Season 1 Episode 13

Caged Bird

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Dec 15, 2004 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
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  • Everything I touch and hear and see…

    I expected great things from this episode, and whilst we got a big blow up episode, there were elements of it that left me disappointed. Over the last few episodes, Eric has changed, in my mind, from Cute Bartender to what-does-he-want wimp and the resolution, although sweet, didn’t answer any of my questions. The Indian shaman (shawoman?) told Jaye that she was chosen [by the animals] for a great purpose, but now we will never ever know what that purpose is. Presumably that was to be explored in the second series, if the idiot network hadn’t cancelled this – ahem – Wonderfall programme.

    Anyway, we open with, as ever, the store. A young kid is attempting to shoplift, Jaye is attempting to catch him with the aid of the security guard from the last episode. She is unusually motivated in this work activity – because she gets 10% of whatever the thief was going to steal. The lad’s palmed a toy caged bird – which then tells Jaye to let him go. But are we talking about the security guard, the boy or….The Boy? Eric is finally leaving Niagara for Jersey and is rubbing Jaye’s nose in it by buying goods from the shop. He’s *still* trying to get Jaye to admit she loves him, whilst saying goodbye to her! What kind of cruelty is this?

    In the meantime, Aaron’s still trying to get Mahandra to be his lady; a fact which does not go un-noticed by Heidi, although Aaron’s date-offer – for Mahandra to take a picture of Sharon when Aaron gets their parents a better present for their anniversary – is not that tempting. Still it’s given Heidi the chance to spot what Sharon and Aaron haven’t. Jaye noticed Sharon’s lesbianism whilst Aaron remains oblivious. Aaron cottoned on to Jaye’s talking to animals habit whilst it would never cross Sharon’s mind - it would be far too insane. Their parents of course aren’t aware of any of their children’s’ secrets.

    Sharon comes in to the shop to yap about anniversary presents, as does the bankrobber, although he is less interested in antique clocks than escaping with his loot from his bank job – or alternatively, holding Jaye, Sharon, the mouthbreather and the security guard hostage. As you do. Then comes the animals’ most cryptic message: “Give him heart?” Give who heart? Why? And how? Jaye has a lot of time to ponder this as she is kept prisoner by the thief-cum-murderer. The security guard, Wade, too busy trying to force the notions of right and wrong into the pre-teen shoplifter hadn’t noticed the robber and Jaye decides that it’s he who needs heart and tries to encourage him to take on the robber as well as attempting to make a bargain with barrel bear: “If I do this, will you get me out by 5?”

    Meanwhile, as Eric goes off for closure with Jaye, Mahandra is forced to be nice to Heidi, to keep her occupied (“for half an hour??!”) and within the course of their conversation, Heidi reveals her vulnerability: “Of course I don’t trust him, have you seen the way he looks at her?” She knows that her man wants another woman but she hopes she can turn him around, far away from Niagara. She also gives some tough talk to Mahandra: “Whining to me about a guy who wants to be with you and knows he wants to be with you? Please tell me what’s so confusing about that, so I can listen to you whine some more and not kill myself. Please!”

    Meanwhile at the Tylers, Karen is fretting about her children being unattached. Darren however, is more worried about not getting any action on his 31st wedding anniversary. Aaron is rather concerned about his parents getting it on whilst he eats a sandwich. Time to move out now Aaron??

    Back at the store, Sharon tries to zap the robber, gets caught and is distracted by Eric turning up. Circumstances conspire so that Jaye once again has to get rid of him by showing him her inner bitch. “So you marry [Heidi] and then leave her in a bar? Classy”. Girl’s got a point. Eventually the gang come up with a plan which is that Jaye distracts the robber whilst Sharon passes a canoe paddle to Wade for him to whack the robber over the head with. Except that Wade has a heart attack, but, thanks to Eric’s intuition, the police have turned up anyway. Jaye “remembers” the hidden door in the bathroom, Sharon saves Wade with her tazer and Heidi storms off in a huff. As does the robber, with Jaye as a hostage, only to smack straight into Heidi’s car.

    Cars have featured quite heavily in the Wonderfalls plots. The taillight smash in Wound Up Penguin, the car thievery in Love Sick Ass, the car crash of the Jewish husband in Pink Flamingos, hiding the au pair in the boot in Crime Dog. Even in Lying Pig, Mahandra has to steal Jaye’s car to (not) get to the church on time. Ironically, it’s the ambulance going to rescue Wade that splats the robber across the road. It’s only the second death on Wonderfalls and quite shocking for all that. I’m glad that it wasn’t Heidi that got squashed – that would have been a little toooo convenient.

    And so the shell-shocked ending, with poignant Xmas tree in the background. Poor Heidi stands alone whilst her loving family comfort Jaye. She may have Eric, a hollow victory, but Jaye has her family. Aaron has Mahandra. Jaye knows how lucky she is, she can let Eric go.

    Until the coda. Wade has the robber’s heart in a very speedy transplant operation, and amusingly, is the only victim of the animals and Jaye’s help not to be grateful. Enter Eric who is more grateful. He realises that “Everything that had to happen, happened”. He had to get over Heidi, she had to realise that he didn’t love her anymore, Jaye had to go through heartbreak, helping people and hostage situations before she could truly be with him. And then the bristly snog. Jaye gets her reward.
    Word of advice? offers the wax lion. Shut up, counsels Jaye.

    It’s difficult not to notice how much Jaye has grown during the course of these 13 episodes. She’s helped a delivery man, a journalist, a nun, a high school frenemy, a fake French-Canadian housekeeper, a falls diver, a muffin-maker, a 12 year old boy, a zoologist, a therapist, an Indian reservation and finally a security guard. As well as helping herself, her friends and her family along the way. At the beginning, aloof and indifferent, wary of old people, children and relationships, she wouldn’t “get off her ass” to do anything. Now she’s taking control - witness the way she takes over mouth to mouth seamlessly from Sharon, the sister she barely tolerated at the beginning of the series.

    Such a horrible shame that the programme got cancelled and there couldn’t be a second series. What happens with Beth and Sharon? How will Jaye cope with her best friend and her brother dating? Will she ever leave the Wonderfalls shop? And will Eric have to get some more of that herbal stimulant?!
  • Yet another show yanked before allowing it to mature.

    I only learned of Wonderfalls after searching around the \'net for cancelled TV shows. I came across Wonderfalls and the premiere seemed interesting. I remember seeing a commercial for it a few years ago, but did not put the two together until I actually saw the pilot.

    I picked up the DVD box set Friday and finished today with Caged Bird.

    Normally shows that are cancelled are gone for good reason, however with Wonderfalls I feel that Fox had a great show in their lineup, but it was poorly promoted. Most of the hard-core fans already know about the show being bounced around different time slots and all that good stuff, so I will focus on the whole series in general.

    After starting with the pilot, I was hooked. The characters were absolutely hilarious, smart, and witty.

    Concisely I now consider this show to be on my list of personal favorites.

    Perhaps people were just so engrossed in the garbage on TV such as the reality shows airing on all the major networks -- They did not get a chance to pause and actually use their minds and give this show a go.

    If it helps you understand what kind of shows I personally enjoy I am a fan of drama, suspense, sci-fi, and comedy. Wonderfalls satisfied my pallet that wanted something fresh, clever, and more importantly, different.
  • A great end to a great show. This was a brilliant, yet, unfortunaltey, short lived show that was both refreshingly original and very funny.

    I have just watched the last episode of Wonderfalls and it left me feeling both satisfied and warm and fuzzy in the inside! Although this show was supposed to span multiple seasons, this episode was definitely a great way to send the show off. Many loose ends were tied up and many story arcs were completed. All in all it was a fantastic episode that leaves me feeling sad knowing that there won't be a Season 2. It sucks when creative, original and refreshing shows get axed (e.g. Tru Calling, Firefly) but its even more cruel to kill this show off so early. I mean in some countries only 4 episodes (I believe) were shown. 4 episodes, I mean come on!! How can one learn to appreciate a show, much less bond with the characters if it is killed off as soon as it first airs. I feel lucky that I managed to watch the entire season. It was definitely worth it and I mourn its passing just like I mourn the passing of similarly great shows that were killed off so that, popular, garbage can span multiple seasons. R.I.P WF it was fun while it lasted.
  • The series finale. Fortunately, this one tied together some loose ends and allowed a more-or-less complete feel to the series.

    The saddest thing about this series, is that, as excellent as it was, it never had time to grow and develop into what it could have been. Fox Network is developing quite a list of brilliant programs murdered by neglect or deliberate action. Most television shows develop a template, and all episodes more or less fit that template. While Wonderfalls did have a template of sorts, there were so many unexpected and off-the-wall occurrences within the episodes, it was clear the template was a vague guideline, not a boilerplate restriction, as is the case with so many lesser television programs.

    Still, if only there were 100 or more episodes to become immersed in, to watch as Bryan Fuller and Tim Minear developed the characters through twisted and bizarre plots. Instead, from Fox we get 24, American Idol, and other derivative drivel.

    The show was brilliant. Fox Network is not.
  • How could this one be cancelled?

    This show is the best - definitely one of the funniest TV shows out there. I don't know why it didn't find an audience. I discovered it at the library and laughed through all the hilarious episodes, especially this one. It's too bad that the networks don't nurture the good shows. Instead they give us the garbage that is 99% of TV right now (except Lost, CSI and Grey's Anatomy).
  • A satisfying conclusion to a brilliant, short-lived series

    As the last episode of Wonderfalls approached I was bracing myself for that abrupt, unsatisfying ending typical of shows that hit early cancellation like Earth II and EZ Streets. In the final episodes of teh series Jaye's animals seemed to be downright malevolent, and I wondered if there was some pupose to it all and afraid i would never know.

    But surprisingly, this last episode tied everything together beautiful. In the end the story arc was an extended versio of each show in which Jaye is forced to perform puzzling actions that ultimately pay off. It's a clever idea in a consistently clever series, and shows that the writers had something in mind beyond just a goofy episode a week. While the series leaves you with the big question of why, it neatly ties off its sory threads while leaving enough for the next season that never happened.

    In fact, as sad as I am that there are no more Wonderfalls, the ending is so satisfying and complete that it gives the show the quality of one of a limited run series that is only meant to have 13 episodes.

    That being said, this was a good but not great episode of the series. It's not as funny as the best episodes, the "give him heart" line is to obscure to ever make its meaning clear. It feels like some things may have been rushed, as though the writers were eager to wrap things up quickly. It's possible that this episode was written when they suspected the show wouldn't make it and they wanted to make sure people weren't left with a lot of questions, which if true just shows what nice folks they are. Of course, the network ruined their gift of a satisfying ending by killing the show way before then, so thanks the good folks at Logo who revived this series.