“Degrassi: Next Class” fails queer women with misguided Zoe and Grace storyline

How do you even wrap up an episode like that? Apparently by having Zoe finish their project alone. She created a video that shows a glammed up version of herself kneeling by Grace’s gravesite. It’s pretty morbid, so of course Grace likes it. “You don’t suck as much as most people,” she proclaims. We’ll see about that.

In the meantime, there’s a lot that happens with characters we don’t care about it. It’s only worth mentioning because in between all that we get throw away lines from Tristan like, “You can eat Grace’s muffin later,” and shots of Zoe showing up to support Grace at her gigs, yelling “Yeah, Grace!” Precious moments, indeed.

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Now back to our lesbian-scheduled programming: Zoe’s mom is driving the girls to school and being completely ignored by both of them. They’re texting each other even though they’re sitting asscheek-to-asscheek. I guess Zoe’s mom was able to pick up a lot from the giggles, because before she sends her daughter off she warns her: “That girl has a crush on you.” I can see it. Zoe’s mom can see it. Do the Degrassi writers really not see it?

Then Zoe’s mom says, “You don’t want people to think you’re gay.” You’ve lost me, lady. Zoe later describes her mom as a “strict Roman Catholic” who would disown her if she found out about her feelings for Grace. We’ll have to wait and see what that means for Zoe in the future.

Moving on, somehow this interaction has made Zoe think she needs to meet her dad because it’ll make the whole gay thing make sense. The problem is, she doesn’t know who her dad is. But she has a guess: David Sutcliffe, a.s in the actual actor who played Rory’s dad on Gilmore Girls. You’re about 10 years off the relevancy factor, Degrassi, but sure, run with it.

Once upon a time, Zoe’s mom was an extra on Gilmore Girls. As a consequence of this, she’s always hinted that she and David put his trailer to good use (I guess she wasn’t more of a Luke girl). Naturally, Zoe thinks she’s inherited her acting genes from daddy David and wants to track him down. Tristan decides he’s not going to be a good gay and won’t tag along with his determined friend. Fortunately, Grace overheard the conversation and volunteers to help Zoe get proof of paternity. “I miss my friend,” she reasons. Puh-lease! That girl’s actual friend just jumped ship because this idea is ridiculous.

It’s full steam ahead, though. David is shooting a movie in town, and so the girls sneak into his trailer looking for anything that’s got his DNA on it. He catches them, of course, and throws around some crap about how a new generation of fangirls have emerged since Gilmore Girls went up on Netflix. Grace stops him before I can: “I don’t even know who you are.”   

D7He’s not Zoe’s dad. He’s never slept with any extras. But the one thing he’s good for is telling Zoe (with Grace gone by now) that it’ll be okay and that she shouldn’t live her life for her mom. “It’s your life, not hers. And you can only ever make yourself happy.” Preach!

Well, none of this makes Zoe feel better. After all, she’s got a mean mom and still doesn’t know where on earth her dad is. Which in her angst-ridden teenage brain means she has “no one.” Grace isn’t going to let that slide. Zoe has her, the “girl who just broke into a TV star’s trailer for you.” Can someone please tell this girl that “just friends” don’t do that?!

Zoe clearly thinks the same thing, because she kisses her. For her part, Grace isn’t heavy with the reciprocation, but she doesn’t push her off either. She just looks a little confused. Which, really?

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But not long after that, Grace is all confidence and smiles. Suddenly, Zoe is coming over for a Netflix hangout. We all know what that means.

And I’ve been harping on them, but credit to the writers for this resulting witty piece of back and forth:

Grace: I heard there’s this amazing doc about a California cult.

Zoe: Sounds super romantic.

Grace: Is that what you want? A romance?

Zoe: Don’t you?

Don’t you, Grace? Don’t you?! We’ll never know how she would’ve answered because her friend Zig barges in at that exact moment and ruins their date. Zoe is visibly pissed, but it’s Grace who voices what we’re all thinking: “I think you’re in the wrong place.”

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