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The Seniors Graduate

142324-4Drew’s feeling left out because Alli’s planning the perfect prom for Clare, so she doesn’t want Drew around to ruin it.  Dallas is able to convince Alli that Drew can come with their group to prom, but only if he has a date: Becky.  Drew’s promposal happens during the seniors’ final exam and he uses the “Captain Who” set, but it goes awry and Becky also says no.  Ms. Pill isn’t amused and punishes Drew by not allowing him to attend prom.  Drew’s upset (especially with Dallas) because they won’t choose an alternate way to have prom that involves him.  Meanwhile, prom hits a snag when the seniors realize Dallas booked the boat for the wrong date. 

Drew’s still bitter and refuses to help, but his mom smacks some sense into him, literally.  Drew teams up with Dallas to create a “Starry Night” prom at The Dot.  Ms. Pill is angry Drew snuck into Degrassi to steal the decorations needed for the makeshift prom, and she doesn’t allow him to walk with his classmates.  The seniors graduate and when it comes time to toss their caps, their caps spell out “We <3 Drew,” and Ms. Pill allows Drew to walk.

QUICK GRADE: B+
QUICK REVIEW: Drew was technically the main plot, but there were so many little things happening that I’ll also include thoughts on those as well.  The writers were clearly intent on making a lot of these characters’ stories come full circle.  Connor’s promposal mimicked the first date he and Jenna went on back in season 12’s Ray of Light.  He’s going to Caltech for applied physics and aerospace, while Jenna will pretty much be right down the road working on her degree in sound engineering (and they’re endgame).  They took the time acknowledge Adam would’ve graduated this year.  Eli references the “pretty eyes” moment from the first time he and Clare ever met.  Dallas, who once said he wasn’t NHL material, is off to play hockey in Japan (and he and Alli are endgame).  Clare’s diary is ripe with stories about Alli and Jenna’s romantic endeavors (Johnny DiMarco/KC), as well as  eye-opening commentary about her own life.

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All three senior ships achieved “endgame” status.

When we get to Drew Torres, who’s been a total douche in 14B, we see less of the “jerk for no reason” Drew and something that’s more consistent with his character’s fears over the years.  He’s always been the guy who thinks he’s too dumb to accomplish anything, afraid he’ll be forgotten while everyone goes off to live their successful lives.  “I didn’t want to be alone on prom night too,” he tells Becky.  He wants to be a part of these final moments with these people before they literally scatter across the world.

This group of seniors varies in how long each character has been on the show, but it still doesn’t get any easier to say goodbye to any of them.  They’ve graduated and are now going their separate ways, and like an overwhelming majority of the characters who’ve gone to Degrassi since the 1980’s, this is the last we’ll see of their journeys.  From our point of view, as people so close to these characters that the fandom itself is basically a student at Degrassi, never seeing them again is one of the most realistic high school experiences there is.

Clare’s Future

142324-5With all of her friends’ futures all perfectly planned out, Clare genuinely has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Eli offers for her to come to New York and live with him, and even gets down on one knee to ask her, but she declines.  Clare says she doesn’t want to be the girl who just follows her boyfriend around.  Eli’s not sure if they can handle doing another long-distance relationship and questions whether or not Clare really wants to be with him, and she tells him she needs to figure out what she wants. 

Clare ultimately decides not to live with Eli in New York; instead, she plans to take a gap year to figure out what she wants to do while maintaining a long-distance relationship with Eli.

QUICK GRADE: A
QUICK REVIEW:  I mentioned earlier about stories coming full circle, and none was bigger than Clare Edwards’, a cornerstone of this show for a solid seven seasons whether you like it or not.  For me, there were two really important parts to this story:  Clare’s diary, and her conversation with Simpson.  “I’ll never let a guy get in the way of my dreams,” Alli says, reading aloud from a young Clare’s diary.  That sentiment echoes one of the most-memorable Clare quotes in Degrassi history: “Well it’s a good thing I’m here for school and not for boys,” she said, way back in season 8.

In this episode, she reiterates the fact that moving forward without a plan is terrifying.  There’s harmony in Clare and Snake, the two longest-running characters on Degrassi who come from generations nearly two decades apart, still sharing a similar situation.  Simpson’s character has been around so long there was never any thought put into the idea that he’d actually leave the show one day.  Even as an adult, put on indefinite leave, Simpson finds an opportunity to do something (build a school in Haiti) after things in his life don’t go according to plan.  The Clare Edwards we knew from her early days, the one who also had a plan and knew where her life was headed, no longer exists.  She finally comes to accept that with her choice to take a gap year, because it’s okay to take time to figure out where you’re going in life.

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When it comes to the fate of Eclare, us fans have been acting crazy since season 10.  Over the years I’ve been all over the map in terms of how I feel about them.  An overwhelming majority of us probably assumed the ending would be extreme, whether it’s them breaking up for good or them riding off into the sunset on a unicorn.  But for all of the seemingly ridiculous stuff they’ve put them through over the years, their ending feels more realistic and satisfying than anything they could’ve done to appease either side of the epic Eclare debate.  They’re still together, but Clare’s putting herself first, to perhaps become that focused and driven Clare Edwards who’s so much more than the smart one.

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142324-7There were a couple of side plots that were thrown in, but I don’t feel like grading them.  First off, Jackogen briefly reunites, but falls flat once again.  After Dallas botches prom, Imogen’s upset because going to prom was the reason Jackogen broke up and now it’s not happening.  Becky drags Imogen to Jack’s to talk it out, and Jackogen apologizes to each other.  Imogen and Jack go to the makeshift prom, but while there Imogen misses out on dancing and having fun with her friends because Jack isn’t interested in any of that.  At graduation, Imogen tells Becky things are over for good with Jack because she realized how little they have in common.

With Imogen being the least-connected of the senior group, a quick Jackogen plot is the end result.  Imogen’s biggest issue is the fact she always compromises who she is to make others happy, and she ruined her prom night by doing it again when Jack had no interest in the whole “prom industrial complex.”  It was sweet of Becky to recreate the conga line for Imogen a graduation, a reminder that “the best ship is the friendship.”

142324-8In Part 1 of this episode we see Hunter pretty hostile toward Miles.  Hunter freaks out in class when he doesn’t finish his test and Miles tries to calm him down, but Hunter yells “You never help, you only make things worse.”  Miles notices Hunter has a crush on Arlene, so he decides to help Hunter become closer to her by hosting a pool party.  However, Hunter would rather be on the computer than hanging out with everyone, and he freaks out after accidentally falling into the pool.

Later, Miles finds an angry Hunter who challenges him to a fight with Kendo sticks.  After Hunter wins, he tells Miles he’s tired of being bullied by him and he also misses their dad.  Miles tells him that he will be a better brother for him and the two hug it out.  Hunter is a loner and very guarded, so in the now we aren’t going to receive a plot about his feelings toward the family’s situation that’s as in depth as Frankie and Miles’ storylines.  Those two characters have found themselves in storylines that present them with similarities in their behavior compared to their parents’ behavior (Frankie and their mom, Miles and their dad).

Meanwhile, Hunter’s in his own secluded universe.  He’s shown generally-positive emotions toward his dad throughout this situation, and we continued to see that here.  “I knew he wasn’t perfect, but I miss him,” Hunter says about his dad.  He also felt like his dad protected him from Miles always making fun of him.  However, I do have to give it up to Miles for showing maturity in wanting to be there for his little brother.  He’s mostly been in the background in 14B, but that’s because of 1) they’re giving his character a “cool down” period, and 2) he doesn’t need another full plot at the moment for us to see that he’s much calmer without his dad around.

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Posted by Kary

33 Comments

  1. Hey Kary! I saw that you posted that Kyle from CableTVT might post the 1 hour “looking back” special that they did on teennick. I’m having trouble finding that site online. Would you mind sharing that link? I’m a long time degrassi fan and was looking forward to seeing the special, and was disappointed that teennick.com didn’t post it online. Thanks for all you do for the fans Kary!

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  2. Hey Kary! You mentioned on another post that Kyle from CableTVT may post a link to watch the 1 hour teennick special that “looks back” on degrassi moments. I was unable to find that site online and was hoping you could share that link! I’m a long time degrassi fan and was looking forward to watching the special online, and was disappointed that teennick.com hadn’t posted it. Thanks for all you do for the fans! Especially the fans who can’t watch the episodes live!

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  3. I love that they finally made some good ships like Bandallas and Jonnor endgame! Though they both deserved more screen time this season and this episode. And Eclare had a perfect ending that I love so much more than some riding off into the sunset together in a horse drawn carriage moment. She’s been through so much that taking a year to learn about herself is not only a good idea, but something she deserves, and having Eli support her decision shows how much he has grown. Yes he was a bit of an ass at prom and he shouldn’t have left her there alone, but he was hurt because he thought her plan was decided and then suddenly she said jk I’m not coming with you, but after he took the rest of the night to think he clearly came to understand that her choice was a personal one that had nothing to do with her feelings for him and support it. It was nice to see their storylines, both individually and as a couple, come full circle and end with this display of growth and maturity on both sides.

    I both liked and disliked the Drew plot, but I can’t fully explain why. I think partly because it came out of nowhere. Drew has been a grade A dickhead in 14B who spent most of his time fixated on Becky and then suddenly he wants to spend prom night with his friends we haven’t seen him interact with at all lately. Alli’s reasoning made sense, as did Drew’s feelings about it, but something still just felt off to me. He had a good prom night though, which makes me happy, and his conversation with Audra at graduation had me in tears. I guess it was a pretty good way to wrap up his story, even if it wasn’t my favorite.

    The tribute to Adam was so perfect and I’m glad they did it because he really was such a great character and should be remembered.

    As for the stuff with Jackogen, I didn’t really care either way until Imogen sat out the conga line, at which point I raged a bit. I’m glad she left the show single, and hopefully she will go forward with the understanding that she should be with someone who would join the conga line with her, even if it’s not their thing. Also her friendship with Becky really was one of my favorite relationships on the show and the recreating of the conga line was all kinds of adorable.

    The plot with Miles and Hunter, I wasn’t particularly interested and wish they had given that screen time to some of the seniors (Connor) instead. I know they’re probably trying to remind us that these younger characters still exist so that we want to follow them in New Class, but I didn’t need the reminder. It was nice to see Miles being calmer and maturing, but I still would rather have spent time watching the graduating seniors who I have loved for so many years. I was still happy with the finale either way though and thought it was one of the better ones Degrassi has done.

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    1. I pretty much burst out into tears the minute they recognized Adam. And yes, Drew has been a jerk throughout 13B but his moments with Audra this episode were great. I forgot how much I like Audra (Prob one of the best Degrassi parents).

      I also agree, the Miles and Hunter plot just seemed thrown in. I’m glad they came to understand each other more but it all felt forced so that they would have a plotline… I wanted more Jonnor and Bandallas (Especially more Connor!). I’m not ready to say goodbye to some of the seniors and these younger characters aren’t filing that hole in my heart…

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    2. Also, what is Drew doing with his future? I know he thinks he’s not smart enough, etc. to do something but he did do a pretty good job as class president and I didn’t think he was dumb… He should give himself more credit.

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      1. Honestly, Drew was a terrible president. He abused his power way too much.

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    3. I don’t see how Drew was a jerk throughout 14B. Besides the premiere of 14B he was mostly a supporting character until his plot in Finally Pt. 1 & 2. Now was it wrong of Drew to falsely report Becky and Jonah to Ms. Pill when they were innocent? Yes and I’m not minimizing that, but Drew had a right to be concerned as his worries were right that Becky had feelings for Jonah and was just stringing Drew along because she didn’t know how to break up with him.

      Like I said it was wrong of Drew to give a false report to Ms. Pill, but I think a lot more needs to be required before Drew’s labeled a grade A jerk for 14B for one action when there’s others who did worse then what Drew did.

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  4. This was such a fan service-y ending to season, and to the stories of these characters. After the ridiculousness of something like DTM, it was nice to see all of the fan favourite couples get their happy endings, despite that not being entirely realistic. Eli and Clare make sense, as do Jenna and Connor. Alli and Dallas staying together strikes me as kind of stretching it, but hey, it’s not like the writers haven’t done more nonsensical things to each of these characters.

    Then couples like Imogen and Jack and Drew and Becky, two pairings that fans are generally indifferent to at best, get closure without reconciliation. It’s a win win for the fandom.

    I was kind of surprised that Becky never found out about Imogen and Adam, but sometimes secrets like that are best taken to the grave. Despite the fact that the Imogen/Becky friendship seemed really forced from the beginning, I can’t say that they haven’t been fun to watch, especially given the difference in their personalities. When Imogen got held back, I think most of us suspected that her home life would be showcased more. I wish that it had been, but it seems as though the writers kept Immy on more for giving Becky a silly gal pal, knowing that she’d be needing one.

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  5. I have to give Clare credit, this is the first time in forever that I haven’t hated her, although I am disappointed that she chose a long distance relationship instead of independence. I still resent her Mary Sueishness and her screen hogging ways and she’ll never be a character I like, but this was a step in the right direction, even if it was too little too late.

    I was hoping that we’d finally see Connor’s parents at the graduation :(

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    1. I was hoping we’d see parents period at graduation – apart from Audra, that is.

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      1. Maybe that guy who took the picture of Connor and Jenna after the ceremony is Connor’s dad. It just seems especially odd that we never saw his parents, since they’re apparently close friends of Snake’s. I really wanted a short scene in which we see Connor’s parents thanking Snake for letting Connor live at his place.

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  6. Kary, thanks for all you have done for us fans over the years. Please keep this site updated for the new Degrassi that will debut next year. …Will you be doing Degrassi recaps for the new show? I sure hope you are. ….Hope you do the 2nd season of Teenagers, which had its web debut last week. They added another former Degrassi cast member to the mix. (Go watch it. I’m not going to say who it is. LOL.) …..This episode was a near perfect send off. Just like last years “Time of my Life’ was for the class that included Fiona, Bianca, Mo, Mirasol, Jake, Katie, etc.

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  7. It was nice to see Snake in this episode. He would be much better as the DeGrassi principal than the Pill. Dallas is right that her first name is not chill, it is bitter.

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    1. LOL. :) So true.

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  8. Enjoyed the episode. The fact most of the power couples stayed together was fan service, but after so many graduations of breaking everyone up it was nice to see a change in that trend. Even if it wasn’t realistic and hard to believe that in the real world Claire/Eli and Alli/Dallas would still be together come Thanksgiving.

    Wish they would have given some indication what the future held for Drew. Not surprising he isn’t going off to college apparently, but they made a point of letting us know where the rest were going, or gave a big story of Claires uncertain future representing her independence. But they gave no hint at what the future held for Drew at all, which if this is the last we ever see of him is kind of a shame.

    The Miles Hunter stuff was hard to care about with the seniors leaving after 8 years. But can understand they wanted to throw something in with the group who would be carrying the load into a new era of Degrassi.

    It was weird they got Imogen and Jack together just to break them up again. And wondering if that was Jack’s last harrah, which was a weird way to go out. I guess she could be back, but while I got the impression she was in grade 11, being that she was not at the graduation, there isn’t anyone else in her grade unless “guyliner” is also grade 11 (likely, since he wasn’t at the graduation either) but would have to add a bunch of new characters to make them relevant and while I would be all for a “hipster/rebelious” group of Seniors be weird to add a bunch of seniors who would only be a round a couple of seasons. Especially if the Netflix seasons will only be 20 episodes.

    Speaking of weird, it was in character for Becky to not give what’s his name (guyliner) a second chance to hurt her. He sure didn’t earn it after stealing 200 bucks and letting her think someone else did it. But seemed like a swerve for the sake of a swerve to give all the signs of Becky letting him have another chance, just to have her abruptly call it off.

    Shame Jenna and Connor didn’t get any kind of storyline this season if I remember (dragged on so long not sure where the season started anymore). Not surprising but for two characters who were so big in their earlier seasons, especially Jenna, it was a shame they went out with a wimper. Although at least they got to graduate and didn’t fall into the Degrassi black whole like many other members of their class.

    I am interested to see what Degrassi:New Class will hold. Going to Netflix could be a good or bad thing, and given the habit to binge watch means we will wait a long time then likely finish the season shortly after it goes up then wait a long time again. Especially with only 20 episodes. Those gaps might finally break me of the habbit of watching Degrassi. lol. But Netflix could be a good or bad thing, and Degrassi seems to be to teen shows what Doctor Who is to Sci-Fi shows. I.E. a show that will never die and is ready made to survive constant cast changes. So interested to see what the future holds.

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    1. Theyre probably going to roll out Degrassi the same way they do Between (Another Canadian (?) show with a similar situation of being on Netflix in one country and on TV in another), and do it an episode a week.

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  9. Didn’t drew get dumped by Becky and think he was going to have a baby and then find out he wasnt, that’s why he was a jerk for this stretch, so I totally disagree with him being a jerk for no reason. He had one huge reason and then also getting dumped by the hottest girl in school.

    I thought these two episodes were ok, kind of boring, I can’t even imagine a degrassi without Clare and it seems like they could easily continue with more from eclare as a side plot for as long as they wanted. I don’t really wanna see that but Clare has been so nonstop on this show for years that I can’t picture it without her.

    It would be a lot cooler if the next show was starting like oct 1 or something like that. It’s gonna be so long, I hope they have some announcement along the way or right when Netflix starts that there are going to be a lot more episodes than 20, or degrassi announces they have a new regular TV home in USA too after the netflix season. I don’t really see how Netflix would release all the episodes at once when it’s still going normally in Canada, but I guess we’ll find all this out eventually.

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    1. Drew broke up with Becky, not the other way around. Becky got mad and pulled the “You can’t fire me, I quit!” routine.

      Drew was a jerkoff in 14B because he was extremely jealous of Jonah, which isn’t a valid reason to behave the way he did…especially toward Jonah, who did nothing to him. Drew used his position in power to make multiple jerk moves, and was also condescending toward Becky and Jonah after the fact. I’ve been in Drew’s corner since the end of season 12, but his behavior here was ridiculously petty, and there was no reason for the show to go down this route during his final episodes on the show.

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  10. Hesabrickhouse August 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I wonder who’s gonna be the new Caitlyn, Emma,Clare……..Frankie?

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    1. Isn’t Maya already the new Caitlyn/Emma/Claire?

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      1. hesasbrickhouse August 2, 2015 at 8:50 pm

        Oh yes i totally forgot about her, yeah she’s defiantly it. Yay for like 6 years of maya hogging up screen time and whining :)

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      2. @hesabrickhouse LOL, exactly. I’m dreading where they take Maya, although so far, she’s more tolerable than Clare, who in turn was more tolerable than Emma. Frankie seems too likeable to be the new Emma-type.

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  11. Did Becky graduate?

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    1. Yes, Becky graduated.

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  12. People on tumblr who LIKE eclare are still raging about their ending and saying things like “how could the writers do that to them?” and “they deserve a happy ending” and I just don’t get it. To me this was a happy – and realistic – ending for them, and the line about always finding their way back to each other is nothing but full of promise for their future. The writers did all but hold up a neon sign that said ENDGAME MEANT TO BE over their heads as they kissed.

    I never go in the degrassi tag on tumblr but I was looking for gifs (which are sorely lacking) and it made me like reading your recaps even more because they’re calm and rational and thought out, so thanks for that. I hope you continue doing them for New Class.

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    1. It was quite obvious Eclare was going to be endgame. That’s the only reason they brought Eli back even though he graduated and all the others had left to go on with their lives. He was a pairing fodder at this point just to bring about yet another love triangle, communication issues, and other nonsense.I don’t know why some people need to have everything spelled out and need something like a big declaration of forever when it’s supposed to be somewhat realistic. Then again shipping something can do some strange things to ya and some people want it spelled out plainly.

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  13. I still don’t understand why Stohn loves Eclare so much. They are and an Epic disaster. Clare has no backbone and was a huge hypocrite in the finale.. If that was me I would have ended it.. I lost so much respect when she took him back… So I look at Eclare as what not to do in a relationship. Hate all you want on me but they are far from relationship goals.

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    1. Did you watch the Teen Nick special? The gushing about EClare was gross. Maybe that’s why JT’s death was never mentioned. They spent so much time talking about EClare that they just didn’t have the time.

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      1. That angered me, that they didn’t mention JT death.. They could cut the Ecrap by 2 minutes.. I felt like these cast members where told to love Eclare by TN. I did laugh when Munro said Drianca. Also Olivia said she is s over Eclare..

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    2. I feel the same way. The appeal of Eclare died a long time ago along with my growing annoyance for love triangles. I found her other boyfriends more appealing. But I would’ve loved if she broke away and just did Clare without a long distance relationship. I think they should’ve left it opened ended with her taking time for herself and they can evaluate a future together after that. I just don’t see a long distance working out for them in the long run. Still, I’m glad that I got half my wish in that she’s supposedly taking time for herself. Maybe spend some time with her family too. There are other pairings I find my appealing and interesting (endgame and not) with and without Clare more appealing than Eclare.

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  14. Just wanted to thank you for this site — I am an older viewer — old enough that my kids could have watched from the beginning of the Next Generation, though only one was really old enough to understand it then. I did not watch the 80’s version, but could have if I’d have known about it! I have appreciated reading the recaps here through the years and hope you continue with the Netflix version. You do a good job!

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  15. they graduated!! this is sort of bitter sweet for me although i loved the story line of their senior year i was so sad when it hit me that they were leaving they were my my favorite senior class i guess its sad that they are leaving to be honest i don’t think i will like another senior class as much i liked them.

    i am really proud of Clare saying that she didn’t want to be one of those girls that follows her boyfriend everywhere she wanted to take year to explore her self and even though i loved eclare i am okay with how things turned out between them

    imogeon and jack i dint like them as a couple at all from the start and when they broke up i was happy that imogen could finally do things she wanted to do and live on prom night jack didn’t want to anything so imogen didn’t even have any fun and in my opinion when jack didn’t want to come out to her parents that’s when i knew that this relationship was going south but i feel like it wasn’t all jacks fault like imogen should have just told her from the start that she wasn’t having fun or she wanted to dance and just left even though her date didn’t want to.

    the holingworth family this is one family that had so much drama when miles was introduced in season 13 i felt that the show needed a character like him and from dating Zoe which was just a bad relationship from the start even though now i think they would work but in the movie that putout Zoe kisses grace which was weird but okay anyways next it was Maya and this was my favorite couple they just felt nice they felt right together and zig had to ruin everything i really don’t like that they’re a couple but when miles had kissed tristen in ‘thunderstruck’ i was left with my mouth hanging open i didn’t like they re relationship at all and when miles and tristen broke up
    i was glad.
    Frankie and hunter where there in season 13 but weren’t apart of anything they were jsut known as
    miles siblings and when they were more involved in the show Frankie from dating her brothers best friend to blackmailing Zoe and trouble with her father, i think the writers did a really good job with Frankie’s character
    hunter i never really liked hunter for some reason but he never had much of a story line either.

    overall i think that when this finally airs in on Netflix they should keep the same characters and i am so happy how they brought things to a en and i am going to miss this history they had with the show

    thanks degrassi and thank you kary for putting this website up for meeting other degrassi lovers and sharing my thoughts and knowing all the news about it

    ambika

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  16. Richard miller August 5, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Clare does not deserve a gap year

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