“Check One, Check Other” escalates tensions and proves that a flaky band-aid cannot cure issues — as the story reaches the final two chapters, we can expect more fireworks and emotions.
After the sweet 16, we genuinely felt Ginny and Georgia had reached a good understanding with each other, but the story throws a spanner in the works — Zion. This will not be straightforward, and complications will likely transverse over many seasons (hopefully).
“Check One, Check Other” starts with politics; the mayor elections are heating up, with Cynthia making personal attacks and focusing on Paul’s relationship with Georgia. She is fuming, believing they need to make a personal attack back, but Paul wants a more mature focus. Even Ginny is annoyed at Cynthia’s methods. Cynthia is not going in halves in “Check One, Check Other” — she wants that mayor position and is doing any tactic possible.
Marcus breaks it off with Padma
We already know Marcus is conflicted with his feelings for Ginny, and “Check One, Check Other” sees him making a decision.
While Ginny walks with Maxine in the streets, she sees Marcus cutting things off with Padma. It’s an emotional moment, and Padma is furious. Ginny narrates that when her father and her mother get together, it always ends in pain. It’s telling that she links that narration with a scene with Marcus.
There’s a national essay contest. The question is, “where do you belong?” and Ginny seems interested in it. As Abby needs Ginny in her “time of need”, Ginny’s father Zion turns up at the school with his leather jacket and motorbike helmet on. Hunter introduces himself as the boyfriend. Ginny rides back home with her father, and Marcus introduces himself. When they head inside, Zion calls Georgia “peach”. There’s trouble ahead — Zion is clearly a smooth character.
Ginny wants her mother to remain happy
Ginny & Georgia season 1, episode 8 sets Ginny’s mindset over her father’s return early on.
She tells her father about the essay and that she’s writing about Wellsbury — she likes it here. And then Ginny reveals that Georgia is dating someone, which is a brief awkward moment. Zion and Georgia are left alone, and the father senses a vibe between Marcus and Ginny. Georgia doesn’t feel anything is happening. Zion reveals he and his partner have broken up. The sexual tension between Georgia and Zion is obvious. Late in the night, Ginny tells her mother to be careful with her father as due to the Mayorial campaign, the whole town is watching. She likes Paul and has never seen her mother this happy. He wants Zion to be a father this time and not Georgia’s ex. And that’s a fair ask by Ginny — she’s tired of living a broken life, moving from one town to the next.
Dinner with the ex
And “Check One, Check Other” gets even more awkward, and it also presents the great chemistry between the lead mother and daughter.
When Georgia gets to work, she tells Paul that Zion stays over. Paul tells Georgia that he trusts her, and he wants dinner with them. And the dinner happens on the same day, and Ginny and Georgia feel the awkward tension immediately, giving each other “the look”. Zion reveals he has a book deal, which surprises Georgia, and he congratulates him. Paul is impressed with Zion’s photography expeditions, and the men get excited with each other. When Paul leaves, Zion tells Georgia that he likes him.
Zion is playing a blinder, folks. He knows exactly what he’s doing.
A night out with dad
Georgia reads her essay to Zion. He tells her it reads well, but he wants to know if Wellsbury is really her place. Georgia is stressing out about it, knowing the essay helps with getting into colleges. Zion wants to know where Ginny belongs and takes her to a slam poetry night. Ginny brings up Georgia’s grandparents and sisters. Zion tells Ginny that her mother did everything she needed to be the “best mom”. Interestingly, Zion sticks up for Georgia — he clearly understands that she’s tried her best.
Ginny tells Zion that he needs him and wants him around longer — she keeps reiterating this message and wants stability; she doesn’t want him to start something with her mother and leave. Zion gets on the stage and talks about him and Ginny about how his little girl is growing up. As part of his speech, he tells her he will stay around. It’s hard to remain convinced.
Georgia’s slam poetry
When they return home, they feel the wrath of Georgia, who has learned information she did not want to know. Georgia reveals that she saw Marcus sneaking into their window — she explains it in slam poetry form and comically calls it “Motherhood”. Ginny is in shock and states that they are just friends, but Georgia doesn’t buy it. Ginny calls her the worst mother in the world and storms off. Zion is smug that he knew about the vibe between Marcus and Ginny.
Ginny’s essay submission
“Check One, Check Other” brings an important moment for Ginny, who goes above and beyond with her essay.
In class, Ginny reads out her essay. She does it in slam poetry form. She talks about being an imposter and always being in a box. The students love it, and Maxine rallies applause. However, Ginny doesn’t win the round, Hunter does. She approaches the teacher, and he tells her it didn’t fit in the parameters and it was too unconventional. Ginny is understandably frustrated.
Maxine goes all the way, while Hunter and Ginny have a fiery disagreement
It’s about time Maxine had some love in her life…
Sophie helps Maxine rehearse lines for a stage play. Maxine is so grateful for her support that it changes the mood, they hook up, and she loses her virginity. Meanwhile, Hunter hooks up with Ginny, and he’s nervous about taking it further. Ginny brings up the essay — Hunter tells her that the essay was unconventional and the “rules were the rules”, further supporting the evidence that he does not understand her as much as Marcus. The pair argue about stereotypes and identity. It turns to throwing insults at each other about “who is more white”. Hunter leaves as Ginny cries on her bed. It feels it will be difficult for them to recover from that argument.
Later on, Ginny tells Zion that he’s black, and her mother is white. Zion tells her she will never be happy until she accepts who she is. There are many plot points about Ginny needing acceptance, but not only from others but from herself, from within.
Abby calls for a meeting
With Abby struggling, she takes rash measures; Ginny & Georgia season 1, episode 8 remind viewers that being a teenager is emotionally busy. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose a friend who is struggling.
Abby is not doing well in the social group. She seems irked by Maxine and Sophie. At home, her parents are going through a divorce. None of her friends is available throughout most of the chapter. She tells her friends to meet at Joe’s cafe. Abby reveals that her parents are getting a divorce — she feels abandoned by her friends. Ginny tells Abby that they all have their problems, but then Abby slaps her and then slaps herself. Maxine then comically slaps herself, which makes all the group laugh — the emotional stress is getting to them. On the news, Norah’s mother reveals that there are guns in Georgia’s house to Cynthia. Another political point-scoring by Cynthia — she’s taking the campaign by storm.
Norah apologizes, but Ginny changes the conversation and asks Maxine if she had sex, and the girls all giggle.
Dropped from the fundraiser
One thing we can vouch for is that Georgia is predictable, and we all knew a moment would arrive between her and Zion — she’s a character full of self-sabotage ready to be implemented.
Paul heads over to Georgia’s house and explains that he is pro-gun-control and that she cannot turn up to the fundraiser due to the reveal in the news. He asks her to not to keep things from him and storms out. Afterward, Zion lurks from the corner and tells Georgia that she’s capable of anything. The pair hook up and sleep together in a moment of passion. Ginny returns home and sees them in bed, and she’s devastated. They both promised her it wouldn’t come to this. She heads into her room and sobs against the door.
And then we witness a cruel version of Georgia that’s difficult to watch.
As she’s about to burn herself with a lighter on her legs, which is how she self-harms, Marcus comes through her bedroom window. He’s concerned about what she’s about to do. Ginny tells Marcus that her friendship is not healthy. Marcus tells Ginny that he loves her, but she laughs it off and tells him he’s incapable of anything real and tells him to get out — she says it with venom in her force that cuts through the teenage boy deeply. Marcus tears up, but she continues telling him to get out.
Ginny narrates that pain can be overpowering. As she narrates, Marcus rides off on his bike. We hear a crash in the distance. Words can be impactful.
Ginny & Georgia season 1, episode 8 escalates tensions and proves that a flaky band-aid cannot cure issues — as the story reaches the final two chapters, we can expect more fireworks and emotions.
- In a flashback, social services tell Georgia that she’s a step closer to having full custody of Ginny because she’s made progress. Georgia has to play house with Anthony, who is clearly using her.
- Marcus is also down in the dumps and tells Maxine and Sophie that he’s depressed about a girl. Maxine believes he’s talking about Padma, but he’s talking about Georgia.
- Austin is secretly skipping school.
- The private investigator is looking into Wolfsbane, a poisonous flower that can cause heart failure. A flashback shows Georgia slyly giving Anthony pills, and he slowly dies.