[WARNING: THIS EPISODE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS]
youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG2AQky4Ask
MAIN PLOT: Riley and Zane deal with homophobia.
The Riley/Zane saga continues as Riley tries (again) to make amends with Zane. And he blows it (again) after making what he considers an innocent gay joke in the locker room, while Owen’s jokes tend to be more harsh.
Riley attends an LGBT forum and after Zane expresses how hurt his feelings were by Riley’s actions, Riley realizes his behavior was homophobic. So he declares an end to gay jokes in the locker room, which doesn’t sit well Owen, who in return writes “HOMO” on Riley’s locker and “Riley’s a fag” on a bus outside.
A furious Riley hits Owen, and that in turn infuriates Zane, who knows that violence will only make the situation worse; Zane’s warning was proven right after he gets jumped by Owen behind The Dot. Once again, Riley and Zane are on the outs, and once again Riley begs Zane for another chance. Then, out of nowhere, Riley bids on Zane at the bachelor auction and wins him.
Now the lessons of this storylines (realizing that “harmless” gay jokes may not be that harmless, and violence isn’t the answer) are solid and Zane is an awesome character, but I think I’ve officially started feeling the symptoms of storyline fatigue when it comes to Riley. For several episodes now Riley and Zane have done this whole back-and-forth thing where things are good, Riley screws up, then Zane forgives him. At the end of Part 2 Riley says “I don’t even know why you keep giving me chances,” and before Zane even responded I yelled out “ME NEITHER!”
And Riley still hasn’t officially come out yet. It was nice to see that he can’t come out to his mom, and he was bold enough to bid on Zane (leaving people wondering about his sexuality), but I have a feeling this will get very old, very fast if he can’t come out before the end of Season 10…because I’d prefer for him to not become another Marco Del Rossi, where every single storyline about him is about his sexuality.
SUBPLOT 1: Clare tries to take things to the next level with a distant Eli.
Clare likes Eli. Eli likes Clare. But after they kiss during a video project Eli gives Clare the cold shoulder, and begins avoiding her like the plague. This leaves Clare confused and hurt after he refuses to explain his actions, making it look like he was leading her on.
But Eli’s holding onto a dark secret, and darker feelings; he takes Clare on a drive, and they stop at the place where he says “This is where I killed my girlfriend.” They had gotten into an argument there, she left on her bike and died after being hit by a car. Realizing that Eli’s still hurt over that and currently too scared to get that close to anyone, Clare decides to give Eli time to heal (all of this of course correlating to their English project).
It’s really refreshing to watch two people who like each other building their relationship through communicating their feelings and working through their problems. I think of Eli hiding his hurt (and himself) from Clare and compare it to, for instance Alli and Drew arguing over their relationship “label.” And while I love the chemistry of say Sav and Holly J, their relationship is primarily superficial. Everytime Clare and Eli interact I think, “These two are genuine.”
SUBPLOT 2: Wesley signs up for the bachelor auction, and has a crush on Anya.
One day Wesley randomly decides to sign up for the bachelor auction, in the hopes that Anya will bid on him. Of course he has NO game, so he decides to tutor Drew in science in exchange for tips on how to be cool enough to be the kind of guy Anya would go for. He fails at trying to “spit game” at Anya and thinks about quitting the auction, but Anya convinces him to stay in it.
At the bachelor auction, no one shows an interest in wanting to bid on him, but Anya bids $2 on him (out of pity) and she wins. Wesley doesn’t care that no one else put in a bid, because Anya is the girl he wants.
Wesley is the man. Period. He’s just so incredibly nerdy and awkward that it’s impossible not to be entertained and want to cheer him on at the same time. Now with him getting a “date” with Anya, I can’t wait to see how that goes down. Because this storyline made me laugh literally the entire time, it’s pretty obvious that it’s getting an awesome grade.