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!
Clare Edwards: “Nothing has to change”
Eli 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.
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.
Zig Wants To “Man Up”
Zig 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.
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.
Bros Before Boyfriends?
When 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.
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.
*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.