“Shoot To Thrill” deals with one of the few topics Degrassi hasn’t dealt with yet: sexting (unless you count that shirtless pic of Peter that Emma snapped with her camera phone in “Tell It To My Heart.”)
Things are great between Alli and Johnny, except that Johnny doesn’t like PDA. What’s so bizarre is that he primarily hates PDA when it happens specifically in front of Bruce, and the no-name kid they hang out with. For some reason Johnny can’t handle being teased by them about it. In one scene Alli sits on his lap and feeds him in front of Bruce, and Johnny lays into her. I felt sorry for her when that happened.
The workaround Alli discovers to Johnny’s anti-PDA attitude is to give him a cell phone and send him naked pictures of herself on it. Johnny’s all about it and all about showing Alli love until he see’s a blown up picture of himself cuddling with a stuffed toy on the art wall…a picture that Alli took.
While watching the sneak peek for this episode I was with Johnny on Alli needing to cool it with the affection in public. But watching the episode in full he is a jackass. Retaliating against Alli posting the picture of him by texting her naked pic to Bruce was wrong, and Johnny keeping the phone was even moreso. He’s obviously an intelligent, sweet guy (when it comes to Alli), but in public still insists on being known as a bully/loser.
This storyline was well done, and even though Ms. Hatzilakos’ return as Degrassi’s principal came out of nowhere with no explanation, I love how she threw in the speech about the dangers of sexting. Melinda Shankar’s acting is much improved from last season. You also know what’s improved? The way Degrassi is dealing with the storylines. The fact Johnny kept the phone with Alli’s dirty pictures shows they’re realizing the mistake of last season with “One and Done” storylines. They didn’t wrap the episode up in a neat bow at the end only for everything that happened to be forgotten right after. Hopefully they stick to that philosophy the rest of the season.
“SHOOT TO THRILL” MAIN PLOT GRADE: A
Fiona is tired guys hitting on her. Riley needs a “beard.” How perfect is this? What’s intruiging about their interaction is that Riley knows Fiona is using him to keep the guys off her, but Fiona doesn’t know Riley is using HER to hide the fact that he’s gay.
Or at least she’s not completely onto him yet. While Fiona and Riley are hanging out the guy known as “SoccerStud” reappears. He confronts Riley, who apparently stopped talking to him altogether. After SoccerStud asks why Riley avoids him, Riley grabs Fiona and hastily leaves, denying to her that he knows the guy.
I LOVED this subplot…mainly because it’s setting us up for Riley’s upcoming two-parter, “Beat It.” They suddenly dropped Riley’s sexuality storyline in Season 8, a believe it has the potential to be one of the best storyline’s this show has had over the last few seasons.
“SHOOT TO THRILL” SUBPLOT GRADE: A+