Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Greek 3.02: "Our Fathers"

“Russ? Don’t let him see you run.”

Monday’s episode of "Greek," which focused on Fathers’ Weekend at the ZBZ house, saw some interesting changes in the relationship dynamics, both romantic and otherwise, between our usual cast of characters. Ashleigh, Rebecca, and Casey were at odds after Rebecca’s actions at the “End of the World” party (and Casey’s part in hiding those actions) were revealed. Cappie and Dale spent some quality time together. And Casey and Cappie had a strange conversation that didn’t really change much at all. Also, this episode offered some interesting fuel for the ongoing debate about how "Greek" portrays female college students, and sorority members in particular.

Ashleigh is understandably extremely upset when she finds out that Rebecca kissed her boyfriend Fisher at the “End of the World” party and Casey knew about it but didn’t say anything. More compelling than the Ashleigh/Rebecca cattiness is what the incident does to Ashleigh and Casey’s friendship. Casey insists that she was just trying to protect Ashleigh’s feelings, but Ashleigh doesn’t buy it. She finds it patronizing. Casey doesn’t get it at first. She’s upset at Ashleigh’s reaction, but she doesn’t register any understanding of Ashleigh’s reaction. After spending a weekend being treated like a child by her dad, however, Casey understood. She didn’t appreciate it when her dad pointed out every little thing she was doing wrong and tried to help her avoid every possible mistake (such as when he asked her multiple times about when she had last taken her car for an oil change), and she realized that Ashleigh must not have appreciated Casey trying to “protect” her from heartbreak.

By the end of the episode, Ashleigh had forgiven Casey, but not Rebecca. I think this speaks to Ashleigh’s heart. Even though what Casey did hurt deeply, Ashleigh knew it came from a good place. What Rebecca did just came from a place of alcohol and narcissism. Ironically, despite Casey’s worry for Ashleigh’s emotional well being, Ashleigh was stronger throughout this episode than Casey was when faced with a similar situation with Evan back in Season 1. When Evan cheated on her with Rebecca, Casey let Frannie convince her that she needed to take Evan back to keep up appearances. Ashleigh instead let it be known that cheating is not okay in her book, and any guy who cheats on her is automatically out of her life.

I generally like Cappie and Dale’s friendship. It’s such an odd pairing, and it usually results in pretty hilarious dialogue. “Our Fathers” showcased more of their friendship than any other episode of "Greek" I can think of. Sad to say, it doesn’t seem like Cappie is actually that great a friend to Dale. First, Cappie ignored Dale in last week’s episode when Dale needed to talk out his feelings about losing his virginity. This week, Cappie spent more time with Dale, but he was still distracted over his drama with Casey. He was, as he put it, “in a funk.” He was turning to just about everything he could think of to fill the void, from book clubs to tennis to new girls. It’s the last item on that list where he came into conflict with Dale and wasn’t an especially great friend. When Cappie and Dale encountered Mary-Elise, a student promoting a Catholic group on campus, Cappie ignored Dale’s attempt to turn to Mary-Elise for spiritual guidance and instead focused solely on trying to get a date with her. This seems like a step back from the more mature Cappie we’ve seen in recent episodes.

Speaking of Cappie, he had one extended conversation with Casey in this episode that just seemed like treading water. They talk about the book he’s reading for his book club, and in that book, the “timing was all wrong” for the couple. Casey then bolts, and that’s the end of the scene. I suppose the fact that, at the end of the episode, when Dale said he didn’t want to find a new God, he just wanted his old one back, Cappie’s look of realization should be some consolation.

Finally, I wasn’t sure whether or not to find this episode’s depiction of female college students troubling. In some ways, the episode really played up the sorority girl stereotype. There’s Becky, the ex-ZBZ who still doesn’t realize she’s not a sister anymore. She doesn’t bother me too much because her KT counterpart, Beaver, isn’t the brightest crayon in the box, either. Then there was the all-out cat fight brawl during the Fathers’ Weekend barbecue. Neither of the fraternities would ever be pictured behaving like this. It was a stereotype of sororities and women in general, and it irked me to no end. The only thing that could have made it worse would have been if there was pillow fighting involved. My anger went down a few notches, however, when the fathers began to act petty too. Casey, Ashleigh, and Rebecca’s dads all sniped at each other just as much, maybe even more so, than their daughters. The evening-out of things helped, even if all characters involved were a bit shrill.

Overall, this was a middling episode of Greek. I liked that Casey and Ashleigh’s argument was resolved by the end of the episode and they are now friends again. I liked that there was plenty of Cappie screen time, even if he wasn’t on his best behavior. The portrayal of women in this episode certainly bothered me, but because it was balanced out for the most part, I kept watching.

No comments:

Post a Comment