Anne With An E: Season 3, Episode 7 “A Strong Effort of the Spirit of Good” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Ms. Stacy's Class with a sign saying
90.85% (11)

Anne’s feminist manifesto causes great calamity, and amongst that chaos she somehow gains favor with one person and loses a friend.


Network
CBC, Netflix
Director(s) Paul Fox
Writer(s) Kathryn Borel, Jr.
Air Date (CBC) 11/3/2019
Introduced This Episode
Harmon David Ingram

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Recap

The Longevity Of The Family Business: Harmon, Prissy

With Billy likely to inherit the family business, Prissy worries for she knows her brother is rash, foolish, and isn’t well educated. I mean, how often do we even see him in school? So with her education and understanding of economics, she presses her father, Harmon Andrews, to have a larger part of the family business. Even if in the form of aiding Billy.

Harmon (David Ingram) talking about male desperation.
Harmon (David Ingram)

However, Harmon is old school, and with Anne’s article causing such a ruckus, it leads to those who like the status quo doubling down and digging in their heels.

Never Enough: Jerry, Anne, Diana

While Jerry and Diana get along, it is becoming clear to both things might not last. The problem with that is, Jerry thinks they won’t last because he thinks Diana finds him too simple. That, for kissing, he is perfect, but conversation? Not so much. He expresses this to Anne, and before knowing he is talking about Diana, she thinks he is talking about a horrible person. Making his reveal a shock.

One which leads to Anne confronting Diana and a nasty fight. Anne paints herself as not good enough and questions Diana’s friendship, and while Diana tries to defend herself, it is to no avail. Anne has painted her as someone using Jerry, and maybe her, until she rides off to her fated high-class life. The kind not made for common people like her and Jerry and the insult causes Diana to storm off and throw her half of their shared necklace to the ground.

A City Girl In A Small Minded Town: Matthew, Marilla, Muriel, Rachel, Anne, Josie, Gilbert

Anne's article talking about women having bodily autonomy.

Getting to the big to-do, Anne’s article, the whole town is in a stir. Why? Well, it is a town, not a city, as Muriel notes, so to present the progressive ideas of women having autonomy and all that means, if it isn’t lost on people it angers the men who benefit from women lacking autonomy. However, an unintended side effect of this is people associating the article with Josie, and this negatively affecting her to the point it may have ruined her reputation. Making it so, when Anne originally tries to apologize, she is slapped.

But, Anne being Anne, despite Josie’s assault, she persists. Which leads to quite a few problems. Mainly between the town council, Anne, Rachel, and Muriel. To begin, Rachel, while she understands her fellow council members being upset, doesn’t see the need for their drastic measures of censorship. Leading to her being hushed and her attempts to voice her opinion being considered acts of hysteria.

This leads to heavy-handed responses that upset Anne and many of the kids. All of which choose to blame Anne until Gilbert expertly breaks down Anne’s article in ways Muriel can’t for, lest we forget, she barely kept her job last season. So, between him breaking down Anne’s report, and reminding everyone what kind of person she is, when Anne comes up with a protest, everyone is down.

Anne noting others shouldn't dictate you're worth.

Well, except Diana, but she does gain Prissy and Josie to her side. Now, Prissy is understandable, for she is progressive, college-educated, and tired of the patriarchy plaguing her life. As for Josie? Well, time heals wounds and perhaps the wounds Josie was dealing with the most were the scars not only left by Billy but her mother as well. Specifically the idea her appearance was the root of her value, and with Anne, someone who she has always seen as trash having this sense of worth, she questions herself.

Thus leading to Josie showing up at the protest, with many members of the town, and embarrassing Rachel’s peers. Hence them taking away the printing press, as retribution. But the bigger problem might be one of the men who took the printing press from the school, dropping a cigar and not properly putting it out. Hinting to the possibility of a fire that could burn the schoolhouse down.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Sound journalism must defend the voiceless, not send them further into silence.
— Ms. Stacy

In order for big, new ideas to take hold, they must be carefully planned and flawlessly executed.
— Ms. Stacy

I’m loved now, but when I wasn’t, it didn’t mean I wasn’t worthy of it.
— Anne

Review

Highlights

Anne Sticking Up For Her Biggest Bully

When it comes to Josie, I don’t think she ever apologized to Anne about anything she has ever said about or to her. Yet, as Gilbert said, Anne, with the heart she has, will defend those who are by no means her friends. It is in her person, and we’ve seen her do this beyond just Josie. Heck, lest we forget, she saved Ruby’s home despite how she, and many others, saw her. Because of her, Minnie May’s fever was broken despite Diana’s parents thinking of her as too common for their child. There might be more examples, but I can’t think of them off-hand.

Gilbert Speaking For Anne

Gilbert sticking up for Anne.

While the show keeps teasing the two getting together, but then something comes up, like Anne remembering Winifred is in the picture this episode, you have to appreciate the connection. Specifically, Gilbert breaking down Anne’s article in a way Muriel can’t, and most of the town couldn’t fathom since their critical thinking skills are probably on the level of Jerry’s. If not, like Prissy’s sister, they enjoy their way of life so much they’d rather it not challenged.

Yet, as shown, when broken down into digestible bits, this up and coming generation gets it.

Prissy Trying To Save Her Family From Doom

Getting back to Prissy, since the dissolution of her engagement, she has been either MIA or just not worth noting, so for her to come so strongly this episode was a bit of a shock. Yet, it was also welcomed since she reminded you of the ego of men and how far they would take things to maintain their power. It seems clear to Harmon Billy doesn’t have the mind to run the family business, but he’d rather let him ruin it alone rather than partner with his sister. That spoke volumes and really pushes you to understand the BS women went through in the early 1900s.

Matthew & Marilla Fighting For Anne

While Matthew and Marilla often had to be on Anne’s side in uncomfortable situations, usually it is on a smaller scale. Be it sticking up for her against Rachel, or on many social occasions. This time things got political, and while Marilla doesn’t preach a conservative Christian doctrine as she used to, I’m sure that wasn’t undone just because of Anne.

Yet, whether she still holds such beliefs or not, her marching with Anne, helping with her protest, and even speaking out, I wouldn’t say it is jaw-dropping but it really pushes you not to think the old must die out for the status quo to end. The problem is, many of them, perhaps due to not having a connection to the generation coming up, are disengaged. Thus they don’t understand why people are calling for change nor understand it.

And mind you, being educated isn’t necessarily a huge part of it. Matthew understood, as Anne, Muriel, and Marilla were talking, that a man need not add to the conversation. That knowledge came from someone who not only dropped out of school but isn’t the sharpest tool in the box.

Matthew saying he believes the ladies in the room have enough from men.

How The Town Council Treated Rachel So Bad You Got Mad For Her

Generally, Rachel is usually a comment away from you rolling your eyes at her. After all, she fits into that category of how you can see white women being oppressed, yet still having a certain amount of power. The perfect example is the fact Rachel has a seat on the council, but has no say. So, when it comes to local indigenous populations, she uses what influence and power she has to make them feel less than as she often is made to feel.

In other words, since she is kicked in the face due to her position on the ladder, she makes to do the same to those below her. Yet, in this episode, seeing her dismissed and called hysterical had me heated in ways I never thought I could for her. Which really shows you how good at being nasty the guest actors were.

Josie Pushing Back Against What She Was Taught

While, thanks to Gilbert, many of the kids got reeducated, one could see that as mansplaining. So Josie seeking Anne’s take on why she can be the way she is despite her life, it meant more. For one of the things Anne has constantly had to fight against is not feeling worthy, passed around, and things of that nature. So for someone to listen to her, someone who once added to her pain, that means something.

Also, I think it opened the door for Josie to not focus on being better than someone else but a better person. To be someone worth more than her hair, her looks, and her body. That she doesn’t have to settle for someone like Billy and be miserable for the sake of her family. She deserves to like and love someone who won’t leave her out to dry unless she plays nice. As does everyone.

Anne Speech On Being Worthy

Piggybacking off that last comment, while we know Anne’s story, there is always something about when Anne talks about her life and troubles without the dramatics. For, as shown in the fight with Diana, when McNulty takes Anne’s passions too far, it becomes borderline silly. However, when she holds the reigns and expresses Anne’s thoughts and feelings, the power can’t be underestimated nor the content of the dialog.

On The Fence

Anne & Diana’s Fight Featuring Jerry

Diana noting she is tired of Anne's tale of woe.

I don’t know if it is because I expect them to reconcile before the finale or just things seemed to much like a soap opera to not find myself rolling my eyes at. Either way, Anne and Diana’s fight seemed necessary but in an obligatory way. Mostly due to, as someone recently said in the comments, Anne being the type of character who honestly does too much and doesn’t feel the full weight of the consequences. Never mind can often cry her way into getting what she wants and while you have to recognize crying is likely a defense mechanism, you can also understand why some get annoyed with Anne for as large as her vocabulary is, and mature she is in some ways, in others? Fully recognizing her trauma, there are times when you do wish she didn’t operate with a bit of a crutch in situations.

While The Right Point In History, Just About, Sometimes This Show Wanting To Be Progressive Seems A Bit Much

Anne With An E has always had an agenda to it. Which isn’t me complaining about that, but usually it is made to be subtle or mixed in so that it doesn’t overwhelm what has been going on. Take her friend working through seeing that he isn’t like other boys. With this episode theme of feminism and it hitting nearly every single storyline, as important as the topic is, it gave us the vibe of “On a special episode of Anne With An E.

Leading you to wonder, as the series goes on, will it approach topics more so on a soapbox than just ingraining them into the story?

 

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