Degrassi Junior High “Revolution!” (part 3 of 4)
In class, Stephanie watches as Wheels and Snake arrive, both in bright yellow sweatshirts, also covered in handmade Zit Remedy logos. Very classy, boys.
Joey enters, and Stephanie intercepts him, just so she can hang all over him and flatter him, and again shoot evil eyes at Wheels. Joey asks her to a movie, and Stephanie pretends like this is the greatest idea she’s ever heard. But I’m pretty sure this dialogue was improvised, because it’s all half-muttered and clumsy.
Meanwhile, Yick storms into the Grade 7 classroom. He yells at Arthur, saying his sister is crazy, because she made Joey Jeremiah the new sports rep. The whole class overhears, and they’re all livid. Melanie says sports rep is supposed to be a Grade 7 position, and Joey is a Grade 8. Kathleen says the student council is supposed to be “balanced”, but with this nomination, there’s now a 4-2 split on the high court, I mean, student council.
Suddenly, all the kids in the classroom are piling it on, about how there’s supposed to be an election, and Joey’s not even on a team. Okay, but first of all, I’m pretty sure Yick’s not on a team, either. We saw him try out for the basketball team, but that was the extent of it. Second of all, if there’s supposed to be an election, why were they complaining in the first place about Stephanie not picking anyone to replace Jason Cox?
Someone yells, “Stephanie’s infringing our rights!” And then, in the middle of this passionate call to arms, Arthur gets a chance to express his feelings.
Yick: Whose side are you on?
Arthur: I don’t know. She is my sister.
Hilariously, everyone erupts at Arthur, and poor Ms. Avery has to come in and try to bring things to order. But even she can’t stop the full-scale revolt that’s brewing in her classroom. Viva la revolución!
Cut to Yick Yu hanging a sign in the hallway that says “No Way Stephanie Kaye – You’ve gone too far”. He sees Susie, and tells her Stephanie has to go, because she’s a terrible school president. Susie agrees, reminding us all of how she only won the election because “she let all the boys kiss her”.
They high five, and then we cut to two other students arguing about whether or not Stephanie is a good president. So, evidently, Stephanie’s job performance is now the hot topic all around school.
Here we see Voula, in one of her final scenes, telling L.D. she’s not so sure about this recall movement. She thinks Stephanie is doing okay, because she’s been going to all the student council meetings and everything. I find that really, really hard to believe. And even if it’s true, I’d like to think there’s more to being an effective president than just showing up. Though I hear that can win you a Nobel Peace Prize.
L.D., currently wearing another one of her lovely mesh caps, says that none of that matters—she can’t make Joey sports rep just because she likes him.
And now, over at the lockers, every incident in Stephanie’s sordid past is coming back to haunt her. One boy mentions how she was drunk at the Big Dance. A girl, who is actually that Rosie O’Donnell lookalike who pops up from time to time, mentions all the promises Stephanie made and never followed through on. “What happened to the rock music on the PA?” Seriously! I thought for sure Rockin’ Rompin’ Raditch would get behind that. And the best part is how she’s cheerily handing out protest flyers at the same time she’s making accusations, and not skipping a beat.
Susie is now putting up an “Impeach Stephanie Kaye” poster, and the poster mentions how she didn’t keep any of her campaign promises, and she practices “discrimination against GR sevens!” In voiceover, Melanie asks, “What happened to more dances?” Damn, she’s right. Did Stephanie follow through on anything?
The level of disgruntled chatter increases, with more voices complaining that Stephanie hasn’t kept a single promise, and someone says, “Impeach Stephanie Kaye!” And now Rick is in the hallway, calling people over to sign a petition to impeach Stephanie Kaye. People are signing up like crazy. Impeaching the president is now the in thing to do at Degrassi. Impeachment is the new premarital sex.
Over by the Girls Restroom of Ill Repute, Stephanie and Arthur are having a heated discussion. Arthur is complaining that the student council no longer represents the school because “sixty-six point six percent of its members are in Grade 8!” Jesus, Arthur. There are times to nerd it up, but talking to your bimbo sister is not one of them.
Stephanie, with her hair all done up in a truly innovative collection of hair clips, just snickers and says, “Seventh graders don’t count!” She insists she can “handle things on my own,” in reference to all the school-wide protests, I guess. She walks into the restroom, letting the door close in Arthur’s face.
And now, it’s time for another rollicking Zit Remedy rehearsal in the Swank Gym, as the band again assails their one and only song. And for some reason, Joey’s back in his skunk-like ‘80s rockstar wig. I guess that’s how you know he’s really rocking out. As they again perform “Everybody Wants Something”, a shot of Stephanie applying lip-liner is randomly edited in.
As the song continues, there’s a shot of Stephanie fawning all over Joey in a classroom. Oh, I guess this is supposed to be a montage, then. Either that, or we’re actually seeing the goings-on in Joey’s fevered, sex-crazed imagination.
And mixed in with “Everybody Wants Something”, we hear Grade 7s chanting “Out of the way, Stephanie Kaye!” Kathleen puts up a poster that says, “Stephanie Kaye may be a GOOD KISSER but she’s a LOUSY PREZ!” Also on the poster is the memorable tag line, “The student council can’t be run on lips alone!” I have no idea what that means, but that’s one slogan you don’t see on campaign posters every day.
The montage ends with the Zit Remedy finishing up the song. Snake wants to do it again, as if another run-through is actually going to make any difference. Wheels says he can’t, because he has to study for the exam tomorrow. They tell him to relax, so he says through gritted teeth, “I am relaxed!” And I can only imagine how this scene would have played with an actor possessing actual comedic timing.
Joey assumes, of course, that Wheels is just stressed out because Joey is spending time with Steph. He says they shouldn’t stop being friends just because “your girl chose me over you!” Wheels angrily says that Stephanie is not his girl. Joey, completely oblivious, replies, “Don’t I know it!”
He continues to rub it in, talking about how “beautiful” Stephanie is, and so forth, and you almost think Wheels is about to take a swing at Joey. But what happens next is even better. Wheels calls Joey a “real jerk” (I knew it!!), and then… he flips Joey off. I swear! He does the “up yours” gesture with his fist, only without the extended middle finger. There’s no way you’re seeing that on any kids show nowadays. Joey, of course, is still completely clueless, and keeps asking Snake, “What’d I say?”
And now, we’re outside, and the camera is tracking along with a black suitcase, being carried by a man in a gray trenchcoat. It’s like this episode has suddenly morphed into The Sum of All Fears. But the guy in the coat is Mr. Raditch, and the suitcase contains his dreaded midterm exam. Mr. Raditch runs into Joey on the front steps and says, “Beautiful day for an exam, isn’t it? Are you sweating yet?” And then that same demonic chuckle emanates from him. Seriously, is it even legal for teachers to terrify their students to this degree? I’m pretty sure this sort of thing violates the Geneva Convention.
Meanwhile, the Grade 7s are gathering outside Ms. Avery’s class, making plans for the overthrow of Stephanie Kaye. Kathleen leads the charge, saying, “There’s strength in numbers, and she won’t be expecting us!” She says Stephanie will be “sore-y” that “she crossed 7C”. I have no clue what “7C” refers to here.
And with that, they all… head into Ms. Avery’s classroom. It appears the massive protest against The Man won’t be happening until after the midterm. The revolution may not be televised, but it will be right back after this message about the Zambezi River.
Meanwhile, in the library, the Twins are gossiping about what a crappy thing Stephanie is doing to Joey. And guess who just happens to be perusing the paperbacks in time to eavesdrop on the entire conversation? Wheels, of course. I swear, more stuff is overheard at the paperback rack in the Degrassi library than NSA headquarters.
And naturally, Heather just happens to being saying a lot of stuff that Erica already knows, such as how Steph is only using Joey to get back at Wheels. She says she doesn’t want to see Joey get hurt, and Erica wonders why she’s suddenly “soft on Joey”. Basically, she starts accusing Heather of having a thing for him. Well, they’ve been sharing clothes lately, if that means anything. Heather having a crush on Joey would be an interesting development, but Ms. Baxter shushes them, bringing the discussion to a close. Wheels immediately runs out.
Cut to Raditch’s classroom, where it seems Raditch’s demonic laughter has been silenced. He’s currently panicking, and rifling through his desk, and frantically searching through all his papers. He looks up to see all the kids staring at him, so he puts on a fake smile and calmly walks out of the room.
Once he’s out in the hallway, this episode suddenly transforms into the Mr. Raditch Slapstick Comedy Hour. He flails about and slides to a stop on his loafers, and then turns and rushes through the hallway yelling, “Excuse me!”
A confused Wheels watches him run past, and then heads into class. Wheels makes small talk with Joey about the exam, and then he abruptly says, “Stephanie’s using you, you know.” Wow, that was smooth. Wheels tells him what he overheard in the library, about how Steph’s just trying to make Wheels jealous. Joey calls him “pathetic” and refuses to believe it. Wheels says to ask the Twins, but Joey tells him to bug off.
And now, it’s back to the Raditch Slapstick Comedy Hour, already in progress. Loosey walks into the principal’s office, and finds Raditch fumbling through file cabinets and yelling at Doris Bell that he needs that exam.
Doris notices Loosey, who’s here to get a copy of her attendance record for her “social worker”. Okay, so that’s officially two kids (Rick and Loosey) at this school who have social workers. There will be many, many more by the time this series ends. Doris wonders how Loosey could have gotten herself into “such a mess”, but that’s generally what happens when you swipe butt ugly scarves from a department store.
The conversation is interrupted by Raditch spazzing out and flinging around more papers. He suddenly yells, “I’ll be back!” and does a sitcom-y thrashing about as he runs out into the hallway. I know, I know. This is pretty hilarious and all, but just wait till we get to the payoff.
Doris stupidly reveals to Loosey that Raditch is acting like this because he lost the exam. Loosey gets a big smile on her face and hurries out. Way to go, Doris. The fact that she has a social worker didn’t tell you that maybe, just maybe, she shouldn’t be trusted with this kind of information?