Oh, boy! We have finally reached an episode with an actor who will go on to be in the rest of the franchise. Yay!
But before we get to them, we join Noel at a paint shop where we find out that he has memorized the names of the paints that his father needs to buy for a job.
His father is played by Bob Reid (R.D. Reid) who you might recognize from Dawn Of The Dead (2004), A History Of Violence (2005), Cinderella Man (2005), Capote (2005), Lars And The Real Girl (2007), and Diary Of The Dead (2007), among other things.
We’ll also find out that Noel is the cook in the family. A family that is about to be changed by the lady behind the counter named Gayle, played by Charlotte Freelander. She’s going to get married to Noel’s father soon.
As Dad is leaving the store, we see some unfortunate advertising for Kwik Stripper.
The plot of this episode is about Noel learning to accept Gayle as his stepmother shortly before the wedding, along with the inevitable changes that will bring. That’s why they made sure to show us that Noel remembers the names of the paint colors and that he cooks for the family. He’ll feel like he is being replaced.
While taking screenshots, I wound up with this one that makes Gayle look sinister.
The time has come.
Enter Stacie Mistysyn, whose first scene in Degrassi has her walking into a dining room to tell a knock-knock joke before spilling some food on the floor.
Not everyone can be introduced by playing a saxophone next to a river in the middle of nowhere for no particular reason. That’s Pamela Anderson’s ridiculous introduction on Baywatch.
Fun facts: Stacie Mistysyn was born in Los Angeles, California, and moved to Canada as a baby where she would be on Degrassi, up to and including Degrassi: TNG. Four years before Mistysyn was born, only a couple of hours after Canada reached its centennial, Pamela Anderson was born in British Columbia, making her their Centennial Baby. She would move a few years later to Vancouver before winding up in Los Angeles on Baywatch. If their Wikipedia pages are accurate, both have dual citizenship.
On The Kids Of Degrassi Street, Mistysyn plays a prototype for her character in the rest of Degrassi. Here she is named Lisa, and is Noel’s sister. She will be Caitlin Ryan come Degrassi Junior High.
Gayle would like to repaint the house so that we can get some more foreshadowing for the conflict of the episode in the form of her speaking about how the colors should be practical and that “less is more”.
Now we cut to–no, no, no. I don’t want to talk about you regardless of the fact that Lisa is in both episodes.
Noel has several rabbits. Keep that in mind for a later episode with his sister Lisa.
We have the return of Ida, and the introduction of a new friend named Chuck. He is played by Nick Goddard.
Noel talks about his father taking him to buy a new suit for the upcoming wedding. All I take away from this conversation is something Ida says in response to Noel when he tells them that Gayle is changing the house:
That’s not too good.
I get the feeling Ida didn’t quite learn her lesson in the previous episode where she wasn’t happy about somebody new moving onto Degrassi St.
Chuck tells Noel that his sister is a little weird, so we cut to Lisa taking things off of a chandelier because she wants jewels on her shirt.
Noel finds his dad and Gayle painting, and for reasons, he ends up being given money to go and buy a new suit by himself.
Noel runs into Chuck and Ida.
I think writer Amy Jo Cooper might have a little amnesia concerning the second episode because Noel tells them that his dad gave him the money to go purchase a suit, and Ida says her mom would never let her do that on her own. You mean the mother that let you go to a hospital alone to give a doll to your friend who was going to have surgery when she could have gone on her own, Ida?
You are currently coming out of some place with Chuck, and you have no parental supervision. I find your story a little suspect, Ida.
Noel tells them that he has 54 bucks to buy a suit. Ida wonders where Noel thinks he is going to buy a suit for that much money. The answer is Moore’s: The Suit People.
Not only do they appear to be a pretty popular chain of stores in Canada, but this particular one has moved just down the street from where it is in this episode. Only now their subtitle is “clothing for men” and they have dropped the apostrophe.
Surely John Bertram, who wrote, directed, and edited episodes from The Kids Of Degrassi Street and Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High will be able to help Noel find a suit.
This is the suit that Noel picks out.
Noel is assured by the salesman that the suit goes with anything and everything, which you can tell Ida buys based on the look on her face.
Back at home, Lisa is still telling knock-knock jokes.
Gayle is worried about the alterations being completed the day before the wedding. Noel isn’t worried about that. He’s worried about the fact that Gayle is doing the cooking, rearranging the cupboards, and even wants to measure him in order to buy him a shirt to go with the suit.
What he should be worried about is the boom mic.
I can understand how they could miss the boom mic in previous episodes. I don’t know how they missed this one.
Then we see Noel, Chuck, and Ida unloading fiberglass while Noel complains about Gayle.
Chuck brings up that he’d like someone to do the cooking at his house. Ida reminds the audience again that even an encounter with “Bigfoot” during the last episode didn’t teach her a lesson. She says the following:
Sounds like she’s trying to take over to me.
They say a lot of stupid things from Gayle having tried to choke Noel when she was just trying to measure him for a suit to the possibility that she’ll send him away to a boarding school. Or to put it another way, the screenshot below is how Noel describes Gayle.
What’s next? Of course it’s more knock-knock jokes with Lisa.
Noel gets home to find that Gayle has bought him a shirt based on his agreeing with Gayle’s description of how he described the suit: neutral.
Noel gets angry because Gayle bought it for him. Even Chuck saying that he’ll eat his own hat if the suit is neutral doesn’t calm Noel down. Noel goes back to the store, and buys his own shirt.
Back at the house, someone must have told Lisa to put the jewels back on the chandelier.
An argument breaks out when Noel gets home and Gayle sees the suit, because of course it does. The pivot point here is in these lines:
Noel: But she’s not my mother. My real mom is dead. We don’t need her.
Noel’s father: I need Gayle. I love her.
Those lines seem to make all the difference because the next morning Noel comes down the stairs wearing his suit and the shirt she picked out. Metaphor!
Lisa approves, Gayle is shocked…
and it looks like Noel’s family is friends with the guy who fixed Ida’s camera in the first episode.
The mystery is solved. The actor’s name is Lewis Manne. He composed music for this show, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, and even Degrassi: TNG.
They get married,
Stacie Mistysyn begins plotting her takeover of Degrassi,
So, did they ask for a suit and Moore’s refused to provide one? Did the store not like the way the salesmen was portrayed? Did the store not have the kind of suit they wanted? I’d love to know what the story is that explains the line: “who provided the location but not the suit!”
This episode tried to tackle a child coming to terms with their dad remarrying after the death of their mom. They did it with the making of a wedding outfit for Noel composed of two main parts as a way of leading Noel and Gayle towards them being okay with each other. This culminating with Noel wearing a visual stand-in for the message of the episode. That message being in his acceptance of Gayle as a new member of his family and Gayle knowing that she is marrying into something preexisting rather than something to build from the ground up.
Stacie Mistysyn will return in the next episode as she tries to make the headlines.