Downtown Sasquatch is in the hooooooouse! Or, rather, Joey’s garage. They’re rehearsing the crappy upbeat reggae song from the pep squad carwash. This time, though, it sucks like never before. Craig is looking mighty skinny in his hipster t-shirt, and I also need to point out that everyone in this scene has stupid hair.
As the last notes fade, Craig is hopeful that the song was “tighter.” According to Spinner, the keyboards were off during the bridge, and according to Ashley, the drums were off during the verse. I’m guessing it’s just a matter of time before Spinner calls Ashley “Yoko.” Marco says the song sounds like a tape of whales that his aunt has.
Everyone expositions about the time the band won the big rock-n-roll contest, and were awarded $10,000 in recording studio time. Apparently, they have to go into the studio in the next three days, or they’ll forfeit the opportunity. Pretty much everyone is in agreement that they shouldn’t be crap when they go to record. Marco says what everyone is thinking – they’d be better if Jimmy could play with them and wasn’t still recovering from the school shooting.
Ash thinks that they should try rehearsing the song “Dust,” which just happens to have been written as an apology to her. Spinner snidely points out this fact. He even pokes one of his drumsticks in her general direction. Marco steps up to the plate and says that they’ve come a long way since that song. Except, Craig points out, it’s what won them the contest. They know it works for them. “It worked for you, anyway,” Spinner mutters. They agree to give it a shot, and Spin counts them down with an unfunny wisecrack.
If a bad Degrassi theme song plays alone in the woods, can anyone hear it?
Paige and Hazel walk into the Media Immersion lab. Paige is very upset that there is gum on her chair, and I think she uses the term “disgrossting” to describe it. While we’re making up words, I’d like to say that the trendification of Paige through ridiculous dialog has got to stop. Snake tells her it’s not the end of the world, and she shoots back that it’s watermelon. He looks at her like she’s stupid, because she is.
Hazel thinks that Paige is too high strung and needs to come with her to yoga. They offer it after school in the gym. Paige would rather try retail therapy, but Hazel says it’s the only way she’s dealing with Jimmy’s paralysis from the shooting. Paige immediately cools her jets. She hasn’t asked about Jimmy, or Hazel’s well being, all day. Hazel’s glad the school is offering a way for her to work out her stress, other than talking. Paige warns her not to get sucked into the Cult of Yoga. She’ll wear something, and eat something, and blah blah blah exorcism.
A hot guy name Mr. Oleander comes by to ask Hazel if she’s coming to yoga. Paige calls him “Mr. O” – insert your own orgasm joke here, I’ll get to mine in a minute – and is suddenly interested in finding her inner balance. Turns out, Mr. Orgasmo is the student teacher for Media Immersion. He has floppy hair and a dazzling smile, and today his goal is to teach us about subliminal messages in mainstream media.
Jimmy’s still in a hospital gown, an IV in his arm. After a while, don’t they let you wear your own pajamas? Poor Jimmy. Craig’s bitching that the new song won’t work without him and that Spinner almost walked out of rehearsal. “Yeah. Spinner walks out on a lot of things,” Jimmy says. Craig ignores the remark. He tells Jimmy that Ash wants to do the song from last year. Jimmy perks up at her name. Craig explains that she’s been coming to rehearsals and advising. Both Jimmy and I say, “Is that what you’re calling it these days?”
Craig insists that they’re just friends. Jimmy says he might be crippled, but he’s not blind. Craig is taken aback by the thought that Jimmy’s “crippled.” He’s not. Not for long, says Jimmy, just like Craig and Ash won’t be just friends for long. Craig asks him if he got brain damage, too. There’s nothing going on. No, really! Nothing! Nothing’s going on with him and Ashley! Both Jimmy and I say, “Whatever.”
Time for yoga! Everyone grab a sticky mat! Mr. Orgasmo leads them through the Warrior pose while Paige and Marco check out his ass. “Doesn’t Mr. O. look oh-so-fetching in his yoga pants?” Marco asks her. Paige says that fetching is for dogs, and Mr. Orgasmo is not a dog. Marco shushes her as the object of their desire comes near. He wraps one hand around Paige’s waist and leans into her, telling her to breathe. When he asks her how it feels, she says “amazing” and smiles toothily. “Extra points for smiling,” he murmurs to her. Paige whispers to Hazel that he was flirting with her, but Hazel reminds her that he’s a teacher. Student teacher, duh!
The cameraman pretends to focus on Ashley’s fingers playing the keyboards as an excuse to focus on her breasts. As a woman who often gets leered at in such a way, I recognize it when I see it, yo. Craig is half-singing the words to “Dust” as Ash hammers out a tune. When it’s over, she asks him if he liked it. He thinks she’s a genius. She thinks it’s because the song is brilliant.
Marco interrupts to tell them it’s kind of “pretty.” Hello? Marco, sweetheart, you aren’t exactly butch. He says they’re supposed to be a rock band, so Ash offers that they should pump up the base line a little bit. As they start to discuss it, Spinner appears with Manny. Everything about this scene makes my skin crawl. First, Ash has been playing with the band for a little bit now, and the time for Marco and Spinner to speak up is long past. Second, Spinner is such a fucking little idiot that I want to tear his face off. Third, Manny is earning herself no love from me by not learning from her mistakes. What kind of bitch allows some dumbass like Spinner to drag her to band rehearsal with the guy who got her pregnant and the girl he cheated on to do it?
To make matters worse, Spinner is an hour late, shows no remorse about it, and allows Manny to give him the nickname “Sticks.” Craig wants to know what’s going on. Spinner says that, since the band is open to all chicks, he thought he’d bring his own “amuse.” Manny smiles at Craig like she knows exactly what he’s thinking of her, and doesn’t care. “You mean ‘muse’?” Craig asks him. Spinner couldn’t care less that he’s a moron. He bangs away at his drums while Craig struggles to keep it together.
At the concession stand, Paige is bugging Alex about whether or not it’s possible that Mr. Orgasmo likes her. Because he said, and then Hazel said, but then…Alex tells her that she and Spinner just broke up. It’s okay to be single for 20 minutes. Preach it, girlfriend. “It’s easy for you to say,” Paige says.
At that moment, Mr. O. himself marches up to the counter. “Say what?” he asks her. Paige opens and closes her mouth like a trout, and then tells him that she was going to say how much she hates polyester. Alex watches with amusement. Mr. Orgasmo smiles with dimples, and tells Paige that he was walking by and wanted to say hello to his favorite yoga student. As he walks off, Alex tells Paige to go for it. She says “happened to see his favorite yoga student” is a lame line. Paige sighs moonily.
The band, plus Manny, is in the library. Manny tells Spinner that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but there is such a thing as a bad shirt. Marco couldn’t agree more. Spinner doesn’t think it matters what he wears, because it’s obvious he and Marco are just the backup band for Ashley and Craig’s Variety Hour. Marco tells him to stop being a drama queen, it’s not like that. Spinner says it’s “like” he and Marco aren’t even in the band. He gestures to Craig and Ashley, standing outside, talking intimately.
The camera swoops in on them. Ash says she knows it’s just an article for the school paper, but it’s still cool. She thinks “they” could go far. The band, she means. Craig stands there awkwardly until Liberty shows up and tells them that her deadline is looming. They follow her into the library and both of them sit on the table behind which Marco and Spinner are sitting, effectively blocking the boys from participating in the interview. Liberty starts to fire off boring questions that beget boring answers. Example: Where do you see your band going? Far, really far.
Craig and Ash split the answers evenly, interrupting whenever Spinner or Marco tries to get a word in. Spinner is pissed and Marco’s getting there. Liberty whips out her camera for a picture. Marco and Spinner are mostly obscured. Manny, however, is recognizable in a big orange cowboy hat. Liberty puts away her notebook and Craig tells her it was “great.” Liberty says it will be an interesting article. As interesting as watching mold grow in the shower, probably.
Enough is enough. Marco and Spinner catch Craig before class, and tell him that they have a problem. Craig agrees they should talk about it, but before anyone can be adult about the situation, Spinner exclaims that Ashley has to go. “Woah, hey, Sticks, slow it down!” Marco says, before leaning into Craig and saying the exact same thing. Ashley isn’t even in the band, they never agreed to it. Craig tries to say that they did, but Spinner cuts him off. The band used to be about them, being manly men. Craig says it can still be about that.
Marco bums everyone out by saying that Ashley lost the contest to them – to Jimmy – and he doesn’t understand why she gets to be on the recording. Recording the single means everything to Craig. As if Spinner cares: He says that Ashley goes or he goes. Marco agrees that Ash must be fired.
In the hallway, Craig rushes up to Ashley. “Remember recording the single?” he asks. How could she forget? He starts to tell her the bad news, but she cuts him off. Misunderstanding what he was going to say, Ash tells him that she’s nervous, too. She says that he’ll be there, so during the recording, she’ll just look over at him and she’ll be fine. Craig has stopped listening to whatever she has to say, and is staring at her lips. He leans forward, and when she doesn’t pull away, he kisses her softly. They stare at each other oddly until Ashley walks away without saying anything. Craig lets out the proverbial breath he didn’t know he was holding.
At The Dot Grill, Marco is telling Craig that he did the right thing, even though it was painful. Now the band can be “just us guys.” The joke’s on Marco, though. Craig is grinning like a loon, and informs them that he and Ashley are back. As in, back together. Spinner thinks it’s strange that Ash wasn’t pissed off when Craig fired her. Which he didn’t do, Marco says. “Like I could kiss her and then do it,” Craig tries to explain. Spin and Marco leave as Craig tells them it isn’t a big deal.
Yoga. Paige is trying to be the best little yoga student she can be, but Mr. Orgasmo refuses to acknowledge her. Instead, he tells Heather Sinclair (whose face we can’t see) that she’s a natural.
After class, Paige whines to Hazel that he didn’t pay any attention to her. Not to sound like a broken record, Hazel says, but Mr. O is a teacher. Paige wants to know how she’s supposed to go for it if he won’t look at her. Maybe she’s not supposed to go for it, Hazel tells her. She and older guys aren’t always a good match.
At just that moment, Mr. Orgasmo comes bounding down the stairs, his hair wet from a shower. Every time someone mentions his name, he appears. He’s talking on the phone to someone named “Charlie.” The sexually ambiguous name has my spidey sense tingling. He agrees to meet “Charlie” at eight o’clock at someplace called Barcraft. Looks like Paige will be needing a fake ID.
In the wreckage of the apartment she shared with Sean, Ellie is advising Ashley to stay away from Craig. Ash says it’s a little late for that. Ellie wasn’t talking about the kiss. She meant “the rest.” Ashley tells her that she thinks Craig is different now. “Guys suck, Ashley,” Ellie says as she tapes up a box. “They enjoy messing with our feelings and then sticking us with the rent. Just don’t come crying to me when he Craigs out on you.” Bitter much, Ellie? She finishes her diatribe and she sticks a label addressed to Sean on a moving box.
Ashley arrives at The Dot and takes a seat at Craig’s table. He asks her if she’s okay, because her text was in all caps. She just wanted to talk before rehearsal. About yesterday. They agree that the kiss took them by surprise and are both confused. Ashley says that they might just be reaching for something familiar, given what has happened with Jimmy and everything. Craig is disappointed, but tries to cover. She says that they’re doing great as friends. “Who’d wanna mess up that?” he asks. Right. Who would? Ashley says that at least they still have the band. Oy.
In line at Barcraft, Hazel is wondering if they have yoga in jail. Paige tells her that their IDs are super-good because Dylan’s dormmate is in the mafia or something. According to Hazel, that means they’ll be both in jail and the witness protection program. It’s like oil, and water, and one other unmixy thing. Paige tells her to breathe out tension, breathe in peace. Hazel grabs Paige’s ID and quizzes her on her fake birthday. She’s a little slow on the uptake, so Hazel dooms her to jail just before the bouncer shows up. He scrutinizes the ID cards and the girls.
Craig is setting up the garage for practice. It’s the last one before they record. Marco and Spinner walk in, and Marco immediately asks where Ashley is. She’s in the kitchen. About that time, Manny walks in carrying a purple tambourine. She’d like a prettier one. Marco covers his face in annoyance. Spinner tells Craig that, since he can do whatever he wants, Spinner is putting Manny on tambourine.
Marco pulls an accordion out of its case and straps it on. “Every man for himself, right Craig?” He’s decided to play that instead. Weren’t they supposed to quit? Ash walks in carrying snacks. It so sucks to be her. Marco tells Craig that he needs to inform Ash of the changes they’ve made in the band. Craig’s at a loss. Ashley doesn’t understand why, if they’re recording tomorrow, they’d make changes at the last minute. “Tell her why, Craig,” Spinner pushes him. When Craig is still silent, Spinner counts down to the song. Marco chimes in on accordion, and Manny steps up with her tambourine. Craig gives in and sings along while Ashley stands in stunned silence.
Inside the bar, Paige and Hazel are giggling over their luck. Paige is overenthusiastic about it until she spies Mr. Orgasmo. He’s drinking a beer, which she declares is “so cute.” And, okay, it’s kind of cute, but it’s mostly his floppy hair. She walks right up to him as if they both come here all the time. She says she loves “this place” and sits down on a stool beside him. She offers to buy him a drink, but the mysterious “Charlie” shows up. “Charlie” is a leggy blond with lots of cleavage, and is also Mr. Orgasmo’s girlfriend. Paige looks crushed.
Mr. Orgasmo introduces Paige to Charlie as a student, and Charlie tells him that Paige is crushing on him. Paige looks horrified. Charlie orders herself a red wine – how classy! – and orders a Shirley Temple for “the kid” because it’s a school night. The bartender looks all squinty-eyed at Paige. Cut to the bouncer throwing Paige and Hazel out into the street. Paige puts on a show for the people waiting in line and says she’s 19 before walking off in a huff.
Recording day! Craig says the studio is uber cool, and Spinner says it’s exactly as they always dreamed. He shakes the tambourine in Craig’s face to show he’s being sarcastic. Craig calls it rock-n-roll roulette. Spinner says it was his choice. Manny looks on in her slutty pink tracksuit, and again I wonder what kind of girl gets involved in something like this. Has she no shame?
Ash arrives a little late because her cab driver got lost. Craig says they’re on the clock, and Marco squeezes a couple of notes out of his accordion to goad Craig. Ashley screws up her face in distaste and says she doesn’t mean to be a diva, but are they really going to record like this? Spinner calls her “your highness” and asks her what she means. I really do fucking hate him this season. Ashley brought him refreshments!
Ashley asks Craig about the tambourine and the accordion, and when he doesn’t say anything, Spinner lures everyone out of the room with free food. Manny says something about cinnamon buns. When they’re gone, Ash wants to know what’s going on. She’s not stupid, he has to tell her. He tells her that she needs to leave the band. The whole band wants it, except for Craig. He tries to explain, but she says it’s just business and leaves.
The boys are in the booth, recording the song “Dust.” Craig’s having some issues, since he wrote the song in the first place to apologize to Ashley for being a jerk, and now he’s gone and done it again. They sound good, though, and Craig looks, well, hot. In a teenaged boy way. Totally. He looks down and sees Ashley’s empty keyboard, and stops playing. He pulls off his headphones and puts down his guitar. He’s had an epiphany. “It was all about Ashley,” he says. “It wasn’t about a single, or making it big. Just Ashley.” He runs out of the studio.
And catches up with her on the street. She must have been walking very slowly. He tells her that he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t record a song that meant so much to them. She punches him in the arm and chastises him for throwing away a good opportunity. “The recording studio will always be there,” he tells her. “But with you, I wasn’t so sure.” Ashley gets a little weepy, but remains quiet. This befuddles Craig so much that he starts to leave her there on the street. She grabs his arm and says, “If you think you’re just going to walk away…” and she kisses him. They agree that they can make it work, without actually using words meaning “make it work” and kiss some more.