Degrassi: 11.44 & 45 “In the Cold, Cold Night”

Season 1 Episodes 44 & 45
Airdates: May 11 & 18, 2012

This is the season 11 finale. For comparison, the 11th season of Saturday Night Live ran from 1985-86, the season before Phil Hatman and Dana Carvey were brought on. The ratings were so abysmal that the entire cast save for Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller and some woman were fired. The final sketch of the final episode actually had everyone in the cast trapped in a room that was on fire. Would that something similar could have marked the end of this season.

Part 1

A Plot:

Now that Katie has been taken out of school for rehab, Fiona and Imogen consider their revenge had and plot a coup take control of student council. However, they find that Clearasil, as Katie’s second in command, has already assumed power and has Moe protecting her like a mafia enforcer. Her title is Social Convener, which Fiona and Imogen dismiss because there have been hardly any social events this school year. There used to be a dance at Degrassi every three weeks. Clearasil replies that it is not easy to put on an event at Degrassi where someone is not shot or stabbed (or the school is not set on fire, but that was before these kids’ time). I see Clearasil’s point. Degrassi is about as violent as an inner city school.

Clearasil has Moe remove Fiona and Imogen and lock them out. Clearasil has now consolidated her rule with a purge of her enemies. Now she can get back to all the students who are here to complain about things and expect Clearasil to fix them. Degrassi is the only school in North America where the class president has actual powers or anyone cares about the office.

Eli asks Fiona a question about she and Imogen that we all have been asking, because it would make this damn show interesting:

“When are you two going to make out already?”

But I say that about every pair of girls who are friends. It’s been too long since Degrassi had a good girl-on-girl smooch.

Fiona goes over Clearasil’s head by taking her plans for a holiday carnival to Principal Simpson. Is this going to be Christmas episode? Is Fiona going to be visited by the ghosts of Degrassi past? First JT will take Fiona to the place where he died, to teach her to be grateful that the last place she was alive wasn’t a puddle of her killer’s pee. Then Rick will teach her to appreciate having friends, since Rick only had Toby, and that is as good as having no friends. Finally, a ghost of a kid who died in Degrassi Junior High will tell Fiona something relevant to how he died.

But Mr. Simpson doesn’t want to hear this. He says Clearasil can do whatever and doesn’t care that she is being mean to Fiona. Simpson is really angry and frustrated and just wants Fiona to get out of his office so he can get back to his sandwich. Simpson doesn’t want to be principal anymore. The last time he was truly happy when he was having an affair with Ms. Hazzledazzle.

Fiona leaves and Simpson goes on the internet. You ever hear of yuppie pet owners who buy their neutered boy dogs rubber prosthetic testicles, so the little doggie don’t feel something missing in the place he licks all the time? Simpson wants to know if the company that makes them sells something in a human size.

Fiona’s mom is at her castle to say she is leaving for America to meet with the family accountant. Fiona’s family mostly lives in the US. Her mom just keeps a giant vault filled with gold coins in Canada (for tax reasons) and comes north of the border to swim around in it McDuck style. Fiona asks for an advance on her trust fund to pay for carnival rides. Fiona’s mom says no, so after mommy leaves, Fiona forges her mother’s signature on a check to cover the deposit. Imogen enters and joyfully calls the upcoming event a “Frostaville” and is totally stoked for cotton candy and a Ferris wheel. She kisses Fiona on the cheek and says she will have to “be here all night” to help prepare. Looks like this winter carnival is a going to be hot, hot, hot! Which is appropriate because it hasn’t snowed in Canada in years.

Back at school, Clearasil insults Fiona for paying for the carnival herself and being rich and never having to work for anything. But I remember that Clearasil once mentioned her parents bought her a car. That makes both girls equally rich from a teenager’s perspective, as car ownership is the only division between rich vs. poor than can possibly matter to someone that age. Fiona and Imogen need to plan, so they shoe Clearasil away with a yardstick—or meterstick since Canada uses an inferior system of measurement—and lock her out of the student council room. The coup has been staged.

In chemistry class, Fiona and Imogen are lab partners and act kind of flirtatious, even if Imogen has no idea what she is doing to the state of Fiona’s panties. Eli says:

“I’d call that a vigorous reaction.”

Eli really wants to see Fiona and Imogen make out. He is the voice of the average viewer.

When Fiona gets home, she sees that Mounties are all over the castle carrying away boxes. The family lawyer explains the Mounties have a warrant and are confiscating evidence of financial fraud her mother committed. Why are all the financial documents kept at the kids’ house? The lawyer says her mom was arrested and they are working on bailing her out. If the bail gets denied, then they will go to a team of disgraced Vietnam vets who can bust her out, for a price.

Later, Fiona talks with her mother over the internet. Fiona thinks this trouble is from when she forged that check, but mom says the charges go way before that. Mama Coyne is under house arrest and the family’s assets have been frozen. This means no carnival money! Since she can’t come to Canada, mother sent someone to keep Fiona company. It’s Holly J! FUCK YEAH! I guess Holly J works for the Coyne family now. She is their consigliere, like Tom Hagen. Mama Coyne plans to bring Fiona back home to New York soon. Man, keep her in Canada, or at least a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US. Fiona is in this too deep.

By the way, I’ve never been exactly clear on whether Declan and Fiona were meant to be American or Canadian citizens. On one hand, their family’s home is New York City, but their father is a diplomat, so maybe he could work for the United Nations on behalf of Canada. On the other hand, while Declan was in Toronto, he claimed to have diplomatic immunity, which wouldn’t apply inside Canada if that was where he held citizenship. It also wouldn’t apply to the children of diplomats, regardless of the location. Declan didn’t know what diplomatic immunity is.

 

B Plot:

Clare has an article written for the student newspaper, but the other students in the newspaper class or club or whatever the fuck want to postpone the next printing until Katie gets back. Man, Degrassi really can’t function without their class president. Clare can’t believe this, proclaiming, “The holiday edition of the Degrassi Daily is, like, an institution!” That has not existed until a year ago. Also, I doubt it is issued daily.

Clare does not want to give up the journalism, so takes it upon herself to round up a new staff. She tries to recruit KC, Ali, Connor and Jenna, a.k.a. the only people she knows. “Why should we help you?” Ali asks. Clare wronged Ali at some point in the past when I stopped watching, and Ali is still bitter because a girl will never drop a grudge with another girl EVER. Clare is better off without Ali on the paper. It involves computers and words, so Ali would just be dead weight.

Later, Clare enters the newsroom and is surprised to see KC and Connor working on the layout. Being the Christmas edition, they are going for a Victorian design, because the Victorian era appears to be when Christmas was invented. I wonder if people in 1870s England looked at how they celebrated Christmas and said, “We got the Christmas tree, we got Santa Claus, we got gifts, we got stockings, we got carols. Fuck, this is it, mate. We got Christmas down just right. There is nothing more to add.”

Ali and Jenna still don’t want to take part. “It’s too bad we can’t all be friends like we used to,” laments Connor. Well, Connor, that is because girls are bitches to each other.

Clare goes to apologize to Ali for whatever it is they fighting about. Turns out, over the summer, Dave had sex with another girl. It wasn’t Clare, thank God, it was Jacinta. And it wasn’t what Clare did that upset Ali, it was her attitude. “You called my problem ‘pedestrian’,” says Ali. “When I looked up that word in the dictionary, I was so offended!” Clare says she is sorry, but Ali walks away.

Later, Ali joins the paper. Maybe Ali forget why she was mad at Clare. Jenna is here too. I guess Jenna was siding with Ali or whatever. Now all the original grade 9 friends and Jenna are together for the first time since a while ago! Putting together a newspaper with just five people seems daunting, but these kids aren’t daunted. They are non-daunted! Uh…I mean undaunted. “Dude we built a fucking basketball playing robot together, we can do a dumb newspaper.”

But that’s not all of the ghosts from Clare’s past who appear. Eli enters the newsroom! Yes, Eli! It’s a Boxing Day miracle!

 

C Plot:

The freshman band class is playing Christmas music. Maya and Tori and all the main characters who are freshmen are part of it. And Ms. Oh is conducting like she knows even how. Where did Degrassi get a band class? It must have been an endowment from Craig Manning’s trust fund. He set aside money in his will for a music class for the school he loved/lived in for awhile. When Craig was murdered in northern British Columbia over a cocaine deal gone wrong, the school got a big windfall.

Maya is a cello prodigy, so feels held back having to keep pace with all the beginners, and improvises. She totally shreds that instrument like she’s the Eddie Van Halen of cello. But Ms. Oh does not like Maya expressing herself. She’s all, “Hey Lisa Simpson, this is not the opening sequence of your iconic family’s cartoon series. Stick to the sheet music.”

At home, Maya is rocking the cello when her dad tells her to be quiet so Katie can have peace while she is detoxing in her bedroom. So, Katie is not in rehab yet? Maybe her parents found out they can’t afford to send her to a clinic, but don’t want to lose face by returning her to school, so they are going to keep her home for a while. Make her quit cold turkey.

Maya tells her dad her bandmates are “Idol rejects”. I would call these kids “Disney Channel rejects” but that’s just me being delightfully bitchy!

Maya goes to Ms Oh to ask to be bumped up to the grade 11 band where she can feel challenged. Oh no! Ms. Oh has hoop earrings! That means she is a bad girl. And Ms. Oh totally lives up to her hoops when she says it is not possible to promote Maya. She doesn’t give a reason, she just doesn’t want to fill out paperwork, and also seems to really dislike Maya despite Maya being the star pupil.

Ms. Oh’s proposal is that Maya can study music theory by herself for the rest of the year. Her solution is to have Maya go away. None of the adults in Degrassi give a damn anymore.

So while the band practices, Maya reads from a book while listening to headphones. She has a newspaper hidden in the book (she likes to read Hi and Lois during her morning class) and finds a want ad for a bar band looking for members. Maya is going to join a Molly Hatchet tribute band, Holly Matchet.

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