Dead of Summer
Season 1, Episode 4: “Modern Love”
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Remember how last week I wrote a post about how to make Dead of Summer better? Well I think they read my article and took my advice because this week’s episode “Modern Love” A) was a Drew episode B) had Alex talking a lot less and C) made the camp mystery part of the characters’ storylines.
The Stillwater counselors are all in the counselor only cabin waiting to hear news about Amy. In case you forgot, last week she got massively hit by lightning in the middle of the lake. Joel quips that Amy will be fine by referencing an obscure movie that no one has heard of. Ugh, Joel. Cricket comes into the cabin passing out everyone’s mail. Jessie opens up her letter and instantly rips it to shreds and Drew seems to be the only one to notice. Next Alex finds the yearbook from the summer of 1983 when they were all campers. And by yearbook, I mean just a regular photo album. As they reminisce about the good old days they see a picture of a former camper “Andrea.” And as everyone ponders about whatever happened to her, Drew squirms awkwardly in his chair.
Deb storms in a few minutes later to let everyone know that Amy is going to be a-okay. Everyone looks around at each other and finally, Cricket says what everyone is thinking
Cricket:“One day? After being hit by lightning?”
Deb just ignores Cricket. I mean, if she didn’t question finding a heartless deer carcass in the woods or a dead groundskeeper in the lake, why should she question Amy being totally fine after being struck by lightning?
Drew gets so startled and freaked out that he falls backwards into the lake. When he emerges, his clothes are soaked and clinging to him. Clinging to body parts that he doesn’t want anyone to see because they are a part of a body he doesn’t belong in. Luckily Jessie is there to hand Drew a helping hand/towel. And by helping hand I mean a backstabbing bitchy hand as she reveals to Drew that she knows he used to be the camper they knew as “Andrea.” Good thing Drew is fucking awesome and picked up Jessie’s ripped up letter which revealed she has an upcoming court date. Well it looks like you two are at a standstill. (NOTE: The only reason I am using the name “Andrea” at all is because the characters refer to the character, and because of the ghost Drew keeps seeing. I am putting the name in quotes because it is not Drew’s name).
Joel has brought the “yearbook” from Deb’s camper days to breakfast because he is a talker. He keeps raving about how hot Deb was as a hippie and truthfully my excitement for this Joel/Deb relationship (which will be referred to as Jeb moving forward) is decreasing every time Joel talks. Cricket could care less about Deb’s hotness. She is freaked out by the man standing behind Deb in the picture who is wearing the same wooden horse mask that she saw in her dream. Cricket’s freakout is cut short though because Garrett brings Amy back to camp after her post-lightning strike milkshake where she is greeted by an “I am glad you are alive after being struck by lightning in a blood filled lake” sign. When a camper goes to bring Amy a welcome home balloon though, Drew sees the ghost of “Andrea” staring back at him. He runs to the bathroom to try to escape and just keeps seeing an evil black-eyed “Andrea” staring back at him in the mirror whispering “You can’t hide who you are.”
And thank the lord, this last incident with Drew seeing his ghost FINALLY gets the seven counselors to starts talking to each other about all the creepy shit happening at camp. You know, Amy seeing her dead friend, Alex seeing his dead grandfather, and Cricket seeing wooden horse masked men and having her boots stolen. Jessie tells the group that they are being over dramatic and crazy but pauses when a campers comes up to them out of nowhere with Cricket’s said pair of soaking wet boots in his hand.
- If I was a camper I would think finding a fairly new looking pair of boots in the bottom of a lake would be a prank, not an indication that the lake is a dump, but that is the smallest of my qualms.
- This kid’s hair is completely dry and so are his clothes. Those heavy boots were dropped off the dock to the bottom of the lake. Small lakes do not have much of a current meaning that they probably were still at the bottom of the lake when he found them. Wouldn’t he have had to swim to find these boots? Please explain to me how this kid has dry hair.
- All the counselors are standing around looking the exact OPPOSITE WAY from the lake. WHO IS LIFEGUARDING THESE CAMPERS?!?!
Back to the story. The counselors finally start investigating the freaky shit going on at camp, and Deb is their number one suspect. Alex comes up with an actual brilliant idea: they should comb through Joel’s footage to get dirt on Deb. Joel is legit obsessed with Deb and films her all fucking day. Like in the Law and Order: SVU type way.
Meanwhile Blair finds Drew and tries to help him in his coming out process. He tells him that everything will be okay and asks “What are you afraid of?”
Drew: “Rejection, disappointment, take your pick.”
Oh man I really do love Drew. Any person who uses sarcasm to deal with their pain has a special place in my heart. Blair then hands Drew a David Bowie mixtape.
Blair: “I always knew that I was different but I never knew how to talk about. But then I came to camp and I met someone. I didn’t have to tell her I was gay. She just understood that I was different. And her response was to give me that tape. Bowie lives how he wants to live. He does what he wants and he doesn’t care what people think. Listening to Bowie gave me the courage to come out.”
Drew: “And everyone just accepted you?”
Blair: “Of course not. But Cricket did. She was the first person I told and that was enough. Knowing that there was just one person out there who supported me it, it gave me the strength to face everyone else. Be my date to the Masquerade ball, you can trust me. I accept you. No matter what.”
I just love this interaction so much. I love these two.
But my joy is cut short when Jessie tells Drew she has video of him showering, and that she will show it to the whole camp. This prompts Drew to leave camp before the Masquerade ball (presumably leaving the camp with only 6 counselors) in fear of his secret being revealed. Luckily the ice around Jessie’s heart starts to melt and she rushes to catch Drew at the bus station before he leaves. The two start talking about what camp meant to them as kids. What it represented. The freedom it granted them. The safe haven from the hell that school could be. And this, this right here, is why I decided to first sit down to watch the pilot of Dead of Summer. Because to me, this is what camp is about. What it means to many people. And at its core it is what a show about camp should be about. The friendships, the bonds, the experience.
But it is not only Drew’s interaction with Jessie that made me feel this way, it was Blair sitting down with Drew showing he cares. Offering to help him through the coming out process. The first person I talked to when I realized that my feelings for other women were more than just friendship feelings was a camp friend. I was in my senior year of high school and the first person I turned to way my gay friend Matt from camp. I told him what I was feeling, how I was confused, and asked how do I know if I am gay. He talked with me about it and comforted me. And it was not until that summer at camp, going into my freshman year of college, that I started coming out to people. Camp was the place that I felt accepted. That I felt comfortable. And that was where I first started accepting my sexuality publicly.
After his heart to heart with Jessie, Drew heads back to camp to meet up with Blair at the Masquerade Ball. They see each other, run into each other’s arms, and make out on the dance floor.
In front of all the campers. I mean, I get that things were different in 1989, but counselor couples were barely allowed to flirt in front of campers at my camp, let alone make out. But I love these two so much that I am willing to let that go. They then leave the dance, and the campers whose lives they are in charge of, to go make out some more. As things start to get hot and heavy, Blair’s hands start creeping up Drew’s torso, and he pulls away. Drew runs off and meets Blair back in the woods later with the David Bowie mixtape in his hand. He tries to explain to Blair that 6 years ago, he was the one who gave him the tape, but back then Blair knew him as “Andrea”. This is who he is though. This is who he has always has been. But sadly, Blair does not take this news well. Blair is confused, shocked, and possibly even a little angry. Drew yells out:
“But you said you accepted me. No matter what”
This was heartbreaking to watch for so many reasons. It echoes Drew’s backstory that has been intertwined throughout the episode. His whole life he tried to get his mom to understand that he was not her daughter “Andrea”, he was her son Drew, but she would not accept it. So Drew began playing the role that his mother wanted him to play. And then the time came when he got his period and he could no longer play along with his mother’s wishes. He broke down saying “This isn’t supposed to happen to me, I’m a boy.” And the “problem” his mother thought she had fixed crept back into their lives and she decides to send Drew to a therapist to “sort out” the issue.
Drew’s therapist invites his mother to a session so Drew can announce his breakthrough. But the breakthrough was not the one his mother expected. His breakthrough is telling his mom he is not “Andrea”.
Drew: No my name is Drew
Mom: No it’s Andrea. Your father rest his soul and I gave it to you
Drew: You gave it to me without knowing me. My name is Drew
His mom is having none of this and blames the therapist for Drew not “getting better.” And so, yet again, Drew is forced to pretend to be someone he is not to appease his mother. He dresses in skirts and in pink when his mom is around, but at night, he sneaks out and gets to be himself. And one night Drew’s mom follows him out to a club and finally sees him being himself. Dressed as himself. She sees her son Drew and he is happy. When Drew comes home the next day he finds his mother and therapist in the living room
Mom:“I saw you. I saw YOU Drew.”
Drew:“What did you call me?”
Mom:“Your name. It’s Drew. I know that now.”
But while Drew’s mom now understands that the child she gave birth to is Drew, she cannot accept the fact that her daughter “Andrea” is gone and never actually existed. And seeing Drew everyday would be just a cruel reminder of that fact, so she runs away, leaving Drew to live alone. So essentially, Drew’s mom cares more about the idea of a daughter she thought she had more than the actual child standing right in front of her. I think I am going to leave my analysis at that.
And Blair’s rejection of Drew in many ways echoes his mother’s. They both gave him hope. Blair said he would accept Drew no matter what, and that gave him hope. Just like his mother gave him hope when she called him Drew for the first time. But then they both let him down by not actually giving him the support that should have accompanied those words.
After having his heart broken, Drew heads to the fire pit where Jessie is ready to hold and console him. This was a friendship that I truthfully never saw coming, and I am so happy that it did. This friendship is the essence of camp.
Jeb has sex in the woods and it is creepy and I am officially over this coupling. It started off as cute and flirty and very quickly turned into stalkery and well creepy.