Review: Anne with an E, season 3

Amybeth McNulty in Anne with an E

The final season of Anne with an E is now available on Netflix. Anne turns 16, finishes up her last year in her small school, and goes away to college. She learns more about herself and finally notices boys.

Amybeth McNulty plays Anne. She’s more mature now, but still as emotional, impulsive, and irrepressible as ever. Amybeth McNulty did an amazing job bringing Anne to life through all 3 seasons. Her dialog was daunting, the physicality required was demanding, and the emotional highs and lows of her volatile character were challenging. She made it look natural and charmed while doing it.

Amybeth McNulty and Dalila Bela in Anne with an E

Diana (Dalila Bela) remained Anne’s “bosom friend” through everything as they counted down the days to when they would leave home to continue their educations.

Anne embarked on an adventure to discover more about herself. She visited her old orphanage – a horrible experience that brought back bad memories. She looked through church records. Finally she learned that her parents came from Scotland. With help from Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew (R.H. Thomson), she learned even more about her biological parents. A big part of Anne’s emotional arc in season 3 is learning to trust that people can love her and won’t leave her for small slights. Finding her origins helped with that.

Anne with an E was created Moira Walley-Beckett based on the novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The folks who complained that the first two seasons strayed from the original by making the story more feminist will probably decry the feminist storylines in season 3. It gave the series a contemporary feel and put issues of autonomy that we still struggle with front and center.

The protest meeting with the sign "Freedom of Speech is a Human Right"
Civic action!

The students are all 15, 16 and 17 years old now. They are interested in holding hands and kissing. When one of the boys upsets one of the girls by being too pushy and touchy when she says no, Anne writes a full page editorial on the rights of women that upsets the entire town. She does it in the middle of the night without the supervision of the teacher, Miss Stacy (Joanna Douglas). It takes several episodes to work through the results of her impulsive outburst. It also means there are several episodes centered around equality for women.

Cara Ricketts and Dalmar Abuzeid in Anne with an E

Mary (Cara Ricketts) and Bash (Dalmar Abuzeid) have a baby girl. When Mary gets sick, townswomen step up to care for the infant. Finally, Bash asks his mother Hazel (Melanie Nicholls-King) to come from Trinidad to help out. Her arrival with her rigid views on race allow the series to deal with racism from a slightly different perspective.

Mary’s plight helps Gilbert (Lucas Jade Zumann) decide he wants to go into medical research and immunology rather than be a country doctor.

Another racial issue that is introduced in season 3 of Anne with an E involves the Mi’kmaq people. Anne befriends a First Nations girl named Ka’Kwet (Kiawenti:io Tarbell) and her parents. At about the same time, the government steps in and wants to put all the native children in boarding schools so they can get the native out of them and make them act white. Although the story looks at the horrors of the schools, it drops the story before it’s finished. If they were going to bring Indian schools into the season, they should have dealt with it through to the end instead of just dropping it mid-story.

Maybe having the white people drop it from their awareness without a care for the fate of the children locked in the schools was the point of that story arc. But it left me upset that Ka’Kwet’s story went unresolved. Based on this tweet, the folks telling the story didn’t see it quite like I do.

Did I say earlier that there was some interest in kissing? Yes, it happened.

Lucas Jade Zumann and Amybeth McNulty in Anne with an E

Like any proper love story, it took Anne and Gilbert many emotional moments of push and pull to finally agree that they liked each other. We have to wait to the very end for them to come together as a romantic pairing. Then they immediately head off to different colleges with promises to write.

Multiple episodes of the season were directed by women. The women directors included Amanda Tapping, Anne Wheeler, and Norma Bailey.

Season 3 poster for Anne with an E

This trailer was made for Canadian TV. Season 3 began streaming in the US in January on Netflix.

How did you like the final season of Anne with an E?

6 thoughts on “Review: Anne with an E, season 3”

  1. I have watched all three seasons of Anne with an E. I think this series is quite good.

    As you mention, this version does not follow the books in every way. Sometimes the story strays from the books in order to give the drama a more modern look. Contemporary aspects are included.

    At first, I was surprised, but after a while I found that it was done in a clever way. I do not want to complain about it.

    One modern angle that is introduced in season 3 is Anne’s meeting with members of an indigenous tribe (the first nations).

    This storyline is not resolved when we get to the end of season 3. You are upset about this. I feel the same way, but I think I know what happened.

    I think the people behind the series were hoping for a fourth season. They left this storyline unresolved in order to pick it up in the next season.

    Unfortunately, the series was cancelled, so there never was a fourth season. Blame the network for this decision!

  2. I loved the whole 3 seasons but especially Season 3. The success of any Anne of Green Gables films/series etc is highly dependent on how good a choice the Gilbert Blythe character is and not enough credit given to Lucas Jade Zumann (and of course the series writers and directors) for really making Gilbert one of the most lovable characters. In one of the episodes he tells Marilla at his father’s gravesite that they were once a large family but not enough back storyline there on what happened to his siblings and mother. I think Lucas has to be the best Gilbert Blythe yet and such a level of maturity compared to his peers. Not to mention he oozes sensuality – those smouldering eyes and wonderful voice. But he also exhibits such empathy and caring towards other just like Anne. I thought Annes behaviour on the train towards Gilbert when he offered to be her escort was horrible. She showed quite mean, unreasonable characteristics – you can understand why he was happy when he met Winnifred. Episode 10 of season 3 was so lovely that they finally get their act together and realise their feelings for each other. However, it ended far too abruptly and there should be a season 4 – if only to resurrect Gilbert’s delcaration of love letter that Anne didn’t actually get to read through her own impulsive jumping to conclusions reactions….. Please Netfliux renew Anne with an E for Season 4

  3. There are many things I like about this series, the fine acting, beautiful scenery wonderful music and many of the story lines. However the over whelming political correctness is insulting. The sweet and funny Anne of the original story has become an obnoxious harpy that takes on every modern day cause in a turn of the century setting. Predictability runs rampant and spoils the sweet tender story lines that we hope for and expect from Anne of Green Gables.

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