[WARNING: THIS EPISODE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS]
P.S. degrassi.tv is being SUPER slack as far as posting episode pics to use for the review, so sorry it looks so boring. :-(
If there’s one word that can describe “You Be Illin,” it’d be WHOA.
I didn’t expect what happened in this episode, and I would’ve never guessed it. After breaking up with Johnny in “Shoot To Thrill,” Alli’s feelings are still conflicted about him. Clare’s reaction is that he’s scum and she should move on, while Jenna steps into a more friendly, comforting role. This caused Alli and Jenna to become closer in this episode, which I will discuss later.
While Johnny is still a jackass, they make it very clear in the way he acts around her in this episode that he still cares about her. Johnny eventually gives Alli the cell phone with her naked photos in it, and it looks like making up between the two is inevitable…until Johnny drops a massive bomb: he lied to Alli about losing his virginity to her, and he has genital warts.
Lead by the talented Melinda Shankar, I love how Alli is once again experiencing fear of something bad resulting from having sex with Johnny. The writers this season have once again stepped up their game, bringing up past situations in order to futher develop the characters.
One thing out of the ordinary is that Jenna becomes Alli’s confidant during this episode, instead of Clare. This is because Clare’s opinion comes off as more judgemental since it’s the exact opposite of what Alli wants to hear. For a second it seemed like a mini subplot was going on where Alli was going to completely shut out Clare and while Jenna plays more of the BFF role, but they make up at the end. Also, Jessica Tyler’s acting is much improved from her over giddiness in the season premiere.
The ending did not disappoint either. Alli’s plan to get Johnny back by getting him to publicly admit having an STI backfired when Johnny admitted he still had feelings for her. Even with that said, Alli didn’t give in and refused to take him back. Watching this episode was thrilling every step of the way, and it was awesome in every aspect: acting, writing, directing and all.
“YOU BE ILLIN” MAIN PLOT GRADE: A+
Peter’s return to the mix ends up being a dud in the “You Be Illin” subplot. Peter just shows up out of nowhere, thinking he can reclaim his gig as the lead singer of Studz. Sadly the band has moved on without him; Jane is the new lead singer, and they really have no desire to have Peter back.
One reason this plot falls flat is because we have no concept of how long it’s been since Peter quit Studz, and we don’t know how long he’s been recovering from the meth addiction.
Ultimately this plot was forgettable. Yeah Danny assured Peter at the end that they’re still friends, but the problem is Peter is kinda useless at this point. He’s not TRULY a part of the band, and there’s nothing I see them doing with his character at this point that would be interesting unless it involved him becoming a meth head again. And THAT is really what we’re all waiting to find out at this point…is Peter going to relapse?
“YOU BE ILLIN” SUBPLOT GRADE: C-