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S02.07 Memory Has as Many Moods as the Temper

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Cole accompanies the girls to Aunt Josephine's for a lavish party filled with surprises. Back at home, Marilla's health takes a worrisome turn.

 

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Yeah, I have to agree. Interjecting such modern sensibilities in a story that takes place in the 18th century is a step too far. 

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I loved Aunt Jo’s soirée. Everything about it. The costumes, the decorations. I think a costume party would have been the perfect cover story for a gathering of that kind during the time. 

 

I also am intrigued whenever they delve into Marilla and Mathew’s childhood. 

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The problem is that there's no way Aunt Josephine would invite children Anne and Diana's age to a "gathering of that kind." This story takes place in the late 19th century. And while it's perhaps possible that such a party would take place in the privacy of someone's home it's unlikely it would be such a huge gathering . . . none of these people are "out," so to speak. How did Aunt Josephine acquire such a huge following of aggressively non-conformist friends? Doesn't she care if Anne and Diana go home and spread the news around Avonlea about such debauchery? The show is treating this whole thing like it takes place today. The ramifications 100+ years ago would be astounding.

I just think making Aunt Josephine a lesbian and the inclusion of Cole in the story is wholly unnecessary and outside the spirit of the source material. 

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7 hours ago, iMonrey said:

The problem is that there's no way Aunt Josephine would invite children Anne and Diana's age to a "gathering of that kind." This story takes place in the late 19th century. And while it's perhaps possible that such a party would take place in the privacy of someone's home it's unlikely it would be such a huge gathering . . . none of these people are "out," so to speak. How did Aunt Josephine acquire such a huge following of aggressively non-conformist friends? Doesn't she care if Anne and Diana go home and spread the news around Avonlea about such debauchery? The show is treating this whole thing like it takes place today. The ramifications 100+ years ago would be astounding.

I just think making Aunt Josephine a lesbian and the inclusion of Cole in the story is wholly unnecessary and outside the spirit of the source material. 

Well Aunt Jo did mention that she was a great patron of the arts due to her late partner. And that she had been too upset to hold the party the previous year. So I could I imagine that the party was a bit larger than usual as it seemed to also be part memorial for her wife. Everyone in their community would want to pay their respects. 

I would also think rsvping “No” to the person providing funding to your artistic endeavors very unlikely. So whether all of the people at the party were “out” or not, it would be poor form NOT to attend the the party. 

 

As for inviting Anne & Diana, Aunt Jo seemed to have reached a point in her life where she wanted to be honest about who she was. And she’s in a position of wealth and privilege where even if there was some gossip about her, it wouldn’t really have much of an impact. Like, if it got back to Diana’s parents, I could see them limiting her to supervised visit with the girls. But, from what they’ve shown of the adult Barry’s, they wouldn’t want to be cut out of her will. 

I think they were trying to show with Cole how it could easily go another way. He is clearly from a poor farming family, in a tiny community. He’s picked on by the other boys, even by his teacher. If Aunt Jo didn’t  intervene his story could have been much sadder than it was.

As for the spirit of the source materials, there are definitely queer interpretations of certain characters in the series. I don’t want to veer too much off the episode discussion, but one of Anne’s future sons reminds me of Cole a great deal. So I don’t think it’s against the spirit of the books, but is more implied than explicit.

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17 minutes ago, Pearlinbloom said:

As for inviting Anne & Diana, Aunt Jo seemed to have reached a point in her life where she wanted to be honest about who she was. And she’s in a position of wealth and privilege where even if there was some gossip about her, it wouldn’t really have much of an impact. Like, if it got back to Diana’s parents, I could see them limiting her to supervised visit with the girls. But, from what they’ve shown of the adult Barry’s, they wouldn’t want to be cut out of her will. 

I think they were trying to show with Cole how it could easily go another way. He is clearly from a poor farming family, in a tiny community. He’s picked on by the other boys, even by his teacher. If Aunt Jo didn’t  intervene his story could have been much sadder than it was.

Yeah, Aunt Jo basically said “I’m old and I don’t give a crap any more” when Cole pointed out to her had Diana’s parents attended the party, they probably would have freaked out.

I also think she thought it would be good for the girls to experience. She knows Anne is imaginative/creative and would like being around all those creative people. And I think she was trying to show Diana there was another option for her other than “homemaker” as Diana’s mother wants for her. Diana has a talent for the piano, and I think Aunt Jo hoped the professional pianist who performed at the party would serve as an inspiration for Diana.

As for things being different for Cole, that is very true and I wish the show acknowledged that Aunt Jo could throw a party where she openly celebrated her relationship with another woman and get away with it because she is wealthy. People were far more willing to turn a blind eye to the “eccentricities” of a wealthy person while absolutely not tolerating the same thing in someone poor.

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On 7/10/2018 at 1:31 PM, Suzysite said:

I hated this one.  Hard.    L.M.M. would be rolling in her grave at what they are doing.

I just cannot agree, at all. It's a gentle portrait of lives lived on the fringe... those who had to hide in plain sight. It's not like LGBTQIA+ lives suddenly occurred in the past 20 years. Instead, the party recognized those who needed the love in all these lovely subtle ways, and they went home happy and fulfilled by the realization they were not alone. Those who did not, left feeling smug and not much changed. I just can't see this as anathema to Anne or her story, and loved how it incorporated Anne, Diana, Aunt Josie, and especially Cole, easily my favorite new character.

Also, I do not agree that LMM would be rolling in her grave, since there's been a lot of discussion about her own predilections, as well as those of Anne and Diana, and none of it is unexpected given the source material.

On 7/16/2018 at 10:14 PM, Pearlinbloom said:

I loved Aunt Jo’s soirée. Everything about it. The costumes, the decorations. I think a costume party would have been the perfect cover story for a gathering of that kind during the time. 

I also am intrigued whenever they delve into Marilla and Mathew’s childhood. 

I felt the exact same way. Loved everything about it.

On 7/17/2018 at 12:47 PM, iMonrey said:

The problem is that there's no way Aunt Josephine would invite children Anne and Diana's age to a "gathering of that kind." This story takes place in the late 19th century. And while it's perhaps possible that such a party would take place in the privacy of someone's home it's unlikely it would be such a huge gathering . . . none of these people are "out," so to speak. How did Aunt Josephine acquire such a huge following of aggressively non-conformist friends? Doesn't she care if Anne and Diana go home and spread the news around Avonlea about such debauchery? The show is treating this whole thing like it takes place today. The ramifications 100+ years ago would be astounding.

I just think making Aunt Josephine a lesbian and the inclusion of Cole in the story is wholly unnecessary and outside the spirit of the source material. 

I can't agree remotely with your post, which assumes/implies that there is something "adult" and "wrong" with Aunt Josephine's soiree. Which there wasn't. Not a single moment. She acquired the "huge following of aggressively non-conformist friends" because it is what people have been doing since before the pyramids. Because it is what misfits do, and people who must find secret handshakes and code words to communicate with the 'deviants' they love.

I guarantee you, parties like Aunt Josie's have been happening for millennia. And I find it a huge compliment to Anne and her friends that she was included. I'd also point out that it WAS in the "privacy of someone's home" -- Josie's -- and she herself chose who to invite, at perhaps great risk to herself. It was an exercise in her trust of both Anne (who was probably a sure thing) and Diana (who was not). Her discovery of Cole felt like the biggest gift, and my favorite moment of the entire hour.

Lastly: I just do not understand why you find these characters, presented as LGBTQ, to be somehow unnecessary? They would have existed. They would have been people in this time period feeling those feelings. LMM herself is widely thought to have struggled with some of these issues, which makes them even more, not less, relevant. Why is this somehow not appropriate to the time period? These are universal yearnings and conflicts to not just humans, but mammals for millennia.

Plenty of people of this time and place did in fact live deliberate lives of homosexuality in plain view. Society chose to acknowledge (or not) these lives depending on societal trends and fads. But they were always there.
 

On 7/17/2018 at 9:01 PM, Kostgard said:

Yeah, Aunt Jo basically said “I’m old and I don’t give a crap any more” when Cole pointed out to her had Diana’s parents attended the party, they probably would have freaked out.

I also think she thought it would be good for the girls to experience. She knows Anne is imaginative/creative and would like being around all those creative people. And I think she was trying to show Diana there was another option for her other than “homemaker” as Diana’s mother wants for her. Diana has a talent for the piano, and I think Aunt Jo hoped the professional pianist who performed at the party would serve as an inspiration for Diana.

As for things being different for Cole, that is very true and I wish the show acknowledged that Aunt Jo could throw a party where she openly celebrated her relationship with another woman and get away with it because she is wealthy. People were far more willing to turn a blind eye to the “eccentricities” of a wealthy person while absolutely not tolerating the same thing in someone poor.

Thank you for this post. Jo holds the party, I feel, knowing she is risking substantial revelations but she's grieving and tired and loves these kids. She hopes they'll understand. Miracle of miracles -- they do. She is not ostracized but supported. I absolutely loved that.

And I agree that I wish Josie had acknowledged her own privilege, but at the same time, I think she absolutely has shown that she is a friend in need, and that she would always be an ear for him. And I felt that ultimately there was more here than that -- it wasn't about money, but about difference, loneliness, and loss. It's the first episode of this show that made me cry multiple times, and which made me think, "Okay, there's a place for this show beyond the books."

Edited by paramitch · Reason: clarity
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There were several moving character moments in this episode.  

Although I have mixed feelings about how they adapted Josephine's sexuality on this show, I agree with the above that the party could have occurred as a gathering of artists and rich eccentrics (though maybe they could have made the lines during the toast a bit more subtle).  In the book, visiting Josephine in town did have an impact on Anne, and I think this party did reinforce Anne's individuality and would have inspired her to continue writing.  I liked that it gave her some confidence in herself and her differences (for example, when someone complimented her on her short hair).

I was a little sad that they seemed to be implying that Anne had more of a kinship with Cole than Diana in this episode, though I think Anne in the books would also have been kind to him.  But I suppose Diana's worldview was more limited and prescribed by her parents, so she would have more difficulty reconciling what she saw.  Diana did seem to love piano a lot, so it was disappointing she didn't get to play with the professional.

I thought the conversations Josephine had with Cole were quite moving.  His mother definitely doesn't seem like the understanding type.  It's a little strange that he suddenly appeared at the school, with no mention why he wasn't there the year before.  I was afraid last episode that Cole's injury might mean he couldn't draw anymore, and it was nice the artist gave him some hope and a new medium for art.

Once again, Marilla was a tad inconsistent with not allowing Anne to go to Josephine's party.  

I really liked the subplot at Green Gables.  Marilla's headaches and eyesight is something that intrigued me in the books, and I found it interesting to see how she was dealing with it.  The flashbacks also added to what we know about their pasts.  It was nice that they both verbalized some of the emotions they had felt for years.  The scene where Anne came home was quite touching, even though she was only away for a weekend.

Edited by Camera One
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On 7/17/2018 at 12:47 PM, iMonrey said:

I just think making Aunt Josephine a lesbian and the inclusion of Cole in the story is wholly unnecessary and outside the spirit of the source material. 

I'm not sure, it's been so long since I've read the books that I can't really say what is and is not in the spirit of the source material. But right from the theme song "Ahead by a Century" we know that this Anne, while in a more-or-less historically accurate setting, is intended to be an Anne for modern audiences. If she doesn't make a found family with, and extend compassion to, the outcasts, the "freaks" who are subject to similar discrimination that she is for being an orphan, and if she doesn't explore the real horizons of her world, the possibilities of the life she's yet to lead, and embrace them completely, then how can she be an inspiring heroine to a modern audience? Especially a young audience. They didn't NEED to bring in LGBTQ issues to make their point, but this story and these characters add a deeper dimension to what was already there. A straightforward adaptation of the books would probably please adults today who enjoyed the books as children, but this adaptation seems to be aiming more towards young people today who may be encountering Anne for the first time, and this episode was important for that reason, if nothing else. Which makes it sound like I only thought it was "important." In fact, I also loved every minute of it. I loved Josephine's party, and her guests, and her guests' conversations with the kids... and I even loved Diana's struggles to make sense of her Aunt's relationship. It's natural to struggle with that kind of revelation, especially about someone you've known your whole life, and especially during this time period, and I liked that her feelings about it weren't resolved by the end. And I REALLY loved the unexpected comparison of Josephine and Gertrude's relationship with Matthew and Marilla. Even though they've strayed off the path that was expected of them, they spent their lives happy with the people they loved, and what could be wrong with that? It's a powerful and crucial message for someone like Anne, who will always march to the beat of her own drummer.

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On 7/18/2018 at 12:01 AM, Kostgard said:

Yeah, Aunt Jo basically said “I’m old and I don’t give a crap any more” when Cole pointed out to her had Diana’s parents attended the party, they probably would have freaked out.

I also think she thought it would be good for the girls to experience.

The big point is that Marilla was correct (and she said) that this party was not fitting for Anne to attend, and Anne tricked her way into going based on her deception, and Matthew had no real idea of what he was sending Anne into, so Anne was wrong to defy and undermine her adopted custodial step-parent, especially while Marilla was taken ill.

On the side of that - Aunt Jo had no right to introduce Dianna or Anne to that kind of lifestyle without the full understanding and consent of their parents - Aunt Jo violated boundaries and it could be viewed as child abuse.

It is noteworthy that the writing of most of season 2 was not done by the same writer of season 1, Moira Walley-Beckett wrote all of season 1,, and the last 2 episodes of S2 are written by Moira Walley-Beckett where she introduces a cool Ms Stacey and she puts the character of Cole out of town, and hopefully he will continue by moving off to France.

I did like the flashbacks for Marilla and Mathew, and I noticed a super cool thing which is that in the Sullivan version of AoGG with Megan Fallows, it has a picture on the wall of Mathew and Marilla's mother, and she looked exactly like the woman shown in this episode of Anne with an E, and so some one must have paid attention to that detail.

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On ‎18‎.‎7‎.‎2018 at 7:01 AM, Kostgard said:

Yeah, Aunt Jo basically said “I’m old and I don’t give a crap any more” when Cole pointed out to her had Diana’s parents attended the party, they probably would have freaked out.

She didn't care if Diana's parents and Matthew and Marilla forbid Diana and Anne to meet her?

And it wasn't only about gossip but the law. Remember what happened to Oscar Wild and Alan Turing.

Edited by Roseanna · Reason: adding the first sentence

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On ‎27‎.‎8‎.‎2018 at 1:01 AM, Camera One said:

I was a little sad that they seemed to be implying that Anne had more of a kinship with Cole than Diana in this episode, though I think Anne in the books would also have been kind to him.  But I suppose Diana's worldview was more limited and prescribed by her parents, so she would have more difficulty reconciling what she saw.  Diana did seem to love piano a lot, so it was disappointing she didn't get to play with the professional.

I thought the conversations Josephine had with Cole were quite moving.  His mother definitely doesn't seem like the understanding type.  It's a little strange that he suddenly appeared at the school, with no mention why he wasn't there the year before.  I was afraid last episode that Cole's injury might mean he couldn't draw anymore, and it was nice the artist gave him some hope and a new medium for art.

Diana has no talent to become a professional and she is also otherwise "mediocre".

I think Cole is more akin with Anne than Gilbert. Is he made according to Emily's Teddy?     

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I realised that to enjoy this show, you have to forget the source material. You also have to accept that the show is not about life in the 19th century, but about transposing today’s world in the 19th century.

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16 hours ago, Roseanna said:

Diana has no talent to become a professional and she is also otherwise "mediocre". 

I notice that I made unjustice towards Diana: she has one great talent, that of friendship.

As for becoming a professional musician in the 19th century, the lady in the costume ball asked if Diana liked to travel. Montgomery's Emily could become an author by staying at home but Teddy must study in Paris in order to become an artist. But it was even harder to become a musician who must travel all the time.     

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Anne was an odd duck and "kindred spirits" with the misfits even in the books. It's why I love this character so much. And why the later books got a little disappointing because adult Anne became too conventional for my liking (I hated Anne of Ingleside). So the show's penchant for changing things around might become more of a plus for me if it ends up covering the adult years. (At the rate they're going, it'll take forever to get there.)

I'm on board with having Aunt Jo be a lesbian, and I like Cole (yeah, he does remind me of one of Anne's sons from the books), but I did think the show hit us a little too hard over the head with their "look how gay these characters are!" moments. As if we're stupid and would have missed it if they were subtle about it.

"Love comes in many forms" was a lovely sentiment, though. I like that it goes beyond making romantic love out to be the be-all-end-all. It's a wide world and there's more to life than just that.

I already thought last week had amazingly imaginative sets and costumes, but this week went even more fancy! Bravo to the people designing these things!

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Diana's reaction to her aunt being gay was interesting, to say the least. She was evidently raised in a more conventional lifestyle than Anne, and I presume that she was never told that gay people even existed in the world (seeing as not even her parents knew of Josephine and Gertrude). So when she finds out by attending the gay soiree that her aunt wasn't whom she believed her to be (she's known her aunt her whole life and she's been under the impression that she knew everything about her), it was only natural that she would feel saddened and confused by her aunt's sexuality. I don't know if this is the best analogy, but it's sort of like believing your whole childhood that Santa Claus exists. This belief constitutes the foundations of your whole worldview, only for that to come crashing down when you connect the dots and realise that he's just a myth. The world will never be the same for you again. In this case, Diana believes that only man and woman can love each other romantically, but then all of a sudden this is not the case anymore. She's forced to reevaluate her own view on the world.

I think she reacted negatively initially e.g. it's unnatural, it's not right, etc. because it didn't quite fit in her view on people and life in general, plus the shock that her aunt had kept this massive secret from her family for YEARS must have been hard to swallow. And from what I remember Cole was like 'well, how would your aunt feel if she felt like a defect, like there was something wrong with her'? He's trying to say that there's nothing wrong with her, she's the same woman she's always been, nothing's changed, etc. Both Anne and Cole are eccentric and open-minded individuals, believing there's more to the world than what society dictates, so naturally they've embraced Josephine and her colorful group of friends from the get-go. Diana represents the more conservative side of 19th century society - she grew up in a rural village, where people were even more close-minded than in the cities back then. She's obviously uncomfortable with the idea of alternative sexualities, especially since her aunt is involved, and so it takes her way longer for her to get used to it than Anne and Cole.

In the end though, I don't think that Diana truly accepted it in the way that her 'free-spirited' friends have. She may not even like or agree with it, but she still loves her aunt and she's accepted her that this is who she is and she can't change that. In truth she is still the same Aunt Josephine that she's known and loved, just with added layers.

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On 9/28/2018 at 7:35 AM, MrHammondsGhost said:

Aunt Jo had no right to introduce Dianna or Anne to that kind of lifestyle without the full understanding and consent of their parents - Aunt Jo violated boundaries and it could be viewed as child abuse.

 

I hope you mean "could have been viewed."  The thought that merely being introduced to gay people in a social situation would currently constitute child abuse boggles.  

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On 9/28/2018 at 7:35 AM, MrHammondsGhost said:

It is noteworthy that the writing of most of season 2 was not done by the same writer of season 1, Moira Walley-Beckett wrote all of season 1,, and the last 2 episodes of S2 are written by Moira Walley-Beckett where she introduces a cool Ms Stacey and she puts the character of Cole out of town, and hopefully he will continue by moving off to France.

Even though Moira-Walley-Beckett had more staff to write more  individual episodes in Season 2, she was the headwriter and showrunner, so she decided on all the major plotlines (including what happened in this episode) and created the character of Cole herself.  

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