Degrassi Junior High “It's Late” (part 2 of 4)
Cut to the bell ringing and all the kids filing out of class. I guess the topic of Raditch’s class today was future careers or something, because the Twins ask Spike what she wants to be when she grows up. Since the answer is quickly becoming “hopeless, destitute, single mom”, Spike just snaps that she doesn’t want to talk about it.
And then Shane comes up to Spike and says Loosey’s having another party “like the one last month”. Last month? Wait a minute. So that means the cold open actually took place a month in the past? Wow. Back then, Stephanie and Voula were still fighting, Loosey hadn’t been busted for shoplifting yet, no one knew that Yick’s family were boat people, and L.D.’s dad was still smoking. Those were much simpler times.
Spike doesn’t seem too excited about the idea of another Loosey party. She yells, “I don’t want to go!” and runs away as quickly as possible. So, you know, two guesses as to why a) Spike is acting surly and snapping at everybody, and b) the script inserted a month between the party and what we’re seeing now. If you can’t figure it out, there’s a special bonus clue hidden somewhere in the episode’s title.
And then Joey and Wheels walk up to Shane, asking what really happened at that party. So, after a month, they’re still trying to get the details? Give it up, already. Shane just smirks and says, “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Which, generally speaking, is what a guy says when he wants to pretend he had sex. So I guess Shane can’t even figure out how to properly brag. Joey and Wheels think they were just “kissing” and laugh the whole thing off.
Next up, this episode’s unfortunate B plot. If you ask me, there’s plenty of story on the A plot to fill up the entire half hour, but for some reason they felt the need to shoehorn in a completely forgettable subplot about Yick Yu having a crush on Melanie. Because that’s a pairing everyone was clamoring to see.
It starts off with Melanie and Kathleen walking the halls, and Melanie is reading her newspaper horoscope, which predicts romance in her future. This is significant, because horoscopes only predict romance on days of the week ending in Y. Melanie says she’s indeed up for some romance. “Of course, what I’d really like is a hickey!” Jes-us. She just blurts these things out, doesn’t she? First she just up and announced she wanted to do drugs, now she wants a hickey in lieu of romance. You know what? Melanie is a freak.
Kathleen is appalled. She says that hickeys are “gross”, but Melanie says having a hickey means you have a boyfriend and you can go out on dates. Well, sometimes that’s the way it works, I guess.
Just then, Snake walks past, and Melanie does the usual routine of shyly saying hello to him. He says hi back, then continues walking on. A frustrated Melanie says, “I give up!” Okay, but first I think she really should try saying something to him other than “Hi, Snake”.
Kathleen says there’s “lots of time” for boyfriends because she’s only 12, but Melanie says she’s actually “12 and three-quarters”, which is “old”. But only to Roman Polanski. What? Too soon?
They walk past Arthur and Yick, and somehow, Arthur immediately picks up on the fact that Yick likes Melanie. I have no idea how, because all Yick does is softly say hi to her, and then sort of stare at her for a few seconds. Maybe Arthur can hear the lighthearted synthesizer on the soundtrack that indicates love is in the air.
Yick says he’d like to ask her out, but he’s afraid she’ll say no. Arthur says she might say yes, and “you never know ‘til you try!” If I were Yick, I don’t think I’d be taking advice from Arthur on getting dates, considering he’s currently carrying a trombone. I assume he’s in the school band, but no one ever says. For all we know, maybe he just wants to play the wah wah wahhh sound effect when Yick inevitably gets rejected by Melanie.
Over in the boys’ bathroom, Joey and Wheels discuss how awesome Loosey’s parties are, while standing at the urinals. Is it just me, or does way too much of this show revolve around urinals? I know people love Degrassi for its realism, but at the moment a Brady Bunch-style fantasy world with no toilets doesn’t sound so bad.
Joey asks Wheels if his parents would ever allow the kind of parties that happen at Loosey’s place. Which Wheels already said would never happen, but regardless, Wheels replies, “My mom won’t even let me turn the lights off!” Uh, okay. I guess he means he wouldn’t be allowed to turn the lights off if a girl was over at his house. Or something. You know, I don’t know what he means. Maybe his mom forces him to sleep with the lights on every night.
Then they go back to wondering if Shane really had sex with Spike. And, ta-dah, Shane himself walks in. They ask him if he really “did it”, and they want to know what it felt like. Shane just smirks and says, “What, you’ve never had sex before?” Clearly, they haven’t, but Wheels says, “Sure! Lots of times!” And one time, it almost involved someone else!
Shane refuses to give any sort of concrete answer. And then Wheels asks why Spike’s not talking to him anymore. Shane has no idea, so Joey quips, “Probably her period or something!” Youch. Bad, bad timing on that joke, Joey. Did you not read the title of the episode?
Over in the Girls Restroom of Ill Repute™, Spike is currently occupying the sink usually reserved for Stephanie Kaye’s daily slutty transformations. Spike simply stands there, staring at her own reflection, surely thinking about all the mistakes she’s made in life. That seems to be what girls tend to do when they stand at this sink. Enter the Twins, demanding to know what’s wrong, and why she won’t talk to them.
Spike finally confesses, “My period’s way late. It’s always been on time before!” The effect of these lines is somewhat blunted by the way Spike runs them together into one, unbroken word. But get ready for the kicker. Spike says she might be… can you handle her truth? …pregnant.
The Twins look at each other, completely stunned. Heather says that’s ridiculous, because you can’t get pregnant unless you’ve had sex. Really? Whew! Load off her mind! Because obviously, Spike was worried that she had immaculately conceived.
In response, Spike gives them a look full of shame and regret, and then she stares at the floor. The Twins finally put it together that she really “did it” with Shane, and Spike continues to look ashamed. Maybe she’s not pregnant, just really embarrassed that she had sex with a guy like Shane.
Back in the other, boring plot, Yick is standing at his locker, and Melanie walks past. He almost asks her out, but fails. And by “almost asks her out”, I mean that he goes “Umm…” and then watches her walk away. Arthur comes over and wonders why he didn’t go for it. Yick says he just “couldn’t”. Given the height differential between them, maybe Yick was afraid Melanie would respond by stomping on him.
Arthur decides that Yick needs some “serious help”. So do most kids at Degrassi, but in this case, Arthur means help in the romance department. And who’s going to provide this help? Why, Arthur himself, of course. Degrassi’s resident ladies man. Yick asks how he knows anything about girls.
“When you’ve got a sister like mine,” Arthur replies, “you learn fast!” Oh no. If Arthur is learning everything he knows about girls from Stephanie Kaye, he’s going to end up one messed up, twisted SOB by the time he grows up.
Back in the Girls Restroom, the Twins are still standing there with Spike. Erica insists that you can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex. Heather pipes up with, “I don’t know if that’s true.” Erica rolls her eyes, and says that of course it’s true, because “everybody knows” it’s true. Well, the special needs kids at Degrassi know it’s true, anyway. Erica insists Spike’s period is late because she’s “irregular”.
And so… Spike just goes back to looking down in shame. The Twins gather round to comfort her, while we hear a slowed-down version of the Degrassi Junior High theme song, otherwise known as “The Love Theme from Degrassi”.
Cut to Spike walking into a hair salon, and we learn that Spike’s Mom actually owns this salon. Yes, her mom does hair for a living, and yet, Spike ended up with that hairdo anyway. You try and figure it out.
Mom’s current customer is yakking away, and right when Spike walks in, just by sheer coincidence, the customer shares the news that a friend of hers is pregnant. Mom is thrilled, everyone is thrilled. Because, you see, it’s not enough for the kids on this show to experience huge, life-changing problems. They also have to deal with the entire world reminding them of their problems every time they turn around.
Mom apologizes to Spike for fighting with her this morning, saying she was just in a bad mood. “You know me before my first cup of coffee!” And my first glass of scotch! And my first speedball of the day!
Mom’s customer continues to talk about her pregnant friend, who already has six kids. Holy crap, Spike’s Mom knows Octomom? This inspires Spike to ask her mom a question. Spike is just wondering, you know, for no reason in particular, I mean she’s just curious, because her friend says it’s impossible to get pregnant the first time you have sex. Is that true?
Mom scoffs at this. “They say one in five girls gets pregnant the first time!” A lot of times on this show, they have certain statistics they want to get across. And usually it’s not so bad when the facts and figures are coming from say, a teacher, but when a hairdresser knows teen pregnancy stats off the top of her head, it does come across as a bit unrealistic.
Mom and her customer then share hearty laughs about all the other stupid pregnancy myths that kids believe, like you can’t get pregnant if you stand up after sex, or jump up and down after sex, or douche with Coca-Cola, and so forth. Well, they don’t mention the thing about Coke. So I guess that one is actually true. Spike just starts somberly sweeping up, and heading towards the backroom.
Mom says she wishes she had known all this stuff sooner, because she was 17 when she had Spike, and because of that she couldn’t “go to university”. And yet, she appears to be the sole proprietor of a relatively nice salon, so I guess things didn’t turn out too bad for her. And then the customer reassures Mom that Spike’s a good girl, and is sure to go to university. Yeah, don’t be so sure, lady. In the backroom, Spike quietly breaks down in tears.