Season 2, Episode 43: Juliet and Her Romeo
Aired: April 22, 2001
I watched this episode this morning, and I'm so glad I did because it really perked up an otherwise rainy day. Also, much to my immense disbelief, this is actually a decent episode. Of course, when I say that, it's still melodramatic and ridiculous, bordering on still more narcissism on Caitlin's part, but that's just Caitlin's Way for you. It's the quality of the writing I've come to expect these days, so given that I'm thrilled to announce that this is the first episode I actually liked. Well enough, anyway.
So we start out with Griffen playing his guitar and all of the other cast members besides Caitlin recite lines from Romeo and Juliet. The camera shots are moody and deep, you guys. Oh my God, there are shots of sunsets! And people who are back lit and shot at low angles! Holy crap, this show means business now. Naturally I enjoyed this section far more than I realistically should have, mainly because of how moody it was.
Enter abbreviated opening sequence before we focus in on Caitlin, who is sitting alone in the drama classroom singing along to her CD player. Cue drama teacher. Drama teacher walks in and informs her that she's singing. Caitlin's like "what are you gonna do about it?" or something. The teacher flutters on about how Caitlin should try out for the musical they're going to put on, Juliet and Her Romeo. Caitlin thinks to herself that her voice isn't all that bad, so hey, why not? Only the thing is her life is so unlike that of Juliet for she has no boyfriend! Damn. We're still at the point where Caitlin is wearing her hair down, so of course this means Caitlin is still desperate to attract the opposite sex. Namely, she wants to attract Will, who I guess she got together with in earlier episodes and has since broken up with (for amusing reasons...at least, to me, but I'll get to that in a minute).
Dori and Jim are reading for parts as Juliet's parents, and they manage to read into their parts to the point that we're making comparisons between the Capulets and their parental guardian capabilities regarding Caitlin. Of course this was bound to happen. This isn't really important. They bicker over whether or not Jim made Caitlin break up with Will or whether Caitlin did it because she wanted to.
Moving on, Caitlin is getting something out of her locker when Will and Griffen run up in fencing uniforms. They fence and speak their lines from the play and there is a MOMENT when Will and Caitlin have to look at each other. Oh my God, it's too much! Or something, so they fence somewhere else and Caitlin goes to read for the play. The teacher likes it and has her called back later so she can read some more. Seriously, this is a community play. How much deliberation do we need here?
Apparently we need a lot, or just enough to pit Caitlin against Taylor, the Blond Girl. They both want to be Juliet, and since they sort of hate each other or are friends but are competitive or are friends because they are both so attention starved they have only each other and can't stand it, this was bound to happen. So Taylor and Brett apparently hooked up at some point earlier on, but they broke up recently. Brett is going to be Romeo, so they're going over the play because Taylor figures she's going to be Juliet and she must be prepared, damn it. But she points out that there is no way in hell they are going to kiss on stage because it would be AWKWARD given they, like, kissed in real life previously. Brett takes some time here to push her hair back and find the necklace that she's wearing...the same necklace that he gave her! At some point! Taylor brushes this off and says there's someone else now. Someone who is so way better. And this someone better is Will.
So Taylor and Will drive off on his dirt bike, leaving Brett and Caitlin on the sidewalk to commiserate. Only this eventually leads to Will and Griffen practicing fencing some more at the ranch, resulting in DISCUSSION about how Mercutio and Tybalt apply to their daily lives because dying for friendship/family is relevant in this show? Maybe? Well, anyway, after this practice session, Will runs into Caitlin outside the barn and they get into another fight where Will is mostly right:
Caitlin: "You think she's shallow and stuck-up! You're only going out with her to get back at me!"
Will: "I don't do anything because of you! I like Taylor! She's fun. She's beautiful. And you know what? She doesn't play mind games!"
Caitlin: "I don't play mind games!"
Will: "Yes you do! You pretend you're cool, like you do whatever you wanna' do. But really, you follow the rules just like all the people you put down!"
Caitlin: "That's not true! I just wish I had never even met you!"
So it's established that Caitlin plays mind games and is really uncool, and Will is trying to make Caitlin jealous. That's pretty much obvious. Then they both pull a Joanna Campbell. Caitlin rips out of there on Bandit and Will rides his dirt bike into a ditch. So he gets whisked to the hospital. In the meantime, I guess Taylor has come to her senses about what a bad prospect Will is (don't worry, reasons for this are coming) and tells Caitlin that she more or less doesn't want to be with him and wishes her luck on the try out for Juliet. This means Caitlin has to go to the hospital instead of try out for the play, I suppose. So Taylor goes and tries out for Juliet, acting with Brett during the scene where they would, of course, kiss. They act it out and the drama teacher likes it despite the fact that Taylor turns her head to the side so they don't have to kiss. Then Taylor changes her mind and kisses him. So they start making out on the balcony set, completely ignoring the teacher screaming at them to stop.
Meanwhile, I guess Griffen has a girlfriend? This is the most unexpected thing ever, but then my suspicions of this are proven when they break up because he's spending too much time with the guys and since she's now taken over the part of Mercutio it will be easier to fence with her if he doesn't hold back and keep treating her like a girl he might have been interested in if he was a good boyfriend, which he isn't. So they break up. THAT I expected.
Caitlin goes to the hospital and starts to talk to Will, thinking he's sleeping. Only he's not sleeping and she gets pissed at him for actually hearing what she said. This results in this gem of a conversation:
Caitlin: "I really miss you. I want us to be together but you just keep pulling me into your darkness and I don't wanna' go there."
Will: "I don't wanna' go there either. I miss you too. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me. Caitlin, I'm messed up. I know that. But I really wanna' get my stuff together because I wanna' be with you. Will you help me?"
Caitlin: "Yes. Of course I will."
You guys, he was pulling her into his darkness. Considering I haven't seen any of these purportedly dark episodes, I can only giggle at the possibilities of what his darkness is. Although I think at one point his darkness included getting Caitlin to make a crop circle with him? Or something? Well, anyway, all I can help thinking is there should be no way Caitlin should need to help Will with his darkness problems. She's sixteen. Best not to deal with darkness now, Caitlin. If he has darkness issues at sixteen, who knows how that's going to manifest when he's actually expected to act like a responsible adult.
Coming back to Taylor and Brett, they're walking across a parking lot and she's talking about how she guesses they can do the kiss now without their hatred for each other coming across to the audience. Then they sort of realize how idiotic that is, so she gives him that look that implies that she'd really like him to prove her wrong so they can kiss in public again, and he gets it and kisses her. Yay them. I actually like them. I...feel really weird about this.
And we end with Caitlin singing some song from the musical about Romeo while sitting out in a field with Will and Bandit. Her voice over insists that she's not like Juliet because her love is not doomed. It's starting. Yeah, sorry to break it to you, sweetie, but it's doomed. Please refer back to your earlier hospital room conversation for proof of this.