PLOT A SUMMARY: Katie returns to her post as student council president, as the group decides to throw a pep rally for the new hockey team. Katie says she’s fine, but has a breakdown during the meeting after Mo mentions Drew’s name. She finally tells Marisol about sleeping with Drew, and to remedy things they decide to have a girl’s night. At home, Katie reads a card from the rehab facility she went to that says “The way will become clear.” Marisol arrives, but also brings Mo as well as Jake to be her rebound guy. The four play “Catan” and afterward Katie kisses Jake, but she breaks down again because she’s still not over Drew. Jake suggests that they throw eggs at Drew’s house to let off, but Katie spots Bianca’s car outside and eggs it instead. In the heat of the moment she also destroys one of the side mirrors. Bianca and Katie nearly come to blows in the school parking lot the next day, and Drew tells Katie to take out her anger on him, not Bianca. Katie tells him it’s not fair that she’s the only one suffering that that she still has a lot of ammo to use against him.
Dallas gives Katie video footage to use for the pep rally, and discovers part of the video shows Drew at the party bragging about having had sex with her. She plays the footage during the pep rally, humiliating Drew in the process. Bianca is blindsided with the news that Drew slept with Katie and wants nothing to do with him. In order to get back on Bianca’s good side, Drew decides to try out for the Academic Quiz team. At the tryout he has trouble focusing and everyone in the room becomes concerned because of how sick he looks. Drew abruptly leaves and heads for his locker. He runs into Adam and babbles things about wanting to be left alone, and even calls Adam “Gracie” before passing out in the hallway. At the hospital Drew learns he has a severe concussion and must limit his activity. Drew has an even harder time learning at school and tells Bianca she made the right choice in breaking up with him because he’s dumb. Later, Drew is at the mall returning a gift he’d bought for Bianca when he spots someone stealing from the store. He stops the guy by tackling him, and ends up passing out again afterward. Bianca shows up at the mall and tells him she doesn’t want to see Drew get her, and after professing her love for him the two reunite with a kiss.
It’s an interesting, yet satisfying choice that the writers chose to split this plot in two, focusing on Katie’s perspective in Part 1 and Drew’s in Part 2. Chloe Rose is haunting as we watch Katie’s mental state slowly deteriorate into something far worse than what it was when she was addicted to pills. Throughout this episode as well as Come As You Are it’s as if Katie is going through a twisted version of Kü bler Ross’ “Five Stages of Grief.” While she could be written off as just another teen girl having a tough time with a breakup it becomes fascinating as the cracks quickly begin to form, from her vandalizing Bianca’s car to becoming flat out motivated to destroy Drew (and Bianca to an extent). There’s irony in the fact that she’s found strength in the quote “The way will become clear,” which comes from the rehab facility she attended.
On Drew’s side they could’ve easily turned this into us seeing the aftermath of him dealing with the humiliation at the pep rally, but instead Degrassi takes a completely surprising route. If you managed to go into this episode in the dark, there was no way to have known they’d bring up Drew having a concussion. It feels random, but that’s the point; we’re left as surprised and baffled as Drew at the sudden onset of the symptoms, a masterful job on the part of the writers. What really caught my eye though was the correlation between Drew trying to prove he wasn’t dumb academically to prove to Bianca that he wasn’t dumb in every aspect of his life. With Drew reuniting with Bianca after them having been focused on for six out of the last eight Degrassi episodes (dating back to the end of Season 11), it could be a while before we see them again at the forefront. Katie however, the way has indeed become clear. Her journey into becoming a shell of her former self is just beginning…again.
PLOT B SUMMARY: Tristan and Maya are in French class when Tristan notices Cam. Cam joins their group and Tristan stumbles over himself talking to Cam because he has a crush on him. Tristan tries to get the scoop on Cam through Owen, but Owen tells him Cam is straight and that a hockey player wouldn’t be interested in him anyway. Tristan talks to Maya about being bummed over Cam. After she walks away Tristan notices Maya left her Facerange page open and that Cam has left her a message, so Tristan proceeds to talk to Cam under Maya’s account. At lunch Cam approaches Maya and talks about lending her “Lost” dvds, which she is confused about at first. Eventually Tristan tells Maya about talking to Cam through her Facerange and she urges Tristan to go talk to him. Tristan approaches Cam, but is made fun of by him and the rest of the hockey players. Later, Cam tells Tristan and Maya that he had to play along with the rest of the hockey boys and apologizes for his behavior.
Tristan begs Maya to continue to let him talk to Cam through her Facerange and she reluctantly agrees. They tell Cam that they’re both auditioning for the play. Tristan tries out, but is disappointed when he doesn’t land a role and sends Cam a text as Maya saying she didn‘t make it either. Cam and Tristan bump into each other and Cam gives the advice to Tristan that he intended to give to Maya: that she shouldn’t accept no for an answer and talk to the director. Tristan does so and Eli offers him the part of Juliet, only he’ll be playing a guy named Jules since the musical is now story between two guys. Tristan messages the news to Cam as Maya, which leads him to get caught and have to confess to Cam that he’s been using Maya’s account to talk with him. Both Tristan and Maya apologize, but Cam no longer wants to be friends with either of them.
Every time we see the niners in action I always think back to the days when some fans resisted the idea of new characters joining the show. It always happens when someone new comes on board: “Why are they adding new characters? Why can’t they just develop the ones that are already here?” A majority of the current cast is composed of upperclassmen, who will be gone within the next couple of years. Barely having been on the show, the niners are already proving they have a lot to bring to the table. I have nothing but praise for Lyle O’Donohoe and Olivia Scriven, who continue to make Tristan and Maya wow me with every appearance. The two have fantastic chemistry as friends, though Tristan, with his sass and quick wit has shown he can pull off a scene involving virtually anyone.
I love how Tristan is too obsessed to realize Cam isn’t interested him, while Maya is too oblivious that Cam IS interested in her. Cam and Maya are one in the same in their shyness and general awkwardness. It’s continually refreshing watching these younger characters, it’s like watching the naturally awkward acting of the characters way back during Degrassi Junior High.
PLOT C SUMMARY: Eli talks to Simpson about directing another school play to beef up his portfolio for NYU, but Simpson tells him he’s already approved a play submitted by Becky Baker. Eli meets up with Becky and tells her that he wants in on the play and also has everything in place for it. Even though she’s the producer, Eli tells her she’s in charge of snacks and that he has everything else under control. The drama club meets and Eli announces the play he’s chosen to direct: Death Of A Salesman. However, Becky interrupts him that Simpson already approved the play that she chose: a musical version of Romeo & Juliet.
Though he has no knowledge about musicals, Eli refuses to quit the play. As they begin casting Eli and Becky’s power struggle continues as Eli loves Tristan’s originality during his audition while Becky wasn’t impressed, saying Tristan seems “confused.” Realizing what she meant by that, Eli decides to cast Tristan as “Juliet,” (now named Jules), and changes the play to be a love story between two guys. Becky gets upset because she doesn’t condone homosexuality because of her faith, and quits the play.
Ah yes, Eli vs. Becky. This plot seems to be as polarizing as most Eli vs. ____ or Eclare vs. _____ feuds are. The logic for choosing either side is based more on hate: people choose Eli because they hate Becky, or they choose Becky because they hate Eli.
When it comes down to it, Eli’s looking out for #1. He feel he needs to have control over the play to ultimately add the project to his portfolio and get into NYU, and he sees Becky as a threat to that. His tactic of using Tristan to force Becky to quit the play is brilliantly deviant, but at the same time his self-entitled attitude (especially in Part 1) is quite inappropriate. Because of this, some keep saying “Eli hasn’t changed.” Personally, I don’t understand what that means. While acting like a diva in this episode, Eli obviously handled this situation as well as the Clare situation in Come As You Are far better than he would have in Season 10, or in Season 11 when he was off his meds. It’s hard to say Becky is “triggering his bipolar,“ but even if it were it wouldn’t make it ok. The scene where Eli talked to his therapist in Need You Now comes to mind here: he’s much improved with his ability to cope with situations, so can’t he just be acting like an asshole like any normal teenager (or human being in general) would if they felt “their territory” was being threatened?
Not even focusing on her views about sexuality, Becky has such stark similarities and differences to Eli. Becky is more traditional-minded (even in her choosing Romeo & Juliet) and Eli is forever hell bent on thinking outside the box, but both are too stubborn make any sort of compromise. So which side of the battle am I on? Neither. I don’t really care to choose sides, because I’m far too focused on watching this chess match between two evenly-matched egos play out.
Tristan isn’t upset that he’s being used by Eli because Tristan is getting exactly what he wants out of the deal. And of course Eli is too…isn’t that called mutualism in the ecological world?
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