Excluding the physical beat down Jeremy and his boys give T, Episode 5 is a pretty quiet endeavor. With recent events seeming to sink into the characters’ minds, this episode feels more like a transition between major plot points (Episode 4 and the upcoming Episode 6). The good news is Episode 5 offers a bit more in terms of entertainment and value than say Episode 3, as we patiently wait for the next chapter.
“I’m never kissing another boy again.”
In the episode’s final scene, the boys in Olive’s life are nowhere to be found as she’s ironically comforted by the girl secretly harboring feelings for her: Sara. Olive’s vow to never kiss another boy again comes after a frightening encounter with her boyfriend Jeremy, who’s on the warpath after having witnessed Olive cheat on him with T.
Jeremy sits in his car and quickly snorts drugs before Olive jumps in. The camera fantastically loses focus as he’s snorting, then refocuses as if to signify his altered state of mind. He’s then physically aggressive with Olive, yanking her by the hair as he informs her that he knows about her tryst with T. Olive gets out of the car to escape Jeremy, who follows and confronts her. His behavior becomes erratic as he pins Olive up against the car, professes his love for her and demands to know why she cheated on him. Olive spits in his face, he slaps her then drives off, leaving a rattled Olive calling T for help. Despite all of that, this scene isn’t as engaging as one would hope. At this point we know very little about Jeremy, besides the fact he’s aggressive and extremely jealous. Some understanding behind his near-obsessive attachment to Olive would help, but a lack of that insight softens the blow of his sporadic behavior in this scene.
On the other hand, we receive a far more focused and intense Jeremy at the beginning of the episode. Teenagers’ opening scenes are always exceptional, and this one is no different. The series opened up Episode 1 with this scene in which Jeremy and his friends beat up T for fooling around with Olive, threatening to kill him and also calling T the “N” word. Back then the scene was intense on its own, and it’s even more so now within the intended context. Teenagers cuts back and forth between the scenes of T and Olive’s intimate moment (pleasure) and T being brutally beaten (pain), painting a vivid picture of the double-edged sword that is love. We also witness the aftermath from T’s perspective. Once he returns home, we see T “mourn” over Olive in a way. A drop of his blood lands on his sketch of Olive, as if this situation has become tainted for him. T’s mother interrupts the somber mood, delivering a letter that says T has received a scholarship for university.
T’s quiet demeanor makes it difficult to know exactly what he’s thinking, but when he refuses to answer Olive’s phone call one could make the assumption that, just as he stared at himself in the bathroom mirror before running water in the sink, he wants to wash himself clean of this situation for the moment. One thing is for sure: T’s scholarship shows once again that he’s far better than the situations he finds himself in, and despite those situations, T is a character who’s full of perseverance.
It’s clear Ash doesn’t know how to handle a crisis, especially one involving a woman he’s slept with. Ironically, just like sex was all new to Bree, dealing with the consequences of sex is new to Ash as he initiates awkward dialogue at the clinic. “So…are you nervous?” he asks Bree, who doesn’t bother dignifying his silly question with a response. It’s confirmed that Bree has chlamydia and the diagnosis is delivered by the same doctor Ash went to, though this time the doctor’s tone is far more serious than when Ash was there alone. Maybe that’s because chlamydia’s symptoms, as the doctor points out, are far more serious for females.
During the doctor’s explanation Bree completely zones out. She walks out of the clinic, horrified at the thought of dealing with this situation. “This is your fault, and because of you I’m gonna have pelvic pains and my fallopian tubes are gonna be all fucked up,” Bree says to Ash. He tries to reassure her that everything’s going to be okay, but she’s unconvinced as she mumbles “Sex sucks,” and walks away. In Episode 1, Bree stressed how she wanted her first time to be memorable, that she wanted to feel something. We can safely say that pelvic discomfort and vaginal discharge caused by chlamydia aren’t the feelings she was going for, as her worst fears when it comes to sex have now become reality.
EPISODE 6 PREVIEW
From the promo it’s hard to tell what will happen with T and Olive. With Jeremy having threatened his life, how exactly does T proceed from here? There’s so much unknown to take into consideration as well: Olive doesn’t know T was beat up, and T doesn’t know Jeremy assaulted Olive. There’s also Sara, who at the moment is playing the role of a silent wildcard. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…T still has to deal with his brother Ricky, who returns for that bag of weed T has unwittingly dipped into.
Things also look to intensify between Ash and Bree. It’s kind of a shocker that Bree would reveal having sex with Ash to anyone, even Olive and Sara. We also get to see the show’s two Degrassi alums interact for the first time! Gabriel was put off knowing that Ash had chlamydia, what’ll happen if he finds out Bree has it too?
Kary, your best review of the series yet. I kind of like how this is spread out over 8 weeks, instead of just airing in an hour and a half showing. ……So many possibilities as to what happens next. Will someone call the Police on Jeremy? You mentioned Sara being a wild card. Ricky is also one. Will he turn on T for taking some of his weed? Or will he see that his brother was assaulted, and will he get the information from him and seek vigilante justice on his own? I also enjoyed seeing the 2 Degrassi characters interact. …..Kary, in a way this plot parallels what we are seeing on Degrassi with Alli and her boy friend/husband. I don’t see Olive letting Jeremy use her face as a punching bag though.