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How Soon is Now?

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“How Soon is Now?”
Season 2, Episode 20
Normal th degrassiS2E20 158
Can. Airdate

February 9, 2003

U.S. Airdate

July 11, 2003

Prod. Code



Craig Cornell (story)
James Hurst (story)
Shelley Scarrow (teleplay)


Eleanore Lindo

Episode Guide

Fight for Your Right


Tears Are Not Enough (1)

How Soon is Now? is the twentieth episode of Season 2 of the Canadian television series, Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Main Plot

Paige is finally turning her life around. She stopped blaming herself for being raped, but there is a basketball game coming up soon at Degrassi. She later finds out that Dean will be there playing with Bardell, but she's not ready to confront him yet. She doesn't plan on going to go to the game until Hazel convinces her otherwise. Paige listens to Hazel and gets ready for the game. She sees Dean waving at her, but she ignores him. When halftime comes up, Dean told Paige that he had a great time that night at the party. That makes her mad, so she then stands up for herself with the help of J.T.

Sub Plot

Ellie and Marco are filming a commercial for Mr. Simpson's class, but they have fights about what the commercial's style should be. After an argument, Ellie comes to apologize to him, and Marco officially comes out to her.

Extended Summary

Paige is in a counseling session with Ms. Sauvé and is reading an unsent letter that Ms. Sauvé had her write to Dean. She seems to be doing better about not blaming herself for what happened and Ms. Sauvé congratulates her on her progress. Paige tells Ms. Sauvé that she feels like she doesn't need to keep coming to therapy, but Ms. Sauvé insists that she continue. Paige reluctantly agrees, stating that she's over what happened. She encounters J.T. in the hall as he practices his mascot mime routine and she tells him to make sure he brings his magic to the big basketball tournament the next day. J.T. is shocked that Paige had a conversation with him without calling him any names, to which she just laughs and calls him lucky.

Marco and Ellie are showing their project idea to Mr. Simpson and are pleased when he approves. The next part of the project is to film a commercial for their product advertisement. Craig teases them about being so perfect together, saying that their love makes him emotional. Marco kisses Ellie's hand in an over-the-top way and when he isn't looking, she gives him a puzzled look.

Elsewhere in the school, Spirit Squad is practicing for the upcoming tournament. Spinner comes into the gym and explains that they just got word of who the final team would be in the tournament. To Paige's horror, it's Bardell - Dean's school. Spinner jokes that her boyfriend's back as she and Hazel stare dumbfoundedly at the tournament bracket. Paige returns to Ms. Sauvé's office and asks about the procedure for pressing charges against Dean. Ms. Sauvé explains that unfortunately it's very difficult to convict someone of rape in court, as many times there is little to no evidence. Since Paige's post-assault exams were clear, there was no physical sign of rape that could be used against Dean in court. Paige is astounded and upset by the idea of testifying and still not winning the case. Ms. Sauvé assures her that if they move forward with pressing charges, she will help her to make the best case possible, but Paige tells her to forget it.

Outside after school, Ashley finds Ellie making preparations for she and Marco's commercial. Marco shows up and brings Ellie some of his mother's homemade eggplant parmigiano. Ashley is amused by how perfect Ellie and Marco seem to be, but Ellie doesn't seem so sure.

Later on, J.T. sees Paige sitting in the Zen Garden and tries to make her laugh by pretending he's stuck in a wind tunnel. She isn't amused and gets up to leave, but J.T. corners her in the hall to ask what's wrong. Unlike that morning, she's very short with him, prompting him to ask if she's mad at him. She tells him it's the fact that she's not going to cheer at the tournament, much to his shock. He wants to know why but she says it's none of his business. She finally relents and admits that there is someone coming from Bardell tomorrow that she can't see.

Marco and Ellie are attempting to film their commercial. Marco is getting confused about where to stand without the infamous Heather Sinclair there, so Ellie steps in to help. After the run-through, Ellie kisses him, leaving both of them surprised.

The day of the tournament has arrived and Paige has decided to cheer. Hazel asks if she's going to be okay and Paige assures her that she'll stay far away from Dean, but before they can get inside the school, he emerges from his bus. As they turn to go inside, he notices her and runs forward, calling her Spirit like he used to. He makes fun of her for embarrassing him last year when PMS performed "Poor Thing" at the competition. She boldly tells him that he's at her school and that she doesn't ever want to see or talk to him again. He follows her inside, telling her to lighten up because they had fun. Paige loses it, asking if what he did to her was fun. Paige reiterates that she said no but he isn't fazed.

Ellie approaches Marco in class with an updated version of their commercial. He doesn't like it and thinks it's boring in comparison to his bright, Bollywood-inspired version, but agrees to do it nonetheless.

Before the tournament, everyone is in the foyer, getting pumped up for the Degrassi-Bardell game. Dean makes another snide remark to Paige which causes her to walk off. Spinner notices and asks Hazel if she's still got a thing for Dean, to which Hazel hastily disagrees. Spinner tells Hazel he was at the party and knows that Paige and Dean hooked up. Hazel gets defensive, asking Spinner "What if it wasn't like that? What if she said no?" but Spinner digresses, saying that he was the only one Paige said no to.

Marco and Ellie are filming their commercial, but Marco can't get his lines out and keeps laughing. Marco thinks Ellie's writing is silly, claiming that it sounds more like a tampon commercial than a perfume one. He says her version makes no since, as he's the only one in the commercial and their whole product is called "Duet." Marco accuses Ellie of treating him like her slave, and she retorts that she feels that way around him all the time. She rags on his version, calling it "flaming" but stops at the look on his face. He tells her he gets it, that this whole thing is about how he can't be who she wants him to be. She responds, "Can't? Or Won't?" before he walks out.

Outside, Paige and Hazel are discussing what Hazel told Spinner. Paige is upset when Hazel tells her that Spinner didn't believe her anyway. Paige is afraid that Spinner thinks Paige wanted to hook up with Dean and says that she's going home because Dean has won again. She gets up to go when she sees Dean talking to Manny. Paige confronts Manny in the hall about talking to Dean and warns her not to be alone with him. Manny protests, saying he's a nice guy, and Paige gets short with her, telling her she doesn't know him at all. Manny tells Paige that she's just jealous because she thinks she and Dean went on a date and he never called her.

J.T. notices that Paige isn't cheering during the game and goes outside to talk to her. She tells him to go away and that this time she means it. He tries to follow her and tells her Dean is just a stupid guy. Paige admits to J.T. that he raped her and that she feels like no one can do anything about it. J.T. is astonished and goes back into the school without another word.

Degrassi is up 10-8 when J.T. rushes into the gym and shoves Dean. It's an uneven match because Dean is so much larger, but J.T. continues hitting and punching at him and loudly calls him a rapist. Dean loses it and slams J.T. onto the ground as the referee and the Bardell coach restrain him. Dean is suspended from the game and Coach Armstrong sends J.T. to the principal's office. Spinner follows Paige into the foyer and confronts her until she snaps at him not to touch her. She tells him that she got what she asked for but Spinner says that Dean took it too far. Dean storms out of the gym to go to his bus but Spinner follows him outside and confronts him. Paige breaks up the fight but tells Dean to get ready, because she's coming after him for real this time.

Ellie is the MI classroom, watching her version of the commercial with a sad look. Marco comes in and she apologizes. He tells her she's his best friend but she cuts him off, saying it's really hard to be something that you're not. He agrees, telling her he knows. He says he's not confused anymore and he knows it - he's gay. Sadly, they both agree that they'll always just be friends.

Paige meets with Ms. Sauvé to tell her that she wants to press charges against Dean. As it is now a legal matter, Paige is no longer allowed to have conversations with Dean, but she readily agrees. Paige and Ms. Sauvé agree to meet again next week and Paige admits that she wants to scare Dean so bad that he never considers doing what he did to anyone else. In the hallway, Paige encounters Spinner, who explains that he traded a lunch shift to eat with her instead. He tells her that not all guys are like Dean and that there are some good guys out there. She agrees and asks him to the Year End Dance, to which he accepts.

  • This episode is possibly named after the song "How Soon Is Now?" by The Smiths, or it could be from the t.A.T.u or Love Spit Love cover of the same song.
  • When this episode first aired, it was the third part to Shout.

  • J.T.: "Help I'm stuck in a box!"
    Paige: "Does it say 'Caution: Freak inside?'"
  • Craig: (to Marco and Ellie) Your love brings tears to my eyes.
  • Marco: "El, you're my best friend. But if that's not enough..."
    Ellie: "It's really hard, Marco. Pretending to be something..."
    Marco: "...You're not, I know."
    Ellie: "But did you ever think about how hard it would be for me? Are you still confused?"
    Marco: "No...Ellie, I'm gay. And you and me..."
    Ellie: "...Will always just be friends."

  • "Poor Thing" by PMS

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