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Tears Are Not Enough (1)

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“Tears Are Not Enough (1)”
Season 2, Episode 21
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Information
Can. Airdate

February 16, 2003

U.S. Airdate

August 29, 2003

Prod. Code

221

Writer(s)

James Hurst (story)
Aaron Martin (story & teleplay)

Director(s)

Phil Earnshaw

Episode Guide
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Tears Are Not Enough (2)

Tears Are Not Enough (1) is the twenty-first episode and the first part of the two-part Season 2 season finale of the Canadian television series, Degrassi: The Next Generation. It originally aired on February 16, 2003 on CTV Television and on August 29, 2003 on The N. The episode shares its title with the song by Northern Lights.

Main Plot

Craig's in-between feelings about his dad being back in his life. On one hand, it's really nice to get away from the chaos of Joey's house, but has his dad really changed for the better? With finals looming and tensions building, Craig doesn't know if he can handle his dad's pressure to move back home, and when the unspeakable happens, Craig doesn't know what to say.

Sub Plot

It is time for finals and J.T. agrees to be Liberty's date for the end of the year dance, if she tutors him in return.

Extended Summary

The end of the year finals are coming up and the Degrassi students are stressing, especially Craig. As he leaves school with Ashley and Sean one afternoon, an unexpected visitor is waiting for him - his father Albert. Craig is shocked to see him and asks what he's doing there. He insists he's there to see how Craig is doing and to meet his friends. Ashley introduces herself, but an uncomfortable Sean merely spits on the ground at Albert's feet. Albert offers to drive Craig over to Joey's; Craig refuses so Albert asks him to meet up tomorrow for dinner. Sean is angry and asks Craig if he's actually going to go to dinner, but a shocked and confused Craig doesn't respond.

The next morning, Craig is finishing up some studying as Joey rushes around to feed Angela and get ready to leave for work. He reminds Craig that he has to take Angela to her ballet lesson that evening and that dinner is in the freezer. Craig says he knows, but he might not be home for dinner. Angela accidentally spills her orange juice on Craig's work, causing Joey and Craig to yell in surprise and frustration and she begins to cry. Craig laments how the house is messy all the time and Joey snaps at him to actually earn his allowance for once and come home early to clean up. Craig falters for a second, but lies to Joey and tells him that he's got plans to study at Sean's house that night.

In Science class, Craig snaps at Spinner when he jokes around about finding Ms. Hatzilakos attractive. Ashley notices and asks him if he's okay and if the exams are stressing him out. He replies that he wishes it was only the exams giving him grief. She knows it's about his dad and surmises that the two of them don't exactly get along. Craig admits he hadn't seen his father in months until yesterday and Ashley tells him that people can change but he isn't very convinced.

Meanwhile, some grade 8 students are taking their exam. J.T. tries to get Liberty to help him cheat but she silently refuses, much to his chagrin. Outside after the test, Liberty offers to tutor J.T. if he promises to be her date to the Year End Dance. He refuses at first but ultimately accepts.

After school, Craig visits the hospital where his father works to accept his offer for dinner. He runs into one of his father's colleagues, a nurse who is under the impression that Craig has been away at boarding school. Craig is at first confused but realizes his father must have lied in order to cover up the fact that Craig's been living with Joey, but plays along with the story and tells the nurse that he's in town on a surprise visit. She mentions that she's glad he's in town, because his father has been unhappy with him gone. At dinner, he confronts his father about the lie and Albert admits that Craig's absence has been a wake-up call for him and that he has been attending anger management therapy. Albert assures him that he would be happy to help him with his studying and reiterates that some things truly can change.

Meanwhile, Joey is at home with Angela, who had to leave ballet class early because she started to run a fever. Joey is a little peeved that the house is still messy and confronts Craig about where he's been all evening. Craig lies and says he got caught up studying at Sean's place. Joey reminds Craig that he needs him to help around the house and Craig retorts that he needs to be studying for his exams. Joey agrees, obviously frustrated, as an annoyed Craig agrees to help out more.

The following day, Craig shows up at his father's house to get help studying for his Science exam. Things are going great until Craig forgets to use a coaster with his drink and has a terrible vision of his father snapping and abusing him for it. He snaps out of it and appears to have a moment of realization over what he's doing at the house of the man who made his life a living hell.

J.T. is complaining about having to go to the dance with Liberty to an unsympathetic Toby who tells him to suck it up. J.T. protests, saying that he'd rather take Paige to the dance, but Toby just tells him it will never happen. J.T. toys with the idea of using Liberty to pass his Geography exam and then dumping her to try and take Paige to the dance, but Toby warns him against it. Liberty shows up and begins to quiz J.T. on world capitals, but quickly becomes distracted and asks J.T. if he would prefer chartreuse or fuchsia for her gown color. J.T. tells her not to get caught up in the dance because it's only a luau and she reluctantly says she knows it's not a "real" date.

The exams begin. Thanks to the help from his dad, Craig breezes through his Science exam. Over in Geography, J.T. is surprised to see that the exact thing Liberty quizzed him on is the very first portion of their test.

In the hallway, an ecstatic J.T. approaches Paige to ask her to the dance. Before she can answer, Liberty approaches and congratulates J.T. on finishing the exam before she did, saying he must have done well. He brushes her off and she covers him in a hug, while an impatient Paige asks J.T. exactly what he was going to ask her about the dance. He hesitates to ask her in front of Liberty and instead suggests that she help Liberty choose a dress.

Craig and Ashley leave school, celebrating the fact that the Science exam is behind them and that they're free from the subject for two whole months. Craig awkwardly asks her to the dance but she only has a moment to say yes before Craig's father pulls up to ask how the exam went. Albert says hello to Ashley but gets her name wrong which slightly annoys Craig. Albert wants to have dinner again that evening; Craig says he's promised Joey he would babysit but Albert talks him into it and he reluctantly agrees to meet him at 8:30.

At home, all Craig wants to do is play a video game to relax but Angela is begging him to read a story to her. She guilts him into doing it, reminding him that she's sick with chicken pox, and he agrees. Before he can start the story, the phone rings and it's Joey who is calling to apologize for being late and to tell Craig that he won't be back for at least another hour or so. Craig tells him he can't stay any longer because he's got plans with friends but agrees to wait around anyway.

Craig's dad waits at the restaurant for him, growing very impatient all the while. Craig finally manages to make it to the restaurant and apologizes for being late, but Albert blows it off and gives Craig plane tickets. He's planned a vacation for them to London and Paris, calling it a great opportunity for the two of them to get back into a routine before school starts. Craig's face falls when he realizes his dad wants him to come back and live with him and he hesitantly tells his dad he likes living at Joey's. Albert calls the environment at Joey's "unstable" but Craig refuses, saying it's the only place that is stable, and his father angrily walks out. Craig runs after him and the two of them have a shouting match in the street, with Albert insulting Joey and Ashley and telling Craig that he'll be settling for less than he's worth if he stays. In a fit of anger, Craig rushes forward and shoves Albert in the back and Albert retaliates by hitting Craig across the face and knocking him to the ground for several bystanders to see. Horrified, he tries to apologize, but Craig shouts at him that he'll never change. Albert gets into his car and peels away leaving Craig alone, crying angry tears.

Back home, Joey is surprised to see Craig home so early, as Craig sneaks in, trying to hide his bleeding face. Joey realizes something is wrong and demands to know who Craig got into a fight with. Craig admits that it was his dad and Joey angrily says he's going to call the police, but Craig tells him not to, and that the next day he'll go to Children's Aid to ensure that he never has to see his dad again. Joey is visibly upset but agrees, promising Craig they will talk about it in the morning.

The next morning, Craig comes downstairs and teases Joey that he needs to buy him a steak for his bruised, cut eye. Joey asks if he's serious about visiting Children's Aid and Craig says yes as the doorbell rings. He worries that it's his dad but Joey doubts it and goes to answer the door. Craig watches as two policemen come into the hall and have a conversation with Joey about something he can't hear. When the police leave, a stunned Joey comes forward and tells Angela to go upstairs and clean her room. Craig's confused, thinking that his dad sent the police to come and get him, but Joey shakes his head no and tells Craig to sit down. Joey is visibly uneasy and admits that he does not know how to tell Craig what he has to say but explains that his father had an accident the night before. Craig groans and makes to get up, assuming that his dad is in the hospital, but Joey makes him stay. Craig stares, dumbfounded, as Joey explains that Albert didn't make it and he's gone.


  • This episode is possibly named after the song "Tears Are Not Enough" by Northern Lights.
  • Jake Epstein (Craig) won a Gemini Award for his performance in this episode.
  • The book that Angie makes Craig read to her six times is Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay by Peter Cumming.
  • The video game that Craig plays while babysitting Angie is Crazy Taxi.
  • This episode marks the death of Albert Manning.

Dr. Manning: (after he hits Craig) "Craig, I'm so sorry. It'll never..."
Craig: It'll never happen again? HUH?! Is that what you were gonna say? 'Cause that's what you've ALWAYS said!!"
Dr. Manning: "Because you always screw up." (Dr. Manning walks away)
Craig: "No, Dad, you're the one who screws up. It won't change! EVER!"
  • Angie: (referring to Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay) "Again! Read it again."
    Craig: "Ange, I've read it five times already. I could recite it."
    Angie: "Craig, please! I've got the chicken pox!"
    Craig: "Fine. Your wish is my command."


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