“I was responsible. I took the bet. I wish you just would’ve sold him…He would still be alive.”
Episode Summary: As a way of preventing Alec from selling their beloved horse Blackie, Felix decides to start a delivery service with Blackie. He also recruits Sara and Cecily as partners. However, Blackie proves not to be a very effective horse for such demanding workload. Felix soon feels enormous pressure from his family, his clients, and even other delivery men. Felix and Blackie get into a serious accident that finds them both brutally injured in the river. When Alec finds them, he tells Felix that Blackie has died, sending Felix into a deep depression. In the end, he receives a new horse.
Directed by Allan King, Written by Heather Conkie, Music by John Welsman
My Grade: When I first watched this episode, I was utterly shocked and saddened by how dark it got. If I had known that one of the last scenes would be of a bloodied Felix sobbing over his dead horse, I wouldn’t have believed it. This is such a strong episode. The kind of episode that really sets it apart from other family dramas. It’s also the strongest episode of season three. (A+)
Spotlight Performance: This is also probably Zachary Bennett’s strongest performance of the entire series. Bennett will have other great performances for the rest of the series, but this is the episode I always go back to when I think of the actor’s best. Even though (as far as I know) Blackie has never made a significant appearance before, Felix’s love for this horse never feels false or forced. Bennett particularly has two really good scenes. One, is when Felix is at his wit’s end after Felicity unnecessarily criticizes him (just because Felicity stopped being mean to Sara doesn’t mean that Felix is off the hook). And the second is towards the end when Felix tells his father that Blackie’s death is his own fault. Bennett does a great job portraying someone who’s trying to keep it together…but can’t. Honorable mention goes to Cedric Smith as Alec.
Favorite Scene: I think obviously the climax of the episode, when horse and buggy crash into the river, is as spectacular as it is sad. Alec trying to hold Felix back as he frantically tries to see how Blackie’s doing, Alec telling Felix that Blackie didn’t make it, and Felix sobbing into Alec’s arms. These are all memorable sequences for one of the best directed scenes of the series.
Final Thoughts: I am well aware that, in terms of the show’s chronology, this episode is supposed to take place a little later. However, I forgot that. I was anticipating this episode so much that I couldn’t bear to wait. So, we just have to pretend that Blackie temporarily comes back to life in the next episode.
Last…I need deez striped overalls!