"Rumours and Reputations"Season 1 Episode 10
Canadian airdate: January, 6th, 2002
This episode was featured as "The Best of TV" by Solider of Fortune magazine, as well the winner of five Tony Awards--it's that good. This is an instant Degrassi classic.
Emma peers into a classroom and sees Coach Armstrong alone with Liberty. Normal people would see that and simply assume that Armstrong is tutoring Liberty. But Emma is far from normal, and suspects that Liberty and Armstrong are having sex.
Emma grows even more suspicious when she sees Armstrong hand Liberty a note. This can only mean that Armstrong really is fucking Liberty. There can be no other possibility. Emma's automatic sense of self-duty kicks in.
OK, ok, this next scene fucking makes Degrassi. This was the first scene to firmly cement the greatness that is Spinner. Sit down and take a few breaths before you read any further. It is recommended that pregnant women and people with heart problems should just stop reading and exit this page now.
It's another lunchtime in the caf. Spinner digs his fork into his squash AND FINDS AN EARWIG IN HIS FOOD! Spinner freaks out and flings the earwig into some girl's hair.
Spinner tells the Lunch Lady about the earwig, but since the bug is now gone, Spinner has no proof and Lunch Lady refuses to believe him. Great, now there's bugs running around the caf. It's now up to Spinner to protect the public health.
Next period, Spinner starts yelling "Boycott the Caf! It's full of earwigs!" to everyone in the hallway. Ms. Kwan approaches Spinner and asks if he has proof of this offending bug, and Spinner replies that he saw it. Ms. Kwan warns Spinner that the cafeteria can sue Spinner for defamation since he has no proof. What the hell kind of thing is that to say? Ms. Kwan is the adult Liberty.
Back to the original plotline, Terri overhears Emma talking to Manny about Armstrong and Liberty. Terri certainly can't keep her big mouth shut and spills the beans to Paige (You think that would have been a harder thing to do because Terri really likes her beans). Paige is aghast that Armstrong is touching Liberty and tells Hazel. That befuddled expression marks the first appearance of Paige's black sidekick.
You know black women can't help but gossip, so the news of Liberty and Armstrong's love affair spreads to every single student in the school. Soon the whole student body knows that Armstrong is fucking Liberty. Everyone except Liberty that is. When Ashley finally asks her about it, Liberty is freaked that everyone has found out that Armstrong is sticking it to her.
In the bathroom, Liberty pretends to upset in front of Emma, and claims that her relationship with Armstrong is just a rumor. What a liar. Liberty lied. But Emma buys the lie and offers to track down to where the rumor started. Emma, you started this rumor, you crazy chick.
Getting onto the awesome plot, Spinner shows Jimmy his master plan to prove that the caf is infested with earwigs. Spinner pulls out a tub of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. But instead of butter substitute, Spinner has filled the tub with earwigs he dug from the ground. Oh man, I Can't Believe It IS Earwigs. Spinner intends to plant the earwigs in the caf. Way to go Spinner, there is no way that plan could possibly fail.
Emma goes backwards through the rumor mill identifying each person who passed the rumor along. Good thing that apparently the only people who helped spread the rumor were main characters and Hazel. That helps save on the cost of hiring extras.
One thing you might notice here is how similar looking Spinner and Sean are. This was really confusing for me when I first started watching Degrassi, when I didn't know all of the characters. Watching this episode at various times, I wasn't sure which one of the two was Spinner. Sean would come by and I would be like: "Is that the guy who found earwigs in his food?" This led to us at Boycott the Caf giving Sean the name Fake Spinner, before we learned what his real name was. It makes sense though. Sean is cool, like Spinner, just not quite as cool.
Emma finds Hazel and Paige in the bathroom, thinking the two of them were the ones who started the rumor. Paige spends a lot of time in the bathroom. She must have the runs or something. Paige says Terri told her the rumor.
Emma corners Terri and yells at her for starting this rumor. Terri sticks her gut out to Emma and informs Emma that she overheard it from her. Emma learns she started the rumor and will have to face the music.
The girls are passed by a kid that has the longest doo rag I have ever seen, and I have seen, like, five doo rags in my life.
It's lunchtime, and time for Spinner to implement Operation: Earwig. This plan is so beautiful. What Spinner does is dump the earwigs on Ashley's food when she's not looking, expecting that will prove there is an infestation. What Spinner did count on was the fact that Ashley would notice her food was suddenly covered with a bunch of bugs when it wasn't a second ago.
Ashley grabs Spinner's tub of earwigs. Oh no. Spinner's been found out. How could that plan have not worked out? It was brilliant.
After lunch, Principal Raditch asks Armstrong and Liberty to come to his office. Emma follows them.
Principal Raditch tell Emma go away, this doesn't concern you. Emma then says she is involved. Raditch takes a look back at Armstrong thinking whoa, this guy gets around. Armstrong is confused, because he never remembered bringing Emma over to his house and having her help set up the video camera in his bedroom.
Emma confesses that she started this rumor. Armstrong and Liberty breathe a sigh of relief. Now their affair is a secret again.
Spinner has been sentenced to work at the caf until he has earned the $300 it will take to fumigate the caf of the earwigs. What's bullshit about this is that there really were earwigs in the caf.
Spinner was set up, I tell you. Jimmy must have been a man on the inside and ratted Spinner's plan out. Jerk. Spinner will get Jimmy back, though, in season 4 when he causes Rick to shoot Jimmy in the back paralyzing him. Spinner thinks in the long run.
In the closing scene, Emma tries to apologize to Liberty. When Emma asks why Armstrong and her were alone in that classroom, Liberty pulls out the excuse that she and Armstrong put together in case this happened. Liberty claims she has math dyslexia, which means she reads numbers retardedly. Emma buys this lie because she feels so guilty. Those are the consequences of rumours and reputations.
The lesson of this episode is how the good guy can get in trouble for doing what is right. Spinner was punished even though there were bugs in the caf. And Emma fell for Liberty's math dyslexia lie, which was a clever rouse to hide her and Coach Armstrong's sick love affair.
Not until next season, when Spinner gets a boner, will there be a better episode of Degrassi. For crying out loud, how many other shows would fucking think to have kid uncovering earwigs in the caf just like Spinner does? The Fairly OddParents is the only other show on right now that could have come up with an episode premise as awesome as this. Even having Liberty in it can't take away from how awesome this episode is.
I hope the writer for this show gets a lot of pussy.
Intensity Level: 100% Intense
BOYCOTT THE CAF! IT'S FULL OF EARWIGS!