Frankie Gets Thrown Under The Bus
Miles knows Frankie was involved in the Degrassi Nudes scandal, and tells her she needs to figure out how to pin it on someone else before their dad finds out. Frankie decides to rally the rest of the cheerleaders to turn on Zoë; they want Zoë to confess and take full responsibility for Degrassi Nudes. Zoë “agrees,” but later Frankie discovers Zoë created a Facerange page naming Frankie as the ringleader. Frankie also learns Winston is the blackmailer and is upset because no one would’ve known the cheerleaders were responsible for Degrassi Nudes, and Frankie wouldn’t be facing her current situation.
Hunter advises Frankie to tell their dad before the press finds out, but it’s too late when a reporter brings it up during a press conference. Frankie confesses to her dad in private that she sent one nude Oomfchat, but wasn’t the ringleader. Furious, Mr. Hollingsworth demands that Frankie address the press and take responsibility for what she did. However, when the time comes Frankie is nowhere to be found; she’s with Winston, upset with what’s happened and asking him for his help to make Zoë pay for what she’s done.
QUICK REVIEW: You can easily figure out a plot’s theme when multiple characters say the same thing in an episode. In Frankie’s plot, she’s learning one of life’s hardest lessons: life isn’t fair. Zoë flips the script so that Frankie looks like the ringleader of Degrassi Nudes, and now Frankie’s dad wants her to publicly take responsibility not just for her Oomfchat, but for the entire nude scandal. It’s such a messed up 360 as Frankie gets thrown under the bus by both Zoë and her dad. Zoë’s reasoning for doing so is because Frankie’s dad will clean up the mess if Frankie is responsible. But instead of doing that, Mr. H and his assistant think it’s better for the campaign if Frankie takes blame instead of denying everything until they can fix it.
Since season 10 and their switch to nothing but two parters for multiple seasons, one of my biggest complaints about Degrassi was the weakness of Part 1 episodes, primarily in the weekly broadcast format. So many of them didn’t feel strong enough on their own, as if the Part 1 and Part 2 episodes were going to air back to back…the Part 1 endings never got me really excited to see what happens in Part 2.
I feel like the episodes they’ve been churning out in season 14 are strong standalone episodes, despite many of the archs spanning consecutive episodes like they have in seasons 10-13. I jokingly give Degrassi writer/Exec Producer Matty H a hard time about the first Degrassi episode he ever wrote, which I consider one of the worst episodes of all time (technically it was the A plot that was awful…the B plot was pretty good). But as Frankie stands there crying, vowing revenge on Zoë, Matty H delivers a Part 1 cliffhanger that’s absolutely on point. And bonus points to TeenNick for immediately airing an awesomely intense promo for Part 2 afterward.
Zig And Tiny Make A Bet
Loving the influx of cheerleaders at Degrassi for Regionals, Zig makes a bet with Tiny: $20 to the first person who can get a cheerleader’s phone number. Grace interjects and says that instead of money, the loser has to dress up like a cheerleader and perform in public. She also points out who they must try to get the number from: Newman cheerleader Gloria Chin.
Tiny tries to flirt with Gloria, but she isn’t interested. Zig “bumps” into her and she spills her drink on him. She offers to clean his shirt, so Zig walks around shirtless. Zig’s not-so-casual flirting works and she’s willing to give him her number, but Zig goes on the defensive when Gloria starts talking bad about Zoë and her sexual assault. Zig tells Tiny and Maya that he decided not to get Gloria’s number, but Grace does it instead meaning Zig and Tiny have to dress up as cheerleaders together. Later, Zig tells Zoë he knows she’s a good person and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about her. The two start talking again, and Zig’s happy that he has a chance with Zoë again.
QUICK REVIEW: Whether it was on purpose or pure coincidence, the generic structure of the plot vaguely reminded me of Joey and BLT’s plot in one of my all-time favorite Degrassi episodes in the franchise. With everything that’s going on with Zoë vs. Frankie, this one requires viewing it through Zig’s strict filter. All he knows is that the girl he likes feels as if she’s being judged by everyone, and that’s confirmed to Zig when a stranger (Gloria Chin) spouts off what she thinks about Zoë. Gloria had no clue what Zoë went through, just what she saw in the news/tabloids. Gloria is representative of a culture, especially online, that’s quick to form an opinion about everything without much thought or investigation. Zig doesn’t know the horrible things Zoë has done to Frankie, but based on what he does know about Zoë and what she’s gone through I’ve gotta give it up to him for supporting her…Lord knows she’s gonna need his support even more after Firestarter, Part 2.
Clare’s Secret Is Out
Everyone at Degrassi now knows that Clare’s pregnant. After having a bad dream in which she marries Simpson and has a couple of kids with him, Clare decides she can’t put her future on hold. She talks to her mom and decides that instead of not going to Columbia, Clare wants to go to Ryerson, which is close to home.
Helen says it’ll be difficult, especially while trying to raise the baby, but Clare’s willing to accept the challenge.
QUICK REVIEW: THAT is the Clare Edwards I know, coming up with a plan for her future despite all of the challenging circumstances. She delivered a good quote that shows us where her head is at right now: “I don’t want my son thinking that I gave up at the first challenge I faced. I want him to think I did my best despite the challenges, despite what people thought of me.”
Also notice that she’s planning her future and didn’t mention Eli once. From her condescending jab toward Jenna (Clare’s kind of a jerk when she’s distracted) to the amusing dream about Simpson, this was decent filler until Firestarter Pt. 2, when the real baby mama drama begins.