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"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. It is the quality of the brave, not the cowardly. It is-"
— Rick quotes Gandhi, before being hit with a paper ball by Spinner

Mercy Street is the fourth episode of Season 4 of Degrassi: The Next Generation. It originally aired on September 21, 2004 on CTV Television and on October 15, 2004 on The N. The episode was written by story editors James Hurst and Miklos Perlus and directed by Stefan Scaini. It shares its title with the song by Peter Gabriel.

Main Plot

As summer comes to a close and school begins, Degrassi is back to normal and ready to settle in for the next year.

However, when Rick returns, Paige and the gang start to become frustrated and angered as Terri (who he put in a coma) had to switch schools due to brain damage from the incident caused by Rick.


When Rick attempts to apologize, memories of Terri and the incident leads Paige to tears. In the middle of it all, Emma and Paige start to bond, even though this is much the distaste of Alex (who is even more upset of the reappearance of Rick mainly do to her homelife).

Outside of school, the group finds Rick once again at their hangout spot, The Dot. There, Emma wins the friendship of Paige and her popular group of friends by literally throwing Rick out.

Mercy 2.jpg

In an attempt to force Rick out of Degrassi, Emma and Paige start a "yellow ribbon" campaign against domestic violence, allowing them to outcast and target Rick without getting in trouble with Mr. Raditch. People begin to take the campaign too far and use it as an excuse to bully Rick around every corner, turning him into the school pariah.

When Rick attempts to donate five hundred dollars to the yellow ribbon campaign, Emma is on the verge of accepting the money before Alex arrives and rips up the check, scolding both Rick and Emma.

At another after school hangout at The Dot, Rick returns and acts humble with Emma.

This time, Emma is accused of being Rick’s friend to which she denies the allegation and begins to turn her back on him by bullying him as well.

Mercy 3.jpg

During his departure from The Dot, Emma feels the need to prove her worthiness to the others and show she’s not his friend by tripping him over and making him fall on his face, spilling hot coffee on his torso.

Seemingly mad, Rick gets back up only to make things worse; Jay then takes him outside and gives him a small speech and a punch to the stomach, leaving Rick fallen and winded. Jay even goes as far as to step on Rick's glasses.

Alex enters to take her shot, but before any more hits can be made, Emma comes to Rick’s defense & yet again, her motives for Rick become questionable once more.

Explaining her actions, Emma states that she will not lead a campaign against domestic violence if it glorifies school bullying.

The next day at school, Emma is once again out of the popular circle. She tells Rick that she only helped because of Jay's anger for what he did to Terri and not because of his well being.

When Emma asks him why he returned in the first place, he responds by saying that he wants to prove everyone that hates him wrong.

Sub Plot

J.T. wants his girlfriend Manny, to find him as attractive as she does Craig.

Jay.t y0rk.jpg

When a prank at the Van Zandt hot tub leaves J.T.'s penis exposed for Manny to see, he feels insecure and feels even more insecure when he sees that Craig's genitals are much bigger while speaking with him in the boys' locker room.

Jay.t y0rk2.jpg

To make up for embarrassing him, Danny and Toby get him a penis-pump to help him impress Manny in bed (despite the fact that the two have never even instigated the want for sex in their relationship yet).

Meanwhile, Manny herself seems to be having second thoughts, but not because of J.T.'s body, but because of his personality.

On a romantic date at J.T.'s house, Manny steps out for a moment. Seeing that he is acting so much more mature, she decides to give him a second chance, but is mortified when she opens the door and catches J.T. using his penis pump. She leaves immediately.

The next day, she avoids J.T., but when he catches her, Manny tells him that he is not mature enough for her and she can't take it anymore. The two then break up.

  • This episode is named after the song "Mercy Street" by Peter Gabriel.
  • The name Aaron Martin is heard over the intercom which is in reference to the writer and producer with the same name.
  • J.T. and Toby both say the word "penis" in this episode. However, Toby's was in a deleted scene. This was censored by The N network.
  • J.T. checked Craig out in the locker room.
  • This episode marks Rick's return to Degrassi after the events of Don't Dream It's Over.
  • This episodes marks the first instance of sex toys in Degrassi History.
  • This is the first episode in which someone is bullied by everyone at Degrassi. The second was Heat of the Moment.
  • This episode shows that Manny chose Liberty over Emma, despite Emma being there for her through her pregnancy.
  • This marks the end of J.T. and Manny's relationship.
  • In a deleted scene, Marco and Alex attempted to convince Mr. Raditch to not allow Rick to return to Degrassi but failed.

  • Toby: "Look it's a stack of dimes!"
  • Paige: "Someone tell me I’m hallucinating."
    Emma: "Who is he?"
    Spinner: "Remember our friend Terri MacGregor? The girl who was in a coma last year?"
    Paige: "He’s the psycho that put her there. His name’s Rick, her ex. He used to beat her."
    Spinner: "Yeah, and he’s your new classmate Emma. He starts tenth grade tomorrow."
    Emma: "We have to do something!"
    Alex: "I know, let’s adopt a dolphin. Train him to defend us from Rick."
    Emma: "Or we can talk to Mr. Raditch."
    Alex: "Sure. Me and Marco can handle that without you."
  • Alex: "What do you know about the cause? You ever ice your mom's lip, bandage her up? Lay awake at night listening to her cry? Didn't think so."
  • Rick: "All those people who hate me, I want to let them see who I really am. Show them how wrong they are."
    Emma: "Well, they're not interested Rick."
    Rick: "They will be. Someday."
  • J.T.: "It's a snake! Snakes bite."
    Danny: "Don't be stupid, it's decoration!"
  • Manny: "Are you nervous?"
    J.T.: "Um, no, not at all." (Kisses Manny)
    Manny: "Um, your lips are kinda sweaty."
  • Alex: "The ribbon campaign is over, Emma."
    Emma: "Yeah, and so this!"
  • Rick: "What are you going to do, hurt me?
    Jay: "One, violence is never the answer." Two, we don't care."

  • "Camera Shy" by The Lucksmiths
  • "I'm Ready Now" written by Michele Vice-Maslin & Peter Roberts
  • "Squeak & Bubble" written by Taylor B
  • "Shotgun" by Edwin
  • "Whatever" by The Yoko Casionos - Heard when Emma kicks Rick out of The Dot.

  • v - e - d

    Season Four Episodes

    Ghost in the Machine (1)Ghost in the Machine (2)King of PainMercy StreetAnywhere I Lay My HeadIslands in the StreamTime Stands Still (1)Time Stands Still (2)Back In BlackNeutron DanceVoices Carry (1)Voices Carry (2)Bark at the MoonSecret (1)Secret (2)Eye of the TigerQueen of HeartsModern LoveMoonlight DesiresWest End GirlsGoin' Down the Road (1)Goin' Down the Road (2)