[WARNING: THIS EPISODE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS]
PLOT A: Fiona faces Bobby in trial, and sorts out her romantic feelings.
Fiona’s released from rehab just in time for her trial against Bobby. Her mom wants her to settle, but Fiona’s adamant about going through with it…as long as Holly J can come with them to New York.The defense does its best to break Fiona and make her look unreliable, but in a shocker Tinsley (who accompanied Bobby to the trial) admits that Bobby had abused her as well…so Fiona wins her case.
Upon returning to Degrassi, Fiona mends things with Adam by having a movie night. Fiona tries to convince Adam that she likes him, but fails after saying that she likes that Adam is “boy-ish and girl-ish.” Reading between the lines, Adam realizes Fiona is a lesbian and is left heartbroken, again.
At a girls’ night, Holly J and Fiona dish about love. Holly J admits she’s still in love with Declan. After Holly J goes to bed, Fiona confesses to her mom that she’s a lesbian, and that she’s in love with Holly J. Fiona also tells Holly J she’s a lesbian, but neglects to reveal her true feelings knowing Holly J doesn‘t feel the same.
Fiona’s storyline was basically separated into two plots, both of which were well done. There was never any doubt as to whether or not Fiona would stay sober. With the Holly J thing looming right around the corner the drama of whether or not Fiona would relapse and get drunk again never really existed. The trial itself was fantastic. It’s one of those moments where Fiona’s an extreme underdog, so you’re hoping she’ll somehow pull through. I was having flashbacks to Paige’s trial in Ghost In The Machine until Tinsley confessed that she’d also been slapped by Bobby. I can’t even fathom the amount of bravery it’d take someone to admit to something like that in that situation.
Part 2 is even better, as Adam (an extremely smart character) calls Fiona out on her crap, aka the fact that she’s using him. Annie Clark brings tenderness to a personal moment, when Fiona realizes that she and Holly J will never be together. I highly doubt anyone in the Degrassi universe thought Folly J would happen, and even less were rooting for them to begin with. But Annie’s acting does a beautiful job of making you feel sorry for her unrequited love; as she lies there in bed, shedding tears, you feel her pain.
The good part is the plot is left at a crossroad that can’t be easily determined. Fiona could very well stir things up one day and confess her love to Holly J. Or she could do something I’m familiar with: continue to bite her tongue and suffer silently, knowing the kind of love she has for the person closest to her emotionally will never be returned.
PLOT B: Anya feels violated after Owen’s too touchy feely.
Anya’s in a CPR class with Owen, and she feels uncomfortable when he nonchalantly feels her up during an exercise (aka rubbing on her arms in that creepy, flirty “I want you” way). She complains to Coach Armstrong, which gets Owen kicked out of the class. Owen gets pissed that Anya went to the teacher instead of coming to him directly, but he eventually apologizes.
Owen also reveals that he likes Anya in a romantic way.
Anya, touched by Owen’s sincere apology, feels bad for getting him kicked out of CPR class and gets him reinstated. But, in a random meeting at The Dot, he pulls yet another creepy flirty move (this time hugging her from behind) and Anya lets him have it. She even takes the time to embarrass him in front of the other girls there, the girls Owen arrogantly believes he could have without trying.
Discussing Part 1 last week I noticed a lot of people talking about how simplistic and realistic Alli’s plot was. No no no no no….THIS plot is a fantastic example of a simple, yet effective Degrassi plot. It’s realistic in many ways, because they don’t allow this standard television scenario to play out the way it would 99 out of 100 times. Anya isn’t interested in Owen romantically, and never comes close to wavering. Owen is finally humanized in this episode (we see that he genuinely wants to be a lifeguard), but it’s not to the point where they re-shape him into someone new; in the end, he’s still a douchebag that doesn’t get that you can’t put your hands all over girls whenever you please. God, I hope the rest of the male population was paying attention to this plot.
When I say a storyline needs to be interesting and engaging, this is the kind of plot I’m talking about. It does a great job of executing the story, and its theme is universally relatable. It’s not dramatic and no one dies, but not all Degrassi storylines need to be high octane in intensity in order to be good.
PLOT C: Alli returns to Degrassi, and finds a way to deal with facing Drew.
Alli’s return to Degrassi happens to be one of the biggest “I don’t really care” moments for me recently. She’s reinstated at Degrassi, and dreads the thought of having to see Drew in the halls again. She learns that if students do poorly on the standardized tests, then Principal Simpson’s job is in jeopardy.
She devises a plan to gather the “dumb” grade 10 students (and Drew), and tutor them to prepare them for the test. Of course, like most teenagers, they aren’t motivated to study on their own. The only way Alli gets them to study is to (without Simpson’s initial permission) promise the students a dance if they do well on the test.
They do well, Simpson’s job is saved, the school gets a dance and everyone lives happily ever after.
Bravo to Alli for her efforts, but what a weak, waste of a plot. And if the argument is that it’s just here to set up the dance in Drop The World, then it’s a weak, waste of a set up plot. Alli’s return is ultimately underwhelming, through no fault of her own; my disdain for this plot has nothing to do with Alli, it‘s all about the story itself. Part 1 moved so slowly that everything in Part 2 had to be rushed. Everything that could’ve mattered beyond the extremely contrived plot to “rally the troops” en route to a school dance were shoved aside. The awkward tension between Alli and Drew was forced, and their “re-connection” was crammed into two brief musical montages. Why bother dropping major hints of an Alli/Drew/Bianca love triangle if you’re not even going to put effort into setting it up?
All season long Degrassi has been setting up future storylines, so not really caring about what happens in a set-up plot because all that anyone cares about is its end result isn’t an excuse. There’s an infinite number of ways they could’ve made a dance happen, AND at the same time make its worthwhile storyline (Alli/Drew) something that’s watchable…they just so happened to pick the one way that doesn’t work.
So this was supposed to be the part where I tell you where I’m going dark for two week’s because I wanted to know nothing about Drop The World…..well that’s dream was killed before it even began. Not even a full minute after I finished watching the episode i stumbled across a good 20 people tweeting about Eli and the gun. I wasn’t even trying…the tweets practically slapped me in the face. So now my plans are pretty much ruined. Thanks a lot twitterverse.
Now instead I have to post Drop The World promo below. Am I the only one that laughed out loud at Eli with a shotgun in his hand? Before I saw the promo people were generically talking about Eli having a gun, and I assumed it was a handgun. I know he’s know shooting at another person in the scene used in the promo, but I don’t buy for a second that he’s gonna point and shoot it at another human being.