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As we’re introduced to the Black part of Prince Edwards’ Island, Cole has a theory about Mr. Phillips and Marilla is clued in on what’s wrong.
|Dr. Ward||Brian Paul|
A White Wedding: Prissy, Mr. Phillips, Cole, Anne
With Mr. Phillips’ proposal, Prissy is in bliss. Well, at least until Mr. Phillips says she can’t go to college for he needs her by his side to move up the social order. Thus putting a damper on the idea of becoming married. Something Anne doesn’t help with on the wedding day.
However, another issue could be that Mr. Phillips is gay. Well, at least that is what Cole thinks Mr. Phillips is and assumes that is why he picks on him so much. Mr. Phillips tortures those who are what he feels he can’t allow himself to be. With Cole, the idea is because Cole is gay and is comfortable in that, he is punished. Then with Anne, because she is so weird yet has friends, laughs, and is also smart, she is treated as she is.
For, as noted in the last episode, anyone who threatens Mr. Phillips sense of superiority, that he is the best in a multitude of manners, is a threat. One which has to be taken down a notch. Though, with him being left at the altar, who knows how he may ever deal with that.
Taking note of Mr. Phillips being left at the altar, I wonder, since the overview of future episodes notes a new teacher, will anyone really talk about this? I mean, the whole gold thing isn’t even talked about and that was an embarrassment for the whole town. One which Diana’s family hasn’t really suffered much for, nor has it been brought up with Billy or Josie tease Anne. Do they forgive and forget quickly in Avonlea?
Also, is it weird to anyone else Cole automatically thought he was being picked on because Mr. Phillips was gay? What even led to that idea? He barely looks at him, doesn’t talk to him, and if anything, I’d more so think he was a bigot who was punishing Cole because he thought he was gay. Not because he is self-hating. But you know that is the assumption that goes around. Anyone who hates something with such a venom is probably envious. As if people can’t simply be hateful.
A Trip To the Oculist: Marilla, Rachel, Sebastian, Gilbert, Matthew
While Marilla planned on going by herself to get her eyes checked, Rachel figured it would make a nice little vacation. However, it becomes a bit more than that. For one, Marilla, of all people, takes on an Anne kind of role as she sees Sebastian and Gilbert have trouble getting on the train – since Sebastian is Black. How? Well, she does more than watch the situation play out but gets involved. Something which, for usually reserved Marilla, was a bit of a shock. Though no so more a shock than Rachel sitting across from a black man for the first time in her life. But more on Sebastian’s time outside of Gilbert’s farm in the next topic.
What matters here is not only that Marilla may just need glasses, but also she gets her family brooch and Michael’s pocket watch from the pawn shop. Something Rachel helps her buyback. And upon her return to Green Gables, she bequeaths the brooch to Anne and forgives her for tears what would have been her veil – if she got married. But, seeing as how that may not happen, she also gives that to Anne for her future. After all, she is a Cuthbert.
Hence why, upon Matthew getting Michael’s pocket watch back, he says, even though that may be one of the few things he owns of his older brother, he’d sell it again for Anne. If just to make sure she has a way back home.
We’ve mentioned how touching the things Matthew has said many times before, so we’ll skip over the latest. If only because Marilla and Rachel have got to be talked about. The fact Marilla, a conservative Christian woman, who barely talks when not necessary, really took some kind of stand and made it so Sebastian and Gilbert could sit with them was something.
Now, true, in another life, Gilbert might be her son and she has a soft spot for his father, which may have played a hand, but helping Sebastian was not an obligation. Even if he made a rather kind dinner guest. Never mind, likely is also, in a way, looking after Gilbert as much as Gilbert is looking after him.
But then there is the need to address Rachel. Not her awkwardness around Sebastian but more so who she is as a friend and wife. There are many times there is a need to question what keeps Marilla and Rachel as friends. Is it simply because they’ve known each other so long? Rachel is how Marilla gets to know what is happening around town? If not Rachel feeling like she is in Marilla’s debt for helping her with all her kids?
How their relationship started and bloomed is another topic worth a flashback for another time. What is clear though is they both value each other and Rachel spending her own money, even after the gold rush debacle, so Marilla could get her family heirlooms was sweet. Also, I loved that she went with Marilla for the exam as much to support her friend as to get out of the house. Not to get away from her husband, who she still has a very adorable relationship with, but just for a change of pace. It really does push the idea, in terms of Anne’s desires for life, that there are multiple examples of people who found love and not someone to be financially dependent on, if not socially.
And before I forget, Marilla embracing Anne like she did, in comparison to how awkward their hugs were in the first season? Such a touching moment.
You Gotta Find Your People: Sebastian, Gilbert, Dr. Ward, Mary
After separating from Marilla and Rachel, Sebastian has a hell of a time trying to get assistance. Though Canada abolished slavery before the United States, so it seems, legally abolishing something and the people changing the culture are two different things. Making it where shop owners look at Sebastian like a thief or something to worry about, even with money in hand, and he is looked down upon everywhere he goes.
Well, outside of when Gilbert takes Sebastian to Dr. Ward, the man who treated his father. He is strangely kind and fixes Sebastian’s tooth infection up. Even doesn’t charge him since, with Gilbert serious about becoming a doctor, he sees Gilbert cleaning up a bit a good means of paying off the ticket. As well as giving them time to talk about the future.
But the story doesn’t end there. It seems most Blacks are segregated to a place called “The Bog.” A place which basically is a marsh, so a wetland, and it is anything but appealing. There is mud everywhere, the air seems like they are next to a factory at the start of the industrial revolution, and the few walkways there are, you can barely have two people walk side by side.
Yet, as bad as some make it out to seem, they have a thriving town. One in which, after Sebastian gets pushed down by a hating ass Black train conductor, who thinks Sebastian is uppity, Sebastian may have found a potential bride. In who? Well, a woman named Mary who cleans laundry and occasionally rents a room to Black travelers. Someone who he is quite sweet on and while she hasn’t taken the bait, she has nibbled a little bit.
I really hope we get to see more of Sebastian and Mary together. Taking note this is Anne’s story, featuring the rest of these characters, I would love to see, with this show’s tone, what life was like for Black people in Canada at the time. Especially with slavery not being the focus.
Plus, Sebastian seriously needs some kind of story beyond following Gilbert around and the awkwardness of him being the only Black dude for miles. Especially since Gilbert plans on being mentored by Dr. Ward – that is if he can get over his apparent fear of needles.
- Rachel’s relationship with her husband and Marilla.
- Matthew saying he would sell his brother’s pocket watch for Anne again.
- Prissy leaving Mr. Phillips, since it is the closest thing to a real punishment we may ever see him get, even if Cole telling him off was classic.
- Marilla sticking up for Sebastian on the train.
- The possibility of Mary and Sebastian becoming a thing.
On The Fence
- Cole’s assumption that he was harassed by Mr. Phillips because he is gay.