, appearing before her without a shirt on, and just getting her all kinds of hot and bothered.

Though, when it comes to Jerry and Matthew? Both aren’t so easily amused. Jerry can’t put his finger on it but knows that Nate is a bad man. Which isn’t helped by Nate, as Mr. Dunlop says, “poking the bear” by pestering and messing with Jerry just to see if he will put two and two together. As for Mr. Dunlop? Unlike Nate, he goes with the flow and seems to be genuinely enjoying Green Gables, even the loquacious Anne. However, all good things come to an end.

Commentary

Mr. Dunlop and Anne during dinner.

I wonder how long it has been since Marilla had a crush or any sort of romantic interest in a man? It was made clear, as a youth, she had what could have been the love of her life, maybe even a husband. Yet, thanks to family trouble that all went away. But what about since then? Has she really just kept to the farm and town and never entertained the thought? Maybe someone pursue her? Because the way she got hot and bothered by Nate touching her, seeing his bare and toned chest? If she wasn’t a woman of the lord!

But you know what must be mentioned, how frustrating it is that Nate and Mr. Dunlop can be so messy and carefree about their truth and no one seems to be picking up on it. Jerry has a sense that something is wrong but can’t put his finger on it. Matthew sees Mr. Dunlop and Nate canoodling in private, but is unsure. Then with Anne, she is consistently a moment away from the truth, even discovers a tool for forgery, but it doesn’t click.

Easy Money: Nate, Mr. Dunlop, Anne, William, Rachel

After robbing Jerry, which seemingly was just for a warm-up, the big heist is getting around $150 from every member of the community to check their soil for gold. Yup, trying to start some kind of gold rush is Nate and Mr. Dunlop’s plan and thanks to Anne spreading this secret to the town gossip, Rachel, all of Avonlea is in a tizzy.

Commentary

Nate messing with Jerry to see if he may figure out who he is.
Nate: You gotta pay attention to the details.

I really do hope Nate and Mr. Dunlop’s scam doesn’t consume the season. It isn’t terrible the show exposing how naive these people are, but it also seems like a very different tone from what the first season offered. And while we are reminded of the darkness the show can have, through flashbacks of Anne’s time at an orphanage, that feels different from what Nate and Mr. Dunlop bring.

When it comes to Anne’s past, as seen, it shows why reading has become so important. Why she wants Jerry so badly to learn – it provides an escape. With this Nate and Mr. Dunlop thing, especially now that the whole town is involved, it seems kind of… I don’t want to say a step back but definitely a step towards a weird direction for the series. Not enough to hamper the energy and whimsy of Amybeth McNulty but definitely leads you to question where are they going with this and can it be over soon?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

I don’t charge for my advice, though it is worth a fortune – Rachel

Highlights

  1. Everything you loved about the first season remains in terms of Anne being a curious little thing, Matthew amused and inspired by her, and Marilla confused yet in admiration.

Low Points

  1. Honestly, this Nate and Mr. Dunlop thing could very well make season 2 feel like a disappointment if they stick around too long. Or maintain this almost campy sense of villainy.

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About Amari Sali 2987 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all.

1 Comment

  1. I very much doubt that Nate & Dunlop will stick around for an entire season, or even be a focal point of this one.

    The main point of interest for many fans of both Lucy Montgomery’s novels and the previous TV adaptations was Anne’s evolving relationship with Gilbert Blythe and her enduring friendship with Diana. Though “Anne With An E” is somewhat more grounded and darker than other adaptations, it has not really been such a radical departure from the established template in terms of characterisation and the broad strokes of the plot thus far.

    Basically, I think the makers of this series know which side their bread is buttered upon… Gilbert won’t stay at sea forever and I’m sure the series will get back to their relationship at some point, because there is only so far this show can go in subverting audience expectations and the producers wouldn’t want to risk alienating their core viewership. I predict Anne/Gilbert and Anne/Diana will be getting more screentime than the mining con subplot as Season 2 unfolds.

    The other main point of interest in previous iterations of this story was seeing Anne’s emotional journey – developing a more realistic view of the world over time, honing some critical thinking skills, but retaining her values nonetheless. The purpose of this mining con subplot to Anne’s character arc will likely be to act as a kind of corrective check on her naïveté and help her realise the dangers inherent in blind idealism.

    As for the corrective lecture given to Gilbert in this episode. Perhaps it was a bit “right on” in a meta sense, but it wasn’t completely unbelievable. I think context is everything… Sebastian wasn’t saying these things because he wanted to strike a blow for social justice, but because he saw his livelihood jeopardised by an irresponsible colleague. The tone of his admonition was much milder than many a white person would’ve been under the circumstances, his putting up with Gilbert’s antics for so long combined with the reticent nature of his criticism in itself seems like a realistic acknowledgement of class/race politics of the time. If Sebastian had been white he could’ve afforded to be A LOT more confrontational, that he wasn’t says a lot, if you think about it…. also, Gilbert was being an ass, so I’m glad someone called him out on it.

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