Thursday, February 6, 2020

REVIEW: 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' - Nicholas Meets Alex's Friends During a Fun Party in 'West African Giant Black Millipedes'

Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay - Episode 1.05 "West African Giant Black Millipedes"

Nicholas has forgotten how to talk to grown ups! He has a dinner party to meet Alex's best friends. Matilda goes to her first high school party with a goal in mind. Genevieve and her friends get riled up and act in the name of justice.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay.

"West African Giant Black Millipedes" was written by Catya McMullen and directed by Silas Howard

This episode experiments with the format in an interesting way. So much of the storytelling so far has been contained to the core family interacting with each other. That aspect is taken out of the show completely here. Nicholas and Alex's story may take place in the family home. However, Matilda and Genevieve are just gone. They aren't interacting with this dinner party at all. Sure, Matilda's story of what happens at Luke's party informs what happens in Genevieve's story later on. But that showcases the unique identities each of these characters have. They are informed by these close relationships. They also exist independent of one another. Genevieve may try her best to stand up and defend Matilda whenever she can. That can just sometimes be a burden she doesn't quite know how to channel. The teenage stories are much more significant and dramatic as well. They showcase how they view the world according to a certain wavelength. They feel the pressure to act and behave a certain way. Nicholas and Alex don't face that. They are comfortable in their lives and in their own skin. Sure, things are awkward when Nicholas has to act as if he doesn't know that one of Alex's friends has just lost her brother to an overdose. But he is willing to lie in order to defend Alex and how awkward he thought all of this would become. Alex is eager for Nicholas to meet his friends and enjoy their company. And yes, it is a fun dinner party. It's particularly joyous when Nicholas gets dressed up in drag and absolutely kills a lip sync number. That is a wonderful and intoxicating moment. Before that can occur though, it's beneficial for people to take some time to themselves in order to sort out things that have happened. Yes, people have to be responsible in the moment and respect the feelings of other people. Nicholas and Alex aren't sure how to react in the moment. Later on though, Alex's friends see just how special this relationship is. As such, they are more than willing to approve and go on to having fun together for as long as possible. Elsewhere, Matilda has given herself this goal of having sex while in high school. She has a crush on Luke and needs to act on those feelings. He continues to prove himself as a gentleman who genuinely likes her as a friend because of her unique perspective on the world but doesn't want to lead her on thinking it could develop into romance. He is an upstanding guy trying to do the right thing. It leaves her devastated because she believes all teenage guys just want to have sex. It's dangerous that her drinking and crying leads her to actually having that moment with Zane. She initiates a lot of it. She wants to have sex. She cautions about wearing a condom and even provides it. She sees herself as a responsible teen having sex for the first time. She is considerate. It's only later when Genevieve projects a sense of inappropriateness onto it. She doesn't have that conversation with Matilda though. Instead, it's an action she deals with alongside her friends who blow it up into a big thing believing they have to act as feminists now. They have to condemn the man who would take advantage of a girl in this way. Things were somewhat lost in translation as Matilda told Genevieve this story. Things are lost even more when she tells Tallulah and Barb. That never stops them though. It just means Nicholas gets a call from the school telling him to come down to address the issue. That means these characters won't be separated for too long. It was just an episodic flourish in order to better tell stories about their own individual interests. It was very effective in that regard. They can be neurotic and unsure of how to act. Their actions do have consequences. It may work out for some of them in the end. Nicholas and Alex certainly have the maturity necessary to know how to navigate the world confident with what they do. Matilda and Genevieve are still finding their paths while trying to conform to some predetermined notions of what femininity means in today's world. It's a complicated subject matter. One that could easily lead to despair and traumatic situations. But the show balances all of that in such a delicate way where the threat is present if not too obvious either.