3.3919239904988 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.39 (421 Votes)
Episode 1.5: Old Lady Lloyd - 4.8 out of 5 based on 4 votes

The King cousins venture near the creepy Lloyd estate where Sara encounters Margaret Lloyd, a reclusive old spinster haunted by her past. 

Writer: Fiona McHugh
Director: Bruce Pittman 
Special Guests: Lloyd Bochner as Andrew Cameron, Rebecca Jenkins as Sylvia Gray, and Zoe Caldwell as Margaret Lloyd 
Original CBC Airdate: February 4, 1990 
Original Disney Airdate: April 30, 1990 
Run Time: 50 minutes
Time Frame: Summer 1903

Highlights/Analysis

The King cousins venture near the creepy Lloyd estate where Sara encounters Margaret Lloyd, a reclusive old spinster haunted by her past. Olivia's childhood friend and aspiring singer Sylvia Gray enters the Cameron musical competition.

Sara's intentions to 'make friends with anyone' continues in this episode as she gets involved in the estranged life of Old Lady Lloyd and the Lloyd curse. Hetty displays disdain when Olivia plays Ruth's piano, which clearly shows how Hetty relates tragic loss with music or musical instruments.  

The main theme reveals how pride and self pity tend to separate individuals from family and loved ones.  The "Lloyd curse" prevents Lloyd from meeting Sylvia Gray, the daughter of her former beau Richard Gray.

After Felix makes several remarks directed toward Sara's mother, the Story Girl refuses to speak to him.  The quarrel between Felix and Sara provides insight into Sara's relationship with her departed mother Ruth. Sara's refusal to forgive Felix for his remarks parallels Lloyd's refusal to come to terms with her wealthy cousin Andrew Cameron as well as the tragedy of her family's dwindling inheritence. 

Criticism

In one scene, Peg asks Lloyd about her fascination with Sylvia Gray, as well as questioning the young singer's identity. Later, Peg comments to Sara how both Lloyd and Gray belong together. It's uncertain how Peg is able to make this intuitive leap.

Lloyd remarks that her Grandfather founded Avonlea in 1794. Hetty would later claim that the King family were the first settlers of Avonlea, but she would discover, much to her disdain, that the Ward family were the original founders (4.8: Heirs and Graces).

The giddiness between Olivia and Sylvia Gray is almost too much to bare. Were two renderings of "Have you ever seen a lassie" really necessary?

Memorable Quotes

"Some people think they are too good to walk the same earth as the rest of us, let alone attend the same church." -Hetty King

"There is a divinity that shapes our ends." -Olivia King

Notes

(1) 'Old Lady Lloyd' is based on Chapter Two of Montgomery's book, Chronicles of Avonlea (1912). 

(2) The Disney Channel called this episode "Song of the Night." 

(3) According to Mag Ruffman at the 2005 Avonlea Convention, the producers originally planned for a romance between Sylvia Gray and Jasper Dale that would lead to marriage. The plan was changed however, after producers noticed the chemistry between Jasper and Olivia during an improv handshake in The Story Girl Earns Her Name (Thanks to Bobby for the lowdown). 

(4) The writer of this episode, Fiona McHugh, developed the series from the Montgomery books. In the Storybook 'Song of the Night' also written by McHugh and based on this episode, it's mentioned that Andrew King is fourteen years old (page 31). The validity of this book and it's consistency with the series is questioned however, when it's mentioned that Andrew's father was 'Alan' and not Roger on the following page. In Chapter One of The Story Girl, Alan is mentioned as the father of Beverley and Felix. Roger King is mentioned as Andrew's father in The Journey Begins. Since McHugh developed the series from the books, she must have mistakingly followed the books in regard to the name of the visiting cousins' father, rather than the series.

Grade: C- 

The scenes with Sara and Felix are insightful but the darker melancholic scenes with Lloyd drag the episode down.

 

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People in this conversation

  • Newbie

    Something is up with Sara's hair. Sometimes it's long, sometimes shorter. In this episode it's weirdly half and half. I get that outside/inside not filmed the same time, continuity, etc but it shouldn't be so hard to pick one or the other. Also, it's fuzzy and clumpy. Just weird hair.

  • Emily Hackett

    I find Olivia and Sylvia adorable in this episode, and Sara unusually insufferable. She acts like a spoiled little brat in her dealings with Felix. Her demand that Felix get out of the buggy or she would not get in would have prompted me to drive off without her, if I were Olivia, or turn her over my knee. Her persistent refusal to forgive an obviously repentant Felix was almost too much to take.

  • I want to show some support for the Old Lady Lloyd episode. I re-watched it, this time expecting a slower pace, and found it pleasant to watch with many unique qualities. The interior shots of Lloyd Manor were quite eerie as the furnishings were mostly undisturbed. The mystery of Old Lady Lloyd’s reclusiveness and the reason for her interest in Sylvia Gray are slowly brought to light via clues sprinkled throughout. In the end, we learn not to dwell on past sorrows, but to seek out meaningful connections with others, Peg Bowen included.

    Along the way, Sarah and Felix finally bury the hatchet, just in time to team up against Felicity in “Proof of the Pudding". We get a storyline straight from “Little Women” when Hetty discovers Olivia playing Ruth’s piano. Hetty sees it as an affront to her sister’s memory and demands Olivia stop playing and cover it up immediately. Sarah is at her melodramatic best when she says, “Please don’t cover it up again Aunt Hetty. It would be just like mother died all over again.” Poor Hetty can’t win that one.

    The influence of Dickens’ Great Expectations can be seen with Old Lady Lloyd’s character clearly set in the mold of Miss Havisham. In case it wasn’t obvious, we are told of Great Aunt Sarah Lloyd’s hair catching fire and her running through the house ablaze, which similarly befalls Miss Havisham. I’ll guess that line is in “Chronicles of Avonlea” but I’ll have to wait to find out since that will be my annual Avonlea book for next March.

    Comment last edited on about 2 months ago by Timothy
  • "If you're going to post my name, would you please be sure to spell it without an "h"? --Sara Stanley

  • "Make sure you spell 'Sara Stanley' 50 times on the chalk board before you leave my classroom today, Michael." -- Hetty King

  • It's an interesting question why the writers removed Beverley King from the series. After all, he is the narrator of the Story Girl and we see events unfold from Beverley's perspective. As I mentioned in note #4 above, Fiona McHugh's mistake shows that Alan King, the father of Beverley and Felix, was replaced by Roger King. I speculate in my article The Road from Carlisle to Avonlea that the creation of Andrew King was likely a nod to Andrew Stefanidos--the nephew in writer Heather Conkie's Dear Aunt Agnes. Conkie mentions that she was trying to create a modern unconventional family and this was somewhat achieved by separating Roger and Andrew.

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