WARNING: This post contains spoilers. Don’t read if you haven’t watched the episode and don’t want to know what happens!
After watching Believe Pt. 1 I’ve decided I’m not going to review it on its own. This episode is setting up for the massive climax coming in next week’s episode, so it’s better to just review Part 1 and 2 together. I do have some thoughts about how the episode is shaping up so far, and it’s pretty dang good.
So far everything is happening as expected. Zoë tries to take things into her own hands, and it backfires. Becky is massively torn over telling the truth or protecting Luke. This episode is one giant ball of emotion that has everyone involved on edge.
Zoë and Tristan go over the “Three A’s” as to how to win over a jury (Attire, Attitude, Appearance), but Zoë learns the two latter A’s are easier said than done. On the stand Luke can say whatever he wants and Zoë is helpless. The defense’s strategy is to convince the jury that Zoë consented because she has “a rep as this celebrity party girl” as Luke would put it, and they even bring up what happened after she and Drew had sex.
You feel bad for Zoë because she’s taking an emotional beating, and it gets worse when she goes and does an interview with a reporter (her lawyer told her it would be a bad idea), and the defense uses her exact words against her in court. “The whole school thought I was a slut,” it said. “I wanted it to stop, so I said those boys assaulted me.” We know exactly what she meant by that, but just like anything, words can be spun around to fit any necessary agenda.
Tristan still isn’t talking to Maya, but it’s great to see these two still managing to give Zoë support. Tristan advising Zoë to talk to reporters is just another instance this season of friends whose actions mean well, but they’re misguided. Also misguided are the young minds of Frankie and Keisha. You could make the case that what Frankie said about Zoë caring a lot about what boys think is true, but it’s not the issue at hand; it’s the fact that your friend got sexually assaulted and it’s not and never will be her fault.
Another character who had a skewed view of things is Drew in a heartbreaking and conflicting scene. When discussing with Becky about what she should do about Luke, Drew says Luke’s mistake is huge, but “that doesn’t mean you just give up him. My brother never gave up on me.”
Drew’s advice is terrible if taken at face value because he effectively implies that Becky should protect her brother in court, but at the same time Drew’s coming from a place where his own emotions in regards to his own brother come are in play. In a tumblr post earlier today I said that the personal issues of Degrassi characters are now affecting how these characters interact with others, which is far more realistic than them playing the “voice of reason” every time. Drew’s not necessarily focusing on the fact Luke’s “mistake” is completely unacceptable, Drew just draws a simple parallel between himself always making mistakes/Adam always being there for him and what Becky should do for her own sibling. It’s pretty obvious Drew’s emotions are clouding his judgement when he follows up by saying “I won’t judge anyone for trying to keep their brother around.”
The promos for next week’s episode can be found here. Believe Pt. 1 is the kind of episode that is emotional and infuriating, which means Degrassi is doing their job. I can’t even imagine how high tensions will be next week as Becky finally testifies.