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It’s safe to say that over the past few seasons, Degrassi has done a pretty poor job of ending episodes in the weekly format with a cliffhanger, or creating anticipation in general for the next episode.  Who Do You Think You Are manages to successfully do so with all three plots, each leaving a bounty of questions for us to ponder until the next episode.

1313-1MAYA PLOT REVIEW: It’s unclear whether the Tenners’ romantic shape is a definitive square or triangle, but one thing is clear in Who Do You Think You Are:  Maya wants things to be drama free.  Miles asks Maya to a concert, but she‘s hesitant to accept.  She wants to focus on her music and she also doesn’t want to risk ruining her new-found friendship with Zoë.

Maya performs a song she wrote for her class, and everyone loves it.  She thinks about doing a music video for her song, and Zoë offers to help by utilizing her West Drive contacts.  The video is shot on the set of West Drive, and Zoë directs the sexy video, which includes Maya being “undressed“ on camera and sensually making out with a guy while in skimpy clothing.  While the Tenners are watching the finished video, Miles is visibly uncomfortable.  He’s upset because of the video, and thinks Maya is behaving “like a slut” to get attention, also mentioning that there’s a Maya fan page on Facerange full of people who agree.

Maya checks the page, which if full of derogatory comments as well as memes of Maya’s face photoshopped on scantily-clad bodies.  Maya demands that Zoë, the one who uploaded the video, take it down from Youtube.  Zoë refuses and tells Maya that if she wants to be famous, she’ll have to endure all attention she receives, good and bad.  Maya tells her mom, unsure of how to stop the cyber bullying.

1313-2The Tenners finally break through and deliver some interesting and intricate content in season 13.  The multiple layers of their interactions move well together in this episode.  Just when you’re convinced Miles and Maya might finally take their relationship to the next level Maya slows down, for fear of hurting Zoë.  And Zoë seems to be behaving cordially toward Maya, even if it’s obvious the thought of Maya and Miles together still makes her bitter.

Miles’ reaction to Maya’s music video is understandable, but only to a small extent.  All he saw was the fact that the girl he likes was half naked and making out with another guy.  However, his statement about her being a slut was uncalled for.  My reaction to the video is layered.  It’s weird watching someone Maya’s age be so sensual in a video.  The productions values of the video are almost too good, to the point of making the video itself a distraction.  The justification in my head for the video though is that it makes it pretty clear that the video is intended to be artistic, even though its content could also be twisted in a negative way as it was.

Maya doesn’t know who started the hate page, but she does know that the comments are overwhelming her.  You feel bad for Maya because she’s being cyber bullied and there’s no way to avoid it.  Unless there’s some crazy plot twist, Zoë is obviously behind the scandal.  This episode does a good job of setting up what will be a heated and much-anticipated confrontation between Maya and Zoë.

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1313-3DALLAS PLOT REVIEW:  Dallas is a no show for class, leaving Drew hanging for their class presentation.  When Drew arrives home he finds Dallas in bed with a girl.  Drew scolds Dallas for his drinking and casual hookups, a pattern of behavior that’s been happening for weeks.  Drew pays the girl Dallas is seeing to lie and tell Dallas she’s pregnant, but the scheme fails because she and Dallas never had sex.  Dallas says he’s fine, but Drew doesn’t believe him, telling him he needs to be a better example for his son Rocky.  An angry Dallas doesn’t appreciate Drew telling him how to live his life and walks away.

We don’t receive much in terms of storyline here, and honestly this plot seems to be more from Drew’s perspective as opposed to Dallas‘.  It’s weird at first, but keeping in mind there’s been no setup for Dallas’ behavior prior to this episode it’d come off as random if we were seeing it through Dallas’ eyes.  Another advantage of this plot being more from Drew’s point of view is that just like us, he doesn’t seem to have a clue as to why Dallas is behaving the way he is.  Is Dallas acting out because of Adam, or Rocky, or something else entirely? We’re left eagerly awaiting the answer.

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1313-4ALLI/LEO PLOT REVIEW:  Alli wants to focus on her SAT’s so that she’ll be able to get into MIT.  However, the news of Alli wanting to go there doesn’t sit too well with Leo.  He’s upset that she wants to go to school far away from Toronto when he just moved there for her.  Determined to have both, Alli wants Leo to go to Boston with her when she leaves to school, even filling out school applications for him.  Leo is offended because he thinks he’s stupid and only capable of following Alli around and working in coffee shops.  During their argument Leo smacks Alli, who afterward tells him she never wants to see him again.

It’s nice to see that “book smart” Alli makes an appearance for once, dominating over the “boy dumb” Alli we’ve seen all throughout season 13.  While her plot with Leo makes it seem like he’s the end-all, be-all of her world, it’s refreshing to see that MIT is still her primary goal for the future.  Her big mistake though is believing that she can have both MIT and Leo, as he selfishly delivers an ultimatum to Alli without her even realizing it.  She tells Leo that MIT is her dream and his only response is, “You told me I was your dream.”

With Leo physically abusing Alli again, I’m left on the edge of my seat waiting to find out if she’s going to stand her ground or fall for his charm once again…it could honestly go either way.

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Posted by Kary

21 Comments

  1. LOL. Don’t scare them to much. Good intro to what we might expect tonight.

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    1. Lmfao at the end!!!

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      1. the paris arc was Conjuring-terrifying.

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  2. I personally think this was the strongest 13B episode so far!

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  3. Ah, finally some continuity: A (sorta’) Cam reference, a mention of Rocky, a throwback to Drew blacking out and sleeping with Katie… Probably the best part of this episode.

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  4. Now this is how you do a great episode! I LOVED it! Lots of drama and a great set up to next weeks episode. Hopefully, the climax doesn’t disappoint. Definitely agree, this is the strongest episode of 13B so far.

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  5. Yes! Finally the Degrassi writers got somewhere with their plots. Of course, most of the plots are partially set-up for Barely Breathing but there was still enough juice to keep me excited for next week’s episode.
    Plot Grades:
    A Plot
    Wow! The Tenners had me scared for this plot but man they finally went back to their likable roots. Zoe being the puppeteer in this episode was interesting. Maya at first does not want to mention anything about Miles with Zoe around but I liked how Zoe counteracted Maya’s suspicion of her by wanting to “direct” her music video. I loved the scene where they saw Maya’s music video; Maya looks at it through artistic eyes while Miles sees it as what it is…a risque video that paints Maya in a negative light. Maya endures a form of cyber bullying in this episode that is realistic in life. The pain on her face at the end of this episode sums up Zoe’s plan all along: to break down her life and sanity to a certain extent. The only thing that I wish should have happened in this plot was Maya putting two and two together that Zoe was setting her up especially after her conversation with Miles. Nonetheless, this plot does not just a good job but a GREAT job setting up the climax of Maya and Zoe’s rivalry in next week’s episode. Again, thank you writers for moving this plot along instead of dragging it out for upcoming episodes.
    Grade: A-

    B Plot
    Dallas’ and Drew’s plot was brief but well played out in seeing how Dallas has become involved with drinking and hooking up with random girls. While nothing really happens in this plot other than seeing the level of Dallas’ immature behavior, the ending does give promise at seeing what is really going on with Mike Dallas.
    Grade: B

    C Plot
    While the plot did have some mediocre parts, Alli not wanting to go to MIT to stay with Leo and her suggesting to him some jobs in Boston, it’s completely straightforward when we see how messed up Alli’s life is when it comes to boys. As Kary mentioned, the only interesting parts of this plot are when Leo is controlling Alli because let’s face it…the plot is useless without those plot elements. With Leo abusing Alli again, we’ll hopefully see the conclusion of Season 13’s worst plot in next week’s episode.
    Grade: B-

    Side comments:
    Supporting characters
    It’s nice to see that Degrassi hasn’t forgotten about certain characters such as Damon, Ms. Oh, and especially Mr. Townsend…who I thought was chilling with Kendra in the Degrassi Bermuda Triangle since he hasn’t appeared since last season’s fall block.

    Tristan’s not annoying for once
    About time! I mean yes he did make unnecessary references to pop tarts, Lady Gaga and Beyonce, but Tristan was actually tolerable in this episode. Maybe that’s because he wasn’t wearing a basketball uniform and/or interacting with Miles as a “friend”.

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    1. I think you hit the nail on the head sir!

      This episode definitely gave some life to the fall block so far, and it was needed since it was seeming to be very uneven in quality between the various characters’ plots. This was a good episode overall, and the one thing I will love to see is next Friday’s continuation of Dallas’ plot. Demetrius Joyette has done a superb job in a support role, so it was nice see him get a plot of his own. The B Plot seemed to come out of nowhere, but was well done enough to intrigue me into looking forward to seeing more of it next week.

      I thought the A Plot did a lot to lead up to next week impending clash between the two Tenner girls, and I’m definitely looking forward to it. I know that Maya is the main focus of the plot, but I think that Zoe’s work here is a bit overlooked. Ana’s portrayal of a showbiz teen that has a very weak connection to average teens in the real world has been done very well. As much as people have applauded Miles’ entrance onto the show, I think that the character of Zoe has seemed to evolve into a far more psychologically complex and insecure individual than we were introduced to in the Summer Block. The quality of her appearances has improved, which should be something to take note of. Making a character evolve from being perceived as one dimensional to a multi-faceted one takes a lot of struggle and work, both on the part of the actor as well as the writers.

      Again, I am interested in the B Plot’s continuation next Friday. Normally I would get lost in a plot that seems to randomly come out of nowhere. I have to give Luke Bilyk and Demetrius Joyette credit, since they had to carry this random plot on their own and keep it relatively interesting for viewers to want more. Demetrius has been a solid addition to the cast since he came on the show, and has excelled in support roles over and over again. AJ Saudin is another actor that comes to mind with this same situation. It was great to see Mike Dallas get some limelight in a plot of his own for once.

      As far as the C Plot goes, I kind of saw this coming for Alli and Leo. When Leo arrived in Toronto, I had very specific assumptions on their endgame. I assumed after their fight in Paris that this very kind of incident would happen. I never really saw them as a long term couple in any way, but just as more of a filler for Melinda Shankar as her tenure on the show slowly winds down. I will say that as far as storylines go, at least theirs has gotten tolerable since the disaster that was Paris, although every so slowly. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alli and Dallas get together by either the end of the fall block or the beginning of the spring block. The writers have made it plain that these two characters have an attraction to each other that goes beyond being physical, and in their scenes together last season, Melinda and Demetrius work well together in front of a camera.

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  6. I don’t know, didn’t Maya already learn her lesson about the dangers of posting things to the internet? Also, why wasn’t she bullied more when she was making out with that random dude at the end of Season 12? Mostly I just want more Zig, please!

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    1. That was mostly a plot device for Maya to be in deep waters and to showcase how messed up she was deep down after Cam’s suicide. This time however it’s more geared towards Maya being in a risque music video that she thinks is artistic but winds up making her be cyber bullied by some students. In general, the music video is a plot device for Maya and Zoe’s rivalry which I admit isn’t an entirely bad one.

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  7. I seriously didn’t think the Maya music video was bad or risque enough for her to get called a slut. It defiantly was an attempt to be artistic, and not, I hate myself for making this reference, but Miley Cyrus twerking trash. So I really didn’t get all the hate and stuff personally.

    While my instinct is that Zoe is behind all the Facerange stuff, I’m kind of secretly hoping its someone else like Zig and his gang of friends. Don’t know what his motive would be, but it would defiantly be a more interesting twist than Zoe being behind it.

    Overall though, this was the most solid episode of the season, I hope it keeps up since we were in murky waters for awhile there.

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    1. I agree with you. This was not Miley Cyrus trash. Maybe Zoe and Zig are working together and thats why the whole school got involved. Truth will probably come out when they turn on each other.

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    2. The better Miley reference for this is that risque photoshoot she did when she was…16? Where she had an artistic nude photo taken and everyone FREAKED OUT about it. And Disney got their lawyers out, and press statements, and all sorts of hullabaloo over a definitely tame compared to the twerking mess photo. For those that don’t know the photo it was her, covered by holding a sheet over her front, clearly braless under the sheet, looking forlorn with some color balance tweaks to make it a little muted.

      They needed to revisit the cyber bullying issue, but in a way that was more… embracing than the last time (Holly J and Alli’s hate group). Holly J was still being portrayed as an antagonist at the time, and that was one of their episode attempts to move her to the protagonist side. Here we’re using a character that’s always been presented as a protagonist.

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  8. i dont know why u say dallas is acting out. hes jus hookin up wit girls and drinkin a lil beer. some normal human behaviors. its jus that its being seen from drew point of view and drew is hovering over dallas and hatin on him

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    1. Yup, it’s totally normal to skip out on your friends, school, and responsibilities to go home and drink beer in the early afternoon and fool around with a girl.

      You seem to be ignoring that that’s a pattern of Dallas just all around giving up on school during his Victory Lap.

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  9. but of course with degrassi there goin to prob agree with drews perspective and something will happen to dallas

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  10. Definitely not a fan of the slut shaming in this episode :/

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  11. First reaction to Maya’s music video: That’s a lot of innuendo going on there,.. I can see Mile’s perspective….
    More reaction after I finish watching

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  12. Albert Smarowsky November 4, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Is it me, or does anyone else think Dallas is acting this way because of a combination of Cam’s suicide and Adam’s death? When you think about it, if you lost two people you were close with in a short period of time, it’ll make you do some stupid stuff. As for the plot with Maya/Zoe, after reading posts here and the review, I didn’t realize I didn’t see the cyber-bullying aspect of it. It’s nice seeing the producers/writers/whomever keep touching on issues like this, even in subtle ways. This is the one thing I have always loved about the show and it makes it different from most shows. As far as Ali/Leo…I hope she sees the light and tells him off, but they still use his character; there’s a lot of potential but only if done right.

    On a side note, I’m so looking forward to seeing Clare/Eli with each other, since, even though Clare is in remission, with the new she received I think it will do her good with Eli there. Her cancer plot has to have been the most painful, yet helpful for me since I’ve started watching Degrassi. The Thursday before this episode, I was down spending the weekend with my dad who has terminal cancer. Well, he was getting ready to come in the room, and as the episode was coming on and it shown her looking at the pamphlets, I had flashbacks to when we found out about his cancer spreading and all…I was happy he didn’t come in at that point since it would have been worse for him. Multiple times this season there were moments like this, like when Clare went for the MRI, and a few days after watching this my dad had to go for one…etc. All I have to say is, for those who watch the show, try to get something out of each episode, since you never, ever know when it may come in handy.

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    1. “When you think about it, if you lost two people you were close with in a short period of time, it’ll make you do some stupid stuff.”

      Yeah, I remember when they devoted so much screentime to Toby when he was acting out after losing his only close male friends, one of whom was his best friend in the world… oh, wait.

      I know that people react differently to tragedy, but if Dallas’ behavior is actually related to Cam and Adam, it really won’t really have as much of an impact as it would have if they would have done a similar storyline with Toby, IMO. Was Dallas really THAT close to them? It would make a lot more sense if Dallas’ behavior had something to do with his kid.

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    2. I like the points made by Albert and pocksuppet. I lost a sister to pancreatic cancer. She died 6 weeks after her diagnosis. She didn’t smoke or drink. She exercised and was a vegetarian who liked fish occassionally. Shows that particular disease is random and can hit anyone. ……I thought Dallas was more acting up because hes not feeling he has been a good dad to his kid. So hes probably thinking screw it I will act like I’m young and irresponsible and theres no tomorrow. …..I think the episodes are better now that they are back to school and done with field trips. I miss Holly J, Fiona, Eli, Bianca, etc. Maybe that era can never be created on the show again. Of course alot of people felt that the show from 10 years ago was much better than the cast I just mentioned. …..Agree that Toby deserved a better storyline and send off. This bullying creep with Ali doesn’t seem totally weird or over the top like the guy that shot Jimmy (Drake) and beat his girl friend because of his personal problems.

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