Kolleen: Hey guys! It’s Jimmy’s birthday!!! This is appropriate because it’s going to be Letty’s son’s birthday and today is my friend Jon’s birthday, so it’s like birthday central over here. I have a head cold and slept until 3pm today, but I will try to be somewhat entertaining.
Jimmy is all about being a man now that he’s turning 14. He invites Ashley over to his house for a birthday feast! She scoffs at the idea of ordering another pizza at the Jimster’s, but he promises his mom is making lobster for everyone. Ashley is shocked. I feel like Jimmy’s parent’s may be a wee bit absentee. Jimmy kisses Ashley goodbye and she smiles like he just molested her dog and then as he leaves she rolls her eyes like he just farted in her face. She is SICK of him, guys. He’s had dinner at her house every night for the past 8 nights! This totally means he’s being a huge pest and isn’t at all lonely or something.
Ashley feels so suffocated that she lies to Jimmy and says she and Terri are having a girl’s night so please don’t bother coming over.
Meanwhile in Media, Sean has found this cool new website that tells your future based on stars and your birthday and stuff. He’s stumbled onto MissCleo.com! Emma rolls her eyes because Sean is too poor to know what astrology is. Manny wants to know all about her future, and Emma is totally pissed off because they all have an astronomy test in 15 minutes and no one wants to study how many moons Jupiter has (13). Come test time Emma feels like she’s failed and lashes out at Manny. Why is she being such a crab-apple?
At home, Terri and Ashley are all about their girls’ night until she sees Jimmy shooting hoops with Toby. He says to pretend like he’s not there. YEAH RIGHT. She complains to her mom about how she’s so sick of him and her mom reminds her that Jimmy is always alone and has really crappy parents. Ashley is so selfish.
At Emma’s, a horrible soap opera plays: “We are born alone, we die alone, we shouldn’t live our lives alone”. First of all, we are NOT born alone. To be born, one must come out of one’s mother– so that’s instantly “not alone”. Plus there are usually doctors and stuff around. This guys is way off the mark. But Emma is legit SOBBING over it, and into a bag of chips.
She talks to her mom about how humans are just little specks in the universe, and her mom tells her she totally understands and takes her out for some “retail therapy”. Everything is going well– Emma gets a new sweater!– until this creep ruins everything:
He makes a sexual innuendo regarding their ice cream cones and Spike is not happy. She says she knows what he was referring to and guess what, you can’t talk to young women that way! He says he was kidding and she reminds him about rape culture. She tells Emma not to ever let a guy make her feel bad for being a female.
Ashley yells at Toby for having Jimmy over for dinner, and tells Terri she feels so suffocated that she should just break up with him. Toby immediately drops a plate. Now’s your chance, Tobes!
The next day at school Emma is wearing her new sweater with her white skirt. Wait a minute– bitchy attitude, roller- coaster emotions, white skirt… I get what’s happening here. In the halls Jimmy gets bombarded with calls of “Happy Birthday!” and doused with Silly String. Tobes makes some weird analogy to not suffocating the basketball being like not suffocating girls and Jimmy is like “IS THAT HOW ASHLEY FEELS?”. Way to go, Toby, you’re ruining the one good thing Degrassi has.
Sean approaches Emma outside to apologize for looking up interesting things when he should have been helping her learn which planets have rings. She says it’s her fault for acting like a psychopath and asks him to read her horoscope before class. She stands to leave and Manny quickly pulls her down and tells her that it looks like Emma has sat on a severed pig’s head. Emma gets all frazzled and shoos Sean away. Will she be stuck on that bench forever?
Jimmy tells Ashley not to bother coming to LobsterFest tonight, and she’s like, “BUT ITS YOUR BIRTHHHHDAY”. He rolls his eyes at her. How does it feel, Ash? Getting a taste of your own eye- rolling medicine? Meanwhile Emma and Manny are shuffling off to the bathroom with Manny holding a notebook over Emma’s period- stain. She says they should celebrate because Emma is a woman now and can get pregnant. Oh Manny, you are a delight.
So now Emma and Manny are trying desperately to figure out how to hide this monstrosity of an event, since it’s basically summer and they have no jackets, and both of their gym shorts are at home being washed. Manny leaves to figure it out and Emma is horrified. They have a big book report to present! Look, here’s some real talk: the same thing happened to me when I was in 8th grade (it wasn’t my first period, but it was a nightmarish one) and I just had someone take me home. Screw the book report, Ems! You’re a woman now, go home and eat some ice cream!
Ashley tells Toby to let the fam know that she’ll be at Jimmy’s for dinner, and he asks her why she’s even bothering when she’s just going to dump Jimmy. He reminds her that it’s totally rude to bring people into your life just to ditch them. I feel like he’s talking more about him mom than anyone here, you know? Poor kid.
Emma is still in the ladies’ room, missing class like a cool kid, when in waltzes PAIGE. Oh god, what bs is Paige going to pull with poor Emma? Shockingly, nothing… she’s actually helpful, handing her a pad (with wings! Always a lifesaver) and telling her how awesome it is be a woman with boobs. Emma says she doesn’t want to turn out like whorish Paige and Paige is like YOU WISH. Manny comes bursting into the bathroom with gym shorts that are at least a size 13XXX. What a help, this girl is. They bust in late to Mrs. Quan’s class, Emma struggling to keep those shorts on. JT and Toby start cracking jokes and ask her if she peed her pants and she tells the whole class that she just got her period for the first time! What bravery!
Sean seems WAY too proud of Emma, and quite frankly a little turned on. It’s sort of bizarre, really.
Jimmy and Ashley show up at his house and no one is there. It’s so sad. He’s so excited and they just totally ditched him. ON HIS BIRTHDAY. He checks his messages and his parents are working late again. Ashley invites him to her house for wings and he says Toby told him she was feeling suffocated and asks if she wants to break up. They have a fight… this is obviously projection. She leaves and he calls the pizza place, and they know him by name! “Yup, the usual, medium pepperoni.” Full circle.
The next day Emma tells Manny that she doesn’t feel any different, but her mom’s rant at that potential rapist inspired her to write up a petition to have a tampon machine put into the girl’s bathroom. I’m pretty sure she could just ASK Mr. Radish but of course everything has to be some weird campaign. Paige signs it, then asks Sean if he wants to sign too (to embarrass Emma, of course). He does, saying if Emma came up with it, it must be good! SWOON.
Jimmy and Ashley meet up at the lockers. She says she doesn’t want to break up and he’s overreacting. He hugs her and tells her he loves her. And once again the episode just ends. This episode tricked me. I thought it would be mostly about Jimmy “coming of age” because it was his birthday, but it was just about Emma’s ruined white skirt. Oh Degrassi, I never know what I’ll get with you!
Letty: Emma is a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man to take care of her.