Sunday, February 28, 2010

Greek 3.14: "The Tortoise and the Hair"

“Politics is all about scare tactics. Didn’t you learn anything from the Bush years?”


As a newly minted attorney currently figuring out how to finance yet another degree (Master of Public Policy) so I might have a shot at legislative practice, I totally should have seen the end of this episode coming. And I would also tell Casey to stay far, far away from law school and pursue a different advanced degree instead. Although who knows, by the time she would graduate, maybe the economy will have picked up. We can hope. Casey’s been bitten by the politics bug, much like I was last spring, but the road ahead is long and hard. If organizing a voter registration event was all it took to be hired by a legislator, I would have been there for four years by now. Been there, done that. I suppose I should appreciate that “Greek” didn’t make attaining a career in DC too easy for Casey. There is definitely realism in what she encounters in this episode, even if it does have a bit more silliness than real life.

In the interest of keeping this post from devolving into a bitterfest (and really, some pretty awesome things have happened for me this week, for the first time in a long time, so I really shouldn’t be bitter right now), let’s get to recapping the plot a bit. The main plot for the episode was that Casey is trying to start thinking about her future, and Cappie is most definitely…not. He’s more interested in the annual KT turtle races. Casey has once again decided that she wants to pursue a career in politics. She’s brushing off her bad experience with the ZBZ congresswoman’s office over the summer. It was seeing an article about a bill the congresswoman was working on when Casey was in DC that made her a bit wistful for DC, and I can understand that. It’s reading about issues in the local newspaper that I was working on the state legislature that made me want to pursue legislative work as a career.

Ashleigh tells Casey that she ought to talk to Rebecca about what DC life is like. Which is good advice, considering Rebecca’s dad is a former Senator and all. Rebecca, understandably, has a very jaded, pessimistic view of DC. She tells Casey that everybody there is just out for themselves and for power. Casey, however, is still determined to be an idealist- not everyone in DC must be awful. Despite her warnings, Rebecca is helpful. She offers to introduce Casey to Joel, a former staffer from her dad’s office. He’s currently working on a campaign for a local Congressman, and he asks Casey to help out with voter registration efforts on the CRU campus.

Casey’s voter registration table isn’t very successful until she gets more advice from Rebecca. Scare tactics. By telling people what horrible things could happen if they don’t vote, Casey gets more than enough new registrations to make Joel happy. She even has an idea to expand the effort. She wants to have a big voter registration party at Dobbler’s, with free cover for every new voter. Joel thinks it’s a great idea. Casey is convinced that if she does really well with this project and the Congressman is elected, Joel might hire her as a Legislative Aide.

Meanwhile, Rusty is having career issues of his own. His faculty advisor, Dr. Hastings, has assigned one of his advanced physics students to be Rusty’s assistant, and it’s none other than Dana, the girl he blew off and then later insulted a few episodes back. To make matters worse, Rusty is feeling extra pressure because Dr. Hastings has embraced Rusty’s success as an opportunity to get back at his former research partner who took all the credit for something they both invented.

Dr. Hastings drags Rusty along to a meet and greet with the Dean where he promises the Dean that they’ll have the self-healing wire ready to patent ASAP. Rusty is pleased enough at being the “Wunderkind” instead of the “Anchor” that he doesn’t really question all the hype at first. Dana warns him that she’s studied the project, and unless they change the formula for the wire, it will never work for more than five minutes. Rusty brushes off her warning, excited that he’s about to have a big interview with Engineering Weekly.

At the interview however, Rusty has a major attack of guilt and self doubt. He chooses that moment to reveal that the wire isn’t going to work. Dr. Hastings is understandably pissed, and the Dean is as well. Luckily, Dr. Hastings still sticks up for Rusty, and both of them will continue to work on the project. Dr. Hastings even has a very Star Trek technobabble fix for Rusty to try. When in doubt, reverse the polarity! Dana, who had left the project in disgust over Rusty’s behavior, ends up returning as well, and it seems like she and Rusty are on their way to at least establishing a productive working relationship.

Casey’s story turns out mostly positive as well, and she has a similarly windy road to travel. The voter registration party at Dobbler’s is a success, but miscommunication with Joel almost derails everything. Because Rebecca had gone on and on about how skeevy everyone in DC can be, Casey thought that an invite from Joel to attend a “debriefing” at his apartment was a come on. He actually did literally mean a meeting at his apartment, and all the other volunteers were invited too. Casey goes on a tirade about how Joel’s a slimeball, and then she’s mortified when she figures out the truth. There’s good news and bad news for Casey. Joel isn’t especially upset by what happened, and he and Casey are still cool. The bad news is that people with just Bachelor’s degrees don’t get hired as Legislative Aides. Casey makes a decision: she’s going to law school after all. Cappie ends up pleasantly surprising everyone at the end, too. Instead of pulling away from Casey due to fear of graduation, he takes a big step. He picks up the form to declare a major.

The C story that focused on Ashleigh and Dale is so silly that it doesn’t really warrant much space here. The ZBZ house needs a new hasher, but Ashleigh is gun shy from Fishergate. The sisters want another hot guy around the house, but Ashleigh ends up hiring Dale (who needs money to fund his research since he lost out on the grant to Rusty) because she figures he won’t be a problem like Fisher was. The sisters revolt, and Ashleigh is asked to fire Dale. Dale quits first, though, when he hears about Fisher and thinks Ashleigh wants him to be her boy toy, too. The sisters end up thinking Hunter, the new, hotter hasher is creepy, and they want Dale back. Dale and Ashleigh reach and understanding, and all is well in ZBZ land.

This wasn’t an especially memorable episode, and as you can probably tell from the beginning of the post, brought up a lot of personal issues for me. One thing I did like, however, was how Casey and Cappie’s relationship is being handled. Time and time again I think that the Greek producers are going to break them up, and every time I’m proven wrong. They end up stronger than ever. I really do appreciate that. Casey and Cappie need to have moved beyond on again/off again, and I hope that continues to be the case.

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