Ms. Hatzilakos is wearing her ubiquitous lab coat and explaining how the final exams are going to work in science class. The material will focus mostly on the second term, but since the principles from second term rely heavily on what the students learned during the first term, they’re have to study both. Spinner is outraged. Ms. H. doles out even more work. Paige is annoyed. The assignment is to use molecular models to illustrate three different molecules. Ms. H. welcomes them to the real world, then hands Paige an extra sheet for Ashley. Seems she’s been missing a lot of school lately.
Spinner can’t handle the new assignment. “It’s so unfair.” I was bad enough at chemistry that I had to, um, fake my way through it, but I’m not sure the assignment is that hard. Especially since they can copy the models right out of their textbooks. If Ms. Hatzilakos wants them to live in the real world, Paige is all for it. She proposes that they take a day off tomorrow. Spinner makes a very unattractive smirking face, which looks worse when I pause the tape to recap the scene.
I have nothing snarky to say about the opening credits.
Paige is driving Dylan’s hotrod convertible, and she pulls up somewhere to let him out. I’m assuming she’s not dropping him off in front of the school, as I imagine that would blow her cover. Of course, that car is pretty much one of a kind, so she’ll probably get busted just for that. But I digress. Dylan loves his car more than he loves Paige, so he makes her swear nothing will happen to it. She hands over what appears to be a greeting card envelop, and tells Dylan to give it to Miss Smith, excusing her from all classes.
From the back seat, Marco pipes up something about forging a parent’s signature. He’s wearing a large black and white trucker hat, perched precariously on top of the dead cat on his head. The hat reads, “I [heart] T.O.” Dylan has a maple leaf air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror, and it dangles in front of Marco’s face. Completely unconcerned with how nappy his boyfriend looks, Dylan tells Paige to return the car undamaged and with a full tank of gas. She protests that it’s only a quarter full now, but Dylan has already ducked out of the car. Marco leads him away, one hand between his broad shoulders. You can see that they ARE in front of the school, just down a side street.
Spinner has a mom! She’s a totally mom-looking person, too, with an unflattering haircut and a blouse that clashes with her work vest (which reads “Committed to serving you! Truly Canadian.”). Mom makes mom-noises, while Spinner moans something about being in pain. When she leaves the room, he does the old dip-your-thermometer-in-warm-tea routine. His sister Kendra is not amused. She’s done something to her arm, but she’s not getting any attention. She threatens to tell Mom the truth, but Spinner drinks the tea so she doesn’t have any evidence. Mom, of course, falls for the whole thing.
Spinner has a 101 temperature. He’s pretty lucky, that the tea was just the right temp. A little hotter or colder, and he’d be screwed. As soon as the fam is gone, Spinner calls Paige to tell her that the “hen has flown the coop.” Sitting beside his phone, conveniently facing the camera is a jar of Oxy pads. Product placement is alive and well on Degrassi!
The screensaver in the MI lab is the Marco/Ellie photo pimping the Bollywood semi-formal dance theme. Snake is attempting to teach the kids something, but he can’t seem to remember the way the sequence works. Are we supposed to believe that he’s being forgetful because of the cancer? It’s so weird. JT slides his chair over to Emma, and tells her that he’s thinking of asking Manny to the dance. Emma channels her inner teacher’s pet and tells him that she’ll talk to him after class. He plows on through. He knows Manny’s gone through some tough times this year, so they could just go as friends. Snake rolls over in his chair and tells them that they can spend lunchtime defragging the lab computers.
“I’m lost in a void of eternity/The eye of the storm, the depth of the sea/A black hole rips me from inside out/Gravity, ending me.” It’s not a Thomas Hardy poem, but it might as well be. It’s one of Ashley’s latest songs. She’s still depressed, so she’s been skipping school. Didn’t she get over this, when Craig apologized in his own cheesy song? Ashley’s mom is fed up with her moping, too. She wants Ashley to go back to school, so she’ll be prepared for her exams.
She swears she’ll be fine. She’s been doing all her homework. She’ll go to school on Monday, but she begs to be allowed to stay home for another day. Ash’s mom tells her that she’ll be out showing houses all day, but that she’ll be home by five. Also, the thing they talked about the other day? The thing the viewer has no insight into? Mom thinks that is a good idea. Damn Mom for being so vague!
Spinner and Paige pull up to a curb in Dylan’s car, top down, radio blaring. It’s overcast, and there are dead leaves in the street. It looks like it’s about 50 degrees outside. Both Paige and Spinner are wearing coats. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. As a fellow convertible driver, I understand the need to have fresh air. Besides, you can always turn on the heater. Now that they’re not in school, the happy couple can’t figure out what to do. Spinner proclaims that the world in their oyster. They could go bowling, go to the mall or…mini golf! As he pronounces “mini” the viewer is treated to a lovely view of the silver stud in his tongue.
Paige’s cell phone rings, and she answers it with a ridiculous accent. She’s pretending to be her mother. It’s Ashley, who doesn’t want to chat. She just wants yesterday’s homework. Perhaps she’s had too much fresh air, but Paige decides it would be a great idea to invite Ashley along. Ashley’s big plans for the day consisted pretty much of sitting around, feeling sorry for herself. Hey. At least she’s honest. Spinner is not amused by this latest development. Paige tells Ash that misery loves company, and they’ll be there in five.
There is an entire metropolitan area at their disposal, and all Spinner can think about is mini golf. Paige tells him he’s not helping. Ashley is nothing more than a purple lump of bedspread. She yells at them to go away. Paige grabs on to the bedspread and starts pulling, forcing Ashley to curl up into a ball to hang on. Paige tells her that they should think of Dylan’s car as a magic genie that can grant three wishes. Her wish is to eat lunch at a nice restaurant with her honey and her oldest friend. Spinner’s wish is to go play mini golf, of course. Ashley emerges from the covers. Her wish is to go visit Terri.
Who’s awake! Terri is slumped down in her hospital bed, with a single strip of gauze around her forehead. Ashley approaches cautiously. She doesn’t even apologize for not showing up before now. Terri says that she’s feeling much better, except for the occasional headache that she gets from hitting her head on the rock and the surgery. She actually says that. “From hitting the rock.” A smiling nurse arrives to change Terri’s bandage. She unwinds it and then pulls some cotton away from a bloody wound at the back of Terri’s head. I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure she shouldn’t be bleeding like that, a month after her surgery. The sight of the blood freaks out Ashley and she darts from the room. Paige sighs in irritation and goes in to say hello.
Emma and JT are defragging some hard drives. Emma just has one computer left, but Crazy Jay’s girlfriend, Bitchy Alex, occupies it. She’s currently shopping for some pants on the Internet, and she doesn’t feel like moving. Not even when Emma asks nicely. JT offers to defrag Snake’s laptop, but when he goes in to shut down all the programs, he gets an eye-full of Snake’s last will and testament. Uh-oh. Before he can shut down, Emma gets a peak. The camera closes in on her face, and her mouth gapes open like a fish.
Random shot of Paige, Spinner and Ashley driving in the car. Then they’re in the same Italian restaurant that Dylan and Marco went to with Marco’s parents on their first date. They even have the same gay waiter! Spinner is pretending to not be able to read the menu. Paige says that he has trouble with foods he can’t pronounce. He whaps her on the head with a breadstick in retribution. It’s a restaurant, not the school cafeteria, says Ashley in her snootiest voice. Gay Waiter wants to take their beverage orders. The girls are having ginger ale, and Spinner unsmoothly orders, “Whatever is on tap.” Gay Waiter does not buy Spinner’s excuse that he would be in school if he were underage. Ginger ales for everyone.
Surprise, surprise. Ashley isn’t hungry. Seeing Terri in the hospital made her lose her appetite. Paige is starting to lose her patience. She tells Ash that “getting all down and sucky” won’t help anyone. I’ve never even considered using “sucky” in that context. Ashley’s problem is thus: These are supposed to be the best years of their lives. Instead it’s just been one disaster after another, after another. The school is cursed. Spinner tells her she should just transfer, if that’s how she really feels. Funny he should bring that up. That’s exactly what Ashley is planning to do, next year.
Spinner says something unfunny about how he wishes his ginger ale were champagne, not just the champagne of ginger ales. Paige doesn’t laugh, either. She’s pissed off that he’s so happy Ashley is going to leave Degrassi. Ash is her friend, who has had a really bad year, and now she’s off crying her eyes out in the bathroom. Spin wants to take her home so that she can cry alone. Then they can enjoy the rest of their day. Paige wants to show her a good time instead.
Head down, Ashley sneaks back from the bathroom. There’s a problem. Principal Radditch is getting cozy with some blond woman, just a couple of tables away. There’s actually more than one problem. Since when can the principal play hooky? And, also, Radditch being cute with a woman is gross. The kids watch for a few moments, and then make a break for it. Gay Waiter finds the empty table and looks sad.
Back in the car, it is revealed that Spinner did not pay for lunch like he was supposed to. He says that’s cool. Not cool. Paige demands that he go back and leave money. Ash points out that Radditch’ll catch them. They zoom away, straight into a Having-Fun Montage. It’s mini-golf, and Ashley frowns. In a movie theater, Spinner gets weepy at some chick flick. Paige and Spin play air hockey, while Ashley plays the third wheel.
Things slow down as the threesome walks through an art gallery. Spinner doesn’t think the paintings are actually art. Ashley tells him that someone put his or her soul into them. Spin walks right up to one of the paintings and blows a kiss at it. The figure in the painting appears to have pubic hair and tape over its nipples. Ash calls Spinner a sexist jerk. He was just trying to make her laugh, but she felt embarrassed. He says that being an idiot is okay sometimes. “Yeah, and so is growing up,” Ashley says. Spinner rolls his eyes and shakes his head. He’ll be in the sculpture garden.
Ladies and gentlemen! Please make way for the real Paige Michalchuk! “Okay. Um. I’m sorry you had a crappy year, I’m sorry Craig treated you like dirt, but you need to get over it.” Woo! I prefer Paige when she’s mean. Ashley doesn’t think Paige understands a thing about her. “You take everything so seriously. Just lighten up…I’m sorry to be brutally blunt, but Craig didn’t cheat on you just because of hormones. So run away next year. But it won’t help. Cause the real problem is you.” Burn, baby, burn. Paige goes off to find Spinner, leaving Ashley to stew in her own juices.
Emma’s running around looking for Snake, no doubt to ask him about the will. He’s not in the teacher’s lounge. Liberty approaches her, rambling about how great Canadian geography class was. Emma tells her to shut up. Bitchy Alex happens to be standing nearby. “Pleasant as always, Emma?” Emma tells her not to start. It looks like Alex has a picture of Ja Rule in her locker, so she’s down with folks who be startin’ something. She pulls out a wadded-up paper bag from her locker, and throws it at Emma. It hits her in the chest. Emma gets in her face and asks what her problem is. “Let me see. Your clothes, your voice, your holy-than-thou attitude.”
And then, Emma goes crazy. Girl fight! The two of them fling each other around the hallway. Emma gets in a good knee to the face, and Alex backhands her across the cheek. This is a brutal fight, no girlie slapping and hair pulling. There’s even blood. A teacher shows up and shuts the whole thing down.
Meanwhile, back at the shopping mall, the Truant Three have stumbled upon an Elvis impersonation contest. The prizes are silver guitar-shaped trophies with ribbons on them. Spinner says that the King is cool, but the freak show on stage is not. The freak show in question is singing the church hymn “How Great Thou Art.” It’s a perfectly lame end to a lame day. Paige has put her true feelings back in the closet, and swears she had fun. Spin says he can’t wait to tell everyone that they skipped and moped around all day with the Queen of Doom. Paige starts to apologize for her man, but Ash blows it off. She’s going to go get a snack.
Emma’s got quite a shiner, but Snake is the best dad ever. Instead of scolding her, he makes a joke about needing a t-bone steak (to put on her eye, it’ll help the swelling, see). Em accuses him of keeping secrets. She saw the will. Snake has to explain that the will doesn’t necessarily mean his chemo failed. The doctor just told him to be prepared, in case something went wrong. He needed to protect his family. Snake has to go that afternoon to get the final results of his treatment. He and Spike were trying to protect her. Emma doesn’t want to be protected. She needs to know what’s going on, she cries. Snake invites her to come with him to the doctor later that day. I’m kind of finding Snake incredibly hot right now.
Back at the Elvis-A-Thon, some kid is shaking madly in a white Elvis costume. He must have skipped school to compete. He’s singing another religious tune, the lyrics of which consist of the single word “amen.” Spinner says that it’s bizarre, and I agree. It’s been 20 minutes, and Ashley isn’t back yet. Spinner doesn’t see a problem with that. “Mini E” finishes up to raucous applause.
Next up is a late addition: Elvira, Queen of Doom. It’s Ashley. She borrowed a fat-Elvis costume from Ronny, the guy who sang “How Great Thou Art.” She dedicates her song to Paige and Spinner, who are sitting aghast in the food court. Ashley sings and dances. Perhaps she’s proving that it’s okay to be an idiot sometimes.
The Simpson-Nelsons are all holding hands in the doctor’s office. Emma’s black eye is already fading. The doctor gives them the results in medical speak, so Snake asks him to dumb it down. He’s in remission. Everyone cries (even me) except for Baby Jack, who is chewing on his own hand. Crying, kissing, hugging, laughing. Relief is felt all around.
Ashley is sitting on her bed, holding a third-place impersonation trophy. Her mom is giving her a lecture about being worried while Ash is off gallivanting with Spinner and Paige. Ashley says, “Sorry, little lady,” in a passable Elvis voice. Her mother is not amused. Ash starts to giggle. She sounds a little bit crazy. Mom gets into the spirit and says that “sanity has left the building.” This just makes Ashley giggle more.
Spinner and Paige are walking back to the Dylanmobile. I’m not sure from where. They have to go get Dylan, or he’ll kill them for being late. They’ve gotten a parking ticket, which Paige swears Dylan will never see. The ticket is a small price to pay for a day off. The two kiss and drive away.