RECAP: Degrassi’s gaming club is called into Simpson’s office for questioning about Maya’s trolling. Yael, Baaz and Vijay crack under pressure and confess, but Hunter shows no remorse for what they did to Maya. Hunter gets mad at his friends, who believe Maya’s suffered in enough, and in a fit of rage Hunter pushes Yael down. When his mom confiscates his gaming rig and phone, Hunter destroys his room and creates a kill list before going to the Snow Ball with a gun. There he tries to apologize to Yael, but she wants nothing to do with him. The school goes on lockdown and Hunter’s trapped in a room with several of his targets: Tristan, Zig and Goldi. Miles and Winston discover Hunter’s list and warn Tristan via text. Miles speaks to Hunter on Tristan’s phone, calmly talking his brother down until the lockdown is over. We learn Miles caused the lockdown by swatting the dance in order to stop Hunter. At home, Miles discovers Hunter with the gun in his room and asks Hunter if he’d planned to shoot anyone. Hunter says he doesn’t know and the two embrace, with Hunter saying Miles can’t tell anyone about what’s happened.
Over the years I’ve been pretty hard on Degrassi finales, especially the main plot for these episodes. There’s an expectation that Degrassi end seasons/blocks on a strong note, rewarding the show’s loyal viewership with a satisfying payoff that has us clamoring for more. It’s amazing how Degrassi is able to “go there” in #SorryNotSorry without the show reaching a point of no return. Spencer MacPherson carries the plot with an unforgettable and emotionally-charged performance, all without Hunter having to pull the trigger on the gun tucked in his bag.
Some people might find Next Class’ episode titles silly, but I love seeing how every episode chooses to incorporate the meaning of these overused hashtags into the storylines. Hunter *is* the definition of #SorryNotSorry in this episode, showing no remorse for what he’s done to Maya, even after his friends confess out of guilt. “You deserve what you got,” he tells Maya while giving her a cold stare. Hunter’s “us vs. them” mentality is scary; he feels as if he’s a victim of social injustice and genuinely believes his actions against Maya were justified. “It’s this stupid school, they don’t understand people like us,” he tells Yael. With her no longer on his side, Hunter feels completely isolated.
As a viewer, this emotional rollercoaster intensifies as Hunter goes into meltdown mode, pushing Yael down, destroying his bedroom and creating a kill list. This could’ve easily turned into a tragedy, but the writers chose to have Hunter peer over the edge instead of jumping off the cliff. They knew they didn’t need the latter in order for this episode to make an impact.
There are times when I often forget Hollingsworth siblings are related because they’re all so different, or they’re off doing their own separate things. However, Degrassi uses really powerful moments such as uniting them against their father and Miles calling Hunter to tell him he loves him to remind me that when it comes down to it, the Hollingsworth siblings are there for each other. “You’ll always have me,” Miles says, doing the one thing that people need at times: a reminder that they’re not alone in this world.
RECAP: As Maya and her band prepare for the Snow Ball, Maya learns that Grace knew Zig cheated with Zoë and excludes Grace from performing at the dance. That night Zig begs for a chance to talk, and after he tells her he and Zoë only kissed Maya agrees. During the lockdown Maya finds herself stuck in the washroom with Zoë, but she learns Zoemund did way more than just kiss. While Maya ends up kicking Zig to the curb, she finds it in her heart to forgive Grace.
This plot is interesting because, unlike everything that’s been happening to Maya since the trolling began, she’s in complete control of this situation. She gets to decide the outcome, as opposed to the actions of other people determining it for her.
I don’t view Maya as “weak” for entertaining the idea of wanting to hear Zig out. Not only has her music been amazing this season, but her songs (excluding “Not Okay”) have been about Zig and their relationship. Her forced conversation with Zoë in the bathroom during a lockdown is uncomfortable, but real. Zoë, who’s shown guilt ever since hooking up with Zig, now has to face the victim of her petty behavior. Maya needed to know “beyond a shadow of a doubt” which direction to choose, and what made it worse is that she learned everything necessary to make that decision from someone other than Zig.
RECAP: Frankie receives flowers at her locker and assumes they’re from Winston, and because she’s still mad at Jonah she rubs it in his face that she already has a date to the dance. However, when she realizes the flowers were actually from Jonah she tells Winston they can’t go to the dance or be together. Frankie’s hurt when she sees Jonah at the Snow Ball with another girl, plus Lola and Shay still don’t understand that Winston wouldn’t have made her happy. All three hash out their differences: Shay apologizes for her and Lola pressuring Frankie to date Winston, Lola apologizes for dating Tiny so soon and Frankie apologizes for making it seem like nothing makes her happy, including her friends. After the lockdown, Frankie confronts Jonah and the two are finally upfront with each other. They both reveal that they like each other and share a dance.
Those flowers on Frankie’s locker determined the fate of this storyline. If Winston had sent them, Frankie would’ve probably gone on to settle for an average existence. However, the flowers coming from Jonah finally gives her enough courage to make a leap of faith, despite her friends’ unfounded claims that Jonah is bad for her.
There’s been a lot of things happening in between the characters involved in this plot, resulting in several things having to be wrapped up through a quick series of apologies. Lola apologizes for going after Tiny so quickly. Frankie apologizes for making her friends feel unwanted. Lola and Shay’s efforts to get Frankston back together became increasingly aggressive, and it all goes back #NoFilter when they felt like Frankie didn’t want to be friends with them anymore. Pushing Winston onto Frankie meant going back to the way things were before Frankie was sad, preventing her from possibly moving on from their friendship.
With Jankie, you’ve got two people dancing around the fact they like each other in the hopes that other person will catch on. “Winston doesn’t make me happy. But I think Jonah might,” Frankie says. They don’t really understand one another, and the way they challenge each other draws them toward each other. I’m intrigued to see if these two continue to push each other outside of their comfort zones.