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"Queen of Hearts"

Season 4 Episode 17
Canadian airdate: January 17th, 2005

Boycott the Caf name: "Euchre Episode"
Important characters: Ellie, Alex, Paige, Mr. O
Issue of the Week: Euchre

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Ellie has been living alone in Sean's apartment since Sean moved away. She has been doing alright on her own, but that guy from The Shield wants his rent money and Ellie doesn't have it. Also her pet ferret chewed on an electrical cord and died. The ferret committed suicide rather than live another day with Ellie. The same story as Ellie's younger brother. No one wants to be with Ellie, they always make a break for freedom whenever they see the chance. That is why Ellie lives alone.

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Ellie has a monthly dinner with her drunk of a mother. This is when her mom gives her the rent money. Ellie's mom has to pay Ellie to stay away from her. Ellie's mom might want Ellie to come live with her again, but Ellie has a habit of always telling her mom that she hates her. Come on Ellie, your mom is the only person who remotely likes you, you should make more of an effort to be nice to her. Don't take every time you meet her to tell her how much she sucks. Did Ashley teach you how to be such a cold bitch?

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Marco and Ellie have a funeral for the ferret. Ellie's touch = death. She will suck the life out of anything, human or ferret.

Ellie mentions how no one wants to be with her when she tells Marco "Please, the only other person who want to be with me right now-my mother." She begs Marco to not leave her. Having nothing else to do, Marco decides to be nice and teach Ellie the card game euchre because the euchre craze is sweeping Degrassi. Marco shows Ellie the ropes, but then he tells her that going alone will net you two points. What kind of bullshit are you peddling? Going alone in euchre is worth four points, not two Marco. Is that some Canadian variation of the game? It's a stupid variation. Going alone should be worth more than two points or there is no reason in risking going alone.

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In the B plot arena, Paige has started her secret relationship with the teacher's assistant, Mr. O. They make out in the sexiest place in school, the janitor's closet. This is because they have to hide their relationship. If they don't, Mr. O will get fired since teachers and students cannot make out with each other. Tell that to Liberty and Coach Armstrong. Or Mr. Simpson and Toby.

While they are making out, Jimmy, Ellie, Craig and Alex bang on the door because they are skipping class* to play euchre. Not able to get into the closet, they decide to head for the basement. I suppose they broke into the service elevator since there'd be no other way to get Jimmy down there.

*They are skipping French class. Hey kids, if you aren't going to do your part for Canadian unity maybe you don't deserve a country of your own.

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Down in the basement, the Scooby gang play some high stakes euchre. $20 Canadian a game. That's like playing the nickel slots at a casino to our American readers. Jimmy wanted to play strip euchre, but no one else was up for it because it would take to long to get Jimmy's pants off.

I have a very big problem with this scene. As you recall, in the previous episode, Spinner was ostracized by all his friends and then expelled for dumping the paint on Rick. He admitted what he did and paid a big price. But here are three people, Craig, Ellie, and--most importantly--Jimmy, who are all hanging out with Alex. Alex was the person who dumped the paint on Rick. She physically pulled the rope or whatever it was that dumped the paint. This made Rick bring a gun to school. If you are going to blame Spinner and Jay for Jimmy getting shot, you have to blame Alex as well.

Ok, even if you want to justify people being friends with Alex by saying that she didn't tell Rick that Jimmy was to blame for this, you still must remember that Spinner and Jay weren't expelled for that. They were expelled for dumping the paint on Rick. Why Spinner didn't rat out Alex, I don't know. But the fact remains that Principal Hotass would expel Alex as well if she knew about it. Alex isn't going to admit she had anything to do with Jimmy's condition. She don't care. Alex has no conscious.

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Tired of having to find places to sneak away to kiss, Paige wants to make out in Mr. O's apartment. It is the only way he can finger her without them risking being seen. But Mr. O won't let her come to his apartment. Manny has figured out that they are seeing each other, because if you are making out in a 3 mile radius of Manny, she will sense it.

Manny believes the reason Mr. O will not let Paige come to his apartment is because he is cheating on her, possibly with a girl who lives in his building. Manny is cynical about men cheating after her troubles with past boyfriends. Craig was two-timing with Ashley last year, and Spinner slept around all the time for the week or so they were dating. Though with his haircut, the only girls interested in him were lesbians.

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Ellie and Alex have teamed up to play Dylan's hockey team in a euchre night. I forget why, I think Ellie wants to win enough money to pay rent on her own for now on without having to eat dinner once and a while with her mom. There is a lot of money that can be won tonight. Making a living for yourself as a professional gambler is a really cool way to go about life. Way too cool for Ellie to attempt.

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That's a big pile of money. Must be about five or six dollars American. Ha ha. Belittling Canadian currency will never stop being funny, no matter how low the American dollar falls.

Over a cup of Crush, Ellie asks Alex to move in with her. Alex points out she is poor so cannot afford rent. Alex tells Ellie to stop being such a fucking jerk to her mother and move back in with her. Ellie reminds Alex that her mom set their house on fire. Alex is like "So?" Alex points out that Ellie's mom has quit drinking and is doing everything she can to be nice to Ellie and make up for everything, but Ellie is just being an evil cunt to her. Alex then smashes the claw end of a hammer into Ellie's forehead and farts on her belly. No, wait, that last part just happened in a dream of mine.

Alex then wins the big pile of money for her and Ellie by going alone on a hand. Now Ellie can pay rent for awhile and Alex can buy a pallets worth of Snickers.

This episode repeatedly mentions that Alex is a very aggressive and skilled euchre player. I would like to point on that there isn't that much skill involve in euchre. It's like 99% a game of luck. There may be certain strategies to poker or blackjack, but euchre is almost entirely the luck of the deal. Yeah, you have to know what you are doing, but once you learn how the game works, play a few hands, and are able to track what other people might be holding, you are as good as everyone gets. Going alone, like Alex did, isn't the mark of skill. If I got a royal flush in poker, I might look like a hotshot, but that may just be luck. But royal flushes are extremely rare, while a hand you can go alone on (the royal flush of euchre) can easily happen more than once a game. If you play a euchre night like these kids did, you will see players going alone quite often.

So, Alex isn't a skilled player as much as she just might make scary faces and intimidate people. That sounds about right.

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Meanwhile, Paige barges into Mr. O's apartment, expecting to find that Mr. O is cheating on her. He's not, the thing is his apartment is very poor and he didn't want to bring Paige to it because it would embarrass him. And she would get covered in dripping toilet water. I think this idea already was an episode of Seinfeld. Elaine dated a poor guy. She originally thought he was a superhero. Remember that one? How about the one where they were waiting in the Chinese restaurant? And the one where George got the job with the Yankees? Then there was the one where Kramer got his first erection?

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Ellie took Alex's verbal bitch slap to heart and decides to move back in with her mother. Ellie's mom has stopped drinking since she ran out of money so everything will be cool for awhile. Except for the fact that Ellie's dad still hasn't come back from his military deployment overseas. Does anyone knew what happened to him?

Well anyway, you'll always win with the queen of hearts.

Rating: D
Check it out, we had a euchre episode. This is kind of cool since I enjoy playing euchre. I also thought for the longest time that euchre was a game only people in Upper Michigan knew about. Then I come to find out people in Toronto play it as well. Maybe it's a Great Lakes thing.

Other than that, I did not like this episode. Ellie episodes are boring and pretentious anytime Ellie isn't cutting herself. Ellie has an attitude I don't like. That must have been why she couldn't get on student welfare while she was living alone. This episode would have gotten an F, but I enjoyed the Paige plot a bit. I guess I can't rate an episode too low when it has Paige making out with a poor person.

Intensity Level: 8% Intense
The is Mr. O cheating angle wasn't intense, because either way it could turn out, you just didn't care. The Ellie plot sure didn't have an intensity. Big deal, a card game against gay people. The only remotely intense part was in the beginning when it looked like Ellie might get beat down by the guy from The Shield.

"Queen of Hearts" Drinking Game:
Drink whenever Alex bobs her head from side to side. She does that every time she talks. Alex is half pigeon.

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