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TRISTAN PLOT RECAPTristan’s glowing after finally getting together with Yates, but he hides the relationship from Maya in the beginning.  Yates and Tristan secretly meet up at school, and Yates reminds him that they must keep things secret.  However, Maya quickly figures out on her own that the two are having a secret affair.  She believes it’s wrong, but Tristan demands that she not say anything.  Tristan is called to Simpson’s office, and is interrogated about whether or not he and Yates have engaged in a sexual relationship.  Tristan denies everything, but Yates is suspended because of the impending investigation and he ends their relationship.  A furious Tristan yells at Maya for telling Simpson, and says he never wants to talk to her again.

1336-1“You…get to have a million guys in love with you, and a perfect home, and I just wanted this one, one good thing.”

All I can say at this point is that Tristan’s plot in this episode as well as Hypnotize will probably go down as the most memorable A plot of season 13.  This storyline has been disturbing, gripping and emotionally intense on many levels.  If you’re unfamiliar with Tristan Milligan as a character, the dialogue he delivers to Maya in the hallway perfectly encapsulates him.  This is a guy who’s very secure in his sexuality, but very insecure in other aspects of his life.  He has such a strong desire to be loved that he’d blindly dive into an empty, concrete pool head first.  When he and Yates meet up in the supply closet Tristan doesn’t question why Yates insists that their relationship remain a secret, because Tristan is going to do whatever it takes to protect this romantic “love” that he’s wanted for so long.  Tristan’s desperation is also amplified by the fact his parents are fighting at home still has an effect on him, as noted by him saying Maya has a “perfect home.”

1336-2The scene with Tristan and Simpson is brilliant.  Before this episode I kept thinking about how I’d kind of hoped that this unsettling, secret relationship would continue into season 14, and I completely forgot about the fact that there would automatically be a suspension and investigation if any allegations were made.  There is a hauntingly wonderful sense of continuity as Simpson sits there, on the verge of rolling his eyes at everything coming out of Tristan’s mouth.  At one point Simpson leans back in his seat, frustrated because he has a sense that Tristan is protecting Yates.  One has to wonder if Simpson’s own experience regarding alleged inappropriate behavior with a student weighed on his mind in this moment (My favorite episode of season 7, Another Brick In The Wall).

Lyle Lettau finally gets to let loose, and he nails the final scene of this episode.  It’s a scene full of frustration and heartbreak, as you watch someone so caught up in their own head that they push away those who care for them.  If there’s any questions as to Maya Matlin’s character as a friend, those should be put to rest.  This girl truly cares about those she loves.  “I did all of this to protect you,” Maya says, the same kind of rhetoric we heard from her when she was worried about Zig.

As emotional as this episode was, it still managed to leave things pretty open ended.  Yates’ suspension is protocol, and an investigation doesn’t mean they’ll find anything.  In the short term we’re left wondering whether or not Tristan and Maya’s friendship can bounce back, but the rollercoaster of emotions leading up to this moment has been one heck of a ride.

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IMOGEN PLOT RECAPIt’s the day of the fashion show, yet Imogen decides she needs to redesign the dresses after Jack simply says her designs look “nice.”  Imogen’s new, bizarre designs have everyone scrambling, and Becky’s upset because Imogen is ruining the fashion show trying to impress Jack.  Tristan gives Imogen the emcee job because he has his own troubles to deal with, and she apologizes to Becky and flawlessly hosts the fashion show.  Afterward Imogen confesses to Jack that she feels intimidated by her, and Jack admits she feels the same toward Imogen.

1336-3It’s pretty common on Degrassi for characters to sort of lose their minds and do weird things in the name of love.  A lot of the time it’s happening as part of the grand scheme of things, but not often do we see a plot where the focus hones in specifically on that aspect.  The lesson here is clearly that you shouldn’t change who you are to impress others, but that’s easier said that done, right?  It reminds me of times when I’ve gotten into something, a hobby or maybe even a TV show, partially trying to impress someone I liked who enjoys that activity.

Whether anyone’s noticing it or not, we’re seeing a lot of friendship stuff on this show recently.  Becky and Imogen were thrown together in season 13 because they were stragglers who had no one else.  However, they mesh well; Becky’s stern demeanor compliments Imogen’s free spirit.  At the same time, we see Becky’s issues coming into play a bit in this episode.  “It means a lot to me that it goes well,” she says about the fashion show, after Imogen decides to redesign the dresses.  It’s all of course because of what’s happening in her home life, but just like the Tristan/Maya dynamic in this episode, lately we’ve been seeing how each individual’s personal issues come into play when interacting with others.  This plot ends up cementing Imogen and Jack’s relationship, but as Stefan Brogren once hinted things might not be so wonderful in the future.

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FRANKIE PLOT RECAP: Frankie is convinced that Becky allowed her into the fashion show because her mother bribed Becky.  However, Becky tells Frankie that the initial reason she was rejected was because Winston didn’t want to be around Frankie.  Before the show Frankie confronts Winston and he comes clean.  He didn’t want Frankie in the fashion show not because she was ugly, but because he liked her and didn’t want things to get weird.  Winston’s worried about what Miles will think, but Frankie tells him not to worry and the two kiss.

1336-4This was a very predictable C plot, but I thought the ending was cute, and that’s all I was really hoping for.  The scene where Frankie and Winston talk things out was heartfelt, and it has me rooting for them to be one of those couples on this show that doesn’t run into major drama.

Miles delivers one of the best lines that will ever come out of his mouth.  “If people want to make fun of you they’re going to find a reason…too rich, too poor, too fat, too skinny,” he says after Frankie complained that people were making fun of her because she’s rich.  “Just live your life.”  It’s kind of interesting that Zoë is the one making fun of her, sliding back into her old, passive aggressive ways as opposed to her character’s personality doing a complete 180 since her assault.

It’s low key, but this plot does its job in terms of briefly highlighting how what other people think of us (or what we think they think of us) mess with our self confidence.

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Posted by Kary

23 Comments

  1. Good episode. The ONE thing that really bugged me though was how Maya figured out right away that Yates and Tristan were hooking up. I’d have preferred if she had teased Tristan about his crush on his teacher, causing Tristan to get defensive, and then figured out about the affair. The fact that her mind IMMEDIATELY went to the worst case scenario seemed kind of unrealistic to me. But that’s a minor quibble.

    It makes so much sense for a wedge to be driven between Tristan and Maya, now. Let’s also not forget that two of the guys Tristan has had a crush on (Miles, Cam) were over the moon for Maya. The final confrontation between the two of them actually had my stomach in knots. Tristan slamming his locker door actually made me jump! I thought that he was going to slap Maya. Really great scene from those two.

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  2. And you know, I’m really starting to like Maya. As far as the Mary Sue-type leading ladies the show’s had over the years (Emma, Clare), I find her the most likeable by far. Apart from the eyeroll-inducing swarm of boys she’s got on her tail, she seems the most grounded and sincere. She’s got *legitimate* reasons for being angsty (Cam’s death, Tori’s departure, Zoe’s bullying, Zig’s issues, and now her “break-up” with Tristan), and doesn’t just walk around with her nose in the air passing judgment on others (apart from her initial judgment of the Rubber Room kids). The consequences of her actions don’t go unpunished for the most part, and she actually tries to do the right thing all the time even if she wears herself out in the process. I feel that the writers are really working to endear Maya to audiences.

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  3. I really loved this episode as a whole. And that final scene with Tristan and Maya man. This is one of the first times I REALLY liked Maya and the first Tristan story I actually like so this is just perfect. As I’ve said before, in fiction I tend to love teacher/student, but Yates creeps me out and that’s kind of…different than the other teacher/student stories we’ve had before. Even Mr. Oleander, though we all know how THAT ended up, wasn’t really creepy, at least not to me. And there’s Ms. Oh, I suppose. But Mr. Yates? Erm… wow, creepy to the 10th power!

    I can’t believe people are mad at Maya for doing what she did. She’s trying to protect Tristan. He doesn’t see it now but you really DO get more mature as you get older and he’ll see that in the future, that what she did was for *him*. And that scene was some of the best acting I’d seen between those two actors.

    Also, I just want to say how much *better* this last block of episodes is. Season 13 as a whole, except for a few storylines (uh…I mean, Zoe’s storyline and episodes, lol) have been rather…subpar after an amazing season 12. I’m loving this block.

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  4. ashleynicole38 July 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I’m not going to say that Maya was right or wrong as I feel for BOTH characters in this case. Let’s admit we all have friends that are doing things that we don’t agree with, some even similar to what is going on with this storyline. I can personally say that I know several people in my life that I have ever met and still know are doing things that I think that they shouldn’t be doing but who I am to tell on them when they ask me not to? And as much I as disagree with them doing the things they are doing this is nothing I can do to stop them (such as informing a parent or other family member). Instead I talk it out with someone neutral, someone who doesn’t know them that way I can get a unbiased opinion.

    I feel that Maya had the right to tell SOMEONE, but not necessarily their school Principal just yet. I feel like she could have told someone that doesn’t know her or Tristan and not use their real names, (E.I a guidance counselor, someone just not her mother because on this show people’s parents tend to dig into their children for the real names a lot more than people’s parents do in reality). That way, she would have gotten it off her shoulders.

    I also feel deeply for Tristan because it was his first love, regardless of how anyone feels about Mr. Yates because let’s think for a moment. It’s not about him, it’s about Tristan and what he thinks and feels in this episode…for now. When he told Maya not to tell, that she’d be dead to him she should have taken that seriously because I know if I were to ever tell my friend’s parents of what she really does then there’s going to be hell to pay so I leave it alone and let her do her thing. Tristan, like it or not, was happy and in love. I’m not trying to condone a relationship between a 16-year-old and 28-year-old but still, it’s his life let him do what he wants with it, regardless if its moral to you or not.

    To sum it all up. It was ok for Maya to tell someone, just not the Principal and Tristan had the right to get mad because he felt BETRAYED. Maya always ended up with the guys that Tristan was interested in away and her home life is much better than his right now, so he felt the need that he needed to hold onto Mr. Yates because it he was literarily one of the things he had going right in his life at the moment and it was ripped away from him without it being his fault. I don’t know if they’ll ever be friends but if Jimmy could forgive Spinner for having him become paralyzed-a far worse situation if not just as worse, then I’m sure maybe one day, down the line these two could be friends. I hope that Maya learns her lesson about trying to fix everyone’s problems because unfortunately you can have all the best intentions in the world but it doesn’t always make it right for you to act on them. I have learned this on my own, the hard way just like most people have. Maya is a good friend for being concerned and an even better one for telling but this time, she just told the right person too soon. So everyone needs to stop bashing both friends, because in reality we all would be feeling the same way or something similar to what they were if this happened to us and it’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out in the next season.

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    1. Saying that Mr. Yates is Tristan’s first love is a HUGE exaggeration. It’s more like infatuation, but love? No.

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      1. ashleynicole38 July 10, 2014 at 12:58 am

        I’m saying Mr. Yates was his first love as it came from Tristan’s point of view when he was having the argument with Maya in the hallway.

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  5. I also feel like that scene with Snake and Tristan mirrored the scene between Snake, Mr. O and Paige in season 4’s “Modern Love.” Snake displayed the same type of anger and disbelief in both episodes. Also (just because), this hallway fight between Maya and Tristan, for some reason, reminded me of a couple hallway fights from season 3 (Paige and Ellie in WTAS, Manny and Emma in AAO.)

    I’m kind of mixed on who’s side I’m on. On the one hand, I am 100% against student-teacher relationships (I don’t even like it when a professor dates a college student), because the teacher is in a position of power and bla bla bla it’s wrong. However…I don’t think Maya has been that great of a friend to Tristan in the past. So, it’s kind of weird that she chose NOW to suddenly be the good friend. If she were still in the heat of her drama with Miles or Zig, would she have cared about Tristan as much? Whatever, she still did the right thing.

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  6. I don’t know what planet Tristan was on, thinking that things with Mr. Yates were EVER going to go well or end well under any circumstances. If Maya hadn’t told – someone else would have found out at some point and done so (my guess is that it would have been Zoe – and she’s got a BIG MOUTH, bigger than Maya’s). It’s just not possible to keep a secret that big – especially when you’re walking around with a big hickey on your neck for the whole world to see (which cracked me up when Maya noticed it) and a huge grin, not even trying to fake being calm and composed like nothing’s going on or changed. Tristan has been nuts and going on about Mr. Yates for WEEKS now – so to me, Maya figuring it out as quickly as she did made sense – she knows Tristan and she knows him well.
    I get that Tristan’s hurting now – but he’s in some serious denial, and his remarks about just wanting this one happy thing in his life said a lot – this whole situation isn’t just about being in love or wanting to be loved – he’s so desperate for a little bit of happiness somewhere in his life that he’s willingly put blinders on to the reality of the situation, and it’s heartbreaking to watch. However, I DO NOT blame Maya for this or for telling. She did the right thing, because Tristan is not thinking clearly at all, and he’s not seeing the big red flags that have been going up at various moments about Mr. Yates behavior. This situation is nothing like the Paige/Oleander or Darcy/Simpson ones – Yates has been manipulative from the get go (anyone remember what he said and did to Tristan about the whole secret writers’ society earlier this season? Big red flag right there alone), and his remarks to Tristan this episode after they were found out . . . I couldn’t help thinking maybe he’s done something like this before, just from his reaction. Mr. Yates is not only manipulative, but he’s a poser, in my opinion – trying too hard to give off this “I’m so cool/I’m cooler than you’ll ever hope to be” vibe, and regardless of what anyone says – he HAS abused the position of authority he was placed in and deserves what’s coming to him. This isn’t just about the age difference or that Tristan’s a minor – it’s that he has manipulated and guilted Tristan from the start in everything that has happened since they met. Even if they were the same age and they could legally be together – I just think it would be a seriously unhealthy, uneven relationship. My hope is that Tristan will wise up, learn from this whole debacle, and gain a little more self-respect so that he’ll stop being so desperate to find someone to love and start looking for someone worthy of him.
    As far as his remarks to Maya go – yes, both guys he wanted fell for Maya – but both guys were so obviously not gay from the get-go, and Tristan had his blinders on as usual in both situations, so he’s got no one to blame but himself there. And in both cases – the guys fell for Maya AFTER Tristan realized they weren’t into him and he moved on, if I’m not mistaken. And to say that she’s got a perfect life – again, Tristan’s got blinders on – her mom has MS, her sister’s had anorexia and drug problems in the past, to which Maya has taken a back seat at times, her first boyfriend had depression and killed himself, the second has behaved like a vengeful psycho at times, and then there’s Zig and the Rubber Room. Yeah, that’s a perfect life alright . . . Everyone’s got issues at home – if they didn’t, like Emilio Estevez said in “The Breakfast Club,” they’d live at home with their parents forever. And Tristan has on some level been Maya’s rock this season – so it makes sense that she’s trying to do the same for him. I can’t help wondering if Tori were still around – would she have told Simpson, had she been the one to figure things out? I think she might have . . .
    For the Imogen/Becky/Jack plot . . . it just didn’t move me . . . I still don’t like Jack . . . and I don’t think I ever will. She’s not worth the effort or the freaking out that Imogen’s going through . . .
    And Frankie/Chewy was adorable – especially the kiss at the end with her in what I think was the ONLY cute dress of the fashion show (yes, even though it was made out of cups – own it, it was cute). I’m officially rooting for them now . . . as I am kinda-sorta rooting for Becky and Hunter to work things out (I think they could both use someone to lean on).

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  7. I’m on maya side because what she did was right. besides she did to protect Tristan by going to mr. simpson and telling him what happen with the affair going on between mr. yates and Tristan, but the thing is I hope Tristan realize soon that she did it for protection not to hurt him. besides why would Tristan go back he knew what he was doing. besides it was his choice to go back to mr. yates. the relationship was illegal. im glad she told. and I hope Tristan apologizes to her and make with her. that wat a best friend does, help someone she loves

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  8. I really don’t think Tori would have said anything. She would have either been “happy for tristan” (aka also blind to the situation), or she would have been uneasy with the Tristan/Yates, but have been too afraid to rock the boat, so she’d “pretend” to support tris. I just feel like she’d be too afraid to confront Tristan. I’m not surprised maya did what she did tbh. And I don’t think she did anything wrong. I think she went to the best person she could, Simpson. Tristan’s parents have their own issues as was mentioned, it might’ve been hard to get their attention. Simpson is the best person to take care of the issue. And like someone else mentioned, if someone else found out, it would have gone through the school, rather than going to Simpson. (Especially if Zoe found out)
    I think it’s good that maya was the one to find out, because it went straight to Simpson. She’s saving him a LOT of pain, that might have come into play, had this relationship gone on. She really is trying to be a good friend. I agree that she might not have been as attentive to Tristan’s problems, had she had her own issues at the moment, which would have been bad for Tristan.

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  9. so serious question – when the actors Mr. Yates and Tristan kissed how do they get around pedophilia laws? I mean I completely understand they are acting so is this a loop hole in the role?

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    1. Lyle (the actor who plays Tristan) is 19

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    2. Also, even if Lyle was underrage, as long as a parent was in the studio and approved, they still could have had Tristan and Mr. Yates kiss. At least, that’s how it is in America.

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  10. There is a huge difference between love and infatuation.. Tris was not in love his was in deep infatuation and lust so his thoughts were very clouded… Mr Yeats is manipulative and a authority figure who took advantage of Tris’s vulnerability., its still illegal even if Tris was 16. Law is Law. If it wasn’t illegal why would Yeats would want to keep it a secret. Also Why a great looking guy like Yeats can’t find an man his own age…. See the problem… RED FLAG!

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  11. Maybe because they are teens and not longer term actors, or something, I didn’t really buy into the Tristan maya scene. Maybe it was too formulaic or just not acted well but it seemed a little not real. Also the fact that Tristan only just started “seeing” mr Yates, and in the argument he’s wildly throwing out that they have a great love, a few times, when there was nothing shown up to then that he felt like they were in love, lust maybe, but not love. Then in this scene he’s all about that. Maybe they’re including that to show that he’s so naive and immature about what’s going on, but I thought that it was a little weird.

    I hope this breakup continues for awhile though. If the teacher actually does stay around into next season hopefully their feud will last too. It doesn’t seem like there’s been a long lasting feud since spinner was uningraciated from his group of friends. I’m probably forgetting something but that’s the last major one I remember that lasted a while.

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  12. I know Yates and Tristan is a bad situation, but I’m really hoping that the investigation doesn’t turn up any evidence and that they continue to be together. In the real world sometimes bad things happen for longer than a week. Things don’t always get resolved immediately or neatly. I’m hoping degrassi can continue the story line and maybe make Yates more and more manipulative. Degrassi usually resolves these issues quickly and then everything is forgot or barely mentioned ever again and it’s be nice to see a bad situation get worse and worse and possible end horribly instead of neatly. I don’t want another suicide on the show or anything but maybe this situation could negatively effect all of Tristan’s relationships from now on so it didn’t just happen in one week and then disappear like it never happened. This is definitely my favorite degrassi storyline in a very long time.
    Side note, Yates is damn fine. That’s not important to the story at all, but I enjoy looking at him even though his character is a manipulative perv.

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  13. I love how everyone else is talking about Mr. Yates, Tristan, & Maya, and I’m all like: YAY! WINSTON & FRANKIE KISSED AGAIN!

    You have to see things from Tristans’ POV. He doesn’t know what love really is, and so when Mr. Yates, being the only person to be with him sexually comes around, Tristan thinks that he really loves Mr. Yates. Of course, he knows the relationship is wrong, but again, he thinks that what’s between them is love. When Maya told Simpson, yes she was trying to be a good friend, but she really hasn’t ever been that good of one before. This causes Tristan to lash out because he thinks Mr. Yates loves him & he believes he loves Mr. Yates. Even though the relationship was wrong, I still feel that Maya should have respected Trtistans wish and not told. Tristan is young and obviously will make mistakes, yet he should have to learn from them. He hasn’t learned anything & still wants to continue the “relationship”.

    Imogen and Jack are so cute!

    #WINKIE!!! Winston + Frankie= super cute. Is it just me, or does anyone else love them together? I don’t know, it may just be the whole “brothers-best-friend” thing that i just love in books and TV shows but Frankie and Winston are just cute together! <3 I just hope they stay together *fingers crossed*

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  14. I have to differ on one point. I feel Tristan fully knows why the relationship must be kept a secret. I feel he knows how inappropriate and wrong it is and yet still doesn’t care. He’s perfectally fine with breaking the law to be with Yates and accepts the situation he’s in with all the potential consequences. That’s what’s so great about this plot line. The are people out there who feel teachers and students can date and yes it’s taboo but years ago so was gay and interracial relationships(not that I’m saying these are same circumstances, just showing society changes) .

    Tristan and Yates is a tragic and cautionary tale and you can literly draw a million different meanings from it. It’s just goes to show the episodes that have the most controversy tend to be the best.

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    1. I don’t think Tristan really understands what is happening. Tristan believes he is in love with Mr. Yates. He’s very young and is most likely misinterpreting Mr. Yates’ lust as love. I think Tristan completely understands that there are laws against him being in a relationship/having sex with a teacher, but I think he is willing to overlook those laws because he believes he and Mr. Yates mutually love each other. He is too young and naive to realize that Mr. Yates is only looking for a physical relationship. He does not love Tristan. He treats Tristan very poorly whenever he thinks he isn’t going to get to be physical with him. He is manipulative and knows how to make Tristan believe what he wants him to believe. He can be nice and sweet or just totally rude to Tristan in order to make Tristan react in the way he wants him to react. Tristan is going to be heartbroken when all is said and down and all Yates is worried about is his job. If he loved Tristan, he wouldn’t have just stormed off and said they were over. Love wouldn’t let him do that.

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  15. I just wanted to say that my mom met my dad when she was 15 and he was 22. They actually got married when she was 17 and he was 24. My grammy and poppy had to sign something for them to get married. And they are still together 23 years later. What I trying to say, in regards to Tristan and Mr.Yates, is sometimes connections do happen. A great story line would be that they break up now and when Tristan turns 18 or graduates they reconnect. Like epic love style. Plus I think Maya is a good associate but not best friend. Afterall, friends bail you out of jail; best friends are in the jail with you.

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    1. Sorry, but no. Mr. Yates manipulated Tristan and took advantage of his inexperience and vulnerability. That is not love and it would be absolutely disgusting if the writers suddenly turned a 180 and made them into some epic love story. It would also send a bad message.

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      1. Exactly. I’m sure some people have had a loving, caring connection despite an age difference but that is not what we’re seeing with Tristan and Mr. Yates.
        Mr. Yates is in a position of power and is very manipulative. It would definitely be disturbing if the writers suddenly made it an epic love story.
        I would love it if they continue this plot into the next season by letting the investigation turn up no evidence against Mr. Yates just so we can see more of the dynamic they have together. I have no idea why some viewers think they honestly love each other. Based off the little bit we’ve seen of them together, Mr. Yates is manipulative and horny and Tristan is infatuated.
        Maya is a fantastic friend. I’m angry at her for being all up in Tristan’s business but in reality she did the right thing even though she knew Tristan might react this way. She acted in his best interest, not hers- that is a very good quality in a friend. I’m still irritated with her for butting in but someone needed too.
        I originally wanted to see more of them together because it’s an strong, creepy plot that shouldn’t be summed up so quickly, but now I just want to see more of their interactions so viewers will see that they are not in love.

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      2. ^ I want this relationship to get picked up again too so that Tristan (and some of these viewers shipping them) can see for himself that Yates is using and manipulating him for sex and doesn’t have real feelings for him and realize why there are laws and rules against these types of relationships. It’s not even just age, colleges often have rules against professors dating their students even though both parties are legal adults and can consent, and some companies even have rules against co-workers dating especially upper-level employees being involved with lower-level employees that report to them.

        I have a feeling this relationship will get picked back up because it wasn’t really fully resolved as Yates is only suspended and the only way Tristan and Maya will ever patch things up is if Tristan realizes Maya was looking our for his best interest which will only believably happen if Tristan gets back together with Yates and Yates treats him like crap.

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