PLOT A SUMMARY: Imogen designs an elaborate set for the play, but it costs too much for the school to build without a sponsorship. She reluctantly visits her mom Natalie, a surgeon, and Imogen gets the money from her despite still holding a grudge against her leaving her and her dad years ago. As they prepare to build the set people spot a weird guy outside of Degrassi in his pajamas; it’s Imogen’s dad. Imogen finds introduces Fiona to him, and invites her over to dinner to see life at the Moreno house. While cooking Imogen notices her dog Volta is missing, and goes outside to find her. She finds Volta dead underneath her dad’s car…he ran over Volta and had no memory of it.
Realizing that her dad’s condition is getting worse she insists on going to work with her dad, but he tells her no. Meanwhile, Eli is on her case about building the set (which is behind schedule), but she insists she has everything in control. When Imogen gets in trouble for lashing out at Marisol, her mom visits her and tells Imogen her dad has been diagnosed with dementia. Imogen says she refuses to abandon her dad like Natalie did. While on the phone with her dad he mentions wanting to take Volta on a walk, forgetting that Volta had died. At home he has a spell in front of Imogen where he refers to her as Natalie instead. Imogen goes to her mom and breaks down, realizing she can’t take care of her dad on her own. Natalie hires a caretaker and Imogen’s dad tells Imo that she needs to have a relationship with her mom because his condition is only going to get worse. With everything that’s been going on in her life Imogen apologizes to Eli and Fiona for her behavior, and they surprise her by showing her the finished version of her set design for the play.
I found myself fully engaged watching this alternate side of Imogen. An overwhelming majority of her existence has been her in a perky, quirky mode. However, on the occasions where things got serious (aka various past situations with Eli and Fiona) we’ve seen her emotionally shut down quickly, as if someone had flipped a switch.
Her feelings toward her mom hit too close to home. We’ve all either experienced or know someone who’s experienced the feeling of abandonment when one parent leaves the other, and starts a family of their own. Imogen knows something is wrong with her father, hence the reason she’s been embarrassed to introduce Fiona to him. I love the difficult position the show puts Imogen in; she feels obligated to stand by and take care of her dad because she wants to be nothing like her mom. It’s only when her eyes are opened to the fact that her dad’s dementia will only get worse that she realizes she can’t take care of him by herself.
Some may think that the show killing Volta was a bit extreme, but I felt it was perfect without going over the top, showing how serious the effects of dementia are. It’s heartbreaking that Imogen’s dad could kill their dog and not remember a thing, and disturbing that at any moment he could unintentionally do something to place himself and Imogen in danger. This plot ends with somewhat of a happy ending, but it’s warranted. Eli and Fiona displaying the set that Imogen could never finish on her own points to a bigger picture, that even though we can be stubborn, embarrassed or afraid, people are willing to help us if we’d simply find the courage to ask them.
PLOT B SUMMARY: Jake and Katie are getting closer, but Katie’s not interesting in dating because she doesn’t want to get hurt again like she did with Drew. Katie decides to pair up with Dallas for an assignment because she knows she won’t fall for a guy like him. He uses golf as the topic for their physics paper and while working on it Katie realizes she and Dallas is intelligent, and they have more in common than she thought. Jake asks Katie out, but she declines because she and Dallas have to work on their project. Jake spots Dallas and Katie together working on their project in the Degrassi garden and gets upset because he‘s jealous, and that causes Katie to go to Dallas‘ hockey game and support him. Jake arrives at the game and confesses his feelings for Katie, who realizes she feels the same way and the two kiss. Dallas spots them kissing and the next day Katie breaks the news to Dallas that she and Jake are an item. Jake and Katie return to the garden to see it’s been vandalized, and Katie confronts Dallas because she believes he and the hockey team are responsible.
This plot was pretty decent and managed to leave me in a swirl of emotions. It’s funny how all throughout Degrassi: Showdown TeenNick has wanted fans to “choose sides,” but I could honestly see things from both Jake and Dallas’ side. Both liked Katie, and both felt scorned by her at different points in the episode (though Jake eventually won out). As much as that sucks, that’s the way it goes sometimes.
The part that leaves me confused though is the destruction of the garden. The assumption is that Dallas was responsible with the help of the hockey team, but at the same time his reaction reads that of someone who was legitimately surprised by Katie’s accusation (we know for sure Luke’s punk ass was involved). Who knows, I’m probably overthinking it. But if he did do it I do know that it’ll continue to jive with concept that makes Dallas so intriguing, the fact that he is truly a multi-dimensional character that can’t simply be placed in the generic “good” or “bad” categories…placing him in the “human” category is much more accurate.
PLOT C SUMMARY: Becky sets up at a table in the foyer to help raise money for a hurricane relief fund. However, when Adam tries to set up at the table to sell tickets for the musical, Becky goes off on him until Jenna tells her that Adam had already reserved the table in advanced. Becky decides to set up right next to Adam’s table and urge people to donate to the charity instead of buying a play ticket. Adam asks her to stop and she reveals that she’s trying to interfere with the play to get back at Eli, and Adam calls her a hypocrite for using charity as revenge. Becky realizes that and decides to tear down her display. She finds herself developing a crush on Adam after he asks her to hang out, but then Jenna drops the news on Becky that Adam is transgender.
I liked how the show is resisting the urge to completely make Becky an extreme Christian caricature (aka Darcy). She acted out of revenge, Adam called her out on her crap, and she realized the error of her ways. The plot ends in this episode with her shocked to find out that Adam is transgender, and eventually she’ll once again struggle dealing with something that goes against her values. However, the issue here is that it felt like this plot received less screen time than any normal C plot does. Any major, positive feelings toward this plot is based more on the anticipation of where it’s headed as opposed to what happened. It’s difficult to formulate an opinion on a storyline here and gone in the blink of an eye; it feels more incomplete than anything.
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