Episode Summary: The town (particularly Rachel Lynde) is in a frenzy over some supposed “rum runners” storming Avonlea. Escaped prisoner Abe Pike (Don Francks) is in the center of it all. Meanwhile, reclusive lighthouse keeper and former sea captain Ezekiel Crane (Michael York) offers Gus Pike a job. Crane was an old friend of Gus Pike’s mother; and he convinces Gus that Abe is his father. With his life in danger, Gus discovers how much of a crook his supposed father is and throws him off the lighthouse. Also, there’s some business with ghosts.
Directed by Allan King, Written by Janet Maclean, Music by John Welsman
My Grade: I’ve written this before…I like Avonlea when its more grounded with more relatable storylines and situations. So, the stuff with Gus’s background is pretty hit or miss. I know I’m in the minority; and I like how, in season 2 and on, the show tries to evolve from kids running aimlessly in the fields for five minutes. But this particular episode never really catches my interest. The next episode, which is a continuation of this one, is stronger. (C+)
Spotlight Performance: I think Michael Mahonen (Gus) pretty much dominates these next two episodes. I guess I’ll have more to say in the next post.
Favorite Scene: After Gus discovers how much of a creep Abe Pike is, Captain Crane tries to convince Gus that, nonetheless, his place is with his pa. He talks about the moment Gus’s mother died and the promises he made her. What Captain Crane is doing isn’t necessarily right, and I wouldn’t even say his heart is in the right place, but Crane obviously cares deeply for Gus and his mother. It’s a nice emotional scene in the midst of Sara/Felix ghost talk.
Final Thoughts: This is the first episode written by Janet Maclean. She was also a writer for Danger Bay, The Murdoch Mysteries, and Emily of New Moon. She produced Canadian series The Border and Cracked. She will stay with Avonlea until the end.