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?!