Bex’s influence continues to change Andi into a more confident person. Leading her to make a decision no one would expect. Especially Jonah.
The New Principal: Andi
Dr. Metcalf (Oliver Vaquer) is the new principal. Someone brought on since the school has academically slipped from number 3 to number 10, out of over 100 schools. As for why Dr. Metcalf thinks so? He believes it is due to distractions. Not in the form of phones, handheld devices, or anything like that. Nope, he thinks it is because of leggings and things of that nature. Baggy clothing and anything to avoid the idea it is the faculty that perhaps maybe part of the problem.
A lot of this episode and Andi outright says it, deals with policing girls and seemingly focusing on them when it comes to being distractions. Arguably, even sexualizing them. For while Disney can’t go that far, with Dr. Metcalf pointing out Andi’s leggings being a problem, the audience can get the point. You don’t have to be a social justice warrior to feel uneasy about a grown man looking at a 13-year-old and saying what she is wearing is inappropriate. Much less, blaming people who wear what makes them comfortable as part of the problem.
Especially girls Andi’s age who [note]I should note I’m not a girl, nor do I have a daughter so I’m basing this off friends and readings[/note] are just trying to be comfortable in their own skin. Not have grown ass men make them feel some sort naughty or inappropriate just because they themselves are creepily distracted. I mean, putting my SJW hat on, the psychological effect this could have on Andi, if she didn’t have a mom like Bex and CeCe in her life, could be terrible. Especially since this so-called doctor decided to tell Andi this in a very direct and open manner. Which could have very well made her, even Buffy, more self-conscious about their body’s, the way guys and men look at them, and who knows what else.
Andi’s First Protest: Bex, Andi, Cyrus, Jonah
Being that Bex has lived a rebellious life, and is still adjusting to being a mom, she decides to mix the two for Andi. Rather than fight Andi’s battle for a more liberal dress code, she gives her the tools to do so herself. She gets prison uniforms for Andi, and about 40 others and lets Andi, Buffy, and Cyrus handle the rest. Of which starts as just the three of them protesting, but then erupts into a good dozen or more.
Which, of course, it being Dr. Metcalf’s 2nd day, is setting a bad precedent. For, in the long run, he doesn’t want to be a number cruncher. He wants what is best for his students, but looking at the kids and facing those challenges is easier than addressing the adults who have way more protection. So, with that in mind, he backs down.
But, in the process of all this is picture day. Something Cyrus is very much for, since he loves getting his picture taken and his parents use said pictures to gauge the happiness of their child. But perhaps what matters most, especially to set up the next topic, is how Jonah doesn’t join Andi’s protest. Much less, doesn’t seem to take note or care about it. Especially when it potentially ruins the Space Otter Frisbee yearbook picture.
You know that CeCe had to be cut out of this episode because she would have gone ballistic right? I don’t know if it would be more on the school, Andi, or Bex, but I can fully imagine her having something to say. Making it unfortunate she was absent.
However, I gotta applaud Bex in this. She found a way to continue her influence over Andi, support her, and give her enough space to make the situation her own. Which I highlight because, at times, I feel like Bex isn’t given enough credit. Not just by CeCe, but I think me as well. For Bex could have went most of Andi’s life living with this secret, still traveling and being free, but instead, she picked the hard decision. She ended whatever life she had to begin the one she feels she should have had. One with her daughter.
Which, as we have seen, has been a struggle. Never mind dealing with Celia, but Andi is 13. She is starting puberty, dealing with boys, questioning her life and soon will authority figures. All of which Bex didn’t make easy on her mom, so who knew if this would end up a case of “What goes around comes around?” Yet, despite that, there she was passing out prison costumes and reassuring Andi when necessary, but not hyping her on like this was her fight.
The End of Jandi: Andi, Jonah
There is something about fighting for yourself and winning that changes you. Not in terms of your ego, but your confidence. You showed someone that you will not bend and break from them. Which, at Andi’s young age, you can’t imagine how empowering that is. Especially since, as noted, it wasn’t a Bex operation. It was all her, Buffy, and Cyrus.
So, with that in mind, she decides to end her friendship with Jonah as it is. Not because he did anything wrong, but because she let herself become the wrong person. She transformed her life to appease him, worry about this thoughts and feelings, but when she needed him to do the same, he didn’t. He didn’t care about the protest, just himself. He wanted her to get out of her protest gear and into a team shirt. Leading her to wonder, were they ever friends?
I don’t know why, but I feel that moment when Andi put herself first was so powerful. Just think about it. When you hear people talk to kids about their crushes, they ask what the crush likes and ways they could win over the crush. All of which could lead to a friendship we see like Andi and Jonah’s. A friendship in which one side changes themselves to fit into another person’s world. Yet, when it comes time for reciprocity, it isn’t existent.
Something I think, being that most shows like this star and focus on girls, is important to show. The idea that you shouldn’t put someone you like first in your life and yourself second. That you shouldn’t mold yourself into some person that appeals to them if they aren’t willing to do the same for you. Because, in the long run, while you can do so much for them, make yourself so uncomfortable just to make them happy, it isn’t going to necessarily inspire them to do the same. A lesson which some people don’t learn well into their 20s, 30s, and beyond. So to establish this knowledge of self and what you deserve at a young age is so important.