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This episode is part of the Sour 16 set of reviews.
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"Message in a Bottle"

Season 2 Episode 16
Canadian airdate: January 17th, 2003

Boycott the Caf name: "Sean Gets Drunk"
Important characters: Sean, Emma, Jimmy
Issue of the Week: Underage drinking

Degrassi The Next Generation episode thirty one

Emma is at Sean's tar and cardboard shack tutoring him when Sean's older brother, Tracker, comes in. Tracker just quit his job at the auto factory for some reason that is not explained to us, but has to do with his boss insulting Tracker's honor. Tracker silently tells Sean to take his tutoring session elsewhere because Tracker is going to use the shack for a gang bang, and Sean won't be old enough to join in for another year.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode thirty one

The next day is basketball practice, which I think takes place during school. If you are on a sports team in Degrassi, you get to skip class all the time, even more than non-student athletes skip class. Jimmy and Sean are both on the team but still mad at each other due to their fight last year, but then Spinner tells them to get along again so they do. Spinner grabs the two for a hug and makes then breathe in his armpits. That's part of his pre-game ritual to get the team energized. Spinner's armpit stink has more nutrients than Gatorade.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode thirty one

Sean has dinner at Emma's house with her family. They eat Japanese food and Emma apparently forgets that she is a vegetarian. Or maybe she considers fish a vegetable.

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Sean is sick as shit about all of Spike and Snake questions for him about his life and attempts to make friendly conversation, so he excuses himself to the kitchen. There he sees a bottle of vodka. Being kickass, Sean takes a big drink of the vodka. It is awesome because he does in within plain view of Snake and Spike. Look at the screencap on the right, you can see their heads behind Sean's arm. The door was also wide open. And even if they somehow didn't see him, they are still going to have to notice the smell. Vodka has a strong odor and Sean spilled some on his shirt. Spike and Snake are totally going to have to go out of their way as polite hosts to pretend to not notice all of that.

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A party is underway at Jimmy's mansion. Ashley and Terri show up because Ashley wants to get back together with Jimmy and Terri heard there would be free pizza. They are greeted at the door by Spinner, who is the life of the party as we see. A girl comes by an sprays him with whip cream so Spinner has to chase her down and do her in the butt. That's how the whip cream game works. Terri wishes she could play the whip cream game, but no one is willing to trust her with the spray can after the last time when she just locked herself in the bathroom with it and didn't come out until it was empty.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode thirty one

Ashley tries to talk to Jimmy, but Jimmy is interrupted by Jason Mewes, who is hanging around a 9th grade party and playing with Jimmy's CD player. But that is not a CD player, it is a futuristic time/space computation device, and Jimmy has to get Jason Mewes to stop playing with it before he rips a hole in the fabric of space. Jimmy is from the future, you know.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode thirty one

Back at the dinner, Spike says something to Sean which he takes as an insult about being poor and storms off in a drunken haze of drunkenness. Emma comes downstairs to find Sean gone and takes off after him. Check out Emma's funky zebra pants. She wore those specifically for the big dinner. Emma has a lot of nice pants that she doesn't wear in the later seasons because she grew out of them. The show should put her cool pants up for auction. I would so buy them to wear even though they'd be several inches too short and wouldn't fit around my waist. I don't care. If I am ever going to be able to sit at the cool kid's table at lunch and get Karen Kellyhart to go out with me, I need some little girl's crazy decorative pants. That'll work.

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Sean finds his way to Jimmy's party. Since Sean is drunk I am going to assume he had a hell of time trying to find the place. He probably banged on three other mansions for several hours before the owners chased him away and then took a dump on Jimmy's neighbor's front stoop.

Craig asks if Sean if he has been drinking. Craig is shocked, SHOCKED, I say, when he learns that Sean has been consuming alcohol. Oh the horror! I like that in the parallel universe Degrassi exists in totally separate from our own, it is out of the ordinary and downright unthinkable that a high school aged person would drink alcohol at a party. It appears that no one involved in the production of Degrassi ever had a social life while in high school.

That is when Sean sees a bottle of Jimmy's parent's liquor. Sean does the old high school trick of pouring the liquor into a soft drink bottle so no one will be the wiser. Except for the smell and the fact that the liquor is a completely different color from the soft drink.

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Jason Mewes is still at this party looking for some underage action. He walks up to Ashley and says, "You, me, destiny." Ashley is so turned off by the smell of marijuana and unwashed clothes that she wants to leave. But then Jimmy stops her and says they need to talk.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode thirty one

Emma comes to the party and tries to get Sean to stop drinking. Sean in dancing in the big crowd and drinking while jumping. Emma tries to grab the bottle from him and it shatters on the floor. Jimmy gets really pissed that Sean spilled that liquor. That was a special bottle of 2342 vintage Kr'tar wine given to his parents by the Klingon emperor. You can't get that stuff just anywhere.

Hey didja notice that the music stopped the instant the bottle shattered? I love that cliche. I wish they made CD players that could do that in real life. There's a party and two people are about to fight, the CD player knows to shut off. No more Toto to dance to. Jimmy's does that because his is from the future.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode thirty one

The next day, Jimmy and Ashley get back together and Sean is mad that he got drunk and now Jimmy hates him again. Whatever. If you ask me, Sean is spending too much time concerning himself with what Jimmy thinks of him and not enough time thinking about why Jimmy didn't congratulate him for making Jimmy's party awesome. In the real world, everyone loves the drunk kid at the party. He says funny things and makes the ugly girls feel appreciated. Really, as long as he is not one of those drunks who likes to grab and hit people, he can only be a plus for a party.

Of course in TV world, alcohol only has negative effects. Sean is lucky he did not get into a car accident and run over someone. That always happens to the kid who drinks, even if it just one sip. It may have happened in old Degrassi, though I don't care if it did. TV lies. Alcohol makes everything better: parties, sex, canoeing, church... You think I could dissect ever 100 plus episode of this ridiculous teen show without the help of liver altering substances?

Emma tries to make Sean feel better about last night. She is wearing her kickass dolphin pants, so you know she means business. The soothing image of the dolphins jumping up from the waves into a sky of rainbows calms Sean down and helps him think of pleasant things. He won't look again for a message in a bottle.

Rating: B+
A Sean episode is always a good one. Except around season 6 when he starts crying a lot. What a woman. Let's laugh at him for having feelings.

Intensity Level: 92% Intense
Getting hammered at dinner with your girlfriend's parents is intense. And Sean drank a hell of a lot last night. I bet he did around a liter of hard liquor in two hours, most of it straight. That's hardcore, double for the fact that Sean is in middle school.

"Message in a Bottle" Drinking Game:
Tell you what, take a drink every time Sean takes a drink. If you think you are man enough. You aren't.
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