The new reverend's son becomes interested in Sara and introduces her to rag time music. Sara deceives Hetty and goes to an Acadian celebration.

Writer: Raymond Storey 
Director: Stephen Surjik 
Special Guest Star: Stockard Channing as Viola Elliot 
With: Jim Mezon as John Elliot, David Fox as Clive Pettibone, Jaimz Woolvett as Booth Elliot and Marilyn Lightstone as Muriel Stacey 
Original CBC Airdate: March 20, 1994 
Time Frame: Winter 1908-1909


Janet becomes president of the Presbyterian church women and greets the new reverand and his wife, John and Viola Elliot. Janet becomes friends with Viola and is introduced to eastern philosophy.

Sara is given the task of showing the Elliot's son Booth around town and believes that he is only ten years old. To her surprise, Sara finds that Booth is really an adolescent in a scene which resulted in her getting a bucket of paint dumped on her head.

Booth introduces Sara to cajun music and cake walking, which only acts to alarm Hetty. Booth causes further waves with the town when he plays a jazzy version of 'When the Saints Come Marching In' during a church ensemble.

Booth invites Sara to an acadian dance. She pretends to be sick in order to attend the dance with Booth. The next day, Sara admits that she deceived her aunt and asks her not to interfear with her involvement with Booth.

Hetty, having previously learned her lessons of smothering Sara (3.2: But When She Was Bad... She Was Horrid), promises her niece that she will allow her to spend time with Booth.


Booth is really annoying and not even in a way that would make him interesting. The writer for the former 'Australland Avonlea' website made the hilarious comment that Booth had the romantic chemistry of a brother.  He has also been occasionally called the 'shaggy dog' among Avonlea fans for his mop top hair.

The biggest problem however is that there was no place else to go with Sara Stanley. This would be the final season where Sara was prominantly featured and the character that swooned the most about romantic relationships, didn't have one (Zak Morgan doesn't count).

In the first season, Sara was the character that the series revolved around. The arrival of Gus Pike and his pending relationship with Felicity shifted the entire direction of the series away from Sara.

Perhaps the Story Girl's goody two shoes personality wouldn't have been as interesting or created as many memorable moments as Felicity's brazenly sharp tongued character could create in a relationship. Whatever the case, Booth was rushed in as a last ditch effort to give Sara a romance before she left Avonlea.

Obviously, Booth means very little to Sara because she doesn't even mention his name when she returns in the next season and discusses her future plans, none of which concern the shaggy dog (6.4: Comings and Goings).

Rhetorical Questions

What happened to Reverend Fitzsimmons? Why do all of Avonlea's reverends mysteriously disappear?

Doesn't Elbert know how to jam with that accordion?

I wonder how old that woman was at the "to do?"

Memorable Quotes

"Godless social dancing, that's what!" -Ullele Bugle

"The fastest way to destroy a spirit is through conventional thinking." -Viola Elliot

Sap Meter: 0 

Flirting and a kiss between Booth and Sara, but it's hardly sentimental.


(1) Sarah Polley asked to be written out of the series after this season. In an article for 'Maclean's' in 1997, Polley expressed her dismay about having to make contractual obligations to the series at a very young age. She also mentioned her disenchantment toward the series:

"I wasn't involved in the show mentally or emotionally...  It was not the kind of thing I would watch. And the last couple of years I didn't really want to be there."

(2) Sarah Polley would make two more appearances after this season as a special guest star in 'Comings and Goings' and the final episode, 'So Dear To My Heart'

(3) Jaimz Woolvett's (a.k.a. Booth Elliot) most memorable role may have been as the Scofield Kid in the Clint Eastwood western thriller 'Unforgiven (1992).' The character actually reminded me of Booth, but his role was more tolerable because Eastwood was there to remind us how obnoxious he was.

(4) Woolvett was originally the first choice to play Gus Pike. He turned down this pivotal role to appear in Eastwood's Unforgiven.

Grade: B


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  • J B


  • Ryan B.

    This is actually one of my favorite episodes of the series. Don't think I agree at all with this review but I understand that people either loved or hated Booth. To me he was a lot of fun and it was great to finally see Sara have a real romance. What I really love about this episode is the introduction of changing trends in culture and music and dance through ragtime jazz that would later become a huge part of peoples lives in the later half of the 20th century and would evolve into the modern music we enjoy today. I really liked the story lines Sara was given in the later seasons as they look at interesting parts of that time frame in the early 20th century, such as the travelling wild west show , the introduction of moving images, and as seen with this episode the changing trends in music. Gus and Felicity is a fine storyline and all but its just kind of cliche story book romance that was similar to other couples we saw in other film and TV. Obviously that romance between those two characters is extremely popular so i'm definitely in the minority. This all being said I really have enjoyed reading your reviews and blog posts over the years Timothy and i'm pleased you have updated the site for all of us to express are opinions on the episodes as well!

  • Ryan B.

    Also Jaimz Woolzetts apearance in this episode finally got me to check out Unforgiven a few years ago which is itself a spectacular film!

  • Thanks Ryan! I greatly enjoy your excellent and insightful comments. I might have to reevaluate my opinion of Booth Elliot. Maybe it was the Davey Keith style hair cut that created a negative Pavlovian response to his character. (Not that I have anything against the early episodes with Davy Keith.) I'm glad you brought up the historical trends from this episode. I always loved the way the series captured the culture, art and music of the Edwardian era.

  • Sabrina

    After rewatching the episode just recently, I would say that I liked the Booth-Sarah pairing a bit better, although I feel that, in general, some on screen chemistry is missing. I really don't know why. Was it the casting, script (super rushed romance) or something else.

  • Oh Sabrina, you're converting to a Booth-Sara supporter? Say it ain't so! :). I'm really starting to think the Davy Keith haircut has something to do with this. There are many episodes where Sara had to look after troubled and obnoxious Davy in a sisterly role. Now in this episode, Sarah Polley has to pretend to have a budding romance with a guy who looks like he's wearing a Davy wig? How can she take this seriously?

  • Macy

    I don’t hate Booth but he’s kind of bland. I wish Sara had a romance earlier because this is a case of too little too late. And the age difference between the actors is kind of creepy. They couldn’t cast someone even a little younger?