[WARNING: THIS EPISODE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS]

Beat It was the most anticipated episode of the season for me.  First off, its main plot is about Riley’s sexuality, a storyline with amazing potential that was randomly dropped in Season 8.  Secondly, this episode was directed by Stefan Brogren…though he’s produced Degrassi minis and Degrassi Goes Hollywood (all of which were amazing), Beat It is the first REGULAR episode he has ever directed.

It didn’t disappoint in the least.  I’m actually having a hard time right now thinking of any episode that is as all-around amazing (aka all of its plots were great) as Beat It.

Taking lifeguard training, Riley is immediately attracted to the instructor, Sam.  That’s kinda obvious when he gets a boner while watching Sam give a doll CPR.  LOLZ before the opening credits?  This episode can’t fail.

Yo Riley I'mma let you finish, but Spinner Mason had the best Degrassi boner of all time!!!

Riley tried to "de-gay" himself by attempting to sleep with Fiona. Thankfully, Fiona is too smart for that.

Riley continues to struggle with his sexuality, and the difficulties of balancing faking being straight in front of everyone and suppressing his desires.  Degrassi takes a far different approach with Riley than they did Marco, who simply wanted to keep his sexuality a secret at first.  Riley doesn’t want to be gay AT ALL, and takes actions to “get rid of the gayness.” He fails at doing so after trying to sleep with Fiona, then after they break up he can’t seal the deal with Chantay either.

Degrassi does a fantastic job of pacing the episode and the stages of the emotions Riley goes through.  It’s amazing to watch him gradually become more nervous and aggressive, ending Part 1 after Riley punches Sam because he casually asks Riley if he’s gay (it’s revealed earlier in the episode that Sam is gay too).  Another great element to this storyline is Peter’s presence as Riley’s supportive friend.  It’s only appropriate that Peter be the first person Riley vocally admits he’s gay to.

Marco's sexuality plot in "Pride" is one of Degrassi's best plots ever, and Riley's plot in "Beat It" was even better. Wow.

I noticed that Argiris Karras’ acting is at its best whenever Riley is anxious or angry.  Whenever he’s calm it feels like Argiris is forcing his lines, but he’s on the mark in Part 2 since Riley spends most of the episode frustrated.  From contemplating “gay therapy” to the climactic confrontation with Sam, Riley’s emotional, self-hating attitude brings back that genuine feel to Degrassi…something that hasn’t been around much since Season 4.

BEAT IT MAIN PLOT GRADE: A+

**********************

SUBPLOT A

Has anyone noticed how more mature Anya looks this season?

If you think this subplot is dumb because it involves LARPing, then you completely missed the point.  The theme was simple, and one everybody can relate to.  Tired of being a Studz groupie, Anya has been doing her own thing lately.  She’s involved in Live Action Role Playing after school, but lies and tells Sav she’s taking self defense instead because she knows he’ll just make fun of her.

Samantha Munro has always kinda just been “there,” but I really like her acting in this episode.  When shes LARPing, you can actually tell a difference in Anya’s confidence level compared to all of her previous appearances on the show.

The "happy" ending kinda seeme like a cop out, but not so much since there will be more Sav/Anya drama in the future.

I didn’t particularly like how the plot ended so happily with Sav at Anya’s “wedding,” given the fact they butted heads the entire time leading up to that point.  Either way, I’m just really hung up on how great this plot’s message is: just because you think something’s dumb it doesn’t make it any meaningless to someone else.  Heck, we all have that “thing” we love that everyone else around us thinks is dumb: what a coincidence, mine happens to be Degrassi.

“BEAT IT” SUBPLOT A GRADE: A

**********************

SUBPLOT B

Dave has become the new FUN guy to watch on Degrassi.

This must be stated: Dave is awesome.  He bursts onto the scene out of nowhere and ever since he’s delivered simple comedic entertainment…how sad is it he’s funnier than Danny and Derek ever were combined?

Dave becomes the man after hitting the game winning shot during a Degrassi basketball game.  He uses this opportunity to ask out Jenna, who agrees.  This subplot is so cleverly written…Dave’s crush on Jenna is really just a smokescreen for the plot’s true purpose. 

Why did Jenna go out with him? Because they were going to the fair, and KC and Clare would be there. 

She openly tells Clare she wants to be friends with a guy before dating them…like KC. (oops)

Get where I’m going with this?

Do NOT let Jenna's tears fool you. Behind them is a girl patiently waiting to sink her claws into KC.

Hints are thrown left and right throughout this subplot that Jenna wants KC, and plans to steal him from Clare. 

I love how Degrassi has been setting up this future love triangle without anything big actually happening yet.  Its combination of subtle and not so subtle hints (ranging from Jenna’s comments about KC to the look of confusion/concern on Clare’s face) are making me excited for Heart Like Mine.  Degrassi’s come such a long way to make KC/Clare’s relationship more entertaining, considering it seemed so juvenile in Season 8.  Well done.

“BEAT IT” SUBPLOT B GRADE: A+

Advertisements

Posted by Kary

19 Comments

  1. im 100% with you there about loving degrassi while everyone else has there doubts…

    Like

    Reply

  2. meaning it the “dumb’ thing i adore hahah

    Like

    Reply

  3. so weird I wrote the exact same thing aout Argy’s actig seemig “off” when he’s just talking casually,glad someone agrees:)

    A-plot- My favorite of the season so far:) it would have been perfect if he didn’t call Fiona a bitc*:(…I felt for her. Anyway aside from that this was basically perfect(IMO)

    B-plot- I loved Anya’s plot, SO MUCH (I’m not a LARPer, but I’m a geek so I’m glad someone on Degrassi is too:))And I liked her friendship w/ Leia too.

    C-plot- Degrassi isn’t very subtle about Jenna stealing KC which only makes me want to watch KC’s two-parter even more! Also Dave is a great addition to the cast. And the entire time I was wondering where Alli was:p

    Like

    Reply

  4. […] 4, 2009 by Tara Kary of Degrassi Blog posted about a subplot on Degrassi involving LARP (live action role play). Please note this spoiler warning for that link for those […]

    Like

    Reply

  5. i agree with most of this, but i thought the riley plot was a bit confusing..and i don’t really like the actor anyway..but i am so excited for the other plots!!

    Like

    Reply

    1. like, the plot was scattered around a bit, and i was confused on how to feel…whether i should feel bad for riley or annoyed, and i was just SO bugged by his acting..but that’s a different story :P

      Like

      Reply

      1. you make really good points though, also, i’m a big fan!! i love this blog!! :D

        Like

  6. where was Alli in all of this ? lol

    Like

    Reply

    1. she had swine flu;)

      but yeah I was thinking the same thing. Even disappearences like that happen a bit too often for my liking.

      Like

      Reply

  7. lol. the episode was GREAT! But the only thing i could think was were was Alli. They probably took here out because she wasn’t needed for this episode. But Johnny and Bruce appeared for like three seconds which i found very stupid

    Like

    Reply

  8. Beat It was amazing and in the beginning before the theme song i felt so bad for Riley but wanted to laugh at the same time!!! i had been waiting for Beat It since season9 1st began so after i saw it i wasn’t sure if i was making myself believe that it was as good as it was! so the review made it official

    Like

    Reply

  9. haha yessss loved this episode.. cool review.

    Like

    Reply

  10. i really liked this episode especially the story they didnt say much about riley in season 8 but now its ok and i think that this episode helps others relate to it by helping them i mean like this episode i can relate to it and well its true u dont want to tell anybody but at the same time u want some1 by your side whom u can hold and be with but since u are who u are its kinda hard and well thanks degrassi for this epidode i really liked it i just hope that when claire and kc break up claire wont hold a grudge dang i wrote a lot

    Like

    Reply

  11. This episode was GREAT/..nice review too…do u know wat song is playing while Riley tries to get with Fiona???

    Like

    Reply

  12. hey, the hot actor who play lifeguard’s name is Wesley Morris. Check him out on elite models Tornoto.

    Like

    Reply

    1. I meant the actor who play’s the lifeguard’s name is Wesley Morris

      Like

      Reply

  13. Well I was reading And had a couple Of ?’s For You could you email Me Pleaz?????

    Jake

    Like

    Reply

  14. Could You Email Me Pleaz??
    Jake

    Like

    Reply

  15. I tryed typing Wesley Morris in but Some other guy came up!

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s