“Chasing Life” recap (1.16): Secret Sleepover of Secrets

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Speaking of love interests, Teenage Dream calls April and begs her to interview him at homecoming to impress a girl who actually said yes to him. Admittedly, she might have said yes because Julian mentioned the potential article, but still. April agrees to come help the kid out, after the party where she plans to get the scoop on the baseball player.

After school, Greer shows up at the tattoo parlor. A place that provides permanent rebel-stains that is also where the ex-girlfriend you parents banned you from seeing happens to work? It’s like the holy grail of rebellion. When Brenna asks about detention, she scoffs in the face of it, and Ford looks like SHE’S about to kiss Greer on the mouth. Greer invites everyone to Nantucket for the night because why the heck not? She’s got houses to spare. Brenna asks about the whole banned-from-seeing-each-other thing but Greer is finally seeing the wisdom of the age-old adage “what they don’t know can’t hurt them” and tells her to say she’s staying at Ford’s. Greer then gives Brenna the most imploring, mischievous smile and there is literally no way anyone would have been able to say no.

Chasing Life 116-4Gracie Dzienny nailed this episode.

So it’s settled. The ferry’s at seven.

Before they go, though, Greer wants a tattoo. Kieran laughs it off; she’s under 18, and besides she should really think about what she wanted before she commits to something that will last forever. Greer flips out at this, saying she’s sick and tired of people dictating her life for her SHE WANTS A TATTOO GODDAMNIT GET YOUR NEEDLE, PUNK. Kieran panickedly agrees and asks Brenna for help getting supplies in the back. When they’re alone, he asks Brenna what’s up with her girl and Brenna says she doesn’t know, but she’s been acting really weird lately, and it was all fun and games when it was a skipped class here and there, but now she’s starting to get worried. Brenna’s not sure Nantucket is such a good idea anymore, and Kieran asks how they’re going to break that news to Greer without her going all psycho on their asses. Well, Greer had chosen that moment to storm back and find out what was taking so damn long to find a sketch of a unicorn playing tennis and overhears what Kieran said. And no one likes being called a psycho, especially when they’re not feeling particularly in control of their own faculties at the moment, so Greer locks herself in the bathroom. 

Chasing Life 116-5“Way harsh, Tai.”

Brenna knocks on the door but Greer is not particularly interested in talking to people who think she’s psychotic. Ford bails—this is not the fun time she was hoping for—and Kieran goes out front to give them space, so Brenna coaxes Greer out of the bathroom, asking why she hasn’t been herself lately. Greer says maybe this is herself, she wouldn’t really know. When Brenna asks her to clarify, she confesses that she’s been on prescription medication for anxiety and depression pretty much as long as she can remember (some of you totally called that). She had been asking her parents to let her try to stop taking them, to see what she was like without them, but in their style, they threatened to stop paying for things like, say, her education if she didn’t do as they said.

Greer apologizes to Brenna, saying she feels like she lied to her since she didn’t mention any of this while they were together. Brenna assures her there are no hard feelings, she didn’t lie, she just omitted some very private truths. She also confesses that the whole Florida Incident wasn’t about roofies, her pills just don’t mix well with alcohol. Kieran comes back to check on them, and when Greer says she should just go, Brenna says she doesn’t want Greer to go home alone to her big empty house, Kieran suggests a sleepover at the shop. Just the three of them.

Chasing Life 116-6 If Kieran can get over himself, I’d be OK with Brenna dating both of them again.

Now, I want to talk about this for a second, so if you’re only here for show facts, scoot on down to the next paragraph. Because I want to dissect what’s going on with Greer a little bit, to the best of my ability. This is a big reveal. Greer, the happy, bubbly tennis star, who is more than happy to be open about her sexuality, and is able to have mature and honest conversations about sex and monogamy and relationships, hid this big part of her life from Brenna. From everyone. Not to mention, her parents put her on this medication when she was a child. This means either she had behavioral problems or psychological issues severe enough that a doctor would medicate a seven-year-old for something more than ADHD. That’s serious stuff. OR, another option, and a far less fortunate one, is that her parents couldn’t be bothered with discipline, so they drugged their child to keep her docile.

Either way, it was out of Greer’s hands, and even as she got older and wanted to be in control of her own body, she was threatened and told she wasn’t allowed to; no one giving her any other reason as to why she had to keep taking the pills besides “because we said so.” And Greer got sick of it. If I had to pinpoint the exact moment Greer decided she was done taking the pills, done giving in to her parents’ threats, I would say it was the moment Brenna said she couldn’t even stick up for herself, let alone for Brenna. Because Greer knew she was right. Because now her parents weren’t just controlling her life, but they were controlling other people’s lives too. Suddenly she had something more to fight for than just “I want to know what happens if I stop taking these pills.” Suddenly she had someone to fight for.

And so she stopped taking the pills. (And dyed her hair purple, because it’s the easiest way for someone under 18 to start taking control of her own body.) But the thing is, the subsequent acting out? This could be a few things. If she stopped taking the pills when I think she did, she’s been off them for a month, tops. After ten years of taking medication, your body isn’t going to be rid of them or their effects after only a month. Not to mention, even once those meds are out of your system, whatever chemicals or functions they had been holding back get to run around free and have to figure out where to settle and what their jobs are. On top of that, you have teenage hormones. Which could have been a factor in why she stopped taking the pills, why she’s acting out, or both. So anyway, I guess my point is, just because Greer stopped taking the pills, doesn’t mean Greer actually has any psychological disorders. But just because her parents never gave her a choice on whether or not she could take them doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any psychological disorders. Only time will tell.

Chasing Life 116-7

Aaaaanyway, while the Secret Sleepover of Secrets is happening, April uses her scheming journalism ways to talk to the athlete she wanted to chat with. They get along pretty well, and they get to the point where April’s almost ready to ask him for the scoop when he gets pulled away to a dance. It’s getting late now, and she has to decide if she stays and chases the story, or goes and helps out Julian at the homecoming dance.

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