Road to Avonlea Review: Vows of Silence

avonlea vows of silence

“I shall surely go to Hell.”

Episode Summary: Hetty and Olivia decide to give Janet a special jeweled comb passed down from their great grandmother. However, Hetty, Olivia, and even Alec become angry at Janet for her refusing to wear it. It turns out that Janet cannot wear the comb because she can’t even find it. Unbeknownst to her, Felicity has taken the comb without her permission to wear it for a meeting with her friends. However, Felicity loses it while quarreling with Felix. With a new pastor in town (Keith Knight), who seems more concerned with shaming than actually preaching, both Janet and Felicity feel great guilt over losing the comb. Janet ends up buying a replicate of the comb, while Cecily tells Felicity that she gave the comb to Digger, but that Digger must have buried it. In the end, Felicity and Janet both admit their sins to each other, just as Alec finally finds the real dug up comb.

Directed by Gilbert Shilton, Written by Hart Hanson, Music by John Welsman


My Grade: I think this is an OK episode. The scenes with the kids are, for the most part, entertaining. Seeing Felix and Felicity fight like kids reminds me of “Proof of the Pudding.” And seeing Peg Bowen one last time after a pretty long absence is a treat. But, man, the scenes with the adults just knocks this episode down a few pegs. I’m used to Hetty bullying Janet. Hetty bullies everyone. But seeing Alec and the usually kind Olivia completely gang up on Janet over a stupid comb she didn’t want in the first place…it’s just not entertaining. And then when Janet wears the comb (albeit a fake one), they chastise her for wearing it. Olivia, especially, just acts out of character. And, yes, I realize that RH Thomson was only a recurring actor at the time, but seeing Olivia act mean, and lounge around the King houses without Jasper just makes her whole appearance in this episode seem so out-of-place and jarring. I just don’t find any of it ironic or funny. (B-)

Spotlight Performance: I’d give it to Keith Knight, who plays the church’s new pastor, Rev. Fitzsimmons. It’s a funny, “booming” performance. He’ll make one more appearance next season. He passed away in 2007 to brain cancer. He’s mostly remembered for his role in the Bill Murray Canadian comedy. He was also an accomplished voice actor, having a role in the animated Anne of Green Gable series and playing the Lowly Worm in The Busy World of Richard Scarry. 

avonlea girls

Favorite Scene: I like the scene where Felicity has her little “ladies’ meeting” with her other girlfriends, Sally, Clemmie, and Jane. It’s just nice to see those girls together. It’ll be the last time since this is Clemmie Ray’s (Gillian Steeve) last episode. Sniff…it’s officially the end of the “Ray era.” The family will be replaced with the Pettibones soon enough.

Final Thoughts: This is also Peg Bowen’s (Susan Cox) final appearance. She had been with the show since the first episode. I wish she had a more satisfying final appearance since she was such an important character during the first season. But, as Avonlea Guide writes in his reviews, with the kids growing up, they would no longer believe in Peg Bowen’s spells and “witchcraft.” Susan Cox mostly focused on theatre after leaving Avonlea.

Janet says “Hell” in the end. GASP!!! That still shocks me everytime I watch it. It’s not said as a curse word but still…would we ever hear that on Disney Channel nowadays?


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