PLOT A SUMMARY: Eli is stressed out because there’s one day left until opening night and the play isn’t fully ready. He also has a brand new issue to deal with…Dallas, and the Bakers team up to protest the play. A group of parents (led by Becky and Luke’s dad) have concerns about the play promoting homosexuality, so Eli must meet with them to discuss the play’s content. During the meeting Dallas also brings up that the play glorifies suicide (since Romeo and Jules kill themselves in the end), so Eli re-writes a new ending that he must submit for approval. He finds himself stressed out over that as well as the fact that Clare keeps asking him to come up with an idea to get revenge on Asher. Simpson tells Eli the new ending has been approved and the play can go on as scheduled. Realizing that any revenge scheme they’d come up with would be a bad idea, Eli tells Clare that he’s reported what happened to her to Ms. Oh.
Clare’s mom and Ms. Oh want Clare to report it to the police, but she refuses because with no proof that Asher sexually harassed her she doesn’t want the shame of a trial. Clare tells Eli the only way out is to plant evidence on Asher’s computer and she begs him to help her, but he refuses. Katie consoles an upset Clare, who tells her everything about Asher. Clare reveals her plan to take topless photos and plant them on Asher’s computer at the Interpreter, and Katie agrees to help. They arrive at the Interpreter, but Clare has second thoughts. She realizes the photos will follow her for the rest of her life, and decides to not go through with her plan. As she’s about to leave she spots Jennifer, the woman she tried to interrogate about Asher. Clare tells Jennifer that Asher kissed her, and Jennifer eventually reveals that she was sexually harassed by Asher too. They plan to file a report against Asher together. Clare misses Eli’s play, but tells him what happened and he tells Clare that he loves her.
The structure of this plot is different in that the dramatic elements for Eli and Clare are clearly separated into Part 1 and Part 2. There are Eclare moments for the most obvious of reasons, but this is not a storyline about Eclare. Part 1 focuses on presenting a challenge for Eli as the season’s primary plot device (the play) reaches the home stretch. Part 2 shows Clare taking things into her own hands as she plots her revenge on Asher.
Part 1 ends up being much stronger than Part 2. Both Eli and Clare feel the pressure of their own situations (the play for Eli and Asher for Clare). In both cases one person’s pressure finds a way to affect the other person, magnifying things to a point us viewers can’t help but feel it through the screen. There’s been little conflict with the actual play since Eli took over, but Mike Dallas, who has been a phenomenal addition to the show, is a formidable opponent as his revenge and Eli‘s rebuttals play out like a chess make. We get a great look at Eli handling the stress of the play and Clare far better than he ever would’ve been able to in previous seasons. The situation with Clare was so tricky. Outing Clare’s harassment to Ms. Oh before she was ready isn’t necessarily the right thing, but in a situation where the pressure emotions are overwhelming for both of them someone had to take charge. Not even looking at it from the perspective of Eclare the couple, it’s a gut-wrenching situation to be in for any two people who are close.
While Part 1 is emotionally gripping, Part 2 loses steam, The plot simply coasts to its predictable conclusion. The ending being predictable isn’t the issue because the summer block of episodes is an animal of its own, and things have to be wrapped up to a point. I’m glad the play went as planned and that Clare realized reporting Asher to the police is a better option than her rogue scheme. But with the threat to the play fully taken care of in Part 1 there’s no true conflict standing in the way of opening night, not even with Tristan being missing until show time. Clare switches from emotion to action mode, sans her moment of clarity that allows us to breathe a sigh of relief. The actual ending feels underwhelming, but that’s because the plot is top heavy. It still makes for a solid story, which is an accomplishment for a Degrassi finale.
PLOT B SUMMARY: Becky and Adam go at it when Adam finds out Becky is protesting the play, and Becky criticizes Adam for “hiding the fact he’s a girl.” She also refuses to work with Adam on a science project because they’re “too different,” (aka she’s afraid Adam will turn her gay) but their teacher makes them work together anyway. Adam calls Becky a hypocrite for overlooking science that defies what’s in the bible, but choosing to focus on the sexuality of others. He also points out that he’s been bullied by people who are intolerant of the LGBT community.
Becky tries to apologize to Adam and starts having second doubts about wanting the play to be canceled. Upon hearing that Tristan is missing she volunteers to take his place and play a the male role of Jules in the play. Tristan arrives just in time for the play, but she gets to perform on stage during the final song. She’s grateful to Adam for giving her the chance to be in the play, and thanks him with a hug.
If a studio audience had been present they would’ve given Adam a standing ovation for telling off Becky. Beckadam is interesting beyond their contrasting beliefs. There’s more value in Becky’s facial expressions than what she actually says. It’s been that way the entire season…she doesn’t hide her emotions very well. It’s obvious she likes Adam. It’s even more obvious that it conflicts with the way she’s been raised because she felt liking Adam would make her a lesbian. It was insinuated in Closer To Free that because Becky is so vocal about her values it makes it difficult for her to establish relationships with others. However, Adam continues to disarm her with his intelligence and kindness. Their plot is a solid setup for a compelling future involving Becky and Adam, when Becky’s family is sure to be thrown into the mix.
PLOT C SUMMARY: Tristan hasn’t had his first kiss yet, and doesn’t want to waste it on Dave in the play. He finds himself liking one of the stagehands, but is too awkward to approach the guy. The day of the play Tristan finds a flower and a note from a secret admirer on his locker. The admirer wants to meet, so Tristan decides to meet him despite risking missing the play. Tori gets worried when she can’t find Tristan anywhere and gets Zig and Maya to help. They call his cell phone, which they find in the possession of Luke. Owen immediately confronts Luke and demands to know where Tristan is. They find Tristan locked in a classroom, and when he says he still doesn’t want his first kiss to be on stage during the place Tori kisses him right there. Tristan arrives just in time for the play. Afterward, the stagehand he had a crush on congratulates him on a great performance.
Tristan’s plot is used as a plot device to create pseudo drama for opening night of the play in Part 2, but on its own it’s thoroughly underwhelming. There were a couple of bright spots: the “lip virginity” line was humorous, and it was fantastic watching Owen threaten to give Luke an ass kicking he most definitely deserves. However, Tristan being obsessed over getting his first kiss out of the way before the play feels out of place and falls to the waist side in an episode where everything else is moving at a different pace. The niners have been absolutely fantastic since they joined the show…they were bound to have an off day eventually.
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