MAYA PLOT REVIEW: Degrassi has done a good job of steadily showing the aftermath of characters directly impacted by Cam’s suicide in Bitter Sweet Symphony. It’s only appropriate that the arch ends with Maya, who was closest to Cam yet seems to be the least affected by his death.
Maya’s biggest challenge is that people have expected her to react and behave a certain way since Cam’s death. It’s a compelling situation because you can see both sides of the issue. If someone seems unaffecting by a personal tragedy, the first thought is that, at some point, they need to grieve. On the other hand, why would you want to grieve because others think you should? Maya doesn’t want to be known as “the grieving girlfriend of the guy who died.”
In the end, all that matters is the moment we’ve been waiting for since Cam’s death: Maya’s emotional breakdown. For me Dallas’ breakdowns in Bitter Sweet Symphony still stands as the strongest reaction to Cam’s death, but Maya’s holds its own very well. Her words cause chills as it’s compelling watching someone whose normally soft spoken completely lose it.
I don’t have an emotional connection to Zaya, but at this point I wouldn’t have any issues with them getting together in the future. Zig has redeemed himself since Cam’s death, not only in showing remorse for how he treated Cam, but also how he treated Maya in Zombie. He likes her. He could’ve easily taken advantage of the fact that she was throwing herself at him, but he refuses because he knows something’s off. Out of those directly impacted by Cam’s death, Maya and Zig had the most to lose. Ironically, the situation also gives them the most room to grow as people, as this story arch comes to a close for the season.
DREW PLOT REVIEW: At first this plot seems as silly as it does to everyone on the show, even Drew. However, it’s not until the end of Part 1 where everything seems to click into place. Remember the Drew Torres from earlier in the season? The one who was convinced he’s nothing and decided to drop out of school? His actions back then were frustrating, but the state of mind he was in still plagues him. Without sports, he lacks confidence to do anything else. I loved the scene where Bianca tells Drew that she was the one that nominated him. She has faith in him, even when he lacks faith in himself. This interaction is a testament to how far this couple has come, as they’re currently the strongest ship on the show.
Part 2 of this plot is a different kind of animal. One of the primary themes is that Drew realizes he needs to take things seriously in order to be taken seriously. Outside of that, the show gives up providing anything profound in order to reveal the plot’s true purpose: the election is nothing more than a plot device. That became obvious during the debate, with Degrassi mocking itself and the fact the debate is a joke with a small (and uninterested) crowd. Long before Simpson reveals the results of the election it’s blatantly clear that Drew will win, but what comes of it is something we’ll have to wait and see. With both Bianca and Eli graduating and headed off the University next year, the writers have used the election and their appointments of President Drew and “Veep” Clare to establish Degrassi’s newest power duo outside of their parting love interests going into Season 13.
CONNOR PLOT REVIEW: The greatness of Connor’s relationship with Jenna in Season 12 has been that it shows us the pros and cons of his Asperger’s syndrome without actively pointing out that he has it. In Zombie, we see Connor tackling his issue (Alli’s presence causing him to miss out on alone time with Jenna) directly in what he thinks is a clever way by trying to hook Alli up with Eli. Even when everyone, including the viewers know those two are incompatible, we can all agree that Connor’s reasoning when it comes to those two is spot on; both Alli and Eli are indeed lonely and miserable.
It’s fantastic to know that Jenna is understanding of Connor’s behavior. He assumes that whenever she’s mad at him it means she wants to break up with him, but he kindly assures him that’s not the case. Unfortunately, the plot seems to veer off near the end. Connor’s plot wraps up earlier than normal, and the more he continues with Eclare the more it suddenly seems like he’s meddling. Eclare had almost all of Season 12 being healthy up until Ray Of Light; since then, things have been off. Their final conversation here feels odd; Eli knows Clare just lost the election, and suddenly brings up his NYU and his desire to get back together despite them having not spoken since their “break.” I’ve always had faith that regardless of how Eclare ends, the show would wrap up their storyline in a satisfactory way. With their communication skills currently out of whack, that faith is definitely shaken a bit.