Although the main characters have all stayed at CRU this season, despite many of them graduating, much has been made about how much they’ve changed and grown up over the years. Last night’s episodes, aptly titled “Agents of Change,” was a real showcase for that change, nicely reminding us who these characters have always been, but at the same time demonstrating that they’re not the same exact people we met when Greek started four years ago.
Tiffany Dupont returned as everyone’s favorite backstabber and former ΖΒΖ president Frannie to epitomize that balance between change and same old. Frannie now works at CAA in L.A. — a very different type of fast-paced, high-stakes environment to the sorority house at CRU. Once she reunites with Casey, Ashleigh, and Rebecca, though, her catty side starts to creep back out, and despite her claims at having changed, it seems too good to be true.
As Greek wraps up, it’s nice to get reminders of elements from the show’s past, and Frannie was good in her guest appearance, even though she functioned as more of a plot device than a character with her own motivations. I’m not sure how much I buy that Frannie would have rearranged her whole schedule just so she could fly to Cyprus to help out and impress Casey, but her speech to Casey at the end of the episode was a great capper, and a good commentary on the series as a whole. It might seem really important right now, just as it might be hard to imagine there’s only one episode left, but once it ends, it will become a collection nice memories, even if they don’t carry the same weight as they once did. In the end, Casey realized it might be time for a change, thanks to some advice from an old enemy who proved that change actually was possible.
Evan and Rusty — perhaps the most unlikely combination of characters on the show — shared the other biggest change-related storyline last night. After hearing that the Chambers Corp. was interested in his wire, Rusty approached Evan to see if he could find out the details. Evan refused, not wanting to speak with his parents for the first time in almost a year just as a favor to Rusty, but after a motivating conversation with Calvin, he changed his mind, and the two went on a road trip to the Chambers estate.
It was good to see Evan hold onto some of his jerkiness, especially in his resistance to helping Rusty, but the plot also did a great job of humanizing him after keeping him in asshole territory for so much of the season. They way he had been dealing with Casey and Rebecca had really zapped him of any sympathy, but seeing again that he is a product of distant parents who always taught him that personal relationships take a backseat to professional ones put his behavior in perspective. It doesn’t excuse Evan’s past actions, but it did set him up for some redemption in the finale, and was a really nice use of Jake McDorman and Jacob Zachar, who rarely get to share scenes, especially if they don’t involve pledge paddles. If nothing else, it showed that they were capable of change, able to put the past behind them and respect each other, even if they won’t even be the friends Mr. Chambers described them as.
Calvin and Dale finally standing up to Tripp and the rest of the ΩΧ house was the third main plot line. After yet another insult from Tripp, Calvin threatened to quit the fraternity, but Evan convinced him that would be the easy way out, and that he needed to tackle the problem head-on (advice that Calvin nicely spun back on Evan himself). Calvin recruited Dale and the two of them interrupted the chapter meeting with a speech about brotherhood, which ultimately led to Dale being let back in and Tripp admitting defeat.
It was a little too convenient that the whole pledge class was on Dale’s side, and that the rest of the brothers seemed to flip flop from supporting Tripp to supporting Calvin (especially since they had already switched from Calvin to Tripp earlier in the season), but it fit nicely thematically, and even reminded us that Tripp wasn’t always the villain he’s made out to be. ΩΧ is definitely the “clichéd jerk frat everyone hates” on the surface, but here we got to remember why it’s not so bad after all.
Finally, the weakest part of the episode had to be the (supposed) reveal of “Villain X”: Pledge Spidey. Lasker Parkes returned as a favor to Cappie to bail out the ΚΤ house to save it from condemnation, and it gave rise to pent up daddy-issues in Spidey, who is apparently sick of his father always being the hero. When Greek goes for long-term plot arcs instead of focusing on character stories, it often falters (see: burning down the Gamma Psi house), and I wouldn’t call this story an exception. I’m glad it has been lingering in the background instead of taking the main focus, but Spidey being behind all the problems doesn’t really make sense and isn’t a satisfying conclusion to the arc. I’m sure we’ll get more information next week, but all that storyline did this week was waste Cappie by leaving him out of the big “change” theme, when he’s the one who needed it most.
Looking back, “Agents of Change” had a lot going on, but it didn’t feel too bloated to me. I discussed four of the main threads in depth, and didn’t even get to Rebecca’s role in the ΖΒΖ Golden Lily process (she started to resemble Frannie, but has ultimately grown up a lot, too), Ashleigh’s newfound marketing job (she has talent, just needs the right outlet), or Spidey’s faux appearance as Justin Bieber (not a bad way to get around the fact that Bieber didn’t make a cameo appearance). There was a strong through-line of change, good character development, and a nice setup for next week’s finale.
It’s been a great ride, but Casey, Evan, Ashleigh, and even Cappie can’t stay at college forever. But after this episode, I’m confident we’ll get a satisfying conclusion, leaving us with nice memories of this great group of characters.
Bits & Pieces
- So ΖΒΖ Nationals’ headquarters is apparently some weird cult-like boardroom somewhere.
- “Please don’t be her…” says Rusty as he hears mattress bouncing coming from Cappie’s room.
- “What good is altruism if you can’t benefit from it?” Wise words from the always upstanding Senator Logan.
- For someone who told Rusty never to tip his hand too early, Evan… sure tipped his hand to early at the dining table.
- It was nice to see Dale return to his religious roots, however temporarily. “I’ve turned down my collars.”
- Lasker Parkes is quite the deus ex machina for Cappie. He pretty much offered him a job (or at least a life model) last time, and now he’s bought the house so he can fix it up and save it.
- After the Bieber episode of Glee, some commenters were wondering if the high school girls’ reactions were too over the top. I’m not sure about the answer, but Greek apparently thinks college girls and older national sorority reps would have the same Bieber-fever.
Only one episode left to go…. In the meantime, share your thoughts on “Agents of Change” in the comments section below!