Thursday, April 29, 2021

REVIEW: 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' - Matilda and Drea Fight for Happiness as Long as They Can in 'California Banana Slugs'

Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay - Episode 2.05 "California Banana Slugs"

Genevieve gets a present from a boy. Matilda and Drea do some online shopping of their own. Nicholas and Drea have a heartfelt one-on-one.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"California Banana Slugs" was written by Vivienne Walshe and directed by Rachael Holder

Nicholas fears that Matilda and Drea are making mistakes that will only hurt them in the future. He cares about their well-being. He is protective. He doesn't want anything bad to happen to them. He knows how extreme they can respond when the circumstances around them change or don't produce a desirable result. And yet, he also doesn't quite give them enough credit either. He doesn't entirely understand their relationship. He does the bare minimum in trying to research. His understanding of asexuality is exactly as it is perceived. That's not the way he processes love or relationships. Sex and romance are always intertwined. That's not what Drea experiences though. She gets that same rush of love and romance through intimate connection with someone. It doesn't have to be sexual in order for her to be satisfied. Sure, she is jealous and annoyed that Matilda needs a sexual component in this relationship. She has to be okay with that added wrinkle to this dynamic. She is willing to do so while also acknowledging that it could lead to pain and sadness at some point. They simply believe that it's better to try to be happy for as long as possible in this relationship. Matilda and Drea acknowledge that it may not last. What they are okay with right now may change in the future. Drea wants to make Matilda happy. She is putting forward that effort. It's uncomfortable. Ian also happens to spend a lot of time in the house interacting with the family. That isn't necessary. Matilda wants to be a good host. She doesn't want this to be all about the sex. Of course, it fundamentally is. She just has her own way of going about that. It's a form of courtesy that she offers the world despite how strange it may seem to others. Nicholas doesn't understand. He wants to protect Matilda. And yet, she is old enough now to make her own mature decisions. Yes, she and Drea have made some questionable choices this season. Not all of them can be defined as such though. Moreover, they may pass along the lesson that one can't fear the pain and sadness that can come from a relationship. Right now, Nicholas and Alex are in a weird place. Nicholas knows that he must apologize. He doesn't know how to do that though. He doesn't care about various human interactions. It's difficult for him to step up and provide others with what they need. It's not something he can just adapt to according to an outline Alex can easily look up online. Alex has those expectations though. He wants Nicholas to try to engage more. He needs that empathy. At the moment, Alex has support from his family. However, his father is constantly saying disparaging comments about his mother. He doesn't want that. It's still a part of this conversation though. He can vent about his relationship with Nicholas. His father says that relationships don't get better. People are simply willing to compromise too much. It's better not to get invested in hoping for change. It's not coming. That is incredibly cynical. It's informed by the past. Alex still has to decide how the future looks for his bond with Nicholas. He needs more. It's that simple. It's more difficult to actually provide that though. A lot of Nicholas' life has been in sacrifice to others. He found his path as an entomologist. Drea finally pulls out why he was intrigued by that profession. It's a nice sentiment as well. Again, these dynamics are so relaxed and comfortable. The family still pulls compelling qualities out of each other. It's exciting when Genevieve gets a gift from a boy. It's charming in the awkwardness when they talk on the phone. They build up to agreeing to go on a date. It's sweet. It comes across as an accurate portrayal of teenage angst in this situation. It's part of these characters growing more comfortable in stepping into the world. They have so much comfort at home. It's scary when they pursue something else. Nicholas doesn't see the urgency in doing so. He doesn't have to accept Ian. And yet, Matilda and Drea already have a whole routine for how to rid him of this space afterwards. In that way, it seems like they have thought things out in a mature way while leaving Nicholas completely behind. That's not comforting. He is on his own path though. It's one made more complicated by having to care for his sisters. He must embrace some emotional growth though. That will only make him a better boyfriend and a functional member of society. He doesn't have to spend too much time outside the confines of this place. He can still challenge the norms of the world. He has to be open to accepting new and unexpected things. Of course, he then has to atone when he goes too far as well. He must be empathetic and willing to listen. That engagement makes people even more compassionate and understanding.