Drop the World proves that the negative impact of social media on Degrassi is real. If it wasn’t enough that spoilers the confirmed what was the heart of this final episode (just because I pretty much already knew what was going to happen, it doesn‘t mean I wanted to see it a week in advance), even worse was Stephen Stohn’s need to spend the past two weeks posting overhyped tweets on twitter. Emotionally, the excitement of watching the episode’s suspense was ruined without remorse.
From a technical standpoint, in no way is Drop The World in the category of elite Degrassi finales (forever Season 2, followed by Season 1), but by default it’s barely better than an overwhelming majority of the finales…because Degrassi does have a habit of creating very mediocre finales.
PLOT A: Clare finds herself wanting space from Eli.
Despite Eclare’s “Stalker Angel” being published, Clare starts to show signs of pulling away from Eli. Feeling Clare slipping away, Eli tries to reconnect with her by planning a spring break road trip. She reluctantly agrees at first, but eventually decides not to go because she believes Eli is acting out because Julia died a year ago around this time. She feels suffocated and decides they should take a break, to which Eli responds by blaming Julia and shooting a picture of her.
Eli decides to give her space, but secretly alarms Clare when she discovers his shotgun in the back of Morty. She alerts Bullfrog to the situation, but eventually Clare and Eli discuss the situation. She insists on going to the dance, while Eli plans to still go on the road trip. He tells her that if she wants to go with him, to meet him at their special bench that night.
Clare never shows up. An upset Eli confronts Clare over the phone, where she breaks up with him. She mentions how she hates the hearse, and Eli responds by vowing to “get rid of it.”
The next scene implies a car crash, and we witness Clare running to find Eli in the hospital. Eli reveals that he crashed Morty for her, and that he knew she’d come running if she thought something that happened to him. At that point Clare states that he scares her, and leaves him in the hospital. The episode ends with Clare meeting up with Alli outside of Degrassi, as she returns to the dance to try to get her mind off of what just happened.
I’m left torn on the overall state of this plot because there are parts that are simply wonderful, and others that make no sense. At times I was confused what the story’s driving conflict was, because they kept shifting back and forth between two things: 1) the fact that Eli’s mental instability is finally starting to push Clare away, and 2) Eli and Clare are suddenly this couple that’s arguing all the time. Remember at the end of Season 4 when Joey and Caitlin broke up? They had a conversation before that where one of them said “All we ever do is fight.” Since when?!?! The situation is similar here, and I don’t get why they tried to create contrived tension between EClare when the existing tension stemming from Eli’s behavior was more than enough.
The most disappointing part of this plot is the poorly-executed climax, where Eli crashes Morty. Here you have a chance to create a lasting visual impression on fans, and the only way we even know there’s a car crash is because of a crappy car crash sound effect.
The story, when on track, moves along fine. However, it’s nothing special until the end. It’s basically the same story of Eli melting down that we’ve seen all season, but Munro Chambers and Aislinn Paul deliver exceptional performances. Their acting makes the final five minutes of this episode disturbing, yet moving. If Eli creeped you out or made you feel sorry for him in the hospital scene, it’s because Munro did his job. His talent pushes this seemingly-predictable plot into something that’s slightly above average.
PLOT B: Holly J wants to end things with Sav; Fiona still has her eyes set on Holly J.
Remember when Sav and Holly J first got together, and they talked about how their relationship was going to be temporary? Well we finally reach the end of their fling in this episode. Holly J has finally lost interest in Sav, but doesn’t know how to break up with him. Anya suggests that she force Sav into a situation where his parents know about them…Sav will be too scared to stand up for Holly J and they’ll be forced to break up.
Holly J resists at first, but finally does it by introducing herself to Sav’s mom as his girlfriend. Her plan backfires though as Sav sticks up for her, and her parents actually encourage him to keep dating her. At that point Holly J is forced to come clean, and breaks up with Sav.
Fiona is happy about the breakup of Sav and Holly J, and ends up revealing her love for Holly J to Anya. Anya promises not to say anything, which in the Degrassi world means Anya winds up telling Holly J that Fiona is in love with her. This leads Holly J to try to not be awkward around Fiona by acting awkward (canceling their sleepover and trying to hook Fiona up with a random girl at the dance).
The truth finally comes out and because Holly J wasn’t straightforward, Fiona thinks she’s lost her best friend. But Holly J assures her that things don’t have to change between them, and become bff’s again.
Way to completely rush through Holly J breaking Sav’s heart. We all knew this was coming eventually, but their breakup was literally just a speed bump in the way of the impending Fiona/Holly J love saga. I didn’t like the two major things about this plot in Part 2: Fiona acting as if she’s completely come to terms with her unrequited love (I don’t buy it), and Holly J’s initial reactions to finding out about Fiona’s feelings. I’m disappointed with the weakening of Holly J’s character that’s been happening since the moment she first started dating Declan. I get that she’s currently dealing with health issues, but it’s almost ridiculous that of all people Holly J lacked the confidence to deal Sav and Fiona in a direct manner to begin with.
The plot is saved by the ending, which met my expectations. I loved that instead of making it some sort of emotional mess (9 times out of 10 situations like this end up with the people no longer being friends), they were able to show that both Holly J and Fiona were mature enough to handle the situation in a way that doesn’t ruin their friendship. But up until that point the entire plot felt completely off.
PLOT C: KC and Jenna prepare for the baby.
After her baby shower, Jenna discover’s KC hasn’t built the baby’s crib yet…so she goes and rips into him while he’s playing basketball with the boys. Believing she overreacted she apologizes to KC, and secretly asks Dave to throw KC a baby shower.
Dave does so, but during the shower they get the call that Jenna‘s water has broken. The final scene is everyone gathered around Jenna as she’s given birth.
Disappointing. Missed opportunities. Pointless. A waste of a plot. If I were grading this on the quality of quotable moments (“YOU TOLD ME TO PLAY BASKETBALL!!”), it’d receive an A+. But nope.
After Part 1 I thought they were going somewhere with this…maybe something dealing with KC struggling with wanting to have fun and having parental responsibilities.
Watching Part 2 I thought this might become a comedy relief plot. The fact Dave and Drew were so amused as they presented their extremely lame gift (handcuffs) to KC was funny to me. KC cuffing himself Bianca then learning that the baby is on the way was surely going to lead to a wacky race to get to the hospital.
For the second time in six seasons a character gets pregnant, only for the birth to be completely overshadowed by another plot within the episode. It’s as if they wanted to just get it out of the way, but it could’ve easily been transformed into a main plot. I guess the good thing is that Eli crashing Morty took precedence over Kenna’s baby, instead of something like Craig’s overblown I’ve-got-to-sing-because-this-is-my-grand-exit-from-the-show plot.
*CLICK HERE to read Ology’s interview with Aislinn Paul, it was released today!!
*Ahhh yes, the Season 11 Teaser promo….the VERY brief footage used in this teaser is taken from the Spring Break Special, which will air this summer (even though it was filmed last year). Remember when Luke Bilyk did a radio interview late last year where he mentioned spoilers about what could happen in “In Too Deep?” I just wanted to point that he’s been right about all of the ones that have happened so far. If you want listen to that interview, CLICK HERE (SPOILER NOTE: If you’re still in the “I don’t want to know” mode about Drop The World, it’s better if you wait until AFTER tonight’s episode to listen to the intevieww).