Film and TV

Degrassi: Next Class Recap: Truth Will Set You Free

Every week, we're recapping season two of Degrassi: Next Class. #TheseAreMyConfessions.

Finally, we have an arc worthy of a badass chick like Grace. She's spent a lot of her time on the show as a rough-and-tumble bad girl caricature and occasional sounding board to people like Zig, Tiny, and Maya. We got to know her more last season, but that was only leveraged as part of her relationship with Zoë. Save for a strange bit where gave herself a less-tough makeover, she's been season's best supporting actress ... until now.

We got a supercharged Grace plotline in this episode which touched on her cystic fibrosis and her affections toward Zig. They start quizzing each other on Zig's less-than-convincing fake ID. They are playing to acquire a keg (were we ever so young?) for Tiny's going-away party before he leaves for a summer science session at Caltech. They are planning to charge $20 a head to put towards Tiny's airfare. If they make enough, they might also borrow Grace's family's camper so she and Zig can drive out to California. Huh? Why don't they just take Tiny and save him some money? Why wasn't this an option when he was considering taking up stripping just to pay for it? They also exchange some very strange and forced flirting, including Tiny saying something like, "she's a keeper," and Zig agreeing. Huh? Since when? Okay. 

She leaves them and heads to her daily doctor's appointment for her CF treatment. They reveal that she's been on a new set of meds, but everything is coming along just fine. So much so, that the doctor agrees that she'd be alright to head on a cozy road trip with Zig this summer. Her Mom is hesitant — Grace has only told Zoë about her condition and they aren't even friends anymore — but is willing to give it a go. Grace heads to the party and is so confident in this news, that she does one of two kinda stupid things. First, she pulls Maya aside to let her know that she thinks her ex Zig is "ready to move on." She's being super vague and in turn, gets the wrong answer: Maya thinks Zig is already dating the she-wolf, Esme. Taken aback, Grace decides to not elaborate, and instead tracks down Zig. They go off into the woods for a walk, plotting their epic road trip. When it's mentioned that Zig might not be able to get out of his job on Esme's dance troupe, Grace panics and kisses him. He freaks out and drops the cliche-but-brutal, "I don't want to mess up our friendship." Ouch. 

Grace storms back into the party in a huff, grabbing a beer and flipping out at Maya. She rattles on about how Maya is perfect, and how Grace got the short straw in life. She knows she can't be friends with Maya while her love for Maya's ex is is still unrequited. She stumbles away, but very quickly, hits a a very big wall and passes out. Her friends gather, deciding what to do. Since they don't know she's sick, they just assume it's the beer and don't want her to get into trouble. They plan to just let her sleep it off, until Zoë comes over and realizes something is very wrong. She tells them Grace is sick — not exactly how sick — but that she need to go to the hospital. She wakes up to find Maya still waiting there, and she finally tells her what ails her. All of this creates a multi-dimension that we haven't seen from her before, coloring in the parts we thought were just lonerism, and gives her a chance to open up in a very real way. 

Meanwhile, at school, Yael and Vijay are hanging out in class when Baaz approaches. He proposes the idea of going to Tiny's party with Yael, who promptly declines. He then reminds her that she owes him a date based on the bet they made over who would have the most successful app in episode three. A woman of her word, she agrees to go with him. 

After school, she meets up with Hunter at his house. She decides to tell him about the date, even its "just friends" parameters. He's skeptical at first, accusing Baaz of getting fresh because he's probably just happy that "any dumb girl will go out with him." She takes offense to that and doubles down on it being a date with ample opportunity for a makeout sesh. She asks why Hunter doesn't care and he responds, "why would I?" Because the girl of your anime dreams is sitting playing Magic the Gathering with you, voluntarily. Lock it down, Hollingsworth! Frankie even tries to bail him out, but he doesn't get it. Yael drops it and gets ready to go. 

Baaz picks her up and they walk out to the party. Not subtle about most anything, Baaz starts in on trying to land a lip lock with his lovely lady. She starts to come around, until he slips out that he wants Grace to be able to see them. Yes, the guy who had told Grace that she "must not be trying to attract guys," has been pining over her since. Yael is thrown off, upset that she thought it was a real date, even for a fleeting moment. He runs off after Grace and she sits there, sulking. Soon after, Hunter arrives, clearly panicked about the "the status of my lip virginity"? Her words, not ours. She assures him that nothing happened and that love is definitely dead anyway. "I thought you liked me, but you let me go on a date with Baaz." He admits that he likes her, but his life is such a mess, he didn't want to hurt her again. "What if this messes with our friendship?" "It already has." We think that's a good thing.

The girls volleyball team is starting to worry. They're winning matches, but not by much, which isn't like them. Shay in particular is freaked out that no national scouts are going to show up to see the best player on the worst team. Several of the girls agree that the solution is to let Frankie back on the team, because she was good and she helped them win. Shay stands her ground, refusing to let Frankie's racist prank cast a shadow over the season any longer. 

Instead, she drills these girls into the ground, certain that a bunch of practice will make up for the lack of Frankie. The girls start to fizzle out, none of them as concerned over volleyball as they are about homework and Tiny's party. Shay lets them leave, but stays behind to practice. She spends a lot of that time thinking about what it would mean to bring Frankie back on. She calls to talk it over with Tiny. Can she forgive her if she's truly sorry, or just because she's good at sports? He very quickly and kind of unhelpfully tells her to "follow her heart." It's pretty clear he meant that to do with the two of them, but this girl has laser focus.

She heads straight to Frankie's house. Surprised, Frankie scrambles and pulls up a letter she wrote, which, in no uncertain terms, admits that the drawing of Northern Tech was racist. She's sorry she did it and she's sorry she didn't say sorry earlier. This convinces Shay, who presents her to the team to read her letter. They vote unanimously to let her back on the team, as long as she shares the letter with the rest of the league. The girls walk toward the bus to the next game arm-in-arm, except Shay. Tiny comes around the corner at that moment and without much thought, they kiss. She starts to overthink it right away, to which he tells her, go with your game, we'll talk about this later. On the bus, an earnest Lola exclaims her joy that "nothing will ever come between us again," and we're treated to a long stare by a Shay, a girl who just realized she broke girl code #1: don't mess with a friend's ex. Whoa boy. Finale next week!
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Ashley Harris is a longtime professional fangirl. You can usually find her out at concerts, movies, and live theatre, or glued to the latest Netflix revival.
Contact: Ashley Harris