School’s back in session. Manny and Craig are being all snuggly, walking down the hall with their arms around each other. He wonders out loud about the sex of their baby. Again with the baby conversations right out in the open! Manny doesn’t know, but she looks way happier than last episode. Craig hopes it’s a girl, because his little sister Angela has always wanted a sister. Someone needs to teach Craig about how families work. Angela will be this kid’s aunt, sweetheart. Manny points it out, too. He thinks seven is too young to be an aunt. Just like 14 is too young to be a mother, and 15 is too young to be a father. He’s just so cheerful that it’s hard to hate him right now.
Craig is wearing his Biketoberfest t-shirt. The one I also own, so I’m feel fuzzy toward him right now.
Ellie walks into the hall and right into Craig. She makes a snippy comment, like it’s his fault she wasn’t paying attention. She is wearing her cute plaid dress again, even though I’m pretty sure it’s only two or three days after the last time she wore it. Ellie joins Paige on some stairs, and they both watch as Craig hands Manny her books and kisses her. Craig tells her to be careful in Science. Ellie continues up the stairs, leaving Paige to play Bad Cop. She tells Manny that she and Craig looked cozy. She assumes that the did-you-wear-a-condom conversation went well. Manny says no, but then amends her reply to “sort of.” Paige waits for more of an explanation, but she’s not going to get one. Manny walks off toward class. Paige reminds her that they have cheer practice after school. Manny won’t be there.
Paige stalks into the Media Immersion lab and gives Craig, who is sitting at a computer being cheery, the evil eye. She walks past Ellie, who is talking to Ashley, undoubtedly telling her about seeing Craig with Manny in the hall. Ashley wants to know how “he could do that.” Ellie doesn’t know, so Ash goes to get the scoop from Paige. Ashley can’t believe that Craig is actually going out with Manny. It might be worse, Paige says. She’s thinkin’ that Craig got Manny in the family way, if you know what I’m sayin’. Ashley takes a deep swallow of righteous indignation.
JT, Liberty and Sean are in what I assume is History class. Some random teacher says, “In the lingo of the 1950s, I think it’s a nifty keeno project.” Liberty is annoyed that they have to work in pairs. Random Teacher tells her that she’ll be researching 1958 with… JT chants “please anyone but me, please anyone but me” …with Sean Cameron! Sean calls Liberty a brown-nosing, whip-cracking, loser-freak. Liberty calls Sean a Hell’s-Angel-in-Training slacker. They’re off to a good start, and this will be your subplot for this evening. I notice that it’s not about Snake having cancer, and am bitter.
Today’s lunch special is tuna casserole. Craig joins Manny for lunch and brings her a big milk. She’s already had a milk, but he wants her to drink more. He took the liberty (Ha! Almost a pun!) of picking up a book of baby names. (Did he buy it? Get it out of the library? If so, does anyone else wonder why there would be a baby name book in the school library?–loki) He holds it open and tells Manny to close her eyes and point at a name. She picks Maude. She says that anyone named Maude will pick their nose and eat glue. She has a point. There’s no time to bask in her rightness, though, because Ashley has arrived. She wants to know what they’re reading, and plucks the book right out of Craig’s hands. Hell hath no fury, Craig. This is your punishment. Ashley yells for everyone in the cafeteria to pay attention to her. She wants Manny and Craig to make their announcement. When they don’t, she makes it for them, and tells the entire school that, “these two idiots have gotten pregnant… because it’s way too difficult to use a condom.” Manny runs and cries, just like last episode. Ashley throws the book at Craig and says she can’t believe he slept with Manny. Even I think Ashley’s gone too far, and I’m on her side.
I guess this means they aren’t getting back together, huh?
Emma and JT see the whole thing go down. Manny has run into the bathroom where she is sobbing in a stall. Paige and Terri walk in, bickering over Manny’s situation. Terri thinks Manny is lucky because babies are so cool. Paige says that Manny is ruining her future, and probably her figure. She’s going to be somebody’s mom. But it’s all okay, because Paige likes Terri’s lip gloss. And out they go. The entire scene was designed to show teens the many sides of teen pregnancy. And, apparently, to disturb me. “Babies are cool”? I just… no. Enter Emma.
She wishes that Manny could have talked to her. Manny says that she wasn’t interested in hearing about her and Craig, back when Manny was being whorish and Emma was being a prude. Emma wants Manny to come over after school, while she babysits for Baby Jack. Manny can even bring Craig, if she wants.
JT is riding his skateboard after school, when he takes a nosedive off the curb. At least he’s wearing a helmet. Liberty is on hand to give him a lift up, but he’s too irritated to even pretend to be nice to her. She asks him if he had a nice trip. His great-grandfather uses that joke. It’s a classic! And speaking of classics, she wants to know if JT is interested in attending the Three Stooges movie festival with her. He’s not in the mood. She makes a Three Stooges reference, and he snaps that he doesn’t want to go out with her. She keeps pressing. She thinks he’s angry because of Manny, but it’s pretty clear that ship has sailed. She a persistent one, I’ll give her that. He tells her that her three-year crush is getting boring.
Baby Jack is sleeping. Craig and Manny are huddled over him. Craig thinks he’s gorgeous and Manny thinks he’s an angel. Emma has done some research, and bought a copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting. She shows Manny an illustration. Baby Maude looks like a bean at this stage in her pregnancy. Manny doesn’t want Emma to use that name. Craig checks out the illustration on the cover, and says that he can’t believe Manny is going to get that huge. Way to be supportive. Manny wants to trade moms with Emma, because she can’t stand the thought of telling her own. Emma looks wistful and says that her mom is amazing. She can’t believe Spike went through everything Manny is going through just to have her. Baby Jack wakes up and starts to cry. Craig thinks babies are a piece of cake. They’re not rocket science. The doorbell buzzes and Emma tells him that he can just take care of that little piece of cake then.
She goes outside to meet Chris. Remember him? He’s the actual hip-hop guy. You can tell, because he’s beatboxing on her front stoop. He is not to be confused with Sean, Emma’s last boyfriend, the faux hip-hop guy. Chris brought a book by for Emma. She’s got a baby monitor in her hand, and together they listen to Jack cry, and Manny and Craig freak out about it. They’re parents in training. Chris amends that to “parents in basic training.”
When Emma goes back inside, Craig is covered in baby powder and his shirt is wet. I’m assuming we are to believe that Baby Jack took a tinkle on Uncle Craig. Manny picks up the baby and hands him to Emma and his diaper falls off. Craig watches in horror, and tries to get the powder off his shirt. Emma shows Manny how to change a diaper. The once-proud parents-to-be look shell-shocked.
JT peeks at Manny, while Liberty peeks at JT in the library. Sean arrives to break up the monotony. He’s got books that will help them with their 1958 project. Liberty is shocked that he knows how to read. He picks up on her JT thing, but she doesn’t want to talk about it. He tells her that he got dumped, just to make her feel better, and I am reminded of something: the characters on Degrassi are very multidimensional. I can hate Sean one minute, for stealing Snake’s computer, but then he goes and does something very sweet. I like that about this show. It keeps you guessing. Turns out, his never-seen girlfriend Amy met some guy at motor cross. He hopes she likes mud. Sean is moving on, and that’s what Liberty needs to do about JT.
Some extras play hackeysack while Craig wanders around with another carton of milk. He’s looking for Manny. Instead, he finds Spinner, who invites him to sit down. He says, “Can I ask you a question, dude?” When Craig says sure, Spinner hits him in the forehead. He wants to know what in the hell Craig is thinking, getting Manny pregnant and deciding to keep the baby. Actually, what he said is, “Are you on crack? You got a girl pregnant and you’re walking around here like ‘la, la, la.” He thinks it’s a shame that Craig will not get to enjoy keg parties or spring break in Florida. Craig wants to do the right thing. Spinner points out that keeping the kid isn’t the only way to do the right thing, but it’s what Craig wants. And here’s why. Craig doesn’t have a family. He’s just some kid who lives with a guy. Manny and the baby are his. “They’re for me.” It’s crazy heartbreaking – no matter how stupid – when you think about all that Craig has been through.
Spike is vacuuming. Shouldn’t she visit Snake in the hospital? I’d love to know how he’s doing. Manny has shown up for another visit. She wants to know what it’s really like to be a single teenaged mom. Spike tells her that it’s like juggling six things all at once, and all six things are on fire, and you’re standing up on a moving bus and you can’t stop for at least 12 years. That’s not what Manny wanted to hear, clearly. Spike goes on to say that you also get sticky candy kisses and Christmas ornaments made out of toilet paper rolls. Lots of single women raise babies, but doing it at 14 was extra hard. All of Spike’s friends went off to college, traveled Europe, and she stayed home. Manny wants to study fashion, in New York or maybe Paris. Spike tells her that her plans sound wonderful. In a non sequitur, Manny says, “but Craig wants me to keep it.” Spike has doubts about whether or not Craig is always going to be there. Ultimately, the responsibility will be Manny’s, and so the decision has to be hers to. “You mean, I don’t have to do this if I don’t want to?” Manny asks.
It’s 1958 at Degrassi Community School. Sort of. Liberty is decked out in an outfit reminiscent of the “You’re The One That I Want” number from Grease. Fitted black pants, shiny black leather jacket, and a sassy red scarf. She has her hair pulled into a side ponytail. She has topped off the outfit with brown boots that don’t match. She walks up to Sean, who is sitting on the school steps with one of his new buddies. I swear I don’t know this guy’s name, and can’t read the credits, so I’m going to call him Do-Rag Thief. Because he’s the black guy who never talks, and always wears the do-rag.
Liberty stops in front of them and purrs, “You like?” JT, who happens to be nearby, picks this moment to make fun of her. He gets props for mentioning that she must be playing Rizzo in the drama production of Grease. Do-Rag Thief is totally checking her out. You go, girl. She says, “Actually, I wasn’t going for a veneration of the 50s, but perhaps I was subconsciously inspired by Sean’s masterful work on our assignment. Work I look forward to continuing.” She lowers her glasses and winks at Sean and goes into the school. Sean demands that JT tell him what’s going on. He’s the rebound crush, and the only way to get her to back off is to be brutal. The word “hint” is not in Liberty’s vocab.
It’s time to face the music. Manny goes home after school and sits down on the couch. Her mom brings her a tomato and cheese sandwich – her favorite. Her mother wants to wait for the man of the house, but Manny just blurts it out. She went to the doctor. It’s official. She’s pregnant. Before her mother can say a word, Manny jumps off the couch. She doesn’t care what her parents say, she’s not a little girl anymore, and she’s not going away like her cousin had to. Her mother stops her, and says that it’s just a shock. They both start to cry, as Manny apologizes. She’s thought about it. She can’t go away, she can’t be a mom, and she doesn’t know what she’s going to do. They embrace and cry some more.
Liberty has taken it upon herself to purchase all of Sean’s favorite foods at the cafeteria. Which are a banana and some kind of cake. She wants to ditch school and go chill in the ravine. She can even get them a five-finger discount on a pack of smokes. The leader of the pack, Crazy Jay, makes fun of her. She says she’s edgy, on fire. Sean gets all up in her grill and says she’s about as edgy as a butter knife. He’s not interested in her and never will be. She takes off. Crazy Jay says Sean should go for it. He’s heard she’s really great… at chess. Do-Rag Thief wacks Crazy Jay in the arm. He likes himself some Liberty.
Manny walks right into Emma’s house without knocking, and asks for Spike. She wants to tell her the good news; that her mom was way cooler than she thought she’d be. Emma is really happy for her, until Manny says that her mom is even going to drive her to the clinic. Manny is going to have an abortion. Emma tells her that she can’t. Manny knows Emma thinks it’s wrong – and Emma thinks that her child would, too. Manny wants to do the right thing, for her, for everybody. She wouldn’t want to bring a baby into the world with a mom who wasn’t ready. Emma thinks the baby should at least be able to have a life. She offers up adoption, but Manny can’t go through giving birth. She can’t go to school pregnant and have everyone know. Emma thinks she should be able to get through all that. Manny says, “I can’t. I swear. I’m only 14.” She begs Emma to understand, but Emma just leaves Manny crying by the sink.
The next day, in Miss Kwan’s class, Spinner talks about the themes of Moby Dick while Manny reads about the abortion procedure. Emma judges her from across the room. Spinner says that water represents life, and Ishmael goes on the ship looking for the meaning of life. It doesn’t quite tie into Manny’s plot, but it was a nice try.
Manny finds Craig waiting for her at her locker after class. He tries to hug her but she pushes him away. He wants to know what’s wrong. She tells him that she can’t do it. She can’t have a baby now. He doesn’t think she’s making any sense. I hate to break up the drama, but he’s wearing that ugly gray shirt again, from the beginning of the last episode. Manny says that someday he’s going to be a great dad, and someday she hopes she’ll be a mom. “But now, now isn’t someday yet.”
She tries to walk away, but he gets angry. He tells her that she’s not going to do it. He grabs her and spins her around, and yells that he won’t let her do it. She’s crying again, and wants him to just stop and think for a second. Emma runs between them and Craig tells her to butt out. He thinks that what Manny is doing is wrong, and Emma agrees. In fact, if Manny weren’t her friend, she would be furious with her. But as it is, she cares about Manny, and understands that it’s her choice. Craig is in anguish. It’s his baby. Emma points out that it’s in Manny’s body. Manny holds his gaze. She tells him that she just can’t go through with it. Craig is speechless and leaves. Manny thanks Emma for sticking up for her, but Emma leaves her, too. Manny puts her hands over her stomach.
Liberty and Sean are back in the library. She tells him that she’ll finish the project and put his name on it. He tries to talk to her, but she insists that she should have known better. He’s James Dean, and she just some square girl nobody ever asked to the sock hop. He asks her what would happen if someone did want to ask her out. She is incredulous. No one likes her. Sean says that somebody does, and she has to forgive him, or somebody is going to knock his teeth out. Sean nods toward the hallway, where Do-Rag Thief is watching them. He waves shyly at Liberty and she smiles. Sean says that Do-Rag Thief has a thing for smart girls. He liked the way she said “veneration” and “masterly.”
As the show wraps up, Manny and her mom fill out paperwork at the clinic. The nurse asks Manny if she has any questions. Manny wants to know if it will hurt. It will, a little, like when she gets cramps during her period. Her mother asks if it’s safe. There are risks, but only three percent of patients who have the procedure have complications. The nurse asks Manny if she’s ready. She smiles at her mother and then follows the nurse. Manny wants to know how she’ll feel, after. The nurse tells her that some women cry, but many feel relieved. As long as she’s okay with her decision… “I’ll be okay.”