Road to Avonlea Review: Of Corsets and Secrets and True, True Love

rachel and marilla

“She was awful sick; and she told me she was glad to die and that I should be good. But it’s so hard to be good all the time. Why doesn’t Mrs. Lynde like me, Ms. Marilla?”

Episode Summary: Twins Davey (Kyle Labine) and Dora (Ashley Muscroft) become orphans as a result of their mother’s death. Because they are related to her by blood, Mailla decides to raise the twins, much the chagrin of her housemate Rachel Lynde. Davey doesn’t wait to wreak havoc. With a rotten tooth bothering her, Lynde reaches her limit and tells Marilla that she will move out if Marilla continues to insist on raising the kids. However, realizing that Marilla is all she has in the world (and with her nagging tooth finally pulled out), Rachel decides to help raise Davey and Dora in Green Gables.

Directed by Rene Bonniere, Written by Marlene Matthews, Music by Hagood Hardy

sara davey dora

My Grade: This is one of those Avonlea episodes that has that nice mix of comedy and sentimentality. Davey and Dora crying over their deceased mother to Marilla equals heartbreaking. Those two’s interactions with an overwhelmed Rachel Lynde equals laugh out loud hilarity (I always have a stupid wide grin when Dora asks Mrs. Lynde if she can call her “grandma.”) There’s another subplot in this episode concerning an old beau of Rachel; I think I would have scrapped that story line since it made the episode a bit too cluttered for my taste. But, otherwise, a good episode featuring actresses who won’t really act in a scene together again. (B+)

marilla davey hug

Spotlight Performance: I made a firm rule that I would only choose one performance an episode. So, “technically,” I’ll say that Colleen Dewhurst (as Marilla) gave  the spotlight performance of the episode. Her character’s scenes with Davey and Dora are highlights. But both her and Patricia Hamilton work so well together. And I have to give it to Dewhurst because, unfortunately, I won’t have the chance to do it again. This is the actress’s last episode, but not necessarily her character’s last appearance.

Favorite Scene: I’d have to say the scene where Sara and Davey and Dora relate over their deceased mothers. It’s just a beautiful scene; and I love it when Sara interacts with those two. (Also, it’s another scene where Sarah Polley is crying over a dead parent).

kyle labine avonlea

Final Thoughts: This is the first appearance of Davey and Dora. They’ll appear once more in season three, and then become recurring characters from season five on. Davey is played by Kyle Labine. I know him from such TV movies as Bach’s Fight For Freedom, Ratz, and I Was A Teenage Faust. His brother, Tyler Labine, is also an actor. Dora is played by Ashley Muscroft. Avonlea Vignettes has a really interesting interview with her on their site. I definitely learned a lot reading it!

Also…I think this is the first episode to not feature anyone from the “King Family” (so no Alec, Janet, Felix, Felicity, or Cecily). It’s not necessarily jarring, but I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve seen Alec and Janet.

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