MILES’ REBELLIOUS BASH
Quick Recap: The Hollingsworth parents are headed out of town for the night, and Mr. Hollingsworth assigns Drew to keep an eye on Miles while they’re away. Miles is pissed that his dad is controlling, and decides to throw a party at their house. Winston helps Miles trick Drew into thinking Mr. Hollingsworth needs more campaign material ASAP, leaving the two free to throw a massive pool party. Maya shows up to the party and is angry that Miles is behaving recklessly. A drunk Miles yells at her, and she walks away. Later, Miles and Zoë, both inebriated, almost make out until Winston intervenes and tells Miles that he should be trying to make things right with Maya. Before leaving, Miles and Winston take Zoë, who’s passed out, and carry her to the pool house.
Miles shows up at Maya’s window to apologize, and she essentially tells him to grow up. The next day, Mr. Hollingsworth discovers that Miles had a party. Miles tells his dad that he knows about the affair, and wants nothing to do with the campaign.
The previous episode, No Surprises, left me feeling sorry for Miles. He’s essentially a character who feels like he will never be able to live up to his dad’s standards. However, sympathy wears thin in this episode, as Miles intentionally sets out to be on his worst behavior fueled by his dad’s infidelity. “If they think I need a babysitter, then I might as well act like I need a babysitter,” he says. From an outside perspective it doesn’t make sense for him to complain about his dad treating him as if he’s a bad kid, then for him to run off and behave like one. But that might be the point of all this; the situation with his dad is so personal that his emotions have consumed him and he’s no longer thinking clearly. We even see him push Maya away, after him saying in No Surprises that she’s all he needs. “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!” a drunken Miles yells at Maya during the party.
With Miles and Zoë both drunk and getting too touchy-feely with each other, Winston tells him he shouldn’t cheat and should, you know, actually make an effort to apologize to Maya. When Miles does apologize Maya doesn’t coddle him, instead she’s stern because she refuses to tolerate his nonsense. “I just want him to stop treating me like crap,” Miles says about his father. Before shutting the window in Miles’ face Maya simply says, “So don’t give him a reason to.” While 13C looks to run female characters on Degrassi through a series of very tough situations, the show also seems to be doing something with some of the male characters as well. Even though Drew didn’t seem to fully grasp the concept and consequences of his actions, Audra made sure to chastise him for how he handled things with Zoë. Here in Basket Case, we see both Winston and Maya call Miles out on his crap, once again reminding us that being in a crappy situation never justifies crappy behavior.
The final scene is a weird one…just as Mr. Hollingsworth is about to yell at his son, Miles stops him in his tracks by telling him he knows about the affair and how he’s not okay with it. After Miles tells his father he’s going to clean up the party mess as opposed to a cleaning crew doing it, the camera lingers on Mr. Hollingsworth as if to suggest he sees his son is trying to be a good kid. But at the same time, the moment is also mixed up in a scene in which they ultimately brush over the affair because both characters get something they want: Miles gets out of being part of the campaign, and Mr. Hollingsworth is willing to comply with anything as long as nothing stands in way. While Miles seems to be fairly content that his behavior didn’t end with his father berating him as usual, neither are aware of the ripple effect Miles’ actions in this episode will have on the immediate future.
CLARE’S NOT-SO-INNOCENT DREAM
Quick Recap: Clare has an intense dream where she and Drew get hot and heavy, and it leaves her feeling guilty. She can’t avoid Drew at school, so Alli suggests Clare set boundaries so that she doesn’t act impulsively. However, the tactic doesn’t work when Drew asks for Clare’s help gathering extra campaign materials for Mr. Hollingsworth. Afterward, Drew drives Clare to her house and suggests they go for coffee, but she declines. They spot Eli at her front door, and Clare lies to him about what she and Drew were doing. Eli brings up wanting to go bungee jumping and Drew covers for Clare since Eli doesn’t know Clare and Drew went without him.
“Have you ever heard the expression, You’re innocent when you dream?” Alli asks Clare after hearing about Clare’s steamy dream involving Drew. That line is like Degrassi’s own weird version of Inception, referencing a song that ironically happened to be the name of a season 9 episode where Clare Edwards also had lustful dreams about a boy. Back then it was so absurd that it was hilarious, but things are more serious now with the stakes being much higher for her and others involved.
It’s still unsettling that nothing has really been addressed between Eclare, a couple who since their reconciliation in season 12 has been fine until the moments when the show makes them inept at communicating with each other in order to generate drama. The issues with their relationship are being addressed through Clare’s crush on Drew, and it’s what Clare isn’t saying that should garner the most attention. Her feelings for Drew have become a big deal; Drew is a broomhead and even he knows something’s up when he covers for Clare, who didn’t bother telling Eli that she’d already been bungee jumping with Drew. We see her freaking out over the dream so much that she sets “boundaries” for interacting with Drew, which ends up being a pointless declaration because she quickly accepts Drew’s request for help with Mr. Hollingsworth’s campaign. The look in her eyes in that moment are of someone in a giddy honeymoon phase, latching onto these feelings because there’s nothing else within her grasp to hold onto.
Meanwhile, earlier in the episode she says “I still love Eli, and only Eli,” a statement that, given the current circumstances, feels disturbingly hollow. She loves him, but it no longer has the feel of the “fairytale romance” network marketing has tried to sell us for well over three seasons. We’re now just watching Clare swim in a tide of secrets and guilt, a saddening affair as she battles the distance that is making her heart grow less fond, and simply more distant.
ALLI SEARCHES FOR CLOSURE
Quick Recap: Still angry after finding out what happened to Alli, Dallas stalks Leo outside of his residence in Toronto. Dallas almost approaches the house alone, but a kid playing in the street reminds him of his son, who he immediately calls to calm himself down. With physical and mental effects from the abuse still lingering, Alli wishes she could confront Leo. Dallas takes Alli to Leo’s place, where she tells finally tells him how much he hurt her. Later, Dallas finds Alli crying on the sidewalk and thinks him helping Alli confront Leo was a bad idea. Though she’s in tears, she tells him that she needed to talk to Leo to give herself some closure.
Everyone wants closure. Heck, when a Degrassi character just ups and leaves the show without an explanation, fans are upset because they want to see the character receive a “proper sendoff.” When it comes to the real world though, it’s not so simple. Often times you aren’t going to get closure.
That doesn’t stop us from daydreaming about it though, wishing we had a chance to say those final words to someone who’s no longer in our lives. “I wish I could’ve shown him how much he hurt me, but I’ll never get the chance,” Alli says to Dallas about Leo. At first Dallas seems as if he’s going to take things into his own hands and confront Leo on his own, but then he doesn’t. The kid playing in the street stops him from acting on impulse. The tender moment in which he pauses to call his son Rocky is reminiscent of a scene in season 12’s Bitter Sweet Symphony, when an upset Dallas is reminded that he has someone else to live for. This plot has been from Dallas’ perspective, but jumps over to Alli’s in the end.
As satisfying as it would be to see Dallas kick Leo’s ass it’s ultimately not about him, it’s about Alli standing up to tell Leo everything she needs to say before he disappears from her life permanently. “Nothing gave you the right to hit me,” she says, “No excuse, no justification for the violence you put me through. Leo looks on as Alli’s last words are chilling, yet empowering. “You beat me, but you didn’t break me,” she says before walking away.
All signs in the universe point to Bhandallas in the future, but the final scene between them is interesting, primarily the physical distance between them as they sit on the curb discussing what just happened. “You’re one of the good ones Dallas,” Alli says, while the fair amount of distance in between them seems to say that even though she’s received some closure with Leo, there’s still a ways to go before these two are ready to become one.