Episode Summary: In order to prove to his father that he can be responsible, Felix gets a job at the White Sands hotel, working under the new owner, Simon Tremayne. Felix soon learns that “a little bit of power can be a dangerous thing.” Meanwhile, The Duke of Arranagh is coming to visit Avonlea for the Founder’s Day Ball, taking place at the hotel. Through his arrival, we learn that Mr. Tremayne and the Duke are actually half-brothers, estranged after Simon was thrown out of the house at the age of fourteen. In the end, the two brothers finally reunite.
Directed by Don McBrearty, Written by Hart Hanson, Music by John Welsman
My Grade: There’s actually a lot more to this episode (Gus vs. Felix, the origin of the true founding family of Avonlea), and that’s pretty much the problem I have with this episode and most of the other “hotel-centric” episodes that will pretty much dominate the rest of the series (“dominate” is too strong a word but you get the idea). It’s just a little too frantic. No story or plot is ever fully examined. This episode was like three episodes squished into one. That’s part of the reason why, approaching my fourth viewing of this episode, I couldn’t fully recall what this episode was about. The frantic-ness sort of blends into forgettable territory. However, there is a lot of humor in the episode. And seeing the cast in their fancy lil’ dresses in the end is a nice treat. But, otherwise…well, it took me a while to get to this episode, didn’t it? (B-)
Spotlight Performance: Ian D. Clark‘s performance in this episode (and the rest of the series) is so good. He took a character that could have been interpreted as bumbling and maybe even a bit foppish, and gave him intensity and layers. There were times I thought his eyes would simply pop out at me. This is Clark’s first episode. He’ll have a supporting role for the rest of the series. Clark’s appeared on many shows and TV movies including, Goosebumps, Wind at My Back, Devine series, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, Little Men, Sullivan’s The Piano Man’s Daughter, and recently the Canadian web series Carmilla.
Favorite Scene: I think the storyline in this episode that had the most potential was the conflict between Tremayne and his Duke brother (even though this show had already covered this ground before.) So, I think the scene when the two actually meet for the first time is pretty heartwarming.
Final Thoughts: So, Damon Redfern guest starred as the Duke. He also had a role in Sullivan’s epic miniseries By Way of the Stars, which, if you haven’t already, you should check out (it also aired on DIsney Channel during the 90’s). Another interesting fact is that his last credit on IMDB is a voice role for the Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate video game. Guess who else has a voice role for that video game? That’s right, ol’ Mr. Tremayne. They probably recorded their voices on different days, but still, coincidence or not?