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This episode is part of the Sour 16 set of reviews.
Click here to see the series.

"Secrets and Lies"

Season 1 Episode 8
Canadian airdate: December 9th, 2001

Boycott the Caf name: "Ashley's Father is Gay"
Important characters: Ashley, Ashley's Gay Dad, JT, Liberty
Issue of the Week: Homosexuality

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

Ashley's dad is back in town which Ashley likes because she doesn't live with him and he owns a sweet car. Ashley's dad drops her off home, where Ashley catches her mom and Toby's dad arguing. Those two live together, but they don't like each other. Toby's dad gets really mad when he gets compared to Toby. Ashley's mom is mad he doesn't grasp the concept of hard water. Well, he shouldn't, they live in a major city. If they have to deal with hard water, then Toronto must have a shitty water system.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

How about Ms. Kwan is a nut.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

Sean has real bad acne, about as bad as the acne all over my genitals. I wonder if it burns when Sean pees too.

Toby is helping Mr. Simpson figure out a computer problem when JT hits them with a paper airplane. Take that nerds! Mr. Simpson is about to kick JT in the face for that, when Liberty steps in and takes the blame. Simpson doesn't want to get his shoe dirty by having it come in contact with Liberty, so he let's the incident slide. What no one understand is why Liberty covered for JT.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

Turns out Liberty has a crush on JT. This is revealed when Liberty writes a romantic haiku about JT. Haikus are an awesome way to profess your love. Of course, JT is freaked out of his fucking mind.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

Ashley is helping her mom do women's work in the kitchen. Ashley notices that her mom and dad still get along, even though they are divorced. She hopes her parents will get back together, but her mom says that will not happen. Ashley asks why, is her dad gay, and her mom says yes. Wow. How about that? Ashley is BLOWN AWAY!

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

The next day, Paige suggests to Ashley that her dad might be gay because he's single and dresses sharp. Ashley flies off the handle, throws her chocolate milk on Paige's face and says, "Mind yo own biznaz fo once, Paige. Be-yotch." "Nigga what?" she then says to Hazel. Turns out Paige's brother is gay and Paige was only trying to help. Too bad Paige never helps anybody, so of course Ashley was going to be hostile.

Terri helps Paige clean her shirt. All Terri needs is five minutes alone with that shirt and the milk stain will be gone.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

Little kids are damn disgusting.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

JT needs a way to get Liberty off his back, so she'll stop looking at him while elevator music plays. JT decides to pretend to be gay. And boy, does he get into it. He even tries to get Liberty to think Toby is his boyfriend. That part doesn't take much pretending.

Liberty wants JT to come out of the closet in the school newspaper because it will help inspire people. Yeah, it will inspire them to beat JT up. Faced with his, JT admits he was just lying so Liberty would leave him alone. Liberty is upset and says "If you didn't like me, you should have just said so." Liberty, people shouldn't have to say they don't like you. That's implied in any person who has ever seen you, including your parents.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight Degrassi The Next Generation episode eight

Ashley's dad has a talk with Ashley about being gay. Ashley's cool with it until she learns that her dad ran away to live with another gay guy. That's not good. Now Ashley is mad at her dad. I'm going to side with Ashley here. She's isn't mad at her dad for being gay, she's mad because he left her. I don't care if the episode is trying to say it's not his fault for leaving. Abandoning your child doesn't automatically become ok just because you are a fag.

Ashley tells Terri that she is cutting her dad out of her life. Ashley says, "I have my mom, I have Jeff, I have Toby--I don't need him." What? Does she not need Toby? That's a given.

Terri then reminds Ashley that her mom is dead and Ashley shouldn't take parents for granted because you never know when they will be dead. This makes Ashley forgive her dad's secrets and lies.

Rating: C+
As far as gay episodes, Degrassi will have way gayer ones later on. This was like a test run for the Marco saga next year. If the producers had thought up Marco for the first season they probably wouldn't have bothered making Ashley's dad gay. Now Degrassi has way too many gay people. I'm not going to do that math, but I estimate at least two-thirds of the characters are gay by the 5th season.

I hate Liberty plots. That crush Liberty has on JT is going to turn out well, too.

The highlight of this episode was seeing Ashley in that blue sweater.

Intensity Level: 15% Intense
The most intense part of the episode was seeing Ashley and Toby's dad out do each other to see who had the most Canadian sounding accent.

Deleted Scene: (What you can only see on the DVD)
Ashley asks her dad if this means she if going to grow up to be gay too. Ashley's dad says no, unless the producers decide to take her down that route, so there is only a 65% chance she will be gay.

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