Ah, thankfully this episode did a great job in portraying the orphanage that Anne ended up in. The owner was very down to earth, and the other orphans weren’t just evil for the sake of evil, but just a bunch of bratty kids, put off by how Anne made a complete enemy out of the entire orphanage as she refused to socialize. The fire was a bit too much,, but at least this explains what happened to Browning’s book.
But yeah, the Anne right now is more and more growing to become the Anne at the start of Anne of Green Gables. I honestly didn’t expect the creators to be able to pull this off. The reason she hated to be called a red head wasn’t because she was occasionally teased about it when she was young. Instead, it was because of the abuse she endured in the orphanage. In her own mind, orphanages had formed such an evil presence that she simply refused to believe that they’re not all that bad.
Her classmates and teacher also sound much more interesting than her class in Marysville. The teacher is a bit incompetent, but you can see that the children respect her. She’s not so obviously and stereotypical as Henderson was. Her classmates are also much more complex than Mildred (who was just bratty because her parents didn’t pay enough attention to her) and Randolf. These kids all had the painful experience of the loss of their parents, and yet they haven’t shut themselves in as much as Anne. Even the bookworm turned out to be the most popular girl, but in a more realistic way than you often see portrayed.
Now, the question obviously remains: is the development of these people going to go right? The next episodes are going to be a huge hit or miss again, because it’s exactly this that this series is worst at. Remember the midwife of a few episodes ago: when she first appeared, she was awesome. Then she got developed, and she turned cheesy. The kids right now are great, but half-hearted development is going to hurt them much more than making them stay the same. Right now, there are seven episodes left. What this series needs to do is make use of this time. Instead of picking out one character every episode to develop, it instead needs to focus on slice of life, and let the characters gradually come to tolerate each other.
I know that the creators can do this for Anne: they have shown this by now. Anne right now is still very elitist: she’s been so much used to look down on other kids that she needs to realize that she’s just the same as everyone else in order to remain in canon with Anne of Green Gables. I have no doubt that the creators can do this, and they need to realize that they can simply do the same thing for the other character. No need for cheese.
Rating: ** (Excellent)