PLOT A SUMMARY: Eli’s been holding things together thanks to his anti-anxiety medication. However, things slowly unravel when Clare reveals she has to interview him about the play, and Fiona wants him to rewrite it because his current version is too dark. Eli begins to stress out and his dad suggests he quit the play, but Fiona talks him into continuing. However, Eli’s still suffering from writer’s block and thoughts about Clare, so he smashes a computer in the MI lab. Imogen appears out of nowhere and covers for him, by making it seem like she tripped over the cord.
They talk and Imogen randomly mentions how Eli’s meds could be what’s keeping him from focusing. The next day Eli decides he’s going to stop taking his meds to see if he can function without him, and Imogen holds onto them. He begins to lose it, so Imogen and him skip school to brainstorm ideas for the play. Imogen dresses up like Clare and pretends to be her, while saying mean things to Eli. Eli lashes out saying he hates “Clare,” and begins to feel free. Eli pitches a new play idea to Fiona, then tells Clare about it….it’s going to be a story about their breakup.
Cristine and Munro deliver excellent performances in a plot that delivers a lot of hard, yet conflicting emotions. It’s yet another plot this season that kept me engaged and entertained from beginning to end. I love the irony of how both Eli and Clare are trying to use extracurricular activities to get over each other. Imogen is a unique character who treads a thin line with bizarre dialogue and her stalker-ish knowledge about Eli and Clare.
Now the question is, was Imogen manipulating Eli? Yes. In the scene where she pretended to be Clare Edwards she was trying to get Eli to replace the rose-colored thoughts he had of Clare with ones that portray her negatively, so that he wouldn’t want to think about her. Imogen was manipulating Eli’s thoughts so that he would stop pining over Clare. It was an exceptionally powerful scene as Eli confronted “Clare,” and despite Imogen’s other motivations (this is Degrassi, there’s no way she’s doing this as some sort of selfless act), it was brilliant idea, but at the same time this is ELI we‘re talking about…we know this is essentially going to make things worse for him (good for us though because of the potential drama he’ll bring).
Coming into Season 11 I thought Eli’s stability (or lack of) is what made him the character with the most potential. We’re currently seeing a character who’s having trouble functioning with his meds, but is a loose cannon without them (despite his ability to come up with a killer play idea). I don’t see Imogen and Eli as a couple, but I see Imogen as a kind of a moving part in the Eclare ship, one that’s capable of helping and hurting at the same time.
PLOT B SUMMARY: Riley and his mom still haven’t talked since he tried to come out to her, but there’s progress when he agrees to meet with a girl to talk about scholarships, despite having to blow off Zane to do so. Of course Athena reveals the entire thing was a setup to get them together, but Riley reveals he’s gay. He then decides he can pretend to be straight so his parents won’t hate him. However, he leaves his cell phone behind to use the bathroom and Zane checks it when he sees Riley received a text. The obscure text leaves Zane thinking Riley is cheating on him.
Riley tells Zane the truth about Athena and his mom, and asks Zane to come to his birthday party even though they won’t be able to say they’re together. Midway through the party Zane leaves, because he’s tired of pretending. Later, Riley tells Zane that he isn’t ready to come out to his family yet, and because he doesn’t want to keep hurting Zane he breaks up with him.
This plot is basically your average Ziley plot, until the end. I was actually very impressed with how things ended. The problem with Ziley is that they’ve been stagnant ever since they got together. They never zigged or zagged, they just stood there as we waited for Riley to do something…ANYTHING.
Well in this episode he did something. I assumed Zane would be the one who’d jump ship. Excellent job by the writers making Riley flat out admit that he didn’t want to rock the boat with his family and him breaking up with Zane. Yes, he chose his family over Zane. From a storytelling aspect I loved this because they went with the less-obvious route. But if we’re looking at it from a character standpoint, I’m still annoyed with Riley for jerking Zane around and keeping him in limbo for so long. Lying to Zane was pretty crappy. Then again, it was obvious to me way before this episode that he didn’t wanna deal with being rejected by his family so he should’ve ended it with Zane sooner.
Such a shame though…as little screen time as Riley and Zane have had, one can assume we might see them maybe one more time before they graduate.
PLOT C SUMMARY: KC is continuing using his job at Little Miss Steaks as a reason to not be at home with Jenna and Tyson. One night after work Marisol convinces KC to stay after closing to enjoy the post-work parties they have at the restaurant. KC decides he’s going to quit, but Marisol helps him get promoted. Jenna becomes suspicious of Marisol’s motives. KC begins to develop feelings for Marisol, and he even buys her an mp3 player to replace her broken one, and she kisses him on the cheek.
It’s weird when you can find such a bad situation so entertaining. In this instance I like how they’re slowly progressing KC and Marisol’s relationship, instead of rushing and making it an instance where they hook up. I love how, for a brief instant, KC seemed to show some guilt about the job but I’m glad he didn’t quit his job and do the whole “KC’s good, then he’s bad, then he’s good” thing again. That scene where he and Jenna talk about the baby monitor shows that he wants to be there for Jenna, but at the same time he doesn’t want to give up being a normal teenager, and he lacks the self control to do so.
Jenna’s maturation has been natural. During the pregnancy she took things seriously so there’s no reason to think she’s going to be the next Mia. So I feel bad for her throughout the entire ordeal. I can’t wait to see how far KC and Marisol will go, and what effect it’ll have on Kenna’s relationship now that there’s a baby in the picture.