Road to Avonlea Review: Felicity’s Perfect Beau

avonlea felicitys perfect beau

“Sometimes I think you were buttoning up your boots when the Lord handed out brains.”

Episode Summary: Felicity has two suitors: Her old friend Gus Pike, and the perfectly polished vet school student Arthur Pettibone. Felicity is having a tough time deciding between the two men, while Gus Pike has a tough time reconciling with the thought of losing Felicity. Meanwhile, Sara does everything she can to help Felicity come to a decision before finally slapping some sense into Felicity and her seemingly selfish ways. Felicity kisses Arthur, however, despite a falling out between her and Gus, she ultimately chooses Gus. Arthur leaves town heartbroken. When Gus asks for Felicity’s hand in marriage, she tells Gus that she wants to go to college first, and that he should propose again in two years. The episode ends with two racing to the lighthouse like old friends.

Directed by Don McBrearty, Written by Therese Beaupre, Music by Don Gillis

arthur pettibone

My Grade: Felicity and Gus…what can I say? They’re a match made in heaven. And, frankly, I feel like this show did an overall great job at taking their time with this pairing. I mean, these two met in the second episode of season two. And since then, they’re relationship has been slowly evolving to the point where Gus can (maybe impulsively) ask Felicity to marry to him. This episode is nearly perfect. Just a simple (that seems to be the key word in all my favorite episodes) story about a love triangle. What more can you expect? However, even though Arthur is nothing more than a recurring character, I like how he’s given his own scenes (very explosive scenes with his father). We learned more about his family history, his mother’s death. And I think seeing his parents’ marriage nearly fall apart before her death makes Arthur want to be the perfect beau and potential husband for Felicity. He’s also very competitive with his father, so he feels the need to be competitive with Gus. He knows full well that Gus and Felicity have history. That Felicity is closer to Gus than she is to Arthur. But he’s ready for the challenge. Gus may have the personality and the town’s respect. But Arthur has the education, and progressive ideas, and the more stable future. And he uses that to his advantage when trying to woo Felicity.

But, really, this episode boils down to Felicity and Gus. And this episode sort of reminds me of “Moving On.” In that episode, Sara attempts to grow up. She matures and learns a lot, but in the end, she realizes she still needs to stay home for a little while longer and be a kid. I feel like this is a similar dilemma to what Felicity’s going through. For the last few years, Felicity has dreamed of being a better mother and wife than her own mother. And Gus has finally given her the chance. Felicity, at the age of sixteen (which isn’t too crazy for 1906-1907) has to decide between continuing school, continuing being a kid, or growing up and starting a family. And, despite the actor playing him, Gus isn’t all that much older than Felicity. For a small moment, there’s that rush to grow up. However, Felicity realizes she isn’t ready. And that’s further emphasized in the end when the newly formed couple race to the lighthouse. Gus is still Gus. And even though these two are finally “official” (or at least more “official” than they were in the past), it doesn’t mean they’re too old to let their guards down. So…yah!…this is a great episode that, like “Moving On,” showcases the season four theme of “growing up, but not too fast” After this season, “things” will never be the same for Gus, Felicity, and Sara again. (A)

Spotlight Performance: This episode has a lot of great performances. Zachary Ansley as Arthur is obviously great, particularly his scenes with David Fox. Gema Zamprogna is perfect as always. And I was actually ready to give this one to Michael Mahonen. Buuuut…I have to say, many fans characterize Sara Stanley as a “matchmaker.” She does have a lot of “matchmaking” episodes and storylines. Off the top of my head, this episode is probably my favorite “Sara attempts matchmaking” episode. She’s just so prominent in this episode, going back and forth between Arthur and Gus. I literally cringe when Sara has to lie to Arthur about her injured horse, just to get Felicity and Gus alone. She is such a good friend. And, yes, she is the speaker of that wonderful quote up top (which will be repeated in an early episode of Sullivan’s other series Wind at My Back to lesser effec) Watching this episode again…I was impressed with Sarah Polley. So, I’m giving her another Spotlight Performance placement. Hey. She’ll only get, like, a couple more before she leaves. Sorry, Mickey!

Favorite Scene: Well, again, I like the scene where Sara lies about her horse to Arthur. It makes me so uncomfortable. And when Arthur is asking her a bunch of questions and Sara doesn’t know how to answer. I am dead. The biggest reason I initially wanted to bolden Michael Mahonen’s name above is because I also really liked the scene when Gus is angrily shining his boots and he’s like, “Oh! Arthur will never stay with Felicity. And she’ll come running back to me. And I won’t even accept her! Women love it when men are standoffish.” And then Gus gives Sara the douchiest wink ever. And then Sara admits that Arthur kissed Felicity and the dramatic Don Gillis trademark music plays and Gus rushes off to clobber Arthur. This episode actually has a couple nice scenes with just Sara and Gus. In all the Felicity/Gus hoopla, some people may forget that Sara and Gus were really great friends. And, I believe, after this episode, those two won’t share many (or even any, really) scenes by themselves together.

Final Thoughts: This was the first and only episode written by Therese Beaupre. However, she was a “story editor” for most of season four. She went on to write for Shirley Holmes, Flash Forward, Guinevere Jones, Dinosapien, and received two Emmy nominations for Strange Days at Blake Holsey High. She was also a story editor for Caitlin’s Way. She taught Writing for Children’s Entertainment at Centennial College and is currently writing young adult novels.

Last note: How they pronounce “schedule.” It’s like “sheh-joo-ul.” It’s funny. That is all. Bye. #WheresCecily?

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