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.
CLARE 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.
TRISTAN 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.
IMOGEN 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.