Episode Summary: Alec decides that it’s about time Avonlea had its own volunteer fire department. However, soon Alec and Clive Pettibone start to butt heads with their swollen egos. During this ordeal, Alec starts to become suspicious for Mr. Pettibone’s and Hetty’s secret relationship. After saving the school from burning down to a crisp, Alec and Clive decide to put their jealousies aside for the sake of the town. Alec also discovers that Clive and Hetty are actually writing partners.
Directed by Don McBrearty, Written by Robert Adetuyi, Music by John Welsman
My Grade: While season four has some really great guest stars, the show is never bad when it simply focuses on the town’s politics. I really like the town hall scenes because it gives us a glimpse at how a small town like Avonlea (during the turn of the century) makes decisions. Overall, this is a fine episode; it’s sort of filler. Nothing drastic changes. I don’t remember Alec finding out about Hetty’s writing leading to anything more exciting down the line. There’s not really much character development. I suppose it’s an episode that shows how Pettibone is succeeding and failing at assimilating with the Avonlea townsfolk. This is my long way of saying my grade for this episode is a (B).
Spotlight Performance: Even though this episode is essentially “Alec vs. Clive,” Hetty is, in many ways, the center of this conflict. Even if she doesn’t have a lot of screentime, Jackie Burroughs still does a nice job of conveying an internal dilemma throughout the episode. There’s a scene where both Alec and Clive vie for the position of captain of the fire department, and Hetty is forced to make the deciding vote. The few glimpses of Hetty’s face says it all. She admires and respects Clive…but Alec is her brother. Burroughs does a good job playing with these emotions throughout the episode.
Favorite Scene: There are a lot of action scenes involving buildings burning and fire. The show clearly took advantage of its Disney-aided budget. However…Felix with the bucket stuck on his head? Pure comic gold. The kids in this episode are sort of in the periphery. They act as a “comedic relief” in this episode.
Final Thoughts: This episode was written by Robert Adetuyi. This was the only episode he wrote. It’s also, from the looks of it, his first major screen credit. He’s also written and directed some Hollywood features, including Stomp the Yard, Code Name: The Cleaner, and You Got Served: Beat the World. Like me, he is of Nigerian descent. Goodness, I wish I liked this episode more!
On a personal note, thank you everyone for reading these posts. I know that it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. It might take some time, but I swear I am committed to reviewing every single episode of this wonderful series. I’d recommend subscribing to this blog (to your right). I know a lot of people who do are mostly doing it for these Avonlea posts. So, again, I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to the next episode, which is actually favorite for fans. Hopefully, I’ll get to that one soon.