The Way We Get By is a weird episode. It’s one where there were some great moments, but as far as storylines and the episode as a whole goes I felt like it was nothing special. There wasn’t very much actually happening; sometimes the story just sat there, while other parts didn’t really make sense.
PLOT A: Bianca and Drew Become A Couple.
Degrassi’s basketball team is winning in the playoffs thanks to its star player, Drew. After they win a trip to the semifinals, KC, Jenna, Dave and Sadie go on a double date. Drew decides not to tag along because he doesn’t want to be the fifth wheel.
Drew starts searching for a girl so he can fit in with the foursome, but no luck…no girl at Degrassi wants him. Well, no girl except Bianca that is.
Drew and Bianca start dating, but the problem is KC and Dave don’t like the idea because their girlfriends hate Bianca. Actually, apparently everyone at Degrassi hates Bianca because of her reputation for being a slut. However, Drew’s adamant that Bianca is not as bad as everyone believes.
Drew sets up a meetup at The Dot so that KC, Jenna, Dave and Sadie can meet Bianca, but Jenna and Bianca get into an argument. Drew and Bianca head to the ravine, where Ron Ron gives them mushrooms. Drew gets high, and decides that he has to go to the basketball game because it’s the finals…he also insults Bianca because he felt like he was letting the team down. He shows up, but his mom notices something is wrong. Drew admits he’s high, and his mom doesn’t let him play. Degrassi lost the game, but Drew doesn’t lose Bianca, who still wants to hang out with him despite what happened the day before.
I’m up on Drew and up on Bianca, but I still don’t buy them as a couple. Though not as blatant as say, Peter and Mia, their coupling seems so random. The whole part about girls at Degrassi not liking Drew because of the boiler room incident was just a plot device to force them together. I don’t know, it just doesn’t make sense that you’d make Drew this all-star athlete, but at the same time girls find him repulsive.
Also, I’m not really sure why Drew likes Bianca, besides the fact he’s desperate for a girlfriend. He spent the entire episode trying to convince KC and Dave that Bianca is a great girl. The problem is even WE, the audience, still know nothing about her. We saw a less-bitchy side of her in this episode, but we still don’t know who she is. On the other hand, I actually like Alicia Josipovic’s acting. Bianca reminds me a lot of Alex Nunez, she’s very blunt and delivers her lines sharply. I’d love to see Bianca get a storyline of her own. But for now I guess we’re stuck with watching her and Drew together, a couple that’s got a lot of work to do to make me interested in them.
PLOT B: Riley’s Mom Finds Out He’s Gay.
Zane invites Riley to an art showing, but Riley says no because he knows nothing about art. Anya convinces him he’s being an idiot, so Riley gets a makeover (aka he cuts his hair…thank God because that look on him is ridiculous) and he attends anyway. Riley meets Zane’s ex-boyfriend Thomas, who he ends up accidentally insulting.
Riley goes home, frustrated. Zane stops by and they sit on his bed. They start kissing and Riley’s mom walks in on them. She’d brought them food, and just sits the plate down and leaves. Knowing that his mom saw him and Zane kiss, Riley tries several times to talk to her about it. However, she keeps pretending as if she never saw anything.
Finally, Riley finds out his mom told their dad to go to a baseball game without him. Riley tells his mom that he’s gay, but she’s still in denial…she thinks he’s just going through a phase. He wants to have a family conversation, but she demands that he not come out to his dad. Zane consoles Riley, telling him that his mom will come around in time.
This is the best plot out of the three. Despite being open-ended (I’m assuming this plot will continue, but open-ended plots like this one always make me nervous for some reason), I thought it was pretty well written. If you had gone into this episode completely blind, aka didn’t see a single promo or read an episode description, you would’ve thought this episode was going to be about Riley being jealous over Zane’s ex. Honestly, they could’ve gone that route and it might’ve made a solid plot. The way it was written, Riley’s mom finding out he’s gay came out of nowhere, and I liked that. I liked that they found a new way to deal with a character coming out to his family. Riley’s acting is always a distraction (Argiris is not the strongest actor of the bunch), but at least Riley’s character continues to grow. One thing that bugs me though…Riley’s mom seems to think gay people aren’t into sports. Riley’s been playing sports for years…why in the hell would being gay suddenly make him lose interest in them?
PLOT C: Alli Tries To Gain Her Parents’ Trust Back.
Alli’s going to an all-girl’s school and decides to become friends with a girl there named Malika. Alli’s parents adore Malika, so Alli uses their friendship as a way to get back on her parents’ good side. Of course Malika has plans of her own…Alli invites Malika over for dinner, and she ends up staying the night. However, Malika uses the sleepover as a cover to go see her boyfriend. Alli reluctantly covers for her, but only because of Malika’s promise to help Alli gain back her parents’ trust.
At school, Alli and Malika are sitting outside and Malika starts smoking. She asks Alli to hold the cigarette, and when she does Alli’s mom conveniently pulls up and catches her. Alli tries to tell her mom the cigarette wasn’t hers, but her mom doesn’t believe her and Malika leaves her hanging. Once again Alli is in trouble.
I didn’t really find this storyline interesting. I understand it sucked for Alli, who tries so hard yet she’s being brought down by someone else, but the whole “Alli’s always in trouble” thing is getting repetitive. I don’t know what it is, but I tend to find characters boring when they’re isolated from Degrassi…you had any of the college kids in Seasons 6 and 7, and now Alli who’s stuck at a private school. I’m longing for the days where she and Clare are reunited and become bff’s again.