Degrassi: The Kids Of Degrassi Street — Sophie Minds The Store


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In the last episode, we followed Lisa step by step through the process of nearly releasing a story that her brother Noel is a thief. This time we are essentially getting a reworked version of that same story about trust and responsibility, which is fine by me. It gives me a good excuse to skip over the many ways they try to tie these lessons together.

This is Sophie, played by Stacey Halberstadt. Her mom is played by Lydia Chaban.

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As per the usual for the parents of the kids Of Degrassi Street, Sophie is going to be left unsupervised in a situation where she definitely should be. Her mom is going out of town for a wedding. Her dad is in the apartment above the store in a body cast. We only hear him once in a while when he yells down at her. This means Sophie will be left alone to run the De Grassi Grocery. There is mention of an aunt that is cooking her meals, but we never see her. All that said, if this wasn’t the case, Sophie wouldn’t have the chance to open the episode with the catchphrase of the episode which she says to her mom: “Trust me!”

I think this might be Lewis Manne again playing the cab driver picking up Sophie’s mom. If it is him, then it looks as if he has shaved his beard. It’s hard to tell for sure.

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It looks like him from the back…

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when you compare it to the way he looked in the last episode.

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Throw in the way he appears while getting out of the cab, and it sure looks like him to me.

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I’m gonna go ahead and say it is him. Especially since two people from behind the scenes make cameos later on in the episode. At this rate, Manne is becoming the Alfred Hitchcock of The Kids Of Degrassi Street.

While I’m aware that we did get a glance at a school in Irene Moves In, for me this counts as the first real appearance of a school in the Degrassi franchise. As you might have guessed from the Christmas tree in the distance, they are about to be let out for the holidays.

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It’s a little difficult to make out that board, but a math contest was recently held. Whoever won got an “earphone radio”.

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The camera pans down this hallway to show us the kids exiting from a room to go to their lockers. While it does so, I swear the voice coming over the PA system to tell us about the math contest is none other than Sue A’Court. You might remember her as Nurse Trish from Cookie Goes To Hospital. It would make sense since this is one of the episodes she wrote.

Sophie is the winner of the math contest. She didn’t get a single answer wrong. “Homework Causes Brain Damage”??? That’s a new one on me. Having numerous things that keep interrupting you so that it winds up taking you an inordinate amount of time to write a simple post about an episode of Degrassi, now that causes brain damage.

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Chuck asks if he can see her radio, but with her ego at maximum size, she ignores Chuck at first by inviting Noel to try it on. He refuses. Then she tells Chuck that he might “wreck” it.

Apparently Noel is a fan of the Rolling Stones.

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There’s a little exchange between the three of them. What’s important is that we find out Chuck’s dad is in jail and that Chuck was suspended from his hockey team for fighting. The second of which he blames on the other person.

Sophie does as the title says; she tries to mind the store. She is a very “I don’t need any help person” that her recent win at the math contest only makes worse.

Chuck is out collecting bottles to try and raise money to get one of those radios that Sophie won in order to give it to his dad.

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What follows is a series of situations where Sophie could get robbed without her knowing it.

Some examples include this highly suspicious little girl.

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When Chuck turns in some of his bottles for cash.

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This guy who causes her to have to come out from behind the counter to fix a display he knocks over. By the way, that’s Bruce Mackey who was gay in real life. He passed away in 1997, they named a park on De Grassi St. after him, his house is where they shot the first episode of the show, and according to the The Queer Alliance Of Degrassi Next Class, he is the reason the franchise had a mandate to include LGBTQ characters and issues. This was due to a friendship with one of the show’s creators.

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That would be the person below, Linda Schuyler, who comes in after Sophie has left Chuck in charge of the store–“Trust me!”–while she goes out to deliver a package to a customer.

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Noel even shows up for an after-hours milk purchase.

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During most of this, Chuck hangs around the store and tries to help out Sophie. He keeps asking her about coming to skate with him, but she dismisses his offers. She says she doesn’t have any skates, and despite the fact that Chuck says she can wear his sister’s skates, she still says no.

Things weren’t great between Chuck and Sophie before, but they reach a boiling point after Sophie counts the money in the register at the end of the day in order to compare the total with the day’s receipts, and comes up $20 short.

Assuming that it must be Chuck’s fault, because she couldn’t have possibly added it up wrong, she crosses the line when she tries to use Chuck’s father being in jail as proof that it must have been him that caused her to come up $20 short. Chuck’s response is to push over Sophie after saying “that nobody accuses him and gets away with it.” Chuck has anger issues.

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Getting pushed into a bunch of Wonder Bread is pretty good, but it’s no Irene getting paint splattered on her while looking like she is posing for a crime scene photograph.

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Chuck has a conversation with Noel about what happened. Noel’s remarkably mature about it. He doesn’t defend what she did and doesn’t give Chuck a pass for what he did. Noel agrees that it was wrong for Sophie to assume Chuck stole money from the store and for Sophie to say that Chuck must have learned how to steal from his father. But he reminds Chuck that it wasn’t his father who pushed her over. That’s something he did, and since he could have just walked away, pushing her over is something he has to take responsibility for regardless of the fact that Sophie provoked him.

He also points out the obvious that Chuck knows he didn’t do it, and since it makes no sense that Sophie would’ve taken money from her own store, one of them must have made a mistake.

Chuck tries to apologize, but Sophie won’t have any of it. It’s not till Sophie takes the money to the bank and the clerk informs her she added things together wrong that she’s open to admitting that she was wrong.

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Sophie finds Chuck at an ice rink and gives Chuck her radio to give to his dad. Chuck happens to have brought his sister’s skates with him, so she agrees to skate with him.

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I really appreciate that much like previous episodes, despite learning a lesson during the episode, they don’t immediately lose the part of them that caused the issue in the first place. The instant Sophie gets on the ice, she says she doesn’t need Chuck’s hand, and proceeds to fall down.

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Speaking of not changing instantly, it takes till the moment in the credits below for Sophie to remind Chuck that he hasn’t actually apologized to her for pushing her over.

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He does, and despite the fact that she falls down again saying that’s it’s helpless, he tells her once more over the final set of credits to trust him.

A fairly unremarkable episode, but it did have Linda Schuyler and Bruce Mackey in it. It does have a happy ending, teaches a good lesson, and I’d say the writing was solid as just about everything links together with the themes of trust and responsibility. It’s just not particularly memorable aside from the cameos.

Stacey Halberstadt passed away in 2006. To the best of my knowledge, this is her only appearance in the series. We’ll see Chuck again, though.

Next time we finally get to the episode I’ve wanted to talk about since I started writing about Degrassi–Casey Draws The Line. This time there are permanent consequences to Casey and Lisa’s actions.

As a footnote, while looking into this episode, I found out that they used to sell books to go with the show, such as the one below for Lisa Makes The Headlines.

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  1. The Kids Of Degrassi Street
    1. Ida Makes A Movie
    2. Cookie Goes To Hospital
    3. Irene Moves In
    4. Noel Buys A Suit
    5. Lisa Makes The Headlines

Degrassi: The Kids Of Degrassi Street — Cookie Goes To Hospital


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I don’t care that the DVD menu says Cookie Goes To The Hospital.

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I don’t care that the individual DVD case says Cookie Goes To The Hospital.

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And finally, I don’t care that the back of the complete set of The Kids Of Degrassi Street also says Cookie Goes To The Hospital.

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The title card says “Cookie Goes To Hospital”, so that’s what I’m going with for the title of this episode.

Speaking of goofs, I neglected to include the shot of Ida looking into the camera in the previous episode, so there it is below

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The episode begins by showing us that this is now a series.

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As you may have noticed, there are no kids in that screenshot. There are no kids in several black-and-white stills that they show. Apparently all the kids have gone out into the street to pose for the series title card.

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This immediately cuts to the street sign that says Degrassi St. The store said De Grassi?

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The street was named after an Italian named Captain Filippo De Grassi who emigrated to Canada in 1831. I guess some decided to squeeze the two together and others didn’t.

We are now introduced to the secret club that Ida and some of her friends belong to as of this episode. The conflict is that Cookie would like her doll to become a member. It’s against the rules that could easily be modified.

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The rules are cutoff a bit, so I’ll sum them up. It’s a bunch of nonsense to go with the rules they’ll see at the hospital mentioned in the title and the content is stupid as illustrated by one of the rules that members need names that start with an I, C, or N.

Cookie isn’t worried about her doll getting into the club since I guess she forgot about the previous episode where Ida stood by and filmed her doll being taken away by a garbageman.

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This opening scene with Cookie does answer the burning question I had after the first episode. Yes, Cookie did have a backup doll. She also informs us that her stomach hurts.

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After Ida tells Cookie that her doll can’t join, Cookie leaves her doll in the clubhouse because plot, and Ida goes home to watch what I’m guessing is St. Elsewhere. This episode of The Kids Of Degrassi Street was made in 1980, so that’s the show I’m assuming Ida is watching.

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Ida’s mom gets a call. We find out that Cookie had to be taken to the hospital for appendicitis. Ida’s mom says that she should take the doll to Cookie or give it to Cookie’s mom.

Mom, you could get Ida to give you the doll, and then you could get it to Cookie or her mother, being an adult and all. It’s irresponsible as a parent to send your child off to track down a doll, and then have her potentially go to a hospital all by herself to deliver it.

We now cut to Cookie’s dad who will never show up again in this episode because of course he won’t.

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Next we meet Trish–one of the two neglectful nurses at this hospital.

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During their discussion we find out that Cookie’s real name is Kathryn. In addition, she has no idea why they call her Cookie. I’m going to assume it’s so her nickname meets the club rules when it comes to names.

As for the person who plays Trish, that’s Sue A’Court. She didn’t write this episode, but she will write other ones.

Behind Trish is the first person on The Kids Of Degrassi Street who I can find out went on to do some notable non-Degrassi related things. That’s Sara, played by Nancy Lam. She would go on to be a bit of a celebrity chef.

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Trish decides to explain to Cookie where her appendix is located in the best way possible. Cookie thinks it’s in her stomach. Trish corrects her by pushing on it, which in turn causes her pain. Go figure!

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Cookie brings up her doll with Trish. Cookie would like it to be there with her. Cookie says that her parents don’t know where her doll is at the moment. She tells Trish that a person named Ida knows. You’d think Trish would go to the front desk to tell the one in charge to keep an eye out for Ida and ask Cookie’s parents, like her father we saw previously, about Ida, right? Nope!

Ida and Noel, played by Peter Duckworth-Pilkington, show up at the hospital and get into an elevator. He looks at the camera to make sure it is okay to press the button.

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It’s time to meet Ida as an adult if she doesn’t change her ways concerning the club rules.

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Make sure you read the rules below because while the episode will show them over and over again, I’ll spare you the repetition. These are the hospital’s equivalent to the club rules and they are enforced to the same extent.

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The kids try to go in to give Cookie her doll, and the nurse at the front desk takes the doll to give to their friend who they even say is named Kathryn Peters making it easy for her to have it sent to Cookie’s room. Nope!

She cuts them off and refuses to do anything but say that she didn’t make up the rules before shooing them away from her.

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Noel has a plan to get by the nurse at the front desk, played by Annette Tilden.

While they go off to put Noel’s plan in motion, it turns out that Trish had enough time to find a replacement doll, but still can’t be bothered to go to the front desk to mention Ida, Cookie’s doll, or anything to be passed along to Cookie’s parents.

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Cookie isn’t entirely innocent here either since it appears that she spoke with at least one of her parents between the time Trish was last here and now. Apparently this is something to keep bringing up with Trish, but not her own parents. The parents that know who Ida is since it is Ida’s mother who was called to tell Ida that Cookie had appendicitis and to find the doll.

Meanwhile, we find out the plan to get past Desk Nurse is for Ida to try to sneak past by walking behind a hamper.

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After being caught, Ida is sent away again.

A doctor comes in to explain a few things to Cookie, but we aren’t here for competence, so let’s go back to Trish.

Along with saying a few other things, she lies to Cookie. She says she’ll look around for Ida. She doesn’t look around. In fact, after a short scene with Ida and Noel, she comes in with the anesthetic.

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I will give the episode credit here for having Trish explain to Cookie exactly what they are going to do to her. She even allows her to stick a needle in the other doll to show her how the anesthetic will be administered.

While this was going on, Noel came up with another plan, which was to have Ida put on a Groucho Marx mask and try to walk by Desk Nurse. I get the feeling Noel isn’t the brightest of kids that live on Degrassi St. While we’re on the subject of Noel’s plan, where did he get that mask from anyways?

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As you can see, the plan went over swimmingly.

You’d think at this point that Desk Nurse would begin to think that if two small children have tried this many times to get past her, then perhaps it is something worth asking them about or asking security to look into. Of course she doesn’t. Let’s never mind the little matter that there are two kids under the age of 12 that appear to be unsupervised constantly trying to get past her desk.

Trish, after still not going to the front desk, injects Cookie with the anesthetic. Yet again, Cookie emphasizes just how important this doll is to her. Remember that this isn’t something the hospital doesn’t take into consideration given the fact that Trish brought in another doll for Cookie. It’s just that for whatever reason, Trish doesn’t want to do the bare minimum to find Cookie’s doll. Cookie gives Trish Ida’s phone number. You’d think Ida or Noel’s parents might be wondering where their kids are at this point.

Finally, finally, Trish goes to the main desk to try to do something about this doll situation. Within a couple of minutes she finds the doll. Does it help at this point? Nope! By the time Ida reaches Cookie, she is seconds away from going under.

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In other words, all of this just made Cookie’s experience leading up to her surgery a more uncomfortable and potentially frightening experience.

After surgery, Ida and Noel pay a visit to the recovery room so that we can see the devil doll at the bottom of the screen.

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Afterwards, Ida changes the rules to allow Cookie’s doll to join the club. End of story. Ida learned her lesson and Cookie will probably be scared of hospitals from now on.

Geez, they certainly muddled the lesson they were trying to teach with this episode, didn’t they? I understand why they pushed the parents into the background. It is a show for little kids. However, in the case of an episode such as this, it makes them out to be horrible parents.

Despite my issues with the episode, it, like the show, does a good job with its portrayal of the kids. Unfortunately, the parents’ stuff will continue to come up in later episodes.

In the credits, we find out that Degrassi royalty was involved in this episode.

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Phil Earnshaw would go on to be the cinematographer and director of episodes in the franchise up to and including Degrassi: Next Class. Kit Hood was around for quite awhile. Linda Schuyler was with the franchise the entire time.

Since doing a post on Ida Makes A Movie, I have since found out that, at least according to Wikipedia, the first four episodes were short films that were then turned into a series and originally aired as after-school specials. Why was the first episode the only one not to include an introduction on it for the DVD release? I don’t know.

See you next time!

  1. The Kids Of Degrassi Street
    1. Ida Makes A Movie