PLOT A SUMMARY: Clare is afraid to tell anyone about being fired from her internship because she believes no one will believe her, so she spends the time she should be at the Interpreter hiding in an empty classroom. There she tries to contact former interns to see if they were also victims of sexual harassment at the hands of Asher, until members of the hockey team (including Dallas and Luke) come in and use the empty space as a place to drink beer. Clare gets a lead on a former intern named Jennifer and meets with her, but Jennifer shuts down any questions about Asher harassing her after recognizing Clare as “the intern that got fired.” An upset Clare finds comfort in divulging the secrets of what happened with Asher to Dallas as the two get drunk in an empty classroom. Dallas tries to kiss Clare, who slaps him and leaves. Jake and Katie spot Clare drunk in the hallway, and she tells them about Dallas kissing her. Jatie tells her about the garden and how they think Dallas is responsible, so Clare writes an article pinning it on the hockey team and also outing their drinking at school. Both Clare and Dallas get in trouble for admitting to drinking. Dallas if furious at Clare and threatens to tell her secret about Asher in front of Eli. Eli asks Clare what’s going on and of instead of telling the truth about Asher, she lies and said she was fired from her internship because Asher didn’t like her writing.
Eli decides to throw Clare a surprise birthday party at Fiona‘s. She’s not excited at all about her birthday, so Eli secretly visits Asher to beg him to give Clare another chance. Asher tells Eli that Clare was fired because she was in love with him and became too obsessed. At the surprise party Eli is in the middle of confronting Clare about what happened when Dallas and the hockey boys crash the party. Dallas keeps insinuating that Clare is hiding something, but she can’t bring herself to tell Eli what it is. She eventually breaks down and tells him about Asher, and to her surprise he doesn’t freak out or blame her for what happened. As the two leave they’re confronted by Dallas. He and Luke talk smack to Eli and Jake and Eli hits Dallas, starting a huge brawl that only ends when Imogen’s confetti cannon goes off. Afterward, Clare is still convinced that Asher has gotten away with sexually harassing her, but Eli refuses to accept it vows that he and Clare will work together to get back at Asher.
For the most part Degrassi plots tend to be analyzed through one of two filters: they’re either viewed for their emotional value, or their entertainment value. Clare’s plot is unique in that it manages to provide strong doses both.
This episode’s title is truly indicative of Clare’s path regardless of which direction she takes at this fork in the road, based on how the situation with Asher has shifted her way of think. If she tells Eli she’s convinced he’ll go off, potentially derailing him and the play in the process. We watch her continue to keep it to herself as she feels there’s no way out of the emotional conundrum she’s in. I never thought I’d see the day Clare Edwards would be drunk, but it fuels the fantastic parallel between the separate situations involving Asher and Dallas. With no way to prove Asher’s guilt she felt she could redeem herself by exposing the hockey team‘s drinking at school and accusing them of destroying the garden. I love how Degrassi has continually kept the garden situation and Dallas’ potential involvement vague.
If there’s something this plot would’ve done better, it would’ve been to integrate the emotional and entertainment parts into a more cohesive unit. Part 1 is more about Clare trying to expose Asher, failing, trying to expose the hockey team and eventually feeling hopeless. Her feelings take somewhat of a backseat in Part 2, with the show placing more of the focus on Eli, and how he will respond once Clare breaks the news to him. Clare seems lost in the drama of Eclare/Jatie vs. the hockey team, but thanks to another stellar performance by Aislinn Paul, things regain focus when Clare spills her guts to Eli. Of course he wasn’t going to freak out, but it was incredibly important for him to tell Clare that she was not to blame for what happened, and he did that.
Degrassi continues to entertain in Season 12 with brilliant moments like Clare’s birthday party. In what limited screen time she had, Imogen was a riot. As ridiculous and over the top as it was the fight has to be the best fight scene in the history of the Degrassi franchise. I can’t remember a time, until now, that a fight on Degrassi has lived up to or exceeded the hype of network promos. Heck, a lot of things this season have exceeded hype and expectations, and overall this plot joins them.
PLOT B SUMMARY: Drew scores tickets to a basketball game, but Bianca tells him she can’t go because she has schoolwork. He feels like he’s out of the loop since he’s dropped out, and starts to think Bianca might think he’s a loser. The “hipsta” at the kiosk reminds him he’s making a lot of money, so he buys a new 3D TV before Bianca’s study group arrives at his and Fiona’s place. They spend all of their study time goofing off which upsets Bianca because she wants to keep her grades up for university, and she wants Drew to move home and return to school. He refuses, and to prove he’s not a loser Drew buys a motorcycle. His mom finds out after Drew gets a ticket and is furious. Drew feels like his mom is trying to influence Bianca, but Audra tells him that she and Bianca would feel better if he’d stop being so careless. Instead of wasting his money Drew decides to return the motorcycle as well as open up a joint checking account for him and Bianca. Before returning the motorcycle he lets Bianca take it for a spin in the woods. He also proposes to her, and she says yes.
Things just seemed to be really random with Drew since he moved in with Fiona, and this plot features more of the same. To be honest I was enjoying this plot until Drew bought the motorcycle. It started off being about him feeling as if he’s missing out on everything, and he uses the money he’s making to show Bianca that he can still “be manly” and be a provider despite being a dropout. However, the plot feels the need to show Drew as this person who is suddenly reckless (he has been rash, but has shown he can be responsible, he is supporting himself away from home after all). Then we’re expected to believe he’s suddenly matured because he proposed to Bianca. I’ve got nothing against Drianca getting engaged. Any relationship reaching that level is better than the thought of Spemma getting married, but Drew’s storyline in Season 12 seems to become more and more senseless despite having good material to work with (guy who drops out because he feels inadequate, and continues to feel inadequate despite landing a good job and making lots of money).
PLOT C SUMMARY: Dave, Tori and Tristan decide to enter a talent contest for the chance to win a guest role on the popular show WestDrive. Dave invites Alli to come cheer him on, but he’s dejected when she says she’s too busy with homework. However, she tells him she’ll text him when she’s finished so that they can hang out. Dave wins the contest, but blows off hanging out with Alli to hang with Tori, Tristan and Zig instead. The next day Dave is expecting Alli to be upset that he never responded to her text, but she’s fine with it. Dave doesn’t want to break up, so he plans to talk with Alli at Clare’s birthday party. However, things are off when Alli continues to be distant and show no interest in romance at the party. Even after Alli thanks Dave for coming to her defense during the brawl Dave decides he’s had enough. He tells her they’re growing apart and breaks up with her.
The more I watch Dave and Alli in Sabotage, the more I love their plot because it addresses such an important issue. Alli said at the end of Say It Ain’t So that her studies would come first before her relationship with Dave. It had the vibe of a breakup, but that apparently wasn’t the case, with them behaving as if everything was fine several episodes later. In this episode Dave finally reaches the point where he realizes that he will always take a backseat to Alli’s schoolwork. The interesting thing is that Alli is so wrapped up in her work and ultimately content with where their relationship is that she doesn’t realize (or doesn’t wanted to acknowledge) how distant she and Dave have become.
Dave seemed to have given up on Alli quickly after being so adamant about fixing things earlier in the day, but I’m not convinced them talking would’ve solved anything. They’re at two different points emotionally. Their breakup isn’t dramatic, but what it addresses is important. If you’re not getting what you feel you need out of a relationship, then there’s no reason to stay in it. It wouldn’t be fair for Dave to stick around only to get rejected by Alli, because every time he tries to spend time with her she‘s too busy with schoolwork. It also wouldn’t be fair for Alli to have to balance her work and a serious relationship with Dave when she’s flat out said that school is her main priority. Their needs are just too different, so breaking up really is the best option for both of them.
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