“Midnight Clear” was definitely the best episode of the season so far, and perhaps the best episode Greek has ever done. That may sound like high praise, but everything was running 100%: it was well-paced, the entire regular cast was in one place for the first time I can remember, and the problems and discussions felt real and organic. I love Greek, but don’t always think it’s necessarily the greatest show on TV. Last night, though, was an overall well-crafted, enjoyable, very good episode not just of Greek, but of television.
It took a little contrivance to get the whole crew to Dobler’s (first, the worst snowfall in Cyprus history, then the convenient fact that brand new waitress Ashleigh has a key to the bar), but it was minor compared to the fact that everyone came together in one spot. It was Calvin’s birthday, a neutral occasion for all parties, ΩΧ and ΚΤ alike, to celebrate, and my only thought was, “Why did they never do this before?” Calvin was probably the best person to have in the middle, since he does seem to have the most independent relationships with the rest of the main characters, but it was really just a great opportunity to see the chemistry between the cast and how much fun they seem to be having. We have gotten a lot of different combinations over the years, but never have all eight of the regulars been able to play off each other, and the result in “Midnight Clear” was a very strong showcase for them all.
A lot happened last night, too. Ashleigh and Casey made up, but only after Ashleigh learned Casey and Cappie got back together, and Casey discovered that Ashleigh was dating Simon. We knew a reconciliation was coming, but getting all the secrets out before it happened was smart, and the catalyst being their “girl talk” with Rebecca was a nice external force making them analyze their own friendship.
Rebecca finally confronted Evan during the game of kiss or tell, and he spilled the truth that law school is more important to him than she is right now. Along with his name-dropping to the professor, Evan is looking pretty bad these days, so it’ll be interesting to see how he redeems himself in this final stretch. I think it’s safe to say the Rebecca ship has sailed, though.
Rusty finally got his answer about his homecoming kiss, but it wasn’t all good news. He found out it was Ashleigh, and set his sights on her, but she crushed his hopes in the end, telling him he must have misread the situation. It’s clear she wasn’t being totally honest, and is probably just trying to protect her freshly mended friendship with Casey, but it was still a big letdown for Rusty.
There wasn’t a lot of momentum with Casey/Cappie, Dale, or Calvin, but any more and the episode would have felt overstuffed. Calvin acted nicely as mediator between the different rivalries, Cappie and Dale got to play around with their odd friendship, and Casey and Cappie just got to be together, with no silly conflicts coming between them. At this point, they’re together, and there should be no need to force conflict just for its own sake.
If I have one complaint, it’s that the Dobler’s stuff wasn’t long enough. The whole main cast in one pre-existing set screams “bottle episode,” but it didn’t happen until the second half of the episode, after several sequences in the various houses with various guest stars. A lot of the stuff that happened before Dobler’s, particularly at Rusty and Dale’s apartment, needed to happen, but it would have been nice to get an even longer chunk of time with Rusty, Calvin, Casey, Cappie, Rebecca, Evan, Ashleigh, and Dale just goofing around in the warm, fully-stocked bar.
But things never felt too rushed, and the episode was so much fun, that that’s a minor quibble. It’s episodes like “Midnight Clear” that make me realize I’m actually going to miss this show.
Bits & Pieces
- I didn’t even get around to the idea of the “law school curse,” but I’m not sure how necessary it was. It gave Rebecca more of a reason to question Evan then and there, but it was clear she was unhappy and they were headed for a break-up anyway. I guess it was more a reason for people to look more closely at their relationships, but certainly isn’t a hard and fast curse.
- From the moment Dale said the cake was in the fridge, it was clear it wouldn’t be making an appearance at the party.
- In Calvin’s birthday speech, a good meta nod to the fact that not all of the characters actually know each other that well, as strange as it seems at this point.
- Getting rid of the recurring characters seemed a bit forced, too (Rusty blew off Abby, Dale ignored Laura, Simon didn’t feel wanted, Heath got stuck in the snowstorm), but, again, it was worth it for just the core cast to be all together.
- “With that dimpled chin and those buttery blonde highlights, it’s pretty clear who’s in the right here…. It’s Casey.”
- “Were there signs things were bad with you and Evan before you broke up?” “Well, he slept with you…”
- Things are going well between Katherine and Beaver (ahem, Walter): “Two consenting adults fulfilling mutual needs quite frequently with a consistent level of satisfaction.”
- “Let’s keep talking like this, it makes everything sound so much better!”
- Dale’s impossible math question to Casey during kiss and tell was a nice play off his longstanding crush on her, and it was nice Cappie wasn’t affected by it.
- In fact, another strong element of the episode was the number of callbacks to previous story lines and relationships. Evan and Casey, Evan and Cappie, and Rebecca and Cappie all got referenced, and it was nice to see that the writers didn’t just forget about all the shared history between the group.
Only three episodes left! Share your thoughts on “Midnight Clear” in the comments section below!