Review of “Anne,” Episode 5: There Shall Be “Raspberry Cordial”!

While last week’s episode was my least favorite so far, this one is by far my most favorite. I was pining for “iconic” moments, and iconic moments I received! Anne 20

I mean, if this were an ice cream cone, it would be Triple Scoop Iconic flavour (Canadian spelling).

1. Anne and Gil’s Spelldown! 

I adore this scene in the book, too, as it shows Anne’s surge from scared, flailing girl to fiercely intelligent force to be reckoned with! One of the reasons I think Gilbert Blythe is the bee’s knees is because he admires Anne’s mind and relishes the neck-and-neck competition between them. He was ahead of the world by a century, too, our Gil…Awww! As the words get harder and harder, it’s Anne V Gilbert in front of Avonlea school. Who will be the spelling victor? Why, Anne, of course, and Gilbert takes it like the gentleman he is. “I should have added an “e” at the end,” he quips to her after she wins. To which she nods curtly, lifts her “haughty” (one of the spelling words) chin and strides back to her seat.

Her win is all the more impressive here because we know she has just gotten her first “womanly flowering time,” as Marilla calls it. To which every woman in Canada (and watching on satellite dishes or illicitly in the US) hooted, loudly.

Yes, they gave Anne her period, something quite unmentionable when Lucy Maud was writing her novel. Poor dear thinks she’s dying, which gives her lots of reasons to wax on and on in the dramatic fashion for which we love her. Fascinating plot choice, don’t you think? It made Anne jump off the pages of the book in a new, multifaceted, relatable way. How Marilla handles it is a testament to her growing empowerment as a parent. 

2. Puffed Sleeves!

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I could not love RH Thompson more as Matthew Cuthbert. Matthew fans–you will be tickled pink by episode 5. PINK! First of all, he notices everything about Anne. It’s the sweetest thing. He notices how she feels out of place and not pretty enough and not enough–and he takes courageous action to do something about it. In my book, “Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me,” I have a chapter about Matthew called “Twenty Pounds of Sugar and a Garden Rake,” because that’s what Matthew buys instead of a dress for Anne. He’s addlepated out of his wits by the stress of dress shopping and interacting with female humans not living in his household–especially one female human! Yes, the writers of “Anne” have given our Matthew a CRUSH. Oooh! I am squealing here. I just ate it up when Matthew and Jeannie (the proprietor, I think, of the store he goes into to find a dress with puffed sleeves) are doing their oh-so-subtle emotional tango.

“Do you remember that you once left something on my desk…?” Jeannie asks carefully.

And then, people, it is ON! Can’t wait to see where this goes. Let’s just say she offered him the “old friend discount” for the dress with puffed sleeves.  Anne will need them more than ever after the…

3. Raspberry Cordial Debacle

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While Marilla and Rachel work in the kitchen together (and Rachel flirts quite bodaciously with Mr. Lynde!), Anne is hosting Diana for tea. In this retelling, both of them enjoy liberal amounts of the bright red drink thought to be Raspberry Cordial but is actually Marilla’s famous, non-medicinal Red Currant Wine! In the interests of research, I’ve now had both, and I have to say, it’s hard to know how someone could mix them up! I also suggested to a fuschia-haired bartender on PEI that she start mixing Raspberry Cordial Martini’s, to which she said, ‘I can’t believe we didn’t think of this before!”

Yup, both Anne and Diana get snockered and are making entirely too merry when Mrs. Barry, pinched of lip and pinched of soul, comes upon them giggling, glazed and infused.

Uh oh.


There’s nothing reasonable about Mrs. Barry, and she basically bans Anne from her pristine Diana’s life. We know it’s not Anne’s fault, but no matter. She’s banned. And our girl has her tender heart broken again.

Have any of you been able to watch?

What do YOU think about what me and other viewers have been saying?

Are you prepared to buy into some serious revisions here? Or would you prefer, as I do in my heart of hearts, that all of this phenomenal writing and acting and filmmaking would reflect Maud’s original story?

I’d love to know your thoughts! Every comment on my blog until the Anne series has properly aired on Netflix (May 12) will be entered in a contest to win a fetching Anne of Green Gables art piece or frameable quote from my favorite Etsy shop, Carrot Top Paper Shop! Anne 9So comment away, won’t you, Anne Internet Friends??






  1. Tasha says

    I have finally watched episode 5 and had to tell hubby “hold on! I need to go write my thoughts on Lorilee’s page before I go to bed!!” So I sit here and wipe the tears from my face and reflect. This episode. Where to begin. The tenderness that Mathew and Marilla showed in this episode had me in tears almost the whole episode. The parts where I wasn’t tearing up, I was laughing pretty heartily. I absolutely loved this entire episode. Gilbert is quickly becoming one of my favourite characters. The cordial scene. The dress scene. The period scene. Anne dropping off Gil’s books for him. Even the small scene with Rachel and her husband. They were all completely perfect. At this point, I’m not sure how i could love this series more…. I definitely need more of this in my life!

    • Kerri says

      You have said well, especially the tenderness, that is so amazing, well balanced and sweet. As for the period, not my bag.

    • Lorilee says

      Ha! Love that “hubby” knows me by name now! :) I love the scene where Anne drops the books off with Gilbert’s ill father. And then…”your hair is the most beautiful red…”!!! My heart about stopped. I DO love the filling in of characters we know very little about, such as Jerry (is he adorable or what? Talk about “squishable” :), and Mr. Blythe…

  2. Kerri says

    You have done this epic episode justice. While I personally could do without the “flowering time’ and Matthew’s crush, I loved that both girls get shivered instead of just Diana. Why though did they both sober up so fast? It is nice to see Rachel flirting with her husband, Thomas, a diminutive creature that, in the book, no one lies. Anyway, this is some roller coaster ride.

    • Lorilee says

      Those girls DID sober up mighty fast, didn’t they? Yikes! I often wonder too why such young girls would even like the taste of alcohol. Red Currant wine is strong and puckery!

  3. Drake Owen says

    I am waiting to see this series on Netflix as well as the new movies with Ella Ballentine on PBS, who I love as Anne because she embodies the spontaneity and free spirit of Anne. I don’t like it when a great literary story is revised by scene writers because so often the original story is so much better. I like to keep Anne in mind as she was created by LMM so if an addition fits with Anne’s personality, such as her responding to Josie’s challenge when she falls through the ice, I can accept it though I remain a purist at heart. I think Anne getting drunk doesn’t just add to the story something that fits her personality, it changes the scene as LMM originally wrote it and adds a different dimension to the story. Just my opinion.

    • Lorilee says

      Hi Drake, Thanks for offering your opinion! All opinions are welcome here. I am starting to accept this new “Anne” as a character study rather than a straight retelling….Fascinating!

  4. Elina says

    I loved this episode! I haven’t really had any problems with the changes, added scenes and new story lines yet (except for the “pet mouse” debacle – which in all honestly made me incredible uncomfortable). Making books into series kind of requires that, so I feel it’s only natural. Matthew’s crush was heartwarming, and I feel like including Anne’s period was a great move. And seeing Gilbert (don’t even get me started on him) taking care of his father was so sweet. Gilbert hasn’t had to grow on me, I loved him from the very start. His character is portrayed perfectly! I do feel like making Anne drunk as well was an unnecessary change, however. Other than that I can’t really find any complaints. I was stuck to the screen from start to finish!

    • Kerri says

      In some ways, I liked seeing Anne drunk because, why would she serve the drink but drink nothing herself? That has always made me wonder. I love Gilbert, I love how he cares for his father, that is awesome and sweet and Mr. Phillips is down right horrible, just the way he should be.

    • Lorilee says

      Elina, yes, I too love Matthew’s crush and Gilbert’s tender care of his sick father. They are “inventions” but add another layer to love to these two incredible characters!

  5. says

    Your reviews are like candy to me! I look forward to them every week. I think I am most excited about seeing this new Matthew in action. And Gilbert. And Marilla. Also, I am really impressed that you inspired a cocktail that even a PEI resident couldn’t come up with on their own. When I visit PEI, I am going to ask for it.

    • Lorilee says

      Jenny, you are the sweetest! “Your reviews are like candy to me..” :) Are you going to PEI??? Wouldn’t it be fun to go together? And bring Modern Mrs. Darcy and other kindreds??

  6. Jill says

    Another refreshing and entertaining episode. I actually laughed out loud a few times in this one “but I’m not ready to be a WOMAN”! Gilbert’s backstory with his father is heartwarming and gives him even more depth. I enjoyed seeing Marilla and Rachel joke around together. And the button romance was just awesome. I like the camera focus on daily life (preparing foods in the kitchen, setting the table, wiping the jar off from the pantry).

    • Lorilee says

      Jill! So sorry I missed this comment. My 12-year-old daughter also laughed out loud at “I’m not ready to be a woman.” I, too, love the camera work. All the interesting artistic choices make this fascinating to watch!

  7. says

    This was by far the best episode! Just the right combination of happy/funny and sad, iconic moments and new depth/realism. I loved it. I wish they struck this balance in all the episodes!

  8. Caroline Whiteside says

    I wonder how Geraldine kept it together when she had to say “womanly flowering time”. And how did Anne even know what she was talking about? I loved Matthew’s response though “Barn”.

    I also loved Matthew’s defence of Anne after the mouse incident and watching the realisation of the event dawn on Marilla and her subsequent defence of Anne to Prissy’s mother.

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