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My Own Worst Enemy features an intriguing start to a love square, another strong entry in this season’s strongest storyline by a mile, and a plot that has failed to even get off the ground in two episodes.  As this episode indicates that in the future Clare’s plot may not be as emotionally taxing as it has been so far, it’ll be up to the rest of the show’s current storylines to pull their weight.

1304-1CLARE PLOT REVIEW: Clare’s cancer storyline continues to be strong and strike the right chords emotionally. Right out of the gate we’re given a chilling scene as a scared Clare is moments away from undergoing an MRI.  Afterward, she becomes increasingly consumed by the fear that she might die.  Eli and Helen fail to console her, and she decides to go visit her friend Paula from group therapy.  She arrives at Paula’s room and learns that Paula (who has the same type of cancer as her) passed away earlier that morning.

Clare doesn’t want to die stuck in the hospital, so she enlists the help of Drew to sneak her out.  He takes her to Degrassi’s summer camp, where she runs the obstacle course with the kids until she throws up.  One of the kids coughs in her face because he has a cold and Clare freaks out, fearful that any kind of infection will kill her.  Once she returns to the hospital Eli freaks out because she left the hospital without telling anyone.  Helen interrupts their discussion to inform Clare that the MRI came back clear.  Though she’s not out of the woods yet Clare’s hope is restored, and she vows to keep fighting.

What has set this storyline apart from many others is how easy it engages you, and makes you feel whatever emotion Clare is feeling.  When Clare is nervous, I find myself feeling nervous.  When she found out about Paula dying, my heart dropped into my stomach.  When Clare found out the results of her MRI, I felt relieved and hopeful.  Just as enjoyable is the injection of humor and friendship from Drew.  Clare still has a long way to go with her battle with cancer, but so far the journey we’ve witnessed has been fantastic.

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1304-4ALLI PLOT REVIEW: I’m not sure if anyone else feels this way, but Alli’s plot remains stagnant in My Own Worst Enemy.  Once again it’s neither good nor bad…it just exists, lulling viewers into a state of uncertainty as to why this romance plot has yet to show any sparks. Alli asks Leo out and they agree to a picnic date, but she must also fit in a trip to the Louvre for a class assignment. She tries to get Leo to go there so she can do her assignment instead of having their picnic, but he’s annoyed by this and walks away from their date. Alli apologizes and the two decide to start over again.

When watching episodes as a viewer we’re looking to feel something. It can be good or bad, but we need to feel something. While the rest of the plots seem to be moving in some direction emotionally, Alli’s continues to sit here, offering nothing more than a mental break from the stress of Clare’s cancer and intrigue of trying to decipher Miles‘ sexuality. On a good note, Alli does openly acknowledge that she consistently lets relationships with boys get in the way of her life.  However, the relationship she’s developing with this Parisian boy has yet to connect, leaving the current feeling that Alli is being wasted on a summer filler fling.

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1304-3TRISTAN PLOT REVIEW: Upon Tristan and Miles’ reconciliation in All I Wanna Do, it was pretty apparently from the glimmer in his eye that Tristan had developed some feelings for Miles. He’s in full-blown crush mode here in My Own Worst Enemy, gushing about his feelings to Maya for the umpteenth time.

While Tristan has plans to eventually make Miles his boyfriend, Zoë overhears this and scoffs, because she has her eye on Miles as well. The two both want Miles to be their partner for a class project, but Miles chooses Tristan. The two talk as they venture the streets of Paris and Tristan kisses Miles, who offers a neutral reaction. Later, Tristan is unsure of what it means, and he’s disappointed when he and Maya find Miles on a couch with Zoë, who is flirtatiously sitting on his lap.

It’s safe to say that this is one of the more interesting love triangles to have been established on Degrassi. I thoroughly enjoyed the execution of this plot in this episode because we’re left with a good cliffhanger for once (something that, oddly enough, Degrassi had a difficult time doing with 30-minute Part 1 episodes when all of the episodes were broken up into two parts). For me the focal point is Miles and the fact that we still have no idea where he stands. Is he straight? Is he gay? Is he bisexual? Is he even interested in Tristan or Zoë? These are the questions that will linger as we wait for the next episode, a feeling of eagerness and so refreshing that a “To Be Continued…” frame isn’t necessary.

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Posted by Kary

25 Comments

  1. As engaging as Clare’s plot has been, I couldn’t help but notice that her plots weren’t mentioned in future plot descriptions- thoughts?

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    1. Not every episode description detailed all three plots, and Cannonball’s description was not released.

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  2. Gah, Tristan is so cringe-inducing. :|

    However, the Clare’s plot is really amazing. I love how they touched all the negative aspects. The title really reflects on how she is taking the entire situation, she is her own worst enemy. She continues to dwell on the negatives, but cannot see the positive. However, with the recent turn of events, FIGHT ON!

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  3. I loved Tristan and Miles plot… But Clare’s plot felt too rushed. I know the cancer is still there, I just had no feelings towards the end.. They hyped this over nothing. BTW I knew she would be clear. I wish they would have heighten it and went there like they did with Spinner. Alli story bored the poops out of me.

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    1. Forget to add that Aislinn did a beautiful job. This has nothing to do with Clare her self its just over hyping her cancer story angered me.

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    2. Yeah I felt it was somewhat resolved too quickly even though realistic it won’t be so simple. They could’ve stretched it out for at least two more episodes and then had the results come back. Everyone’s acting was spot on though despite that.

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  4. I absolutely love the Clare plot and Asilinn’s performance… but am I the only one wondering where Clare’s dad is?
    Like, I get that Darcy has fallen into the Degrassi black hole/Africa/90201 and will apparently never be mentioned again…but for the love of god, your daughter has cancer where are you??

    (Sorry I know its a minor detail but its really been bothering me this season…)

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    1. I couldn’t agree more!! He just disappeared! Weren’t Clare’s mom and her dad supposed to trade places every other weekend or something like that?

      Also, where the hell are Glen and Jake? I mean come on! You’re wife’s daughter/ your stepsister is battling cancer and they’re no where to be found?

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      1. Exactly this is one of my big issues with Clare’s plot. No mentioning whatsoever of her family. Jake and Glen were just in the last season so one would expect some mentioning even if the actors aren’t brought back onto the show. This would’ve been a great plot for developing the family and even Clare’s relationship with her father. The audience isn’t stupid or forgetful so I’m hoping they acknowledge this neon sign. They at least had Declan send Holly J flowers and had a deleted scene regarding Darcy for the wedding.

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  5. NoSweat BobaFett July 26, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Maybe Winston is gay and Miles knows and has experience with dealing with these kind of situations because he had to deal with it with Winston so he doesn’t feel any kind of uncomfortability around Tristan but he’s straight? Idk just a thought.

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    1. Yeah, it was weird. When Tristan was talking about getting a boyfriend, Zoe was like, “Winston?”

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      1. NoSweat BobaFett July 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm

        Yes that’s what I was thinking, why would she say Winston out of everyone else? Interesting(:

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    2. Nina Shewchuk July 26, 2013 at 7:43 am

      I really hope Winston is not gay. He’s only the second Asian male the show’s ever had (the first being Zane), and the first was gay. Asian men are so under-represented in mainstream media as it is, and when they are, they are often presented as asexual nerds, gay boy catnip, or as horn dog sidekicks who lust after girls but never get them. And they certainly are never shown in relationships with non-Asian girls. It’d be nice if the writers portrayed Winston in a progressive way.

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      1. NoSweat BobaFett July 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm

        I have high hopes for Winston on degrassi whether he’s gay or straight, I hope the writers do a good job with him. I also hope Tristan get’s a nice boyfriend whether it’s Winston or not.

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  6. Ok, Claire has to have THE worst sister ever. If I was her I will expect my sister, dad, stepbrother and stepfather to be there.

    I just remembered Darcy was her sister though, this was a good chance for all of them to come back even if for a show or two

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    1. Yeah, I wish we would at least get mentions about the rest of her family. Like, “”Dad came to visit me this morning,” or “Darcy sent me an e-mail saying that she’s praying for me”. It’s not as though the audience doesn’t notice that only her mom is around.

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  7. Relly j Sinclaire July 26, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Haha if Darcy every came back my degrassi life would be complete. I mean 90210 is cancelled I know shenae is doing photography now by put it would be awesome if she came back for an guet appearance. Come back Darcy!

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  8. Even though I think the writing on this show is improving, I feel like the dialog is getting worse. As for Clare’s cancer plot, I really admire Aislynn’s performance, but I feel like the plot is moving way too fast for me to feel the full impact of it. For example, Clare has known for what, a week? And she’s already telling people, “I don’t know how much longer I have.” They are making it out to be that she only has a few days left, and that’s just not realistic at all. People battle cancer for years, months at the very least. I know part of it is just Clare’s paranoia, but even the nurse was acting like she could die at any moment.

    Also: we’ve been shown promos of Clare back at school and her hair is already growing back and she seems to be cancer-free. I’m disappointed by this. Not because I want Clare to be sick, but because they have the opportunity to go really deep with this story and it seems like they’re only dipping their toes into it. It almost seems like they didn’t have anything for Clare to do for this summer block, and gosh darn it they’re going to have Eclare on the screen if it kills them, so they decided, “let’s just give Clare cancer for a couple of months.”

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    1. That wasn’t ignorant at all (sarcasm). You’ve obviously never been around anyone with cancer, just the mere mention of cancer can throw anyone in a loop just imagine actually having it!!!

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      1. I’ve actually been around several people with cancer, of various kinds, so I do know what I’m talking about. And I did say that part of it was Clare’s paranoia, which is understandable, but nobody was disagreeing with her. Sorry, but cancer doesn’t kill you in one week, especially if they’ve caught it as early as they did Clare’s. It just seems unrealistic to me.

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    2. I think that scene when the little boy coughed on Clare, that was foreshadowing. I do think her cancer might return down the road.

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  9. I am noticing a pattern with this summer block so far. Again, Clare’s plot is the strongest point in the episode when compared to the other characters’ plots. Hopefully this will change as the block moves forward, but personally I am looking forward to seeing if Dallas or Drew have individual storylines of their own to start of their time on this season.

    A Plot/Clare:

    Clare’s plot starts out in a very real way with her undergoing the MRI and feeling scared and isolated. I would imagine that any teen in a similar situation would feel the same. Her attitude afterwards with her mother and Eli seems believable when you consider that she knows she has cancer and is getting freaked out by what appears to her to be a seemingly never ending list of bleak situations involving her health. Anyone who’s had or does have cancer normally quickly realizes that they are not invincible and tend to feel vulnerable to the slightest things. Her leaving the hospital with Drew may have been a bit over the top for me, but I was impressed by Drew’s attitude and mindset during this. He seems to have matured and become a bit wiser since taking on the responsibilities of overseeing a child camp. The one time in the whole plot that hit me was when Clare went to see Paula, who had the same cancer as her, only to find out that the girl had died that morning. This truly hit home considering the sad fact about cancer that some people can get cured while others unfortunately are not that lucky. The only problem that I saw with her plot was that it seemed a bit too much like a conclusion. While I wasn’t surprised that her MRI came back clear, it seemed to take a lot of the suspense away from her overall storyline. I’m sure Clare will struggle with her recovery, but it seems that the writers have obviously gotten her out of any immediate mortal peril. The other storylines will need to improve to match hers, and Aislinn’s acting has been flawless so far in my humble opinion. Her portrayal of a scared teen girl fearing death is a shining example of what can happen when you give a talented actress a great storyline with a good supporting cast. The one thing that has bugged me this whole time is that her father hasn’t made a single appearance at the hospital. It seems like it would just make too much sense to at least give him a cameo during all of this.

    B Plot/Alli:

    All I can say for this is: Haven’t I already seen this? Alli falls head over heels for an attractive guy, only to have mishaps directly because of it. This was WAY too predictable, and its a shame to see Melinda’s final season starting out this way. I know that Season 13 is just beginning, but her plot so far has been the worst out of all the rest. I hope that it improves since this is her last season and I don’t know how much more we will see of her, but I’m not holding my breath on this. I will gladly look forward to seeing Melinda’s storylines once her character is back in school during the fall/winter block of the season.

    C Plot/Tristan:

    It was obvious that Tristan had developed a misguided crush on Miles as soon as Miles tried to assure him that he wasn’t a homophobe. This kind of reminded me of Tristan’s infatuation with Cam at the beginning of Season 12, when he seemed to be wishing for some romantic connection that simply didn’t exist. Tristan’s confusion is relatable, considering Miles’ reaction to his advances by neither rebuffing him nor accepting it. I find it interesting with the writers setting up Zoe and Miles, making it rather ambiguous about Miles’ true sexuality so far. If I may say, Miles has been presented to us as a bit of a player, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he comes back from France single and with no one hanging on his arm. Just my prediction.

    With all this said, I’m interested in seeing how the love triangle with Zoe/Tristan/Miles is finished out by the writers by the time the students come back to Canada. It will be interesting if the producers were able to conjure up a more diverse cross section of strong plots besides Clare’s compelling cancer plot and Tristan’s blossoming search for “love”.

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  10. TheUltimateDork July 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Is Dave off the show?

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  11. Oh god Tristan is hands down the worst character on the entire goddamn show. His plot lines are so cliche it’s ridiculous, and he’s constantly making me cringe (in this episode he says “OMLG” and when Maya asks what it means he goes “Oh my lady gaga”. Why? This stuck out in the worst possible way). He’s a walking stereotype, they kind I despise glee for promotoing. As a gay male, I find “Tris” to be ridiculously offensive. Once again, Clare takes the prize for best plot, but I really don’t mind Leo and Ali. I’m glad Maya took a backburner this episode, her good girl/bad girl thing is starting to get REALLY annoying. I’m still not sure how I feel about Winston too, he seems pretty shallow, hopefully he’ll be developed more.

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