Miles Confronts His Dad
Mr. Hollingsworth overhears Miles telling Hunter that he’s a crappy dad. Frankie is still missing and Miles finally confronts his dad over his behavior, stating that Mr. Hollingsworth doesn’t love or care about anyone but himself. In a rage, Mr. H throws his cup at Miles and it shatters against the wall, hitting Hunter, and he also slaps Miles.
Miles tries to tell his mom that Mr. H is a bully, but all she does is make excuses. Miles decides to handle his dad on his own; he confronts Mr. H and tells him to move out of the house. Mr. H laughs at the threat and says Miles is the one who’s the problem. Miles resists the urge to hit his father and heads to Degrassi to find Frankie to give her a goodbye letter. He reveals his plan to drive as far away from town as possible to Maya; he also tells her how much he hates his father and wants to get rid of him. Miles lights a campaign poster on fire in the hallway and accidentally sets fire to the entire display. After the fire, Miles refuses to go home with his father and Hunter tells Frankie about their dad hitting Miles. The trio stand united against their dad and want nothing to do with him.
QUICK REVIEW: The great thing about having three siblings to work with here is the ability to weave a bunch of different emotional states together to tell a hauntingly human story. I loved seeing Miles finally have the courage to stand up to his dad. He’s limited in what he can do to solve the situation, but he seemed to know he had to do something, especially after Mr. H’s outburst directly affected Hunter. Throughout this season the rest of the family has had a “head in the sand” mentality when it comes to Mr. Hollingsworth. Even in this episode, Miles’ mom refused to acknowledge how awful Mr. H is. Because of the Degrassi Nudes stuff, Frankie finally experienced her dad’s selfishness firsthand.
Hunter initially threw Miles under the bus because, like he’s always been, Hunter was afraid. But we saw him have the courage the speak up when the Hollingsworth siblings were all together and united against their father. The episode’s most powerful scene is when Miles confronts his dad for the second time. Mr. H blames his own son and tells him that he’s the problem, and a tearful Miles holds back his fist, wanting to hit his dad. When Craig Manning dealt with parental abuse in season 2, it was from the aspect of physical abuse. Over the course of Miles’ arch, well over a decade later, we’ve seen how emotional abuse from a parent can create emotional scars just as deep as physical ones.
Frankie Confronts Zoë
The Power Cheer squad is mad at Zoë for framing Frankie, but Zoë tells them she did it to protect them from getting in trouble. While waiting for their turn to perform at regionals, Zoë receives a text from “Zig” wanting to meet up. Zoë reaches the meeting place, an empty classroom, but is greeted by a masked character: the Degrassi Nudes blackmailer. Winston and Frankie try to get Zoë to admit to Degrassi Nudes, but she doesn’t fall for it. As she tries to leave, she grabs for the door handle which is hot to the touch. There’s a fire outside the door, leaving the three trapped. Frankie blames Zoë for their current situation and for forcing the Power Cheer girls into her Degrassi nudes scheme. Frankie calls Zoë a bully, and says that none of the girls will want to be her friend if she doesn’t accept responsibility.
The three safely escape the fire and afterward Zoë approaches a police officer to confess her involvement with Degrassi Nudes. Frankie’s upset with her dad when doesn’t show much concern for her well-being after she nearly died. Miles and Hunter say the he only cares about himself, and tells Frankie about their dad’s violent outburst earlier. Frankie stands with her brothers as they watch their father walk away.
QUICK REVIEW: My grade of this plot hinges primarily on the conversation between Frankie and Zoë as they were trapped by the fire. Frankie calls Zoë out as a bully and as having created a false sense of friendship with her and the Power Cheer girls. Understand that at the heart of everything, all Zoë has wanted since coming to Degrassi is to have real friends. At the beginning of the episode she tries to convince her friends (Power Cheer) that she blackmailed Frankie to protect them. When she apologizes to them for the Degrassi Nudes scandal after they freak out over the text sent by “Zig,” you can tell she’s being genuine in that moment. In this episode and in at least one other this season she’s verbally told the squad she appreciates their friendship. Zig is in Zoë’s corner, and that’s good for her. However, I think the most hurtful thing that could happen to Zoë, worse than any punishment because of Degrassi Nudes, would be for the people she considered friends to not really be her friends at all.
Eli Hopes For A Second Chance
Eli finds out from Imogen that he’s the father of Clare’s baby and rushes to Degrassi to talk to her. He offers to help her, Clare doesn’t want his help because of his history of freaking out over little things.
Eli tries to show Clare he’s changed by signing over is paycheck to her for her to use for the baby. He vows to earn Clare’s trust again, and she agrees that Eli should be a part of the baby’s life.
QUICK REVIEW: It won’t be long before these two are back to their complicated, romantic ways, but this was a nice change of pace for an Eclare plot. It was not only quiet (because there was no relationship stuff), but you had these two characters actually COMMUNICATING with each other. Clare said what needed to be said, and what we’ve been thinking about Eli for quite a while. I knew Eli’s attitude would immediately change once he found out the baby is his, because there’s no way he’d get the girl of his dreams pregnant only to become a deadbeat dad. I think he should be involved in the baby’s life, but at the same time he’s going to have to do more than pay lip service to his declarations of change and vowing to earn Clare’s trust.