RECAP: Maya gets a gig at the Trap Door, but her mom won’t let her do it because it’s a bar. Not wanting people to think she’s a little girl, Maya waits until her parents fall asleep and sneaks out to the gig. While setting up her equipment she feels as if a guy’s treating her like she’s an idiot when he tries to show her how to plug in her own gear. The performance is going well until Maya notices a guy up front talking loudly on his cell phone. When she tells him to go somewhere else he calls her a “bitch,” resulting in Maya grabbing his phone and dropping it in a pitcher of beer. Grace says Maya shouldn’t apologize, while Zoë says she should play nice because women have it tougher in the industry as it is and you need the men with power in your corner. Maya breaks down after being confronted by her mom for sneaking out, believing that she’s not capable of handling tough situations. Maya’s mom offers to accompany Maya to the Trap Door for her next gig, where Maya successfully performs a song about male harassment called “Not Okay.”
Maya learns the harsh lesson that not everything is as simple as it should be. She just wants to play music, but everywhere she turns she’s being treated like a child on varying levels. Maya’s mother says she’s too young to perform at the bar. A fellow male musician treats her like she doesn’t know how to use her own equipment, and refers to her as blondie. A rude male customer says she must be “on her period” before calling her a “bitch.”
The locker conversation between Maya, Grace and Zoë brilliantly depicts a sad, but true dilemma. I love when this show deals with tough situations like this, because life isn’t as black and white as we want to believe. Grace was angry no one seemed to care that Maya was called a bitch, and that women who defend themselves from misogyny are viewed as thin-skinned. However, Zoë knows how the industry works; she knows the reality of how things are vs. how they should be for women in entertainment will never match. It’s “There is no reality, only perception,” coming into play, except women are practically forced into being overly aware of how others perceive them.
Thankfully, Maya takes this situation and turns it into one where she becomes stronger and smarter in the end, taking a firm stand against a catcall without losing her cool. “What’s more important, your dreams or your pride? You only get one,” Zoë told Maya.
Maya’s performance of her awesome song “Not Okay” says she’s more than capable of having both.
RECAP: Tiny asks Shay out on a movie date, but there’s just one problem: Shay’s parents won’t let her date until she’s 18. After Shay pleads her case to her parents about how great of a guy Tiny is, the request to meet him before the two go on a date. Shay’s too embarrassed to introduce Tiny to her parents, so during the middle of a lab assignment tells him they can’t date because she needs to stay focused on school. Though he was clearly hurt, later we learn that Tiny has moved on and asked Lola out. She calls Shay to confess that she’s liked Tiny for forever and never made a move because Shay liked him. Despite being heartbroken, Shay gives Lola her blessing to date Tiny.
First of all, I need to take full responsibility for the death of Shiny…every time I publicly endorse a ship, the universe snatches it away from me.
Anyway…it’s always great to see a character’s home life, and her parents’ demeanor explains how Shay is such a focused student. It’s a nice twist that we never actually get to the point where Shay introduces Tiny to her parents, because that’s how embarrassed she is for them to meet him.
We’re always told “be yourself” and “live your own life,” but when you’re under the rule of your parents that’s easier said than done. Shay describes Tiny to her parents as sweet, funny and a good influence. Sadly, her parents are an even bigger influence, as Shay ultimately judges Tiny based on what her parents would think about their daughter dating a former gang member.
The end of this plot is sad, but so clever. In her phone conversation with Lola, Shay’s clearly trying to convince herself that it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. Then we learn Lola’s liked Tiny for a long time; with all of the partner switching that occurred over the past couple of seasons on Degrassi, it’s amazing watching two of the younger characters have an actual conversation about such a thing instead of secret relationships happening. “You can’t imagine how hard it is to see the guy you’re into, into someone else.” The irony in Lola’s statement has never hit closer to home.
RECAP: Despite still being heartbroken over Miles, Tristan goes on a date with Vijay, who has a massive crush on him. The two hit it off and agree to a second date at Lola’s Cantina. While there Tristan runs in to Miles and his new girlfriend, Esme. The confrontation leaves Tristan so worked up that he realizes he’s not even close to being over Miles, and he breaks up with Vijay. Zoë then encourages to have a little fun with the guys sending him messages on Oomfchat.
Tristan has behaved like an asshole for quite some time, but in this generic plot I end up actually feeling sorry for him. He’s clearly not over the breakup with Miles, and it’s still really hurting him. In this complex season this plot will be quickly forgotten, but it’s effective enough in showing Tristan sees his younger, optimistic self in Vijay. Tristan simply doesn’t want to ruin Vijay’s innocence by using him the way Tristan was used by Miles, as a way to feel good.