Anne with an E: Season 2/ Episode 7 “Memory Has As Many Moods As the Temper” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

A framed photograph of Gertrude and Josephine.
80.24% (9)

As Diana’s world gets shook, and Cole comes to a realization, we learn more about the aftermath of Michael’s death.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Anne Wheeler
Writer(s) Jane Maggs
Air Date 7/6/2018
Actors Introduced
Marilla’s Mother Delphine Roussel
Woman in Blue Top Hat Joanne Boland

A Jealous Teacher: Gilbert, Mr. Phillips

Being that Gilbert wishes to be a doctor, and missed about a year, or so, of school, naturally he would like some tutoring. Problem is, Mr. Phillips is a sordid man who’d rather mess around with a pupil than truly foster young minds. For, as seen, he likes the superiority of the practice and teaching farm kids who remain farm kids is better suit than those who go beyond his capabilities. But, despite his neglect, Gilbert seems vigilant in pressing on and will make Mr. Phillips rue the day he didn’t foster his desires and what he has taken as his destiny.

Commentary

I really do wonder why Mr. Phillips became a teacher. He teases kids in his class, sneaks around with one, and comes off more cruel than nurturing. Heck, more cruel than someone perhaps trying to challenge these young people’s minds. So is it, as I think, he just likes feeling superior to those around him? Is that one of the sole sources of joy in his occupation?

Coping The Best Way I Can: Marilla, Matthew

With Marilla getting headaches, the kind which cause blurred vision and dizziness, she starts seeing things. Things which trigger her memories as a child of when her mother was sick. Bedbound in fact, and so we begin to unravel why Marilla never ventured off and found a life, and love, outside of Green Gables. Simply put, with their mother mourning, for maybe the rest of her life, over losing Michael, Marilla had to do everything. I’m talking feeding and likely cleaning her mother, taking care of the house, and also Matthew who we have seen has social anxiety that can spill over into other things.

In fact, it also solves the question of why Matthew quit school. It wasn’t because Michael was the main one pushing him to be around people or anything like that. More so, he became guilty about all Marilla was tasked to do so he stayed home to help. Something that, in his old age, still kind of bothers him. He feels guilty for putting so much on Marilla but also mad at their mother for mourning so deeply for one child dead while two living ones needed her.

A feeling Marilla shares, to a point, but seems to have suppressed for a long time because there was always so much to do. However, with a spirit like Anne in the house – someone so expressive about their feelings, she has become infectious. Not just in bringing some life and energy but pushing both Matthew and Marilla to be more expressive. To show a range of emotion and not just the ones required for pleasantries.

Commentary

Marilla noting that, to cope, she also shut down and avoided living.
Marilla: I shut down, as well.

Well, outside of clarifying how Michael died, I do believe we almost have the full details needed to understand how Marilla and Matthew ended up the way they are. Though now I’m trying to remember what happened with their dad. But besides that, I must admit seeing these two characters who seemed so stoic before become expressive led me to tears. It really shows how authentically Anne has had an effect on their life. Not just because she is a child they have to mutually worry about, but because she represents a clean slate. Someone to not necessarily live vicariously through but be inspired by.

Which does make me hope, as Matthew may have a chance with Jeannie, maybe Marilla can find something outside of Green Gables, and Rachel. For a moment, in the last episode, I thought maybe the man Matthew wheeled in for the play could be a companion, but I don’t think that may be possible now. But maybe motherhood is good enough for Marilla. Especially since there is a push that love doesn’t have to be just one way to be fulfilling. So maybe that isn’t just meant in terms of romance but in general.

There Is More Than One Way To Express Yourself: Aunt Josephine, Cole, Diana, Anne

After tricking their parents, Cole, Diana, and Anne make way to Aunt Josephine’s party which is a life-changing experience. Not in an Anne, let’s embellish how nice something was, kind of way – I mean it definitely causes a shift for each character. Take for example, Diana. It seems she never realized Josephine and Gertrude were life partners. Also, it never crossed her mind that she could make a career out of being a pianist. She has been so stuck on what her parents desired, how they made life seem, the idea of lesbians or a life outside the home never really was fathomed.

Then with Cole, being that his wrist is still healing, he isn’t able to draw as he used to. Yet, thanks to this woman in a blue top hat, he discovers Clay can be a means of expression. It can even strengthen his wrist. But the biggest life change of all is, through Josephine’s friends and acquaintances of the art world, he realizes he might be gay. A discovery he embraces for all of Josephine’s guests are quite jovial and open. That is, on top of seeming fully themselves. An idea a farm boy, as he is often called, may find foreign at home, but perhaps only because that is not his home but just where he lives.

As for Anne? Being that she is so open and deeply feeling, and also adores Aunt Josephine, naturally, the two spend time together. In which Gertrude is a strong focus since this summer soiree, in the dead of winter, was Gertrude’s thing. For she was a Parisian girl with a love for the arts and to clear many people’s winter blues, she had this party thrown. Also, like Anne, she was a voracious reader. One which would, unfortunately, ruin the end of books, but nonetheless someone Josephine quite loved and in honor of her, she asks Anne to continue the tradition Gertrude started. That is, to read a passage at the party.

Leaving us to realize that it isn’t just Matthew and Marilla who lean on Anne to remind them of better times or someone who has passed. Aunt Josephine is the same way.

Commentary

Cole coming out to Josephine.
Cole: I think I’m like you and Gertrude.

I was wondering when something would push Diana to the forefront and her discovering there is more than one way to lead her life seems to be it. Which, honestly, should be quite juicy. In a sort of Matthew or Marilla way, Diana has largely lived through Anne and tagged along on her adventures. Especially since, as shown in a previous episode, once her mom sends her to finishing school, life is over – or so it seems. So she is getting all the fun she can get now.

But, with Aunt Josephine showing that life isn’t set in stone, and she does have some realm of autonomy, Diana is shook. She seems stunned and forced to really evaluate life’s possibilities. Something she seemingly wasn’t ready for but may not be able to reverse. Diana is forever changed.

As for Cole, I called it. Shows don’t have a guy explore their gender expression without making it about sexuality. It’s just how things are. But, with that said, there goes the possibility of a love triangle. Though, thinking about it, there is also the need to fear what may happen when Josie or Billy find out. We see how this area is with redheads and people of color, imagine someone queer.

Leaving one last thing to say: Get you an Anne in your life. From being an inspiration, a teacher, someone who forces you out of your comfort zone or is your source of comfort, she is so many things to so many people. But, thankfully, it isn’t an all one-way relationship. Each person she gives her all too shows how much they adore Anne verbally, sometimes by gifts, and it really makes for an overwhelming amount of feel-good moments.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Considering Mr. and Mrs. Barry, per Josephine were aware of her and Gertrude’s relationship, how did they feel about it?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Art, the ability to make it, gives meaning to sadness in a way that many aren’t able to experience. – Woman in Blue Top Hat (Joanne Boland)

[…] there is no straight path in art or life. Sometimes there’s no path at all and one must break down walls and machete their way through the woods to get where they need to go. – Woman in Blue Top Hat (Joanne Boland)

You have a life of such joy before you. Not without hardship. Not without bumps in the road. Be safe with those you trust. But when you do find people to trust, the bond will be that much greater. – Aunt Josephine

Highlights

  1. Us coming almost to a full picture of why Marilla and Matthew have been, basically shut-ins up until Anne came about.
  2. Diana having her mind opened to life’s possibilities for her and it may be coming a bit too soon and too fast.
  3. Gilbert not letting Mr. Phillips hold him back from his destiny.

On The Fence

  1. Cole’s realization he is gay is good, but it does make the character feel trapped in a predictable storyline now.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I can’t think of many stories which feature a strictly platonic relationship between a boy and a girl, where it doesn’t turn out that one of them is gay. For that matter, very rare is the story where there’ll be a friendship between an adult man and a woman, where both are straight… it’s a pet peeve of mine, this implication that two people of the opposite sex can’t be just friends and be happy with it unless one of them is gay.

    I have mixed feelings about this episode. The potent emotional turmoil gives all of the actors a lot of opportunities to show their range, and it impressed upon me how accomplished this cast is… especially the youngsters, who display an astonishing depth of talent given their tender years.

    However, I am starting to realise why certain right-wing internet wags are derisively referring to this as “the woke Anne Of Green Gables”, as the introduction of so much progressive, PC sentiment in this episode almost strained my suspension of disbelief… I was actually glad that Diana was shocked by the experience and struggled to accept everything she saw, even tentatively voicing disapproval. It seems so much more real when an otherwise likeable character is shown to have moral blind spots and struggles with doing the right thing – as opposed to having all the unpleasant period bigotry come from one dimensional bullying jerks that the audience doesn’t give two hoots about anyway.

    Speaking of one dimensional bullying jerks, I really hope they get rid of that creepy twerp of a teacher, and soon. One and a half seasons in and he’s still little more than a camp moustache twirling villain. Frankly, it’s hard to fathom why this man would inspire a crush from a student, he’s not even all that good looking.

    In the books, Anne has a nice teacher named Stacy who does inspire the young girl to channel her boundless imagination in a constructive way. I hope that the series gets round to introducing Stacy eventually, it would liven up the dynamic of the school scenes somewhat to have a teacher that makes the effort to engage with her students’ intellects.

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