Before we start, let’s check out the back of the DVD case to find out what this episode is about.
So, blah, blah, blah, Bigfoot. Got it!
The episode starts with some foreshadowing.
We find Ida, Cookie, Noel, and Fred talking about possible Bigfoot sightings in the area while carving pumpkins. A Halloween party is coming up.
Then a moving truck pulls up to get this plot started.
Wait a second, she looks familiar.
It’s Sara from Cookie Goes To Hospital!
I owe an apology to Nurse Trish. They said Sara was there to have her tonsils removed, but obviously that wasn’t the case. Trish was working with the Canadian Feds in order to put her into a witness protection program. That’s why she was so busy.
Her name this time around is Irene so that she is eligible to join the club and specifically has a name that starts with I to give Ida even more of a basis to exclude her for no good reason whatsoever.
Going back to the title card, I think that might actually be Nancy Lam’s mother playing Irene’s mom. Irene’s mother is played by someone named Linda Lam. It makes sense.
Ida immediately dislikes Irene. And I mean immediately. As her brother Fred points out, she hasn’t even met her at this point. Yet, she somehow knows that Irene is no good.
We cut to inside Ida’s house where her mother finds it amazing and ridiculous that her daughter judged somebody based upon a single glance.
Even the boom mic finds this hard to believe, which is why it pops in from the top of the screen.
Ida’s mom suggests that Ida do the unthinkable by going over to introduce herself to Irene. Shock of all shocks, she doesn’t. It’s Irene who comes over to meet the gang.
Ida, Cookie, and Noel are bickering over what colors to use for some billboards they are making. Cookie is nice to Irene, but Ida still looks uncomfortable for no reason.
During their exchange we find out some information about Ida’s father, who up until this point has been mystery. He’s living out west because he does’t live with them any longer. I’m assuming Ida’s parents got divorced, and either Ida is ashamed of it, or her mother is keeping that a secret from her.
Cookie goes to play with Irene, which only angers Ida further.
While Cookie and Irene play, Ida decides to carry on this pointless grudge by walking over to tell Cookie that it’s time for a club meeting. Irene wants to join, but unfortunately, she meets all the requirements. Therefore, she can’t join on the grounds that she doesn’t meet the requirements of a new rule that Ida comes up with on the spot.
After hearing this, Cookie decides she’d rather hang out with Irene. Ida mopes her way back to the clubhouse.
Ida tells Noel that the only reason Irene wants to get close to Cookie is because she wants to boss her around. Ida’s excuse for not giving Irene a chance is because she instantly sized her up as being bossy. She even says that something needs to be done about Irene like she’s gonna hire a contract killer. But, to be fair to Ida, Irene is a bit bossy with her kindness and attempts to be friends with her new neighbors.
I don’t think even Ida bought my sarcasm.
Now we find out for the first time that these kids actually do attend school. Ida watches Irene looking for any excuse to get angry at her. When Irene is genuinely a little pushy and takes away Cookie’s witch hat because she insists that there be stars on it, Ida sees her opportunity to step in for Cookie’s sake. No, I’m not being sarcastic with the last part of that sentence. At the end of the last scene, Ida really did say something needed to be done for Cookie’s sake.
So, Ida gets up, and grabs the witches hat. Ida and Irene proceed to fight over the hat.
This ends in tragedy as you can see below. It’s unclear whether Ida knocked the paint over on purpose or if it was a result of their fight.
Okay, Degrassi. You have an episode that has a larger message about racism and xenophobia as well as a smaller one concerning children reacting irrationally to change, so you decide that the color of paint to spill on your Asian character is yellow. Why? No one noticed that?
Ida goes over to get Cookie to come to a meeting of their club…
and the way the show presents this scene, it comes across as if Irene was waiting just behind the door in order to pop out to tell Ida to go away.
Back at the secret club, we find out that Irene has picked up a nickname: Private Enemy No. 1.
Noel tries to talk some sense into Ida, but since sense has no place here, the important thing to come out of this scene is that Noel has a Bigfoot costume. That means it’s time to go scare Irene with it.
After scaring both Cookie and Irene, Cookie says she was afraid because she thought Bigfoot might eat her. Ida tells Irene that she doesn’t have to worry about Bigfoot eating her because she stinks. This causes Irene to tell off Ida before storming off. Cookie tries to convince Ida that she is being downright mean since Irene is a “human being” too.
Both Cookie and Noel leave Ida to stew in her own juices over her prank and the way she has been treating Irene in general. This leaves Ida temporarily unfriended.
Ida is talking to Noel on the phone where she actually calls him a “traitor” for not ostracizing Irene. Ida’s brother sits nearby. After Ida pisses him off by shaking the table he is trying to do his homework on, Fred tells her that perhaps if she didn’t act like a jerk people might want to be her friend.
Then we see that, yes, the parents on Degrassi St. can pay attention to their children when the show decides to include them, as we see when Ida’s mom talks to Irene’s mom on the phone.
I’d say that they pay attention when the episode calls for it, but give it a couple more episodes. We’ll see that’s certainly not the case.
I’m sure Fred would also say that the next scene where Ida’s mom talks to Ida about the situation between her and Irene didn’t need to take place with Ida in the bathtub. Ida’s mom tells her that Irene is going to come over for a sleepover.
Fred is the one stuck babysitting, so that means the following:
Hey Fred, can you can tell Irene something she can clearly hear me say since we’re at the same table.
Hey Fred, can you tell Ida my reply that she too can hear despite the fact that we are still sitting at the same table.
The usual nonsense. Cookie comes over at some point as well. She’ll end up joining the sleepover.
Then before they cut to the next scene, ominous music plays over Irene eating a hotdog.
Ida also makes a great face at Irene while the same music plays.
Calm down, Degrassi. I’m pretty sure the shot you cut to next of a dog that looks like it’s being walked during day-for-night didn’t call for this kind of scoring.
We go inside to the slumber party where Cookie and Ida are talking about a story in which a baby had its head cut off. I’m not kidding. It’s even Cookie that tells this story which includes a severed baby’s head.
They soon get back to more important matters though, like Bigfoot.
Shortly after they try to go to sleep, they hear the dog from earlier outside trying to get into their trashcan. This means they need to get up to investigate because they think the dog is Bigfoot.
They decide they need evidence to show people. This means taking a picture of Bigfoot. A picture taken with the flash on because if it really is Bigfoot, they need to ensure there could be serious consequences. Ida doesn’t have the courage to potentially put their lives at risk, so Irene takes the picture instead.
After taking the picture, the kids run upstairs screaming that it was Bigfoot so we can find out that Fred is the perfect babysitter. Upon hearing them, he turns around to go back to his room.
It could be a person or something else that is potentially dangerous. I don’t have time for this. I’m going back to sleep. Wake me up if you see somebody dressed like Brian Setzer carrying a guitar that has a drill affixed to it. Otherwise, leave me alone.
The kids resolve their issues after their “Bigfoot” encounter, and the Halloween party is shown while dialog is played over the credits. During this, they show Noel and the boom mic the picture, which both are rightfully skeptical about really being a shot of Bigfoot.
Noel says that it looks like a dog to which Ida responds that it can’t be because she has never seen a dog with such red eyes. Sure.
I like that one of the kids appears to be wearing a homemade Michael Myers mask.
And so that we can be sure that the dog got home safely, we see it being walked off into the distance by someone who was neglectful about caring for their dog enough that it got out at night.
I hope that kind of thing doesn’t have tragic consequences in a later episode.
The episode tried to teach about racism, xenophobia, to not fear change, and to not make snap judgments about people. I thought it did a pretty good job. I like that the episode implies that if there is a Bigfoot, we tend to assume it must be out for us even though no one has seen it despite there being costumes and funny faked footage of it. That being said, I do have two complaints about the episode.
They should have gone with a different color than yellow.
The second is a pet peeve–no pun intended. If you have a dog, take proper care of it. I have had to chase dogs so many times to try to prevent them from getting run over by a car that this kind of thing drives me up the wall.
Speaking of the dog, the opening credits list someone as having played Bigfoot.
The Degrassi Wiki says that the credit is for the dog. I guess the owner’s last name was Marlatt and the dog’s name was Cleo.
See you next time for an episode that introduces one of the most important actors in the entire Degrassi franchise. They’ll last all the way to Degrassi: TNG.