Craig sits amidst the rubble of his hotel room, toying with his mother’s ring. His tie is askew and his hair is delightfully tousled. Leave it to Craig to look hot after having a total mental meltdown. The phone rings, and unlike before, Craig actually answers it.
It’s Ashley, who recognizes right away that Craig shouldn’t be alone. She tells him that she should be with him, but her mom – perhaps using psychic powers to determine Ash is talking to Craig – tells her that it’s time for them to go get their hair done. Craig wants to know why Ashley’s being so nice. After all, yesterday he asked her to marry him, and she said no. Ashley smiles and clarifies that she can’t marry him yet, but she wants to. She does. Craig asks if that’s a “someday.” Ashley says that it’s a yes. Craig lets out a yelp that is somewhere between a woo-hoo and a yee-haw. He hangs up the phone and picks up the ring, smiling at it broadly.
After the theme song, Craig is at The Dot, his legs bouncing madly under the table. Marco smacks him on the back as he walks up, looking annoyed. Craig tells him he screwed up. (Again.) He needs to buy a suit. A nice suit. Marco doesn’t see what this has to do with him. Craig should just go buy a suit. He’s only there because Craig sounded like a lunatic on the phone. The deal is, Craig says, Ashley’s dad’s Big Gay Wedding is this afternoon, and he needs a suit. Did he mention that? He needs a nice, expensive suit, because he has to make a good impression on Ashley and her family. Marco tells him to avoid buying a cheap suit, then. Craig makes a frustrated noise and Marco gives in. He wants to know what they’re going to shop with. Craig pulls out Joey’s credit card and says, “Solid gold, my friend.”
Shopping montage. Catchy music. Craig likes cheap, tacky things. Marco guides him toward expensive stuff. Craig likes black and white wing-tipped shoes. Marco shows up with something black and classy. They buy ties and belts and boxer shorts, stopping for a moment to smell a perfume call Sexual. Craig settles on an off-white suit, off-white felt fedora, and a lavender tie. Layered into the wacky trying-stuff-on scenes are images of Joey’s credit card getting swiped over and over again, as if we weren’t smart enough to see this disaster coming from 10 miles away.
The music stops as Craig and Marco walk off down the mall carrying their myriad of purchases. Out of the blue comes Sexy Dylan, who jogs into the frame with his blond curls bouncing. He’s sorry he’s late. Better late than never, I say. Marco hands over the suit to Craig and says, “My work here is done.” That’s good, because Craig has a Big Gay Wedding to get to. “I’m so glad that gays can get married!” he exclaims. “That you two can get married! I mean, you gays! If you, I mean, if you ever wanted to.” He starts mumbling “great” to himself and runs off. Dylan is confused, but thanks him for his support. Sort of.
Liberty and J.T. make a pact that they’re going to move forward with the musical they’ve written, which includes something called “The Radish Song.” They shake on it just as Alex, Manny and Emma show up with the guy who has the lead in the play. Did I miss the part where I was supposed to know this guy’s name? Also, all the girls in this scene – except Liberty – look hot in inappropriate ways.
Alex asks if they got Radditch to change his mind about the play. “Not yet,” says J.T. as he hands out copies of the song. “Dracula is staked for now.” I remember when J.T. used to be actually funny. The Lead Guy With No Name bitches that he’s spent his Saturday rehearsing for…what, exactly? “The Radish Song,” reads Emma. J.T. demonstrates that it is sung to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Lead Guy sings the first line and Manny completes it. Radishes are not-so-sweet and gross to eat. Manny notes that, while the song gets more evil later, she’s not going to do it. I’m not getting the part where it’s evil at all.
The song, as it turns out, is speaking out against oppression. It’s their anthem of rebellion. Alex says that she’s all about rebellion, but not so much about getting expelled over a play. Emma gives them an “A” for effort, but hands in her song sheet. One by one, the cast of the play leaves and J.T. protests: “United we stand, divided we suck!” Manny tells them that if she hurries she can still catch her dad, which is the most worthless line in this episode. Congratulations, Manny!
Craig gets in the hotel elevator with some guy whose job is to look nervously at his watch while Craig rambles on and on about how he just bought a suit for his girlfriend’s wedding. Not her wedding, her dad’s wedding, to another guy. On and on he goes in circles, like an electric train set. The elevator stops on Craig’s floor, where lots of official-looking hotel people are shaking their heads while removing the rubble from Craig’s room. Craig ducks back into the elevator and tells the nervous guy that he got the wrong floor. “Crazy, crazy me,” he says.
In the quiet of his hospital room, Jimmy’s eating lunch. Craig bursts in half dressed and carrying all his purchases, and demands to know where the bathroom is. Jimmy tells him he goes in a bag, and he’d go into more details, but he’s eating. Craig closes the door and tells Jimmy he has big news as he starts to pull off his pants. “Are you ready?” he asks. Jimmy’s protests are nothing to Craig, who at this point is dead set on talking non-stop until the end of the episode.
The first wedding he went to was his mom’s, to Joey. Spike and Snake’s was the second. Ash’s dad makes three. Craig wants to “get his practice down” so he’ll be ready for his own wedding. Jimmy says he’s got some time for that. Craig does a little dance like he’s going to pee his pants and tells Jimmy that he asked, and Ashley accepted. Jimmy tries hard not to laugh. “Congratulations!” Craig yells. Jimmy points out that he’s only 16, so he might want to wait until, like, graduation or an occupation.
This harshes Craig’s buzz. He continues to get dressed and fumbles with the button on his shirtsleeve. Leaning across the bed he asks Jimmy to button it for him. Pulling back, Jimmy asks him if he’s drunk or high or just out of his mind. We get it! Uncle! Craig is OUT OF HIS MIND! Fuck. I’m only eight and a half minutes into this episode. “I love her!” Craig yells. Jimmy is so the man when he tells Craig that being in love doesn’t explain whatever in the hell is wrong with him. “Maybe you should just think about it, and be happy for me,” Craig tells him. Jimmy sucks on his bottom lip and furrows his brow.
Big Gay Wedding! Some thin woman with a stereotypical lesbian haircut is officiating. According to her, there are a lot of songs “and Hollywood movies, too” about love. Ashley stands by with a tight smile and Craig fidgets in the crowd. Their eyes meet and Ashley mouths “I love you.” Craig closes his eyes in ecstasy. The officiating lesbian declares that the “union of love” is now official and Ashley’s Big Gay Dad kisses his Big Gay Spouse. The crowd goes wild! Craig smiles and smiles.
In the house I thought this ep forgot, Joey is trying to pay for some Chinese takeout with his credit card, which is of course missing. He begrudgingly asks if Caitlin has enough cash to pay for it, and when she asks why he isn’t putting it on his card, he tells her that he’s either misplaced it or Craig stole it. Spike steps in with some cash and holy hell, does she look gorgeous. Her hair is a natural chestnut color, and it’s pulled into a loose ponytail. Gorgeous.
At the mention of Craig, Snake looks uncomfortable. He asks how Craig’s been lately, and Joey says he’ll be a lot worse when he’s through with him. Snake says that, actually, he’s concerned. He’s using his teacher voice. Joey says that he’s concerned, too, but then asks for dibs on the chow mein. Snake brings down the room by reminding them that Craig’s dad wasn’t exactly the most stable guy. But Craig’s nothing like his father, Joey says, he’s just a teenager going through teenager stuff. It’s nothing that a grounding won’t cure. Snake protests that he sees a lot of teenagers every day, and Craig’s going through something else. Just then the phone rings. It’s for Joey. I’ll give you three guesses what this call is about, and the first two don’t count. “Damages?” Joey says into the phone.
At the Big Gay Wedding Reception, Ashley’s mom is making a speech that is funny, if all those laughing people are anything to go by. She says that, as Robert’s ex-wife, it’s not usual that she be attending his second wedding to someone younger and prettier than her. There’s something about their “unusual” family, and she asks Ashley to stand up. There’s a round of applause, and Craig stands, too. Ashley tries to get him to sit, but instead he introduces himself as Ashley’s boyfriend, not part of the “unusual” family Ms. Kerwin spoke of, at least not yet. Ash tugs on his arm, but he just keeps going. He has an announcement. He and Ashley are getting married! Some of the old folks clap, but Ash’s mom and dad look unamused. Ashley hides her face in her arms. Craig raises his champagne glass and toasts to him and Ashley. He then chugs the entire thing in one gulp and sits down, grinning like a fool.
Ashley runs from the reception tent, Craig hot on her heels. She wants to know what in the hell he was thinking. He thought it would be perfect, since her dad just got married and all. Just that morning she said she wanted to be together! She tells him that she’s changed her mind. Slutty Aunt Sally comes out of the tent all worried and asks if Ashley is okay. She says that she will be, as soon as Craig leaves. He gets down on his knees in the grass and tells her that she’s everything. She tells him to go home, which he pretends he’s going to do before he runs back into the tent and up to her parents.
He tells them that he loves Ashley, and having to prove it over and over again is disrespectful. Ash’s mom tells Ashley to take him outside, but Craig won’t listen to either of them. Big Gay Spouse takes his arm and tells him they can talk about it later, but Craig pulls away. He says that this time, when Ms. Kerwin tells Ashley to stay away from him, he’s afraid she’s going to listen. There’s a scuffle, and Craig falls back into a table, bringing it to the floor. Big Gay Spouse tries to help him up, but Craig pushes him away and runs out of the tent.
At school, J.T. and Liberty are lounging on the stage when Radditch shows up. To tell you the truth, I had forgotten about this plotline entirely. Radditch wants to know what happened to the drama club. He pronounces drama like Alabama. J.T. tells him that actors are notoriously late, and as Radditch removes his clip-on sunglasses, he asks them if they made any progress. Liberty tells him that they will, in fact, sing to him their progress.
J.T. sets the scene. It’s the mid 1980s, and Degrassi’s cafeteria worker has just seen E.T. Liberty turns from her place at the piano and says that wasn’t the setup they agreed on. He shushes her. As she plunks out the tune to “Twinkle Twinkle” J.T. sings the old words, about the hallowed halls of stone and dying alone. Liberty tells him those aren’t the words, but Radditch shushes her, too. He thinks they’re fine words. “A student died in this school,” Liberty says. “And a fuzzy song and awkward choreography isn’t going to help us deal with it.” J.T. approaches her, but she sings the real song.
Radishes, radishes, not so sweet
Red and round and gross to eat
They have power and cruel little voices
They say, “I run Degrassi” you have no choices
Ugly and mean and slightly obscene
The stubbornest radishes you’ll ever see.
I guess it was sort of evil, after all. Radditch looks contrite as Liberty walks out. He tells J.T. it was an interesting song, and he’d like a reprisal. Monday, in detention. Both of them.
At the Big Gay Wedding Reception, Ashley is crying all alone. Her cute pink phone is ringing and flashing, but she doesn’t answer. Somewhere in a phone booth, Craig is crying his eyes out. He whispers “Ashley, I need you” into the phone. He says it again, and when it’s clear she’s not going to pick up, he shouts the words and then bangs the receiver against the glass.
When he finally shows up at home, Caitlin tells Craig that Joey is out looking for him. She notices that his knuckles are bloody and goes to look for a towel – one can only assume he beat up on the phone booth when the cameras left him last. Craig crouches next to Angie and gives her something for Ashley. He wants Angie to give it to her. It’s “just a ring.” He kisses Angie on the forehead and tells her he loves her the most.
Ashley and her mom are sitting silently together when Gay Dad approaches with Joey. He demands to know where Craig is, and when Ashley says he’s not there anymore, Joey says that he knows all about the hotel room. Busted. What Joey really wants to know is why they trashed the room, $4000 in damages! Ashley says she didn’t. Craig must have done it the night before, after he proposed. Joey stutters on the word “proposed” so Ms. Kerwin takes the opportunity to tell him Craig has problems. Lots of problems. Ashley says that Craig isn’t like this, not ever. She asks Joey to explain, but Joey is too busy being melodramatic. “What is happening to my son?”
At home, Caitlin is reading to Angie and Craig has changed into one of his hot hipster t-shirts. He gives Caitlin an envelope with a check for $3000 and asks her to give it to Joey. It’s all he has left of his inheritance. Caitlin tells him that they know Craig stole the card. He snaps back that the card is in the envelope, too, and starts to leave. He tells Caitlin he’s going back to the wedding…to Marco’s…nowhere.
Joey’s home, and there’ll be hell to pay. He frowns a lot and breathes deeply. It is now, for the first time, that I realize Jake Epstein (Craig) is about a foot and a half taller than Pat Mastroianni (Joey). Craig fights back tears and tells Joey that the place looks great. Joey takes a couple of deep breaths and tells Craig to sit down. Craig tells him that Caitlin has the credit card and then tries to leave, which is exactly the wrong move.
Joey says something isn’t right with him, and Craig says, “I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine,” and then there’s some pushing and shoving and Craig has Joey back against a bookcase. Joey says that he’s trying to help, but Craig’s all gone now. He punches Joey in the gut and then takes him to the ground. Angela and Caitlin are yelling at Craig as he pummels Joey in the face for what seems like 10 minutes until, miraculously, Ashley shows up.
She yells for Craig to calm down, and he does, shoving off of Joey and latching on to her, telling her over and over that she “came back.” He tries to kiss her but she pushes him off, crying. “After everything I did, you still came back to me,” he says. Ashley tells him that she did, but that he needs help. Craig turns and finally notices Joey, bleeding on the floor. Craig looks like he is in shock and crumbles. Ashley leans her forehead against his and tells him that they’ll get him help.
Detention. J.T. says that they shouldn’t think of it as detention, they should think of it as…something. I wanted to quote here, but I’ve rewound three times, and I officially give up. Whatever it was, Liberty doesn’t laugh, and it annoys J.T. She doesn’t understand why he’s in detention, since she’s the one who sang the song. He tells her it was worth it, to see the look on Radditch’s face when he fired them. (He fired them?) Liberty smiles coyly, but says he’s not helping.
He tells her that he’s sorry he chickened out on the song, but what she did took guts. She smiles and says, “You know what I wished I’d have done?” And then she kisses him. Just like that, in detention. Let’s just say, he’s not backing away. Liberty tells him that she’s crushed on him for four years. He kisses her back. Then, for reasons unknown to the universe, J.T. says, “my stomach hurts a little bit.” (J.T./Liberty ‘shippers will no doubt say it’s the fluttering of true love.)
In a hospital room that’s not Jimmy’s, Craig is explaining to Ashley that he can’t sleep. He’s written 17 new songs in one week, which is more songs than he’s ever written in his entire life. Oh, and by the way, it turns out he’s crazy. Ashley says he’s not crazy, he’s just bi-polar, and for everyone in the audience who doesn’t know what that is, Ashley expositions that it means he has a chemical imbalance in his brain. He tells her that she should go, but she doesn’t want to.
He curls up around his pillow, all six-feet-plus of him in flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt, and tells Ashley that he’s going to have to manage this for the rest of his life. Medication. Shrinks. She crawls into bed facing him and holds his hand. “The first time we dated it was a disaster,” Craig says. “This time, it’s nuclear.” She tells him that they aren’t over. You can tell she means it, because she’s wearing the wrist cuff of teenage love. “So you’re here, with me?” Craig asks in a quiet voice. “Absolutely,” she replies.