I know I said I didn’t wanna get into review stuff since I can’t go all the way, but since people keep asking for the grades…well let’s see how this works out.  Don’t yell at me when I give bad grades to your favorite plots with little explanation!

1404header

Clare Edwards: “Nothing has to change”

1404-1Eli is returning to Toronto for the summer and Clare has yet to tell him that she’s pregnant.  Clare’s mother Helen eventually finds out from Drew’s mom Audra.  Clare insists that nothing will change in her life, and Helen tells her they need to work through this together.  Instead of meeting with Eli, Helen tells him Clare’s sick since they now must meet with the Torres family.

When Clare, Drew, Helen and Audra all meet, the moms scoff at Clare’s idea that she’s still going to Columbia and will raise the baby in New York with Eli’s help.  Audra and Helen both agree that Clare needs to stay in Toronto so that Drew can be involved and they can be a support system for the baby.  However, a frustrated Clare doesn’t want her future planned out by other people and she walks out.

Drew chases Clare and they wind up at The Dot.  Eventually, Eli shows up, baffled at why “sick” Clare is at The Dot with Drew.  Clare finally confesses that she’s pregnant.  Eli’s initially upset because a pregnancy puts a wrench in their plans: they’re supposed to live together in New York. However, Clare drops another bombshell when she tells Eli the baby is Drew’s.  Eli can’t handle the news, and despite Clare telling him she loves him and can’t imagine life without him, he tells her he “doesn’t care” and walks away.

GRADE: B
QUICK REVIEW:  Facing reality is hard, and many people have their own coping mechanisms.  Clare’s is simple: she views her pregnancy as a (baby) bump in the road to Columbia, and she’s convinced she can just plan her future around it.  It’s unrealistic thinking, and I like how the show has made it clear Clare is the only one unaware that the pregnancy changes not only her life, but the lives of everyone around her.

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Zig Wants To “Man Up”

1404-2Zig gets pissy after getting beat by Grace in an arm wrestling contest.  Not only did Tiny film the competition, he also created a gif of Zig losing, and it goes viral.  Zig doesn’t like the fact people think he’s weak because he lost to a girl, and when Tiny refuses to delete the gif, Zig slams him up against the lockers.  The move lands Zig and Tiny in detention, but Zig eventually apologizes.

In order to redeem Zig’s “manliness,” Grace offers Zig a challenge: if he gets a homemade tattoo, Tiny will take down Zig’s gifs. Initially Zig agrees, but backs out just as Grace is about to give him the tattoo.  He tells her he doesn’t need to prove his manliness this way and they all agree.

GRADE: B
QUICK REVIEW: It’s an above-average filler plot with a simple, but important theme.  Regardless of how we want the world to work, it will still work in messed up and completely unfair ways. Zig was made fun of for not being “man enough” because a female beat him at arm wrestling.  He’s been programmed to feel embarrassed by something like that, and everyone has been programmed to tease him for it.  In the end, Zig learned that being a real man means not needing to prove your “manhood” to others…and as a 31-year-old dude still watching Degrassi, I would know.

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Bros Before Boyfriends?

1404-3When Miles chooses Tristan over Winston to be seatmates in science class, Winston feels as if he’s losing his best friend.  Zoë tells Winston he needs to tell Miles the truth, but that’s easier said than done.  Winston gets upset when Tristan ruins his “bro date” with Miles, and Winston goes off.

Winston finally tells Miles he feels like Tristan has come between them, and Miles assures Winston they’re still best friends.

GRADE: B
QUICK REVIEW: I was hoping for more of a slow burn, but this is yet another simple storyline (Degrassi seems to be incorporating quite a few of these in season 14).  It took a lot of guts for Winston to just come out and admit he was jealous of Miles and Tristan’s relationship, because a lot of people would allow that kind of jealousy to fester until it exploded and damaged the friendship beyond repair.

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RANDOM THOUGHTS

*Boy, is Clare delusional.  I don’t mean that in a condescending way…she’s in serious denial about the level of responsibility that comes with having and raising a child.  Clare Edwards always has a plan, but this time she’s using her mentality of “sticking with the plan” of going to Columbia and living with Eli to avoid accepting the reality of the situation.

*Eli SHOULD be upset.  Regardless of what anyone tries to tell me, I’m not going to be convinced that Eli Goldsworthy is a monstrous psychopath out to mentally abuse Clare every chance he can get.  Granted it’s a FACT Eli can be an asshole, but that extreme view is just as ridiculous as someone viewing him as a saint.

For the millionth time I’ll point out Degrassi Personality Regression to the Mean: Season 10/11 Eli (an extreme arch type) is not the same as Season 12/13/14 Eli.  There are only two things that remain consistent over these periods: Eli loving Clare in a way where he compares their relationship to a fairytale, and Eclare’s primary issue always boiling down to a lack of communication (take what you will from that in your argument for or against the health of Eclare’s relationship).

Eli’s reaction to Clare’s news isn’t surprising and it’s something I would expect from any guy in that position.  Eclare seems to have made a bunch of plans about their future together, so you’d better believe finding out the person you love is suddenly having a baby with someone else would be a bombshell.  But let’s be very clear: it also won’t excuse any excessively aggressive behavior we may see when Drew and Eli go head to head next week.

*The Eclare endgame vision is set.  Eli and Clare living in a studio apartment in New York. No major ship on this show has ever been endgame (Jay and Manny don’t count as major to me), and I’d be lying if I said I’m not on edge wondering if Degrassi will actually go through with it.  I’m of the mindset that if Clare graduates and goes to Columbia, and Eli plans to return to NYU, these two will be endgame.  There would be no point in having them both in New York and them not end up together in the end.

As of right now I’m leaning toward the side that believes it’ll happen.  Seeds of doubt have been planted in the show and fandom as to whether or not the baby is Drew’s.  Based on the show’s current timeline, a lot of us believe Clare will have a miscarriage.  We’re post spring break, so there’s maybe a couple of months until graduation: they simply will not let Clare graduate and leave the show while still pregnant.  An Eli baby or no baby leaves the door open for an Eclare ending that won’t be resolved until Clare’s final episode on this show.

*Poor Drew? This guy is basically just a passenger on this baby train Clare is navigating.  Bless him for trying to do the right thing and be supportive of Clare (because it means being supportive of his child).  It was funny watching poor Drew sit there in silence during the Edwards/Torres meeting as the ladies did all of the talking.  Clare, Helen and Audra are all dominant personalities and oddly enough, they’re exactly the kind of women Drew needs in his life to keep his head on straight.  With all three of them around to keep him in check, there is no way Drew would slack on his duties as a dad.

*I will forever love seeing Audra and Helen in the same room.  And Jake Martin gets a mention!

*Zig isn’t man enough. Or at least that’s the perception. Degrassi trolled us by personifying the fandom through Tiny and the gif he posted in this episode.  I was kind of “meh” about the tattoo angle at the end, but I liked the show tackling “manliness.”  Zig was embarrassed that he got beat by a girl, and Tiny joked about it because the social norms people push are that men are always physically stronger than women.  Zoë, Lola and Shay teased Zig about losing because of the idea that why would they want a guy who’s “weak?”  Degrassi threw out some interesting things to think about.

*So many things addressed in Winston and Miles’ conversation.  Winston’s jealous of Triles.  Miles points out that Tristan was there for him while everyone else was nowhere to be found.  This is the second time Winston has been questioned about whether or not he’s uncomfortable with Miles’ sexuality.  He says he’s not, and I believe him, but I like how he’s neither overly joyed by it nor a homophobe; he’s realistically confused at how Miles went from Maya to Tristan because again, just like with Zig and his “manliness,” society has rigid (and often ridiculous) ideas of how the world should work.

 

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Posted by Kary

24 Comments

  1. Did nobody realize that with Degrassi’s timeline, Clare should be 18? It’s after Spring break, and her birthday’s in February,according to the Degrassi wiki and Eli’s surprise party for her last year.

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    1. Seems legit.

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    2. Honestly, I don’t even know anymore. Kudos to you and anyone else who can keep up with this stuff. With the Degrassi timeline being a hot mess right now and them apparently retconning things left and right, I’ve given up trying to keep up with it all.

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      1. Well…what I got from that was when Clare’s mom called her a child, technically, she should be an adult. (18) Then Clare could tell her mom she was an adult and could make her own decisions.

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      2. no 18 ear old living at home while being a senior in high school will ever be considered an adult by his/her parents. Parents like to still call the shots when you are 19 and 20, let alone 18. It is clear that the “child” comment did not mean legally.

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      3. I’m in my 30’s and my mom still views me as her “baby boy” lol

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  2. I think it’s pretty likely Clare will have a miscarriage — I can’t help but think back to when she was lifting and moving all of those boxes by herself for student council earlier in the season. I feel like the writers made that moment seem a little more significant than it needed to be, leading me to believe it was foreshadowing the miscarriage.

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    1. A miscarriage is really the only option at this point. Not only because of the timeline, but it adds a bit of realism. Clare even conceiving, let alone carrying to term, is farfetched enough.

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      1. I agree that would be the only logical thing. However, the writers often lack logic on this show. I would love to see her miscarry actually. It would be a great story line and a new one. It would address infertility issues in general. I am in my early 20s and I already know that I will most likely be unable to conceive. I don’t know anyone else in my age range who can relate and I would love to see it on degrassi.

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  3. i love ur reviews and highly appreciative :)

    i think my favorite part of season 14 so far is HELEN AND AUDRA TOGETHER!!!!!!! The 2 most prolific moms in degrassi history!! spike is a legend but shes too mellow.these 2 are lil pitbulls and remind me of my mom

    i love the scene where miles explains to winston why he likes tristan. i was having a hard time believing miles finding tristan attractive but after he explained it seems more plausible now. and they look rele cute together. but we can all assume that miles will get back with maya cuz of the flash forward…. but maybe im assuming too much

    im really enjoying season 14 soooo farrr! YAY. even though im finding it hard to see where this season stands as far as tone/feel, compared to the other seasons.. but of course we are only into episode 4. i really felt this was going to be a rushed throw away season as clares last hurrah but its really surprising me in quality but the sophmores are my favorite class of degrassi so far…so it makes sense

    kary i would like to know.. whats your favorite class?

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  4. It doesn’t matter how old you are your parents will always see you as child because you are in there eyes.

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  5. My point was, she wants to go to college, and legally her mom can’t stop her from going to Columbia, and trying to raise her baby at the same time.

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  6. I think at the very least, Clare’s storyline is much more interesting than the Jenna/Alli pregnancy storylines…Jenna’s didn’t become interesting until Season 11, and Alli’s was just a Bhandurner plot device.

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  7. I don’t think Clare will have a miscarriage. She said it might be her only chance to be a mom after her cancer. I think it would put a very negative tone to have Clare miscarriage then be off the show. I hope she gives birth, I hope it’s Drew’s and they can all reach some agreement. I think Clare might give birth to the new Emma Nelson. A character that would be on Degrassi in the future. I think Clare is the next ‘snake simpson’. She’ll always be around somewhat.

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    1. OMG I could see them trying to do that…I really don’t want them to though. I mean I like some things about clare but I am now afraid the above will happen but it will be with eli. It will be their “epic romance”. I mean it’s okay to like eclare but some eclare fans can get obnoxious. I would hate for the writers to cave into them.

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    2. “I think Clare might give birth to the new Emma Nelson. A character that would be on Degrassi in the future.”

      That would enrage me. If anybody deserves to be the next Emma (only not a total bitch, LOL), it’s JT and Liberty’s kid. His parents are original Next Gen characters and they were one of the show’s most popular ships. He already comes with a built-in interesting storyline. There were a lot of unresolved issues after the adoption (What was his name? What type of people adopted him?). Plus, Liberty didn’t get a proper send-off (no, that two second cameo at Spemma’s wedding doesn’t count) so the writers kind of owe it to her, especially since they wasted all of her potential for so many years. People might think that it would be unrealistic if his family moved back to Toronto and just happened to settle in the Degrassi district, but Clare carrying to term is also unrealistic.

      The school year is almost over and it’s already been confirmed that the seniors are done. We won’t see Clare give birth.

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  8. Was really hoping Clare’s mom would have said …. The baby can stay in DARCY’s room now that JAKE moved out … ;)

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  9. Degrassi hasn’t done an abortion plot in ages, so I’m guessing Clare will end up terminating the pregnancy for one of these reasons:

    1. As the baby develops, doctors discover it has severe birth defects and won’t survive outside the womb.

    2. There’s a problem with the pregnancy that threatens Clare’s life.

    3. When faced with the reality of what having a baby means, Clare changes her mind about keeping the pregnancy (she realizes she can adopt later if she’s unable to conceive again, etc.). The show has never depicted abortion as an “easy” choice, but other pregnant characters have always made up their mind within 1-2 episodes… obviously, for some women, the choice to keep/terminate a pregnancy can be made very quickly (for some it’s never questioned at all), but for others, they need time to truly consider it and many change their minds (in both directions). It would be refreshing to see a more nuanced interpretation of abortion and I think Clare would be a great character to portray it because she’s previously been so headstrong.

    Or they could play it safe and let the storyline play out as another boring Teen Mom love triangle and Clare ends up raising the baby with blah blah blah not interesting who cares.

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    1. Your suggestion could possibly still happen, but they’ve never done a miscarriage, while abortion has already been touched upon. I think Clare miscarrying is much more likely. There’s no way that she’s going to be carrying to term, though. The school year is almost over, Clare is still very early along, and it’s already been confirmed that this is her final season. There’s no way that the writers will send their precious Mary Sue off with an unresolved pregnancy either.

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  10. I also think the paternity test comment was a foreshadowing as well. Also notice how before clare told eli that it was drew’s eli immediately thought it was his? This indicates that they were intimate around the same time that she had sex with drew.

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  11. I think Eli telling Clare Your’re going to raise a family together, get married, buy a house is a foreshadow for Clew. The reason i said this is due to the FACT that these Eclare foreshadows about Clare miscarrying, Eli being the father is really out there. I don’t believe in foreshadows I believe people change, things change, relationships change… Everything changes when you are growing up its a part of life. And maybe this is why we hardly ever see couples being endgame on this show. Thats because thats the reality. When I hear people say they want Clare to miscarry so she can be with Eli that actually bothers me. What & how is this going to effect Drew? Is Drew hiding his true feelings from Clare because of Eli? What if Clare doesn’t lose the baby but still goes to Columbia and Drew follows to be with his baby when they graduate. We have no idea whats going to happen. Im just tired of people bashing Drew & Eli for a very difficult situation,. The sucky part is I hate defending Eli, I don’t like Eli but he is human just like Drew. Its a TV show trying to portray real issues and thats what they are doing.

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  12. Kary, I’m so glad you decided to do your grades again! I thought it was a good ep. I think Clare will miscarry, but it will be Eli’s baby… excited for next week!

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  13. I’m glad for the little bit of continuity with Maya’s Rubber Room hazing that Grace respects standing up to your peers more than insane stunts. Grace only accepted Maya after Maya told them all off, and now Grace accepts Zig’s ‘manliness’ now that he told them all that getting a tattoo was insane.

    As for Clare and the endgame for Clare on the show as regarding the baby, there are two real paths to head:
    1. Clare leaves the show still pregnant: Clare is about the only character on the show where ‘baby as happily ever after’ functions. Her + boy + family is something that could be sold as okay with Clare in mind. If she’s with Drew or Eli really doesn’t matter, odds are better for Drew in this case due to the logistics (although a Woman + Her true love + her baby daddy agreement ending would tickle me).

    2. Clare loses the baby/stillborn: While it frees up Clare to go to Columbia for that version of happily ever after… the loss of the baby itself would eat up one-two episodes of just Clare getting over that heartbreak. If Clare was back for another season this would be my odds on favorite, but it does not feel like a happy ending given how Clare’s invested in it. And given this is how we’re sending her off, this feels really… morbid.

    Which would make her getting together with Eli as an ending feel even worse, if I have to pick. Pregnant Clare graduates and moves in with Drew would be my choice, of several terrible choices.

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    1. “Her + boy + family is something that could be sold as okay with Clare in mind.”

      When you look back at Clare’s character in Season 8, this is really depressing.

      I know this sounds terrible, but my choice is Clare miscarrying. It makes the most logical sense and it hasn’t been done yet. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if she miscarries in Tuesday’s episode and several future plots will be dedicated to her getting over that and Eli and Drew dealing with guilt.

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