Mohawk Girls: White but A’right, or is it?

As the title suggests, whiteness as it affects appearance, and the political ramifications of acceptance of those who appear too white, are the threads that are woven into Episode three of Mohawk Girls. I know that sounds pretty heavy, but we need not fear when left to the storytelling skills of co-creators Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight. We were still treated to a heavy dose of humour!

We begin with a fully conformed Anna (Maika Harper) along with hater Iostha (Allyson Pratt) plotting against Bailey; the one who gets to go against the unwritten rules of dating AND finds happiness. The hardliner “Marry Out Get Outs” in town are definitely upset that Bailey (Jenny Pudavick) is dating James (Jeffrey Wetsch) and Iostha feels it is up to her and Anna to do something about it. After awkwardly collecting Bailey’s recycling–WHAT was the point of that scene with Bailey?–Anna and Iostha combed through Bailey’s garbage looking for proof that James has moved in. When that scheme failed, they turned to a smear poster campaign with the help of Anna’s personal photos of Bailey and James.

Meanwhile, James  was having trouble fitting in in Kahnawa:ke. His presence at Bailey’s even drew the suspicions of the local police. Bailey tried to ease James into the fold and hosted a games night in order to properly introduce him, but tensions still ran high. James could do no right, Zoe (Brittany Leborgne) started to slip into her controlling ways and Midas (Tanner Novlan), ever the total jerk–dude is worse than Butterhead–was just there for the expensive scotch and an extra blowjob. Bailey, hypersensitive to the situation, had unwittingly made James feel she was ashamed of him. A quick grounding over a homemade Italian dinner for two and these two lovebirds were back on track.

Caitlin’s (Heather White) own progress in self-love hit a few bumps. A date with herself fell flat, But clearly, some of what she has been reading has sunk in. Time was up for Caitlin and she was faced with a difficult decision: go back to her old job at the salon or start her own salon. She asked for Butterhead’s (Meegwun Fairbrother) input, but he had more important things to do. Cue the epiphany moment! Caitlin’s needs have never registered with Butterhead, and she finally, at long last realized that! Once again she turned to Leon (Dwain Murphy) for support and guidance.

And finally, we come to Zoe. Zoe was still plugging her way through recovery exercises. In the early moments of this episode, one of her self-love exercises asked to compose a love song about a part of yourself that you have always hated. And Zoe,  with the encouragement of her mother, has always hated that her skin is so pale and her hair blonde. This was what drove Zoe to dye her hair back in season four when she was seeking the title of Chief in the local elections.

Zoe: I was born with blonde hair and that’s ok,

I should be happy I was made that way.

But it’s much better that my hair is brown,

Because it was ugly and pale and the talk of the town.

SO I’m never goin’ back to blonde,

‘Cus I friggin’ HATE IT!

Tell us how you really feel Zoe! But, thankfully, that sequence led to Zoe dying her hair back to her natural blonde and she recognized that she is finally comfortable with who she is! (And OMG I have sobbed each and every time I have watched this scene!)

But now that the floodgates have opened for Zoe … can we just say, “Plastic knives are the new sexy!!” Hands down, Brittany LeBorgne delivered the two best scenes this week: a tearjerker AND a laugh out loud funny! #Beast!

So where are we now? Bailey and James seem on track, Caitlin is starting to realize she is just settling with Butterhead, Zoe has clearly fallen off the wagon along with Phillip (Max E. Williams) and Anna has now slipped so far down that she has betrayed a friend in order to fit in.

What do you think is next for Kahnawa:ke’s finest? Let me know in the comments below!

Mohawk Girls airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on APTN.

Carolyn Potts
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Carolyn Potts

Teacher. Writer. Mom. Masters' Candidate, Faculty of Education, Western University. Studying Pop Culture Media as a Decolonizer of Education Policy and Practice. I also volunteer as a Girl Guide leader in my spare time.
Carolyn Potts
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