Hiya, fellow Degrassians! Welcome to Grading Degrassi, the column dedicated to ranking every episode of every season of every series of the Degrassi franchise ever. This is the final edition for the third series, Degrassi High, folx, and man alive, do I have some trigger warnings for you! These episodes explore some heavy topics, such as suicide and child sexual abuse — and not consistently well. Please bear that in mind.

On a lighter note, you may notice that School’s Out, the movie that corresponds with this season, is absent from this list. That’s because I plan to do a separate article ranking all the Degrassi movies. Besides, the movie aired a whole year after this series ended (January 1992).

Now, without further ado, here are all 13 episodes of Degrassi High Season 2, ranked. 

RELATED: Grading Degrassi: All Season 1 Episodes of Degrassi High, Ranked

 “Showtime” (S02E10 & S02E11)

Recap: Claude (David Armin-Parcells) dies by suicide. Snake (Stefan Brogren) finds his body. Claude’s ex-girlfriend, Caitlin (Stacie Mistysyn), deals with her complex feelings about his death, and Joey (Pat Mastroianni) tries to be there for her.

Reasoning: I get that this was 1990, and I get that Degrassi tries to show opposing viewpoints on an issue; however, the show itself seemed to come down on the side that suicide is an inherently selfish act rather than a symptom of an illness.

Further, the way the teachers handled telling the students was a nightmare. From my cursory research, it seems that 1990 was just the beginning of people understanding that suicide can be contagious. But, I balked when the teachers told the students there were trained professionals on campus to help them, and yet, the teachers were talking to the students. 

The only saving grace of this episode was that Wheels (Neil Hope) seems to finally be turning a corner. 

RELATED: For more nostalgia, check out Millennial Misremembers!

 “The All-Nighter” (S02E07)

Recap: Everyone stays up all night! Melanie (Sara Ballingall ) and Kathleen (Rebecca Haines-Saah) get into it at Diana’s (Chrissa Erodotu) birthday party (the weed doesn’t help). Meanwhile, Arthur (Duncan Waugh) cleans up at a poker game at Luke’s (Andy Chambers). 

Reasoning: I can’t with the demonization of cannabis

 “Loyalties” (S02E03)

Recap: Alexa (Irene Courakos) and Simon (Michael Carry) are now double-dating with Bryant (Dayo Ade) and Cindy (Marsha Ferguson), ever since Bryant broke up with Michelle Maureen McKay. This leaves Michelle and Alexa on the outs. Snake wants to start dating Michelle, but she’s not ready to move on. Meanwhile, Caitlin learns that her dad is having an affair. 

RELATED: Read more Grading Degrassi here!

Reasoning: I’m so bored with girls fighting over boys! 

Grading Degrassi: Degrassi High Season 2: Yick, Joey and Luke play poker

Credit: Playing With Time Productions

 “Extracurricular Activities” (S02E09)

Recap: Everyone’s favorite band is shooting a music video at the school one weekend. Bronco (L. Dean Ifill), Lucy’s (Anais Granofsky) boyfriend and school president, isn’t supposed to tell anyone. He tells Lucy, who then tells the twins, Heather (Maureen Deiseach) and  Erica (Angela Deiseach). The trio tries to sneak into school to watch. Joey and Snake accidentally sneak onto campus to see. While that’s happening, Caitlin’s parents ask her to move home, as they’ve reconciled. 

Reasoning: Nothing wrong with this episode. It’s just middle-of-the-road. 

RELATED: Class Is in Session: Best Lines From Abbot Elementary‘s ‘Development Day’

“Body Politics” (S02E05)

Recap: Lucy is super excited that Dale (Cameron Graham) invites her to the big dance. Things get complicated when they’re on opposing sides of the debate about girls’ sports — boys’ basketball gets better treatment than girls’ volleyball. Meanwhile, Spike (Amanda Stepto) and Liz (Cathy Keenan) fight over a boy. How original.

Reasoning: I loved Lucy’s storyline. Her picking sports and her principles, even if it meant losing the guy, was a great message. Did she need to get rewarded with another guy? I don’t know. But it is nice that Bronco appreciates her for being outspoken, so that’s a win. On the Spike-Liz front, what’s so great about Patrick (Vincent Walsh) that we needed this storyline? 

RELATED: 9 WEBTOON Series To Read for National Hispanic Heritage Month

“Three’s a Crowd” (S02E12)

Recap: Spike has a crush on Snake, so she asks him to the graduation dance  — as friends. He accepts. But then Michelle, who he still has a crush on, asks him too. Uh-oh! Elsewhere, Tessa (Kirsten Bourne) is over her relationship with Alex (John Ioannou) and makes a move on Yick (Siluck Saysanasy). 

Reasoning: This episode employs a lot of daydream sequences, which is super fun. I also loved that Snake wouldn’t ditch Spike just because he got an offer he preferred. That’s a good lesson. Of course, things worked out for him and Michelle in the end, but it was nice to see that even Joey told Snake that he should just talk to Spike instead of coming up with some asinine story. Good stuff. 

Also, Yick had a glow-up! 

RELATED: Allison Pearce Chats Recreating Iconic Looks for Clerks III

“A Tangled Web” (S02E04)

Recap: Wheels’s lies spiral out of control, so much so that his grandma (Dorothy Phillips) kicks him out. When she tells her mom about her dad’s affair, Caitlin learns her mom already knew! 

Reasoning: So far in the series, Wheels has handled his parents’ death maybe too well. Sure, he’s acted out a bit, but nothing so extreme. It’s fascinating to watch the people around him get tired of him using it as “an excuse” for his behavior. It’s complex storytelling. 

The only reason this episode isn’t higher on the list is that when Caitlin tells her mom (Dona Hird) about the affair, her mom’s reaction is a nightmare. She essentially tells Caitlin it’s not her business and to let the parents figure it out. I mean, yes and no, right? Caitlin is definitely going to have feelings about it, whether her mom wants her to. 

Grading Degrassi: Degrassi High Season 2: Yick's Glow Up

Credit: Playing With Time Productions

“Crossed Wires” (S02E06)

Recap: Going on a date with Tim (Keith Whit) triggers Liz’s memories of her sexual abuse. And Tessa is annoyed Alex is taking it too slow.

Reasoning: I so appreciate that Degrassi High Season 2 tackled this issue. Liz’s abuser was one of her mom’s exes, which is a common enough situation that it ought to be addressed much more often than it is. If I might offer one criticism: Degrassi is too comfortable letting adult actors get close to children. Also, I really liked Tim. Where has he been?

RELATED: Check out our column Queer Tested – Teacher Approved!

“Home Sweet Home” (S02E08)

Recap: Ever since his grandma kicked him out, Wheels has been staying with Joey. But then he starts stealing money from Joey’s mom. Whoops. Snake’s family won’t take him in, nor will his grandma — unless he follows her rules. Meanwhile, Michelle considers moving back in with her dad. 

Reasoning: Wheels is a tricky character, but I’ve enjoyed his trajectory. He’s mad at the world, which is totally understandable. It’s frustrating to see everyone give up on him, but I also get it. I don’t usually believe in tough love, but dude needed a wake-up call. He’s not the only person in the world suffering. 

Also, Omgoodness, a computer!

RELATED: Book Review: Fraternity

“Bad Blood” (S02E01 & S02E02)

Recap: It’s time yet again for the kids at Degrassi to learn about AIDS. They haven’t matured since middle school and think the lesson doesn’t apply to them since they’re young, hetero and not drug users. Dwayne (Darrin Brown), the school bully, learns that that’s not true: He’s contracted HIV from his girlfriend.

In less life-altering news, Bryant breaks up with Michelle so he can date Cindy. 

Reasoning: Not everything in “Bad Blood” is still relevant — we’ve made progress in three decades, but I applaud Degrassi for choosing to go with this story. I haven’t mentioned it till now, but a throughline for the season is that Joey is the only person who knows about Dwayne’s HIV status. Joey could have told someone, especially since Dwayne was his bully; he doesn’t.

RELATED: Movie Review: Do Revenge

It may seem a little corny that the bully grows as a person because he finds out he’s HIV+, or it may feel like the show is punishing him, but I read it more like Degrassi saying, “Wake up! Anyone can contract HIV, even the straight, white popular kid.” I can’t imagine how validating and also educational this storyline must have been in its time. We don’t even get kids’ TV like this now.

Grading Degrassi: Degrassi High Season 2: Dwayne bloody-faced in the mirror.

“One Last Dance” (S02E13)

Recap: Everyone finds out Degrassi High is canceled — like the school, not the show (which was also canceled). Joey and Caitlin reunite. Dwayne can’t handle his friends’ ignorance about HIV/AIDS, so he comes out about his status. 

Reasoning: The final image of Dwayne and his friend (Michele Johnson-Murray) dancing! Also, I really love all the shots of the condoms in the bathroom. Though, I have to wonder … why is a student dancing with a teacher?

RELATED: But What if It Was Already Gay: California Diaries

Degrassi High Season 2 was the better of the two in this series, for sure. The first thing I wrote in my notes was: FINALLY BLACK PEOPLE (yes, in all caps). Speaking of diversity, I was more than a bit disappointed that Maya (Kyra Levy), a wheelchair user, never had anything to do but play sidekick.

Overall, though, despite my ever-existent complaints, I’m pleased with Degrassi High Season 2. Everything got more complex, as you can see from the longer-than-usual episode recaps. I only wish we’d gotten more time with each character. 

Final grade for Season 2 of Degrassi High: A- 

Overall series grade: What’s a B+ plus A- divided by two?

Content warnings for the Degrassi franchise

Grading Degrassi will be back next month to start ranking Degrassi: The Next Generation! See you then! 

KEVIN SMITH View Askewniverse Movies Ranked

Melis Amber
Follow them