Shoplifting and pedophiles! This episode is a Degrassi classic.
Season 1 Episode 9
Original Airdate: March 15, 1987
Hey guys and gals, it’s time for your annual Degrassi news roundup. Besides Drake, some of our other Degrassi: TNG “stars” have been getting some time in the spotlight. First up, I saw Brooklyn alone at the movie theater and I spotted Samantha Munro (who plays Anya McPherson) in a bit part with Don Draper’s hot wife from Mad Men. Here she is at the premiere of the Academy Award Best Picture-nominated film. Also, I saw the actress who plays Ms. Kwan in a Scotiabank commercial when I was in Canada. According to her Facebook page, she is having a big yard sale. So it looks like everyone is doing equally well.
Back to the show. Lucy is at Canadian Wal-Mart shoplifting next to a conveniently-placed “SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED” sign. This is the most obvious foreshadowing I have ever seen in this stupid show. It’s literally the plot. Like, I could end this review right now and you would know everything that happened in this episode.
Oh yeah, there’s a sweet B-plot though. The Grade 8s are watching a softcore porno called “Days of Passion” in study hall. I have a lot of questions about the Canadian education system right now, but I will save those for later. Wheels and Joey are so enamored with the film’s star, Damon King, they can’t help but coo and whisper tantalizing things in each others’ ears. They’re being so loud that Stephanie and the twins tell them to shut the fuck up.
Lucy has a sweet-ass Casio that she probably boosted from the mall. She’s so busy shoplifting that she doesn’t have time to study for a spelling test, apparently. Raditch makes Lucy stay after class and asks her if everything is okay at home, which of course it is: Lucy has a sweet-ass Casio watch and free rein of the city of Toronto. Late, Voula invites Lucy to study and literally lulls her to sleep with her boringness. Screw Voula.
When Lucy wakes up, she dresses Voula up in some trashy leopard leggings and a tiger-print scarf, which she stole from wherever Steven Tyler shops. Her mom calls to make sure she isn’t dead, and reminds her that there’s some leftover sushi in the fridge. Wow, that’s child abuse right there. You have like 3 hours max to eat sushi before it turns into unrecognizable mush. Someone call CPS.
Lucy’s mom is busy scoring “deals” and her dad isn’t home either. I’m not racist, that’s actually what she said on the phone.
As usual, the chick with the pink shirt is the first to leave class. And Joey is wearing probably the worst shirt yet.
Speaking of terrible clothes, GAH! Stephanie and the twins (well, Erica at least) are the best looking characters on this horrid show and they still look 100% busted. Oversized coats, pegged jeans, tube socks and dirty white Reeboks? GIVE ME SWEET RELIEF FROM THIS NIGHTMARE
So anyway, Steph and the twins skip school to do the coolest of hooky activities– attend a book signing. Damon King from “Days of Passion” is at said bookstore because he scored a book deal with Random House to write a biography about his time in the Canadian porn industry. Stephanie admires his work on Days of Passion so she asks him to sign a nude pic for her locker.
Before signing her smutty photo of him in a Mountie costume, Damon, in his toile shoulder-padded blazer, asks Stephanie how old she is. She lies and says she’s 16 and Damon winks at her. Stephanie gets all tingly down in her Rainbow Brite underwear when Damon kisses her on the cheek.
It turns out Damon didn’t just sign the photo of his junk, he wrote his phone number on it! Looks like we might finally be going all the way with Stephanie Kaye. She calls him in a phone booth and he asks her to go to the porno set later that night. Heather has her usual apprehensions: “It’s a school night.” “What would your parents say?” “Isn’t he a little old?” But Erica calls her a prude. The Farrell twins have nearly the same conversation in every episode, and that’s why I call them the PSA twins. Heather is there to tell you to “just say no.” Erica then calls Heather a prude. The cycle continues.
Lucy steals a bolo tie and a pair of Jams and shows Voula how to shoplift, putting an oversized grandma sweater in her purse. But Voula has all the chutzpah of a soggy tube sock and urges Lucy to put the sweater back. Some crusty old lady overhears Voula’s whining and whips out an enormous walkie talkie with a three-foot-long antenna.
Check out that dope bunny sweatshirt. They should have stolen that instead. It reminds me of the crap I wore when I was a kid, because I got hand-me-downs from my older cousins. I had this one sweatshirt+legging combo that had one purple sleeve, one green sleeve, one yellow leg, and one pink leg. I looked like a goddamn clown, and it’s all my stupid cousins’ faults for growing up in the 80s.
Though let’s be real, I spent most of the 1990s like this:
Voula and Lucy try to leave and they are apprehended by a mall cop at the top of the escalator. Maybe they shouldn’t have been talking so goddamn loud about shoplifting oversized sweatshirts. The mall cop detains the girls until the Mounties come to take them to the police station. Like the sign says, SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.
What a night! Score, I crammed yet another episode title into the text. Speaking of scoring, D-list porn actor Damon “King Dong” King is trying to convince Stephanie to shoot a scene with him at a motel, but she’s not comfortable doing butt stuff. He gets all touchy-feely and rubs Stephanie’s leg through her neon pink leggings. She jumps out of the car, yelling, “IMNOTREALLYSIXTEEN,” just like that, all one word.
Damon bolts from the scene, leaving Stephanie at the motel. She looks suuuuper busted when she has to call her mom to pick her up. I thought this scene would be a lot worse than it actually was, but I looked up the age of consent in Canada and it was only recently raised to 16. Before that, it was 14, so an old guy with a mullet fondling Stephanie would have been legal. That’s pretty horrifying.
On a related note, there is a guy named Brian who tracks down all the shooting locations for Degrassi Junior High and puts them on his website, Degrassi Panthers. It’s mildly interesting. Very, very mildly.
What the Degrassi Wikia nincompoops are saying:
Voula’s Papou comes to pick her up at the police station but the Mounties can’t find Lucy’s parents. Since this is the second time she’s gotten caught shoplifting, they send her to Canadian gulag.
AWKWARD FREEZE FRAME
Lucy is back at school the next day, somehow, and Voula offers to help Lucy study again even though she almost got them arrested. What a crappy ending. Voula’s been holding a grudge against Stephanie for like 8 episodes straight, yet Lucy commits a goddamn CRIME and Voula forgives her within 12 hours? That’s some horse shit.
Overall this is a classic Degrassi episode with all the best characters (except Voula) and none of the worst ones like Arthur. Plus there were some intense run-ins with mall cops and a pedophile. This one gets an A from me.
What I learned in this episode: I learned about Canadian consent laws on the CBC’s website because providing factually consistent articles for this fine website is of utmost importance.