MAYA PLOT SUMMARY: Maya tries to throw herself at Cam while studying, but he seems more interested in studying than in her. She goes to Tori for advice, who is about to compete in a beauty pageant. Tori decides to give Maya a makeover so they can do the pageant together. Maya sings the song she’s been writing for WhisperHug to Mo and he likes it, but he wants Imogen to sing it because Maya doesn’t have enough sex appeal. Maya shows off her new look to Cam, but when he isn’t thrilled by it she storms off after telling him she doesn’t know what it’ll take to make him notice her. She wants to quit the pageant, but Zig convinces her she should do it anyway.
When it comes time for the pageant Maya is introduced on stage, and as she’s walking the catwalk she trips and falls in front of the crowd. She gets right up and continues as if nothing ever happened, and both she and Tori become finalists. Maya plans to play the song she’s written during the finals, but because she now genuinely wants to win Tori feels threatened and tells Maya she stands no chance and isn‘t the right kind of pretty. Cam wants Maya back, but she’s still convinced that he doesn’t like her because he never tells her she’s pretty. Tori confronts Maya about having Zig perform with her at the pageant, and Maya reminds Tori about the mean things she said earlier. Maya and Zig perform at the pageant and afterward they share a kiss, which Katie walks in on. During the final interview the ladies must answer the question, “What is your biggest flaw?” Tori uses the time to talk about Maya’s positive influence on her and apologize to her for being mean. Maya feels guilty for kissing Zig, calls herself a bitch and walks off the stage.
Maya leaves the pageant and shows up at Cam’s doorstep, apologizing for the way she’s treated them. The two get back together, and the next day at lunch Zig doesn’t like the news. He talks to Maya and tells her that there’s a spark between him and her, and that they should be together instead. However, Maya denies that she has any feelings for Zig and walks away.
With Season 12 having officially completed filming, some corners of the Degrassi fandom are convinced that the Degrassi apocalypse is coming. “Is the show getting canceled?” “How can they possibly go on without the seniors?”
I don’t know how many times I‘ve said it already, but thanks to the current niners I believe Degrassi will be fine in the future. They’ve been solid since they arrived on the scene, and this plot is just another example of that. The show once again jumps into Degrassi Junior High mode by examining a very relatable topic (insecurity) without making it more dramatic than necessary. Maya’s insecurity revolves around the fact that her boyfriend doesn’t make any moves on her and doesn’t tell her she’s pretty, therefore in her head something must be wrong with her. There’s no telling what Cam’s issue is (we’ll find out eventually), but as a guy in his late 20’s watching this plot is somewhat scary, knowing what kind of impact self-esteem issues can have on girls and their future relationships.
Tori’s also dealing with her own set of securities. Once Maya is chosen as a finalist, she builds up enough confidence to believe that she can actually win. Tori has the looks that Maya wants, but lacks the intelligence that Maya has. She can’t have Maya “taking over” pageants, because that has always been her thing. In essence, we’re watching the insecurities of two friends drive a wedge between them, because neither believe they are the “complete package” of smart and pretty, as dictated by society.
Throw Zig into the mix and it complicates things. He just so happens to give Maya the kind of attention she wanted from Cam at the right time. The only major kink in this episode is when Maya shows up at Cam’s front door near the end of the episode. It’s obviously wrong of her to go after Zig in any way, shape or form, and dating a guy that cheats on his girlfriend with you isn’t a smart idea. However, up until that point Maya spent the entire episode railing on Cam for his lack of showing any interest in her. She’d become attached to Zig because he made her feel good about herself, so it makes no sense that she’d suddenly run back into the arms of a guy who, even if it was unintentional, made her feel like crap. From that point on everything, including Zig’s sudden desire to drop Tori for Maya, is setting up Degrassi’s next love square. More important than how that will affect the romantic relationships is the effect on Maya and Tori’s friendship, which was wonderfully tested in this episode and has finally convinced me they are more than frenemies.
MO/MARISOL PLOT SUMMARY: Katie, Jake, Mo and Marisol officially plan to spend their spring break in Puerto Vallarta. They have to get travel insurance, which requires them to fill out a health form listing any medical conditions they have. Marisol offers to fill out Mo’s form, but he declines and quickly leaves. She thinks that Mo might be hiding something, but she doesn’t know why. While at The Dot she tries to hint at getting him to confess, but Mo seems completely out of it. He goes inside to use the washroom and Marisol snoops in his bag, finding a needle with an orange cap. When Mo returns he’s back to his normal self, and Marisol leaves to find Katie. Marisol is convinced that Mo does drugs.
Marisol confronts Mo by staging an intervention in an empty classroom. He scoffs at the idea that he uses drugs, but refuses to tell her why he carries a needle in his bag. It’s not until later when Marisol tells Jake about Mo’s “addiction” that Jake tells her Mo’s secret: he has diabetes. Marisol confronts Mo again and feels as if she can’t trust Mo to trust her with his secrets. He apologizes and Marisol forgives him, and she also gives him a medical alert bracelet.
We can all agree that the basis of this plot is ridiculous. It’s believable that Marisol would find a needle in Mo’s bag and then logical dictates that she would assume (and be hurt) by the fact Mo is hiding some sort of medical condition. But Marisol jumping to the conclusion that Mo is a drug addict is absurd. She can be annoying (though she’s been quite normal and likable in Season 12), but she’s not stupid.
This plot hits on the same concept of communication, or lack thereof, that’s been done many times over on Degrassi. It’s not shocking Mo would hide his diabetes…it’s never shocking when someone hides a condition they have. What saves this plot though is the humor both Jake and Mo deliver throughout, as well as the part where in the end we’re shown that Mo and Marisol genuinely care for each other.
ADAM PLOT SUMMARY: Adam’s mom Audra warns him to be careful with lifting weights because she doesn’t want another child of hers getting hurt or being in danger. That makes it impossible for Adam to tell his mom that he’s trying out for the men’s volleyball team at school. Coach Armstrong gives Adam a permission form that his mom must sign in order for him to play. Adam approaches his mom with the intent of talking to her about it, but she’s visibly upset about the situation with Drew and feels as if she’s a bad parent. Adam is afraid his mom will worry too much if he tells her about volleyball, so he decides to forge his mom’s signature on the permission slip.
Adam makes the team, but gets hit in the face with a volleyball and suffers a nosebleed. He tries to hide it from his mom, but she finds out about it anyway. She isn’t mad and is okay with Adam playing on the team…she also thinks it’s finally time for them to start looking into Adam getting testosterone.
Throughout a huge chunk of Degrassi: The Next Generation the adults were a critical part of the show. We would see their perspective on things, and have a more well-rounded view of them beyond seeing them as “so-and-so’s teacher or parent.” Nowadays I’m convinced the only reason adults are apart of the show is because they have to be…it’d be too unrealistic if we never saw any of the characters’ parents. It’s great that we get an Adam plot where he’s doing something normal, but it’s also refreshing that we get such a deep look into the mind of Audra Torres.
She’s always been a firm, overbearing parent, feeling as if she has to protect her children from the world. Over time we’ve slowly seen her softer, loving side, but here we watch her breaking down because she feels as if she’s failed to protect Drew. However, by the end of the episode we see how much she’s evolved. She’s convinced she pushed too so hard that it drove Drew away, so she avoids doing the same with Adam by being open to him joining the volleyball team and getting testosterone. Adam and Audra’s final scene together is heartwarming, and it’s fantastic that we’re finally seeing Adam progress after such a long time of his character being stagnant, an issue that has plagued quite a few of the LGBT characters on Degrassi.
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You will be able to grade the plots in tonight’s episode. Voting begins at 9:30pm EST!