Time Stands Still (Degrassi: The Next Generation)

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"Time Stands Still"
Degrassi: The Next Generation episode
Degrassi shooting.jpg
A humliated Rick getting revenge with a gun trying to shoot Emma.
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 7 & 8
Directed by Stefan Sciani
Production code 407 & 408
Original air date 5 & 12 October 2004 (Canada)
3 & 10 December 2004 (U.S.)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Islands in the Stream"
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"Back in Black"
Degrassi: The Next Generation (season 4)
List of Degrassi: The Next Generation episodes

"Time Stands Still" is a two-part episode of the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. It aired near the beginning of the fourth season, and originally aired on the 5 and 12 October 2004 in Canada, on the CTV Television Network. Despite being a two-part episode, many events were still unresolved until later in the season. The American teen network, The N, which aired first run episodes, was airing episodes two months later at the time.

Part two of the episode earned director Stefan Sciani, an award for "Outstanding Achievement in a Television Series - Family" at the Directors Guild of Canada Awards.

Background[edit]

Executive producer Aaron Martin wanted to deal with this subject since Degrassi: The Next Generation started. He said, "It wasn't an issue when the original Degrassi was on, and it's become much more of an issue in the last 10 years. And with any teen shows, there are only so many issues you can cover, and new ones are harder and harder to find."[1] The producers enlisted bullying expert Barbara Coloroso, who worked with the families of survivors of the Columbine High School shooting. "She gave us amazing insights into how (bullies) work and how this cycle of violence keeps happening over and over again", they said. The N aired public service announcements to warn of the episode's content.[2]

Synopsis[edit]

Summary[edit]

Part One[edit]

The episode starts out with best friends Spinner Mason and Jimmy Brooks bullying Rick, then throwing him into a dumpster. This bullying has been going on since Rick came back to Degrassi a year after putting his then-girlfriend Terri into a coma, with the students disapproving, and showing their disapproval by bullying him. Rick, however, has made friends with Toby and Emma, even developing a crush on her later. He's even on a popular quiz show "Whack Your Brain" with Toby and Emma. However, the bullying by others continue.

Rick gets revenge on Spinner for throwing him in the dumpster the next day, when he spray paints an 'X' on the door of Spinner's car. He also does this on Jay, another one of his bully's, car. Spinner, Jay, Jay's girlfriend Alex, and their friend Sean meet up and discuss the incident. Spinner says how he's going to tell Mr. Raditch, the principal, though Sean reminds him that if they tell him, he's going to want to know why Rick sprayed their cars. Spinner changes his mind on telling Mr. Raditch and assures his revenge on Rick.

Due to his intelligence, especially in sports, Jimmy is placed on the "Whack Your Brain" team after one of the contestants got sick with mono. Both Jimmy and Rick detest his decision, and Rick tried to go to Mr. Raditch to tell him to get Jimmy off the team. However, he is quickly dismissed by Mr. Raditch who says he can't force Jimmy to be friends with him, and for Rick to try and make a better relationship with him. Rick is discouraged by this, but he and Jimmy soon start to get along. Jimmy even defends him when Spinner, Jay, and Alex tried to bully him. Because of this, Rick mocks them and reminds them it was him who sprayed their cars. Spinner and Jay vow for their revenge.

The next day, Toby meets up with Rick at Rick's house, where Rick informs his mother how he, Toby, Emma, and Jimmy are inseparable, and how they will soon rule the school. Toby, however, does not believe him, but nevertheless hesitantly agrees with him. At school, Rick talks with Emma and compliments her encouraging words, hinting his crush on her. He then meets up with Jimmy and the two playfully talk about the upcoming quiz show. Paige, a popular girl and one of Rick's bullies since he was going out with Terri, insults his outfit, but with his new confidence, he brushes her aside.

At the quiz show, the Degrassi team is neck-to-neck with another school named Northern, but they soon win, mostly due to the help of Rick. For the final round, the team chooses Rick to go up. A short break follows, and Jimmy and Rick head to the bathroom.

In the bathroom, Jimmy compliments Rick's intelligence and they talk. Spinner and Jay enter and also compliment Rick, telling him how they're cool with him now. However, when Rick and Jimmy leave, Spinner and Jay talk about their prank they will put on Rick, Jay saying how Alex will set it up easily with no suspicion, since she is Student Council Vice-President.

In the final round, Rick gets most of the answers correct and beats Northern, thus winning the game. Emma, Toby, and Jimmy compliment him. However, while on stage, the prank including a bucket of yellow paint and feathers fall on Rick, and he is drenched with it. The audience laughs, and Rick stands there, frozen.

While leaving the school still in shock, Emma runs up to him to hand him the trophy. He says how the pranksters (unknown to anyone at the time) are life runners, but Emma assures him he's the smartest guy in school and how no one will forget that. Rick then kisses Emma to her disapproval, and she states she was only friends with him because she felt sorry for him, and for him to get a clue. Rick stands alone, stunned.

Rick goes home and discovers his parents are not there. He then pulls out a box from a drawer, opens it, and finds a hand gun. He takes off his glasses, shakes, and stares at it

Part Two[edit]

Rick comes back to school, still coated in the feathers and paint, after being humiliated during the "Whack Your Brain" contest. He has become the laughing stock of many people in the school, including JT and Danny. Toby Isaacs and Mr. Raditch, tell him to take the afternoon off, but Rick chooses to stay. Having plans to get revenge on his bullies, he goes after Paige first. However, Paige encounters him, and right when Rick was about to pull the gun out to shoot her, she tells him that she thought he prank was sickening and that she was sorry. Rick, because of this, does not take out the gun to shoot her and leaves. This, supposedly, was to end his rage, and he was not going to shoot anyone. However, while trying to clean himself up in the bathroom, Spinner and Jay trick Rick into thinking the prank was Jimmy's idea, and he recommits to revenge. He sees Jimmy in a now empty hallway afterwards and shoots him in the back, though Jimmy was unaware that Rick thought he set up the prank. The bullet in Jimmy's back severed his spine which paralyzes him.

Rick then sees Toby, Emma, and Sean, and is mad at Emma because she admits she never had feelings for him. He tells her that he thought she loved him, but she just played him, and that she "made his list". Sean tries to talk him out of shooting her, but to no avail. He points the gun at Emma, but Sean attacks him and tries to point the gun away. However, he accidentally shoots and kills Rick in the process.

The school is put on a lockdown, though the students are unaware of what happened. In Paige, Ellie, and Hazel's classroom, it's discovered that there was a shooting. Right after this, Hazel is pulled out of class and is informed that Jimmy, her then-boyfriend, was shot.

After a while, the lockdown ends and students are released from school. Jay assures Alex that they will be fine and that nobody will find out, though Alex is very regretful of her involvement. Spinner meets up with them and is filled with guilt and regret, telling Jay they need to know who did it, and how they could have killed Jimmy. Jay tells him not to tell anyone, and that it would be all right.

Toby and Emma leave the school and are greeted by their parents, and Toby finds out that Rick had died. They meet up at Emma's house and watch the news about the shooting, and Toby is so distraught by the fact that his friend shot someone and was going to shoot more people, so he goes to a candlelight vigil for Jimmy at Degrassi with Emma. The two tearfully embrace, and the episode ends.

Extended Overview[edit]

Sub-plot[edit]

Part One: The sub-plot starts with Joey, in his home, being told by his Realtor that his open house is the day after tomorrow and that he has to clean. He is desperate to sell his house, asking his Realtor, Helen, what else he can do besides clean to ensure the sale. While they're discussing the sale, Craig Manning walks down the stairs and says he is too sick for school. Joey agrees and tells Helen that their meeting's gone on too long and that he has to go to work. Helen seems upset that they didn't get to finish discussing the sale and Joey seems frustrated that Helen can't just get the house sold.

After work, Joey comes home to find his ex-girlfriend, Sydney at his house as a result of Craig calling her. Craig has told her about their money problems and Sydney wants to help Joey sell his home. Sydney ends up leaving since Joey seems practically speechless and somewhat upset about her being there suddenly.

The next day, Craig is just as sick but decides to go to school after Joey yells at him for calling Sydney. Joey feels embarrassed about his financial situation. Craig tells Joey that he called Sydney because she would at least sell the house for good money.

Sydney comes back to Joey's house after Joey decides that Craig was right about taking Sydney's help. Joey apologizes about how things ended with them. Sydney brushes his apology off and suggests he make an atmosphere for the open house using music and maybe baking a pie in the oven. Her expertise in real estate is already evident.

While cleaning up the house for the open house, Caitlin comes back from Africa and asks why Sydney's name is on his lawn.

Part One[edit]

The episode opens with Rick being bullied by Spinner and Jimmy who toss him into a dumpster. Following the opening credits, Spinner pulls up to school in his car and heads inside as the bell rings. Rick comes out from hiding with spray paint and vandalizes Spinner's car. Heading to class, Rick literally runs into Jimmy rounding a corner. They exchange words which Snake Simpson is witness to. Seizing an opportunity, Snake asks Jimmy to name the world's three longest rivers in order and asks a question about the NBA championships. Jimmy answers correctly and, as a result, is now one of Rick's team members for a trivia show called "Whack Your Brain". Heather Sinclair was supposed to be on the team but, according to Snake, she came down with mono.

Later in the day, Emma Nelson runs up to Toby and Rick who are walking together. She has index cards to study from for the contest and is about to quiz Rick on them when he announces that he's quitting. Emma replies that the finals are tomorrow and they discuss the fact that Jimmy has now joined the team. Toby encourages Rick to talk to Snake about the bullying, like he's said before, and to ask Snake to reconsider. But Rick doesn't want Jimmy to guess that it was him who got him kicked off the team. Emma encourages Rick to work with Jimmy on the team since Rick said he came back to Degrassi to show people's he's changed. Rick isn't convinced but Emma tells him that they need him on the team and smiles at him before leaving. Rick seems very flattered by this and smiles to himself.

Rick, encouraged by Emma and Toby, tries to talk to Mr. Raditch, the principal, about the fact that Jimmy is harassing him. Mr. Raditch does not take Rick seriously and seems to think that Rick is only upset that Jimmy is less-than-friendly toward him, even though this is not the first time Rick's approached him about it. Mr. Raditch tells Rick he needs to put effort into making friends with Jimmy and asks him to come back if anything serious happens. Throughout this talk, Mr. Raditch does not give Rick much room to tell him what's really happening but Rick isn't being forward about it either.

In the parking lot, Spinner and Sean Cameron find the damage done to Spinner's car and Jay and Alex pull up in Jay's also-vandalized car. They guess that the damage was done by Rick and Spinner wants to tell Mr. Raditch about it. Sean retorts that Mr. Raditch will want to know why Rick did it and Jay agrees. They decide to leave the principal out of it and to get Rick back another way.

While drinking at a water fountain, Toby is approached by Spinner, Alex, and Jay, who ask him where they can find Rick. Toby refuses to tell them and Jay pushes his head into the fountain head causing his lip to bleed. Arriving at the preparation for "Whack Your Brain", Toby is confronted by Snake about why he's bleeding but Toby brushes it off as a skateboard accident. Rick and Jimmy argue about who hurt Toby's lip, and Jimmy tells Rick to back off. Rick says he's been suffering for weeks and that no one deserves that. Jimmy seems affected by his words.

As they practice for the contest, Rick is answering all of the questions Snake throws at them until a sports question comes up. He puts his hand over his bell but doesn't answer, to let Jimmy answer the question instead. While leaving practice, Rick and Jimmy exchange compliments about their trivia skills. Alex, Spinner, and Jay approach them and pick on Rick. Jimmy stands up for Rick, telling them to give it a rest. While Rick, Emma, Jimmy, and Toby walk away, Rick turns around and makes an X with his arms, taunting Alex, Jay, and Spinner with what he did.

Toby comes over to Rick's house after school where Rick seems overjoyed over the events of the day. Rick's mom says that Rick told her that him, Jimmy, Emma, and Toby have become practically inseparable. Toby seems confused but goes along with it. Rick is feeling confident about winning Jimmy over.

The next day, Rick approaches Emma and thanks her for her advice about Jimmy, adding that she is his guide. Emma seems uncomfortable but smiles and replies that she's glad things worked out for him. Rick has a friendly talk with Jimmy about the competition when he comes into school and brushes off a tease about his suit from Paige Michalchuk.

During the "Whack Your Brain" contest, Rick answers a sports question that causes them to tie the game. Celebrating their tie, Rick hold Emma's hand too long for it to just be friendly. Emma yanks her hand away but Rick brushes it off. In the bathroom during the break before the tie breaker, Jimmy compliments Rick about knowing so much and Rick asks Jimmy why he didn't answer the sports question. Jimmy says he had a brain fart and that golf isn't a sport anyway. While about to leave the bathroom, Spinner and Jay come into the bathroom and compliment Rick about how much he knows, asking if Rick will do the lightning round (aka the tie breaker). Rick replies that he will, seeming confident but hesitates as he's about to walk between the two to leave. They tell Rick that things are cool between them now. Once Rick and Jimmy are gone, Spinner asks whether Alex will be able to set up the prank that they've planned for sure. Jay assures him she will have no problem.

Before playing his part of the lightning round, Rick whispers to Emma that it's all for her. Emma, once again, feels uncomfortable. Rick answers enough of the questions to beat the other team and win the game for Degrassi. The crowd cheers and Rick looks like his life is turning around, but while still in the center of the stage, yellow paint and feather drop down on him. The audience cheers turn silent and then turn into laughs. Rick seems mortified.

After the game, Emma approaches him to comfort him about what happened, saying that it just makes the other people look childish and telling him that he's the smartest person in Degrassi and no one will forget that. Already thinking Emma liked him, Rick grabs the back of Emma's head and tries to kiss Emma with more force than necessary. Emma is shocked and ends up telling him she only pitied him.

Rick returns home to an empty house and takes out a wooden box. Inside the box, lying in padding is what is presumed to be his father's gun. He removes his glasses and looks up before the episode ends.

Part Two[edit]

Rick heads to Degrassi, backpack in hand, despite being given permission to go home until everybody has calmed down and the issue has been resolved. Toby tells him this fact, but he responds that this is the one day he wants to be here. Mr. Raditch, the principal, also tells him he can go home. Seeing Paige, he reaches for the gun in his bag until Paige tells him that she thought that the prank was sickening, childish, and out of line. He puts the gun away, apologizes for hurting Terri, and leaves the cafeteria. Rick decides to forget his plans and places the gun in his locker.

Still covered in paint, he goes into a restroom and begins to clean up. When Spinner and Jay walk in to the same restroom, Rick hides and Spinner and Jay begin talking about the event. Noticing Rick is in one of the stalls, Jay turns the blame from themselves to Jimmy, and Spinner goes along with it, both of them implying the prank would have been impossible without Jimmy.

Rick approaches Jimmy, backpack back in his arms. He is unaware that Jimmy intends to find whoever did that and bring them to the Principal. Jimmy asks Rick how he's holding up and says he has Rick's back if anyone bothers him again. Rick replies, "You stabbed me in the back." Jimmy is confused, especially as Rick pulls the gun out of his bag. With the gun pointed at him, Jimmy freezes for a second, and backs away slowly. Jimmy turns to run away when Rick turned his head before firing. The bullet hits Jimmy in the back, knocking him to the ground. As other students are running away, Craig walks down the hall to see Jimmy lying on the floor. Rick finds Emma with Toby and Sean, and says that he is sorry he kissed Emma, the gun in his hand at his side. They turn to run away but Rick demands that they don't turn away from him. Rick starts saying how Emma flirted with him and made him think she care when really it was a lie. Sean calmly tries to reason with Rick, and tells Rick that it's just going to make his life worse, but Rick replies that it is too late because he already shot somebody. He lifts the gun, pointing it straight at Emma, but Sean gets in front of her and grabs the gun. While Rick and Sean wrestle with it, the gun goes off. Jimmy, Sean, and Rick are taken to the hospital.

Toby's stepmother, Kate Kerwin, (also Ashley Kerwin's mother), rushes to Degrassi and is allowed into the school to look for Toby and Ashley and is shocked at the site of Jimmy as she had been entering the building at the time as Jimmy was being taken out. Snake and Mr. Raditch argue that Rick's bullying was not taken seriously enough, while Spike comforts Emma. Emma says that she was horrified that Rick pointed the gun right at her head. Meanwhile, Joey and Caitlin rush over to Degrassi to look for Craig.

In class, Ashley, Paige, Hazel and Ellie remain confused and unnotified about the incident. Paige gets a phone call from her mother saying that she heard that there was a school shooting. Paige informs Ellie, Ashley and Hazel. Hazel glances at Jimmy's empty chair and notices that he is missing. Ms. Sauve suddenly arrives and asks to speak with Hazel. They go into the hall and she tells her that Jimmy had been shot and Hazel starts to panic and says that she needs to go. Ms. Sauve tells her not to leave and that the lockdown will be over soon, while Hazel cries on her shoulder.

Jay, Alex, and a clearly guilt ridden Spinner are in the halls talking about what happened with Jay telling Spinner that he thought it might have been him. Spinner responds that it was Jimmy, and knowing that someone will find out he wants to go tell. But Jay stops him and tells him that he needs to shut up. Into which Spinner responds that Jimmy's is his best friend. Jay tells him that if Jimmy lives or dies he was Spinner's best friend. Spinner tells Jay that they might have killed Jimmy and Rick.

Sean is eventually released with one of his arms in a sling, while Jimmy's condition is unknown. Toby is confronted by a news reporter as he tries to leave Degrassi and, upset about Rick's actions, he responds that he wishes he never met Rick and that there was nothing that he could have done. Not wavering, the reporter asks if Rick said anything before he died. Toby is shocked and has not yet discovered that Rick has died.

Later at their home, Ashley Kerwin, very upset about Jimmy being in the hospital, ends a conversation about Rick with, "...so who is this guy, if not some psycho?!" Toby is upset by this but is still torn between having been friends with Rick and the fact that Rick did something so horrible. Emma stands up for Toby saying that Toby and Rick were friends.

As appeared, Ashley remains upset that Jimmy has been shot, as does Craig Manning. Kate Kerwin, Spike, Snake, Joey and Caitin all seem to be in horror due to the previous events, Paige and Hazel are distraught as they look at Jimmy in the hospital bed from the window in the hospital. Also, Toby and Emma are upset but mostly shocked, Sean is honored as a hero but feels guilty and shocked, Ellie's feelings are unspecified, but it can be assumed that she is shocked as well, as she is later seen comforting Sean while they watch the news,Darcy Edwards is unseen in either episode therefore her feelings are unclear as well, seeing as she never knew why so many picked on Rick in the first place. JT Yorke and Danny Van Zandt are not seen after the shooting, just prior to it, so their reactions are unclear, Jay does not appear to be affected at all, Alex's feelings towards the event are not revealed yet, however, she tells Jay and Spinner that she should never have gotten involved in this, and Spinner is guilt-ridden for Jimmy, as he is seen crying many times.

A service organized by the students is held with candles and pictures of Jimmy and Rick, including a few pictures of Jimmy and Rick together. One picture is a collage of pictures of Jimmy and Rick with a one word statement "Why?," which states the feelings of why any student would shoot another one, and subtly asks why would a student shoot one of his friends. The episode ends with Toby and Emma staring at the collages and crying.

Absences[edit]

The following characters did not appear in either episodes, despite being regular characters that season.

Ratings[edit]

Part I was rated TV-PG-V in the United States, and Part II was rated TV-14-VL.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Degrassi' to Address School Violence". FoxNews.com. 3 December 2004. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ Rodman, Sarah (1 December 2004). "Tragedy 101: `Degrassi' pushes limits with school-shooting episode". Degrassi Online. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]