[WARNING: THIS EPISODE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS]
Another week = another great episode from Degrassi. It’s so weird to have back-to-back episodes that are really good. This episode (just like last week’s episode, Innocent When You Dream) is proof that the show can tackle an issue with sincerity and still be interesting, without resorting to some extreme (aka be as the tagline used to say, 100% Intense).
Riley has been taking small steps to control his anger issues (such as yoga and the group therapy), which stem from the frustration of being too afraid of coming out. At the beginning of the episode, Peter is still the only one that knows he’s gay, but Riley finally confesses to Anya. Even I, a straight guy, held my breath in anxiety at that moment because it’s easy to feel Riley’s fear of rejection. It was great when Anya let him know that she was completely ok with it. (Side Note: Anya is a much better support character than a main plot character).
The plot is based around Riley having a crush on Zane Park (Shannon Kook-Chun). Riley asks Zane to hang out at The Dot, but Riley’s anxiety gets the best of him. Riley asks if they can go somewhere else, so they sneak into an abandoned construction site. Zane’s line, “Are we hiding from the world up here?” perfectly refers to the fact Riley is still too scared to reveal his sexuality in public.
When Zane invites Riley to the LGBT mixer, it’s still obvious Riley isn’t ready, so he declines. But of course he ends up going anyway (it’s being held at Peter’s club, Above The Dot). There’s several great things about that part of the episode: the extreme anxiety Riley has, when he tells Peter that he could only get halfway up the stairs, but was too scared to actually walk into the mixer. Also, the moment when dancing with Zane that Riley finally loosens up.
The ending made me think of It’s Raining Men. While that episode’s plot was *slightly* better overall, the ending to In Your Eyes was better. It’s like you could feel a sigh of relief with Riley as he finally realized it’s in his head, and no one really cares if he’s a gay guy in public. Oh, and Zane? It’s too soon to jump up and say he’s GREAT, given we didn’t learn much about him…YET. But I did like that he was an understanding and laid-back guy. And BOY does he have some awesome hair! Let’s hope they don’t do like they’ve done with other gay guys on this show and waste his potential by making him an annoying side piece.
Several characters earned a lot of respect in this episode: Riley of course for his bravery, Anya for her kindness and CLARE, who I’ll talk more about below.
IN YOUR EYES MAIN PLOT GRADE: A
IN YOUR EYES SUBPLOT: Clare/KC/Jenna
KC is failing math, so what does Clare do? She decides to take it upon herself to tutor him. She obviously still has feelings for him, and at the same time Jenna thinks it’s a good idea for KC to use Clare to get a good grade.
KC falls into the category of douchebag for two reasons: 1) Trying to guilt Clare after she initially didn’t want to help him cheat, and 2) Blaming Jenna as being the reason things in his life have fallen apart since he and Clare broke up. Clare does the one thing we’ve been waiting for so long, which is stand up for herself and tell both Jenna and KC off.
It’s hard to see a KC/Clare reunion after that, but just like the subplot in Innocent When You Dream (Sav/Anya), it’s great to see that the writers aren’t breaking up couples simply to rush and get them back together again an episode or two later.
IN YOUR EYES SUBPLOT GRADE: A