These are my thoughts on the Part 1. My full review of the episode will be posted next Friday after the airing of Part 2.
PLOT A: ELI
Eli feels like death follows him, and it makes sense - not only did he witness Cam’s suicide, but his ex girlfriend Julia also died right before his eyes. It’s understandable that he wants to avoid thinking about it: he cuts out any footage of Cam on the video yearbook, and then avoids the video yearbook altogether when he is asked to include Cam. But it’s also understandable that his friends are concerned: Jake is scared to even mention the word death, and Clare just wants to talk, talk, talk. I think the inclusion of Eli’s talk with his therapist was my favorite scene from Part 1, because it reminds us that Eli already has problems to begin with. The usage of weed and Eli’s growing liking of it over the course of the last few episodes is a triumph, because it shows that it is a chain drug, and doesn’t leave us going “what the fuck, how could Eli do drugs?” when he takes the ecstasy. Blood was a huge part of this episode, reflecting what Eli must have seen in the greenhouse. The scene where Eli sees blood everywhere in his room? Very bad. The scene where Eli spills red paint at the rave? Very good. Once again, Munro Chambers blows me away, and as he rubs up against Talia and then crowds surfs on strangers arms without hesitation, it shows us just how scary the decisions we make can be while being on a drug as intense as E.
PLOT A GRADE (SO FAR) - A-
PLOT B: KATIE
This plot feels very forced so far. Katie was all smiles, focusing on getting a loan for Stanford, when BAM, Marisol walks in and reminds her about her breakup with Jake. What doesn’t make sense is how Katie seems deadset focused on a reconcile out of nowhere. What makes even less sense? How Katie jumps from wanting to get back together to suddenly having this shame and PTSD type behavior about nearly prostituting herself. I like that the show is trying to continue Katie’s prostitution storyline by showing how she is still being affected by even considering it, but come on, flipping some random guy out of nowhere?
PLOT B GRADE (SO FAR) - C-
PLOT C (JENNA/CONNOR)
All I can say so far is that I like Jenna and Connor together. I commend the show for having Jenna be involved in an anti-bullying campaign (post Cam), and I give props to the writers for showing how Connor’s Assburgers works romantically.
PLOT C GRADE (SO FAR) - B