[WARNING: THIS EPISODE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS]
youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwrMf7oaNjs
MAIN PLOT: Fiona uses alcohol to deal with her anxiety over her case against Bobby.
The case against Bobby is going to trial, which means Fiona’s got to give her side of the story…of course Fiona would rather pretend like it never happened. She watches Bobby’s deposition and he basically calls her crazy. Her therapist prescribes her anxiety medication, but she prefers using alcohol instead. And she bombs her practice deposition with her lawyer.
To take her mind off things she helps plan Degrassi’s Vegas-themed dance…and she shows up drunk to the pitch meeting for the PTA. And she shows up to drunk to her deposition, and to her exam as well.
To be honest most of this episode, primarily Part 1, is just boring and redundant. I felt it was unnecessary to establish over and over and over that Fiona self medicates with alcohol, because I think her major issue (which is she’s still afraid to be perceived as crazy old Fiona) gets lost in the shuffle of shot after shot of her “special bottle.”
The best part is Fiona’s mom revealing that she’s pushing things forward because she feels responsible for what happened, and Fiona saying she made everything up. Her acting in that one scene is one of her best moments on the show. And while I’ve been hot and cold about Fiona and Holly J’s friendship all season, I’m definitely hot here as Holly J comes through as an amazingly supportive friend.
A major blow to this episode is the lack of Bobby…after reading this article where actor Ben Lewis said Bobby would be back around this time, I’m disappointed that it was nothing more than him on video. FAIL.
People are going to go crazy over my grade for this plot…you can point out the slow breakdown, the emotional aspect, etc., but to put Fiona’s breakdown in this episode in the same category as the best emotional breakdowns over abuse/assault this show has ever had (Paige in Season 4, Craig in Season 2, DARCY IN SEASON 7) would be a travesty.
The bottom line is does it move me? Does it grab my attention and keep me interested? For the most part, no. To me it’s the most forgettable part of Fiona’s Season 10 storyline, which was great up until this point.
SUBPLOT 1: Adam feels like the third wheel with Clare and Eli.
Adam wants to hang out with Eli, but Eli has other plans…he’s going to hang out with Clare STUDY! Hopefully everyone knew this was coming from a mile away (aka since the beginning of Adam/Eli/Clare hanging out) that once Eli and Clare started doing their own thing Adam would be the third wheel.
Adam feels betrayed after Eli lied about studying to spend time with Clare, so he randomly starts hanging out with Fitz. Eli tries to apologize, but upsets Adam after saying he’s going to hang out with Clare again. “Don’t be such a girl!” he says, and that obviously offends Adam. I really loved this scene because Eli instantly knew saying that was wrong. He truly didn’t mean it and I love how he has always genuinely thought of Adam as a guy.
The same can’t be said for Fitz, who when Adam wants to join his fight club, he recruits Bianca to be Adam’s sparring partner because “no guy’s gonna hit a girl.” That pisses Adam off, and to show Fitz that he is one of the guys he ends up attacking Fitz in the hallway at school. And then after Eli apologizes again for hurting Adam, the guys take on Fitz in the parking lot. Fitz hits Eli, but refuses to hit Adam, who knees Fitz in the nards.
This is a great plot because it shifted midway to become something more than Adam hating being a third wheel; it’s a great non in-your-face transgender storyline, about Adam having to deal with people not taking him seriously. And the fact that now Adam has Fitz looking for revenge against him and Eli leading into All Falls Down makes for some interesting drama.
SUBPLOT 2: Riley has second thoughts about coming out of the closet.
Riley’s still determined to come out AFTER football season, so he decides to set it up by signing himself and Zane up to be King and King of the dance. The problem is when he signs up, the list is posted online immediately, meaning he’s accidentally outed himself. He officially comes out to the football team and his fear of the team losing focus comes true, but with the support of Drew, Riley is able to rally the team together.
SIDE NOTE: Once again Drew gets points for stepping up in defense of someone, this time his QB rival Riley. For people wondering why he did that after threatening to out Riley earlier in the season? Drew is the future leader of the football team. And the ONLY reason that Drew blackmailed Riley is because he thought it would land him the starting QB spot…and to be honest I don’t think Drew would’ve actually followed through with it. But I do know he would’ve used literally ANY dirt he could find to blackmail Riley into getting what he wanted at the time. So to once again squash any beliefs, NO, Drew is not a homophobe.
Riley is so good at the game that a scout from a top university (Eastern) wants to recruit him, but Riley’s afraid he’ll be rejected by teammates/fans there for being gay. The scout informs him that they’d love to have an openly gay athlete at Eastern, but Riley still has second thoughts. Him googling information (or lack thereof) about gay athletes, and info about why they’re afraid to come out is a brilliant touch. Coach Armstrong tells him he’s too talented to let his fear of what people will think of his sexuality get in the way, and Riley’s on his way to becoming a football star at Eastern.
The end of Part 1 when Riley started worrying what Eastern would think about him being out made me roll my eyes and say “No again…” However, Part 2 made his sexuality storyline feel real for the first time in quite a while. It was like he’s out at Degrassi, but at the same time worried about his decision to come out, as well as worried what people in the real world would think. And once again, the simple act of him googling was amazing.
At last, Riley is out!