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?
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.