Every week, we're recapping season three of Degrassi: Next Class.
One of Degrassi's biggest reveals came at the beginning of the Next Class iteration of the series, when bad girl cliché Grace admitted to suffering from cystic fibrosis. It instantly created layers for a very one-dimensional character, one who wants to have a regular high school experience, but knows the reality of her quality and quantity of life.
It comes to a head this episode, when her doctor says she needs to begin seriously thinking about getting a lung transplant. Without it, she's looking at about three more years, which would be riddled with issues as her lung function decreases. With a transplant, she could live up to 10, so long as her body doesn't reject the new lungs. It's an astonishingly difficult choice for anyone, especially someone so young who has already gone through so much.
She heads to school to get her mind off things, but is discouraged that Maya's absent when she needs her. Even the play she's worked hard on seems frivolous, as Miles and Jonah fight over lighting design. Jonah notices that something's wrong and confronts Grace about it. She tells him everything she just learned about the transplant. It's a no-brainer for him: Get the transplant and get more years. But Grace knows exactly what it means to live with cystic fibrosis — and it's not that simple.
He suggests they take the afternoon off. They go to a nearby miniature golf course, and she jokes it's his attempt to persuade her to "choose life." He knows that she has to make up her own mind, but suggests that they play for it. If he wins, she gets the transplant. If she wins, she rides out the last three years. "I'm dead either way" she says. They get to the end of the course, and Jonah starts venting about his girlfriend troubles with Frankie. He mulls over focusing on his girlfriend or his future. Grace reminds him, "at least you have one."
He fights back, telling her that she could have 10 good years to travel, see the world, go to school, whatever she wants. She counters with the fact that soon, everyone will have left town, so what's the point? There will be no one to share it all with. Jonah now sees everything through Grace's eyes: She's not afraid of dying, she's afraid of living and seeing her friends have the life she can't.
It's a sobering thought for anyone, let alone a teenager who is constantly reminded of the writing on the wall.
On the way home from the golf course, they see Maya lying on a staircase, blood coming from her ears. They both jump into action, but Maya just laughs in a shockingly monotone way and sits up. It's another one of her projects with photographer Saad, which she describes as being "about confronting death, showing it can be beautiful." Grace rightfully bites back, that death isn't beautiful, it's final. We can't blame her. This whole Maya thing has gotten beyond weird and it's really hard to tell what it all means. At any rate, it means that she's ditched Grace, yet again.
Back at school, Miles and Jonah are still arguing over the lights for the play. This time though, Grace comes in with constructive ideas and a noticeably more chipper demeanor. After Miles leaves, she tells Jonah that she's chosen to put her name on the transplant list. It could take a while, but a thrilled Jonah promises to be there for her when it happens. At that moment, she gets a text from Maya, apologizing for what happened.
Then Maya decides to send her a series of artful — but terrifying — photos from the shoot she did. Stunned, Grace goes into her contacts and blocks Maya's number.
On one hand, it's good for Grace to avoid that kind of energy. On the other hand, we don't really know what is happening with Maya. And without Grace, she could truly go off the deep end.
On a much lighter note, the nerd herd is busy with their latest pop culture vlogs.
Hunter and Lola meet up in the lab to edit her latest beauty segment. She's nervously munching on chips, her mind is occupied with last episode's revelation that she's been taking her birth control wrong, which may have put her at risk when she slept with Miles during the Hollingsworth house party. She starts asking Hunter if he worries about him and Yael getting pregnant — and if he knew that you have to wait a few weeks to know for sure.
No loaded questions here, guys! He doesn't seem to really notice though, as he's a bit distracted by the cleavage she keeps accidentally getting in his face.
Noticeably anxious, she accidentally spills her chips on Hunter's lap and quickly tries to brush them off. He nervously brushes the chips off and gets back to work, when she leans over to show him a new editing trick. It's then that she notices some, uh, growth in his pants.
That's right, everyone. We finally have a boner more iconic than Spinner's mid-presentation tent raising in season two of The Next Generation. She quickly shields her eyes and grabs her things, promising not to tell Hunter's girlfriend (and vlog contributor) Yael.
Later in class, he tells Baaz everything that happened, and begs him to work with him to fire Lola from the vlog. Baaz is hesitant at first, since he likes Lola, but agrees that it's for the good of the group that Lola leaves before Yael finds out that Hunter's "force awakened" (a perfect nerd jab). They agree to find a way to vote her out, but make it Yael's idea so she isn't suspicious.
After school, the group meets to discuss their upcoming content. Baaz announces that he has other business, which is that they're "hemorrhaging money." A skeptical Yael looks over their budget and sees that Lola is spending way more money on makeup than they're getting in revenue from views. She agrees that they have to get rid of her.
Baaz texts Lola the news, and Hunter thinks he's off the hook. That is, until he sees Lola talking to Yael in the hallway. They're too far away to hear what they're saying, but he's certain that Lola is spilling the beans on his "hard" problem.
Hunter finds Yael after school and tries to suck up with onion rings. Yael tells him that she and Lola talked about her spending on the vlog — and that she didn't spend as much as Baaz said. Hunter quickly caves, telling her about the boner he had for Lola. YIKES. Yael claims she wouldn't have been upset (sure, Yael) but she's more upset that he lied to her. He agrees to rehire Lola and promise to be upfront with Yael. He's not out of the woods yet though, because she's still not sure if she's cool with everything.
Uh oh, trouble in nerd paradise.
While Hunter and Yael are up in the air, Rasha and Zoë are just getting started. The day has finally come for their first big date, and Zoë surprises Rasha with tickets to a live sing-along of High School Musical. Rasha has never seen it and is bursting at the seams. Her housemate Goldi notices the commotion and asks her what happened. Rasha tells her about the screening and Goldi eagerly buys her own ticket, unaware that it's actually a date since Rasha has not come out to her yet (and wasn't planning on it).
She doesn't want to hurt her feelings though, and decides to break the news to Zoë that they have a third wheel coming. Zoë tries to tell her that Goldi will be cool with it, considering she's cool with both her and Tristian, but Rasha can't rock the boat with her living situation. Zoë agrees, but decides that they need to come up with another plan to keep Goldi busy so she can't come.
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Zoë finds her in the student council office and asks her to cover a PTA meeting that both she and Winston can't go to because they're "sick." Goldi is disappointed about the screening, but is happy to jump in. Zoë and Rasha celebrate their deceit by starting off their date at The Dot. It's there that they are met with some karma when Goldi's brother Baaz walks in.
Baaz doesn't know about Rasha either — and she forces them to hide. Zoë sneaks out unnoticed, but Rasha is going to wait until Baaz finishes dinner to sneak out, too. Unfortunately, he made it a long night, and Rasha missed the screening entirely.
The next day at school, a remorseful Rasha apologizes to Zoë and tells her she needs to find a less complicated girl to date. Zoë admits how afraid she was to ask her out, because she's escaped war in Syria and is completely fearless (but clearly, not about everything.) Flattered, Rasha quickly kisses her and they sneak off into another classroom. They start to make out when Zoë's mother walks in with books she left in the car. Zoë hasn't come out to her either, but it looks like she's going to have to if she wants a future with Rasha.