Written by Mandy
Lots of Degrassi students are standing and walking around in front of the school. “Someone tell me I’m hallucinating,” Paige says to the group slowly growing around her. Emma wants to know who “he” is. “Remember our friend Terri McGregor, that girl who was in a coma last year?” asks Spinner. “He was the psycho who put her there,” jumps in Paige, “His name’s Rick; her ex. He used to beat her.” Spinner turns to Emma and snarls, “And he’s your new classmate Emma. He starts 10th grade tomorrow.”
Emma immediately jumps into Emma mode and says, “We have to do something.” Alex wants to adopt a dolphin and train him to defend the students from Rick. (I like her attitude.) Of course, sensible Emma says they can just talk to Mr. Raditch. Alex lets her know that she and Marco can handle that without Emma’s assistance. Everyone starts to walk inside as Emma stares at Rick (standing with his mother) and just for a moment, you see him look back.
After the theme song, Manny is kicking back in a hot tub, head thrown back and sunglasses on. We see a hand slowly creeping from off-screen and someone says, “Take my hand.” We realize it’s J.T. Manny grabs his hand and you can tell she thinks J.T. might have something a little more romantic in mind than the fart he lets loose when she tugs on him. J.T. couldn’t resist, that joke is a classic. The look of repulsion on Manny’s face says it all, and J.T. walks off to talk to Toby.
Liberty appears with beverages and as Manny thanks her for one, she asks Liberty if she’s sure her dad won’t mind them using the hot tub. Liberty says that sometimes you have to just say, “What the heck.” Manny tells her that Emma is also a big fan of hot tubs, but Liberty is not such a fan of Emma: “Emma lives for stabbing you in the back, ripping your heart out, and stomping it bloodless with her pointy ballerina feet.” And on that cheery note, Manny makes a toast to the 10th grade.
Off to the side, J.T. has put a towel over Toby’s head and is hitting him over and over. Irritation is a mild word to use for the look Manny has on her face as she watches J.T. and muses about the fact that they’re all going to be 16 this year. Liberty proposes another toast, “To the future, growing up, and leaving childish things behind.” Manny seconds the “childish things behind” part of the toast as J.T. and Toby continue to do childish things behind them.
Liberty’s brother Danny appears with an ironing board. [Ah, Degrassi. Specializing in the mysterious appearance of siblings we never knew existed. –willa] Liberty explains the obvious, that it is their mom’s ironing board but Danny is thinking outside the box and he’s going to use it for a diving board. J.T. gets up on the “diving board” and announces, “Now diving for Canada in the sexy red trunks, James Tiberius Yorke.” As he stands in front of everyone, Danny yanks down his “sexy red trunks” and we hear a gasp from Manny. J.T. goes to cover himself while Danny cracks up. So does Toby; who points at J.T. and exclaims, “Look, it’s a stack of dimes,” right next to Manny. Manny looks at J.T. with a look of shock and horror as he pulls up his trunks, obviously humiliated.
Back at Degrassi, Marco is walking up to a group of the 11th graders and mocking Raditch, “I always knew you were a smart boy, Marco. Can you even believe he said that?” Emma smarts off with, “Wow, you guys really handled Raditch.” At that moment, Rick walks by and decides to say hi to Marco, Paige, Spinner, and Jimmy. Needless to say, he gets nothing but the cold shoulder. Emma jumps up and stands in front of Rick. She blocks him as he tries to walk by. “Excuse me, I’ve got to get by,” he says, but Emma isn’t budging.
Raditch appears behind Emma and tells her to step aside. She says that the students don’t want Rick in the school. Raditch lets her know that this isn’t one of her “little crusades,” this is a serious issue and he warns her to stay out of it. He pulls Rick around Emma and they walk off as she stands there looking pissy, as she does so well.
J.T. is standing next to Manny at her locker, asking what their plans for Friday night might be – JT, Manny, a couch, a romantic DVD? Manny tells him she thinks she might be busy. J.T. asks if something is wrong because Manny has been distant since the hot tub party. He asks if it has something to do with his, well, Little J.T., and Manny assures him that it doesn’t. She tells him that it was stupid and embarrassing and grabs his hand, telling him he must feel awful. He lets her know that it’s nothing a kiss can’t cure.
As she kisses him, eyes open (how romantic), she sees Craig walking into the building. She immediately stops kissing J.T. and says hello to him. Craig apologizes for interrupting and Manny says, “Oh no, it’s ok, you weren’t interrupting anything.” Ouch J.T., I felt that one for you. Manny asks Craig how his summer was. He says it was nothing special, and asks inquires after hers. Manny replies, “same,” with her boyfriend of the summer standing right there. Craig lets Manny know he has to get going and she never takes her eyes off him. J.T. mutters, “Bye, Craig, nice to see you too.”
Back in the locker room, J.T. is complaining to his boys that Craig is stalking Manny every time that he, J.T., tries to kiss her. Toby offers very solid words of advice – perhaps Manny is still hung up on Craig – and he points out that J.T. has barely made out with Manny after four months of going out with her. (And we all know how far she’s gone before with Craig) At that moment, grade 11 boys walk by in towels, and J.T. decides to talk to Craig. He lets Craig know that Manny is his girlfriend and says Craig needs to respect that. Craig tells him that he does respect the relationship, and then he starts to take off his towel (insert the shrieks of Jake Epstein fangirls everywhere).
J.T. says, “Well, sometimes you hang…” as his eyes focus downwards and he starts to stutter. Craig realizes that J.T. is checking him out and covers back up (insert weeping of the aforementioned fangirls). JT denies that he was checking out the goods, but Craig’s no dummy. “You were…You were checking…You were checking out my…,” he accuses as he looks down at his crotch. J.T. continues to deny it until Spinner jumps in from behind with a “what?” and the typical I’m-Spinner-and-everyone-is-gay-but-me look on his face. J.T. rambles that he wasn’t, it was a lie, a horrible lie. He runs out of the locker room.
Paige is at her locker when Rick asks for a moment. Rick explains that he was thinking perhaps they could talk, perhaps bury the hatchet. Paige gives him the look of death as she explains that he put her friend in a coma. Rick explains that for one, he knows he let his anger get the better of him last year and two, he’s in counseling. He then asks about Terri. Paige looks like she is going to cry and takes off running.
She locks herself in a bathroom stall where Emma finds her. Paige threatens Emma that if she tells anyone about this – Emma stops her before she can finish the sentence, letting her know she won’t tell anyone about it, honest. Paige says that there is a psycho in the school no one is doing a damn thing about it. Emma vows that they will take care of Rick together. Paige explains she’s not so good at this protest thing, but Emma lets her know she is, as long as Paige doesn’t call her “cause girl.”
Paige asks Emma what she’s doing now. Emma was going to go home, but Paige asks her to instead come have a frappe at The Dot, loudly and in front of Manny and Liberty. Emma tells Liberty and Manny to have fun in their hot tub, she’s off to have a frappe with Paige. [Emma’s behavior thus far this season is bizarre to me. Does she like Manny? Hate her? Would Manny and Liberty really care whether or not Emma is friends with Paige? Why does Emma think they would? So many questions, so little logic. –willa]
At The Dot, we see Paige offering to share her lip gloss with Emma. (Isn’t that some international code of cool girl friendship?) Emma explains that it’s too expensive for her and Paige confesses she and Hazel are makeup communists, sharing what they have, as Jimmy and Spinner laugh nearby. Rick, obviously a glutton for punishment, walks into the restaurant and up to a counter, far from the group. Spinner, with his sharp wit, states the obvious: “Psycho at 6 o’clock.” Paige immediately stands up to walk out, but Emma stops her.
Instead, she walks right up to Rick and tells him that they don’t want him at Degrassi. Rick calmly says that he has a right to an education and admits that what he did to Terri was horrible, but he’s in therapy now. Emma doesn’t care. She tells him to find a new school, or he’ll be “sorry.” Rick reminds her that Principal Raditch already told her that she can’t touch him.
Emma decides at that point to pull a little “I Am Emma, Hear Me Roar” move and grabs Rick by the arm and says, “Well, maybe not at Degrassi.” Meaning, you know, that she can touch him anywhere else. She drags Rick to the door and pushes him out, standing in front of it so he can’t come back in. As she walks back to the table, just a swagger short of strutting, everyone is looking at her in shock. “Ok, suddenly Emma is cooler than me,” Paige says. Emma smiles. They like her! They really like her!
Students are swarming in and out of the Degrassi entrance and Emma is rallying off screen: “Support students against violence. Show the school where you stand.” Emma and Paige are walking together carrying collection canisters, and Paige is explaining that all funds go to the women’s shelter. Sean walks up with Ellie and asks Emma if this is about Rick. She explains that it’s a silent protest, they “want to pressure Rick; make his life hell.” Paige jumps in to say that they aren’t breaking any rules, “Emma’s a genius. There’s nothing Raditch can do.” Ellie rolls her eyes and calls them “heroes” as she and Sean walk off. This doesn’t break Paige and Emma’s stride, as they continue to ask people to buy orange ribbons to support students against violence.
J.T. is at a urinal, zipping up as Toby is washing up (way to see good hygiene being focused on in a teen show) when Danny runs in. He has the solution to J.T.’s “little problem.” He pulls a bright green box out of his backpack and hands it to J.T. It’s a penis pump. (A King Cobra one, at that.) J.T. wants to know how he bought it, and Danny explains that he didn’t. “Gunther Von Einsenstadt did.”
Toby doesn’t want to open the box out in the open, so the boys go into a stall. Danny tells J.T. it will turn his garter snake into an anaconda. J.T. doesn’t want to put his thing in there. The pump is bright green and has a snake on it, which J.T. notices and says, “It has a snake and snakes bite.” Danny explains that it’s just decoration.
Toby takes out the directions and reads, “Step one, insert member into tub.” Danny explains they mean “tube.” Toby reads step two: “Use hand pup to make suction. Who wrote this?” Danny is getting frustrated and says, “Forget the instructions, your wang goes in the tube and you pump.” At that moment, the boys realize someone else is in the restroom. They burst out of the stall to see Craig, who hauls ass out of the restroom before J.T. can explain what was going on.
Rick is attempting to walk down the hallway but everywhere he goes, he is stopped by someone wearing an orange ribbon. If they aren’t knocking his books down, they are pushing him. He tries to find somewhere to sit to eat for lunch and is told to find somewhere else as everyone claps. He finally makes it late to Ms. Kwan’s class where Spinner is reading a piece that speaks to his heart from Kid Elrick:
I wants to find me a girl to love, a girl with wealth and class/but most of all I wants me a girl with a bootalicious…
Ms. Kwan interrupts with “Enough Gavin,” and the class is laughing as Spinner takes his seat. Gee, how untypical, Spinner. Ms. Kwan asks who would like to go next. Rick volunteers to read some thoughts from Mahatma Gandhi. Emma rolls her eyes, even though she herself has quoted similar figures in the past. Rick continues, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. It is the quality of the brave, not the cowardly.” Spinner throws a piece of paper at Rick and Ms. Kwan sends Spinner to the office.
The bells rings as J.T. walks up to Danny and lets him know the Cobra has landed – he has just gone for a walk with the king. Danny wants to know if it worked. J.T. thinks it did, but he doesn’t know for sure. Danny says he needs to let Manny be the judge.
Manny looks over her shoulder and notices J.T. looking her way. She wishes he would leave her alone and Liberty wants to know why she doesn’t just break up with him. Because, Manny says, it would kill him. Liberty tells her that she can’t go on like this; she needs to sit him down tonight and do it. At that moment, J.T. walks up and asks Manny if she’d like to come over to his place after school. She looks over his shoulder at Liberty and says, “Yeah, ok.”
Emma is walking down the hallway when Rick runs into her. She starts to walk off when he says, “One, it will only take a minute and two, it’s to give you this. It’s a check.” Emma tells him that she can’t take his money, because the whole ribbon campaign is about him. He holds up the check and she reads off the amount: five hundred dollars. “554.16 to be exact,” he says, “I’d donate more but it’s all I have.”
Emma tells him that he can’t buy forgiveness, but he says that “it’s an anonymous donation, no one needs to know.” Too late. Alex saw the interaction, and tells Rick that no one wants his guilt money. Rick asks Alex to listen to him and she says, “Or what, freak, are you going to put me in a coma too?”
Rick walks off and Alex starts to take off with the check. Emma asks for it back, but Alex rips it up. Emma tells Alex, “Nice Alex, real nice. Maybe if you cared about the cause–” Alex interrupts her, “What do you know about it? Have you ever iced your mom’s lip? Bandaged her up? Lay awake at night, listened to her cry? Didn’t think so.” Alex turns and walks off as Emma stands in a shock.
Back at J.T.’s love den, he’s getting everything perfect for when Manny shows up, which includes hiding his penis pump under his pillow before she walks in. Even Manny notices he’s spruced things up a bit. She asks if he’s nervous and he says no but as he kisses her, she mentions his lips are sweaty. She tells him she needs to go to the bathroom and he says he, too, can use a minute to freshen up. Why he thinks he should whip out the King Cobra at that moment, I have no idea. Manny is right outside the door, psyching herself up and as she walks back into his room little J.T. is still inside the King Cobra. The look of shock on Manny’s face alone is priceless as is the popping noise when he pulls the penis pump off. Manny runs off and J.T. is left mortified on his bed, sexified music still playing in the background.
Back at The Dot, Heather Sinclair and her over-plucked eyebrows are the topic of discussion. Emma, who has decided to become as shallow as the people she swore she hated every other season, agrees that Heather’s tweezers should be confiscated. Rick walks into The Dot and up to the counter. Paige asks what he’s doing there again. Alex says he’s probably there to see his new crush: Emma. (As an aside, I’m curious as to when Alex, Crazy Jay, and the rest of the “crew” became so in with Paige and the rest of the gang.) Paige asks what Alex is talking about. Emma explains that Rick talked to her, it was no big deal.
Paige accuses Emma of wimping out and feeling sorry for the psycho, but Emma insists she isn’t, honest. Rick walks up and says, “Afternoon, Emma.” Everyone gives him the obligatory nasty look and eyeroll. As he walks off, Emma does the one thing to make sure she’s still in Paige’s good graces and trips Rick. Rick looks upset and is pulling himself up when Crazy Jay decides that it’s his turn to play big man and says, “That’s it, it’s on.” He grabs Rick and pushes him outside.
The group follows Jay and Rick outside. Emma tells Jay to let him go, but Alex says that she started it and calls her “cause girl” as Jay pushes Rick against the wall. It’s the same wall Rick pushed Terri against when he first started abusing her. Oh, the irony.
“What are you going to do, hurt me?” Rick asks. Jay takes Rick’s glasses off and begins to mock him, saying, “One, violence is never the answer and two, we don’t care.” He then punches Rick in the stomach and drops his glasses on the ground, stepping on them and crushing them into the concrete. Jay says, “Whoops. Who wants the next shot? Spinner?”
Alex comes running and says, “Me,” with Emma chasing after her. (Again, I have to ask, when did Jay and Alex become such a part of this issue with Rick or even friends with this group? Wasn’t it just in the season premiere that Alex was making fun of Paige? Ah well, I guess they are down with any reason to beat someone up.) Emma grabs Alex’s fist and puts her body between Alex and Rick. Alex tells Emma, “Your ribbon campaign’s over Emma.” Emma tells Alex, “Yeah, so is this,” and gestures with her hand about the punching. She pushes Alex’s hand back and Alex walks off. Crazy Jay stands there with a WTF look on his face and Emma doesn’t back down as the crowd walks off. Rick looks at Emma as he tries to catch his breath.
J.T. is waiting for Manny with a bouquet of flowers when he sees her walking up to school. She is obviously trying to avoid him after the King Cobra incident. He walks up to her and says her name but she tells him to go away and keeps walking quickly. J.T. asks if she will let him explain. He tells her he was just trying to live up to Craig. She stops walking and asks him what he’s talking about. J.T. explains that he saw Craig in the locker room, and one of these things isn’t like the other, if you know what I’m saying. Manny explains that Craig actually does have something J.T. doesn’t have: maturity. She’s not talking about his size – it’s the way he acts. J.T. is always farting and joking around. J.T. asks for another chance, he’s sorry. Manny says that she’s sorry, but it’s over. J.T. is left standing alone with his flowers as Manny walks off.
Emma is sitting down as Paige and Hazel walk by, giving her the cold shoulder they normally reserved for her before the whole ribbon campaign. Rick walks up wearing new specs and Emma tells him, “Nice glasses.” Rick explains that they’re from the sixth grade. He wants to thank her, but she won’t hear it. “Things got out of hand and I stopped it. It doesn’t mean I like you, and it doesn’t mean we’re friends.” Rick shakes his head and begins to walk off, but Emma stops him to ask the question everyone is dying to know, “Why did you come back here?” He thinks about it for a second and answers her, “I like it at Degrassi. Well, I used to. I was horrible, but I’ve changed. All those people who hate me, I want to let them see who I really am and show them how wrong they are.” Emma stands and tells Rick that no one is interested.