PLOT A SUMMARY: Bianca’s turning over a new leaf, but she’s getting weary from the tight restrictions of her probation (random drug tests and having a curfew).  Simpson commends her for her hard work though, and suggests that Bianca start applying to university.  Bianca doesn’t know how to get started, so Drew volunteers Katie to help her.  While they’re chatting Katie asks Bianca where she used to score drugs…Bianca tells her it’s all about connections, but that she’s done hanging  out with that crowd.  Katie suggests that they should hang out and have a girl’s night.  Bianca’s suspicious of why Katie wants to be friendly, but Drew tells her she’s being paranoid.

Bianca and Katie hang out at a club and run into one of Bianca’s former druggie friends.  Bianca goes to the washroom and when she returns she finds the guy talking to Katie, who reveals that she bought oxycontin from him.  Bianca thinks Katie shouldn‘t have bought the drug, but still promises not to tell anyone about it.  Later, Bianca catches Katie dancing with the guy and realizes that Katie is high on Oxy.  Bianca realizes that Katie was only using her to score drugs.  Despite being close to curfew Bianca takes Katie home.  At home Katie tells Bianca that she knows B has been waiting to steal Drew from her, and that she never really wanted to be friends.  An upset Bianca storms out and heads over to Drew’s place, where Drew feels like Katie’s changed and is hoping for relationship advice.  Bianca tells him that he should break up with Katie get back together with her, and the two share a kiss.  Bianca immediately regrets the kiss, but Drew says he wants to be with her as well.

The next day Drew and Bianca finds out Katie was admitted to the hospital for overdosing on pills.  She’s okay, but shifts the blame on Bianca for pointing out the dealer to her.  Meanwhile, at home Bianca’s aunt wants nothing to do with her because she thinks Bianca is sliding back into her old ways.  Bianca visit’s Drew’s mom Audra and thanks her for supporting her through the tough times.  Bianca tells Audra about her aunt giving up on her, and Audra volunteers to go with Bianca to her parent-teacher conference.  Katie reveals that her parents are taking her out of school and making her go to rehab.  She feels ashamed, and Bianca reminds her that she still has a strong support system of friends and family…and Drew.  Before we learn that Bianca’s doing well in her class, Drew pulls her aside and declares his love for her.  However, Bianca tells him that they can’t be together at the moment because Katie needs him now more than ever.

This plot’s biggest challenge was the balancing act it would have to do since it contained three major plotlines: Bianca changing for the better, Katie’s pill addiction and the love triangle with Drew looming overhead.  It’s weird to say this, but Part 1 felt crowded.  At one point you’ve got both Bianca and Katie’s issues intertwining, yet diluting each other’s perspective.  There’s multiple routes the episode could take and it was trotting along until it decided where to go.

Part 2 is where that decision was made, and the focus was placed squarely on Bianca.  It meant sacrificing the other two storylines, but I was totally OK with that.  Throughout both parts though, it’s hard not to root for Bianca.  She’s had a rough life, made mistakes and now she’s trying change. Actually she’s doing more than trying, she IS changing.  Her turning down Drew despite his eagerness to dump Katie for her is a testament to her maturing.  Even more so is how at Katie‘s lowest point Bianca took the time to reassure Kaite of her support system, even after being used and blamed by Katie.  Oddly enough Katie’s sudden rehab feels like one of those brief character sendoffs that was a combination of the actor/actress needing time off and the show needing to wrap up a storyline before the end of the season.

Two anticipated moments finally happened: we got a glimpse into Bianca’s home life, and we saw Audra show compassion toward Bianca.  There have been very few exchanges on Degrassi that were as caring and warm as the one between them.

Alicia Josipovic handles this episode in stride, and just like Smash Into You we’re treated to another actor who hasn’t had much screen time, but winds up making the most of what they’re given.

PLOT B SUMMARY: Dave still feels guilty about Jacinta’s accident which worries Alli, because Dave doesn’t want to talk to her about the situation and he also wants to go visit Jacinta in the hospital.  To take his mind off things Alli invites him over to her place.  Before he arrives Alli and Jenna stumble upon a Facerange group with people posting well wishes for Jacinta.  They also find some of the people are posting nasty comments about Dave because they believe he’s responsible.  She hides the page from Dave at first, but eventually tells him about it in a bid to get him to open up to her.  Dave finds himself obsessing over the Facerange page, and Alli once again tries to get his mind off things by taking him to see a comedy show.  However, Dave winds up getting in a confrontation with a comedian after Dave and Alli spend the show arguing over Dave’s obsessive behavior.  Dave tells Alli that he’s okay with her wanting to break up if she doesn’t want to deal with his issue, but she tells him she wants to stand by him as he tries to get over what happened to Jacinta.

If Part 1 is what hindered Plot A just a bit in this episode, then it’s the exact opposite for Dave and Alli.  This began as a very strong continuation of Dave’s guilt consuming him.  The Facerange page was a nice touch and you can see why Alli would want to shield him from it.  But once again we’re subjected to Alli being unable to follow the same advice she gives so freely.  She wants Dave to take his mind off the guilt, but she can’t take her mind off the fact that he doesn’t want to talk about said guilt.

Their plot becomes repetitive in Part 2, offering nothing new besides Alli saying that she’s willing to stand by her man during his rough times…how many times have we heard a girl say that on this show?

PLOT C SUMMARY: Marisol thinks that she and Mo should tone down their PDA (aka holding hands) because they aren’t an official couple yet.  Bummed out, Mo asks Jake for advice and he suggests Mo take her on an official date.  Mo and Marisol meet at The Dot, with Mo saying it was time for them to have their first date.  Marisol asks “When?” and Mo is secretly embarrassed because Marisol didn’t realize he’d planned their trip to The Dot as a date.  Mo quickly improvises by saying their date will happen during the upcoming weekend, and Marisol badgers him for details because she wants to be prepared for the date.  Mo lies and tells her that their first date will be at the CN Tower.  He has no money, so to get some cash he decides to help Jake finish a painting job.  Mo continues to try and woo Marisol, but she bails on their date without giving him an explanation.  Jake and Mo are on the job and realize that they’re painting a strip club.  Mo gets some pictures of himself with the strippers and tweets them in a bid to make Marisol jealous.  It doesn’t work because Marisol is too busy being upset about Katie.  Mo apologizes for acting like a broom head and shows support for Marisol, who must now carry the load of class president during Katie’s absence.

The entire time I was watching their plot I kept asking myself “Why should we care about Marisol and Mo as a couple? Or as individuals?”  I couldn’t really find the answer to the first question, and apparently neither could the show since they ended the ended with them no closer to sealing the deal than when the episode first started.  I found both of them spazzing out to be unsettling.  Really the plot’s saving grace was the Mo/Jake interaction we were treated to.  Mo was able to let loose and be his charismatic self, and I really like Jake as a support character who just so happens to randomly be around when another character needs someone to talk to.  Is it bad that I’d rather ship Mo/Jake over Mo/Marisol?

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How do YOU grade Hollaback Girl?

Voting is now open!! You can grade the plots in tonight’s episode below:

PREVIEW THOUGHTS: These were the thoughts I posted BEFORE the episode aired:

Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling tired lately, but I’ve yet to feel truly interested in Hollaback Girl.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some interesting elements storywise (Katie’s addiction and Bianca changing her ways for the better).  But maybe my indifference is caused by the promos and their constant need to convince us that this love triangle or that couple is one we should care about, with no real reason as to why.  Katie’s got a freakin pill addiction that may drag her AND Bianca down, and the TeenNick promo only wants us to wonder which girl Drew will choose.  Like others, I’m growing tired of the fluffy, superficial side of ships being forced on us while the heart of the issue ends up being buried underneath a neon sign that basically says “DON’T THINK, JUST CHOOSE CUTE-LOOKING SHIP A or CUTE-LOOKING SHIP B!!”

The last six weeks have been a prime example of the idea that when you look past the fangirly relationship crap, you’ll realize that most of the time the core issue is far more compelling than the ship involved.  Clare’s divorce issues in Not Ready To Make Nice forever trumped everything Cake.  Eli’s emotional struggles and Imogen’s fear/disappointment in Need You Now far outweighed the red herring that was Imogeli.  In Smash Into You, Dave and Alli had trust issues as opposed to their reconciliation being a “Hey let’s totally forget what happened in the past and make out” scenario.  I hope Katie and Bianca will have a chance to shine as well.

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Posted by Kary

35 Comments

  1. Jordan Thomas May 4, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Agree totally with what you say. Degrassi used to be about problems drugs rape etc and now it’s about relationships. Haven’t liked a show since tng.

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    1. Well here’s the thing, the serious issues are still there, but you have to dig through tons of relationship stuff to get to them. It’s a shame they’d rather focus on the relationship aspects instead.

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      1. Jordan Thomas May 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

        Way too much romance. I youtube the old degrassi’s like degrassi high and I enjoyed watching those actually! I wish they would do a reunion show with the old tng crew! I’d love to see drake back on for another episode! I did see him in concert and he talked about degrassi :) Kary I love reading your blogs!!!!

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  2. for a moment, when i went on your blog and saw the title: “Who will Drew choose, the druggie or the Alex 2.0?”, I had to think for a moment on which one was which XD

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    1. Jordan Thomas May 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      This is funny :) I do think it’s good they’re tackling the pain pill addiction, it’s a very serious matter. I just wanna see how far they go with it! I hope the writers read all these comments and make changes!!!!

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  3. Romance is nice but there is too much. These teens are having adult relationship issues, Why?? Most teens that I know don’t even have these type of relationship problems. Degrassi is becoming a afternoon soap opera. I know bad things happen in high school but this is absurd. Most of my friends and acquaintances didn’t have a significant other in high school. Most of them were rejected, shy or never been asked. These kisds are not in their 20’s. Eli for example he wants an adult relationship so why would he go for a girls like Imogen and Clare. He should be with someone like Bianca. In reality Clare is one of those girls who who never get a date

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    1. Jordan Thomas May 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      I agree with you too!!! This is not the degrassi I started watching!!!!

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  4. I actually forgot it was on tonight, because I kinda tuned out a while back.

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  5. Relationships are not really the problem if done right, the thing is, none of the relationships have a build up whats so ever and that leaves me not caring about any of them. Random characters just get thrown together quickly then breakup quickly( THE EMBARRASSMENT THAT WAS CAKE!) or they ruin couples who were good in the beginning( Clare and Eli, Johnny and Alli) . This makes it even worse because back when the show had like 20 episodes a season, the relationships were REALLY good, had great build up and were not the whole basis of a storyline. They were neatly intertwined into the serious teen issues like trust, drugs, alcohol, sex, friendship, pregnancy etc. The show just had a more real feel to it back from like season 1 to 5. Now its getting shitty and that’s annoying especially since they have 40+ episodes to use for story lines, wasting valuable screen time on the most retarded of plots(Anything that involves Tori crying or Clare acting like a spoiled bitch) So Degrassi get your OLD writers back and if they never left, beat the shit out of them until they remember how they use to write the show.

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  6. YES, Kary! You’re right! I totally just realized that DeGrassi lost its magic when all I started doing was focusing in on the relationships. I mean, don’t get me wrong, every teenager deals with relationships and they are a huge part of being a teen – but at the same time real issues always trump the relationships.
    An example would be, when some type of problem happens to someone it is a true test of a relationship, however it’s not the relationship that’s the worry or struggle, it’s the problem.

    What happened to Mr. Yorke. He was a brilliant writer back in the TNG days. Romona is phenomenal, though. She has brought back some of the past Degrassi magic.

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  7. So far the only saving grace for me is the Dave/Allie plotline. I’m glad Degrassi writers are showing more of Dave’s struggle trying to get over the overwhelming guilt of paralyzing Jacinta for the rest of her life coupled with Allie trying to protect Dave and being a good girlfriend at the same + her own trust issues. I love when they get screen time! Jahmil French really needs a lot more emotional scenes, because Degrassi should truly start to utilize it, and I’m surprised they haven’t in the past.

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    1. Dave’s barely been around this half of the season, but he’s by far had the best plots.

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  8. I know this Is totally unrelated but I was wondering why you didn’t do a March Madness this year Kary.

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    1. Didn’t have time to do it!! :-/ Hopefully next year!

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  9. I’m trying to decide if the TeenNick promos were purposefully deceptive. The romantic subplots are there, but nowhere near the point in Part 2.

    They did kinda shuffle Katie’s plot under a rug, but we got to see fallout on four sides. The focus on Bianca was not to do with Drew, the focus on Moe and Marisol was about their own dramas (the romance was a cover to it), and Dave/Alli was all about Dave dealing with his issues.

    So the romance was there but it was very secondary to the issues everyone in the ep had to deal with.

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    1. I agree. And it made the episode so much better. The A-Plot deserves at least an A- in my opinion. Extremely unpredictable (at least for me, between the promos and descriptions, all of my ‘predictions’ were almost completely wrong, the episode played out COMPLETELY different than what I thought) and even the most subtle look into Bianca’s life made me happy. Good plot.

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  10. I’m very glad Part 2 didn’t turn out to be the fuckery of a promo teennick passed all week and focused on Bianca’s desire to turn her life for the better and more importantly, having someone that believes she can do that. It was also nice to catch a glimpse into her life beyond Degrassi. The romantic undertones are there but thankfully didn’t dominate the episode.

    Dave/Alli’s plot wasn’t as strong as it was in Smash into You but Dave’s guilt after the accident and Alli wanting to be there for him is realistic.

    I can’t begin to describe Mo’s plot. The best part was when Jake and Mo saw the strippers. Their reactions were priceless. It was also great to see how Katie’s addiction has affected Marisol so I loved how the A-plot indirectly incorporated itself with the C-plot. Other than that, their plot was eh.

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  11. I actually like that Bianca was respectful enough to stay out of Drew’s relationship with Katie. Katie needs all of the support she can get and the last thing she needs is her boyfriend dumping her for his ex. Krew won’t last very much into season 12. If Drew doesn’t want to be with Katie anymore and has always wanted Bianca back, then he needs to wait for the right moment to rekindle their relationship. Let’s just hope Katie’s rehab is realistic like 2 months or something, unlike her miraculous healing from knee surgery!! lol

    Dave and Alli- Solid. It’s nice that Alli hasn’t given up on Dave yet b/c it’s obvious he’s dealing with a lot of guilt. I think he should go visit Jacinta just once though.

    Mo and Marisol- ????? The only shred of saving grace was Marisol crying,but she’s so unlikeable and cold that I didn’t care. The writers obvious have zero material for these two actors, so they should stop wasting screen time on them tbh.

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    1. Mo is a bit more likable due to his lack of screentime, in every ep we’ve seen him he’s flip-flopped between jerk and underdog. And when he’s an underdog you really root for him, but when he’s a jerk he’s a JERK. So even though I saw the Marisol side coming in part 2 (when she canceled the date), I still felt for the guy. And insecurity is Mo’s big character item, it plays well.

      Marisol is another story, she’s been an obstacle or antagonist so often in the show it’s near impossible to root for her. She’s been problems for so many characters you’re suppose to feel attuned to that she’s pretty hard to root for. And so while the C Plot tied nicely into the A Plot this time, and to lead into the plot next week… I still feel every bad thing to happen to Marisol is karma.

      This does NOT mean I want to see her gone, I love her as an non-hero. She’s selfish, problematic, and leads to plots moving and that is great just… don’t try to make us feel for her. Ever.

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  12. I don’t know if I love Bianca, but I love getting to know her. She’s one of those characters where it’s a crime that they’re not used more often. The Bianca and Audra scene was all kinds of wonderful. And I’ve concluded that Bianca is too good for Drew. Someone needs to enlighten me about what’s so appealing about Drianca beyond Luke and Alicia’s chemistry.

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  13. i agree Bianca is too mature for drew too he needs to grow up some more…Bianca should date jake someone on her level

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  14. I agree with the grades that you gave the A and B plot. But I thought the C-plot was good too. I love Marisol and I ship Mo/Marisol 100% but I think people are going to hate on her no matter WHAT she does, good or bad. Whatever. It’s their right, I guess.

    P.S. Katie and Bianca are BOTH way too good for Drew’s sorry ass.

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  15. degrassifan500 May 5, 2012 at 10:50 am

    i love love loved the audra and bianca interaction it was the first time mrs. torres wasn’t going overboard and complaining about things happening to drew and adam i think it was a pretty solid epsiode accept for when mo and jake ran into the strippers that was totally random and wierd

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  16. Even thought Marisol and Mo’s plot wasn’t great, I really enjoyed the scenes with Marisol upset about Katie and having all the responsibility of the presidency fall on her. I think it added a lot to her character and showed that while she is controlling over Katie, Marisol herself is dependent on Katie. Also, Marisol confessing her regret about not being there step for step with Katie and everything during the locker scene gave us a look at the other side of Marisol and her personality, the one that she would never show to people. The plot itself was terrible, but it did have some good elements.

    I was really unsure about part 1 and part 2 of Alli and Dave’s plot. While it had really nice points about obessing over the FaceRange page and Dave’s guilt, I felt like it was missing something. I don’t know, maybe it needed Dave’s father somewhere because I would think that to emphasize Dave’s guilt and containment he could distance himself from his dad who was there right after the accident to help him. It was good, just a little empty.

    Bianca’s plot was good; however, I wish they’d calm down the Drew drama. Seeing Bianca in a different light was really nice and I’m glad to see her and Mrs. Torres interact (especially after all she’s done). Although I did enjoy Bianca recognizing that she would be blamed and then still trying to fix everything, I felt like Katie was forced upon the plot in general. Actually, so was Drew. I think this plot could have wowed simply with Bianca’s probation and homelife alone, showing her changing even with these tense factors. Everything got mushed together and there was too much for one episode (Katie’s addiction, Drew’s love, Mrs. Torres’s compassion, Bianca’s homelife, Bianca’s changing, Bianca’s rules to follow). Overall, good plot, but just too much.

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  17. It’s amazing the lengths that TeenNick went through to make this all about Drew. As if painkiller addiction is secondary to a pseudo-love triangle.

    Anyway, cool episode. Did anyone else see Owen for two seconds in Part 1?

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  18. Nina Shewchuk May 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Well, I guess it’s pretty safe to say that the writers are going to use Katie’s stint in rehab as an excuse to hold her back, thereby having her on the show longer.

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    1. Oh gosh, I didn’t even think of that. Ugh, please no. I don’t see why they’d do that…she’s not even that popular a character by the looks of it…

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      1. I don’t know about that, she’s been involved in many plots this season. She is popular enough to be given all that airtime.

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      2. Jordan Thomas May 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

        Maybe it’s just me but all these new characters are pointless. I feel like I don’t even know the character really. Like tng we grew up with them— maybe the freshman crew will change that idk!

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      3. Jordan, I totally agree with you. It’s very difficult to get a chance to have any emotional investment in these characters if they come on as sophomores or juniors. With the original classes, we were able to watch them from Grade 7/8 through college, some 6 or 7 grades worth of seasons. The cast is already bloated as it is and once season 12 comes around, we’re getting more, but we’re not losing any, at least I don’t think so. While the niners have potential, I could care less about them. Sadly, once Holly J, Sav and Anya graduated, the Degrassi as I knew it, pretty much ceased to exist.

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      4. Jordan Thomas May 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

        Exactly Scotty! I love watching the first 6 or 7 seasons of TNG, but just seems like the last few are horrible! I’ve always liked degrassi because it felt real but now it’s like a Disney show! I was so excited about the boiling point until I watched it. Where’s the issues?? You know like a school shooting or just anything is better then what’s happening now. Gotta say I’m very disappointed! It could be an awesome show if the writers would write interesting episodes!!!!!

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    2. Once this addiction is over and if neither Drew nor Marisol gets held back too, what will be Katie’s point? The writers haven’t done anything with her that makes me want to see more of her.

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  19. BAHAHAHA Kudos for using “broom head”

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  20. Jeremy Williams May 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Mo / Marisol was plot b here and Dave / Alli was plot c

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  21. Did anyone else notice Mo use that magnetic thing to put that rose on Marisol’s locker? It looks eerily similar to the one that Rick used when he wooed Terri McGregor. They’ve been using a lot of foreshadowing in Degrassi this season; is a nature walk, a rock, and a brain hemorrhage (sic) in Marisol’s future?

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