An extra arrives at school wearing a Degrassi Panthers sweatshirt. She sneezes into a tissue, and we follow her up the school steps. Cut to the gym, where Manny – in a royal blue and gold leotard – executes a cartwheel-back handspring-back handspring combination. She smiles and a bunch of girls cheer. Looks like Miss Hatzilakos is the gymnastics team coach, as well as the girl’s field hockey coach. Craig is standing around fiddling with a camera. Miss H tells Manny she needs to get her photo done. Guess Craig has a purpose, and isn’t just being a stalker.
It’s Kendra’s turn to show us what she’s got. Some guy helps her up onto a parallel bar, but she promptly drops off. She says that she’s not feeling well before clamping her hand to her mouth and running from the gym. According to Miss Hatzilakos, there’s some sort of flu going around. She wants everyone to stop breathing. There are germs in the air, and they can’t afford to lose any more gymnasts to the flu before the big meet. This almost explains the random shot of the extra sneezing, except the big flu appears to make its victims vomit not sneeze. Continuity! Emma’s on the gymnastics team, too. What a little joiner.
Manny poses on a floor mat in front of Craig. He tells her the photo is for the yearbook, and wants her to smile. He’s using a soft, sweet voice. I feel the need to point out that Craig’s outfit is stupid, and not just because I’m irritated at him for what he did to Ashley. He’s wearing what appears to be a gray waffle-knit shirt with two buttons at the throat underneath a baggy unremarkable jean jacket. Manny says that looking at Craig doesn’t really make her feel like smiling. His face falls. She does the splits and holds her arms up in the air, but doesn’t smile.
So, the tape I’m watching came from my fantastic friend Gryphon in Toronto, and when the Degrassi logo pops up, they pimp the web site. We don’t get that here in the States, yo.
Some girl whispers something to Paige, who then turns around to look at Manny, who is standing at her locker. Just then Ellie and Ashley walk by. Ashley asks Ellie if she smells something, and Ellie says that it’s the distinct odor of a boyfriend thief. Ellie’s wearing a cute dark plaid dress that laces up the front like a corset. Her cuteness doesn’t excuse the fact that they’re being mean to Manny, when she probably doesn’t deserve it. Not all of it anyway. Manny follows after them and tries to explain that she doesn’t want Craig, but they ignore her. Now that she’s the school harlot, she might want to wear a shirt that doesn’t show her bra strap.
Paige may or may not be trying to be nice when she tells Manny that it might suck to be her right now, but that everyone is talking about how she kicks major butt in gymnastics. Manny’s momentary elated, until Paige explains that they’re only talking about gymnastics when they aren’t talking about what a slut she is. It’s okay, though, because it’s all going to blow over. Paige thinks she should run damage control. Great idea! Like, maybe, wear a top that actually covers your – well – top. Paige points out that Manny is looking pale.
JT and his sometimes-pal Toby are walking to class when Jimmy interrupts to ask if JT is still interested in a trip next weekend. They’re going to Buffalo. (I love going to Buffalo! They should totally hit Amy’s Place on Main Street. Mmm…Amy’s Place homefries and lentil soup…–loki) It’ll be all the guys, hot wings, and the hottest concert of the year. Toby mumbles something I can’t quite make out, and calls Jimmy what I think is “Jimmer.” Jimmer doesn’t want to be called that, and he blows Toby off. JT is “so in it hurts.” There are about a dozen sexual jokes I could make about that statement. Toby holds up his hand for some skin, but Jimmy leaves him hanging. Toby doesn’t get it. Jimmy used to be his friend back in Season One. JT explains that it was before Toby’s “hot stepsizzle dumped his ass-izzle.” I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that The N will probably edit that out when they show this ep. Which is a shame. That’s funny stuff.
Manny stumbles upon Ashley in the library. Ash has some hair issues going on. She still has the cute short flippy ‘do, but the bangs have grown out so that they hang in her eyes. It’s kind of unkempt. Manny knows that Ashley hates her, and she’s super sorry. Ashley does not feel that “sorry” will make up for all the pain she caused. Ah, high school. It’s all so dramatic! Manny only stayed with Craig because he told her that she was the one. He lied to her, too. She would erase it all if she could. Ashley is wearing a kick-ass black wrist cuff with two buckles. She doesn’t quite accept Manny’s apology, but she does watch her walk off with something less than hatred. At least, I think so. It’s hard to tell, what with all the hair.
Miss Kwan’s class is reading Moby Dick. Spinner is in the class with all the Grade 9s, which is a nice reminder that he got held back last year. Miss Kwan herself is reading a passage about the violent churning of the sea. Manny looks as if she’s having some churning issues of her own. She wants to be excused. Kwan gives her some sass about how it’s not cool to come to school when you’re sick. Poor Manny looks like she’s going to hurl and runs out of the room. Emma watches with concern.
Cue the vomiting. Manny is sitting on the floor of the bathroom heaving her guts. The bell sleeve of her shirt is hanging in the toilet. Ew. She wipes herself off and looks horrible.
Toby dumps a bunch of ketchup onto some French fries. I think this is a clever ruse by the editors to remind us that looking at greasy food makes some people – say, those with the stomach flu, or pregnant women – want to be sick. Jimmy and Hazel are walking by talking about midterms. Jimmy has been studying, and Marco’s been tutoring him, but math has been kicking his butt. He’s worried that his dad will cancel the concert trip when he sees Jimmy’s grades.
Jimmy goes to sit down, but Toby’s in his way. He could not sound more like a tool as he tries to speak a little ghetto. He wants to know if Jimmy has any extra “tix” to the concert because he loves “DJ Crazy Guns.” Jimmy thinks he’s a moron, because he is, and he believes Toby meant DJ Mad Bullets. This Mad Bullets guy is getting lots of play this season. This is the third or fourth time they’ve mentioned him. It’s no dice for Toby, though. Car space is too tight, and Toby doesn’t even like rap. Toby implies that he knows a certain “homey” that knows a way to sneak into the Degrassi grading system. Said “homey” could change Jimmy’s math grade. Jimmy says he would buy the homey a ticket and let him ride shotgun. Toby holds up his fist for a little knuckle-bump and says, “peace.” Jimmy rolls his eyes.
Manny’s stretching out before gymnastics practice. Emma joins her and wants to know what was up with her ungraceful bolt from English class. Manny pretends like nothing is wrong. They’re still playing that “I hate you, you prude/Well I hate you, you slut” game that teenaged girls sometimes play. Emma tells Manny that she can’t compete if she’s sick, and goes off to tattle to Miss Hatzilakos. Panicked, Manny begs Emma not to say anything. Her life sucks right now, and she’s just nervous about the meet. Emma buys her story.
Some extra takes a flying leap off a pommel horse. The team cheers. Miss H wants Manny to show them how it’s done. Shouldn’t she be encouraging team spirit, and not calling out one girl over the others? This is how eating disorders are born, man. Manny mounts the balance beam and goes through her routine looking slightly queasy. Later, in the locker room, Emma tells Manny that she was incredible. Aw. Best friends forever. Manny wants to be supportive, too, so she says that she’s sorry Snake is in the hospital. All the viewers in my house say, “WHAT?” Emma calms us by explaining that Snake is just having more intense chemo. Can I just say that I care more about Snake’s cancer than Manny’s “stomach flu”? This sucks.
Hazel rushes in and makes some noise about starting her period during practice. She needs a Tampax tampon, stat. Emma’s fresh out, but Manny has plenty of Tampax, because she’s hasn’t needed them in forever. She rushes to explain that she’s been training really hard, hence the lack of period. Emma is still suspicious. It’s none of her business, but in light of Manny’s tremendous vomiting act earlier, she wants to know if Manny’s sure it isn’t something else. Truce is over. Manny snarks that it’s not any of Emma’s business, and rushes out of the locker room. She stops just outside of the school and pulls out her calendar, where she starts counting the weeks since her last period. It’s been nine. She looks like she’s going to cry as we go into a Tampax tampon commercial. Now that is just brilliant marketing.
Spinner and Craig are horsing around in the parking lot with a soccer ball. I don’t know what exactly it is they’re doing, but it’s not playing soccer. Craig has taken his fashion up a notch with a cowboy-style black leather blazer. Manny is watching them, but doesn’t approach, not even when Craig catches her staring.
Girls’ bathroom. Manny follows Paige in, and then takes the stall next to hers. Instead of using the toilet, she knocks on the wall and whispers Paige’s name. Paige hands her some toilet paper under the stall door. That’s not quite what she was looking for. Instead, she wants to know how you can tell that a guy has used a condom during sex. Paige says, “Were you there, hon? It’s just a tiny bit obvious.” Manny’s serious. She doesn’t know. Paige asks if she heard the wrapper rip, or if she felt anything. Manny doesn’t think so. Paige thinks that Craig has the potential to be a respectable guy, and if he’s the guy in this equation, she thinks Manny is probably safe. Just to be sure, though, she thinks it’d be a swell idea to just ask Craig. Paige promises not to tell anyone about the conversation, and leaves Manny with a bit of advice, “Ask questions first, get naked later.”
JT’s in the library reading a book called “Anyone Can Have a Happy Child.” Miss Kwan walks by and looks at him oddly. She apparently didn’t get the note on the Big Overshadowing Anvil this episode. He’s just covering for Toby, who’s sitting in a chair with a big old-looking laptop. I have to admit that this is a boring scene. The gist of it is: There’s a modem port that will connect Toby to the administration server. JT stands guard. Toby logs in and opens Jimmy’s grades, only to turn his math grade into 8888 percent on accident. Kwan interrupts them before Toby can fix his error. The end.
It’s time for the gymnastics meet. Emma completes her routine on the uneven parallel bars with a flourish, while Spike claps and holds Baby Jack. The camera pans through the crowd to a middle-aged Latina woman. It’s Manny’s mom. Manny is waiting in the hall and looks nervous. Miss Hatzilakos wants to know if she’s feeling ill, but Manny blames it all on the nerves. When it’s her turn to go out onto the floor, she is shaken by the sight of Craig with his camera. She mounts the beam but doesn’t get two steps into her routine before she falls off. Miss H rushes to her side as Manny starts to cry. Craig looks like he doesn’t have a clue as to what to do. Manny runs away.
Craig finds her sitting in the hallway alone. I’m surprised her mom isn’t with her, but then they couldn’t have this conversation with her mom, could they? Craig wants to know if she’s okay. She’s not. He doesn’t think it’s so horrible that she fell in front of everyone. She skips to the good stuff, and asks him if he used a condom when they had sex. There are students milling about in the hall. I would think they’d want to have this talk somewhere more private. Craig explains that Manny said it was “okay” when they had sex, so he assumed she was on the pill. What she actually meant was “if you want to have sex it’s okay, I won’t kick your ass.” She didn’t know what she was doing, because it was her first time. Craig starts to freak out in earnest. He wants to know if something’s wrong. Manny lies and says no, then tacks on “it can’t be.” Craig would like for her to clarify whether nothing is wrong, or whether nothing CAN be wrong. Two different things. Manny continues to insist that she’s a-okay. She even smiles to show him she’s not lying. He’s so panicked that his head is about to explode, so of course he leaves her standing by herself to cry.
Subplot City, where Toby has to confess to Jimmy that he f-ed up his grade. Okay. I hate to be a Toby hater, but now that I know Snake is in the hospital, I’m kind of wishing that was the secondary plot, okay? Jimmy forces Toby into an empty classroom. He logs onto a teacher’s computer and starts to fix the grade when Radditch walks in. He wonders if Toby can help him with a problem he’s having with his user account. He’s screwed with Snake away, and apparently Toby is the only other computer-savvy person in the school. Toby hems and haws, but eventually Radditch sees what he’s up to. Busted.
Manny goes for a run. A very aggressive, sloppy run. There’s a great song playing over her running scene. I’m sad that the credits are cut off of my tape, because I’d love to know what it was. She runs by a mother holding her baby in the park, and takes off at a sprint before she doubles over clutching her stomach.
Spike is taking Baby Jack out of the car and heading into the house when Manny stumbles up the street. She’s covered in big drops of fake sweat and is gulping for air. She blurts out that she thinks she’s pregnant.
Inside the house, Manny comes down the stairs with one of those home pregnancy sticks. She hands it to Spike, who tells her that everyone makes mistakes. She just hopes that Manny learns from this one. Spike sets the stick down and leads Manny to the couch. She wants to know what Manny will do if she’s pregnant. She has no idea, it’s just too much. Spike offers to go with her to tell her parents. Her own mother surprised her and was very supportive when she decided to have Emma. In Manny’s family, they send the unwed teenaged mothers to a convent in the Philippines.
The timer dings. Spikes asks her if she’s ready. Manny says, “not even a little bit,” but goes to pick it up anyway. She holds it up and starts to cry.
Jimmy and Toby are in big trouble. A computer crime is a serious offense, so Radditch is going to have to call their parents. He thought they were good kids. For shame. Now they have to have Saturday detention. Miss Kwan shows up to take some heat off by calling Radditch into the hallway. Toby tries to make nice with Jimmy. He freaked out. He didn’t mean to rat Jimmy out. Jimmy’s mad because Saturday is the big concert trip with the guys. “DJ Bad Bullets?” Toby asks. Jimmy chuckles. He says that Toby is a fake. He’s a fake computer hacker, a fake rap fan, he’s just 100 percent fake.
Manny’s waiting for Craig outside of school. He’s acting all cool guy, can’t-stay-long, and says he has to go to his biology lab soon. Manny tells him that something bad happened. She has a doctor’s appointment to confirm it, but she’s pretty sure she’s pregnant. She’s starts to cry and apologize. This episode, Manny’s job is to run and cry. To her surprise, he doesn’t freak out. In fact, he’s been thinking about it since their other conversation, and he thinks that maybe having a baby isn’t such a bad idea. Wrong, Craig. It’s the worst idea in the solar system.
In a seriously creepy voice, Craig says, “What if we had it? We could be a little family! All our own!” His face lights up and he smiles like a lunatic. When she doesn’t answer, he whispers her name. Manny looks away as “to be continued” comes up on the screen.