Anne With An E: Season 3, Episode 1 “A Secret Which I Desired to Divine” [Season Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Anne With An E returns and everyone’s favorite heroine, now with a stable home, is curious as to what life would have been like if her parents lived.

CBC/ Netflix
Director(s) Anne Wheeler
Writer(s) Moira Walley-Beckett
Air Date 9/22/2019
Introduced This Episode
Ka’kwet Kiawento:io Tarbell
Tillie Glenna Walters
Billy Christian Martyn
Jane Lia Pappas-Kemps
Moody Jacob Ursomarzo

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Recap (with Commentary & Spoilers)

A New Year Means New Friends: Ka’kwet, Billy, Ruby, Anne, Gilbert

While the boys are playing hockey, and Ruby tasked with writing about it but instead gawking at Gilbert, we learn many of the sticks are made by a local indigenous group known as the Mi’kmaq. People who, unfortunately, by the likes of Billy, are disrespected, but others like Gilbert treat them with respect.

He is soon joined by Anne who, naturally, is oh so curious since it seems she has read about the indigenous nations but hasn’t had much of an opportunity to interact with anyone. Making her quite lucky that, despite her father being uncomfortable, Ka’kwet is able to convince him to let Anne visit and interview them. Leading to Anne making a new friend who may give Diana some competition.


Is it terrible that, outside of Rhymes for Young Ghouls, I struggle to think of another production which focused on indigenous people? At least with respect to their customs and giving you an idea of what their lives are/were like, past or present. Which makes Ka’kwet’s inclusion so eye-opening and almost puts you in an Anne mindset of wanting to know everything.

Not to say the Mi’kmaq people can speak to the experience of being indigenous in Canada, at the time, but it really says a lot that Anne With An E. Think about it, in a period piece, we have Black characters, who have established lives outside of Anne, gay characters who are allowed to experience every emotion ranging from mourning a wife to being joyous for they have a community, and now there are indigenous characters.

People who, in my experience, are often left out of the diversity or inclusivity conversation. I’d dare say they don’t even really get the token treatment. So here is hoping Ka’kwet, like Sebastian, is seen often and presented just as vibrant.

Settling In & Being Joyous: Marilla, Sebastian, Mary

Marilla holding baby Delphine.
Marilla: I never knew what all the fuss was about until now.

Despite the change in scenery and colors of faces, Sebastian and Mary are having the time of their life. Their baby is healthy, they have a place to stay in which Gilbert, currently, isn’t fussing, and then there is Marilla. Someone who acts like, after Rachel’s 10 kids, that she has never held a child before and experienced joy.

But, with baby Delphine, who she helps out with three times a week, she gets to live vicariously in a way. Experience what it would be like to be a grandmother, maybe an aunt, and as much joy as it brings you, it also reminds you of how many missed opportunities came from Michael’s death.


Can we just hone in on Marilla? This baby thing really has me wondering how Rachel’s kids see her, and what is her relationship to them? Of the ten, I don’t think we’ve gotten to know any, and it pushes you to wonder if, or when, they show up, how will they interact with her?

I ask this since, with 10 kids, all boys if I recall correctly, likely there had to be at least one who was closer to aunt Marilla than his own mother. If not loving how quiet it was over there compared to all the noise which was Rachel’s home. But, who knows? While friends since grade school, Rachel can be a bit much and maybe the two of them were on a break at one time.

To Look Forward, You Have To Know What’s Behind You: Anne, Marilla, Matthew, Tillie, Moody, Jerry, Jane, Diana, Mrs. Berry, Mr. Berry, Rachel, Ms. Stacy, Ruby

With spring possibly on the horizon, love is already starting to present its scent. Hence Josie trying to stake her claim when it comes to Billy, even if Billy’s sister Jane doesn’t like her, and the revival of the Notice Board. A place where people, with some subtlety, take note of claims amongst each other. To which Tillie has two.

As for Ruby and Anne? Well, neither have one though Anne does have the attention of one boy, who she curves. Also, Diana is quite popular as well. A boy named Moody, lower class, has an interest in her, and Jerry also takes note of her beauty as well. But, right now, Diana is more worried about going to school in Queens and avoiding being shipped off to Paris in 180+ days for finishing school.

Though, not to be outdone, Muriel Stacy also has some thoughts on love. Well, more so, while walking with Rachel, she puts out the idea she isn’t against companionship. Leading Rachel, who sees herself as quite the matchmaker, to get excited about pairing Muriel up. Making Muriel wish she kept her mouth shut.

And can you believe, amongst all of this, Anne’s birthday happens too? Which, at first, Anne’s birthday is quite wonderful for everybody. The girls, Diana and the rest, have a party for her with lots of little treats, and Marilla bakes a cake! Though, the one who really puts in an effort is Matthew with a charm bracelet that includes a charm similar to Anne’s old hat.

But, in all this joy over her 16th birthday, combined with Muriel asking the kids to talk about their lineage, Anne finds herself wondering about her parents: Walter and Bertha. Something she mentions to Matthew and Marilla in terms of finding her family, which leaves Marilla a bit slighted. Yet, with Matthew wanting Anne to be happy, he encourages her pursuit to head to the orphanage in Nova Scotia to see if there are any records of Anne’s birth family. Even if it may mean someone being discovered who could claim her.


I’m waiting for the day, and reaction, when Ruby learns how much Gilbert likes Anne. For they have so many moments, including some right in front of Ruby, that makes you wonder how struck can someone honestly be? Yet, she is in love and with so many starting to pair up, Tillie even having two options, she likely doesn’t want to be left behind.

Speaking of Tillie, fingers crossed the boys aren’t messing with her. Considering the harassment Anne has gone through with them, and how much of an ass Billy and his friends are, it is sadly on the table. But, considering Tillie hasn’t been mistreated much previously, there is hope.

Like hope that Muriel talking to Rachel about companionship may bring her boys around. Since what better in is there, with the holidays passing, than a single, educated, woman looking for companionship? And while, yes, she is a widow, better a widow than divorcee right?

Leading to the need to wonder, with Ms. Stacy often feeling like a vision of Anne’s possible future, what does her life say about Anne’s? If anything at all? For with Anne still of the mindset she is ugly, and no one has any romantic interest in her, will she find anyone? Also, with this journey to find her parents, what will their stories be? Assuming anyone is alive, willing, or able, to recount them?

Which does lead to a bit of a fear I have. Anne with an E has a rather large cast and while it has balanced things out quite well, can it still going further? Especially with bringing in an indigenous character and respecting that culture, as well as providing information about it? Who is going to get lost in the mix or will it simply be that folks like Cole and Josephine may get one or two episodes and then are talked about in passing or updated through Anne reading letters?

Review Summary


  1. We’re Three Seasons In And Anne Can Still Consistently Make Me Cry Without The Situation Being Sad
  2. Marilla Getting The Opportunity To Live The Life Michael’s Death Stole From Her
  3. Assuming We Get To Know Ka’Kwet Like We Did Sebastian, This Could Be Major Representation For Indigenous People
  4. The Possibility Of Jerry and Diana – At Last
  5. Tillie Getting Major Attention – To The Point She Is Finally Worth Noting

On The Fence

  1. Poor Ruby Still Dumbfounded By A Boy Who Barely Notices Her

[ninja_tables id=”39645″]

We’re Three Seasons In And Anne Can Still Consistently Make Me Cry Without The Situation Being Sad - 100%
Marilla Getting The Opportunity To Live The Life Michael’s Death Stole From Her - 89%
Assuming We Get To Know Ka’Kwet Like We Did Sebastian, This Could Be Major Representation For Indigenous People - 95%
The Possibility Of Jerry and Diana – At Last - 80%
Tillie Getting Major Attention – To The Point She Is Finally Worth Noting - 81%
Poor Ruby Still Dumbfounded By A Boy Who Barely Notices Her - 75%


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