Degrassi Junior High “What a Night!” (part 4 of 5)

Cut to Steph and the Twins going to a payphone, while Heather continues to be the only sensible person within a five-mile radius. She even tells Steph that Damon King “just wants your body”. Stephanie laughs and goes, “I know, I know!” And good old Erica just encourages Steph the whole time. So as far as I’m concerned, Steph deserves everything that’s about to happen to her.

The Twins stand outside the payphone while Stephanie dials. Erica calls it “so romantic” while Heather calls it “so dumb!” And then the usual banter about being a “prude” goes back and forth between them. I’ll go into it in more detail during one of the other roughly 5,000 times it happens on this show.

Stephanie gets connected directly to Damon King, and she’s thrilled beyond belief that he actually remembers her. Well, geez, it was only what, three hours ago? Damon makes plans to meet her later on tonight for a “date”, allegedly, saying he’ll pick her up at the “record store”. And at this moment, Stephanie is in Mommie’s Little Girl mode with no makeup on, and actually looking her age, which makes all of this even more disturbing.

She gets off the phone and shares the good news with the Twins. Steph says, “He’s gonna show me how a TV studio works!” By the way, “TV studio” is not at all his codeword for “penis”.

Heather is still being a killjoy, saying it’s not a good idea to go off with some “strange man”. Erica replies, “This is not a strange man! This is a TV star!” And I wonder how many parents once said, This is not a strange man! It’s the guy who made Thriller! See? Nobody ever really learned a damn thing from Degrassi, did they? If they paid attention, a whole lot of shit could have been easily avoided.

Steph says, “I practically know him”, because she’s read about him, and she sees him on TV all the time. Heather persists in being the only sensible person in the scene. She points out that no TV studio is open at night. Steph replies, “TV studios are always open late!” By the way, “TV studio” is not at all her codeword for “my legs”.

Heather warns that if Stephanie’s mom finds out, she won’t simply be grounded, she’ll be “buried”. No kidding. After a certain incident with a certain condom-buying Wheels, I’m amazed she’s still allowed outside without a burqa. Degrassi Junior High: the world’s highest concentration of apathetic, disinterested, permissive, and clueless parents, nine weeks running.

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Cut to Voula and Loosey at the department store, where Voula marvels at all the “nice stuff”, while Loosey says that she “shops here a lot”. You know, “shops”, quote-unquote. Voula picks up a kah-set and says, “I hear this is a good tape!” A tape? Wha? Like, with music on it? What’s she talking about? Meanwhile, Loosey makes obvious shifty looks and stuffs a necklace in her purse. Because what better way to celebrating acing an exam than by shoplifting?

Voula doesn’t notice, and they continue to peruse the racks. Voula likes a particular shirt, which Loosey refers to as… well, I have no idea what she says here. It really sounds like “clum clothes”. I’m guessing it’s another bit of Degrassi slang like “gurp” that never really caught on. At the same time, a stern-faced worker is wandering around in the background, keeping a close eye on the girls.

Voula finds a sweater she likes, but looks at the tag and says it’s “too expensive”. So Loosey promptly takes it and stuffs it into her handbag. Gosh, there must be like, infinite space in there. Voula freaks, and tells her to put it back, but Loosey shushes her and tells Voula to “be casual”. Hopefully, they’ll do a better job of being casual than Arth-Yick.

Caption contributed by Albert

“C’mon, every store has a stern-faced lady! It means nothing!”

The stern-faced lady employee continues to give them stern looks, but Loosey is oblivious. They both scurry off, and Loosey says, “No one’s seen us!” Naturally, just as they walk out of frame, Stern-Faced Lady pulls out a walkie-talkie with the longest antennae ever. She might be radioing messages to Voyager 6 currently orbiting Saturn with that thing.

Loosey and Voula head for the escalator, with Voula repeatedly telling Loosey that stealing is wrong. But Loosey says the store “expect[s] to lose stuff” and “it’s not that expensive”, but most important of all, it’s okay “as long as we don’t get caught!” That’s true. So many things are okay as long as you don’t get caught, as I’m sure Damon King is about to find out.

Then comes the point of no return, when they get to the base of the escalator. Voula hesitates, but in the end is tempted by Loosey’s wicked ways, and she hops on. They continue to bicker all the way up, with Loosey calling Voula a “wimp” and Voula calling Loosey a “thief”. In response, Loosey shoves her handbag into Voula’s arms and tells her to just go put the sweater back. Now, come on. You can’t tell me she didn’t plan that. Once again, Loosey knows all too well how to discreetly dispose of stolen property.

Up at the top of the escalator, a big blonde security guy stands there, waiting for them. Loosey sees him and her immediate reaction is to yell, “Run!” Alas, there’s another stern-faced lady waiting for them at the bottom of the escalator—this one is Indian and wearing big round SJR glasses; we’ll be seeing her again later. (Random trivia note: she was one of the patients being wheeled around the hospital in the previous episode, while L.D. was having her voiceover flashbacks.)

Caption contributed by Albert

Do not fuck with department store employees.

So all the girls can do is stand there, and ride the escalator up to their doom, and end up in the waiting arms of Big Blonde Security Dude. Voula just stares at Loosey, completely furious. Big Blond Security Dude takes the handbag from Voula, and escorts the girls to the secret S&M dungeon in the back of the department store where they put all the shoplifters in shackles and chains.

Meanwhile, Stephanie waits for her hot date Damon King to show up. And she’s actually waiting outside the record store for him, standing out on the dark sidewalk in her pink tights, diaphanous dress, and life-preserver jacket. A guy comes out of the record store and leers at her, and I predict in about fifteen minutes she’ll be picked up by the Vice Squad.

Caption contributed by Albert

“Oh, the Pussy Wagon decal on the back? That’s nothing. It means I like cats, is what it means.”

Just then, Damon King pulls up in his late ’70s model Corvette. He leans over and opens the passenger side door, and Steph looks hesitant for about half a second, but then she promptly jumps in. Damon finds a way to be even smarmier than before when he says, “Let’s you and me go have some fun!”

Cut to the secret backroom of the department store. Voula and Loosey are sitting at the desk of the Indian woman with the big SJR glasses. She pulls the sweater out of the handbag, and scolds the girls, telling them that “shoplifting matters!” And to provide one of this week’s lessons, she says, “The store has to pay for the things you steal, which means they have to raise prices and people have to pay more!” The woman is played by Mitra Sen, who was also a production assistant on the show. And as an actress, I have to say she’s one hell of a PA.

Loosey just rolls her eyes, so Mitra yells that she’ll be “singing a different tune when the police arrive!” Loosey assures Voula that all they have to do is act really sorry, and they’ll be let off with a warning. So obviously, this isn’t a new experience for Loosey. But when Voula asks point blank if she was caught before, Loosey denies it.

Caption contributed by Albert

Clearly, this is an American police officer. No doubt about it. No way, no how does this show take place in another country.

And then a cop enters and says to Loosey, “You again.” So, that kinda blows that story all to hell. Voula continues to seethe.

Meanwhile, on the latest installment of Statutory Love Connection, Damon King is driving Stephanie into the parking lot of a motel. He stops the car, and she wonders what happened to going to the TV studio. Damon puts an arm around her seat and says he just wanted to “stop for a bit. And talk.” Wow, so he doesn’t even bother getting a motel room? He just stops in the motel parking lot? That’s class.

Stephanie looks terrified, so Damon says, “I don’t bite,” which is like the official slogan of all child predators everywhere. He asks if she’s “afraid” or “nervous”, and of course she is, but she puts on a brave face, saying she just doesn’t like it here. He insists the motel parking lot is a “nice place! Quiet! Peaceful!” So really, there’s no better place to get your swerve on.

Caption contributed by Albert

“It’s the Damon and Steph Kaye show. Ya know. How it goes.”

He then finds a way to get even sleazier, by shooting a couple squirts of breath spray into his mouth, and wagging his tongue around. He then puts his hand on Stephanie’s knee. She resists, so he tells her, “You know what this is all about!” It’s about being completely grossed out?

Finally, she’s had enough of his smarm, so she jumps out of the car and makes a run for it. Damon slowly walks across the parking lot toward her, and she yells, “Stay away from me, or I’ll scream!” And what does she call what she’s doing right now?

Caption contributed by Albert

Go, Speed Pervert, Go!

Damon tries to shush her. He walks up and puts his hands on her shoulders, so she finally reveals that she’s actually 14, not 16, and that she told all her friends who she would be going out with tonight. Damon King is so freaked out that, without saying another word, he jumps back in his Corvette and peels out, and doesn’t even bother to close the passenger side door. Hey, he may be a sleazebucket, but he’s not a criminal.

In a brief scene, the cop is leading Voula and Loosey out of the department store backroom. Loosey pleads with the cop, telling him that she was the one who stole the sweater, not Voula, and he should let Voula go. And even Voula is not buying this line of BS. The cop says they’ll sort it all out at “the station” and that’s the end of that.

Caption contributed by Albert

Just when you thought Stephanie had already hit rock bottom…

And now, Stephanie is in the motel office. She’s placing a teary-eyed call to her mom, whom she addresses as “Mommy”, and begs her not to be mad, but… well, the thing is, she’s somehow ended up at a motel in the middle of the night dressed like a whore. And she needs Mom to come pick her up.

You know, I can only imagine what her poor mom must be going through right now. If I were Momma Kaye, I would at least be contemplating the possibility that I am the worst parent in the world. As well as suicide. But hey, at least Arthur came out okay. Wait, what’s that? Arthur is spying on other boys peeing? Okay, pass the vodka and oxycodone.

Multi-Part Article: Degrassi Junior High "What a Night!"

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