‘Everything’s Gonna Be Okay’ Season 1, Episode 9 Recap: “Monarch Butterflies”

Image courtesy Freeform.

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This week, the show develops the lovely Matilda/Drea pairing more, to both comedic and sweet effect. Nicholas also must confront his parenting style and whether or not he has been effective as the girls’ guardian. It’s a great episode that sets up the season finale next week in New York and deepens the relationship between Nicholas and the girls. Lillian Carrier also shines as Drea, who has had such a great character arc as the series has progressed.

Matilda and Drea are kissing in the living room, surrounded by caterpillars. It seems they’ve taken their relationship to the next level. At school the next day, they stare longingly at each other through a fish tank. Their teacher notices and says this is “cute”, while Matilda insists that nothing is happening. In Matilda’s bed, they cuddle, and Matilda watches Drea as she sleeps. In class, Jeremy musters up the courage to ask to try the threesome again “if your relationship is open to that”. Matilda again says they aren’t in a relationship, and Drea says it’s private until they get more serious (which Matilda asked for.) Jeremy then hilariously says “keep me posted”.

Matilda and Drea head to Matilda’s room, where Matilda instructs Drea to wear one of her dresses to Matilda’s recital. Drea is hesitant because she doesn’t like the type of fabric, and Matilda continues to look for clothes that fit Drea’s needs. Nothing works, and Matilda then says that she doesn’t want Drea to come after all since she will make her nervous. Drea cheerfully says “okay”, and Matilda seems to have wished for a different response. In the kitchen with Nicholas, Matilda “accidentally” gets waffle batter on her face and asks Drea to wipe it off (a move she has seen in romantic comedies). Drea doesn’t understand why Matilda can’t wipe it off herself, and Nicholas offers to do so. Matilda clarifies that she only wants Drea to wipe it off, and Drea says she always wants to act like they’re in a movie. She does wipe it off eventually, and they finish the cooking lesson Nicholas is trying to have with them.

At school, Matilda shows Drea that her shoes are on the wrong feet as a lovestruck Drea looks at her. At Matilda’s house, Drea is fidgeting and making Matilda nervous. Drea says she has something to say but thinking of saying it is overwhelming. Drea says she loves Matilda, and Matilda says it back. This overwhelms Drea to the point where she calls her service dog Duke to her side.

At school, Drea asks Matilda to the prom via promposal, but Matilda says no. Drea is crushed, with Lillian Carrier’s expression breaking the audience’s heart. When she asks why, Matilda says that prom is public and that she wants to go with someone “cool” and have it be a “normal, regular prom”. Drea says they’re not girlfriends anymore and leaves, with Jeremy immediately taking a chance and asking Matilda to prom (she declines). That night, Matilda cries and eats ice cream like she’s seen in breakup movies (even though she doesn’t like ice cream). When Drea returns the next day to see the butterflies the caterpillars have become, Matilda says she wants to win her back. She gives an impassioned speech about how she always wanted to date a tall black man, and Drea is obviously none of those things. But she says that Drea “likes all the things about me that I like about myself”. Drea is moved, and they kiss. Matilda and Drea go to prom together, with both getting glamorous for the occasion.

Nicholas is dancing suggestively in heels as Alex watches, laughing. We montage though the two having sex and Nicholas dancing along to the song in the car. This happy mood stops as Nicholas meets with Matilda’s teacher Sam, who thinks she is regressing. She’s done nothing to prepare for Julliard, and the teacher is concerned she won’t be able to go. Nicholas has been having fun with her, but she’s lacking the structure necessary to go to school by herself.

Genevieve’s teacher is not any more optimistic, telling Nicholas that Genevieve is getting straight C’s. She is concerned that Genevieve is sliding backwards. Nicholas appears overwhelmed by the extent of what he’s missed concerning the girls. Nicholas sobs as Genevieve’s teacher stands awkwardly.

In the car ride home, Nicholas loses it on the girls. Matilda says Nicholas hasn’t been working with her enough, which makes Nicholas think Sam is right since Matilda has been neglecting her end of the bargain and can’t recognize her lack of effort. Matilda is upset, and Genevieve tells Nicholas to calm down and be encouraging like their father was. This draws Nicholas’ attention to Genevieve, and when he laments her “C’s across the board” she tells him she hates him. Nicholas, once again demonstrating his immaturity, says that that’s not “the smartest thing to say to the guy who controls your trust fund”. Genevieve says “we didn’t choose you — we were left with you”. Nicholas pulls over and tells them to get out of the car. They walk home as Nicholas drives away.

A few days later, they are at the park, where Nicholas asks about how they feel about the fight. He shares that it made him feel like his mother, which is “the worst emotion” he’s felt in his life. He wants to try things a little differently. Matilda says she’s sorry, but when asked why she says it felt like the right time to say it. As they walk, Nicholas asks Genevieve if she wants to go to a good college. Genevieve says she’s doing well considering her dad died this year, but Nicholas points out colleges won’t see that when they look at her grades. He asks Matilda what she thinks of Sam’s suggestion that they defer Julliard for a year, and she doesn’t want to. He also asks if Drea has been a distraction, and while she says no she also says she’s made a mistake by not prepping more for school.

Nicholas and the girls sit down for lunch. He says the current system where he treats them as friends and they treat him as a parent isn’t working. He’s worried the girls won’t have friends since they aren’t offering anything to the world, just to him. He goes on as Genevieve mutters under her breath “this is going to be a long walk”. He compliments the two of them to the point of annoyance, then says he loves them. Matilda immediately says it back, sensing it’s required, but Genevieve hesitates before saying it back. Matilda then does the same thing to Nicholas, telling him he’s also only offering his best qualities to them. Nicholas reveals his big surprise meant to fix everything: he’s booked them a trip to New York City to better prepare Matilda for Julliard. In the epilogue, Alex dances alone in the house in heels as he cares for Nicholas’ bugs.

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Freeform with prior episodes available on Hulu.

Jules

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I am a nursing student and dedicated fangirl from Boston! When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural and Lost or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). I'm a huge Disney fan and my happy place is the Happiest Place on Earth! When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing and listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense and occasionally rants.

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