4.4736842105263 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.47 (342 Votes)
Episode 7.11: Return to Me - 4.4 out of 5 based on 9 votes

Felicity receives a mysterious call from Charleston and suspects that Gus might be alive.  

Writer: Raymond Storey 
Director: F. Harvey Frost 
Special Guest Star: Gema Zamprogna as Felicity King and Michael Mahonen as Gus Pike 
With: David Gardner as Horace Beck and David Ferry as Stuart McRae 
Original CBC Airdate: March 17, 1996 
Time Frame: Spring 1912

Highlights/Analysis

In the opening moments there are a few signs of what is to come: Felicity is on the beach wearing Gus's ring and Hetty is thinking about Gus and disapproving of Felicity's pending marriage to Stuart.

While Felicity is preparing for the wedding, she receives a call from a nurse in South Carolina. Felicity suspects that Gus is still alive and trying to contact her. Hetty and Felicity begin their voyage aboard the SS Savannah and meet a furniture salesman from Charleston, Horace Beck, who appears to play a caretaker role of sorts.

While questioning several people about Gus, Felicity finally finds a young sailor named Jimmy, who survived the Maid of Calais wreck and knew Gus Pike. Jimmy recalls that Gus refused a lifeboats and heroically stayed behind to send a signal, in hope that a vessel would rescue them. Jimmy claims that Gus drowned, but Felicity is unwilling to give up.

She follows a lead to a hospital, where the nurse, Megget Lydie, claims that she has never seen Gus. A young nurses aid, Odelia, is shocked when she finds Felicity searching for Gus, which raises Felicity's suspicion. Later that night, Felicity sees Odelia with Jimmy and the mystery deepens.

The next day, Felicity continues to search and finds Odelia at the church with Megget Lydie. Lydie finally folds and brings Felicity to her home. Felicity finally meets Gus, but is devastated when he doesn't recognize her and furiously tells her to leave.

Megget Lydie later tells Felicity that Gus was blinded after the wreck and that a troller picked him up while he was barely conscious. Horace Beck encourages Gus to give Felicity a chance and Gus finally allows Felicity to speak with him.

Gus tells Felicity to get on with her life, but Felicity claims that she won't go back to Avonlea without him. Felicity sends a message to Stuart, informing him that she's coming back to Avonlea.  She doesn't tell him however, that Gus will be coming with her; nor does she tell Gus that she is engaged to Stuart.

Criticism

There is something so absurd about the obscure furniture businessman, Horace Beck. It's hard to believe that he would have all this time to run around and counsel complete strangers on relationships. I'm surprised he doesn't help arrange the wedding too.

Rhetorical Questions

Didn't Hetty and Felicity pack a lot of luggage on their trip?

Memorable Quotes

"What is this? Common brawling in the public road? Heavens to Molly! What have the Kings come to?" -Hetty King

"Return to me... Promise?" -Stuart McRae

"I've travelled Felicity and I've seen things... The southern cross in the night sky... The fire of Saint Elmo dancing on the water... I've seen the sun rising on old Spanish ports... And I'll never see again. I'll never see your face again." -Gus Pike

Sap Meter: 6 

Horace Beck's speech about love was ridiculously sappy.

Notes

(1) The events with Gus, Felicity and Hetty continue in the final episode and bring the series to a conclusion. Sullivan Entertainment released a video containing the current episode and the final episode So Dear to My Heart. The video includes cast interviews and a brief behind the scenes glimpse at the production of the series. The title of the video is 'Return to Me' and features newlyweds Gus and Felicity on the front cover (That doesn't give too much away does it?). This is an ironic title, considering that Stuart was the person who asked Felicity to return to him.

Grade: A

 

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  • Newbie

    Felicity travels all the way to Charleston and finds....Mowgli? I'm sorry but Gus just looks weird. His deep orange tan and mop top seriously make him look like Mowgli.

    Anyway, this episode right here is where all my irritation with this season comes to a head. When this series came out I was in high school and it was a bit childish for me. However, growing up with younger siblings and the Disney channel, a few things got through my heavy metal consciousness. One was the Felicity/Gus thing. Coming in to this season, for some reason I was expecting Felicity to be searching for Gus, going to Jamaica or wherever, not believing he is dead. Finding him and bringing him home. Having his eyes worked on, and eventually gaining his sight and marrying Felicity. Why I thought this happens, who knows. Like I said, I wasn't paying attention, just pieced together what I thought happened from bits and peices. What we really get is just another Felicity hand-wringing over too many suitors. Again.

    And Gus! When did Gus turn into such an emo sorry sack? He was in the hospital/house for so long feeling sorry for himself, because of his eyes, and some nonsense story about survivors guilt that he couldn't save everyone via telegraph? What a loser. The whole thing about not wanting Felicity to know he was alive because he's blind is so ridiculous, and does nothing but make Gus look like just another white male who thinks he knows what is best for a woman regardless of what she wants.

    And his reaction to her finding him? I'll bet he sat in that room and thought of a dozen scenarios of how he would act if Felicity found him. And him screaming at her to get out was what he decided to go with. He finally had a chance to act it out and he mushes it all up by tripping over a stool or something.

    I just kept waiting all season for Felicity to grow a spine and GO LOOK for Gus, what a great season that would have been. It wasn't like he was that hard to find. Jimmy even says that the "all hands were lost" report was only the first. Did she even try to find out anything more after the report from "Ezekiel Crane" which was fishy in the first place. One hospital. That's all it would have taken. Make a damn phone call Felicity. Christ.

  • Alex

    Newbie, wow you nailed so many things on the head! This whole episode had the potential to be an entire season of storylines and the fans would have been able to build up and say a proper goodbye to the characters! I agree with you about Gus's new look. The tan and the hair were just off...Even when I burn, I don't go that orange.

    Felicity is a smart girl and should have pursued it. If it only took a vague phone call to have her travel to Carolina, why couldn't she have figured that out on her own? Or even gone as a memorial tribute.. then found out about Gus, etc. If he loved her as he said he did, even if he was a broken man, I could see him reaching out to someone..even Felix/Hetty/Alec/Digger?!

  • Ok here's the problem with shoving a season full of story lines in two episodes... Michael Mahonen only agreed to two episodes, so what can you do? They made the main story arc of the series about Gus and Felicity and Mahonen wasn't there for most of the 7th season. He went off to LA to make it in the US and left Avonlea behind. That's entirely his choice but it hurt the series and pulling out of HCMK may have contributed to killing all future reunion films, but there were other factors involved.

  • Do you think there is a likihood of another reunion? I guess there is no sense in wishing things about the past seasons as there is no changing now. I would really be in favour of seeing a fav show coming back as well as more Canadian content!

  • As every year goes by, it seems less likely that there will be another reunion. If AvCon didn't convince Sullivan, probably nothing will. He wanted to get away from all things Lucy Maud, but unfortunately he seems content with just selling perfumes and spices with Anne Shirley's name on them.

  • This is something I'm curious about. I have read that there has been bad blood between the Montgomery heirs and Sullivan - especially after Anne 3 (I didn't mind it, but it was definitely against the vision that LMM had). Did Sullivan lose any rights during this? With the Gazebo app appearing, maybe the company would be interested in seeing the reaction from fans and if another series would be lucrative enough. I will agree that it seems like the Sullivan shop is just taking random objects and assigning them with Anne.

    Could Avonlea come back in another form, not created by Sullivan, similar to ANNE.

  • That's a very interesting question about rights and the trial. The Heirs were arguing that Sullivan never paid them what they were owed for Road to Avonlea (I believe it was 10% in perpetuity for all spin-offs like RTA). Sullivan argued that he never made a profit. :o LOL. About rights... The works should now all be in the public domain so he shouldn't have a problem. However, I think the main reason Sullivan hasn't revisited RTA is because of the costs it takes and the problems he had with the CBC mentioned in my article here. He would also have to rebuild the sets.

  • I thought they missed a major opportunity in this episode. When Gus was moping about being blind, Hetty should have brought his fiddle and placed it in his hands. Boom! He plays and all the memories and love for life comes flooding back. And it's significant that Hetty gives him the fiddle because of the importance of his performance in Aunt Hetty's Ordeal. Seriously, they missed a golden opportunity. Not a word from the disconnected Horis Beck stranger even needs to be said. The music would say it all!

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