Sean is sitting in his dim living room mindlessly flipping through TV channels. He is wearing his season three uniform – gray hoodie and white t-shirt, without the big headphones and stocking cap. Maybe those are just props for school. He picks up the cordless phone and calls Emma. Her cheerful voice picks up on the answering machine. Sean sighs and sadly sets down the phone.
There is girly giggling as the door opens and Tracker, Sean’s older brother, backs a woman in through the door. They make with the lovin’ into the living room until Sean says, “You need a little help with that?” The giggling woman is Wendy, and she makes a break for the bathroom so that Tracker can deal with Sean. And by “deal,” I mean “kick him out of his own house.” He says he thought Sean would be over at the girlfriend’s house, as usual. Sean bitterly says that he hasn’t been there for a month because her step-dad is sick. Tracker gives him some cash, and says Sean should go buy Snake a get-well card. Instead, he goes to his bedroom and calls Emma again, and again gets her machine. Sean looks like he’s been rejected. Strangely, I don’t want to cuddle him.
I know I can make it through this recap, because the theme song gives me strength.
Toby and JT are sitting on the front steps looking at Toby’s school pictures. His parents ordered about six dozen of them. In the photo, Toby has his hand curled under his chin and his head tilted to the side. I don’t want to offend Marco, but the picture is kind of gay. Sean comes up and says Toby’s parents must be blind to have wanted so many copies of those pictures. Parents are blind to the faults of their children, Sean. You might not know that, because yours aren’t around.
A black sports car pulls up in front of the school, music blaring. The driver parks it any old place, gets out, and macks on some girl with short dark hair. The threesome on the steps stares at them. JT tells us that the driver’s name is Jay, and that he’s “pure psycho.” I recognize him as the Resident Bad Kid who harassed Marco and Dylan in the last episode. Toby tells Psycho Jay (now PJ) that he’s going to get a ticket if he parks there. Jay says, “No! Not a ticket!” and grabs Toby’s pictures. Sean stands up, puffs out his chest, and takes them back. PJ asks if Sean is Toby’s bodyguard. Sean says no, he’s Toby’s friend. Sean’s really brave. Also, I swear I’ve seen this bad kid in something else. [Perhaps in a Blink-182 tribute band? – loki]
Snake is handing out graded papers titled, “What is multimedia?” He tells stepdaughter Emma that she did a good job, and then throws Sean’s essay at him. He got a D, Emma got an A. Snake leans down and menacingly tells Sean that he should learn to use spell check. Sean has his hood up. In my old school, we weren’t allowed to wear hoods or hats inside. I guess Degrassi really is progressive. Sean tells Emma that Snake sure is in a great mood, and Emma mentions that he started chemo last week. Sean looks properly chastised. They watch Snake sit at his desk and open a metallic green laptop. There is the sound of singing angel choirs when he opens the lid, smiling and running his hand over his bald head. Emma says it was a surprise from Spike, to cheer him up. They agree that nothing says happy like a new computer. (Is it sad that I completely concur?)
Emma asks if Sean called last night, because there were hang-ups on her machine. For no reason at all, Sean says that he didn’t call. I have no idea why he would lie. Emma’s his girlfriend, I’m pretty sure he’s allowed to call. He tells her that he has an idea. He wants her to come over to watch TV, like they used to. Emma waffles. Sean puts on his sensitive face and says, “Come ON! A movie, a couch (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), double cheese. Me.” Emma asks how she could possible resist and squeezes Sean’s hand. That “wink, nudge” part was implied, by the way.
Sean goes to his locker in a hallway that would be empty, if it weren’t for PJ and his posse breaking into a vending machine. Everyone stops to look at each other, and then the posse continues to steal snacks. Ooh. They’re so baaaaad. Stealin’ Cheetos. Sean stands perfectly still as they stroll past him with the loot, and PJ smirks at him and gives him a generic brand candy bar. It is clear that he is buying Sean’s silence. I would have held out for at least a Reeses Peanut Butter cup, yo.
Emma is sitting in front of her locker eating lunch. Is the cafeteria not part of the sets this season? Sean drops down beside her and says “hey” with the goofiest grin I’ve ever seen. Emma hands him a sandwich and he digs in, asking what it is as he’s taking a bite. Emma recites a bunch of vegan ingredients. Sean spits it out. Emma says, “Hello? Vitamins?” Sean pulls out the contraband candy bar and says, “Hello? Tastes good.” Snake shows up looking pale and shaky. He says that they’ve called a sub and he’s going home. Since her mom is stuck at the salon tonight, Emma has to come home right after school. Emma starts to tell him that she can’t because of the Big Smoochie Date with Sean, but Snake tells her to reschedule. He’s in a really foul mood. Sean looks angry and put out. He asks why they don’t use a babysitter, and says it sucks.
Kendra, Killjoy Liberty, Nadia (I had to look her up at www.degrassi.tv, because I don’t recall seeing her before) and Toby are playing chess at tables in front of the school. The poster on the table says they are the Rooks and Knights Society. Might as well say Geeks and Nerds Club. Killjoy makes some move that impresses Kendra. Apparently, it’s a rare – yet legal – move for the lowly pawn. Yawn. Nadia asks Toby if he’s okay, but he’s too busy watching JT hang out with the cool kids up on the steps. Toby says JT must have forgotten today was the inaugural meeting of the club. I’m thinking he’d probably rather look down Paige’s blouse than play chess with a bunch of geeks. Toby calls to JT, but he gets totally dissed. If I didn’t find Toby so boring, I might feel bad for him. Kendra says, “yeah, he obviously forgot” in a voice that means, “He’s obviously blowing us off.” Toby says he hopes JT didn’t forget he was supposed to sleep over tonight. Is it a school night?
Shop class. Some of the kids are wearing navy blue jumpsuits. The teacher is in a wheelchair, checking on everyone’s work. I’m guessing that this is Grade 10 shop, which Sean chose over helping Emma find her dad. Except. Who’s that? It’s Craig! Wasn’t Craig going to art class in “Father Figure” when Sean was going to shop? I’m so confused. (Well, Craig is wearing a smock, so maybe he just got lost? Anyway, Sean is wearing his stocking hat and a wife beater. He has hot arms. I’m just saying. He’s using a ratchet to tighten something, while Craig leans on the engine and says that when he tried to tighten it, it just got looser. Sean tells him he should stick to selling cars. Craig tells him to shut up and says that the big hunk of metal was supposed to be his bird course for the semester. I think that’s what he says. I’m really not sure what they’re talking about. Sean says, “I don’t know many birds that can change a transmission.” Guess it was bird. Still doesn’t make sense. Oh, those wacky Canadians! The teacher comes by and tells Sean that he’s doing a great job.
Ominous music plays, and PJ and Sean lock eyes from across the crowded garage. Craig looks alarmed. He probably doesn’t want anyone to ruin his pretty face. Sean stalks across the garage, maintaining eye contact, and just when I think he’s going to pound PJ’s face in, Sean grabs a ratchet away from a member of the PJ posse. He says, “you’re doin’ that wrong,” and tells PJ that he needs to loosen the injector line first. “Righty tighty, lefty loosey,” he says. You know, that advice has gotten me so far in life. PJ says that Sean has guts. He also has a gut, which is strange because the rest of his body is so muscular.
Sean and Emma are in Geometry class. Sean is fighting to stay awake, while Emma looks ready to solve for scalene triangles all day long. Raditch knocks on the door and asks the teacher if he can see Sean. Emma and Sean exchange concerned looks as he walks out into the hall. Raditch says that a vending machine was broken into near Sean’s locker, and he wants to know if Sean saw anything. Sean gets increasingly defensive, denies seeing anything, and wants to know why Raditch is picking on him. He says Raditch is talking to him because he’s the poor kid. Raditch tells him to watch his tone, that he’s just trying to get to the bottom of this. Emma is watching with trepidation through the window. Sean says he’s not at the bottom of it, but Raditch says his behavior says otherwise. He tells Sean that he’s going to be watching him.
Loud music blares from Psycho Jay’s sports car, still parked right in front of the building. Sean has on his Resolve Face as he shoves up into PJ’s space. PJ asks what his problem is, and Sean says that because of him, Raditch is blaming Sean for the vending machine theft. PJ looks scared for just a second that Sean might have ratted them out until Sean says that he didn’t, but he isn’t going to take the heat for it either. PJ says, in his most sarcastic voice, “Ooh! I’m in trouble with Raditch, I’m going to get a detention!” He shoves Sean, and all hell breaks lose. Fight! Fight! Sean takes down PJ and a member of his posse before Coach Armstrong breaks it up.
PJ and Sean are sitting in plastic chairs in front of Raditch’s office. PJ is saying that Raditch can’t punish them, because they were on the sidewalk, and that’s not school property. Sean tells PJ not to talk to him, but PJ is determined to become best friends. He tells Sean that he fought pretty “good.” And then, even though PJ is a totally annoying character, he says what’s been on my mind for many episodes, “Look at you. All Eminem on the outside, big scared baby on the inside.” See. I KNEW they were going for an Eminem look. I KNEW it! Sean says that he has a record. A light bulb goes on over PJ’s head and he says that Sean is “that guy” who nearly killed a kid at another school. Sean says that he just made the kid deaf in one ear, during a fight. Sean just got street cred, yo. PJ makes a deaf joke and both boys laugh. Sean says he’s pretty funny for a guy sitting in front of the principal’s office (the principal is your PAL). PJ says the chair has his imprint on it. PJ tells Sean that if he ever wants to hang with some real people, his kind of people not nerds, he just needs to let PJ know. Raditch appears, rolling up his sleeves as if he’s going to be participating in corporal punishment, and calls PJ into his office. Psycho Jay’s real name is Jason, by the way. Sean looks mildly interested in PJ’s offer to hang.
As we come back from commercial, JT is having a dream about sitting in a tropical paradise with zinc on his nose and bubbles in the air. He’s wearing one of those chunky shell necklaces and has his shirt unbuttoned. He is very skinny. Non-dream JT is moaning and thrashing around. In the dream, Killjoy is wearing a halter top and a flower in her hair. She brings JT a fruity drink with an umbrella. She then jumps into a swimming pool, dowsing JT as he says her name. Liberty! Oh, no.
Non-dream JT gasps a couple of times and then springs awake, as an already up-and-at-’em Toby tells him that they’re going to be late. JT looks horrified to realize that he’s had a wet dream. About Killjoy. He should be mortified! Toby tries to pull the covers off, but JT holds on. Toby teases him about wetting the bed until he realizes what really happened. JT had a wet dream about three feet above Toby’s head. I am not going to make a joke about Toby secretly liking it, but you should feel free to. Toby asks whom it was about, and JT says, “your mom.” Ha! Toby says he knows it was about Liberty, because JT was moaning her name in his sleep. Busted. JT makes him swear he won’t tell anyone. Toby says, “Okay, shooter” and it’s the funniest thing he has ever said. This would never happen on American teen television. Toby says that it’s time for him and JT to go have lunch with the cool kids. I am unclear whether it’s Saturday, and they’re meeting at, like, the mall, or if JT did sleep over on a school night. JT says “they” aren’t having lunch with anyone, and Toby makes a veiled threat about spilling (a pun!) JT’s secret if Toby doesn’t get to eat with JT’s new friends.
PJ and his posse are hanging around the open hood of PJ’s car. To be fair, the posse consists of one African American kid and the short dark-haired girl. It’s not really a posse, I guess. PJ observes as the other guy tinkers with some car part and the girl does her nails. Her bra strap is hanging out of her shirt. Classy. Sean walks up and says, “Cold air intake” as a salutation. PJ asks him how he knows that. Sean says, “It’s a simple mod” and that it adds about five horses. PJ tells him that he knows his cars, and Sean once again takes the tool away from the non-posse guy and says, “You don’t.” Sean goes to work tightening things, and says that the cold-air intake is a start, but that they need to add a full cab-back system if they really want horsepower. I think it’s attractive that Sean is so smart about cars, but it’s hard for me to recap because I don’t. PJ looks excited by more horsepower until Sean tells him what the other system will cost. Sean says that if PJ can get the parts, he’ll do the labor for free.
The next scene is my absolute favorite in this episode. Hip-hop music plays while Sean, PJ and the non-posse walk in slow motion down the school corridor. Sean is wearing a bandana tied around his head, his headphones and his hood. PJ macks on his girlfriend. The other kids look at them in fear and get out of the way. It’s almost a carbon copy of a scene from the Buffy episode, “The Pack,” when Xander gets possessed by a hyena. Hyena!Xander was extremely hot. Oh my god, yes. Bad Sean is less so ((Well, he lacks the leather. And he’s about 10 years younger than Nick Brendon was at the time. But still, leather would probably help.), but he is obviously beginning to slide down the slippery slope of evil.
Laughter. Paige, Spinner, Hazel and JT are playing Eucre in the cafeteria – guess they do still have that set. I have heard about this game. I have friends from Indiana who talk about it sometimes. I, personally, have never played it. I don’t even know if I’ve spelled it correctly. Paige says something about trumping and the left bower. Spinner voices my thoughts and says, “Trump, bower, Eucre? Is this even English?” Out of nowhere Toby arrives to explain that Eucre is an English word but that its origins are unknown. The cool kids and JT look confused at the nerd in their midst. Toby says that he plays all the time with his Bubby, and tells Paige to deal him in. JT snarks, “I’m Toby Isaacs, I know everything.” He also knows what JT did that morning, and JT might want to remember that. (JT slept over on a school night! I could never do that!) Toby says he was just making an observation, and JT says that he can also make an observation, and that is that no one cares what Toby has to say.
Toby has had enough from someone who’s supposed to be his best friend. The boy who looked up internet porn with him! And bought condoms with! Hrm… maybe there’s more to this jealousy than initially meets the eye. He says that he knows one more thing that everyone might want to know. JT realizes too late that he’s pushed Toby over the edge. Toby starts by giving the definition of “nocturnal emission, better known as the wet dream.” Paige looks horrified and yet amused. Toby says that he’s had them, Spinner has had them, even Mr. Raditch has had them. Raditch bites into a big cream-filled donut. It’s gross. Paige agrees and says she didn’t need that image. Toby says that JT has also had them, and Spinner wants to know what his point is. Toby says the point is “right there” and he points to Killjoy walking with her tray. Spinner says he’s lost, and Toby says that JT was too, that morning in dreams of Liberty. Paige laughs and snorts. Hazel wants to change the subject. Paige says they can’t change the subject because “this is such juicy gossip, pardon the pun.” She said it, not me.
Emma is talking to a group of students and teachers about picking up garbage. Apparently, these are members of Emma’s S.I.T.E. club, and over lunch they are going to Clean The Ravine. Emma looks way more excited about the activity than Sean, who is a sitting duck for PJ and his non-posse. They say they’re going for a drive at lunch, if Sean wants to come. He says he promised he would help Emma, and they scoff at him. Emma tells Sean that she wants them to start on the northeast slope. PJ is an ass, and dumps out his soda (it looks like Mountain Dew) and calls it a chemical spill. The non-posse cackles at his non-joke. Emma ignores them because she has pride. PJ says that Emma has a great sense of humor – not – and tells Sean again that he can go for a ride or Clean The Ravine. Sean looks irritated at the prospect of cleaning, but goes with Emma anyway.
Sean sports a gray muscle t-shirt and his bandana while he and Emma trounce through a bunch of trees, gathering trash. He sits down and she hands him a water bottle. She is totally always prepared, our little Emma. Sean pulls off the bandana to reveal some nappy hair, and Emma tells him that she knows this is not his idea of fun, but that she appreciates his help. She is also so considerate. I wish all teens were like Emma – without the self-righteousness she sometime exudes. She gives Sean a little peck on the lips, and then tries to pull away. Sean’s having none of that, and he brings her face back to his so that they can kiss for real. He lays her down in the forest undergrowth and they commence with the making out until Kendra, wearing an S.I.T.E. shirt, stumbles upon them. Emma breaks away and Sean can’t understand why she is embarrassed. She says she doesn’t want to make out in front of the whole school. Plus, if she kept on with the macking, everyone would start to think that her big environmental improvement plans were really just a cover to get her some nookie.. Sean’s feelings are hurt and Emma walks away.
Lunch is over and everyone mills about near the lockers. Sean is walking a little behind Emma. She tells him that she’ll see him in class, but he just keeps walking. She tells him “fine, be like that,” and he says, “like what?” She calls him sulky, and he calls her uptight. She explains again that they were out in the ravine to pick up garbage, not to get it on. Sean says he knows, but that he feels like she never wants to do anything with him anymore. She says she just spent her entire lunch with him, but that’s not enough for Sean. She says she’s sorry that she cares about the environment. He’s says that’s all she cares about, though. He says, “Emma Nelson. Environmental crusader. Babysitter. A nurse.” Emma looks like she’s going to cry, and reminds Sean that Snake has cancer. He makes a huge blunder and says, “Yeah. I heard!” Emma tells him that tomorrow he can spend lunch with “those losers” and Sean says he will, because they know how to have fun. Emma tells him he’s pathetic. Sean slams a locker near Emma’s head and gets right up in her grill with a nasty look. Whoa. I’m pretty sure they just broke up.
Back in shop class. Sean is taking out his anger with a ratchet again. The shop teacher says that the garage is not a barnyard and he is not their mother, so they should clean up after themselves. PJ tells Sean that he’s found a way to get the money for the cab-back system. He still has a split lip from their fight. I appreciate the continuity. Sean says he’s up for it. PJ asks if he needs to talk to his boss first, and that just strengthens Sean’s resolve. He says that Emma isn’t his boss.
Sean, PJ and the non-posse are sneaking through the empty halls. PJ tells the rest of them to keep the janitors occupied. I’m pretty sure, since these kids are known troublemakers, that even the janitors would be on the lookout for them. PJ goes into the multimedia lab and starts to steal a keyboard. Sean tells him that the keyboard will only get them $50, if they’re lucky. He points to Snake’s get-well computer and says that it will make them enough money for the parts. PJ tells him that he should take it, since it was his idea. Sean stuffs it into a backpack and they leave. This is horrible! Snake has cancer! You don’t steal a man’s laptop when he’s down! (Not that you should ever steal someone’s laptop, of course.)
Next day, Emma is sitting in front of the school with one of her own class pictures. She signs it “To Sean, Love Emma” with a Sharpie. God, do you remember when it was such a big deal to write out personalized notes on your school pics? And figure out if you had enough to give them to all your friends? (I always had enough, not being Miss Popularity.) I came across one of some chick I knew my senior year and she mentions the boy I had a crush on for all of two weeks. Bizarre. She’s wearing the cutest outfit – short denim skirt with a peasant blouse. Very earthy. Sean pulls up in PJ’s car with his new best friends. He’s wearing his stocking hat and headphones. He starts giving the posse instructions about the new car parts. Emma gets up the courage to go talk to him, and says that she wants to speak with him alone. He says no, and PJ says that they’d all like to hear what she has to say. She ignores him and tells Sean that she wants to really discuss the problems they’ve been having. PJ whacks him on the back, and Sean says he has nothing to say. PJ’s girlfriend says, “She really is flat as a board, huh?” It’s her only line in this episode, but I’m pretty sure it’s meant to imply that Sean spent the previous night spilling all of Emma’s secrets to his new bad-influence friends. Emma walks off, crumpling the picture in her hand. Don’t worry, Emma! They’re really not that important! I promise!
JT asks Toby how he could do that to him, and Toby says he can’t believe the way JT’s been acting. JT says, “You told them I had a wet dream over Liberty” and Toby says, “You treated me like crap for no reason.” He says that JT stood him up for lunch and treats him like he’s a big loser. I say, if the shoe fits… Yeah, but if JT doesn’t want to hang with him, he should at least have the decency to tell him. This whole public ignoring and dissage, yet being Toby’s friend when no one is around thing really ain’t cool. JT says that Paige and the gang are his friends, and that Toby is also his friend, but that Toby and Paige and the gang aren’t ever going to be friends. Ouch. That’s a really tough lesson to learn. Toby walks off, and JT runs after him, saying that they can have lunch together.
Emma finds Snake sitting at his desk, looking confused. He says he’s positive that he left his new laptop locked in his classroom the night before, but that it’s gone. He knows the chemo is making him stupid, but he can’t believe he would actually lose his new get-well machine. He looks so sad and confused. Emma looks out the window and sees Sean walking by. He pauses before going outside and they glare at each other. Emma tells Snake that she’s not sure chemo is the problem.