[WARNING: THIS EPISODE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS]
Start Me Up joins Holiday Road as being the two episodes that could’ve ruined Degrassi’s season-long streak of pretty good episodes, but ultimately managed to be a decent episode.
Degrassi continues to impress me with its improved focus on continuity this season. Peter needs to get a job to help pay for college, and decides to open up a club above The Dot (and collectively everyone watching the show asks “The Dot has an upstairs?!?!”) Actually Peter opening a club wasn’t as random/contrived as I thought it’d be. It was basically going to be a venue where bands could play, and most importantly a place where people too young for real clubs could hang out…alcohol and drug free.
Well…until Victoria returns. Remember her, right? Fiona’s cousin and the girl who got Peter addicted to meth. And the storyline becomes pretty predictable as soon as she arrives: she’s sober now, but not really since Peter finds out she was snorting up in the club bathroom during a set by Frizzy Hair and the Creepers (lol).
Some people might be disappointed that Peter didn’t relapse, and fall back into a meth-induced path of self destruction…that’s probably because of rumors swirling around earlier in the season that Peter was going to die from an overdose. But he didn’t. And he kicked Victoria to the curb once he figured out she was still using.
This episode could’ve ended many ways, but for me I enjoyed the path they chose even if it wasn’t as dramatic. I loved the irony of Peter’s resolve to stay clean being stronger than the girl who attended a drug support group. The writers have always confused me with Peter because I’m never sure how they want us to perceive him. He’s gone from bad guy, to guy we feel sorry for, to good guy, etc. But it’s clear in Start Me Up that Peter is good guy looking to keep his life straight.
“START ME UP” MAIN PLOT GRADE: B-
Clare’s life is boring, and she is a boring girl. So what does she do? She steals a story about one of Declan’s trips to Italy in order to sound more interesting for a class report. This was a good plot because it’s so easily relatable. I mean how many of us wish we were as interesting as s0-and-so?
Anyway, I personally enjoyed the Clare/KC undertones in this plot. KC *sorta* got a pass for his behavior because of what he was going through in Heart Like Mine, but he annoyed me in this episode. Seeing him and Jenna together in class made me feel as bad as Clare felt, and I wanted to punch him in the face when he talked to Clare in the library. NOW you all of a sudden want to care about her feelings post breakup? In the ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL words of Alex Nuñez while talking to Paige in Dont You Want Me: “You don’t get to break my heart and then comfort me too.”
My heart actually melted at the end when Alli was reading Clare’s notebook. Put it on pause, and take a moment to read what it says; it’s great knowing it comes straight from Clare’s heart. And I’m not so sure that I like the idea of a Clare/KC reunion (because I’m mad at KC now), but I’m loving the fact Clare is going to stand up and go after what she wants, which is him. Now if only she’d give Jenna a massive piece of her mind, life would be complete.
“START ME UP” SUBPLOT GRADE: B