Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer TV Rewind: Wonderfalls 1.11: "Cocktail Bunny"

“Who does that benefit besides the hussy? Because I’m not in the business of benefitting hussies!”

This episode is kind of the climax of the whole Jaye/Eric/Heidi mess. There are two more episodes of “Wonderfalls,” but the next one is kind of a respite before the finale that doesn’t involve the Triangle of Doom at all. I can especially see how, if the series had continued beyond one season, this episode could have provided a foundation for Jaye eventually being institutionalized and meeting Pyro Boy from “Lovesick Ass” again. Jaye really seems to be cracking up in this episode, and all of her family and friends start becoming concerned about her. Losing Eric, seemingly for good, is the catalyst. The problem is that not everybody knows about the whole Eric situation, mainly most of Jaye’s family, so they’re extra concerned. Jaye goes to see Dr. Ron again, and that just ends up making things worse. By the end of the episode, Dr. Ron is pretty amazed at what Jaye has accomplished, but for most of the episode, he is actually kind of scared of her. This episode really explores the dark side of Jaye’s situation.

One thing that I appreciated about this episode is that it attempts to answer the question posed in the last episode. Why does Jaye follow the Muses if it just brings her extreme emotional pain? Dr. Ron literally asks her this exact question. Her answer is pretty much just that they wore her down. I guess I can see that. She was tired of being constantly hassled and woken up in the middle of the night by the Muses trying to get her attention. At one point in the episode, Jaye asks a closely related question to one of the Muses (Dr. Ron’s brass monkey). She wants to know why the Muses choose to speak to her. The answer to that one is pretty simple. Because she listens. It doesn’t seem like Jaye has much of a choice in the listening, though, considering that when she doesn’t heed the Muses right away, they just get louder and louder.

Being forced to witness Eric’s re-marriage to Heidi is really the breaking point for Jaye. She is sick and tired of her life being ruled by the Muses and the Muses only bringing her pain. We see her trying to melt the original smush faced Wax Lion on the Wonderfalls break room coffee maker. She threatens to melt or burn each animal faced item in the break room until they answer her “why me” question. Alec walks in on this and is quite disappointed, obviously. Jaye has to discontinue her plan at pyromania, and instead she starts putting up 50% off signs by all the animal-faced products in the store. Alec doesn’t like this any better, and he implies that she is going to face some consequences. Jaye and Alec argue as an especially pushy customer keeps asking them questions about the store’s products. Jaye eventually gets fed up and walks out.

Jaye’s parents stage a sort of intervention lunch at the Barrel, but Jaye gets up and runs off when Eric and Heidi walk in. Jaye figured the Barrel would be safe since Eric wasn’t scheduled to work that day, but she forgot the tiny detail that he lives there, too. Jaye, at this point accompanied by Mahandra, has a cry in the back room of the Barrel when she’s interrupted by a livid Heidi. Smugly, Heidi announces that Eric is quitting his job at the Barrel and the two of them are moving back to New Jersey, effective immediately. She’s a little perturbed when Eric later tells her that he actually gave two weeks’ notice instead. He does agree to live in the honeymoon suite with Heidi instead of in the Barrel’s back room, though.

The instructions of the Muses in this episode, as always, have multiple possible meanings that Jaye has to puzzle out throughout the episode. This time, it’s “save him from her.” Which is followed by a more sinister warning that “she” is going to kill “him.” Jaye , of course, immediately assumes this is a warning that Heidi is going to kill Eric. Heidi has shown herself to be hyper-competitive, and Jaye is convinced she’s going to pull a “if I can’t have Eric, nobody can!” Some internet research, which finds Heidi quoted in a couple college newspaper articles about on-campus poisoning incidents, has Jaye even more convinced. She goes from simply being accused of stalking by Heidi to actually doing some stalking. While on a stake-out, she sees Heidi buy a bag of pills from a Barrel busboy, and thus the paranoia escalates.

The pills Heidi procured are small and blue, so it’s pretty obvious what’s actually going on here. Eric isn’t having sex with Heidi, and she thinks modern medicine might be able to help the situation. She mixes one of the pills in with Eric’s vitamins, and Eric takes the vitamins. Jaye bursts into their hotel room and makes a big fuss about how Heidi is trying to kill Eric. She mentions the shady articles she found on the internet, and on that point, Eric defends Heidi. Apparently there really was a lot of hazing going on at their college, just like Heidi says in the articles. It quickly becomes apparent to everyone what Heidi has done in lieu of killing Eric when the effects of the pill start to manifest, and Eric ends up being pissed off at both Heidi and Jaye. He really wants nothing more than for Jaye to just leave him alone.

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, Jaye starts seeing Dr. Ron again in this episode. She tells him the truth about the Muses, and he’s quite concerned about what he’s hearing. Especially when Jaye tells him that the Muses are currently telling her to “save him from her” and warning about a murder. We learn that Dr. Ron was almost killed by a former patient, and it’s clear that he’s concerned Jaye could be a repeat of that experience. It all comes to a head one night when the Muses tell Jaye to lick the light switch in Dr. Ron’s office. This leads to the power going out in the building. At the same time, Karen and Sharon are also on their way to Dr. Ron’s office, because the police are now also concerned that Jaye might harm Dr. Ron. On the elevator, Karen meets up with none other than the murderous former patient. She’s the lady who was being bothersome at Wonderfalls earlier. She wants to kill Dr. Ron once and for all, and she wants to use Wonderfalls products to do it so she can frame Jaye. Amazingly, just as Jaye is about to be arrested, Karen and the former patient appear, and Karen has managed to talk the former patient into confessing and getting some help. I guess Karen is a better mother than we all thought.

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