Poor Little Jock
“My whole life I’ve been working towards going pro, being the greatest. And for as long as I could remember I thought that was possible. Then I get to school and I look around and everyone is good, like really really good. I don’t know dad, I’m not the best. I know if I’m not the best there’s no way I’m getting drafted. I don’t know what to do, dad.”
Poor Little Jock should’ve been the name of this episode. This episode is what I’m assuming to be McKay’s backstory, since that’s been the format thus far, and it fell flat to me because there really is nothing special about him. He reminded me of those corny memes on Twitter of people who claim to have ben gifted in middle school that are now depressed and anxious burnouts. His story is that of your typical jock whose father vicariously lives though him in an attempt to achieve the greatness he never could. McKay’s story is basically a less sociopathic version of Nate’s. I’m extremely bored with these stories of boys whose reality comes crashing down because they realize they’ll probably never make it to the NFL. That’s life I guess. McKay’s father instilled in him that he was exceptional and destined to be a star, all while programming him with toxic masculinity as well. If that’s not a setup for failure then I don’t know what is.
Frederick: Because the measure of a man is in how he reacts.
McKay: How am I supposed to react?
Frederick: You take everything you feel, your frustrations, your anger, your rage, you bottle it up and when that snap comes, you explode.
This explosion is exactly what he did to Cassie after he got assaulted in his dorm by those dudebro frat boys. Instead of confronting them, like a man, he instead bottled up his emotions and took it out on Cassie, practically raping her while using her as an outlet to channel his embarrassment and frustration through. He was angry that his manhood had been ridiculed in front of a girl, his girlfriend no less, and to ensure that she wouldn’t look at him any differently he reinforced his manhood onto her.
Their relationship is very odd because to me, they don’t even like each other. No one on this show likes each other for the right reasons really. McKay likes Cassie because he enjoys the way he makes her feel, he enjoys the attention he gets from other guys’ jealousy towards him for having a girlfriend like Cassie. After realizing the chances of him going pro were slim to none, he sought out Cassie and used her as a distraction from the fact that his dreams were over before they began. His plan was to get glory and fame from being the star football player but since that’s been cancelled, Cassie and her boobs are the next best thing. Having Cassie on his arm and in his possession, to him, is no different than having that talent and gift of being a ball player that makes other men jealous. Cassie’s presence is his way of receiving that attention and glory that he otherwise won’t be receiving. And it’s all ironic because he doesn’t even respect her, he doesn’t view her as a person.
I also think his odd attachment to her, as parasitic as it is, could also be why he seems to be so secretly disgusted by her. He resents the attention and notoriety she gets because he could never do the same, and effortlessly so. She commands attention from her beauty simply by existing, meanwhile his father made him practice on the field mercilessly as a child only for him to be rewarded with being benched all season. It’s classic misogyny. Because of this, I think this is why the episode also ended up focusing on Cassie a lot too because she’s become an extension of McKay and his identity at this point.
He’s continuing the vicious cycle of forcing himself—literally—and his ways onto Cassie like his father did to him, like when he practically raped Cassie after being humiliated and forced her to change her Halloween costume to a football player. He has no power over his life and his future so he’s exerting his power onto Cassie, it makes him feel good to know that he has control over something. And if Cassie is pregnant, it’s best that she gets an abortion because being stuck with a man like McKay is akin to a lifelong prison sentence.
Lust At First Sight
Cassie may be a little naive and dumb but she certainly doesn’t deserve any of this. She mistakes lust and infatuation for genuine interest and love because to her, something is better than nothing. And unfortunately, her alcoholic mother isn’t equipped to guide and teach her the ways of the world, so she’s on her own and is learning things the hard way, as most young girls do. I’m hoping that her experiences with McKay and Daniel will teach her that niggas ain’t shit and the attention they give is worth even less than a bag of Hot Fries.
“If we’re not gonna fuck, then what are we doing”?
I’ll tell you what Cassie is doing, she’s getting high off of Daniel’s pheromone supply to get the kind of attention and affection that McKay isn’t giving her. She wants just enough attention but not too much that it’ll ruin the relationship she has with McKay, as if it’s really anything meaningful in the first place. It’s a dangerous game to play though, especially with a guy like Daniel who hates to take no for an answer because the only thing that matters is getting his rocks off. He tried to coerce Cassie into having sex with him with the old blue balls story, telling her he really likes her and wouldn’t tell anybody, and even forcing her head with his hand, but in the end none of it worked and it triggered his inner incel.
The funniest part of this episode to me was Daniel’s whole “Who do you think you are?” spiel because it was nothing but him unmasking himself after having his ego bruised. Daniel was mad that she wouldn’t fuck him because how dare she, the school’s slut, have agency to decide who she wants to have sex with and when? His reaction says more about him than anything. His costume as Ted Bundy was a fitting one and I would even go as far to say that it was barely a costume. Ted Bundy was a man who used his charm and good looks to weasel his way into women’s lives for a brief moment to get what he wanted, which was ultimately to desecrate women. Daniel thought so low of Cassie that he believed his shallow words of flattery and whining about how hard she made his dick would be enough to get a lay out of her and it didn’t, so now he’s on a mission to hurt her ego and feelings the same way she (unintentionally) did to him. But by the end of the episode it looked like Kat was willing to take his sad ass off Cassie’s hands.
I really didn’t even want to write about Kat’s storyline in this episode because it’s boring to me at this point. I’ve seen enough of young girls using sex and sex work as a bandaid for their issues while presenting it as empowerment from being on Twitter for several years now, her storyline is straight off of a sex posi choice feminist’s timeline. I’m glad she’s starting to become more comfortable in her skin as a fat girl but she’s not completely there yet, no matter what she says or how many people on twitter cheer her on. There’s nothing I hate more than young girls and women labeling their unhealthy relationship with sex and men as empowerment because it’s nothing but a road to self-destruction. Been there, done that.
I know that Kat is still insecure and hasn’t addressed the root of her problems because she’s still being unnecessarily standoffish to Ethan and has the most childish communication skills that’s nothing but her projecting and being defensive. She doesn’t want to talk about why she’s being mean to Ethan and acting weird, she doesn’t want to mention what happened at the carnival because she knows that she acted impulsively on insecurities as I mentioned last week. Ethan seems like a halfway decent guy (I say halfway because all men are trash and most of them show themselves eventually) and I think she’s engaging in self-sabotage because she’s afraid. It’s hilarious to see her talking down on virgins because they get emotionally attached, meanwhile her defensive behavior towards Ethan is still a form of attachment—an avoidant one nonetheless—because if she didn’t like him, she really wouldn’t care. But bless her for getting head in the bathroom though. If a man comes in his pants while giving head, he’s a keeper.
“You know when you’re with someone and things just don’t feel right, but you’re afraid to ask because the answer might be worse than the feeling right now?”
Jules was on some shit this episode, that tequila to be exact. When Rue realized she was the reason that Jules decided to get shitfaced I felt so bad. This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen and I kind of figured this would happen since they’ve left so many things unsaid between them. When Lexi urged that her and Rue leave the party, there was a reluctant pain in Rue’s voice when she said, “I can’t leave her. I can’t fucking leave her.” and I knew she meant it in more ways than one.
“Although I joy in thee, I have no joy in this contract tonight. It’s too rash, too unadvised, too sudden. Too like the light in which thou doth cease to breathe. Ere, one can say it lightens. Sweet, good night. this bud of love by summer’s ripening breath may prove a beauteous flower when we next meet.”
I’ve never been good at translating and making sense of Shakespearean language but I’m pretty sure Jules was alluding to her friendship with Rue feeling heavy and burdensome, despite being in a drunken stupor she’s realized how quickly the bond between her and Rue has grown and it’s beginning to make her uncomfortable because of its rushed nature.
At this point I think if her and Jules aren’t going to be honest with each other about the current state of their friendship and Rue’s sobriety, then maybe they should put a little distance between each other. Jules is in deeper shit now because of her situation with Nate, especially after filing a false police report under his instructions, and at the end of the episode Rue seemed to be curious of what’s going on now. I can see Rue willingly getting herself involved because she loves Jules so much but I can tell you now that it won’t be a good idea.
Rue and Lexi seem to be on a good road to repairing their friendship and I’m hoping it continues because Rue needs someone stable and sober in her corner. I love Rue and Jules but I’m rooting for Rue’s sobriety and happiness more than anything so…
“And maybe Ali was right about Jules, cause this doesn’t feel good.”
Speaking of sobriety, Gia needs to get it together. I haven’t the slightest clue as to why she would even bother going out of her way to immerse herself in the world of drugs after seeing what Rue’s been through, and what Gia and her mother has been through as a result. Honestly if I were Rue I would snitch to their mom at this point because it always starts with something.
Seeing Rue take that ugly twin to the basement and threaten him with characters from The Wire showed me that Rue is actually a force to be reckoned with. You can tell that she’s fiercely protective of her loved ones and is beginning to prioritize her relationships with those around her instead of the drugs. I can see there’s a fire in her, a passion in her despite her believing and even flat out stating that she’s not passionate about anything. She just needs to explore life and get to know herself better to unearth that fire some more.
Seeing her also apologize to Fez was great because even though he’s a drug dealer and not ideally the kind of person someone clean from drugs should be befriending, he’s also not the kind of person to enable Rue as seen in episode x when Rue was screaming at his door for drugs. He has a good heart and great character, better than like 90% of the people on this show ironically. The fangirl part of me wants to ship Rue and Fez but I know she doesn’t need any romantic relationships until she gets right with herself.
“Listen Rue you a drug addict. I don’t take nothin’ drug addicts say personally. ‘Cause I don’t believe nothing a drug addict says. I love you. I hate you. You the best. Go fuck yourself. It’s all the same shit you know what I’m sayin?”
Nate is such a psycho, he literally needs to get a job. Maybe then he could be doing something productive instead of checking in on (read: stalking) Maddy and Jules riding around the city like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. All him and Maddy do is argue and I guarantee you that she’ll get sick of him eventually and I’m waiting for the day when that comes because even being on an emotional rollercoaster becomes tiresome and predictable at some point. Nate is not nearly interesting enough to write about any further because sociopaths have no substance, they’re like 25 cent bags of chips that you get from the papi store that have 3 chips and are full of air. But I will say he is quite the villain, the only villain on this show, yet goes unnoticed for the most part cause he’s so boring and lowkey. He almost reminds me of Zemo in Civil War.
But pretty much every character on this show is toxic and lost in their own way with very dark storylines. And maybe that’s the entire point of the show but I wouldn’t mind a little more humor every now and then to lighten it up a tad bit. I literally feel like smoking crack or hitting up a toxic ex every time I watch an episode.
Honorary Mention: Lexi As Bob Ross
Lexi is the mother of this whole circle of friends, she sees things that no one else does and steps in to help when no one else will. A HERO is what I call her. Her costume was spot on and adorable, my love for her just skyrocketed because of that. And shoutout to her for distracting McKay from entering the room with Daniel and Cassie and telling him Cassie was at home sleep. That’s the bro code.