This has been the longest school year ever.
Season 14 is unique in that it’s a direct continuation of the events from season 13. There is no significant reset, though the students are returning from spring break. Season 13 got off to a horrendous start and that left a very bad taste in the mouth of Degrassi fans, tainting a season I felt was pretty good in the second half. So I can’t stress how important it is for this show to get off to a solid start in season 14.
Degrassi tends to be pretty formulaic in how it tells its stories, with small additions here and there. They break into new territory in Smells Like Teen Spirit by starting off with a flash-foward scene 10 weeks into the future. We see Miles searching for his sister Frankie in a smoke-filled school, and he’s unable to find her. We can assumed this is happening in the projected episode Firestarter (1411/1412).
Becky vs. Zoë
With things at home being horrible since Luke’s trial, Becky’s starting up a Power Cheer to take her mind off things. However, Zoë wants to join then team, leaving Becky feeling uncomfortable because Zoë reminds Becky of how she’s suffered because of Luke’s actions.
Zoë nails the audition, but Becky tells her she didn’t make the team because having “the girl who was sexually assaulted” on the team would be too much of a distraction. In the ultimate form of irony, Zoë overhears Clare and Alli talking about Clare’s pregnancy and how Drew is the father. Once the Power Cheer squad takes the stage at the Degrassi renewal ceremony, Zoë intentionally tells Becky about Drew getting Clare pregnant. While Becky is performing a stunt she spots Drew and Clare standing next to each other. Becky’s so distracted by the thought of Clew that she falls and injures herself, and Zoë takes her place on the squad.
Clare Reveals She’s Pregnant
A morning-sick Clare reveals to Alli in the bathroom that she’s pregnant, and Drew was the last guy she had sex with. She’s adamant about getting an abortion because having a baby would ruin the future she’s meticulously planned out. She’s also been avoiding Drew since spring break because she doesn’t want to accept he got her pregnant. She tries to book an appointment at the women’s clinic for an abortion, but Drew interrupts her by asking questions. Clare lashes out at him before he reminds her that there’s lots of things to be done for student council.
Clare finally reveals to Drew that she’s pregnant and she’s going to have an abortion. Drew is shocked because they used protection, and offers to be there for her if she needs it. The next day, Clare learns she’s been accepted to Columbia. While celebrating with Alli, Dallas notices there’s blood on the back of Clare’s pants. She goes to the hospital and finds out it was just spotting, and she’s still pregnant; the doctor also tells Clare it’s a miracle she’s pregnant after having gone through chemo.
That hospital visit leaves Clare unsure of what to do, but after a discussion with Alli, Clare tells Drew that she can’t go through with an abortion and is keeping the baby.
Miles vs. His Father
Things have been going kind of well with Miles and his dad lately, until Miles is late for their family photoshoot. Mr. Hollingsworth demands to know why Miles was late and Miles yells out loud that he was making out with his boyfriend. Mr. Hollingsworth thinks that Miles having a boyfriend is ridiculous and just a game Miles is pulling to ruin his mayoral campaign.
That leaves Miles once again upset at his father, and at the Degrassi renewal ceremony Miles is thrilled to tell a reporter that the last piece of advice his dad gave him is “being gay is ridiculous.”
*One of the best things about season 13 was Degrassi having characters bleed their personal issues all over those around them. You’re having a bad day? There’s a good chance you’ll snap at someone who didn’t deserve it; that’s what’s happening with Becky and Zoë. Becky’s so caught up in her own head that she unfairly punishes Zoë for what’s happened in her life. Zoë delivers a sharp jab to Becky with truthful words: “Everyone has baggage that can be distracting. Even you.”
*An abortion was never going to be a legit option for this storyline, but now things can officially progress: Drew knows that Clare is pregnant. Drew was good in this episode, supportive as expected. And while I’m still holding onto my projection that he doesn’t completely abandon Clare, the promo for 1402 shows he’s going to have a difficult time coming to terms with the fact he’s going to become a father. Oh and just wait until Eli finds out!
*Miles’ relationship with his father is so toxic. This feud is the one thing that can send Miles off into a tailspin of destructive behavior. As a politician, Mr. Hollingsworth is a master manipulator. Miles has inherited that gene and tries to manipulate situations in a vengeful manner. He’s got something good going with Tristan, and now he wants to use that to intentionally cause his father headaches.
*Welcome to Lola and Shay, who snuck their way into Degrassi in quiet fashion! I’m enjoying that these young characters are appearing and we’re going to just visually see them before they get thrown into plots of their own.