Degrassi Junior High “Best Laid Plans” (part 3 of 4)
Everybody files out of class, and now the Twins are showing off their duality for the very first time in the series. For those who don’t know, Heather is the conservative twin, while Erica is the twin who’s down with all kinds of freaky shit, which we learn when Erica tells Heather not to “be such a prude”.
Heather denies her obvious prudishness, but still thinks Stephanie should “cancel” the date because of all the gossip flying around. But Erica says that if Steph cancels now, it’s the end of the Steph/Wheels OTP. Heather says, “That’s blackmail!” What? Like, emotional blackmail? I guess? But that only works if you accept Wheels as the sexiest man in all of Toronto, which I still refuse to do.
Finally, the Twins decide to do something crazy, and ask Stephanie what she thinks about the thing that involves Stephanie. Steph simply says, “Sex is no big deal!” As proof, she points out she’s “not a little girl”. In fact, “I’m 14.”
Right on cue, Voula walks up, evidently so full of bitterness and vitriol that she can’t even see straight. I’m sorry, I just can’t make fun of this anymore. It was pathetic about four episodes ago. Now it’s just depressing. “Well, what do you know?” Voula asks, to no one in particular. “It’s the school sleaze!” The school sleaze? Huh? I’d bet good money the line was originally “the school slut”, but somebody made them change it.
Voula adds, “I mean… president!” Yeah, that was a totally natural and understandable slip-up there. Because it completely makes sense to walk up to the school president and go, “Well, what do you know? It’s the school president!” And we all know how easy it is to mix up the words “sleaze” and “president”, don’t we? And that’s even before Clinton’s second term, buh-doom-boom.
Steph is so pissed off that she walks away without a word, and then one of the Twins tells Voula that this was “real nice”. And Voula tries her best to stand there and act like this was a totally appropriate and justified thing for her to say, and completely fails.
Meanwhile, Steph walks through the hallway and passes Melanie and Kathleen. Kathleen says she “can’t believe the school president is being like this!” What the hell? Is celibacy a part of the gig when you’re elected school president? Melanie, continuing her tendency to be the Voice of Reason, replies, “If she really loves him, there’s nothing wrong with sex!” Although, her point is sort of undercut by her horrible sweater. It has an embroidered pattern of sheep. I don’t think even Bill Cosby has worn a sweater this hideous.
Suddenly, Kathleen isn’t really bothered by the sex, per se, but rather, “sex before marriage”. She says she’s saving herself for her future husband, so Melanie lets loose with the golden line, “Who’d be stupid enough to marry you?” Have I ever mentioned that I like Melanie?
Cut to… what is this, a beach? I mean, I see water crashing on a shoreline. But do they actually have beaches in Toronto? Okay, maybe “beach” is too strong a word, because the shore is all muddy and covered with sharp rocks. So I guess Toronto has “beaches” in the same sense that New Jersey has “beaches”. Here, Wheels and Wheels’ Dad are walking their dog, a tiny little poodle.
Wheels asks his dad, just offhandedly, how old he was when he “first did it”. Wheels’ Dad has a much different reaction than you’d expect from most parents. Instead of freaking out and pretending like he didn’t actually hear the question, Wheels’ Dad calmly says, “You want to know when I lost my virginity.” He says he was a lot older than Wheels, because, hello, look at the guy. He probably lost his virginity when he was 32. I have no idea how he was even genetically capable of producing sexy offspring like Wheels.
Wheels is full of questions, wanting to know how his dad knew “exactly what to do”. Dad motions Wheels to sit down at a convenient nearby picnic table. He tells “Derek” that “Sex isn’t something you do just for fun.” Holy shit, it’s not? Have I gotten it wrong all these years?
Of course, Dad’s being a total killjoy here, talking about how “complicated” sex is, and all the “responsibilities” that come with sex, and how Wheels is too young, and he has “lots to do” before he’s ready for sex. Wow. Was that “the talk”? I keep hearing people talk about getting “the talk” from their parents, but I never knew what that meant until now. Regardless, this means that, halfway in, this has become a Very Special Episode, after all. Specifically, the Very Special With Great Sex Comes Great Responsibilities Episode. Meanwhile, Wheels pets his poodle.
Cut to the Kaye household, where Stephanie and her mom are sitting down to the dinner table. Stephanie puts down two plates, and both of them are covered with big piles of green puke, which might possibly be salad.
Stephanie says, “Mom… When was the first time you had… sex?” Mom is so stunned that she drops a big forkful of salad back on her plate. What is with these Degrassi kids? When they’re thinking about having sex, the people they immediately turn to are their parents? What parallel universe have I ended up in? I think my mom still has no idea I’ve ever had sex.
Steph immediately says, “Never mind.” Mom suggests having “the talk”, but Stephanie just shakes her head.
Mom persists, saying they should talk about “the facts of life.” But Steph just scoffs, saying she knows “all that stuff”. I mean, you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have the facts of life. What else is there to know? As you can tell, I learned everything I ever needed to know about life from Alan Thicke.
Steph insists she’s “not a little kid, you know!” And in a brilliant move, the writers underscore just how completely full of shit she is by having her drink a glass of milk, and end up with a huge milk moustache. So… um… she was saying?
The next day in class, Joey jokes with Wheels about how this is “the big night”, and asks if he has “protection”. Despite Wheels’ attempts to shush him, Joey has a grand old time loudly telling Wheels that he needs, “safes, rubbers… prophylactics!” All the other kids stare and laugh. Upon overhearing this, Voula angrily marches out.
Cut to the Restroom of Ill Repute. Voula confronts Stephanie, who’s currently in the middle of applying eye shadow. She asks Steph if she’s really going to have sex with Wheels. Wait, is that genuine concern I hear in her voice?
Steph says that she screwed up their first date, so sex is the only way to make it up to him. God bless you, Stephanie Kaye. If only there were more women who saw things your way.
But we’re supposed to be learning something here, so she throws in the clichéd, ham-fisted line, “I want him to like me!” Voula wonders if Stephanie really wants to go “all the way”, but Stephanie remains silent on the issue. Then, out of nowhere, Voula suddenly apologizes for calling Stephanie a “sleaze”. What? Is this a Degrassi détente? A thawing of icy Voula-Steph relations? Only time will tell.
In the next scene, we learn Joey’s wise words about protection have sunk in, because now Joey and Wheels are heading over to a local pharmacy to buy condoms. Wheels is not so sure this is a good idea, but Joey says, “Dude, this is the ‘80s! A guy’s got responsibilities!” This is obviously supposed to tie in with Wheels’ Dad talking about the “responsibilities” that come with sex, but I really can’t imagine an eighth grader ever saying something like this. (And he puts emphasis on the word “got”, which is bizarre.)
Hey, this is interesting. The pharmacy they’re heading for is right next to a TV/VCR repair shop. Hmmm. Why does this place seem so familiar?
Wheels is still reluctant, but Joey says, “All the guys are counting on you, man!” Me, too! If Wheels even gets close to third base with Stephanie, he’ll be my eternal hero.
Inside the pharmacy, they head on over to the condom section, which Joey calls “Safe City”. You know, I’ve never heard condoms referred to as “safes” before now. Is this another Canadian thing? Joey looks over the racks of condoms and asks if Wheels wants “French stallion, ribbed delight, your industrial-strength, your variety pack…” He decides they need “professional help” and Joey calls out, “Yo! Can we get some service here at safe section?” Wheels is mortified. And to the surprise of absolutely no one, the woman who comes over to help is none other than… Stephanie’s mom. Small world, huh?
Joey, true friend that he is, shoves a pack of condoms into Wheels’ hands and immediately runs out of the store. Stephanie’s Mom, who I should add that Wheels has no idea is Stephanie’s mom, comes over and takes the pack of condoms from him. And the whole time, there’s a stereotypical old hag with a big floppy hat staring at Wheels, compounding his humiliation.
Steph’s Mom rings up the condoms, while the old lady continues to stare at Wheels. He pays for them and then starts to leave, but Steph’s Mom abruptly decides to hand him pamphlets. She says they’re for “young people considering becoming sexually active”, and they’re all about “family planning and venereal disease”. Venereal disease? Who says “venereal disease” anymore? Oh, right, people in 1987.
Wheels takes the pamphlets and runs out of there, while Steph’s Mom and the old lady give each other knowing looks.
Meanwhile, Yick and Arthur are walking home from school. Yick mentions the possibility of inviting other people over to watch Swamp Sex Robots, and Arthur is more than happy to open up his mom’s house to an unknown number of horny boys. He looks at the VHS cover and asks, “I wonder what swamp sex robots do!” I’m guessing something swampy. And sexy.
Yick promises they’ll find out tonight, and Arth-Yick again give each other vigorous high-fives. Yick heads off, asking Arthur not to watch the video without him, obviously wanting to share this special experience together. And Yick is so jazzed about the whole thing that he actually skips away and does a PowerPoint Clip Art leap in the air, tapping his heels together. Man, is that weird.