Road to Avonlea Review: The Blue Chest of Arabella King

Aunt Olivia and Jasper

Episode Summary: Against Hetty’s wishes, Olivia gets a job at the Avonlea Chronicle newspaper. She asks the shy Jasper Dale to help her take photographs. Meanwhile, Alec’s Aunt Arabella has passed away, meaning that the Kings are now able to open a chest of hers that she had ordered to be kept locked until she died. Although, what appears seems to be old wedding clothes from a failed engagement, when Sara Stanley looks further, she discovers an intriguing family secret. When Sara tells her Aunt Olivia, she has the idea to write a story about it. Although, at first, Mr. Tyler, the owner of the newspaper, forbids her from running the story, he later changes his mind after explaining how he’s connected to the family secret. In the end, Olivia becomes a full-time writer, and finally gains a little respect from her sister Hetty.

Directed by Don McBrearty, Written by Heather Conkie, Music by John Welsman

avonlea hetty

My Grade: This is an OK episode. This is the fourth time I’ve watched this episode, and I always forget all the details about the chest and its back story. I guess I find that plot point forgettable. What really sticks out is Jasper and Olivia together. Even though they share a very small moment in “The Story Girl Earns Her Name” (Jasper’s first episode), this episode is really the first one that begins one of Avonlea’s most romantic pairings. But, again, the chest stuff is just sort of “OK” if a bit convoluted. Also, Sara acts like too much of a goody-two-shoes here (#sorrynotsorry). (B-)

avonlea olivia

Spotlight Performance: Definitely goes to Mag Ruffman. Again, Olivia had a moment in “The Story Girl Earns Her Name” where she really stood her ground against the gossiping town folk; however, in this episode, she finally stands up to Hetty. And, in return, Hetty finally respected Olivia, and was able to treat her like the independent, intelligent adult she is for the rest of the series.**

**HAHA. Just kidding! Hetty will never change

Favorite Scene: OK, yes, Hetty will never change. But it’s nice when she has a humbling moment or two. And the very end when Hetty raises a glass to Olivia’s success is very sweet.

ron white avonlea

Final Thoughts: Just a quick one. Ron White has a guest role in this episode as Mr. Tyler. I don’t know too much about the actor, but I do remember him from the TV movie Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story, the true story about a teenage boy who was almost fatally beat up by a gang. He received a Gemini nomination for his performance as Jonathan Wamback’s father.

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