Spinner Mason

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Gavin "Spinner" Mason
Degrassi: The Next Generation character
Gavinmason.jpg
Gavin "Spinner" Mason portrayed by Shane Kippel
First appearance Family Politics (episode 1.03)
Last appearance The Rest of My Life, Part 4
(episode 9.23)
Portrayed by Shane Kippel
Information
Nickname(s) Spinner, Spin
Occupation student
manager of The Dot
Family Kendra Mason (adopted sister)
Father (deceased)
Mother
Christine "Spike" Nelson (mother-in-law)
Archie "Snake" Simpson (father-in-law)
Spouse(s) Emma Nelson (season 9 on)

Gavin Reginald "Spinner" Mason, is a fictional high-school graduate in Degrassi: The Next Generation, portrayed by Shane Kippel.

Characterization[edit]

Originally depicted as the school "bully" in season one. He developed more into a jock in season two and three. Next he grew his hair long and started playing in a band with Craig, Jimmy and Marco and became a rocker/rebel and has kept the persona throughout the rest of the show. He could also be recognized as a class clown, because usually when there is a part with Spinner in it, there is always something to laugh at. While not characterized as an unintelligent character, he is mainly shown to be of average intellect. A running gag in the series is that he often confuses words that sound similar, such as calling Ms. Kwan the pain of his existence rather than the bane, and saying the peace club meeting was boring people into submersion rather than submission. He is also shown to be, with the exception of the story he told to Rick before Jimmy's shooting, an inept liar, as both Jane and Jimmy are shown to be able to read him with ease. His nickname Spinner derives from his ADHD hyperactivity, most likely given to him by his mother, when he was off his meds he would "spin" out of control.

He comes from a poor family and lives as a juvenile with his mom and adoptive sister, Kendra. It is revealed in season 7 that his dad had died from lung cancer, although it is not clear when that happened, but must have been between season 4 and season 6.

His best friend in the first several seasons is Jimmy. Spinner's actions led in part to Jimmy becoming a paraplegic, but eventually Jimmy forgave Spinner.[1] In later seasons, Spinner became best friends with Jay Hogart. Their respective wife and fiancé, Emma Nelson and Manny Santos, have been each other's closest friend since elementary school. Ironically, Emma and Manny each had a prior brief tryst with Jay and Spinner, respectively.

Storylines[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Spinner took a liking for Terri. However, after a school dance in which Terri—who liked Spinner back—becomes intoxicated by Paige, his liking for her dissolves.

Also in season 1, Spinner assists Jimmy in buying condoms, and boycotted the cafeteria when he discovered an earwig in the food.

Also, in an attempt to boost Jimmy's performance during a basketball game, he gave Jimmy one of his Ritalin pills, which he took to help his ADHD. However, the lack of medication caused Spinner's ADHD to go into overdrive during the game, and he eventually moons the student body. Both Jimmy and Spinner are penalized for their actions.

Season 2[edit]

When Toby began to get interested in a young Chinese girl named Kendra, Spinner asked him about her and it was revealed that Kendra was Spinner's adopted sister and he warned Toby to stay away from her, Toby began to blow Kendra off and ignore her, until she asks him why they can't just be friends and she then found that Toby was afraid of Spinner, so she dropped him for being a coward. Later, Toby goes to talk to Kendra, but finds her with Spinner. Toby stands up to Spinner, this infuriates Spinner, but he comes to realize that he likes his sister, so he tells Toby as long as he doesn't break her heart then they are cool.

Season 2 saw Spinner begin to take an interest in Paige, but was insulted when she canceled a date with him to be with Dean at a party. However, when he discovered that Dean had raped her, Spinner attacked him. Paige and Spinner begin a relationship after this point.

Also in season 2, Spinner became jealous of Jimmy's wealth, so when Jimmy brought his new MP3 player to school, Spinner stole it and attempted to sell it to another student. Jimmy catches Spinner and confronts him about it. Spinner later apologizes and returns the MP3 player. However the two don't reconcile until the beginning of season 3.

Spinner and Paige then go for the end of the year "Luau" dance, to be crowned King and Queen, challenging Jimmy and Hazel, but lose to Craig and Ashley.

Season 3[edit]

As an anniversary present to Paige, Spinner attempts to find her a desired locker in the halls of Degrassi after she receives one that is less-than-acceptable. After making promises to numerous people, making a fool of himself and Paige in front of the class, and an argument with Paige, Spinner gets her the locker of her desires. Also, Spinner joins Craig's band on drums in season three.

Spinner begins to realize that not only is Marco not showing an attraction to girls, but that he's also homophobic. He tries to set Marco up on a date with Hazel, since he heard that Marco and Ellie broke up, Marco then [reluctantly] agrees. After a disastrous double date between Spinner, Paige, Marco and Hazel in which Marco walks out on them, Spinner approached Marco and demanded an explanation for his actions. Marco admits that he is gay, which greatly upset Spinner, causing him to act very homophobic, even hitting Marco repeatedly with a volleyball in gym class. Spinner writes on the bathroom wall "Marco is a fag!", Jimmy catches him and asks him if he was going to write something about Jimmy being black. Jimmy also later tells Spinner that he just has to accept the fact that Marco is gay. Marco is gay bashed by a group of men on Toronto's Church Street. At first Spinner is unsympathetic to Marco's plight only thinking that he got beat up for no reason, but when Marco sees what Spinner wrote on the wall, he confronts him and tells him that they bashed him because they hate homosexuals, just like Spinner, which makes Spinner feel like he was just as bad as they are. Spinner still feels homophobic.

When Jimmy invites Spinner over to his house to study, he also invites Marco, which Spinner thinks is not cool because they are staying overnight. At the sleep over, Spinner gets the idea that Marco likes him, he bluntly tells Marco how he feels, and Marco tells him that he is not attracted to him in anyway. The next day, Spinner thanks him for helping him on the test and Spinner then cools down on being homophobic.

In the Christmas special episode "Holiday" when Craig is cheating on Ashley with Manny, Spinner catches the two kissing in a lobby at the skating rink and doesn't feel offended that Craig is cheating. Spinner later tells Craig that for Spinner to be cheating is wrong but for Craig it is not, because Spinner has Paige, and thinks she is the one, but for Craig he is sampling girls and is "a big stud".

When Jimmy, Hazel, Spinner, Paige, Terri and Rick go to the park, everyone is reluctant that Rick is coming. Paige and Terri have a fight about Rick, who had previously abused Terri. Terri then leaves and the two find Rick leaning over Terri's body after Rick threw her on a cinder block giving her a head injury. Later Paige blames Spinner for the incident because Spinner felt if they left Rick behind then they would leave Terri behind too, but Spinner blames Paige because she told Terri to "go off" with him, which led Terri into the hospital. Spinner finds Rick outside Degrassi and ruthlessly threatens him but not before Rick's mom pulls him off.

When Marco is becoming more attracted to Paige's older brother Dylan, who is also gay, Spinner gets over his homophobia and helps Marco get him a date with Dylan.

Season 4[edit]

In the season 4 opener, Spinner gets a new car which he has been saving up for since mid-season 3. After Paige becomes infuriated when she lost her trial against rapist Dean due to a lack of evidence, she uses Spinner's car to crash into Dean's. In the beginning, Spinner takes the blame for the damage, but Paige eventually confesses to the crime and offers to pay for the damages of Spinner's car.

During a Degrassi-run car wash, Spinner and Manny realize there's a spark between them after they find themselves flirting with one another. This, however, creates jealousy for Manny's ex-boyfriend Craig, which eventually leads to a brawl between him and Spinner. When Paige finds out the motive of the fight, she breaks off her relationship with Spinner, upset that Spinner was fighting for Manny. Spinner and Manny then begin a relationship over the summer.

Later in season 4, Degrassi sees a team of students compete on the televised student trivia show, "Whack Your Brain". One such team member was Rick, former boyfriend of Terri and generally disliked student of the student body. After Spinner, Jay, and Alex successfully pull an on-screen prank on Rick involving yellow paint and feathers, Spinner and Jay frame Jimmy for the incident. Rick later returns, armed with a gun, to Degrassi, and shoots Jimmy in the back, which inevitably confines him to a wheelchair. After a scuffle with Sean, Rick is shot with his own gun. After the shooting, Spinner admits to Jimmy that he framed him for the prank, which results in Jimmy and all his friends alienating Spinner. He also admits the truth to Principal Hatzilakos, which inevitably gets himself and Jay expelled from Degrassi. Spinner and Jay then got drunk and Spinner went to Craig's house, where Marco, Jimmy, Hazel, Paige and Craig were. He attempts to apologize to Jimmy in a very drunk way. After Jimmy rejects his apology, Spinner tries to commit grand theft auto by stealing Craig's keys to his car. Jimmy stops him and tells him that he is dead to him already.

Spinner begins to feel hatred for Degrassi and all of his friends, so he and Jay break in the school at night. They tear everything apart in the school. After looking at the new yearbooks, he sees pictures of him and his friends with headlines saying "Friends Forever". Enraged he takes lighter fluid and pours it on the yearbooks and attempts to burn the school down, not until Jay stops him. Spinner goes back to school the next day to get signed up for summer school.

Season 5[edit]

After Spinner was expelled from Degrassi in the previous season, he attempted to better himself by going to summer school courses. Because of his desire and motivation to return to Degrassi, Spinner is permitted to return and repeat the 11th grade. However, his friends still resent his past actions and he remains friendless. However, Darcy invited him into the Friendship Club, a Christian student organization run through the school. Spinner then became a born-again Christian and began dating Darcy. Because the Friendship Club (and inevitably Darcy) believed in virginity until marriage, Spinner was forced to hide his past with Manny from Darcy. Later, Jay attempts to manipulate Darcy into having sex with Spinner, however when Spinner learns of this, he confronts Jay and cuts him out of his life, though the two later becomes friends again.

In the episode "I Against I," Spinner and Marco become friends again, but Linus, the leader of Friendship Club, convinces Spinner that Marco's Safer Sex campaign must be stopped because it goes against their beliefs. Spinner, lost for friends, loses Marco's friendship again because Spinner sided with Linus. Linus is later found out to be intolerant of homosexuals and is rejected by Spinner. At the end of the episode, Marco forgives Spinner again, realizing how lost he feels over the things in his life that have gone wrong. As the season advances, Spinner eventually regains the trust and forgiveness of all this friends, but Jimmy still refuses to associate with him.

In "High Fidelity, Part Two," Spinner goes to Paige's house to tell her that he and Darcy are back together, but she reveals to him that she never blamed him for the Jimmy incident. Confused with the acceptance, Spinner and Paige have sex. The next night, Darcy finds this out through Spinner's text messages, which he sent to Marco for help. Heart-broken, Darcy breaks up with him. At the end of the episode, Jimmy apologizes to Spinner for blaming everything on him and their friendship is rekindled.[1]

Season 6[edit]

The season begins with Darcy and Spinner rekindling their relationship. However, when Spinner disapproves of some risqué photos Darcy had been posting on her MyRoom Page profile, the two break up.

Also in this season, Spinner's renewed friendship with Jimmy is tested when the two begin selling t-shirts designed by Jimmy. Jimmy is unsure if they had made the right move, however the venture takes off and does surprisingly well in the beginning. Their store is later robbed and Spinner saves Jimmy from harm, but the robbery incident further cements Spinner and Jimmy's friendship. The two decide to keep the business moving, and they hire Paige as their business manager.

Paige and Spinner begin seeing each other casually, but after Spinner wants things to become more serious, the two end their relationship and return to platonic friends.

Season 7[edit]

After a scuffle with Johnny in the cafeteria at school, Spinner is warned by Ms. Hatzilakos about the breaking the school's zero-tolerance policy regarding violence, and suggests that he join the school's new peace group, which Spinner eventually convinces new-girl Jane to join. Later, Spinner stops another fight in the school yard between Liberty, Danny, and a Lakehurst student (Lucas) who taunted them about JT's death.[2]

Jane and Spinner eventually go on a date, but after he's teasingly prodded in the abdomen by her, Spinner hastily leaves the date in pain, unwilling to admit to her that he's been having health problems. After experiencing more intense pains from his groin, Spinner reluctantly visits a doctor and learns that he has a lump in one of his testicles, which later learns is testicular cancer. Unable to handle the news well, Spinner takes a bad turn and begins fighting various Lakehurst students, ensuring that the fights are filmed and uploaded to the Internet. Jane disapproves of this, and keeps her distance from Spinner for a while.[3]

The oncologist recommends Spinner undergo surgery to remove his testicle, followed by chemotherapy. Spinner reluctantly agrees before shaving his head into a Mohawk. After another filmed fight, Mr. Simpson and Ms.Hatzilakos warn Spinner that if he continues fighting and having people post the videos online, the police will get involved. Spinner and Johnny eventually fight again, resulting in fines by the police. Jane and Spinner eventually reconcile.

Spinner later gets the operation, but has bad side effects to the chemotherapy. When Jay recommends marijuana, Spinner rejects the idea at first, but eventually becomes reliant on the drug to ease his nausea. He also begins to hang out with ex-girlfriend Darcy. However, after realizing his priorities, he gives up the drug and returns to Jane.

Also in season 7, Spinner, ecstatic that his cancer is in remission, is determined to pass exams with Jimmy's help. But, when a great opportunity comes to Spinners band, a problem comes up. He doesn't know if he should stay in high school with Jane and the Studz,his band, or study hard with Jimmy, graduate high school, but have no real plans. Against the advice of Jimmy and Jane, Spinner decides to take the opportunity for his band, which ends up being a poor decision. He attempts to take his science exam without studying, but is saved midway through when Jimmy pulls the fire alarm, therefore postponing the exam for another four days.

In the season finale, Spinner kept his promise to Jimmy and is able to walk across the stage for his diploma and graduate.

Season 8[edit]

At the beginning of season 8, Spinner is still working at The Dot and is continuing his relationship with Jane. Because of financial issues at home, Holly J. is hired to work at The Dot as well, and after a rocky beginning, the two bond when Holly J. opens up about her regrets in the past. Spinner has decided to become a police officer for his career, but that idea is shattered when his application for police college is rejected. However, when telling Jane the news, he lies and tells her he got in, a lie he continued for quite some time. Jane eventually hears the truth, however, through Holly J. Spinner and Jay both get drunk and he goes to Jane's house to apologize to her but she doesn't accept it because he was drunk. Later he goes to Jane's speech about being the only girl on the football team but he faked another guy's identity to get into the banquet. There he proposes to Jane but she declines it. he later goes to the dance thanks to Jay and Holly J. there the two make up and go over their plans for the future. In Danger Zone (818) Spinner is shot during a robbery at the Dot by a former Lakehurst Student, and is saved by Holly J. In the same episode Holly J. reveals a crush on Spinner, although Spinner is flattered he says he and Jane have too good of a thing going on.

Season 9[edit]

After Peter's meth incident in Just Can't Get Enough (Part 2) (902), Spinner moves into Peter's loft. Spinner is excited to have his own place and wants to share that experience with his girlfriend Jane. He makes Jane the lead singer of the band after its members kick Peter out due to his drug use. Feeling that Spinner is moving too fast in their relationship and worrying about their separation when she goes to college, Jane falls for Declan Coyne and ends up cheating on Spinner in Close To Me (904). When Holly J. finds out about Jane and Declan, she reminds Jane that Spinner has always been there for her and that he supported her when she was dealing with issues in her family. Feeling guilty for betraying Spinner, Jane ends things with Declan.

In Holiday Road (913), Spinner is invited to Emma Nelson's barbecue. He reluctantly leaves to feed his turtle when Emma finds him eating meat with her boyfriend Kelly, who is supposed to be a vegetarian. After she breaks up with Kelly, Emma goes to the Dot and she tells Spinner to get her a Double Dot Burger with Bacon and Fries, feeling depressed over her breakup with Kelly and her unsuccessful attempt to maintain good grades and a social life at university. He admits that he was upset when he was the only one out of his friends not to go to college and follow a specific dream, but that he is happy because if he didn't go to college he wouldn't be with Jane and have an awesome year.

Degrassi Takes Manhattan[edit]

In the Degrassi season 9 finale movie, Degrassi Takes Manhattan, Spinner and long-time girlfriend Jane Vaughn are already having troubles when she reveals she wants to go to Stanford in the fall rather than stay in Toronto like they'd agreed. After some encouragement from best friend Jay, Spinner decides she's worth staying with, even if it will take a lot of work to stay together through a long-distance relationship. However, later at a pool party thrown by Declan Coyne, he overhears Jane and Holly J talking about how she successfully cheated on him with Declan and how happy she was that they could get past it without him ever having to know. Hurt and brutally heartbrokened, he breaks up with her in front of party-goers, punches Declan in the face, and tells her he hopes she has a good life, far away from him.

Meanwhile, Emma Nelson had returned to town and gets a job at The Dot for the summer while she waits to go to Toronto University in the fall. While Spinner is at the pool party, she's left in charge with only one warning not to serve any hot food without him there to make it. However, thanks to encouragement from Jay Hogart and best friend Manny Santos she gives in and tries to use the sandwich grill, unfortunately starting a fire in The Dot that quickly escalates, causing the diner to blow up.

Set on making it up to Spinner, Emma works to regain his friendship and make up for her mistake. Tracking him down, she plays a basketball game with him, offers to listen to his relationship woes and genuinely tries to make him feel better. Mourning his lost job and cheating ex, Spinner spends most of his time in his loft, drowning in junk food and watching TV. Getting him out of his funk, Jay, Manny and Emma playfully kidnap him and drag him out to a Niagara Falls casino for some fun. Left alone, Emma and Spinner play blackjack, winning more than $2,000 thanks to Emma's 'take chances' outlook on the game. Sharing their first kiss after Spinner declares that the night can't get any better, the two are well on their way to a blooming relationship. The following morning brings some confusion when, after a drunken night of spontaneity, the two wake to find they married at the casino's chapel.

Not quite sure what to do after they find out that their nuptials were legally binding, they consider divorce, which Jay informs them can be quick and easy thanks to a lawyer uncle of his. However, the two ask to be left alone to talk it over and come to the conclusion that while the wedding may have been a mistake, they don't want what they have to end. Winding up in bed with him once more, Emma wakes to find Spinner making her eggs for breakfast. But when she finds a box of Jane's things in his apartment, Emma worries he is not yet over his ex-girlfriend and that she is just a rebound. Deciding that they'll get a divorce, she contacts Jay's uncle and they meet to sign the papers. Unwilling to let it end, Spinner lets her know the box holding everything of Jane's has been thrown out and after explaining to her that while he's never been a person for change, he's happy his life has if only because it brought her into his life. Exchanging 'I love you's', they agree that some good could come from their accident, decide to pawn her ugly $2,000 wedding ring, and throw a beach wedding with friends and family.

Finding out about their nuptials through Spinner, Jane decides to come back from New York to stop him, going so far as to steal Declan's car to return to Toronto because she believes Spinner is making a huge mistake. However, when she enters his tent as he gets ready for the wedding, she stops herself, realizing that he's happy. Instead of ruining his wedding and asking him to return to New York with her, she tells him to be happy with Emma and kisses him goodbye.

Happily, Spinner recommits himself to Emma and together they celebrate their nuptials amongst supporters.

Relationships[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "High Fidelity: Part 2". Degrassi: The Next Generation. Season 5. Episode 19. March 20, 2006.
  2. ^ "Death or Glory, Part 1". Degrassi: The Next Generation. Season 3. Episode 705. November 2, 2007.
  3. ^ "Death or Glory, Part 2". Degrassi: The Next Generation. Season 3. Episode 706. November 9, 2007.