3.4191919191919 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.42 (297 Votes)
Episode 4.5: Moving On - 3.4 out of 5 based on 297 votes

US Marshall Zak Morgan's wild west show travels to Avonlea. Sara becomes infatuated by the Marshall, which causes much concern from Hetty.

Teleplay: Charles Lazer 
Director: Stephen Surjik 
Special Guest Star: Treat Williams as Zak Morgan 
With: August Schellenberg as Simon Redfox and Michael Mahonen as Gus Pike 
Original CBC Airdate: February 7, 1993 
Original Disney Airdate: March 29, 1993 
Run Time: 47 minutes

Highlights/Analysis

With Gus and Felicity beginning their relationship and Hetty occupied with her writings, Sara feels left out.

A wild west show comes to Avonlea, led by US Marshall Zak Morgan. Sara becomes interested in Zak and seeks his approval by sharpening her horse riding skills.  Sara wins a barrol race and there is consideration for promoting Sara as the long lost daughter of 'Calamity Jane' to save the failing show.

Hetty becomes worried about Sara's involvement with the Marshall, but promises Olivia that she will not interfere in Sara's life, obviously learning her lesson from the harrowing experience with Jo Pitts (3.2: But When She Was Bad, She Was Horrid).

Despite the romantic suggestiveness, the relationship that Sara seeks with Zak Morgan is more of a paternal relationship. She seeks approval in the manner that a daughter would seek approval from a father.

Sara never fully recovered from her father's death. This is evident in Sara's Homecoming when she visits a fortune teller who promises to reunite her with her father. Zak Morgan embodies the qualities of Blair Stanley as a father and a teacher.

Sara encourages Zak to take her with him, but the Marshall has his doubts and ultimately decides it's best to leave Sara behind. Hetty sees Sara following in Ruth's footsteps in her desire to leave Avonlea on wild adventures.

In a great scene, Sara returns to Rose Cottage and Hetty pretends not to have read her departing letter. Hetty is elated beyond words to find that Sara has returned. In many ways, it's almost as if Ruth had returned to her.

The title for 'Moving On' reflects not so much Zak's wild west show moving on, nor the moving on from a romantic relationship; but Sara's attempt to move beyond the death of her father.

Criticism

None

Rhetorical Questions

Isn't it funny how Rachel comments that Zak's crew are 'cowfolk,' considering that she lives on a farm?

Memorable Quotes

"When Sara sets her mind to something, there's no stopping her." -Olivia Dale

"I just wanted to make sure that the little girl was alright." -Zak Morgan

Sap Meter: 2

Felicity calls Zak a greek God.

Notes

(1) The Disney channel title for this episode was called "Sara and the Marshall."

(2) Sara is 14 years old.

(3) Sarah Polley fondly mentioned this episode in a Disney Channel Season 4 promotion video. "I guess 'Moving On' was the episode I enjoyed filming the most because it's the first episode where I took acting seriously," Polley recalled. "And Treat Williams was great to work with."

(4) The Country style music was composed by Don Gillis, to accompany the wild west theme.

Grade: A-

 

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People in this conversation

  • Medusa

    I just finished watching this episode. I am totally in disbelief every time Sarah says that "she's tired of boys" and she wants Zach because he's a mature man. How many boys did she fall in love in the series before this? If Felicity had said that line, that would have made since. even though this romance is supposed to be awkward, because ultimately it was like a father-daughter relationship, something was still off about the whole thing. It's as though the writers had woke up one morning and they decided it's about for Sarah to fall in love... The whole thing felt so forced. I really didn't buy that Sarah was in love. Ugh, these writers!!

  • Michael G.

    Fans of Sara Stanley can understand her desire to leave Rose Cottage. The writers by now gave her very little to do. Felicity was in pursuit of Gus and higher academics. Felix was about to spend all his free time at the White Sands. Cecily was...actually I think Digger had more to do on RTA than she did. With Sara's diminished role, it was as if Sarah (with an "h") was already plotting her character's departure from the series.