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“IWokeUpLikeThis”
Season 3, Episode 2
1702a
Information
Can. Airdate

January 10, 2017

U.S. Airdate

January 6, 2017

Prod. Code

302

Episode Guide
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#BreakTheInternet

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#WorstGiftEver

#IWokeUpLikeThis is the second episode of season three of Degrassi: Next Class.

Summary

Yael posts their opinion about feminism online. Maya isn't herself after the bus crash. Zig questions his relationship with Esme.

Main Plot

In an attempt to repair their damaged reputation from the events of the previous year, The Gamer Club started an all-inclusive vlogging channel where Hunter reviews comics, Baaz reviews movies, Vijay performs song covers, and Yael makes gaming videos. However, Baaz has discovered that 90% of the channel's viewership are boys and the group is upset since it defeats the purpose of being all-inclusive. Baaz calls a meeting to come up with a plan to make the channel more welcoming to women, and notes that the top categories for online videos for girls are makeup tutorials, nail art tutorials, and fashion videos. Yael jokingly tells Vijay to have fun with those videos, and Baaz says that Yael is the one who has to make the videos. Yael is confused, saying they don't know anything about those topics and wants to stick with the agreed topic for them, video games. Baaz insists, saying that girls will be more likely to identify with Yael and tells Yael that he hired Lola to help "train" them on using makeup and nail products.

In the bathroom, Lola starts putting foundation and cover-up on Yael and explains to them what she is doing. As Lola explains that she'll be hiding Yael's "imperfections," sharpening their brow, overdrawing their lips, and cinching their waist, Yael stops her and says that she wanted a natural look. Lola promises that the end result will be natural. Yael seems unconvinced and isn't impressed by Lola's explanation that makeup will show people that they put effort into their appearance. However, Yael lets Lola give them the makeover.

When time comes to record the first fashion vlog, Yael is cleary very uncomfortable with their new look, and scoffs when Hunter hints that he's impressed by it. Yael's first vlog is supposed to be about creating "galaxy" nail art. While starting off the tutorial, they mess up and get frustrated. Furious, they put the nail polish down and start ranting to Hunter about how stupid they think makeup and fashion are. While the camera is still rolling, they continue yelling, saying that the reason girls can't get ahead is because they spend too much time on makeup and nail polish, and that girls who care about that kind of stuff are stupid too.

It is revealed that Yael went ahead and posted their heated rant about makeup and girls that enjoy makeup to Youtube without asking the rest of the club first. Baaz is horrified as he watches the video in class and reads the angry comments. Yael is dismissive of his concerns, saying that people always post mean comments and that this is nothing new.

Yael looks through their bag and notices they don't have a pen, so they turn to Lola to ask her for one. Lola turns and snarkily says, "Aren't you afraid I might accidentally pass you a banana?" Yael looks around and pauses, confused, until Lola explains that Yael clearly must think she is too stupid. Yael uncomfortably looks down at their desk, realizing that Lola watched the vlog. Lola argues that Yael betrayed womankind, and Frankie chimes in saying that Yael's vlog sounded like they were saying all women who wear makeup are idiots. Yael tries defending the video, saying that the only reason Lola and Frankie wear makeup is because it's "the patriarchy oppressing [them]" and accuses Frankie of only feeling good while wearing makeup because boys look at her. Frankie refutes this, by informing Yael that she doesn't like when boys look at her, and that she's already in a relationship. Yael is shocked to learn that Lola and Frankie enjoy just putting makeup on at home by themselves, and when Lola demands to know what's wrong with spending time on herself, Yael snaps, "Girls like you are ruining it for the rest of us!" Baaz overhears the altercation, and demands a second vlog channel meeting, as the people in the comments on their video may have a point. He also tells Yael that he doesn't have a pen either.

During the meeting later that day, Yael tells Baaz that they refuse to do the makeup vlogs anymore. Baaz insists that they must, since that is the content that teens want. He shows the group the comments and says that Yael must not ever post a rant like that again. Vijay backs him up, saying that viewers feel attacked and it is defeating the purpose of being "all inclusive." Hunter defends Yael, and says that it isn't right to make Yael do a vlog that doesn't express the "real them." Yael pauses, since they thought Hunter liked seeing them all dolled up. Hunter says he prefers Yael when they're being themselves.

Yael addresses the group, stating that authenticity is the key to engagement, and that Yael is aware is that not all girls are the same. They suggest that there is someone who is the perfect girl for the job. They turn to the side, and their friends follow their gaze, only to find Lola standing nearby, holding her makeup box. They suggest that Yael sticks to their usual gaming videos, while Lola does vlogs about makeup, fashion, and nail art. Yael starts trying to explain why it's better, but the group is quickly on board. Baaz jumps up to draw up Lola's contracts, Vijay follows to help design Lola's backdrop, and Hunter interrupts Yael to give Lola a camera tutorial. Yael watches the group gather around Lola and uncomfortably looks around the room, hinting that maybe they're beginning to regret suggesting Lola joins the team.

Sub Plot

Maya is clearly having trouble adjusting to life after the bus crash. Her mother reveals that she's missed most of the first week of school and Maya isn't thrilled about having to return to school. However, Grace and Jonah are glad she's coming to school because they started working on a new song and need Maya to write lyrics.  

In class, Maya listens as Grace and Jonah play their new track for her off Grace's phone. She enjoys it at first, but becomes more concerned as her friends explain to her that it's about the bus crash. Mr. Armstrong approaches the group and holds out a heavy stack of assignments for Maya, and says that she must complete all of it, as it is the work she missed from being home the whole week. On top of completing all her schoolwork, now she knows she also has to write a song for Grace and Jonah, and yet another song afterwards.  

Maya sits in the hallway leaning up against some lockers, struggling to write lyrics for Grace and Jonah's song. She grows increasingly frustrated with her writer's block and tosses her phone across the hall. It lands by Frankie and Shay's feet and Frankie picks it up to return it to Maya. Shay asks Maya if she's okay and Maya says she isn't, but says she'll be fine.   

Maya decides to visit Ms. Grell to discuss what's been going on. As she enters the room, Ms. Grell is just finishing up a meeting with Saad, who has accidentally left behind his camera. Maya picks it up and turns it on, and finds a photo of a yellow sign that says "Danger: Mines" in both English and Arabic. Saad returns to the room and holds out his hand, telling Maya that the camera is his. Maya quickly hands him the camera and he turns to walk away.   

Ms. Grell returns to the room, and asks Maya what's been going on. Maya states that "there's just so much... stuff," and Ms. Grell says that many students are stressed, as senior year is a difficult year. She mentions that she and Maya spoke back in the Spring, after the bus crash, and that Maya was worried about her music due to having broken both of her wrists in the bus crash. At the mention of the crash, Maya begins nervously fidgeting and looking around the room. Ms. Grell suggests that she and Maya make a list of everything Maya has been dealing with. Maya starts rehashing all the things she needs to take care of, like homework, university applications, text messages, and Jonah and Grace expecting her to write songs for them. Maya tears up and says that she feels like she's being pulled underwater and is being trapped. Ms. Grell says that the list is manageable, and hands Maya some college brochures to inspire her to keep working to get to "the light at the end of the tunnel - university."   

Maya decides to look into one of the universities that she had discussed with Ms. Grell, SoCal Art. She is impressed with the program, and decides to look at what applying entails, only to see a lengthy form that overwhelms her. She is distracted by Zig, who is looking for some advice about Esme. After talking to Zig briefly, Grace and Jonah hurry into the room, saying they've been waiting for Maya for forty minutes. Maya explains that she forgot because of everything on her plate. Grace and Jonah try to sympathize, and Grace offers for Maya to take the night off to sort out her other obligations.   

That night, Maya sits in her tub surrounded by candles as she flips through a college brochure. She tosses the brochure to the floor and lies face up in the water. She takes a deep breath and dips her head underwater. She sits underwater, and stares calmly out of the water as she starts to run out of breath. Bubbles start coming out of her mouth and she struggles to stay underwater, before sitting up and gasping for air and coughing. She looks around the room and a small smile creeps onto her face.   

Third Plot

It's the morning before school, and Esme and Zig are kissing in Esme's car. Zig tells Esme that he should really leave so he can make it to math class, and Esme convinces him to skip by promising to perform oral sex on him in the parking lot. Zig agrees, and skips class.

Later that day, Zig catches up with his friends and asks if he missed anything in math class. Jonah reveals to Zig that they had a pop quiz, and Zig is a first upset that he missed the quiz but quickly brags to Tiny about what he and Esme did in the parking lot. The rest of the group overhears and make disgusted comments and jokes about Esme being "damaged" or potentially having STI's.

Later that day, Zig sits in an empty classroom trying to complete some schoolwork. Esme walks in and sits on his table, startling him. Zig nervously asks Esme if she'd ever "done that" with anybody before. At first, Esme takes it as Zig telling her that she did a poor job and says that she and Zig can skip lunch to do it again. Zig quickly refuses, saying that he has to study for the math quiz he missed, as Mr. Armstrong is allowing Zig to make it up. Esme offers to help him study, and when Zig refuses again, she asks him what's going on and Zig admits that Tiny believes that Zig's been spending too much time focused on Esme and not enough time focused on school. Esme scoffs and says that Tiny's only jealous because his girlfriend is a "prude," and insists that she's very good at math and that Zig should let her help. She promises not to let Zig get distracted. She begins tutoring Zig in geometry and becomes frustrated that Zig checks his phone in the middle of her lesson. She takes it from him, and returns to the math.

While Zig is turned to the board trying to figure out the value of cosine in a triangle, his phone buzzes again. Esme picks up the phone and looks at it. When Zig turns back around to see if he solved the problem correctly, he finds both Esme and his phone gone.

Zig catches up to Esme in the hallway and asks her why she left with his phone. Esme reveals that she looked at his group text with his friends, where Tiny and Jonah were making fun of her and calling her "easy" and "thirsty." Zig tries defending himself until Esme reveals that she also read a message Zig sent, implying that he's only using Esme for sex. The two get into an argument, and Zig hints that he thinks Esme is a slut, hurting Esme's feelings. She grabs Winston and acts as though she's going to hook up with him, much to Winston's dismay. The scene is broken up with Mr. Perino turns into the hallway and walks up to Esme and Winston, demanding to know what's going on. Winston responds, "That's a good question..." while Esme picks up her bag and storms off. Zig watches Esme go, confused and unsure of what to do.

Zig decides to turn to Maya for advice. Maya asks him why he cares what his friends think of Esme, and tells him not to let his friends who want to shame and insult Esme prevent Zig from being happy.

After school, Zig runs up to Esme to show her that he got an 82% on his math quiz, the best he's ever done, and thanks Esme for her help. He apologizes for allowing his friends to speak badly about her.

Esme explains that only Zig's opinion mattered to her, and reveals that she's been in and out of therapy her whole life. She tells him that her mother committed suicide, and Esme found her body when she was only ten years old. Since she was young, she didn't know how to save her, and her mother passed away in the hospital. Her father blames her for what happened, and Zig realizes that this was why she reacted badly after seeing the photos of Tristan in the hospital after the bus crash. Zig tells Esme how his mother kicked him out of their home because he was selling drugs and hanging out with gang members who put his little brother in danger. For the next year, he is on probation and he currently lives in a group home. He explains that he has no family anymore, and as a result, he listens to his friends more than he probably should. Esme is understanding and says that he can count on her. The two embrace and hold one another, having made up.

  • "Bad Boys" by Ofelia K
  • "It's Alright" by Fractures