Originally, I was going to write last week about Alice’s recent poor decisions in Classic Alice, but then I realized that what I was trying to say in 600+ words I had already said in a total of 51 words between two posts on Tumblr. After that, I got pretty caught up in trying to put together all the pieces that my mom and I need to make a historically accurate Regency dress for things like Halloween and Austenland parties.
The historical dress still has far to go, though, before I really talk about it; and while I could use this as an opportunity to do some other costume-y or Halloween-y post, I think we actually need to talk about Alice Rackham modeling herself after Count Dracula. Alice is a vampire, and her friends are the humans who want the vampire (not Alice, just the vampire) to metaphorically die.
Classic Alice is a show that’s ultimately about relationships. Sure, Alice decides to do her literature project because she wants to experience the feelings that classic lit characters feel, but nothing anyone ever does is truly in a bubble. She drags her best friends Cara and Andrew into her adventures, and they all have to deal with some of the backlash from other characters. Even Nathan, the “uninvolved participant,” gets involved in the way he records the confessionals.
Last year, we saw Andrew take the fall for something that he pressured Alice into doing, we saw a guy use her to “level up,” we saw an ex hurt Cara and Andrew to hurt Alice, and we saw an existing relationship change. This year, we’ve watched the two main couples deal with socioeconomic differences and an unwillingness to communicate.
My favorite episode from this season, in fact, was just three minutes of watching two people pretending that they’re not looking longingly at the other person. It was three incredibly painful minutes where you’re pretty sure this couple just broke up, and you think it’s because of their communication issues that were evident in the transmedia diary entries, yet you see how much they want to talk to each other.
After that, Alice decided that she wanted to try being the bad guy in a book, so she picked Dracula. That alone probably should have been an indication of the way that she would hurt her best friend. She brought the horrible ex-boyfriend back into their lives because she wanted to get revenge on him, but she conveniently ignored the pain that his presence caused Cara.
A lot of people online were upset that Cara told Andrew that Alice was spiraling, because they broke up, but I actually agree with how she tries to help her best friend. Sure, telling the ex-boyfriend to talk some sense into Alice might have been a bad idea, but the three of them were close before the breakup. Andrew and Alice were best friends before they ever dated, and up until this week, they were still trying to keep some sort of friendship. Alice doesn’t seem to have many friends besides Cara, Andrew, and Nathan, so there aren’t a lot of people who can help.
That’s also how I feel about Tuesday’s episode. Should Cara have told the school newspaper that her best friend was plagiarizing another student’s story? If we’re talking about ethics and academic dishonesty… yeah, she should have. If we’re talking about being a supportive friend… She still did the right thing. Whether her motives were spite or exasperation, the action was still right.
Relationships are messy, and sometimes friends make really stupid decisions. Obviously, Alice would have wanted her friends and viewers to keep that test from Book 1 (Crime and Punishment) and the plagiarized story from Book 11 (Dracula) secret, but she committed crimes. She’s a liar, and she betrayed people’s trust. Even if you think Ewan deserves to get a story stolen, she is still stealing it to advance her own career. It doesn’t benefit her in the long run, and there was always the possibility that this incident could cause publishers to question her legitimacy once she is further in her career.
I think we all need friends like Cara. It’s easier and more comfortable to have friends who go along with what you do and never tell you you’re wrong. It can feel like a betrayal of trust when someone forces you to face the consequences of your actions. The things that feel the least like love are sometimes the most loving when they come from someone that truly cares about your well-being.
I really hope that Alice can repair her friendships after this story arc because I’m sick of seeing sad people in my Youtube subscription feed. She could either become best friends with Ewan (unlikely since he probably found out about the plagiarism), or realize what a great friend Cara has been to her. I vote for that second option.
Kill the vampire, Alice. Kill the vampire before it kills all your relationships with your human friends.