Aye. It’s the very special Degrassi Christmas episode. After watching the commercials for it all week, I’m feeling some serious dread in my stomach. Anyone else? Show of hands? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Craig and Ashley are frolicking in the snow. It’s adorable, in a doomed sort of way. The screen helpfully tells me that this is “A Degrassi Special” called “Holiday” as Ashley stuffs snow into Craig’s coat and they both collapse with giggles. He’s wearing a newsboy hat and could not be cuter if he tried. The credits start rolling in early, before the peppy theme song. In fact, we never get to hear the theme song at all. This makes me sad.
Joey, Angela and Craig unload a big tree from the top of a red SUV that I can only assume came from Joey’s used car lot, since we’ve never seen him drive anything but that sweet convertible. And now it’s time for the tree-trimming party. Snake, Spike, Caitlin, Sydney, Emma and baby Jack are all over at Joey’s. Craig and Joey wrestle with the tree, and Craig has to put the lights on the very top because Joey is too short. Oh! Ashley’s there, too. She starts to put an ornament on the tree, and Craig tackles her in a bear hug. She giggles some more. My stomach turns over.
Snake is dressed as Santa, and Spike insists that he put a pillow into his jacket to “make it jolly.” Joey places an angel in a fluffy white dress on top of the tree and pronounces it perfect. Sydney says, “almost” and then instructs Craig and Joey to turn the tree about 30 degrees clockwise. She also thinks the lights at the top are too much. Joey agrees to her wishes only to make her happy, but Craig makes a cranky face. They wrestle with the tree some more. Be careful, warns Sydney. Once everything is settled, even Caitlin has to admit that the tree looks better. Begrudgingly. Joey says he doesn’t know what they’d do without Sydney, Snake says that the Jeremiah house is full of great women these days, and Ashley adds, “And two very lucky men.” She smiles at Craig and he kisses her on the cheek while the phone rings.
Surprise! It’s Manny, and she wants to tell Craig that she misses him. She’s behaving exactly the way she did in season two, during “Take My Breath Away,” when Craig said she was too young to date. And yet, sex has changed everything these days. Craig can’t talk, because Girlfriend #1 is standing right next to him. Craig calls Manny “Spinner” and says he’ll talk to her tomorrow.
Caitlin breaks the chimney off a large gingerbread house. She apologizes, but Joey says that what Sydney doesn’t know won’t hurt her. Geez, Joey. Foreshadowing much? Joey loves the holidays, but Caitlin believes it’s just another excuse to overspend and overeat. Truer words were never spoken. Caitlin is going to spend the holidays at a very expensive spa. Joey doesn’t think she should spend it alone. She’s earned it, though, with all the hard work she’s put into her TV show this year. Joey protests some more, until Sydney shows up to put space between them. Spike makes a toast to Joey, Sydney and the best tree-trimming party ever. All the happy couples kiss: Craig/Ashley, Spike/Snake, Sydney/Joey. Caitlin looks as nauseous as I feel.
A disaster has been averted. Joey has found Angela’s lucky hairclips. Whew. I was worried there for a minute. Sydney holds up the dress that she’s made Angie for her pageant. Angie proclaims it beautiful. Sydney hurries her upstairs to get dressed so that they can get to the show on time. Correct that – Joey and Angela can get to the show on time, because Sydney isn’t going. Joey begs and pleads, but Sydney is firm. She has to do something for work that night. She’s going to take Angela Boxing Day shopping to apologize. Craig is lurking on the kitchen counter, with his “I hate Sydney” game face on. He says, “And who says money can’t buy happiness?” while Joey looks confused that his puppy eyes didn’t work on his girlfriend. I wish I could go to the pageant with you, Joe.
Time for the pageant. It’s an ice-skating spectacular! Little toy soldiers are skating around in very slow circles. I believe, in fact, that the music playing is “March of the Toy Soldiers” from The Nutcracker. Craig’s snapping pictures, without putting his eye up to the camera. Did he get a new one, with the fancy viewfinder in the back? Joey wants doubles of all the pictures. Isn’t Craig shooting digital? Joey wants to give copies to Sydney, and he wants “those little white borders, too.” Craig makes a crack about them being married already, and Joey says that he just needs some time. Little Angela skates out with a big star around her head and starts turning in very slow circles with the other kids. I kept wondering if the skating was on a loop, because she kept going ’round and ’round and I was expecting her to fall over any second from the dizzies.–loki
Craig is watching some small ice-skating bears leave the ice, and at the end of their journey is Manny. Craig uses his zoom lens to focus in on her. It’s kind of creepy, in a stalker sort of way. Meanwhile, Caitlin is stepping over row after row of videotaping parents. Craig lies about going to the bathroom, and Caitlin takes his seat. She’s glad that Joey invited her to the pageant. It’s just what she needed. (Did he invite her before or after Sydney decided not to go? Inquiring minds want to know.) Joey feels bad that Sydney is missing the adorableness of Angela on ice. Caitlin says that it’s her loss, and pulls out a video camera of her own to pick up where Craig left off with the picture-taking.
Manny is handing out popcorn to her dancing bears when Craig shows up backstage. Or in the locker rooms. Or wherever dancing bears go when they aren’t on the ice. Manny’s thrilled to see Craig, and he’s grinning at her like a doofus. She spins him around and kisses him. He wants her to meet him in Joey’s garage after the pageant. They kiss some more until they’re interrupted by Spinner clearing his throat. Manny walks off, looking like the cat that caught the canary. Getting busted can only mean good things for her. Craig looks sort of guilty, I guess.
The boys go to some sort of cafeteria, where Spinner tells Craig that he’s the meaning in his life, he’s Spinner’s inspiration. He wants to know what it feels like to be a stud. Craig says that it’s nerve wracking, as he drops a lot of change trying to get candy out of a machine. Spinner can’t believe Craig isn’t reveling in his own awesomeness. He tells Craig that Ashley is “gorgeous and smart like a fine champagne” and Manny is “cute, adorable and hot, like ice cream, only hot.” Ha! Craig wants to know if Spinner thinks it’s wrong. Of course he doesn’t. He wants to BE you, honey. Spinner says that he and Paige know they belong together, but since Craig isn’t sure, it’s perfectly okay for him to conduct a taste test. “Try before you buy.” Craig buys into Spinner’s hype and reclines in his chair, puts his feet up on the table, and says, “Yeah, well, I get around.” It feels like a hundred evil gnomes are having a party in my stomach.
Caitlin is back at Joey’s attempting to build a fire. It’s slow going, because she’s a city girl. Her hair is a little longer in this episode, and the ends have been razored so the layers are kind of flippy. She’s wearing a purple striped sweater that looks pretty hot. Joey takes over fire duty, and Caitlin can’t resist pointing out that Sydney was supposed to be home already. Does Sydney live there? Will this episode ever answer all the questions it’s bringing up? Joey says Sydney is living the life of a career woman, but Caitlin points out that she’s at least a career woman with a life. Caitlin is increasingly bitter throughout this entire episode. She, for instance, has a cool day job but has no one to keep her warm at night. Joey ponders this, and ends up burning himself. He and Caitlin both jump up to look at his shiny hand. It looks like someone has already spread Vaseline on it. Caitlin is holding Joey’s wrists, looking concerned, when Sydney comes home. She’s not pleased. Joey asks her what to do for a burn. Caitlin says cold water, but Syd counters that hot water is homeopathic. Was Sydney always so much of an all-knowing know-it-all? Caitlin grabs her coat and runs away.
Manny’s waiting for Craig. He’s late, and she’s freezing. She wants him to warm her up, which he will do with his lips. He’s walking with a new Spinner-infused swagger. Manny gives Craig a scarf as an early Christmas present. She knitted it herself. No doubt she had plenty of time on the nights Craig was out with Ashley. He says that it’s not dorky; it’s sweet, just like her. She just wants one thing for Christmas – not diamonds, not a car, not a Chihuahua – she wants him to dump Ashley. He looks stunned and backs off. Manny feels that she’s been patient, but she’s sick of playing second fiddle. A-ha! Whatever happened to Little Miss I Can Keep a Secret Happy Homewrecker? She’s so conniving – the final piece of her evil, evil plan is put into place. Craig won’t make that choice. Manny tells him that he just did, and leaves the garage. Run, Manny! Run far away! You’ll lose more than your innocence in that garage!
Lots of extras are in the gym, moving around props, like a big construction paper Christmas tree. Radditch informs us over the loud speaker that they’re preparing for the Holidays Around the World festival. Craig and Ashley are sitting together practicing their act. Craig is playing the guitar. They sing:
Ashley: You’re every present, I never got.
Craig: You’re every wish, that never came true.
Both: You’re every prayer, that went unanswered. So baby I’ll spend Christmas
Craig: With you.
Ashley: With you
Both: So baby I’ll spend Christmas with you.
Manny walks by and glares at Craig. The heat of her gaze breaks one of his guitar strings. No, really. Hell hath no fury, and all that. Craig blames his crappy guitar, and when he sets it down, it falls over. Ash wants to know what’s wrong with him, but he claims to be fine. She looks unconvinced.
Sydney brings Caitlin a poinsettia. I HATE poinsettias. She was just in the neighborhood and wanted to wish her happy holidays. Liar! Syd says that Caitlin’s office is…exciting. What with her being in “the biz” and all. Caitlin is off her game at Sydney’s intrusion. A handsome dark-haired man knocks on the door and says that something is ready for Caitlin to look at. I rewound three times, and still don’t know what he said. Sydney says that boys aren’t that cute on Bay Street. That means Sydney works in some boring corporation. Caitlin tells her that the hot guy is her boss, he’s gay and she doesn’t date guys in “the biz” since her ex-boyfriend the director. Sydney wants to know whom she does date, then. “Strictly real world guys.” I’m assuming she doesn’t mean Real World guys. Because that would be a sad sack of beans to choose from. Sydney calls Caitlin “Cate” and says that she and “Joe” need a babysitter so that they can go to her holiday party that night. For someone who so obviously wants Caitlin out of her life, I’m surprised she’s asking her to come right in. Couldn’t Emma babysit? Caitlin doesn’t have anything better to do. Sydney tells her to be there before six, and that if she could pick up a DVD for Angela, that’d be “fab.” The writers are, quite obviously, trying to make me hate Sydney. It’s working.
In English class, the kids are reading “A Christmas Carol.” Jimmy is reading two of his three lines of the entire episode with a bad English accent. Craig is wearing his cute hat again. He is looking pensive, watching Ashley file her nails. Manny walks by the classroom door. Craig lies again about needing to go to the bathroom. I don’t want to hate you, Craig. Why do you have to ruin everything?
He catches up with Manny in the hall. She starts to cry, without tears. She says that she loves him, and she thought he felt the same way. He does feel the same way, it’s just that…Ashley. While Ashley might love him, Manny says, she’ll never love him as much as Manny does. She walks off. Craig lets out an exasperated sigh and slams his palms against a row of lockers. Woah. Jake Epstein is TALL.
Craig traipses home in the snow. I remember reading that all the snow scenes were shot before they even started filming season three, so that they would have authentic snow. They just rounded up whoever in the cast was available. I wonder if that’s really Jake’s hat.
Caitlin and Angela are playing with clay. Angela has made Joey a pipe and Craig a guitar. She wants to make something for Sydney. The look on Caitlin’s face says: Sydney, who? Angela wants to wear her pageant dress. Caitlin warns her to wash her hands before she puts in on. Craig stumbles in and tells Caitlin that he’s not due at Ashley’s until later. In fact, since Caitlin is there, perhaps she can give Craig some advice. So, like, if you’re with someone, like Ashley, who’s everything, you should feel lucky, right? Caitlin, says that she’s no expert, but that love isn’t about luck. It’s about being with the right person. Craig runs out.
And ends up at the skating rink. I covered my eyes and yelled “No! No!” Manny is skating in tight circles in the center of the ice. Craig steps out on the ice in his sneakers, and calls out to her. She’s not amused. He runs awkwardly out to meet her, strangely not caring that more of their schoolmates could be there. Craig tells her that he made a huge mistake. Turns out, she’s the one for him. Not Ashley. “It’s you. It’s always been you,” he says. The hell? I remember, distinctly, a time when it wasn’t her at all. Maybe I could get behind this little travesty if they weren’t trying to rewrite history. Oh, who am I kidding? I could never support this debacle. Manny jumps on Craig and they make out. She pulls off his hat and he chases her on the ice, the way he chased Ashley in the snow.
Sydney and Joey are coming home from her holiday party. Apparently, Joey spent the entire night talking to the bartender. He claims that Sydney’s friends didn’t like him, but she assures him that they did. Joey is wearing a tuxedo, with what appears to be a white cashmere scarf. Lookin’ good, Jeremiah. Syd says that the more he goes to her work functions, the better he’ll be at them. Joey ignores her, and instead, takes a picture of Caitlin and Angela sleeping together on the couch.
The flash wakes them up. Angela tells Joey that she and Caitlin had lots of fun, and before she can explain about her play-doh presents, Sydney admonishes her for wearing the pageant dress. Angie just wanted to wear it because Sydney made it for her, but Sydney says she didn’t make it so that Angela could get it all dirty. Caitlin comes to Angela’s defense and asks Syd not to be mad at her. Sydney says she’s not made at Angela, but gives Caitlin a look that makes it very clear whom she IS mad at. Once again, Caitlin grabs her coat and runs.
This time Joey follows her. He apologizes on Sydney’s behalf, but Caitlin says that she screwed up, “as usual.” Joey calls her insane, and tells her that they’ll take the dress to the drycleaners and everything will be fine. Caitlin thinks Sydney hates her. That’s because she does! Joey diplomatically explains that Sydney just likes things the way she likes them. Caitlin calls herself a drama queen. She starts playing with Joey’s scarf, wrapping the ends together and then spreading them flat over his chest. It’s the sweetest.scene.ever. Joey makes a speech about the holidays being tough, and then he kisses Caitlin on the forehead. She tilts her face at just the right moment, and then they’re kissing for real. (And the decade-long shipper in me giggles madly.) They come to their senses, and Caitlin runs away for real.
Craig finally makes it to Ashley’s. Toby answers the door and says two of his only three lines, “Hey, Craig – Happy Hanukah. Take your boots off.” Ashley kisses Craig hello, and wants to make sure he’s okay, since he’s late. Actually, he wants to talk to her. She interrupts to give him his Christmas present – it’s her grandfather’s guitar from the 40s. One he played with Django Reinhardt. He left it to her, and she wants Craig to have it. Aye-yi-yi. Stop the madness already! Craig says the guitar is incredible, and Ashley says she gave it to him because HE’S incredible and he’s had a hard year. He decides that he doesn’t want to talk after all. Instead he tells her that he loves her.
Hey, look! It’s Hazel and Paige. They’re wearing costumes denoting their ethnic heritage. I remember from season two that Hazel is from Somalia, but I forget about Paige’s background. (She’s polish, I believe.) It doesn’t matter, because this scene is a total throwaway so that we can see Craig and Ashley sitting together. Craig is playing his new guitar. It’s like it totally knows what sounds he’s trying to make, like. He loves his new toy way more than his old one (Ashley). Manny sees them sitting together and she’s not happy about it. She wants to “finalize Craig’s makeup” for the performance the next day. Is that what kids are calling it these days?
Marco wanders by playing “Greensleeves” on an accordion. Huh?
Manny thought Ashley and Craig broke up. When he stalls, she tells him that she’ll go do it for him. He lies and says that they did, he just didn’t tell Ashley about Manny yet. She wants to know why. He goes one step further and concocts a story about how he has to perform with Ashley in front of the whole school tomorrow, and he doesn’t want her to hate him before then. And if he’d only look to the left, he’d see the writing on the wall. He promises that by the next term, it will all be sorted out. Manny believes him.
Spike and baby Jack are in the mall, getting a picture taken with Santa. Caitlin pushes and shoves her way through the throngs of people and tells Spike that she has to talk to her. She’s been up all night because she and Joey kissed. Santa’s little helper tries to get Caitlin to move out of the way, but Caitlin snaps, “Listen, elf girl. I’m having a serious discussion here.” Spikes soothes her by saying Caitlin can be in the picture. Santa and baby Jack look mildly interested in Caitlin’s woe. Spike brings up Sydney. Caitlin says she can’t believe Joey is dating a woman who irons her sheets. Elf Girl takes the picture and tells them to move out of the way. Caitlin still has feelings for Joey. Spike gives her some pretty good advice. She tells Caitlin to write all her thoughts down in a letter, and once she’s calm, she can re-read it and decide if she still wants to give it to Joey. She has to be sure about her feelings before she does anything. Elf Girl hands over the picture – gotta love digital technology – and in it Caitlin is obscuring Jack’s face. Oops.
Spinner and Craig are also at the mall. Spinner bought his sister something for a dollar. Craig implies that he’s cheap, but Spinner would rather be cheap than spend a hundred bucks on a t-shirt. It was actually 80 bucks, and it was a one-of-a-kind Ramones t-shirt from ’79 for Ashley. One girlfriend down, one to go. Craig picks up a gold ice-skate charm bracelet for Manny.
“Dear Joey. You broke my heart once, and now you’re breaking it again…about Sydney? And if last night meant as much to you? Don’t let this chance – maybe our last chance – pass us by. Love Caitlin.” I’m mildly irritated that I can’t read the entire letter. What ABOUT Sydney? Caitlin prints it out (the file is called Joey letter.doc), folds it neatly, and stuffs it into an envelope. She even licks the seal. The poinsettia gets knocked into the trash and away she goes.
She’s humming “Jingle Bells” as she approaches Joey’s house. Someone has written “To Joey” on the envelope in a five-year-old’s scrawl. Caitlin trots right up the steps and drops the letter into the mail slot. Two seconds later, she has remorse and tries to get it back. Alas, her arm will not fit into the mail slot. Whatever will she do?
The Jeremiahs come home from a day of shopping. Joey is explaining to Sydney that he waited until now to shop because he doesn’t feel like doing it in June. Caitlin calls out for help. Seems she’s gotten herself stuck in the kitchen window. Her story is that she can’t find her PalmPilot, and she thinks she left it there when she was watching Angela. Sydney is downright pissed. Joey raises the window so that Caitlin can climb all the way in the house, and Sydney sends him upstairs with Angela to look for Caitlin’s Palm. The two women stare at each other until Caitlin can’t stand the silence. “Who knew Joey’s house was so easy to break into?” she asks. “Yeah, who knew?” Sydney snarks.
Craig is playing his new guitar while Ashley freezes in the garage. She doesn’t warrant the heat of Craig’s lips? Bastard. After she tells him twice that she’s cold, he offers to get her something warm to drink. The only thing that would make Craig more of a jerk in this episode would be sleeping with Ashley, too. While he’s inside making hot chocolate, Ash finds a blanket and wraps it around her shoulders, on top of her full-length wool coat. Underneath the blanket she discovers Craig’s stash of presents. There’s her Ramones shirt, a fluffy hot-pink sweater, and the bracelet. Her facial expression goes from pleased to confused as she finds each gift. Craig could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he would have just bought a space heater for the garage.
The PalmPilot isn’t in the couch cushions. In fact, Sydney doesn’t believe it’s at Joey’s house at all. That’s weird. Caitlin could have sworn… What’s really weird, Sydney says, is coming home to find Caitlin suspended in the kitchen window. She’s not stupid. She knows Caitlin lied to her. Craig slips quietly into the house, picks up Caitlin’s letter, and watches the drama unfold. Sydney tells Caitlin that she knows Joey is amazing, but that “Joe” and the family need her. Not some “charming, clutsy, fun-and-games blast from the past.” Joey calls down that he can’t find the Palm, and Sydney leaves Caitlin to think about what she’s said. She notices that Craig has the letter and snatches it back before running away for the third time this episode. This time she’s crying. She tears up the letter.
(The N has these new commercials for the 2004 season, where they’ve cut and pasted the heads of characters onto inanimate objects. For instance, Sean’s head is on a to-go cup of coffee and Ellie’s head is on a black coffee mug. It’s so bizarre. I’m a little disturbed by it.)
Snake’s class. It’s time to clean up the workstations, but before they get to all the fun, Terri speaks her one allotted line. All the kids chipped in and bought Snake a Christmas present. Jimmy uses his last line as he explains that they would have gotten Snake a “real one” but it was too expensive. The present is an Elvis wig. Snake is thrilled.
It’s Joey’s turn to visit Caitlin at work. She’s the only one not in the lobby, getting down with her bad Christmas-loving self. Joey says it’s a nice party, but Caitlin remains a Scrooge. (Did you notice how everyone in Caitlin’s office was so friendly to Joey, in sharp comparison to Sydney’s co-workers?) Joey wants to talk about what happened. Oh, you mean the way we got carried away in the moment? Caitlin brushes it off. Joey lets her. Why does Joey let her? Hot boss shows up to give Caitlin a ticket on the CQJH corporate jet. It’ll take her to her big spa weekend in Montreal. Joey is jealous of Hot Boss, and Caitlin doesn’t give him the “he’s gay” speech. In fact, she lets Joey believe that something might happen between them. Joey is a bigger man than that, though, and really he just wants to make sure he and Caitlin are okay. She says they are. They shake hands and avoid each other’s eyes. Caitlin looks like she’s going to cry.
Manny and Craig meet up in the hall. He drags her into an empty classroom to give her the sweater and bracelet, wrapped in a shiny silver bag that’s all crumpled in his duffle. Let me take a moment to point out that Craig is wearing a faded navy blue shirt with a big eagle on the front. It says “Biketoberfest” between the bird’s outstretched wings, and “1989” below. I own this shirt. It came from Urban Outfitters. Are Craig and I MFEO or what? You know, if he wasn’t lying, cheating scum. (You may have to burn it now, hon.) Anyway, Manny loves her gifts. She says that Craig “gets” her. Manny thinks that, by giving her somewhat meaningful gifts, Craig is showing her that he really does care. If I were Manny’s friend, I would point out that any idiot could think of buying an ice-skate charm bracelet for an ice skater. They hug.
Liberty is ordering Marco around. He’s going on after Heather Sinclaire’s Celtic Winter Solstice Dance. Heather Sinclaire is one of those characters whose face we’ve never seen, but whom the writers like to name-check occasionally to keep us on our toes. Marco calls Liberty “master” and does an exaggerated bow in her direction. See? I’m not the only one who thinks Liberty is overbearing.
Ashley is nervous, even though she’s performed in front of people before. Manny tells her she’ll be great. Ashley says that maybe it’s because she’s singing with Craig, but Manny tells her that she needs to separate herself from him, that her emotions seem to be getting in the way. Ashley doesn’t get it. I do, and now that I have the VCR on pause, I can barely make myself push play again. Manny says, “Just let him go,” just as Ashley sees that she’s wearing The Bracelet. The one she saw in Craig’s garage. Manny doesn’t even have to lie when she says she got it from a boy she’s been dating for a while. “You know, just a guy.” Unfortunately, Ashley sees the rest of the evidence – the fluffy pink sweater sticking out of a bag. She confronts Manny, “Was it Craig?” Manny is sorry, and explains that Craig didn’t want her to say anything because he knew Ash would be upset that he was moving on so quickly. “Moving on? We’re still together!” Both girls are speechless as what Craig has done to them both finally sinks in. I’ve had more time to get used to it, girls, and it still hurts. Trust me.
It’s time for Holidays Around The World. Angela is spinning in circles around Sydney, who wraps one arm around her and tells her to settle down. Joey’s late because he had to stop by and say goodbye to Caitlin. Sydney doesn’t think that’s a good excuse. Angela wanted Caitlin to come because she’s “fun.” Syd doesn’t care. Toby is reciting something dreadfully boring in a complete monotone. I think it’s about Hanukah. Ashley and Craig watch from backstage. Misinterpreting her silence, Craig bumps her shoulder and says that she shouldn’t worry, because they’ll be great. JT – dressed in “A Christmas Carol”‘s finest – has the honor of introducing them. They’re going to sing their original song, “I’ll Spend Christmas With You.” The Simpson-Nelson’s and Jeremiah’s cheer happily, while Manny sulks in the audience nearby.
Craig strums. Ashley sits next to him, with her arms folded protectively across her chest. “You’re every present, I never…got” Craig pauses, waiting for Ashley to join him. She refuses to look at him. “Ash, we’re on,” he says. Ashley stands and then slaps him, hard, before running off the stage. Joey and Sydney look shocked. The crowd starts murmuring. Craig cradles his abused jaw, and then runs off after her. JT says, “Uh, maybe they won’t be spending Christmas together.” Manny takes off after both of them. And it’s time for Kendra’s Chinese New Year’s Dragon Dance.
Here’s the big break-up scene in all its glory:
Craig: What are you doing?
Ashley: Me? What am I doing? What about what you did?
Ashley: Manny? Manny Santos? How could you?
Ashley, starting to cry: I mean. You and me. Craig.
Craig, starting to cry, tries to hold her.
Ashley: Keep your hands off me!
Ashley grabs her grandfather’s guitar and runs off. Manny walks up.
Craig: You told her.
Manny: No, no I didn’t.
Craig: Well, then, how did she find out?
Manny: Because you were stupid, Craig, you didn’t think that she’d find out about me. And you didn’t think that I’d find out about your lies.
Manny drops the bracelet at Craig’s feet and walks off.
Now’s the time in the episode where Joey’s going to tie it all together for us. Craig tells him that he cheated on Ash, and now the other girl hates his guts, too. “Merry Christmas.” But. You see. Good old Joey knows how he feels. Once upon a time, he and Caitlin were engaged. Except that Joey cheated on her with a girl named Tessa Campinelli (more striking parallels to come on that one). Caitlin found out, and it was one of the biggest regrets of his life. Joey says Craig will get over it, that he’ll be okay. Craig says, “What? Like you’re okay? Like Caitlin’s okay? You guys never got over each other, Joey.” Joey tries to brush it off by saying that they’re friends now, but Craig scoffs. He can see the way it is between them. Even Sydney can see. Joey wants to know why Craig would say that. I’m confused as to whether I’m supposed to believe it’s always been Manny for Craig, like he said, or whether I’m supposed to imply from the Parable of Joey and Caitlin that Ashley is really the one.
Joey gives Angela over to Snake (he’s still wearing his wig) for safekeeping, and pulls Sydney aside to talk. He says that Craig overheard her berating Caitlin, and he wants to know why she would behave that way. Sydney admits that she wanted Caitlin to go away, because every time Sydney turns around, Caitlin is there. She put a lot into their relationship, and she wants it to work. She needs it to work, because she loves Joey. Joey furrows his brow, but doesn’t say anything. Syd wants him to say that he loves her more than Caitlin, but he can’t. Bye-bye Sydney.
There are dozens of tiny planes scattered around an airfield. Caitlin is on one, and her cell phone goes off. The co-pilot, who’s sitting right behind her, scolds her. Dude. I would never get on a plane that small. Especially not in winter, when there’s snow on the ground. But enough about me. It’s Joey on the phone. He tells Caitlin to look out the window. He, Angela and Craig are inside the terminal, waving at her. Joey is gesturing for her to come inside. They run to meet her in the hanger. Is airport security really so lax in Canada, at Enterprise Airlines? Forget small planes, I’m never getting on ANY planes in Canada.
“I don’t want to spend Christmas without you,” Joey says. Caitlin wants to know about Sydney. She might as well forget about Sydney, Joey already has. It’s just about them now. Craig takes Angie off to see Santa. She wonders if Santa will have presents for her daddy. Craig, finally wizening up about love and such, says that it looks like Joey is getting his present early this year. He’s wearing his cute hat again. Joey tells Caitlin that he thought he had lost her forever when he broke her heart all those years ago. He moved on. And yet, here he is, standing in an airport at Christmas with her. Joey says that he moved on, but he never really left. Craig watches from a window as they smile at each other. Caitlin moves to get her stuff off the plane, but Joey kisses her instead. Craig watches, and finally gets it.