Struggles in the Canadian Closet
By Alex Wilburn
"Bad Medicine" (Season 8, Episode 10): Oh Riley. He had the most beautiful boy in Degrassi as the Sal to his Dean, but he wanted more, so much more. Enter steroids, which Peter knew was a bad idea, and a girlfriend, which Peter also knew what a bad idea, but also MySpace, which Peter didn't even know about. Here's how it all goes down: The steroids were giving Riley a serious confidence boost, what with his muscle growth, and Riley Cyrus wanted the best of both worlds. So by day he was dating Anya and her braces (and boys, don't do this, it's just mean); and by night he was talking to his internet coquette with a screenname like SoccerSucker or some such. Which is weird because Riley plays football. Maybe Sucker is British and confused. Either way, we learn how he got his name because Riley meets him in the woods and OH! He is a gremlin of a child. A strange Fall Out Boy creature from deepest crevices of XTube. He goes down on Riley Cyrus who looks like he's going to be ill (and frankly I might be too). After wards Riley breaks up with Anya, asking if they can still be friends, and Anya, not suspecting a thing, agrees! Because, well, that sticker collection she's never shared with anyone...maybe....maybe. So all seems good until Riley's roid rages start kicking in and to save face he announces that he banged Anya's sticker collection good and then HEADBUTTS her ex-boyfriend, breaking his nose. Everyone at the pep rally is like "that was kind of gay" and even Hilary Duff is like "yeah, I got nothin..." So Peter meets with Riley and they decide that maybe steroids + vaginas + MySpace blowjobs was all a bit too much. But Riley's lip quivers. All he ever wanted was to be the popular guy in school, the captain of the football team, the Prom King. Peter says he can still do all that he and be gay. And sadly enough, Riley, having actually attended a day of high school in his life, doesn't believe that all.
"Just Can't Get Enough" (Season 9, Episode 1 & 2): In our current season's premiere we're introduced to two new fiends, not Canadian at all, but foreign rich kids, named Declan and Fiona (Irish I must assume, and believe me, nothing good comes of those folks...). The brother and sister duo introduce Peter to meth and whoo boy, you can just guess how it goes from there. Peter buys and buys, his band breaks-up, his girlfriend moved to America to start snogging not-Robert Pattison (and thank god for that), and he ends up tweaking out in front of the entire school on stage. Later, Riley is able to repay his friend who once helped his overcome steroids, and gets Peter to come down, seek some help, and move back in his parents. But what Riley will take from this is that one night Peter almost ODed and he layed by him all night, refilling his glass of water and holding his hair back, wondering if maybe, just maybe this is what it would feel like... The answer is yes Riley. But also no.
"Shoot to Thrill" (Season 9, Episode 3) So Riley, having given up on the gay thing, besides a few looks over to Peter after they finish wrestling on his living-room floor and bathed together in his parents luxury shower, decides to pursue Fiona, one half of that transfer pair from Witch Mountain. Normally Fiona likes to play Flowers in the Attic with her brother Declan, a lecherous twink bred from Chuck Bass's wardrobe and Chace Crawford's eyebrows, but she was intrigued by the way Riley complimented her purple hat, so she agreed to a coffee date and thought of a new game she and her brother could play with him called Brideshead Revisited. But the threesome became a foursome, because who should show up but SOCCERSUCKER! Riley tried to platonically play down Sucker's pleads of "So you're with a girl now? Did my gremlin-slime we rubbed on each other in the woods mean nothing." Fiona played it cool, but she's a continental girl who knows a goose from a duck, and her rendezvoused with Little Lord Fauntleroy pretty much went as:
Declan: How did you enjoy the brewery with the commoner?
Fiona: I think my boyfriend needs to join a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance).
Declan: I think we have GSA (Genetic Sexual Attraction).
Fiona: Well dear brother, that's a star we'll have to lick later, right now I have a mo to catch. Again.
So tonight: the first episode of a two-parter, it all goes down: possible virginity loss, a possible lifeguard romance, a possible outing, and what I do know, definitely a hate crime. But which side will our dear Riley be on?
Degrassi airs tonight at 8/7 central on TeenNick, and believe me, they will be reairing the episode all weekend long. You can also catch episodes from this season online at The Click -- part of the TeenNick website, and of course past seasons are available to download from iTunes and Amazon.com as well as on DVD.
I'll be back here Monday for who and what went down, and how Peter, the straight white knight of closeted gay-boys, will be able to fix it by next week's conclusion.
-- ALEX WILBURN
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