Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Greek 3.03: "The Half-Naked Gun"

“The pledges are still…pledgy”


I’m honestly not sure if I liked this episode of Greek or not. There were definitely some good moments. I also liked that some secrets between characters were revealed. I do, however, have some major problems with the overall premise of this episode. I don’t buy Casey feeling unfulfilled as Pledge Educator, and I don’t buy the “Undie Run” as her crusade to feel worthwhile again. I also wasn’t thrilled with the inconsistent characterization of Evan.

Even though my introduction was a little whiny, there were indeed a few things I liked about this episode. First, I liked that Rebecca seems to be trying to redeem herself. She has decided that she can get back on ZBZ’s good side if she makes sure that ZBZ wins the “Gotcha” game. She pretty much becomes Jordan’s personal bodyguard, because Jordan is ZBZ’s last contestant left in the game. I think the fact that Rebecca even realizes that she did something wrong by kissing Ashleigh’s boyfriend is a huge step forward, even if Ashleigh still refuses to acknowledge Rebecca’s name and still calls her “you.” I always find KT antics amusing, and this episode had some gems. When Beaver is practicing his attack and jumps up out of the kiddie pool, I was laughing hysterically. The description of how some of the KT brothers got eliminated from the game were also hilarious. I especially liked Beaver falling for the fake Dobbler’s free drink coupons. I also liked the return to Cappie’s quoting movies (and ad libbing his own movie trailers. I loved the “Matrix” parody with the Nerf guns. The KT brothers protecting Rusty when he’s the last KT left in the game was also pretty funny, especially because Rusty’s code name was “Chicken Legs One.”

I also generally like when characters reveal secrets and get problems out in the open, and this episode had some of that. Evan learned the truth about Calvin and Grant’s relationship, and after a bit of a stumble, he was ultimately supportive by putting new locks on all the doors in the Omega Chi house. Calvin and Grant (or at least Calvin) also now know that Evan lost his trust fund. He was one of the waiters in the restaurant in the next town over that Calvin and Grant went to on a date. Calvin didn’t make any specific show of support, but he certainly didn’t dismiss Evan as a friend because Evan no longer has money.

My biggest issue of the episode was that Casey was feeling bored and unfulfilled as Pledge Educator. Maybe I’m just bringing too much of my own personal history with sororities to the table, but when I was in college, I wished I could have been my sorority’s equivalent of Pledge Educator. I loved working with our Members in Training to do all the things they needed to become sisters. I loved helping them learn about the history of our sisterhood. To me, a job like that is an honor, not a burden. It also comes with plenty of challenges. There are MITs who have trouble juggling their schedule or learning what they need to know about the sisterhood, or maybe there are MITs who don’t feel included. It’s a big job that comes with plenty of issues that could have occupied Casey’s time and talent. This seems more like a case of Casey not taking advantage of the opportunities she’s given. So much about college, and adulthood in general, is about making the most out of the hand you’re dealt. On a more positive note, it does seem like Casey, by the end of the episode, had started to learn that lesson. She had the reality check that maybe the Undie Run wasn’t the greatest cause to champion, so she did something to make it matter more. She encouraged all the runners to donate their clothes to a homeless shelter.

Backtracking a bit, I didn’t love the idea that Casey chose the Undie Run as her new cause. As unpleasant as the Pan-Hellenic president was, she made some good, reasoned points. Greeks do indeed have an image problem, and events like an Undie Run don’t help. Honestly, I’m surprised CRU didn’t put the kibosh on this event years ago, or at least after the school newspaper exposé on the Greek system way back in season 1. Casey also never really gave any good arguments for why the Undie Run should happen, other than “it’s tradition” and “we’re seniors.”

Finally, this episode seemed to highlight just how inconsistently Evan has been written. It’s not character progression, which would be a good thing- it’s a character see-saw. Evan keeps going back and forth between being somewhat human (like he was in this episode) and a complete jerk (especially when he was dating Frannie). I don’t like it when Evan is being a jerk, but I also don’t buy it when he isn’t. I’m always wondering what’s his angle. He did some nice things in this episode like putting new locks on the door in the Omega Chi house and helping Casey with the petition to keep Undie Run going, but it’s not enough for a full redemption.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode for the fun, silly Kappa Tau moments. I didn’t so much enjoy either the Undie Run plot or the Rusty/Jordan Gotcha standoff plot. I love that the Kappa Tau’s are so unpretentious. They’re slackers, and they revel in it. It’s kind of refreshing to see that much honesty.

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