I’ve talked at length about Suburgatory‘s wonderful work in the high school setting. It remains the show’s safe haven of experimentation and challenging the stereotypes that pervade the adult world of the show. Recently, the show has experimented with the idea that maybe it’s Tessa with the warped sense of reality. At the very least, she’s still struggling to match her perception to her reality. Somehow, in her relationship with Ryan, Ryan has left their small quibbles looking like a man exasperated by his girlfriend’s questionable outrage. In the end, it’s been Tessa who has felt contrite. She’s starting to understand Ryan better, but she’s not rushing off to all of his games either. On the flip side, Ryan’s big heart and moderate levels of self-understanding show the more tender and attentive side to him. He may be The Body, but he’s a man of divergent interests and skills.
In addition to Ryan Shay, Dalia Royce proved she could handle a transfer to the wrong side of the tracks. Her trip through the hallways of East Chatswin High School doesn’t create the expected effect. Instead of cowering in her new environment, Dalia plows through her days as the only “non-tan” person at her school. Granted, it’s unclear if Dalia has the appropriate levels of emotional development to express what she’s feeling, but Dalia’s strong, purposeful strides through the halls of East Chatswin were borderline inspiring. She’s never going to become a central part of the cast, but that doesn’t make her any less effective at making this show a truly quality television program.
While Dalia was keeping her head down (on her phone!) while spending her days at East Chatswin, Dallas couldn’t deal with the loss of identity that comes with archaic zoning laws. Her setting up shop in George’s car while talking to a determined(?) Dalia was one of my favorite parts of the episode. Both characters are playing the versions of themselves that are more readily accessible. If nothing else, Emily Kapnek has proven that she knows how to write about what high school is like for a lot of teenagers. The adults are still in need of some work, but I guess we can’t all have our water fruited.