Sunday, January 31, 2010

Greek 3.11: "I Know What You Did Last Semester"

“I can’t see puffy paint making an impact on Dump Truck.”


I’ve got to say that I didn’t love this episode of Greek. It set up a few new conflicts for the new half-season, but it was mostly dealing with the fall-out from the events of the fall finale. It tried to deal with every sub-plot going on, and as a result, it was really disjointed. The rather thin thread that seemed to tie many of the stories together was communication problems. Casey and Cappie aren’t confiding in each other. Rusty can’t get the pledges to respect him. Ashleigh is in pain, won’t tell anyone, and is taking it out on Casey. Calvin and Grant are at odds. Evan and Rebecca are avoiding each other. It’s avoidance all around at CRU!

The episode begins with a bit of in media res, which I used to think was kind of cool, but so many shows have used it lately that it’s kind of played out. A bunch of ZBZ ladies are out in the woods, dressed in costumes, digging a hole in the ground. It’s supposed to evoke the image of burying a body, but since this is Greek, the truth can’t actually be that morbid. It’s also pretty obvious that whatever is going on is related to the fire that happened at the Gamma Psi house last semester.

We then flash back 48 hours earlier. The ZBZ sisters are just returning to the house from winter break, and everyone is on edge. Becky can’t eat, Laura can’t not eat. It’s just a mess overall. The one bright spot for Casey is that she gets to see Cappie for the first time in three weeks. Cappie surprises Casey by waiting for her in her room instead of at the campus bookstore. Really, Casey has known Cappie enough that she should have known he wouldn’t actually be at the bookstore! The happiness is short lived, though. Throughout the episode, Cappie and Casey become more distant from each other. Casey is really upset and feeling guilty over the fire, but because of the ZBZ pact, she can’t tell Cappie what is bothering her. Cappie is really upset that three of his brothers were expelled last semester because of how Omega Chi set them up to take the fall for a prank gone wrong. The loss of Wade especially bothers Cappie. Because Casey isn’t sharing what’s wrong, Cappie doesn’t feel like he can share with her, either.

Since Wade is gone, the KTs need a new pledge educator, and Rusty wants the job. Cappie sort-of halfheartedly says Rusty can give it a shot. To Rusty’s frustration, Cappie doesn’t really give Rusty a chance to excel at being pledge educator on his own. Cappie sends Beaver (still my favorite KT- a loveable oaf) to act as enforcer, interrupts meetings, and openly contradicts Rusty’s instructions. Rusty turns to Dale, who is so charismatic that he has landed himself a couple of “interns,” for advice. Dale, using his innate confidence, manages to scare the pledges into listening to Rusty, but the success doesn’t last for long. Rusty decides he needs Wade’s signature meat cleaver as a back-up plan, and he accidentally cuts of one of the pledge’s toes. This is played for laughs in the episode, but believe me, a stunt like that would get a house disbanded for good in real life. I guess being on my university conduct board for a few years made me a bit uptight about that sort of thing.

The investigation of the fire at the Gamma Psi house, and the guilt and fear it causes in the ZBZ house, keeps ramping up throughout the episode. First, Casey goes to see Katherine, the Pan-hel president who happens to be a Gamma Psi. Katherine tells Casey that the investigation into the fire is still ongoing. Also, Gamma Psi is going to be holding a “Rebuild our Castle Fairy Tale Fundraiser Ball.” The fact that the investigation is still ongoing makes the ZBZs a little more nervous, but the tension really ramps up when a local firefighter stops by the house with fire safety pamphlets. He tells the girls that they’re educating everyone of fire safety because a lit candle was the cause of the Gamma Psi fire. The ZBZs now are fairly certain they are at fault. It is just about 100% certain they are at fault when Katherine tells Casey that the Gamma Psis lit a ritual candle earlier on the day of the fire, but Katherine personally put the candle out.

If the ZBZs are going to escape blame for the fire, they need to be sure there is absolutely no evidence linking them to the scene of the crime. Ashleigh, kind of stupidly, still has the Songfest judging clip board that they stole from the Gamma Psi house on the night of the fire. She was hoping to still be able to protest the Songfest results. The rest of the sisters make her realize that it’s a seriously bad idea to keep that clip board, and they devise a plan to get rid of it. They’re going to bury it in the woods before they go to the Fairy Tale Ball. They carry out the plan, but there’s one small problem- nobody remembers how to get back out of the woods.

Just as my blood pressure was starting to rise thinking that the Greek producers got Casey and Cappie back together after all this time just to break them up again (things are really, really not good between them), things started to take a turn for the better. Rusty arrives at the KT house in a Pied Piper costume to see Cappie and the pledges just hanging out and playing video games. The pledges are supposed to be coming with Rusty to the Fairy Tale Ball, and Rusty actually holds his own in an argument with Cappie over the situation. As the girls are trying to make their way out of the woods, Ashleigh confesses that she and Fisher broke up because Fisher cheated on her again. She admits that her warnings to Casey about not trusting Cappie were really her projecting her own issues, and she apologizes. It also turns out that Rusty’s talking-to shamed Cappie into pulling himself together, and he’s waiting for Casey in a Prince Charming costume when the girls finally arrive at the ball.

The Fairy Tale Ball is good for the show’s couples all around, pretty much. Casey and Cappie have a good talk. They each confess what has been bothering them, and they comfort each other. Casey admits that she thought things would be easy once they finally got back together, but Cappie says it’s better that it takes work. I was extremely pleased that the show’s writers decided to have Casey and Cappie talk things out instead of making this just another road block- it’s much more satisfying television to me. Calvin and Grant had been on the rocks for most of the episode because of Grant’s continuing refusal to come out to his family and the Omega Chis, but Grant finally decides that he doesn’t want to lose Calvin. He comes out to his brothers by starting off the night’s dancing with Calvin- with a slow dance, no less. Evan and Rebecca also dance together, beginning to work past their initial embarrassment at their recent hook-up. Their happiness is over when they see Casey and Cappie dancing together (Cappie and Evan are enemies again after what happened to Wade and the other brothers), but it seems like they are on a good track.

So it looks like the continuing Cappie/Evan rivalry will be one plot of the new “chapter.” Another will be Calvin and Grant dealing with the fall-out of Grant’s coming out. Some inconsiderate Omega Chi left a pair of tiaras outside their door, and Grant is furious. It also looks like the tension in Casa Engineering will continue. The episode ended with Rusty and Dale getting a very important phone message. The winner of the engineering grant has been announced- and it’s Rusty. Dale is devastated. This was a pretty predictable move, but I find Dale entertaining enough that I’m mildly interested in seeing where this goes.

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