revolve around a cell phone and a swim meet. Oh, and the usual discrimination plot too, of course.
I'm not lying about a cell phone being a big deal in this episode. When the show opens, Roman's apartment is being searched by guards who think the family has restricted technology. In this case, a cell phone, which, after the guards leave, his mother reveals that they do have after all.
Why do they have the phone, and why is it a problem? It's explained that Atrians are not allowed cell phones, and they have it because Roman and Sophia's mother found it in their father's things a few weeks back. Whoops. Roman says he will destroy it so they don't get in trouble and aren't accused to having Trag ties, since it tends to only be Trags who have that kind of contraband.
Lukas to the Rescue
But of course, Roman doesn't get rid of it; he wants to know what's on the phone, and in turn, to know why his father had it if he doesn't have connections to the Trags. He asks Julia for help, and since he saved her life and all, she's willing to give him a hand. Well, not her herself, really, but she knows someone who can help him.
That someone is Lukas, and he spends the majority of the episode trying to figure out what's on the device since initially it looks like the data is wiped. He makes an interesting comment about minorities sticking together, and Roman questions whether Lukas and Julia are minorities. Julia says that they were until the Atrians show up. I kind of wonder whether racism towards actual human minorities died down in this universe after the Atrians arrived, but it's not really delved into here.
Lukas eventually figures out that the only things on the phone were a bunch of text messages with just one other number, listing times and dates most likely for meetings. Well, that and an encrypted video file that it takes Lukas a little longer to decrypt. When he does figure it out, however, he and Lukas are walked in on while watching it by Gloria and her guards, and she stops the whole thing.
Sophia's Swimming Dream
So what is Gloria up to in this episode? Mostly her usual, stopping the teens from getting into too much trouble. Specifically, she gets to deal with Sophia deciding she wants to be on the swim team, as a way to honor her father who taught her how to swim when she was young.
But not everyone takes Sophia's desire to be part of the team very well. Her first time in the school pool, she beats the speed record set by Eric, and he feels threatened by this. When Sophia requests to officially be on the team in time for a big meet against a rival school, at first Gloria refuses. It was decided that allowing the Atrians to be a part of sports would be a security risk, she claims.
Emery calls bullshit on that, but Roman thinks it's a bad idea for Sophia to join and, as he says to his sister later, become a target even more. But Sophia won't back down, and Gloria does, so the Atrian girl is allowed to swim with the team for the meet. Small victories!
Is Emery/Grayson Back On?
Emery sees Julia and Roman talking several times, and every time Julia talks to her after, she lies about the conversations. Emery can tell her friend is not being truthful with her, but she doesn't call her on it until later on in the show.
Instead, Emery gets to know Grayson even better. When he first gets her flowers to apologize to her, she turns him down, saying she doesn't believe he won't lie to her again. But then he pretends to be on Sophia's side with the whole swim team thing, and she falls for it and thinks he's a good guy again. Come on, Emery! Wise up!
So then she and Grayson go on a "date," which, by the way, is him inviting her to join his teammates and himself at a restaurant to gorge themselves on pasta the night before the big meet. With Eric sitting across the table from them and the fettuccine flying, it's super romantic. Not.
Once it's announced that Sophia can swim with the team at the meet, the threats build up. Protests escalate outside the school, and someone puts a doll, resembeling her and stabbed with a knife and hanged, inside her locker. But despite Roman saying he won't let her do it, she refuses to back down from her goal.
During the protests after the announcement, Roman is stopped as he and Sophia are trying to get into the school by guards who claim to be searching him because of rumors that he has stolen tech. His mother and uncle also make it very clear to him that it had better be destroyed and that it cannot be connected to him or their family. So the pressure is on for them both.
Roman also gets scolded by Gloria after she found him with the phone, and she reveals that she knew it was his father's. He tells her he doesn't know who his father was anymore, and that's why he was so adamant about finding out what was on it. But Gloria isn't sympathetic, and she smashes it in front of him.
Knowledge, Friendship and Inspiration
So what are some of the bright spots in between all the threats and intrigue and lying? Well, for one, we learn a little more about Atrian anatomy, which is interesting enough. They have two hearts and two sets of lungs, mature faster than humans and are allergic to many things humans eat, like cilantro and anything with caffeine.
Also, Emery reaches out to Sophia in friendship, by doing things like defending her right to be on the swim team and buying her a suit so she can effectively swim with that team.
Gloria gives the Atrians a pep talk about Jackie Robinson and his own athletic struggles as a minority, making a point about sports being a path towards acceptance or something. The important part of that scene is when Sophia asks the others to try to be on their best behavior for her and her father's memory, which they agree to. Reluctantly.
A Common Enemy
The Atrians being on their best behavior ends up involving a fist fight at the swim team, for the record. How did they end up at that point, you may ask? It's that whole enemy of my enemy is my friend thing.
At the swim meet, a girl from the opposing team offers Sophia a drink without being totally truthful about what's in it. It's a sports drink that includes caffeine, so Sophia has a severe allergic reaction while the other team looks on. Julia runs to get help and Grayson, Emery and Roman eventually end up on the scene.
But the most important part of the incident is when the Marshall High students get involved and begin to fight the other team. Teri basically starts it, but Drake and others get into it too. When Drake and Eric face each other during one moment of the fight, they instead put aside their differences and fight side by side.
When Gloria breaks the whole thing up, she cancels the meet, and the team is suspended from further meets. However, she's not going to punish them any more than that. Quite the contrary, actually. She's proud of them for fighting alongside one another, for the first time in history. Then they all get to swim together. Heartwarming, I guess.
Lukas and Roman eventually find a way to figure out the number for the other phone and try to locate it by "pinging" it, only to discover that it's somewhere near or in the school's vicinity. So Nox was communicating with someone at the school all that time.
Emery also makes a discovery when Roman lets slip that the main reason she's been safe despite him questioning her security at things like the carnival is because he's been protecting her. Julia later reassured her that Roman does care about her, he just doesn't feel like he can be with her the way that he wants to.
Julia also explains the importance of Atrian blood when it comes to healing with cyper, and Emery recognizes the danger the Atrians would be in if that became common knowledge to humans. With that, she knows some of what her friend has been lying to her about when she's been talking to Roman.
During the fight at the swim meet, Roman and Emery dragged Sophia away to a locker room to do the cyper voodoo on her. But they are walked in on by someone else, which made Roman feel like he couldn't use the remedy.
Luckily, Emery has some experience with allergic reactions, and she realizes that's what's going on. She asks if Sophia has some sort of epi-pen, then uses it on her the way a human with an allergy would use theirs. Sophia is very still for a bit, but then coughs and is good as new soon enough.
Later on in the episode, Grayson and Emery talk and flirt some more, and she caresses his hand that he injured in the fight. She makes some joke about being good with first aid, if I recall, and then they kiss. It's ... pretty weak, if I'm being honest. I'm not really feeling the chemistry there.
By far the best scene of this episode of Star-Crossed for me is a quiet one near the end. Sophia and Roman have a heart-to-heart, and he explains that with their dad gone, he feels like he needs to be the one to look out for her.
Roman also confirms that the phone is destroyed, but also that he was communicating with someone with it. He is firm in his conviction that he was not a Trag, however. The whole thing is just a cute brother/sister moment that I would like to see more of.
A different family scene actually ends the episode, though. Gloria is shown on the phone with Castor, and we see that they are sort of working together and that she was the one to initially order the search of the apartment. But why would Gloria care about finding a cell phone?
We find out why when she watches the video Roman never got to see on the phone. Remember that little boy we met in the previous episode? Her son? Well, that little boy's got an Atrian daddy, one that Gloria names while she watches her son in the bathtub in the video. Not just any Atrian, either. His father was Nox himself.
Looks like there's lots more to be revealed on Star-Crossed!
airs Monday nights at 8pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of The CW)