With Penelope's sole purpose of caring for the endangered birds clearly defined, her constancy providing a steady axis for the other to revolve around. A remarkable actor who handle the goofy zoo-girl character with understated quirkiness and dignity at the same time. I would like to have seen more of her and Rufus as returning characters in subsequent episodes. It certainly would have been a nice contrast to all the misfit love affairs to have seen their characters develope. The memorial at the end credits is a sad reminder of her untimely passing as this was Kellie's last appearance on TV. She'll be missed.
“It’s then that those louses go back to their spouses”
One of the writers of this episode worked on Dawson’s Creek. I’m surprised it wasn’t Ally McBeal - the story was Mc-Beal-esque in the extreme. Girl meets boy, girl likes boy, girl does something to mess up relationship with boy in order to create a plot. Best friend with seemingly no life of her own interferes with girl/boy relationship. Girl hallucinates boy’s heart popping out and her stomping on it.
I suppose we should be grateful that John Paul Young, the recording artiste who released Love is in the Air, didn’t turn up, Al Greene like. Instead of dancing babies, we had shagging, screeching and biting blue macaws, whom all of the characters saw as metaphors for their own relationships. Except the sweet zoo-girl Penelope, who saw them as her life, rather than as an analogy of life. Happily, she found love with the elephants and the janitor (check out the suggestiveness of the tusk-stroking scene). Mahandra stopped messing with Jaye’s life long enough to get involved in some weird thing with Aaron – and wasn’t he sexy in this episode? The beetling brows, the coy looks, the little-boy lost-isms (“Mom and Dad put *me* in charge”, “Why should anyone worship my sister?? Is she a cult figure?”, “What have they lost now, an alligator?”). Honestly though, isn’t getting off with your best friend’s brother a bit strange? Like you’ve held a torch for the friend, but neither of you are that way inclined so you have the next best thing instead? Talking of lesbians, is Sharon’s lover about to cease her Sapphic proclivities? Did Sharon’s insecure hissy fit (“God help us if our cycles sync up”) over the peanut butter become a self-fulfilling prophecy as Beth seemed to enjoy some ex-husband loving?
The main attraction was of course Jaye and Eric’s kissy kissy on/off/on relationship. Of course we expected Heidi to come back but not then! Not when everyone else had ended up happy or deluded! I admit to being totally fooled as wifey put Coldplay or whatever on the jukebox and I thought a temporary happy ending, rather than a cliffhanger was in order. The irony that it was Jaye who was hurt, not Eric, was in fact lost on me as it seemed obvious that a repentant Heidi would show up before too long. But really Eric, one little misunderstanding with Jaye and he’s in the arms of the woman who adulterated on their honeymoon? One chapter of “The Manchasers” and his adoration of Jaye stopped as quickly as Beth’s homosexuality. And what did the animals intend? For Penelope and Rufus to get together, perhaps? For Mahandra and Aaron to do some smoochies, maybe. But it was Jaye who opened the window which led, yes, to the bird’s mating, but also to her and Eric’s row and her being absent when Heidi and her polished fingernails/talons turned up. Perhaps it’s the animals’ purpose to reconcile Eric and Heidi. “Save the love birds”. Is that what this whole thing was all about? As Jaye said to Rufus, trying to explain her bird-scaring actions: “Sometimes these things happen for a reason….Maybe this could be the best thing that’s ever happened to her”. Jaye claims she is not a love-killer, of neither the human nor the feathered variety, but in the end, she just might have killed her own love.
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