PLOT A SUMMARY: Tensions are high in the Edwards/Martin household after Clare and Jake’s breakup. It’s Jake’s birthday and Helen thinks they should celebrate his birthday with a barbeque. Glen tells Jake he should invite his “new girl” to join them. Clare assumes the girl is Alli, but finds out that it’s actually Jenna. Clare stops by a bookshop and meets a girl named Summer. Clare vents all of her frustration to her, and Summer offers Clare a place to stay if she ever wants to just get away from it all.
At dinner Jenna talks about her pregnancy/adoption, and to Clare’s dismay Glen and Helen react positively toward Jenna instead of judging her harshly. Outraged because she feels they’re being hypocritical, Clare abruptly leaves the table. She meets with her dad and tells him she wants to move in with him, but he tells her he doesn’t have enough room at his apartment because of his girlfriend and her kids. Clare returns home and pleads with her mom to talk things out, but Helen doesn’t know what to say. Clare tells her that she’s going to stay with her dad, but ends up going to stay at Summer’s house.
At school Jake tells Clare that after she left, Helen spent the night crying. Clare goes home thinking she and her mom will reconcile, but Helen tells Clare that it probably is a good idea for her to stay with her dad for a while. Clare’s enjoying staying at Summer and Cash’s until she learns of their secret…they grow and sell weed. At school again Jake tells Clare he knows she hasn’t been staying at her dad’s, and to get him off her back she gives him an address to Summer’s place. Clare returns to Summer’s to find out they’re moving because the cops are onto them. Jake busts into their house to get Clare, but Cash won’t let them leave. The cops bust in and arrest everyone, but eventually let Clare and Jake go because they know the two weren’t involved. The two laugh off the situation, and while they don’t tell Helen what happened, Clare does tell her that she wants to come home.
Finally, a Clare plot worth watching. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to watch Clare without cringing, but it was worth it. In reality the issue was never really about “whiny, selfish” Clare. Though she was being annoying, you could see why she felt the way she did…those feelings felt real.
The problem all along was that Clare’s turmoil was like an 8-year-old playing with makeup: the face (Clare’s struggles with her parents’ divorce) was caked in makeup (relationship b.s. with Jake), so everything looked like a mess. With Cake out of the way, we could finally get to the heart of the issue, as well as genuinely feel sorry for Clare.
I’m at a loss for words when it comes to Clare’s parents. Randall’s response to Clare’s request to live with him wasn’t all that surprising. Why would he want the responsibility of being a real parent now that he’s had a taste of “freedom” from marriage and parenthood? Helen on the other hand…ironically she’s become more selfish than Clare ever was. Helen went from being insanely uptight to basically not giving a damn…it’s a wonder Clare was ever stable at all since her arrival on the show. Watching Clare get rejected by both parents hurt. Watching her finally say everything she needed to say to a group of strangers hurt even more. The drug-dealing hippies were just a means to help Clare and Jake bond as siblings. I despised Cake as a couple…I love them as brother and sister. They’re on equal playing fields. And maybe now that we’ve seen Clare at her worst, we can watch as she slowly returns to being herself again.
PLOT B SUMMARY: Connor decides to join the football team, one of the reasons being to help himself learn how to socialize with his peers. He has no trouble doing the football drills, beating out Mo for the starting nose tackle position. However, he still doesn’t know how to fit in yet: he doesn’t understand a joke Drew and Owen make, and then when he over laughs at Mo’s joke (because he thought that’s what he’s supposed to do), he insults Mo. He also unintentionally insults Mo’s weight. Mo’s only on the team to pick up girls, so he has no problems being rude to Connor. Connor decides to play a joke on Mo by creating a fake Facerange profile and luring Mo into a date with a “hot girl” at The Dot.
Mo skips the football game to meet the girl, but shows up near the end of the game disappointed because he was stood up. Connor admits that it was a prank, and tells Mo they should be friends because they’re both wanting to be accepted. They both go into the game on the final play, and knowing the only way they can change the way their teammates see them is to win the game, they decide to pretend like they’re arguing to throw off the offense. It works: Connor causes the QB to fumble, and Mo grabs the ball and scores the game-winning touchdown.
This is the second time Mo has started off as a douchebag only to wind up in my good graces in the end. This plot was fantastic from beginning to end. As easy as it would’ve been for Connor to have returned to Degrassi and be “cured” so speak, I’m so glad that they took the time to show us that he still had no concept of how to socialize properly with others, and he didn‘t even know where to begin to fix it. Despite different backgrounds, we got to see two people going about finding acceptance in two different ways. Watching Mo beat up on himself after being “stood up” made me realize something. A line from the original description for Mo’s character (originally named Dennis) said he “has always struggled with his weight, and as a consequence, has taken a social backseat for most of high school.” Not Ready To Make Nice showed us the “social backseat” side of that description…let’s hope they bring his weight into the fold as well.
Oh, and the final scene of this plot, where Connor and Mo basically reenacted Clare’s “Did you ever love me at all” meltdown? Entertainment gold. It’s easily one of the best moments of Season 11.
PLOT C SUMMARY: Fiona realizes she has a crush on Imogen, so her plan to nip it in the bud is simple: she tries to hook Imogen and Eli up. Eli admits that he has feelings for Imogen, while Imogen’s feelings are somewhat unknown. Fiona invites them both of them to her loft, where she has a picnic laid out for them. Fiona told Eli she was setting them up, but not Imogen, who looks uncomfortable about the situation. Eli leaves and Imogen questions why Fiona is being so pushy about getting her and Eli together. Imogen thinks that Fiona is doing it because she doesn’t want to be friends anymore, but Fiona assures her that’s not the case. Later, Eli and Imogen tell Fiona that they talked and have decided to go out on a date. Fiona’s plan worked; she pretends to be happy for them, but feels sad because she still has feelings for Imogen.
The Season 11 trend of forcing characters into relationships continues. Whatever happened to ships having some sort of chemistry, as opposed to being randomly slapped together? It’s a shame I’ve gotta rip this storyline so far, because I like Fiona, Imogen and Eli. Part 1 left me feeling “ehhhh,” and then Part 2 left me saying “WTF just happened?”
Imogeli has zero romantic chemistry. Eli suddenly having feelings for Imogen doesn’t feel genuine because of the lack of screen time Imogeli has had following their fiasco during Now Or Never. Never once before this episode has he shown attraction toward her in a romantic way. One could use the look he gave at the end of Dirt Off Your Shoulder Pt 1, but that’s still a stretch…Eli wasn’t in a proper state of mind upon meeting Imogen to begin with. Even on Imogen’s side, she didn’t seem very interested in a romantic relationship with Eli in this episode, and she used to be freakin obsessed with the guy. How am I supposed to ship Imogeli when Imogeli doesn’t even seem genuinely interested in each other?
And when it comes to Fimogen, any romantic potential feels tainted by the idea that they’re just looking to give Fiona something to do, so love must be the only option. And since love is the only option, Imogen is the only viable character on the show to play her love interest. I’ve come to a simple conlusion: the Fiona/Imogen/Eli friendships are great. The romantic feelings and the couples and the love triangle? Not so much. It’s nothing more than a race to see which Imogen-related couple can be forced down our throats the hardest.
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