'Anne with an E' Season 3 Episode 7 Review: Free speech crusade makes it one of the best episodes on TV
There is much to be learned and enjoyed from this episode, and you can do it right away because all the episodes of 'Anne with an E' Season 3 have been added to Netflix.
Major spoilers for Season 3 Episode 7 of 'Anne with an E' ahead
"Freedom of speech is a human right." This the unifying theme of 'A Strong Effort of the Spirit of Good', which marks Season 3 Episode 7 of 'Anne with an E', and it is hard to not feel empowered by this particular story.
In the previous Episode 6 of the series, we saw how Josie (Miranda McKeon) was harassed by her beau Billy (Christian Martyn), who then went on to tarnish her reputation in town. Anne (Amybeth McNulty), who quickly caught on with what was going on, stood up to Billy but ended up stepping on the wrong foot of everyone gathered at the dance floor after the County Fair. She also unwittingly embarrassed Josie, who ran out almost immediately.
Further, Anne decides that the only way to convey how Josie has been wronged is to write an Op-ed about the incident, wherein she made a bold claim that women are full beings on their own, as opposed to being complete only with a man by her side. Unfortunately, the Town Council was not forgiving of this claim and went on to demand that the school paper be shut down or run exclusively by the standards they have set, but in doing so they exposed the whole town to their prejudice and their chauvinism.
The whole school is angry with Anne, but for a few friends, including Gilbert (Lucas Jade Zumann), who convince the rest of the class to stand up for her. She leads a protest march, which also sees the adults joining in, including Marilla (Geraldine James).
The students demand that their voices be heard, and declare that "freedom of speech is a human right." Gilbert also tore the list of suggestions that the Town Council had for them. It is clear that these voices of dissent shook them because the episode closes with a bunch of men taking the printing machine out of the school, while one man using his cigarette to set the whole school on fire.
The episode is definitely one of the most inspiring ones on TV and has many teachable moments, especially when Anne chose to stand up for her biggest bully Josie. Even though they have a complicated friendship - with Josie even slapping her - Anne chose to focus on the bigger issue, a crime that is being committed against an entire gender. Josie standing up for herself, even though she had the option of making it all go away, was another great moment to watch.
'A Strong Effort of the Spirit of Good' also juxtaposes educated and uneducated men responding to harassment and feminism. While the Town Council, which consists of a group of influential men, continuously talked over their fellow member Rachel (Corrine Koslo) and is condescending towards her, Matthew (R. H. Thomson), who dropped out of school, said, "I reckon you've heard from about enough men on this topic," when asked his opinion by Marilla.
There is much to be learned from and enjoyed in this episode, and you can do it right away because all the episodes of 'Anne with an E' Season 3 have been added to Netflix.