Road to Avonlea: May the Best Man Win

avonlea olivia and jasper

“I love you, Jasper Dale!”

“Well…ain’t that the pistol!”

Episode Summary: Olivia and Jasper Dale have been working very closely together for the newspaper, despite Hetty’s objections. When Edwin Clark (Joseph Bottoms), an old handsome beau of Olivia, comes back to town, Hetty is determined to pair the two together, while Sara knows that Olivia’s heart really belongs to Jasper. After some potion mishaps (courtesy of Peg Bowen) and a “young boy trapped in a well” accident (in which Jasper Dale comes out the hero), Olivia calmly refuses Edwin’s proposal and accept Jasper’s instead.

Directed by Rene Bonniere, Written by Heather Conkie, Music by John Welsman

My Grade: Olivia and Jasper…probably the show’s second most popular romance (not counting the already married Alec and Janet King). And this is the episode that sort of, finally makes them official. Overall, this is a good episode. I guess I’ve never much cared for the “newspaper stuff.” But there are many fun moments surrounding it (like Sara and Felix teaming up) that make the episode better than “OK.” (B+)

joseph bottoms avonlea

Spotlight Performance: Both RH Thomson and Mag Ruffman work so well together, but I’d give the spotlight to the latter’s performance. Olivia is clearly an adult, but Ruffman gives her enough innocence and charm that she stands out from most of the female characters in the cast. So, yeah, her character is very refreshing.

felix and sara

Favorite Scene: So, in order to ensure that Olivia and Jasper fall in love, Sara and Felix decide to, once again, get a magic potion from Peg Bowen. I find these scenes so funny because…what does Peg Bowen do all day? Does she have a job? How does she have money? And does she just collect random stuff so that she can make a clearly BS potion in case a kid comes by? She’s such a mysterious character and I love it.

avonlea olivia

Say yes to the dress

avonlea olivia

Final Thoughts: So Robert Bednarski plays the boy in the well. Three years later, he’ll appear again as a different character in a recurring role. I always forget that. I always think it’s the same character…particularly because they’re so similar. It seems like he stopped acting shortly after Avonlea ended.

I have to say…as amazing as the costumes are…I literally cannot tell a “fancy dress” from a “less fancy” dress. The blouses. The skirts. The hats. They all look the same to me. So,I have to laugh every time a character (Olivia) is like, “I’m going to change from this blouse to my much fancier blouse.” It’s like…they’re both good, if not overly foppish. This same sort of thing happens in the last episode. Apparently, in order to impress Romney Penhallow, Hetty stole Olivia’s second best blouse. Like…how can you tell from your best and your third best? And why do you have a ranking system, Olivia? Anyway, I gotta hand it to this show for being so detailed about these things, but still…


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