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Everything You’ve Done Wrong is an ironic episode title, given that this review will, in some instances, be geared toward pointing out the flaws of this episode.  Right off the bat I think of it as an episode with an odd flow, but then again all of season 13 feels off in its 30-minute broadcast format.  As the episodes are read and filmed in blocks of four it feels even more evident in this one (1312), the final episode of the third block of episodes produced. For the most part there’s no feeling of climax or anticipation, with two of the plots seeming to wrap up neatly simply because they have to.
1312-1CLARE PLOT REVIEW:  You Oughta Know set up a wonderful scenario for Clare Edwards.  Her lapses in memory are so bad that she begins to question her future.  Will she accomplish her goals? Will she even be alive to do so?

Unfortunately, the story seems to stall in Everything You’ve Done Wrong.  Clare learns that her chemotherapy has caused her memory loss, a condition known as chemo brain.  Outside of that things happen, but at the same time nothing really seems to happen, as a panicked Clare spends the episode thinking of ways to avoid coming clean to the magazine editor about the fake story she wrote about Zoë.  At first Clare thinks she should say she’s received a better offer from another publication, allowing her to quit the magazine without enduring a scandal.  However, things become complicated when the editor, Meredith, loves Clare’s article about Zoë.  Clare’s back is against the wall when Meredith wants to fact check Clare’s article by having Zoë visit the magazine’s office to confirm the details of the story.

When Clare’s unable to convince Zoë to go along with the story, Clare has no choice but to confess to Meredith, who ends up giving Clare a second chance.  This plot does a repetitive song and dance in regards to Clare’s article, having coming up with various schemes to avoid revealing the truth and Alli serving as the persistent voice of reason.  Clare’s confession scene feels odd to me.  Obviously Meredith wouldn’t crush Clare’s career before it even began, but to stress the importance of accuracy in one scene then slap Clare on the wrist in another feels weird.  Then again, maybe that’s the brilliance of Clare “playing the cancer card,” a move she tried and failed with Zoë, but refused to pull on Meredith before she had to.

Essentially Clare’s storyline is at its best when it simply focuses on Clare’s general outlook on life.  She’s the girl everyone knows as having lofty ambitions, but she’s afraid that cancer has ruined the future she’s meticulously planned out.  Ironically Clare fears she’ll never achieve anything, yet the fact she’s accomplished something great has been in front of her all along…she beat cancer.

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1312-2TRISTAN PLOT REVIEW: Tristan joins an elite club at Degrassi, as he unintentionally ends up becoming a drug dealer for the basketball team.  Miles is now a starter on the team, thinking the steroids are what helped him; in turn he shares his steroid stash with the rest of the team.

Tristan neither approached Degrassi’s newest bad boy Zig nor tried to buy pills off of some shady-looking guys in an alley at night, so it’s pretty obvious that the “steroids” he gave to Miles are fake. It’s a clever move in general, but one that seems like another desperate ploy in the hands of Tristan, as opposed to a useful plot device as done by Sean Cameron in Jagged Little Pill.

Dallas rightfully scolds Tristan, forcing the truth about the pills to be divulged.  From that point on the plot treads predictable water.  Tristan tells Miles the truth about the pills, Miles gets angry, Tristan solves the issue and everything is all peachy by episode’s end.  Tristan cleverly cleans up his “steroid” mess by doling out pills that will conveniently flush away any of the “steroids” the players have taken, though excluding Miles and Dallas none of the other players will ever know both pills they took were fake.  However, that situation brings up questions of its own: why did the majority of the team seem to take the steroids, and how was Dallas the only one who seemed to know that the league conducts random drug tests?

By the end of the episode, an even bigger question was left unanswered…what was the point of all of this? It was an awful lot of work to try and develop Tristan and Miles’ relationship, whatever it may be, and the placebo effect in the storyline was summed up by nothing more than a throwaway line.

However, we’re once again subjected to more moments within an episode that make me crave more time devoted to Miles’ relationship with his father.  Miles is normally laid back, but anything that can divert his mind toward his father strikes an immediate, and visibly uncomfortable nerve.  This budding storyline though is buried underneath the plot being seen through the eyes of Tristan, a character whose behavior becomes so absurdly erratic when it comes to personal relationships that it’s aggravating.

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1312-3IMOGEN PLOT REVIEW: As Becky continues to press Imogen about Adam, Imogen continues to feel guilty withholding what she knows.  She feels like she can’t tell Becky the truth, but at the same time she can’t keep avoiding the situation. In the end Imogen figures out a solution: she tells Becky the bare minimum, saying that Adam was trying to get a hold of Becky before his fatal crash because he loved and missed her.  Becky, who felt like everyone was hiding something from her about Adam’s death, finally receives the closure she‘s desired.

As small as this plot has been, the situation itself and how Imogen handles it is a good example of reality when it comes to the truth.  People say they don’t want to be lied to and want people to be completely honest with them, but at some point we all realize how difficult it is for that to happen when we are the ones who must be truthful.  In that aspect, Imogen’s dilemma is relatable.  The weight of the situation is compounded given the fact that Adam passed away and everyone is still in mourning.  While talking with Drew, Imogen questions what her intentions would be for being completely honest with Becky.  Would Imogen be doing it because she feels Becky needs to know, or because Imogen wants to relieve her own conscience?

Ultimately, Imogen chooses both by telling Becky that Adam still loved her, but leaving about the details about their summer fling.  One of Degrassi’s best attributes over the past several seasons is the willingness to show that characters and situations are not always black and white.  There’s a lot of gray area that we often find ourselves navigating throughout life, and Imogen‘s situation is just another example of that.  She gives Becky a version of the truth which more than satisfies Becky’s inquiry.  It might not be the whole truth, but it’s an authentic response that’s far more in line with how you’d expect someone in real life to respond under the same circumstances.

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Posted by Kary

22 Comments

  1. I find some kind of irony that the first season they drop the Telanovela format… is the first season to truly write it’s plots in a telanovela format. Which in a weekly is kinda lackluster, as it means every plot is left openended for at least a week, but often two to three weeks.

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  2. I’m just bored by this season so far. Not enough happens in each episode. I’m considering DVRing the rest of the season and watching it in one shot.

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    1. Yeah, honestly it’s probably better to do that than trying to watch week to week.

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      1. OK, so after the summer and fall blocks, if you could call them a “block”, we can assume there will be 20+ episodes left for winter/spring. I’m thinking that even though there’s been a couple of significant events transpire since the end of 12, the meat of the 13th is yet to come. Got to be, otherwise the show really does lack direction this year.

        Any chance they switch to 1 hour blocks for the winter? That would give us 12 weeks, figuring the 40 episode original order. I sure hope so, because this stuff so far has been pretty lame. The episodes haven’t been good enough by themselves to be stand-a-lones, but if you put 2 of them back to back, at least it would give the viewer something to look forward to.

        Otherwise, they just need to change their episode formula. They need to make DeGrassi a true serial with long term implications. The argument could be made that they are already doing that given the pace at which they’ve been moving. But, IMO, they haven’t really committed to that type of storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, I think they were fine, at their best really, when they were doing their 4/week summer telenovela runs.The show was perfect in that format. But I’m not the one paying the bills either. Just my two cents….

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  3. I’m so bored with this season and the new characters I know we can’t go back to TNG but I’m about finished watching degrassi :(

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  4. I find it ironic how this episode is called “Everything You’ve Done Wrong” and the Degrassi writers are dragging the story lines along…more like “Everything WE’VE Done Wrong.”

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  5. Why did they start the episode off with Tristan’s dud of a plot? Heck that conversation between Tristan and Miles is some of the most cringe worthy moments I’ve seen this season.

    Grades:
    A Plot – B
    B Plot – D
    C Plot – B-

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  6. That was actually a pretty solid episode in my opinion, all the plots were pretty noteworthy this time around.

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  7. Ok why are people harping on the episodes? This was typical Degrassi fare tonight yet everyone’s been complaining everywhere I look!

    I think 12C has really gotten everyone spoiled… they can’t have Cam kill himself every damn week and Eli had to graduate eventually!

    I know the last block of season 12 was really amazing and yes I can admit they dropped the ball during the summer since they’ve never really had a block take place outside the halls of Degrassi until now… but people are overreacting when tonight was up there with episodes pre-season 12.

    There’s 40 episodes this season, they’re just trying to flesh the characters out before shit hits the fan; after 3 years of this new Degrassi format, you’d think fans would understand and give Degrassi more credit than complain and throw in the towel like lots seem to be threatening!

    The same people saying the show is moving too slowly now are probably the same people who would complain about underdeveloped characters! Make up your mind!

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    1. The thing is, the last few seasons of Degrassi had the Telanova format for the first half of the season taking place in about 5 seasons. The episodes could’ve been really slow, but you wouldn’t have noticed as much because there would be another episode the next day–part 2. Truthfully, I liked both seasons 10 and 11, but I didn’t think they were as great as a lot of others think. Season 12 was one of my absolute FAVORITES, I’d have to say, and after such a wonderful season to get rid of the Telanova format but keep the episodes written the same way is just a bit…jarring.

      Honestly, the Paris arc was a bit…very “meh”, and it was only about 8 or 9 episodes, wasn’t it? Compared to the first parts of the 3 seasons before it, it was kind of “why am I wasting my time watching these sub-par episodes when there are only a few of them and I’m just going to have to wait weeks for more episodes that I don’t know will be any better?”

      The problem, to me, is that they got rid of the Telanova format, but they’re still writing the episodes as if they’re in one. Back in TNG, they had half the episodes, no Telanova, and most of the episodes were one episode storylines–and a lot of them were really good. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t still be watching 8 years later.

      I’m sure this season will get better, in fact, it already is. I enjoyed last night’s episode. I kind of just wish they’d either go back to the Telanova format, or some form thereof, or just make the episodes an hour long instead of a half an hour. That could solve so many problems.

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      1. The best change Degrassi can probably manage is to double the episodes aired per week (Thurs/Sun airing, probably) and keep the longer plot format as it feels a bit more… correct in a relationship based drama. The issue I had with older Degrassi was that so many plots were tied up in a neat little bow after 22 minutes. The allowances for longer, more drama heavy plots have definitely been a pro for the series.

        How much weaker would Fiona’s alcoholism plot be if it was one and done in two episodes the way Peter’s meth use was? Or Katie’s abuse of pain pills?

        The early series was good, but what evolved out, the extra freedom, is definitely better. It would have made a lot of the plots in earlier seasons more… effective, if they had more room to explore. Not every plot needs two episodes, but a lot of plots can definitely use the time.

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  8. As a writer, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at Clare’s plot last night. There’s no way a real editor would be so fine with a writer fabricating a story the way Clare did. Likewise, there’d be HUGE repercussions, especially considering they were going to press and they once again had no story because Clare effed it up. I will be cringing so hard if Clare /actually/ gets into Columbia.

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  9. On the brightside, Becky and Imogen are really cute! I ship ’em.

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    1. Good point! I don’t think Becky looked at Adam as a male, I think she actually preferred him to be female which might be a clue as to her own sexuality. There were a couple episodes that included dialog to support that, but my memory isn’t good enough to recall what they were. Nor do I have the time to go looking. But some of you probably remember and if so, I’d like to know which ones they were, just for future reference.

      Master K, I don’t really feel the idea that they are attempting to develop the characters so far in 13. If so, they have an odd way of going about it. They give us one picture of who these people are, then, they completely change everything about them. I mean, they’ve done some pretty radical personality switches in the past 10 episodes. Who are these characters? Which incarnation of them are we to believe in? I’m not really sure. Tristan is a prime example. He’s been 3 different characters since the beginning of summer! No, I just don’t believe the writers were too sure of what they were trying to do this series. Since the whole series is finished now, it will be curious to see what they ended up settling on.

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      1. I believe the quote from back in the day was “New year, new look, new Paige.” Teenagers change themselves more often than they change their socks. Tristan in S11 and S12 had as much of his identity built by his two closest relationships (Tori and Owen) as he was identified by himself. With both of them out of the picture he has an opportunity to change, and become what he wants to be (but again in relation to those around him, Miles, Maya, and Zoe). And while he’s made choices that clash with the last season Tristan, his dialog and body language are still pretty level for who he’s always been.

        Every Degrassi character goes through a few transformations, and often times they happen in a blur all at once because it’s something kids do. Some characters (Tristan, Imogen, Manny, Ashley, J.T., Mia, and Marco to an extent) change more radically and in bigger ways on a smaller time table, but they all must change or it’d be (more) unrealistic.

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  10. id shake my head if becky and imogen ended up getting together. thatd be stupid.

    and I know what you mean kary. they dropped the telenovela format in the season that seems to need it the most. I think that the season still wouldnt be that great if what we’ve seen so far is any indication, but the pacing at least wouldnt be as much of a problem.

    I never thought id see the day Degrassi was slower paced than the average season of Mad Men.

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    1. What’s wrong with Becky and Imogen being together?

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      1. They think that the writers are doing a ‘repeat’ of Fadam and they don’t want that.. If Becky is bisexual that would be different in there eyes. Also they really want a platonic relationship like Fiona & Holly J did.

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      2. Ugh! Becky is her own character. She’s not second to Adam. It does devalue the Beckdam relationship, but come on people…

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  11. I don’t think Becky and Imogen are getting together. I do think they’re going to become friends, though.

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    1. I liked the old episode format better. That’s really my only complaint though. It’s still a good show. I’ve liked most of the plots so far. Clare’s cancer plot is a really interesting plot! Some plots seem like they end too short or start up again. Like the Alli/Leo plot. Like seriously?! What’s up with that? I didn’t really like it but I have a feeling it will come up again. Maya/Zoe’s plot seems interesting and had some build up during Paris. I’m still wondering what is happening with Zig. I think the Tristan n Miles steroid plot was dumb though. Sory of you disagree. Drew is grieving over Adam, and Bianca is somewhat there. I hope he gets a plot maybe about or with Bianca

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      1. People say Degrassi isn’t as good as it used to be! I started watching right when season 12 started. Though I saw a episode in season 8 or 9 which was a rerun and the first I saw. It was about Alli n Johnny. Then I saw a rerun of season 7 toward the end of Darcy n Peter. Then I saw season 10 when eclare is first at their bench. Anyway I loved it then! I watched all of season 10 n 11. Then all of 8 and 9. Then all of 6 and 7. It was great! Then I watched 12 weekly. Anyway I did like it awhile ago. It was more exciting then now and more mature and more stuff happened. But I like it the same now. Also I can relate to some stuff now. SOME! It’s supposed to be realistic n is sometimes. Anyway some people say it’s more immature now! But I’m only 13. So maybe that’s why I like it!

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