Greek is coming down the homestretch, and while episodes like last week’s “Midnight Clear” are nice chances to just enjoy some time with the main characters, ones like last night’s “Subclass Plagiostomi” seem more like placeholders that are just there to put the pieces in place for the final two episodes. There wasn’t a big nostalgia component, nor was there much character action. Basically, it was a plot-driven episode that tried to tie up some of the loose ends so they wouldn’t get in the way of saying goodbye to everyone over the next couple of weeks.
The series is never at its best when dealing with big overarching plots, especially when they aren’t particularly character-driven. ΖΒΖ burning down the ΓΨ house in the middle of the third season (which we got reference to last night) was a notable misstep for Greek, as the show never quite knew how to deal with those high stakes; it tried to ground them in Casey’s guilt, but the plot itself never really paid off.
This season, we’ve had the slow build of a faceless conspiracy against the ΚΤ house. I haven’t found as much tension there as the show seems to want me to believe, but up to this point, it hasn’t played a huge role. Last night, though, the conspiracy took on a more central role, as the fake ΚΤ grade booster gets discovered and his now-failing grades threaten to take down the whole house. It all gets mistakenly tied in with what turns out to be Dale’s fake ΩΧ bid, but if the resolution to that plot is anything like what the writers are planning for the bigger conspiracy (which I’m sure they’re saving for the finale), I can’t say I’m looking forward to the reveal. We’re supposed to believe that Tripp and the other villainous ΩΧ brothers orchestrated Dale’s whole pledge process just so he could embarrass himself by mooning the talent show audience? And all just to get back at Rusty? Granted, the scheme was on a smaller scale, but the payoff still didn’t live up to the setup, and I hope the grander conspiracy gets a more fitting resolution.
Another big difference between this and last week’s episodes, which the conspiracy plot helped highlight, is the fact that the characters were so clearly divided into undergrad/post-grad camps most of the time. Evan and Casey continued their law school duel, with Cappie and Ashleigh along for the ride, while Rusty, Calvin, Dale and Rebecca dealt with their Greek life problems. While it was nice that everyone got some screen time (unlike some of the earlier episodes this season), parts like Cappie’s botched CIA interview felt shoehorned in, as if they wrote the episode and then realized Scott Michael Foster didn’t have enough scenes.
This is all to say that I felt a bit disappointed with “Subclass Plagiostomi.” We saw last week what Greek can do when firing on all cylinders, and when there are only a few episodes left, it should be turning out those top-notch episodes each week. Instead, we got the rushed resolutions to several under-developed story lines that just set things up for the final episodes: Ashleigh sees herself dating Simon long-term after only meeting him two weeks ago, then breaks up with him by episode’s end (!); Cappie has a job prospect, then doesn’t; Evan plays dirty and reveals Casey broke the rules, but she wins anyway. A 10-episode season, shorter than usual even for a cable series, meant the show was going to have to cut some corners. I just wish the writers could have perhaps skipped some of those story lines altogether, rather than rushing to develop and resolve them without giving them full attention.
Despite these drawbacks, there were some bright spots. It was nice to see Rebecca snap out of her post-breakup funk and help out Dale, as was it rewarding to see Casey and Katherine work their shark-ness to win their mock trial and put Evan in his place (and as manipulative as he is, I hope they don’t reveal that his “I miss my relationships” speech was actually true). Even a sub-par episode has its moments; I just wish they came together to form something a little more cohesive.
Bits & Pieces
- Since they had to get Ashleigh out of her dream job in New York to come back to CRU, maybe the crazy professor’s marketing firm will end up working out for her. It would certainly be preferable to her ending up a trophy wife for a creepy law professor.
- Was it just me, or was the music oddly jarring last night? Evan’s fake “I miss Rebecca” moment to Casey, the break-in to Dale’s room, and the confrontation between Natalie and Rebecca especially stood out as overscored.
- With all the talk of “transactions” and getting something in return for a donation, I was surprised we never got mention of quid pro quo, especially in the law school setting.
- Along with the callback to Rebecca’s role in burning down the ΓΨ house, Natalie also made reference to her days as a lesbian. Lots of trips down memory lane this season.
- “I want Simon’s colleagues to respect me.” “I think you can do that without looking like a Republican.”
Only two episodes to go… Share your thoughts on “Subclass Plagiostomi” in the comments section below!