WARNING: THIS EPISODE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
TOUCH OF GREY SOUNDTRACK: (there’s only one song credited)
1) Upfront With You, by Universal Honey
What happens when Degrassi gives us an episode where Emma “redefines” herself yet again? We end up hating her even more.
“How can I prove that I’ve got more to offer than cute hair and a cute boyfriend?” Is this what has become of the determined, over-opinionated girl we once knew? Emma is now just a muddled mess of her former self.
Three months into university life, Liberty, Manny and even Kelly have active social lives while Emma has yet to fit in. In a desperate attempt to make friends, she decides to smoke weed for the first time with a couple of girls.
The girls think Emma is funny when she’s high, so they give her the nickname “Blaze.”
To keep her popularity going, Emma passes out weed brownies at the Floor Olympics (gotta love they used the same music that played when Paige and Alex were high in “Death of a Disco Dancer”). Afterward, Liberty doesn’t approve of Emma doing that, and Emma tells her she’s just jealous that her weed brownies made the event more lively.
Emma’s I-have-to-do-crazy-stuff-to-define-who-I-am routine is getting quite old. Maybe it’s annoying because she NEVER suffers any lasting social consequences. In “Hungry Eyes” she was able to go almost completely nude in front of the school and not get suspended or anything (Now imagine if Manny would’ve done that…). Heck, even her blowjob days in “Secret” only landed her a brief bout with gonorrhea and a social slap on the wrist.
She’s able to get off once again in “Touch of Grey”, when one of the girls is taken to the hospital because of the weed brownies.
Dorm inspections ensue to find the culprit, and Kelly takes the fall for Emma. Even worse Emma lets him, and Kelly gets kicked out of the dorms.
Minus the ending, the story itself isn’t all that bad, with its very simple message that it’s stupid to do irresponsible things to fit in. The problem is the storyline was given to Emma, who always ends up being an annoying hypocrite in some fashion.
God knows how many times she’s gotten up on her soapbox to preach to Manny about right and wrong, but Emma never really ends up being held accountable for her irresponsible actions.
Even worse is nowadays she’s simply a boring, lifeless character, which I’m not sure if it’s a product of the writing, Miriam McDonald’s acting or both.
However, I would gladly take the obnoxious “Crusader Emma” of old over this “Dull Emma” any day.
TOUCH OF GREY MAIN PLOT GRADE: D-
Priming KC to be Sean 2.0, this episode is one of the rare occasions where the subplot is way better than the main plot.
We learn about KC’s guarded past; he stole a car with friends at his old school, and now he lives in a group home. He’s terrified that if people find out they’ll just write him off as a bad kid.
Conor reveals this info to Reese, a kid at school that KC has a beef with. This is a great setup episode for Clare and KC. Not only does it deal with KC’s fear of being judged, but he briefly comes face-to-face with that fear when Clare see’s Conor’s busted lip, and suddenly assumes KC hit him. Clare apologizes and tells KC that she knows he’s a good guy, but the damage to KC’s ego has been done. Will he be able to get over his insecurities and realize that not everyone’s going to write him off because of his past?
TOUCH OF GREY SUBPLOT GRADE: A