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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.

dnc110-1aOver 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.

dnc110-1bAs 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.

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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.

dnc110-2aThis 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.

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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.

dnc110-3aThose 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.

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Posted by Kary

19 Comments

  1. I was so glad that the writers didn’t go for a shooting. 1) Its cliche and tired at this point 2)These characters are still to new for me to care if they die. Even though i don’t like the character i really hope they don’t just brush past this plot and make hunter just chill.

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  2. So people have mentioned that nauseous Zoe = pregnant Zoe. What do you think Kary?

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  3. Does anyone else think Zoë is pregnant? I mean in the beginning she is sick, which I think is morning sickness. I mean, if this show is about common teen issues, teen pregnancy is a huge one.

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    1. Ugh, pregnancy is such a cheap and cliche way to create drama. People are probably still burned out after the black hole that was Clare’s pregnancy, not to mention that if Zoe is pregnant, this will be the third time in the franchise’s history that they do the exact same “guy gets another girl pregnant after cheating on his girlfriend” plot.

      Zoe has already dealt with so much and a pregnancy would be overkill, just like it was with Clare. They should save a pregnancy storyline for a girl who needs a heavy storyline, like Lola or Shay.

      LOL, knowing these writers, they’ll probably have both Zoe and Maya fall pregnant at the same time.

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    2. It is a huge one. but they have gone down the teen pregnancy path time and time again. And even if Zoe was pregnant and it seemed to ground her, I would be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Zoe’s entire story has been “she does something horrible… she is a villain… something bad happens to her… she is humanized… she is forgiven… she does something horrible… she is a villain… something bad happens to her… she is humanized… she is forgiven… she does something horrible… she is a villain….” and on and on and on. It isn’t that her act with Zig had me hating her character, or even that it was out of character to do. But I am over them knocking her down to make us sympathetic just so she can do somethin horrible all over again. it’s tired.

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  4. its good that they avoided a shooting, if it had been the first time in 5-10 years then it wouldve made more sense, but i think they need to avoid ‘trouble at school’ as the season finale for several seasons upcoming. before it was a school fire, the knife with drew or whatever that was, several other school traumatic events as finales. that needs to be done with now for a while so that it will have more impact.

    but i think that this was almost certainly degrassi’s best season, or half season, or 10 episode stretch, however you wanna classify it. its also different thinking about it when you could watch it 10 episodes in a row, you remember everything and get in a flow, but have less time or no time to think about an episode, and process it, discuss it if you like. this season was definitely making me wanna start a new episode right away, i dont think degrassi will ever be going back to a 40+ episode season anymore, its better to cut out the filler and make 10 strong episodes, or 20, not 40-45.

    i think its pretty much impossible to think regarding ranking the best degrassi season / 10 ep stretch unless you watch the entire show in a short period of time. i dont remember anymore how good the 10 episodes before or around the top degrassi moments were, the rick shooting, jt shooting, darcy attempted suicide in the shower, etc. all these involve violence also. and i would definitely say that the miles storyline over this season is possibly the best ever for a single character over a 10 episode stretch. i guess its reminiscent of craig’s meltdown, but this was probably more serious overall. i would guess miles wont go away next semester now so he can stay home and watch over his brother? but who knows.

    i hope when they start getting deeper into esme’s back story that it just doesnt turn around 180 by the end and shes virtually normal and everything with her is essentially solved. it was also interesting that with her feminism topic goldi has some valid points, and some or many that are not nearly as valid, but that the show is painting her more as a villain than a hero when the standard normal show would portray the muslim feminist as a pure hero with no faulty ideas. it seems degrassi slanted her as something like 60-40 or 65-35 in a negative light of going too far with feminist ideas and being a politically correct nuisance. at least thats what it seems like, i guess its possible that wasnt their intent but i dont really think that, i imagine this is how they wanted her coming across. hopefully the feminism stuff from her takes a back seat over the next 10 episodes and we learn more about her otherwise it would become really annoying.

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  5. I don’t know if Baaz and Goldi are related or if writers just gave them the same last name, but if they are related, it’s a bit strange that this wasn’t brought up in one of the episodes about the trolling. I mean, Baaz assisted in threatening Goldi’s friend, while Goldi helped take away Baaz’ niche at Degrassi.

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    1. Oh that’s right, I think they’re supposed to be? I’m sure this will probably come up at a later date, when we learn more about these characters. Baaz has gotten almost no screentime yet, and we’re definitely learning about Goldi’s outward persona/school life before they move deeper or tackle her home life.

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    2. I thought that too. Weird for two characters in a show to have the same last name but not be related. Maybe they abandoned the plan to make them related at the last minute. Of course it also made little sense they focused all their energy on Maya and none of Goldie… when Goldie led the charge against them. They seemed to only go after Maya and no one else for little reason but the plot called for it.

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    3. Perhaps they’re angling for a portrayal of sibling rivalry.

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  6. Does anyone know when the second season is set to premiere? After such an intense finale, I want more!

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  7. I truly hope Zoe was vomiting due to guilt, stress and Anxiety for hurting Maya & Grace when she kissed Zig because of her jealousy. Lets give the pregnancies a rest for a while.

    I am happy with Maya choosing herself first. Unlike many other Degrassi ladies who keep going back to those guys who treat them like garbage over & over again.. (Eclare, Crash, Dolly J and many more.)

    Hunter.. thats all I have to say. This was scary. I love how the effects of a abusive home can cause different problems with everyone differently. Its real and hard to watch. Miles numbing his hurt with drugs & Booze. Frankie jumoing into a relationship instead of dealing with her depression/loneliness, Hunter borderline sociopath and Mom thinking Mr H has ‘changed’ and everything is ok in her own little world and not listening to her kids. This stuff does happen in real life.

    This season was fantastic and I hope S16/2 is even better.

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    1. Yeah it was sad and all too real with Hunter’s mom. How a blind person could see Hunter clearly couldn’t handle his parents being back together… and had good reason to feel that way. But his mom was not only basically ignoring his feelings but trying to force him to forgive his dad when that clearly was only making him worse. Because she was too caught up in what she wanted. Even supposing his dad truly has changed, people forgive at different times and in different ways, if they ever do.

      Even if he really wants to repent (which is highly unlikely given most abusers, but not impossible) if it is going to cause her son to self destruct because he can’t deal with it, then maybe the answer is not for them to get back together or at least give him time and space. But his mom was too caught up in herself to realize that. She just kept pushing him to try and forgive his dad on her time table.

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  8. I just want Triles to happen so baaaaaad…

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  9. I’m an old school Degrassi fan that hasn’t faithfully watched in quite a while though I would swing in and out just enough to know what’s going on and what everyone was up too and who were the newer characters ect. I finally binged Next Class on Netflix I must say that I absolutely enjoyed it. It was definitely one of the most interesting seasons of Degrassi- Everything felt modern and trendy but it still retained the depth and emotional driven writing we have come to expect from the show.

    The finale was great, I’m also thrilled that Hunter didn’t kill anyone- that would’ve been shooting the wad a little too soon. As another commenter said above, we are still getting a feel for all these characters and kill someone off this fast would be a disappointment- the show needs time to simmer and cook. I hope Hunter’s story continues next season and that they don’t decide to rush through it- I think Hunter is quite a fascinating character and I would like to spend a lot of time watching him on his journey. Same with Miles and Frankie, both are great characters. I love all three of the siblings. And Esme is another very interesting character that I hope we see more of, the girl seems twisted and damaged and I hope they play with that expect of her a little more.

    Things are great, I just hope they continue to let certain storylines and character development continue on for a little longer.

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  10. seriously i understand hunter, wtf is maya her problem with a damn videogame and that goldi -.- seriously she can do that ? all bcuz “the womenrights” chitchat shit let that dude play his damn video game there wasnt anyone besides that stupid feminits club wich is also a stupid club anyway so that was aggaisnt it, if you cant bear to see then dont watch is -_- its simple

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  11. I understand that Hunter feels like he doesn’t fit in anywhere and was trying to find his place at school, but thats certainly no excuse for bringing a gun to school wanting to hurt people

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    1. The feelings of depression are really strong and if you watch him talk about what he felt like everyday it would probably hel you understand, Season 2 is amazing and you can see the progress he makes though out it
      I agree it wasn’t the best way but you dont understand how much he was struggling and how it felt like theo nnly way out

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  12. This episode might have inspired todays’ shooter in GRASSE, France, a 17 years old son of a politician and municipal counsellor by the name of Killian ( contains word – Kill – like Hunter means the one who hunts )… Similarities, also physical between the french teen and the actor are curious…Also the french teenager was a gamer of violent videogames…

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