Canada: November 1st, 2009
U.S: November 13th, 2009
Beat It was the most anticipated episode of the season for me. First off, its main plot is about Riley’s sexuality, a storyline with amazing potential that was randomly dropped in Season 8. Secondly, this episode was directed by Stefan Brogren…though he’s produced Degrassi minis and Degrassi Goes Hollywood (all of which were amazing), Beat It is the first REGULAR episode he has ever directed.
It didn’t disappoint in the least. I’m actually having a hard time right now thinking of any episode that is as all-around amazing (aka all of its plots were great) as Beat It.
Taking lifeguard training, Riley is immediately attracted to the instructor, Sam. That’s kinda obvious when he gets a boner while watching Sam give a doll CPR. LOLZ before the opening credits? This episode can’t fail.
Riley continues to struggle with his sexuality, and the difficulties of balancing faking being straight in front of everyone and suppressing his desires. Degrassi takes a far different approach with Riley than they did Marco, who simply wanted to keep his sexuality a secret at first. Riley doesn’t want to be gay AT ALL, and takes actions to “get rid of the gayness.” He fails at doing so after trying to sleep with Fiona, then after they break up he can’t seal the deal with Chantay either.
B PlotThis must be stated: Dave is awesome. He bursts onto the scene out of nowhere and ever since he’s delivered simple comedic entertainment…how sad is it he’s funnier than Danny and Derek ever were combined?
Dave becomes the man after hitting the game winning shot during a Degrassi basketball game. He uses this opportunity to ask out Jenna, who agrees. This subplot is so cleverly written…Dave’s crush on Jenna is really just a smokescreen for the plot’s true purpose.
If you think this subplot is dumb because it involves LARPing, then you completely missed the point. The theme was simple, and one everybody can relate to. Tired of being a Studz groupie, Anya has been doing her own thing lately. She’s involved in Live Action Role Playing after school, but lies and tells Sav she’s taking self defense instead because she knows he’ll just make fun of her.
Samantha Munro has always kinda just been “there,” but I really like her acting in this episode. When shes LARPing, you can actually tell a difference in Anya’s confidence level compared to all of her previous appearances on the show.