PLOT A SUMMARY: Holly J’s kidneys are failing and she needs a transplant. She and her family get blood tests to see who will be a match for a transplant, but it turns out she has a different blood type than her family. Perplexed, that leads her to question why there are no baby pictures of her with the family. Her mom finally tells her that they adopted her when she was 11 months old. Despite the bombshell Holly J doesn’t let it affect her emotionally….she immediately begins a search for her birth parents in the hopes one of them will be a match for her transplant.
Holly J finds her birth mother, Dawn. They meet at The Dot, and Holly J is hesitant to ask her for a kidney transplant. The doctor tells Holly J that she’s reaching end-stage (aka she’s close to suffering complete kidney failure). Holly J then has an urgent meeting with Dawn, and begs her to get tested to see if she’s a match…Dawn agrees. Later, Holly J finds out that Dawn is indeed a match and is willing to go through with the transplant, but Dawn wants $20,000 in exchange.
This was a very solid plot despite the fact it was predictable up until the end. It’s felt like forever since Holly J’s been given a high-caliber plot, which is a shame because Charlotte Arnold is the strongest actress in this new generation of actors. She’s done a fantastic job since the beginning of Holly J’s illness portraying someone is worn out. Holly J is there at Degrassi, getting things done with a smile on her face, but no matter what she always comes off as lethargic, reminding us up until this point that she’s still sick.
I’m glad this plot was given to Holly J, because it would’ve became an emotional mess. Normally these “I found out I’m adopted” storylines are driven by the character’s desire to form a relationship with their birth parents. Here Holly J is primarily motivated by survival first, and the desire to get to know Dawn came after a while.
The show has done an incredible job of showing the depths of Degrassi friendships this season through simple means. Before delivering the news that Holly J was reaching the end-stage in her disease, the doctor casually mentioned that Fiona blood results came up negative. That gesture alone shows you how strong the relationship between Holly J and Fiona is. Also, I think I love the fact that Dawn wants money for her kidney. It creates a stunning wave of emotion. The initial feeling is anger, but at the same time she’s reminding us that no one’s obligated to do anything for anyone “out of the goodness of their heart.” I know people will through the “But Holly J is her daughter!!!!!” argument, but that doesn’t mean anything. Blood or not, relationships are all mental, and to her Holly J is just another stranger.
PLOT B SUMMARY: Adam starts liking Katie, who is throwing out some hints that she might be interested in Adam. Dave tells Adam to go for it, so he does by signing up to be Katie’s partner at the fashion show. Adam tells Katie that he’s transgender, and she responds by saying she sees him as being just one of the guys. At the fashion show, Katie catches a glimpse of Adam’s chest and gives an awkward face, but says everything’s fine when Adam asks her what’s wrong. Backstage Adam asks Marisol the scoop on Katie, and Marisol tells him that because of his physical characteristic (aka boobs) he might not be Katie’s type.
Adam is even more determined to have a surgery to on his chest, but his mom doesn’t want him to because he’s still growing. She says if the therapist is okay with it, then Adam can have the surgery. However, Adam accidentally reveals in a meeting with the therapist that his main motivation at the moment for the surgery is because of a girl, and they decide against it. Adam had a great time hanging out with Katie, and asks her out to the movies. But she says she doesn’t like him in a romantic way. Adam feels rejected, but he signs up for a FTM forum to chat with other trans guys who have gone through or are going through what he is now as far as his body’s maturation is concerned.
Ahhh yes, a guy liking a girl because she’s nice to him, but she doesn’t really have feelings for him…I feel your pain, Adam.
What makes this plot stand out is that for the second time in as many weeks we’ve seen Adam making hasty, poor decisions in an attempt to be accepted by just one person. In Season 10 it felt like he was just trying to be accepted by society in general. Now the focus has become narrowed, and we’re seeing that his eagerness to be accepted by specific people is hindering him…first with Dave, now with Katie. It was cool that Adam threw it out there to Katie that he’s trans (and she was ok with it), but he went from a crush to “Hey we should go to college and study together” in 2.3904 seconds.
For the record, Katie did seem to be very flirty with Adam, even knowing that he’s trans. But maybe that’s what we were supposed to see; many of us want to see Adam with someone, so if some new girl is interacting with him she must like him right?
Chest reconstruction is a realistic option and there‘s no doubt Adam will do it someday, but it has to be done for the right reasons. This episode points out that Adam is comfortable with himself most of the time, but he becomes motivated to transform for other people and not himself when the chance to increase his sociability arises. And just like his body is growing, Adam still has some growing to do mentally.
PLOT C SUMMARY: Imogen is determined to play the role of “Clara” in the school play. So she decides to study Clare in order to be like her. She asks for Clare’s help, revealing that he wants to impress Eli. Clare agrees to help her if it’ll help Eli move on, as well as if Imogen agrees to make Clara seem more sympathetic. Imogen auditions and lands the role.
Imogen assumes she and Eli are a couple, but he tells her that he’s not in a place emotionally to handle a relationship right now. Imogen cooks up a plot by “thanking” Clare for helping her and giving her a gift card to Little Miss Steaks for her and Jake to use. Imogen makes sure to show up and have Eli meet her there while Clare and Jake are having dinner. Imogen and Eli “bump” into Clare and Jake, causing immediate tension. Imogen is all over Eli, who pushes her away and runs out. The next day Eli apologizes to Imogen for freaking out, and tells her that he realizes he’s not over Clare. He’s also hired Jake to work on the set, that way he can keep an eye on him.
Imogen is a riot. I enjoy her character, except when she jumps into extreme manipulation mode like she did in Part 2 (though I do admit her plan was clever). She thinks she can force Eli into liking her, but that’s just not going to happen as long as Clare is in the picture. I thought it was interesting that both Clare and Eli said at different points in the episode that they were over each other (Clare’s progress is far more than Eli’s as he says he‘s still working on it, but still).
But we can thank Imogen, who is the fuel for the Eclare flame that’s about to turn into a forest fire. And poor Jake, though his character is still “just there,” is caught in the crossfire. The more I watch the scene at Little Miss Steaks, the more I get confused. She went there because she wanted Clare to see her and Eli together. And in an earlier scene she was bragging about “getting the boy.” I’m not really grasping her motivation for “sticking it” to Clare as much as she does, other than an attempt to show Clare that she is better than her.