19 Mar 2015

Unruly - The New Girl Chapter 7 - Commentary

Laura embraces the insanity in this chapter.  Caitlin strikes at Verity.  Diet Coke explodes.  Please read the chapter first so you don't run into spoilers.

Laura's moment to choose what she is arrives.  She, however, went with the flow.  Laura also started showing her scary side.  Caitlin wanted messy; Laura suggested gassing a building.  Her suggestion of Mentos and Diet Coke is a real thing.  The Diet Coke reacts to the chemical composition in the Mentos, with the dimples is the mint aiding the reaction by providing more surface area.  Mythbusters did work out what was needed for the reaction, and did show a spray that went above their building's height.

For someone new, Laura found a way to start taking advantage.  She managed to get several items she wanted placed on Caitlin's tab.  Laura may not feel like she's fitting in, but only because she isn't really a follower.  Part of Laura's issue is with authority.  She's been in a culture that is outside the law for the most part, acting as her father's chief chemist for his drug dealing.  Caitlin, at least to Laura, is very much an authority figure.  The two do have friction in the next arc, and the hints of the problem have been laid down.

For all Caitlin was against a juvenile prank, she leads the girls in a juvenile prank.  Notice that Caitlin never came up with the core plan involving the exploding cola.  A small test for Laura, to see how resistant she is to anti-Verity work.  If the plan works, Caitlin takes the glory.  If it fails, Laura gets the disappointment and possibly the punishment.  There is some backstory to the Caitlin-Verity rivalry that gets hinted at.  Right now, I prefer that readers imaginations fill in what happened.

The arc wraps up with Laura making a decision about who she wants to be.  It echoed back on the end of Chapter 6 and let me bring the arc to a conclusion that still left the door open for more later.

Tomorrow, final thoughts on The New Girl.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, the March news round up.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, the History of Adaptations looks at the Forties.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.


  1. The interaction between Laura and Caitlin is kind of fascinating, in the end. Your point about Laura's issues with authority figures is well taken, and hadn't immediately occurred. It also hadn't occurred to me that Caitlin was pulling a glory/punishment angle with Laura (it really should have, it's such a Julie thing). What I did notice was Laura pushing Caitlin's buttons, not just the coffee, but asking about putting a drug in the mix. I can't quite see Laura taking over, or creating a power vacuum, but she might shift allegiances (to Flora?). Too soon to tell.
    Speaking of time, one thing that bothered me: this happening so fast on the heels of the prior part. As this opened, I felt like it was a day or two later, to give the Laura/Caitlin thing time to cool off (it wasn't addressed), and for Laura to mull over Skye's question. Instead it's maybe an hour after? (Typo btw: "twnety-four hours") Scheming was good though, with interesting potential consequences, good character bits (Verity's ego, eh?) and ending the arc felt natural.

    1. Laura's issues with authority came out while I re-read what I had written. It's not front and centre because she never told me about it. There is a difference between Cait and Julie, but they would understand each other. Laura's turning into the wildcard of the school; no one can figure out, yet, what she'd do. She gets away with pushing Caitlin's buttons because Caitlin hasn't realized she's doing it on purpose. There could be a new bloc consisting of Laura, Flora, and some characters appearing next arc.

      I couldn't figure out how to get into Laura's head over a few days to get her to work out being at the Academy without dragging things down. She'd have to get involved in a few schemes, really. Consequences will happen. :) (Caitlin has a blind spot.)