“It’s Late!”, March 29 1987
Is this the only Degrassi episode title containing an exclamation mark? I think so.
Well anyway, remember this from episode 2?
There’s Shane and Spike, chillin on the steps. This screencap has now become relevant.
We start with a totally hot 8th grader party at Lucy’s house. Everyone’s slow dancing in an awful orange glow. Spike and Shane are making out in the hallway until Joey and some other guys bug them. Then they go into a bedroom and relax on the bed. AND the door is locked. Aw, man. What are those crazy kids up to in there?
Spike’s mom lectures her about how when she’s late for school, she makes her mom late for her job. On top of that, Spike’s been thoroughly unpleasant at home lately. Spike’s just like “Get off my back!”
Spike slinks into home room, and Raditch says this is the second time this week she’s been late, and that it’s disappointing when such a good student sets such a bad example. One thing that’s awesome about Spike is she’s got total punk hair, but dresses like a very fashionable secretary half the time and gets good grades.
Anyway the kids have to prepare for their futures or something. Also Lucy’s having another party like the one she had the previous month – meaning the opening scene of the episode was one month prior – and Shane asks if Spike wants to come. She doesn’t, and she yells at him to leave her alone.
Melanie talks to Kathleen about horoscopes or something. Melanie also mentions she really wants a hickey. Kathleen’s grossed out by this, but Melanie says having a hickey means you’ve got a boyfriend. Melanie’s so adorable, man. Snake says hi to her and continues down the hallway, and Melanie worries she’ll never get a boyfriend. Kathleen surprises us by making a reasonable statement by pointing out that Melanie’s only 12, so there’s plenty of time to get a boyfriend.
Also it turns out that Yick has a crush on Melanie. But Melanie likes Snake! Uh-oh!
Wheels and Joey discuss Lucy’s party for some reason, and how Wheels’s mom wouldn’t even let him turn the lights off if he had a party. They wonder if Shane and Spike really did it. Ugh, Shane, Spike, and Snake, all in one review? Sorry if I accidentally call anyone by one of the other names.
Shane comes in right at that moment. Joey and Wheels are anxious to know if Shane and Spike really had sex. Shane won’t say either way, saying “Why, haven’t you ever had sex?” (Joey and Wheels are like “Oh, yeah, totally” and it’s totally not obvious that they’re complete liars or anything), and then Shane says it’s none of their business if he had sex or not. Dang, you go, Shane. It IS none of their business.
They also ask why Spike won’t talk to Shane anymore. Shane doesn’t know, and he’s obviously sad about it. Joey theorizes maybe Spike is on her period or something.
The twins find Spike in the bathroom. What is it with this show and bathrooms?? I guess it’s the most private place to have a conversation in a school, but it’s still really weird that there are so many scenes set in bathrooms on this show. Come to think of it, there’s a fair number of scenes set in locker rooms on Saved By the Bell, not to mention Glee – although a good part of Glee involves a football team so that makes sense there are scenes set in a locker room.
Well anyway the twins ask Spike what’s wrong, because she’s obviously upset about something, and she hasn’t spoken to the twins in a while. I think this is the first episode she’s actually talked to them at all, so… what?? Yeah, I mean, that “LD’s dad goes to the hospital” episode was the first time she spoke ever and this is the first episode since then where she’s said anything. It is completely news to me that she’s friends with the twins.
So it turns out Spike’s period is way late, and she thinks she’s pregnant. That always bugs me on tv shows when the character is like “my period has always been on time before!” I mean, that seems especially unusual that a 13 or 14 year old would have an extremely regular period, but those other shows where the person is like “my period is A DAY LATE I MUST be pregnant because I’m always EXACTLY on time!!” just irritate me.
…Well, one of the twins expends the helpful advice that Spike can’t be pregnant since she didn’t have sex. Like, duh. But Spike reveals she did have sex. The other twin says it’s fine, though, because you can’t get pregnant your first time having sex. The first twin doesn’t think that’s true.
There’s a short scene where Melanie walks by Yick and just says hi and walks away, paralleling what Snake did earlier to her. Yick doesn’t think she’ll ever notice him, but Arthur says they just need to work out a plan to charm her.
After school, Spike heads to her mom’s place of work. Her mom is a hair stylist, and is currently working on a customer who’s telling about some other woman who’s pregnant with her 7th child. Spike asks her mom if it’s true that you can’t get pregnant your first time having sex. Spike’s mom says this is indeed not true, and apparently 1 in 5 girls get pregnant their first time. I wonder where this belief came from? Was it from guys who were trying to coax skittish virgins into having sex by saying “Look, don’t worry, you won’t get pregnant!” Or maybe that theory was started by Kathleen, she’s certainly proven to have an inventive state of reality before.
Spike’s mom and her customer laugh about other crazy beliefs, like that you can’t get pregnant if you stand up afterwards (which is not true, but I can see why people would think that). The customer has apparently heard a really good one, and that’s if you keep your eyes closed during sex, you won’t get pregnant. What even.
Spike’s mom also reveals she was only 17 when she had Spike (whose real name is Christine, by the way). Spike’s mom had to drop out of university (or maybe just high school and it’s that she couldn’t go to university). The customer is all “Well you can be sure she’s going to university!” Meanwhile Spike’s crying in the back room.
Meanwhile, or the next day, or something, Yick’s planning on charming the pants off of Melanie, in a purely figurative manner. He rehearses on Arthur in the stairwell. “Your eyes are like swimming pools,” he says.
Arthur notices Snake and that kid who is in the entire series but I can’t remember his name, and says hello. Snake just says “Yeah, okay Arthur,” and walks away. Snake is awesome. His hair looks super weird in this episode, though.
Yick approaches Melanie and quickly says “Your eyes are so blue they look like pimming swools.” Melanie and Kathleen laugh at him, asking what a “pimming swool” is. Yick runs away in embarrassment, calling Arthur a broomhead on the way.
In studyhall, the twins tell Spike to get a pregnancy test. She doesn’t want to, because it’ll be embarrassing, and her mom will kill her if she’s pregnant. The twins say she still oughtta know for sure. Spike catches Shane smiling at her from across the room. The girls all look at him like this:
He responds with a brief puzzled look before going back to his work.
After studyhall, Shane catches Spike and demands to know what’s going on. She tells him she thinks she’s pregnant, and he backs away slowly and leaves through the stairwell. Aw, Shane. You seemed like such a great guy before.
Voula’s sister had a baby, so Voula’s showing everybody the 50 pictures she has of the baby. Man, as annoying as that is, at least you don’t have to see all of them every time you log on to Facebook. I don’t want to see your hundreds of photos of anything that you uploaded 40 times a day, baby or not. And here’s a good point: My sister has a friend who had a stillbirth or a really late-term miscarriage. So I imagine it would be extremely painful for her to see other people posting at least 10 photos of their baby a day and never shutting up about their baby for 8 freaking months. By all means, take a ridiculous amount of photos of your child and gush about them to your friends, but… let’s not be so excessive about it, maybe?
This is Alexa. Alexa doesn’t start being important for a while. Alexa is the best, because she’s sort of like Melanie but also super enthusiastic and kind of vapid. In a later episode she expresses a wish to have just a little anorexia so she can get back in shape. Some of the other characters helpfully point out that anorexia is a disease and you can’t just have a little of it until you don’t need it anymore. Alexa’s just so dumb it’s kind of hard not to like her, even though she says such dumb things.
Anyway she says she can’t wait until she starts having kids. Lucy says babies are gross and pee like 12 times a day. Alexa doesn’t care, though. Oh also Alexa is one of multiple Greek characters of Degrassi.
Raditch reads the “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” sonnet to the class for some reason. Spike and Shane give each other sad looks. Joey notices and makes a good series suspicious “WTF” faces. The twins also look sad. Everyone is sad. I’m sad. You’re sad. They’re sad. But we don’t have lingering camera angles to show it, so it doesn’t count.
Joey demands to know again if Shane had sex. Shane asks what they would do if they got a girl pregnant. Joey jumps to the (correct) conclusion that Spike is pregnant. Shane denies it, and goes on to say that it wouldn’t be the guy’s problem if a girl was pregnant, right? Joey’s just like “…Well it would be his baby too.” Shane’s all “Forget it!” and leaves. Wheels wonders if this means Shane actually did have sex with Spike, but Joey believes Shane’s just bluffing and came up with the pregnancy thing to make it seem like they had sex. Erm… why wouldn’t he have just come out and told them if he actually had sex, though?
Wait, he DID have sex. Arrgh I just got stuck in a logic windmill, sorry.
Er, so, Melanie’s horoscope says she’ll have a fateful encounter with a guy that day, and receive a surprise gift. Arthur and Yick are spying on her and Arthur gives Yick a vase full of flowers off of Ms. Avery’s desk to give to Melanie, so her horoscope is all true and whatever.
Turns to Melanie’s allergic to the flowers even though she didn’t have any reaction to them when she was just in Avery’s classroom.
Later, the twins offer to go to the drugstore with Spike to buy a pregnancy test. That’s nice. Also Yick asks Melanie if she wants to go skating with him on Saturday morning. Melanie lights up when she realizes it’s a date, and even though their astrological signs are incompatible, she agrees to go with him.
So even later-er, Spike picks up a test. The girls have a brief discussion about all the different pregnancy test options – like if the one that only takes one hour is more accurate than the one that takes two hours to get the result. That’s a good question.
Spike gets home, and says she’s not hungry, because she’s super tired. Her mom says that’s all the more reason she should actually eat something. Her mom spots the bag and asks what’s in it. Spike quickly puts it behind her back, saying it’s nothing. Wrong answer. Now Spike’s mom is REALLY curious as to what’s in the bag that Spike feels the need to hide. Here’s some better answers: “Uh, just something for school” or “Well I know your birthday/Mother’s Day/Christmas’s coming up, and I saw this and thought of you, so I can’t show it to you just yet, you just have to wait, okay?” Unfortunately panic overrides logic for most people, especially fictional characters.
Spike runs upstairs to her room, and her mother goes after her, and asks what’s in the bag. When Spike says it’s none of her business, Spike’s mom says maybe it isn’t, but she still wants to know what the heck’s been going on with Spike lately. Spike’s all “You don’t care about me! You don’t care about how I think or feel! You don’t know what it’s like to be 14!” Then she throws her pregnancy test at her mom.
Shane calls, and Spike’s mom says Spike will call him back. Then she sits down to talk with Spike. The next day, they go to the clinic. Spike thinks it would’ve been better to just take the pregnancy test, but Spike’s mom says the doctor is more accurate or something, and anyway if it turns out Spike isn’t pregnant, she should still talk the doctor if she’s planning on being sexually active from then on. Spike also mentions that she didn’t like the sex the one time she had it. And now she’s pregnant. That sucks. I liked that episode of That 70s Show where Donna and Eric lose their virginities to each other, and it turns out neither of them liked it very much, and then Donna goes around and talks to some of the other women on the show about their own first times, and all of them say theirs were terrible as well.
So also, Spike actually told Shane about the clinic visit, and he’s shown up. Spike’s mom doesn’t like that Shane is there, but Spike echoes Joey’s earlier sentiment about how it’s his baby too. They head in to the clinic for the results.
While they’re getting the results, we cut to Yick and Melanie ice skating. That’s the end of the Yick/Melanie subplot.
After that strange interlude, it turns out Spike is indeed pregnant.
Some time later, at school, Spike and Shane talk. Spike says this is all Shane’s fault. Shane says Spike could’ve stopped him if she wanted. Spike apparently tried to, sort of [that’s seriously what she says].
Spike doesn’t know what to do. Maybe adoption, because there’s lot of people who want babies but can’t have them, people who are not junior high students. Then she brings up the possibility of an abortion. Shane objects, saying “You can’t kill a baby!” Spike counters by pointing out that it’s not a baby, it’s a fetus. Shane says “It’s alive, it’s got rights!” Spike I think wins by saying “But what about my rights?”
Spike wonders why all of this has to be happening. It was just a small mistake, she says. Shane ends the episode by saying “A big mistake.” Yeah maybe you should’ve freaking thought of all this before you went and had sex you mook.
Now, in order to keep this blog as, erm… friendly as possible, I would like to avoid an abortion debate, at least not until the abortion episodes. But since Shane and Spike brought it up, here are some artist’s renderings of a “baby” at the end of the first month of pregnancy:
I would have to agree with you if you find the fetus looks more like some kind of mutant baby fish monster than a human baby at this point. Its organs have begun developing, along with its legs and arms,
and tail, but I don’t think any of them are really functional. The extent to which the brain has developed at this point, I don’t think the little fetus would feel any pain even if you stabbed it or made it watch the last four seasons of How I Met Your Mother. [BOOM]
But anyway, this is just the beginning of the long journey poor Spike goes on, with people telling her what she should do with her body, her child, and her life.
Now, sorry for spoiling anything, but for fans of Degrassi: TNG, the fetus Spike is carrying now does grow up to be Emma of TNG. I saw TNG before I saw DJH, so I wasn’t surprised Spike got pregnant or anything. And now neither are you. Also Spike and Emma haven’t even been on Degrassi: TNG in like five years. Wow.
Also Spike’s mom both looks and sounds a lot like Alexa. They don’t seem to be related, though. The actresses, I mean. The characters aren’t related.
“Parents’ Night” April 5, 1987
The apostrophe is like that on the DVD cover. I think technically it is the more grammatically correct placement.
It’s Wheels’s birthday and his mom is lipsynching to opera. She also says Wheels listens to terrible rock music, sand that’s why she got him a good record – the South Pacific movie soundtrack. Wheels is a 13 year old straight boy in 80s Canada, so that’s understandably not his kind of music.
Someone calls the house. Wheels picks up, but no one answers. We see a gloved hand on the phone that’s calling. Someone is going to murder Wheels… DURING PARENTS’ NIGHT OH NOOO.
SNOW. IN CANADA?? On Degrassi: TNG it snows like twice, once in a Christmas episode and throughout the Hollywood movie to contrast Canada and Los Angeles where it certainly is always beautiful and sunny and warm and it never gets cold there ever… Although I guess to a Canadian, Southern California probably feels like the sun, eh?
Wheels is bragging to someone about all his cool birthday stuff, then he reveals that he, Joey, and Snake are in a band now. Joey plays keyboard, Wheels plays either guitar or bass, and Snake plays either bass or guitar. This is really interesting, though, because Snake has pretty much never interacted with Wheels or Joey before this point. I think the most interaction they’ve had is when Snake told Melanie that Joey gives him a hard time a lot, and that barely counts because Joey wasn’t even in that scene AND we’ve never seen Joey give Snake a hard time anyway.
Anyhow, Snake suggests they call the band “Snake and the Charmers” which would be a really sweet band name if only Wheels and Joey were actually charming. Also it turns out Wheels got poor marks on his report card. Too bad, eh? Oh and there was this creepy mondo 80s guy hanging around outside the school. Snake thought he seemed like he wanted to talk to Wheels, but Wheels doesn’t know him, so Snake says he’ll tell the office about the guy if he’s still there later. Most kids wouldn’t do anything if there was some weird pedo guy hanging around outside the school. Snake is a good kid.
Joey forgot to have his parents sign his report card, so he’s forging the signature. Also Joey has a name for the band – “Joey and the Joybuzzers”. Wheels thinks Snake will hate the name. I think everyone will. That’s a terrible name. What’s a joybuzzer supposed to be?? And finally, this paragraph took place entirely in the bathroom, as always.
Spike’s still concerned over what to do about the baby. She doesn’t want to be a mother, but doesn’t want to get an abortion. Also Shane’s still a jerk and won’t talk to her.
Raditch receives Joey’s report card with the forged signature. Raditch asks what Joey’s parents thought of his grades, and says he’s looking forward to talking to them that evening at Parents’ Night – which is also when the school talent show that Snake and the Buzzkills or whatever are performing in.
In the hallway, Snake advises Joey to forge a note that would supposedly be from his parents, explaining they were unable to attend and whatever.
Meanwhile, the twins encourage Spike to talk to Wheels. It turns out Wheels is actually adopted, so the twins think it would be good for Spike to ask him what it’s like, so she can figure out if adoption is right for her and her baby. Spike is afraid of adoption because what if her baby goes to someone awful? One of the twins points out that, well, if she doesn’t want to keep the baby and doesn’t want an abortion, what other choice does she have? I mean there’s a few extra options there, but all of them are pretty gruesome so I will move on to the next scene.
Rehearsals for the talent show are going on. That screenshot is all I can tell you about that “talent.” I mean, they sing, and one of the kids is Arthur, but I can’t tell you what exactly it is that’s supposed to be happening. I’m not even sure who the other kid is. I thought it might be Caitlin, but looking at the screenshot, I’m not so sure.
Backstage, Derek Wheeler and the News are talking about where they’ll film their music video for their song. Joey wants it on top of a building, but Snake says that’s overdone. He wants to do it in a studio with smoke machines and dancing girls. Wheels suggests they practice the song before they worry about making a music video. He’s also wearing an awesome reindeer sweater. Apparently it’s December right now.
Spike rudely interrupts their rehearsal to ask Wheels about being adopted. She asks if he ever wonders about his birth parents, if he knows anything about them, and if he’s mad at them for giving him up. Wheels says: Sometimes, just that they were too young to take care of him, and not really. Wheels has to leave to go on stage for rehearsal, and tells Spike to ask if she has any more questions. Wheels is surprisingly cool.
Joey Jeremiah and the Raiders play something terrible on stage. It’s basically them hitting random notes in sequence, it’s not even a song.
Still, they all think they did well, and skip out into the snow. Creepy mustache guy is still there, and he actually talks to Wheels. It turns out he’s actually Wheels’s biological father. Boy, talk about a coincidence that he shows up immediately after Spike was asking Wheels about him!
Um it turns out his name is Mike Nelson, even though Spike’s last name is also Nelson although maybe they haven’t mentioned that yet. Wheels’s birth name was also Michael Nelson. Now it’s Derek Wheeler. Mike Nelson also tells Wheels to call him whenever.
The next day at school, Joey and Snake have a fight about the name of their band. Snake still thinks the Environment Action Committee is a good… wait, no.
Anyway Joey is talking about how they’re going to go on tour, but Snake doesn’t know if he can miss that much school. They have like 1/3 of one song so far, but sure.
Wheels tells the guys about how the creepy guy was his father. Joey laments the fact that he wasn’t adopted, because his parents are super boring. Hahah, what. Joey’s dumb. But they convince Wheels to call his father.
He does, and they get chocolate milkshakes. It’s hereditary or something. Mike tells Wheels a bit about his birth mother, and how the two of them were just 16 when they had Wheels, and couldn’t take care of him. Mike isn’t supposed to know where Wheels is or who adopted him, but he found out somehow and kept checking the phonebook to make sure Wheels was still in Toronto. Eh… that’s a little creepy.
Um it also turns out Mike is in a band with his loser 30 year old friends, and Wheels arranges a date to see them. It turns out his adoptive father got two tickets to see this group called the Gourmet Scum, but the concert’s the same day that Wheels is seeing his biological father’s band! Which lame band will he go to?!
He tells Mr. Wheeler that he can’t go because he has a rehearsal with his own band, and it’s super important and stuff. Mr. Wheeler is sad.
Spike is yelling at Shane in the stairwell, meanwhile Snake has a new name for the band – “Snake and the Sneeze.” That’s officially the worst band name I’ve ever heard. And I’m including “Paige Michalchuk and the Sex Kittens”, “Hell Hath No Fury”, “The Justin Bieber Experience,” and the band names I came up with as jokes earlier in this post.
After school, Wheels goes to see birth father. Mike’s bandmates are like “Aww, is this your kid?” and Mike’s like “Yeah, he’s totally mine!” Wheels gets really upset about this, saying he doesn’t belong to Mike, that he was a mistake anyway, and why did Mike even come here to bother him in the first place? Wheels walks home in a huff.
He finds his adoptive parents waiting for him. Turns out, right after Wheels left, Mike phoned them to apologize. Uh-oh, Wheels, the jig is… up… now your adoptive parents will know your birth father contacted you so you can get to know each other… Eh… Okay, I can see how “wondering about the birth parents” might cause some strain, hurt feelings, whatever for adoptive families, but… okay.
Anyway Mr. Wheeler says Wheels shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to know about his birth family. Mrs. Wheeler says they’ll always love him. Wheels somehow takes this to mean that they want to give him up, and he says he doesn’t care about his dumb biological father anyway.
New band names: “Joey and the Jellybeans” and “Snake and the Snaps.”
Raditch tells Joey that the note his parents totally wrote was so touching, he called Joey’s parents. Of course, Joey’s parents didn’t know a thing about the note, and can’t wait to discuss it at Parents’ Night – which is spelled Parent’s Night on a poster so I don’t know what to believe in anymore.
Spike and Shane continue their argument from earlier. Shane says Spike didn’t make the baby alone, so he deserves some input. Spike says… something, and Shane’s all “I thought you liked me.” She still does, but having babies is hard. So they break up, I guess. I don’t really understand what they’ve been fighting about. It seemed like in the last episode, Spike wanted support from Shane. So now Shane is trying to give her some input to help her decide what to do, and she’s all “Don’t tell me how to live my life!” Teenagers, amiright?
Also Spike talks to Wheels again and says she’s worried if she chooses adoption, what happens if she loves the baby too much to give it up? And if she did give it up for adoption, she’d like to meet the kid later on, to explain why it is she gave the baby up. She asks Wheels if he thinks that’s wrong of her. Wheels doesn’t think so. I guess Wheels just learned something about his creepy, mustachioed birth father.
There’s like 3 minutes left in this episode and Parents’ Night hasn’t even happened yet.
Wheels goes to see Mike play. His band is terrible. No saxophone? No flute? What kind of rock band is this??
Wheels showed up to talk to Mike to tell him he doesn’t want to talk to him.
Okay he adds that he’d like to talk to him some time later, but not for a while. Mike’s cool with that. Wheels also asks if he can have the birth necklace that Mike gave to him but that he threw back at Mike for implying Wheels belonged to him. Then the episode ends.
We didn’t see any of Parents’ Night at all.
When Degrassi:TNG did Parent’s Night, we did actually see a lot of it. Most of it was focused on a divorced couple arguing over who ruined their child the most. It was kind of intense.
The boys still didn’t settle on a band name. You know what would be a good band name? “Who’s On First”. It would be part The Who cover band and part vaudeville comedy act. I think “Headless Mistress” and “The Plague” would be good names for mediocre grunge/punk/rockabilly/soft cabaret bands.
Oh that reminds me – The Gourmet Scum may or may not be a real band. When I Googled it, most of the results were Degrassi pages, but there’s also a couple music videos on Youtube by The Gourmet Scum. So I don’t know if they named themselves after the Degrassi band or if it’s a coincidence.
Ah, and a final note – the actress who played Spike is actually adopted. Not super relevant, but still interesting, I think.