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Season 1 Episode 7

Muffin Buffalo

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jul 23, 2004 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
125 votes

By TV.com Users

Featured Article


    Wonderfalls Episodes 5-6: Family and Fat People

    The world of Wonderfalls opens up with episodes about family and Jaye's trailer park.

  • Episode Summary

    Muffin Buffalo

    Jaye performs an unethical act to her neighbor, proposed by the animals, of hiding her checks. She also continues to make her photo album of her neighbor "Fat Pat" grow. Ultimately, the awful acts improves the lives of a few of her neighbors.

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    • Wow. Aaron's kind of a jerk. I really big jerk, I mean. An ultra-jerk, if you will.

      As if Jaye doesn't have enough problems, now her brother is seeking professional help in her personal torment, that of the kindly old therapist whom Jaye robbed of his beloved Brass Monkey bookend.

      Let me just say that Aaron is a bit of a loser. He is also hopelessly bigger than he need be, acting important and like it's his sister that has the problem when it is he that is a aetheist but a theologian, lives with his parents, is a slob, and never has a nice thing to say about anyone. Huh. I don't think I really like him.

      At any rate, let me talk about him. Aaron seemed, from the beginning, to be a jerk. In the pilot epsiode he made jokes about his sister living in a trailer park when he lives at home. He spiraled further downward on my list as he proved to be unnecessarily cruel to Jaye throughout the entire search-and-rescue-and-smuggling-and-return-and-arrest-and-rescue of Yvette, their housekeeper and second mother. To top it off, he broke the hapless Cow Creamer's head off and in the context of this show, that's murder.

      Next, he spied on her. Without hiding it. He set traps for Jaye, mended and played around with the Cow Creamer (Aaron, will you just let that thing go?), and even went to therapy for no other reason that to prove his sister crazy and himself not.

      Oh, yeah. Jaye's the crazy one. Suuuuure.

      Aaron, get over yourself. Get a life. Move out of your parents' house. Leave the Cow Creamer alone. And leave Jaye alone.

      That is all.moreless
    • “What’s the point of living in a trailer park if you can’t spy on the local colour?” “I’m not nice. I’m just highly susceptible to guilt.”

      I’ve always thought Jaye’s trailer to be fairly luxurious. OK, she’s only got one room, but she certainly seems to have the nicest silver caravan in the park. It’s definitely preferable to living in a bedsit or at her parents’ house. They have a maid and a washing machine and probably a garbage disposal unit thing, but day and night surveillance by one’s parents? No thanks. At 24, most people have stopped using their parents to do laundry, but I’m sure Jaye sees it as a way of keeping in touch. At least she’s not a full-time blagger like her brother Aaron, still living at home under the semi-sham of studying for a PhD in Comparative Religion. He is the family member most like Jaye in his part-slackerdom and laissez-faire attitude, yet still similar to the rest of the family with his deeply concerned and intrusive attitude. In this episode, he ends up in therapy in a misguided attempt to help Jaye. Aaron may mock Jaye for her trailerpark lifestyle but isn’t his ridicule caused by the fact that his life with its ‘meaningless meaning’ is so, erm, meaningless, and he therefore feels he should interfere with hers? Mahandra thinks Jaye stalks Fat Pat because he is a bigger freak than she is. Isn’t Aaron subconsciously doing the same thing? He tries to meddle with Jaye’s life because he needs to prove that he is better than she is. But he is doing as useless a degree as she (Jaye studied philosophy, he is an atheist theologian), but whereas Aaron is confused about the world, Jaye isn’t. She knows the grim unrealities of life – “Nobody knows anybody; not really” “Isn’t everybody really alone?” whilst Aaron is still discovering them, much to their older sister, Sharon’s glee. “Are you two not getting along?” she asks happily. Sharon’s ultra-competitive over-achiever stance at family games night contrasts nicely with Aaron’s childish niggling at Jaye – his competitive streak wants to make her the loser of the family, not just at games.

      The therapist that Aaron sees is great. Very calm and understanding, but still unnerved by the theft of his brass monkey by Jaye. The details are a delight – the untouched jellybeans in his office, the mini snooker-for-one plastic game in Pat’s caravan, the amusing trailer trash ‘family’ (the transvestite in the decorated wheelchair, the bearded men accessorised with cans of beer) compared to Jaye’s successful family (“You have such a good heart. Just make sure you establish boundaries.” “I guarantee this will make the Christmas letter.”) and the lovely un-PC fat jokes (“I couldn’t find a mirror my size”, “A turnstile! Why would somebody do that to a person!?”)

      The main plot is similar to the other outcasts/miscasts Jaye has helped: the weird nun, the stalker girl and (next episode) the precocious mail order bride order-er. Not-Fat Pat is not the most interesting of helpees, but Mariannemarie and her disability cheque problems make up for him: “It’s not been the same since the hysterectomy”. The fat story didn’t do much for me although I guess Pat’s insistence that he is fat, despite evidence to the contrary is similar to Jaye’s assertion that she is a self-centred person, despite her good deeds. I love the way that Jaye now just obeys the animals’ weirdest demands without question. “Untied shoelace: staple it”, orders barrelbear and off she goes with the staplegun, her task bringing her thanks, gratitude, an employee of the month certificate and a small piece in the local Native American newspaper. All of this is just anathema to Jaye: “Who are you talking to? I don’t help people!” “Now everyone’s going to think I’m a babsaver!”. The animals use this in her next helpful action: “Give the lady a chair,” commands the wall-pike and Jaye just takes the nearest one, little caring that someone is using it. Of course the AA person sat on the chair then finds rum in his spilt drink and thanks Jaye for saving his sobriety. She can’t win. She can’t do wrong for doing right. She is desperate to keep her self-image as a misanthropist, but when it really counts, she’s there - willing to make herself look daft when breaking into Pat’s trailer to make him feel better about himself. “I’m not a stalker and I really wasn’t making fun of you. And that’s really all I got”. And in the end, the fat-free muffins lady and the fat-free Pat get together to revitalise Mariannemarie’s baked goods business and as usual Jaye herself benefits from her kind deeds – no longer will Marianne be hassling her or Pat trying to bed her.

      Finally, the sub-sub plot; Eric and Jaye’s upwardly mobile romance. Sweet Eric’s insistence that Jaye is a nice girl coupled with his hurt confused face when Pat is convinced that Jaye is in love with him was adorable. Oh, Eric with your skinny indie body and your lost razor! I admire you so. I'm just as bitchy and sarcastic as Jaye! I listen to animals even when they’re not talking! I’ve read Are you there God, it’s me Margaret! We are meant to be together.

      Maybe this should be the end of the review.

    Eddie Kaye Thomas

    Eddie Kaye Thomas

    Fat Pat

    Guest Star

    Beth Grant

    Beth Grant

    Mrs. Beattle

    Guest Star

    Kelvin Wheeler

    Kelvin Wheeler

    Patron's Friend

    Guest Star

    Jeffrey R. Smith

    Jeffrey R. Smith

    Muse Voice

    Recurring Role

    Scotch Ellis Loring

    Scotch Ellis Loring

    Dr. Ron Campbell/Muse Voice

    Recurring Role

    Ted Dykstra

    Ted Dykstra

    Muse Voice

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (9)

      • Jaye took the afternoon off from work. It doesn't make sense for her to go to Wonderfalls at the end of the episode to lock up.

      • In Pat's trailer, when Jay passes the table, she sees a miniature pool table and a jump rope on the table. In the next shot, when holds on to the refrigerator, the jump rope is gone but the pool table is still there.

      • In the bar, after Jaye says "Spread the word" to Mahandra, a man in a yellow sweater stands up behind her and leaves. A second later, when Mahandra bends down to take off her shoe, the same man stands up to leave again.

      • The previous night, when Jaye and Aaron were taking pictures of Fat Pat's trailer, they took a picture of a lawn ornament of a boy and girl kissing. In the shot of Jaye leaving Pat's trailer, the lawn ornament is gone.

      • During the family game night, the clock next to Jaye and her father doesn't change time.

      • The headline viewed upside down on Mahandra's newspaper reads "Rec Center Gets Reno."

      • The shot of Aaron looking out the window of Jaye's trailer with the camera shown during the opening sequence of Wonderfalls is in this episode.

      • When Aaron offers Jaye some tea at her parent's house, he offers her the Cow Creamer and Jaye remarks that Aaron had broken off the head before. Jaye's mother says that Aaron glued it back on that afternoon. If no one knew Jaye was coming to Game Night, how did Aaron know to repair the Cow Creamer before she came?

      • The newspaper headline that Jaye and Mrs. Beattle are reading in the hospital room says, "GOV'T BLOWS MILLIONS ON BALLET CLASSES FOR PRISONERS".

    • QUOTES (25)

      • Jaye: (To Fat Pat) You lost 300 pounds! You can't just go and gain it all back again.
        Marianne Marie: Well "Sieg heil", Miss Jenny Craig.

      • Jaye: I'm not nice! I'm just . . . highly susceptible to guilt.
        Eric: You have the wrong idea about you.

      • Jaye: (to Mrs. Beattle) You do realize you're being held hostage? Is this Stockholm syndrome? Are you Patty Hearst?

      • Dr. Ron: (holds repaired Cow Creamer) That's cracked.
        Aaron: How is it cracked to be concerned for the welfare of a family member?
        Dr. Ron: I meant the creamer. It's cracked.
        Aaron: Oh, yeah. I broke its head off the last time it talked to her.
        (Dr. Ron writes "schizophrenic" on a notepad)

      • Jaye: (About Fat Pat) He says I'm his only friend.
        Mahandra: You have to move.
        Jaye: I can't do that. It's like I took a baby bird out of the nest. If I ditch him now, he'll die of neglect.
        Mahandra: (Pause) You have to move.

      • Jaye: You're NonFat Pat! And I think it's time the Greater Buffalo Region labeled you correctly.

      • (Jaye stops man from drinking alcohol)
        Man in Bar: Thank you. You just saved my sobriety.
        Jaye: I didn't mean to! Hey, you take that thank-you back!

      • Jaye: When was the last time you looked in a -- Wait... You don't have a mirror, do you?
        Fat Pat: I couldn't find one my size.

      • Jaye: Mrs. Beattle, did you take your allergy pills with Gallo again?

      • Dr. Ron: Are you an atheist?
        Aaron: As a theologian, I feel it's irresponsible to define myself in those terms. But, yeah.
        Dr. Ron: A theologian who doesn't believe in God?
        Aaron: There are more of us than you think.

      • Jaye: I do admit the whole shut-in thing has a certain appeal. Dress is optional, and there's the part where you get to avoid people.

      • Jaye: (Sees repaired Cow Creamer) I thought that cow didn't have a head.
        Karen: Your brother glued it back on this afternoon.
        Jaye: Did he? Now that's just crazy.
        Aaron: (Smiles at Jaye) Interesting choice of words.

      • Marianne Marie: What is wrong with you? You stole an old woman's disability checks? That violates the High and Dry Trailer Park code of residential conduct, not to mention the basic tenets of Christianity!

      • Jaye: You can't let this get you down! C'mon, the sun'll come out, and grey skies are gonna clear up! If not, there'll be a silver lining, I swear! Just . . . [gives up] scoot over and give me a muffin.

      • Fat Pat: You think I don't know you people make fun of me? Even the tranny in the wheelchair makes fun of me.

      • Jaye: All the Seneca Indians who read this paper will think I'm a baby-saver. I can't have them running around thinking I save babies!
        Mahandra: I'm three percent Seneca.
        Jaye: Tell your people I won't be saving any other babies! Spread the word!

      • Jaye: (Catches falling baby) I think it soiled itself.

      • Marianne Marie: The muffin business has been B-A-D. My psychic says I need to advertise.

      • Aaron: This trailer park is void of activity. Shouldn't you people be having hoedowns or shooting beer cans or something?

      • Jaye: I don't call him Chupacabra anymore, he might be of Mexican descent – I don't wanna seem insensitive.
        Aaron: What do you call him?
        Jaye: Fat Pat.

      • Marianne Marie: (To Fat Pat) And who are you? Oh my lord, didn't you use to be a real big, fat person?

      • Fat Pat: I needed to call the police. Someone broke into my trailer.
        Jaye: Oh, that was me.
        Fat Pat:What were you doing in there? Harvesting hair from my shower drain for your pillows?

      • Jaye: What's the point of living in a trailer park if you can't take in the local color? And by that, I mean spy on the freaks.
        Aaron: We're all spyin' on the freaks tonight. Talk to any cow creamers recently?

      • Aaron: I was fine when existence had no meaning. Meaninglessness in a universe that had no meaning, that I get. But meaninglessness in a universe that has meaning - what does it mean?
        Jaye: It doesn't mean anything!

      • Jaye: (to Fat Pat in her room) You seem to be naked in my bed!

    • NOTES (9)

    • ALLUSIONS (3)

      • Aaron: You're not suggesting she's like that Margaret chick who talked to God about her period.

        Aaron is referring to the 1970 book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. The book is about a girl Margaret with one Christian and one Jewish parent who searches for a religion of her own. This book became famous for its handling of pre-teen issues which included buying her first bra and having her first period.

      • "Pat"squatch

        This is obviously a play on words for Sasquatch, a name for a Bigfoot-esque monster rumored to live in the mountains or woods.

      • Pat: A frog on a bike . . . The Rainbow Connection!

        This refers to Kermit The Frog and the song "The Rainbow Connection" sung at the end of The Muppet Movie.