It’s a rock ‘n roll montage at The Dot Grill. Paige is waiting tables, badly. She mixes up drinks, mixes up orders, spills random liquids on customers at the bar, dumps a plate of food in some guy’s lap, and looks exasperated the entire time. She also looks pretty cute in her ponytail and The Dot t-shirt.
At the end of her shift, she counts her paltry tips: $.67. Spinner tells her that she may be poor, but at least she’s pretty. She asks him to tell her that she’s at least making a ding (bad word choice) in what she owes him for wrecking his car. Before he can answer they are interrupted by the manager handing out next week’s schedule. Spinner has to work on Saturday, but Paige never has to work there again. She’s been fired.
(Crappy theme song remix goes here.)
Manny approaches Spinner at his locker and comments on his sunburn from the car wash. Funny, he didn’t have one at the end of that episode. It must be one of those special mystery “delayed” sunburns. It’s important to note that Spinner spends the rest of this scene addressing Manny’s chest. While he ogles her breasts he notices that she didn’t get burned. I guess Manny forgot that last episode she told Spinner she didn’t want to get between him and Paige, because she starts to flirt as shamelessly as she used to with Craig.
In her sexiest voice she tells him that she used sun block with a grease-free moisturizer after. Spin tells her that Paige uses a lavender moisturizer, NOT that he’s close enough to Manny to tell that hers isn’t. So he moves a little closer and sniffs her arm. Just then, Craig rounds a corner and stops to watch them. In his hand is an incriminating picture he took of the two of them at the car wash. Whether or not Spinner would admit it, Craig is actually looking out for him when he interrupts them. Manny turns from Spinner to bat her eyelashes at Craig, while Spinner looks pissed at being caught.
Manny’s class is on the other side of the school, so she takes off. I think she might be under the impression that Craig interrupted because he’s jealous, but that’s totally not the case. Spinner watches her leave and asks if he’s the only one who got burned at the carwash. I don’t think he’s talking about the sun. Craig asks him if he and Paige are still tight, because lately, Spinner’s been spending a lot of time talking with Manny. Spinner asks Craig if he has a point, and when Craig tells him that he just wants to warn him about Manny, Spinner tells him that this year Manny is none of Craig’s business. The two exchange pissy looks as Spinner walks away.
In the Media Immersion Lab, various students are trying out for Degrassi’s trivia team. Among them are Emma, Toby, Rick and Jimmy. Snake tells them all to partner up so that they can do a warm up. Toby wants Emma, but she already has a partner – “Heather,” whom I assume is the oft talked of, never seen, Heather Sinclaire. “Heartbreaking,” Rick says. He had Emma pegged at number three. He has a list. Not a “crass rating system,” it’s a ranking system. Rick types a password into the computer and pulls up a list. The only names I recognize are #1 Ms. Hatzilakos, #2 Heather Sinclaire, #3 Emma Nelson and #4 Manny Santos.
Toby tells Rick that he’s sick to have such a list, but Rick feels that having an organized list helps him realize his goals. He’s not wrong, you know. Snake sneaks up behind the two and asks Toby to name the world’s largest glacier. Toby answers that it’s the Lambert Glacier. Rick says that he’s right, and it’s in Antarctica. The two of them are destined for trivia team partnership.
In the lunchroom, it’s Ashley, Paige and Hazel. Alex walks between them like a lunchroom game of Red Rover, and Paige stumbles into both girls, spilling everyone’s lunch. Spinner and Jimmy laugh from the safety of their table. Spinner tells Paige that she’s the world destroyer, taking two down with one tray. She is not amused. Ever the gentleman, Jimmy goes to get napkins for Hazel while Spinner continues to heckle his so-called girlfriend. He grabs some of her fries and starts stuffing his face.
“Hey, that’s my lunch,” Paige complains. He tells her to put more salt on the fries next time. Hazel starts to admonish him, but Paige comes to his rescue. He endured a year of working at The Dot to earn a car that she totaled in two minutes. She says that he can joke and snack, as she kisses him on the cheek. Spinner looks at Hazel and raises his eyebrows in a way that says, “in your face.”
At the mall, Paige is applying for a job at the theater concession stand. On her application she put that she worked at The Dot, but didn’t say for how long. When the hiring manager questions her, Paige admits that she was a lousy waitress. More than one table, and she couldn’t keep them straight. She thinks the concession line will be perfect for her, because it’s just one customer at a time. (Anyone who’s ever worked in a place like this knows that’s not true.) The manager asks Paige how she feels about teamwork. Paige cheers for teamwork! At least, until she sees Alex working behind the counter. “Go team,” Paige sighs.
Emma’s entering the school when Toby accosts her to tell her she looks pretty. Since when is Emma the hot chick, and not the nerdy protester chick? JT shows up just long enough to make fun of him, and is then never heard from again this episode (unless you count that ridiculous cardboard cutout in the lunchroom). Rick follows on JT’s heels. Toby admits that he too has made a list, but that his goals aren’t realistic. Rick demands to see it, only it’s just in Toby’s head: Emma, Ellie and Hazel. Rick says that Hazel has a “couple of fine attributes.” Ew.
There’s a set of role-playing dice that Rick has had his eye on for oh-so-long. What they need is courage in the form of a bet. The loser buys the dice, the winner gets them. I guess we are to assume that Toby is also into role-playing. Isn’t that what nerds do? Whoever can manage a kiss from any girl on the list before last bell wins. Toby limits “girls” to “Emma” and Rick agrees. They shake on it.
Spinner and Paige are sitting outside the Media Immersion Lab staring at Alex. Spinner is trying to encourage her to go in and talk to Alex about the job. It’s a tough decision, since Paige hates Alex and vice versa. Spinner says it’s the perfect opportunity to make a new friend. Paige begs that her pride in on the line, and Spinner puts a price on it – the price of the destroyed Lovemobile. Powered by guilt, Paige goes in.
Paige tells her that even though they have their issues, Alex has to see how much Paige does around the school. She’s totally employee material. Keeping her eyes on a computer screen, Alex tells her not to worry about it. Paige looks hopeful. Grabbing her bag, Alex looks Paige right in the eye and tells her that she put in a “perfectly bad” word for Paige. Paige looks crushed. She’s wearing too much pink.
In some sort of science lab, all the students are wearing white lab coats. Toby approaches Emma and tells her about the bet. He’s psyched to follow her lead in standing up to Rick, and thinks that winning the bet is the way to go. Emma kisses him on the cheek and then pushes him away. Toby gets in Rick’s face and calls him a loser. Emma is not impressed. She tells Rick that she doesn’t want him to be lonely and kisses him, too. Rick cackles like a maniac as the school bell rings. It’s a tie. Tomorrow, they will have to have another game.
Some extras are doing fancy moves with a basketball in the hallway, while Paige tells Hazel about her disastrous job search. They’re hanging up photos of the car wash in a display case. Hazel tells Paige that she’s better than working at a concession stand in a mall with Alex. “Tell that to the mound ‘o debt I owe Spinner,” Paige says. Flipping through the photos, Hazel tells her that she’s also better than Spinner. Hazel misses the old Paige and the old Spinner, trailing behind obedient and slightly afraid.
Paige reminds her that all that was before she smashed his car. The car of the freak that raped you, Hazel reminds her. She says that a good boyfriend wouldn’t hold her to something like that. Nor would a good boyfriend mack on Manny. Hazel holds up the incriminating photo Craig had earlier. Paige pretends that Manny and Spinner are just friends. Hazel’s look says, “Uh-huh, and I’m sure she was just friends with Craig, girlfriend.”
At The Dot, Spinner is refilling ketchup bottles. Paige storms up to the counter and Spinner tells her that the rule is, when someone’s been fired, they aren’t supposed to just drop in. Paige says that another rule is that “love clutches” are banned with girls who aren’t her. She holds up the picture. Spin says it’s just a hug. She gestures him over and says that hugs come in varying degrees. She leans across the counter, showing him the difference. He bitches about his freak sunburn. All he has to do is tell her that’s it’s nothing. He hesitates, and then uses his boss as an excuse to avoid her altogether.
Ellie is feeding Sean jell-o. Yes, really. She’s even wiping his chin for him, which I find totally disturbing. From across the room, Paige and Hazel watch and comment about them shacking up. Paige says that it’s hard to believe Ellie is beating her in the dating Olympics. “And by more than a nose,” Hazel adds. Spinner and Jimmy are sitting on the other side of the room watching. Paige glares at Spinner and says that he should deny or confirm the Manny thing, but he shouldn’t avoid her all day.
Crazy Jay walks up to Rick in the hallway and says, “slam.” Rick starts to ask what he’s talking about, but Crazy Jay slams him backwards into some lockers and tells him to pay attention next time. Toby gives him a hand up and I am struck briefly by the parallels between this scene and the one earlier with JT and Toby.
Rick says that yesterday’s challenge was too easy. Today, they need to go for quantity, not quality. The winner will now have to get the most kisses before the end of the day. Rick has made up a chart outlining “name, age and location.” I’m not sure what he’s going to do with it. Toby asks him if he’s sure he wants the bet, and Rick asks him if he’s sure he’s not a wuss. Slamming his elbow into the locker, Toby says that Rick will have to be good. Toby complains loudly about his elbow as Manny walks by. She coos at him and wants to know what she can do to make him feel better. He holds out his elbow to get a kiss. Score one for the Jewish kid with the big nose.
At cheerleading practice, Manny screws up a perfectly simple jump. Paige snarks at her. Spinner walks in with a large bouquet of flowers behind his back and wants to talk to Paige. She gives him the cold shoulder, which he totally deserves. He admits that he had guilty thoughts, like the ones Paige had last year about her driver’s ed instructor. The difference is that said instructor was not all over her, half naked and wet at a car wash. Spinner looks sheepish and tells Paige that, even though his mind has wandered, his thoughts always come back to her. She caves and accepts the flowers. She loves them because they aren’t carnations. Just then Paige’s cell phone rings from a number she doesn’t recognize. Turns out, she has a job at the concession stand.
Toby shoves a first-aid dummy into his locker, thereby kicking off a Toby kissing montage. Kisses in health class, kisses in the hallway. Meanwhile, Rick is getting nowhere. He gets blown off by a hot girl in a “You Wish” shirt, and angrily tears up his chart. Toby sees and either a) feels sorry for him or b) is worried that an angry Rick is an abusive Rick. Toby offers some cute ninth grader five bucks to kiss Rick. She feels bad because he’s losing so badly, and also because people keep pushing Rick into lockers. Toby doesn’t tell her why people hate Rick, just forks over the cash.
Rick comes down the stairs and Cute Ninth Grader stops him. She asks him where he got his glasses. Hey, it’s not original, but teenage boys are easy. Rick says he got them at the optometrist. Cute Ninth Grader says that she likes them. Rick smiles sweetly and tells her about the bet. She offers to help, and kisses him on the cheek. Rick blushes as she walks away. Poor, sad, psycho Rick. He’s got moons in his eyes over just one kiss. Crazy Jay watches the exchange from above.
At her locker, Paige primps. For the first time all season, I love her outfit – short skirt, faux retro t-shirt, less frostiness in the eye makeup. Hazel walks up to her and asks if Paige and Spinner are a couple again. Paige says they never stopped being one and gets the patented Hazel Head Shake. If Paige continues to let Spinner treat her like garbage, he’ll keep doing it. “Thank you Oprah, Dr. Phil, and everyone else in the world,” Paige gripes. She tells Hazel to back off unless she wants play-by-plays on her relationship with Jimmy. Paige leaves in a huff, saying she’ll be late for work.
Work. Paige might be bad at this, too. She forgets ice for the drinks, forgets to get popcorn while the drinks are pouring, and spills fake butter on the floor. Co-worker Alex is being surprisingly human about the whole thing. Paige completes her order and offers to help the next customer, who just happens to be Spinner. Jimmy, Marco and Craig accompany him.
Spinner says that he’s there to support Paige on her first shift wearing manmade fibers, and he wants a large popcorn. He asks her to fill it halfway and then put on the fake butter. Then more fake butter. And a little more fake butter. Paige feels humiliated by his demands. She fills up the container with popcorn and Spin asks for more butter. He calls her a “good girl” when she gives him the popcorn. Both Marco and Craig remark on his rudeness. Spinner hands over his money, smirks, and tells Paige that it’s good training for her before he walks off.
Later in the evening, Paige and Alex are cleaning up. Paige asks Alex to make sure she cleaned the “nacho sludge thingy” right. Alex takes a look and says that the fact that Paige cleaned it at all is amazing. Apparently, it’s no worse than cleaning Dylan’s hair out of the bathtub. Mmm…Dylan. Alex throws Paige a bag of Skittles for no reason and says that she thought they hired Paige, not Spinner. “A real sweet guy,” she adds. Paige tells her that usually Spinner is less of a jerk than he was before.
Alex confesses that she used to be afraid of Paige, and Paige protests that she is so not scary. “No, you’re a coward and a suck,” Alex says. “‘Cause if my boyfriend showed up here and treated me that way, I’d be shopping for a new boyfriend.” Paige slouches against a trashcan and thinks about the fact that this is the second time she’s been told to dump Spinner in one day.
After the movie, the boys come arguing out of the theater. Craig says the movie was surreal, and Marco replies that it wasn’t and only would have been had one of the characters been played by a goat. Jimmy mumbles something to which Craig spits “jealousy” in Spinner’s general direction. Spin says that he knew the movie character reminded him of someone. Craig gets all up in Spinner’s fries and Spinner tells him it was just a joke. Craig backs down and Marco looks worried as Spinner approaches Paige. He tells Spinner that Paige has suffered enough.
As if Spinner would ever listen. He asks Paige how the rest of her shift is going and calls her “beauty blossom.” She tells him that if he really wants to help, he can give the girl who lost her license a ride home. He shakes his head and says that she doesn’t get off for another two hours. As Paige looks fed up, Spin walks back to his boys, where Craig is shaking his head.
“And there’s so much to be jealous of,” Craig says. “Your charm, your way with women.” Spinner tells him he’s crazy and Craig shivers and makes an “ooh” noise. Craig is really hot in the frame I just paused on – his hair is thankfully almost curly again! “Nice comeback, genius,” Craig tells him. Spinner slaps Craig on both cheeks and asks if that one was better. It is, clearly, time to throw down.
Paige walks by carrying two bags of trash and tells the boys to watch out for the grossness coming through. Craig ignores her and goes after Spinner, saying that Spin was always jealous of him and Manny. And now, Spinner says, Craig is jealous of Manny and him. The boys push and shove and eventually take each other to the ground. Does this mean the band is broken up? Paige flinches at Spinner’s comment but still tries to break them up. Paige’s manager shows up and tells them that she’s called security. They stop to look at her and she asks if they’re going to wait around for it. The boys run off and the manager tells Paige to hand in her uniform. She’s fired again.
Toby brags about his 11 kisses, which he attributes to his silky cheek. Since some of those girls were practicing CPR and the others thought they were helping kittens, I hardly think they count. Rick just got one kiss, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He’s still all googly eyed. He hands over the dice and says that it’s about quality, not quantity. He says that he now has all the confidence he needs, but as he starts off down the hall, he runs into Crazy Jay.
Jay stalks toward him and Rick runs off, leaving Toby to fend for himself. Crazy Jay says rumor has it that Rick is stalking some 9th grader. He stuffs a protesting Toby into his locker. Toby says that Rick is his friend and he was just trying to save him from humiliation. Crazy Jay shuts the door and says that Rick can’t save him now.
Back in the lunchroom, Alex joins Paige in line. Paige was just hoping that Alex would come by to gloat. Actually, Alex wanted to let Paige know that she talked to the manager and got Paige her job back. What happened wasn’t Paige’s fault, and she has a shift tomorrow. There’s a new Scampie movie, so there will be lots of over-sugared toddlers. Alex tells her not to be late and walks off.
Enter Spinner, who is not half the friend Alex is turning out to be. He apologizes. “For getting me canned on my first shift?” she asks. “No problem.” Spinner expresses surprise that she was fired. Paige tells him that the paycheck is safe, and Spin says that’s not all he cares about. No, he also cares about Manny. Spinner laments that she’s making him the bad guy, putting him back in his place. If anyone has been put in her place lately, it’s Paige.
Spinner tries again to apologize for last night, but Paige tells him to stop. He wants to know why she’s so hung up on this. Because, last night, he wasn’t fighting over her. They’ll figure out some sort of payment schedule, but she’s had enough. She starts to walk away, and Spinner calls after her. She walks back up to him and says that she’s had enough of him. He looks confused as she takes off again, the freeze frame catching her before she can turn back.