Episode 4.3: Incident At Vernon River
Teleplay: Rich Drew
Director: F. Harvey Frost
With: Michael Mahonon as Gus Pike, David Fox as Clive Pettibone and Zachary Ansley as Arthur Pettibone
Original CBC Airdate: January 24, 1993
Original Disney Airdate: March 22, 1993
Run Time: 53 minutes
Synopsis: Felix sneaks his father's rifle out of the house and goes hunting with Morgan and Izzy. A crisis emerges when Felix accidently shoots Digger. As Digger's life hangs in the balance, Arthur Pettibone attempts a risky surgery.
Highlights/Analysis: Morgan and Izzy's older brother Arthur arrives from veterinarian school in Toronto and becomes a curious attraction for Felicity. Gus becomes suspicious of the new arrival and the seeds are planted for a future rivalry. Felix tells Morgan and Izzy that he will receive a rifle for his birthday, but is upset when he receives a telescope instead. When Alec strongly refuses to allow Felix to own a firearm, he sneaks a rifle out of his father's gun rack and goes hunting with the Pettibone siblings. Digger continues the trend of being at the wrong place at the wrong time and is accidently shot by Felix. Apparently, Felix didn't learn his lesson from Blackie's demise and continues to disobey his father's orders (3.4: Felix and Blackie). Alec considers putting Digger out of his misery, but Arthur attempts a last ditch surgery and saves Digger's life. In an awkward moment, Gus squirms when he hears that Arthur might return from veterinarian school. This was a great gesture to set up a rivalry between Gus and Arthur.
Criticism: I've seen more realistic surgeries while playing the game 'Operation.' According to Alec, Felix turns thirteen. However, it's mentioned that Felix is eleven in the winter of 1903 (Witch of Avonlea). There is at least a three year gap between the first season and the current episode, making it impossible for Felix to age only two years in that time span.
Did you notice how the lighthouse door is now facing in the opposite direction?
Isn't Vernon River the same place Blackie died?
"Sure, Arthur. He just got home from Toronto. He's at school there studying to be a vegetarian. You know, an animal doctor." -Felix King
"Best batten down the hatchets and lie low for a few days." -Gus Pike
Sap Meter: 3 Some flirting between Felicity and Arthur.
Notes: (1) Felix turns thirteen.
Grade: B+ t It's 'Felix and Blackie' rehashed, but it sets the stage for the Gus and Arthur rivalry.