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Season 1 Episode 3

Wound-Up Penguin

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Mar 26, 2004 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
147 votes

By TV.com Users

Featured Article


    Wonderfalls Episodes 3-4: Stalk it Out / Nun of Your Business

    Jaye helps out a sister and gets a taste of the sincerest form of flattery in Episodes 3 and 4.

  • Episode Summary

    Wound-Up Penguin
    Jaye and Eric find a woman in the Barrel, who they discover is a nun that is trying to leave her abbey. A priest comes looking for her to try to convince her to come back, but isn't very successful in doing so. Jaye naturally gets wrapped up in it, and taking instructions from the animals, eventually helps the two.moreless

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    • I loved the part where Jaye was tied down to her bed. Now Das Cool!

      This episode was one of my favorites. The episode was funny and very original. It should've been the first one so Wonderfalls could get a great start. My favorite part was when Jaye was knocked out with chloroform and later finds her hands and feet tied down on her bed. That was so COOL!
    • A totally hilarious episode that pokes fun at just at as many religeous stereo types as can.

      This is the best of the four episodes that aired in my option. It makes me laugh even though I have watched it before. It all came together in this episode for me with great character interactions and character development and a comic zaniness to the mundane and the spiritual.

      As character of Jaye who is still playing detective into the meaning of what she is going through is thrust into the life of a nun who is going through a crisis of faith. The animals want Jaye to help her, which just compounds her (and our) confusion over what source is communicating with Jaye. Jaye finds a willing partner in her mission in Eric who has his own motives for doing anything other than go back to a “normal” life.

      I love how Jaye brainstorms motives and storylines and then a scene later acts as if this were something more real than her own ramblings. This episode was filled with great lines pointing out some disturbing similarities between church history and some infamous cults as well as the inability of the Christian church to believe in just one God. “Your mother and I are tickled to death that you've turned to the Lord for guidance, sweetheart. We just think it should be our lord.”

      Jaye’s brother who is a fanatic about religious history and whishes he could believe in something unloads a fountain of religious myths and traditions adding to the general confusion until we finally find Jaye tied to her bed about to get exorcized by a confused nun with a big knife!

      Just when everything seems hopelessly pointless, it all comes together as the chain of reunite a “Father” to and unknown daughter, making the episode rather touching.

      The whole episode has frenetic feel, and continues to build on the mysterious but wacky and surreal town somehow separated from conventional reality.

      This show was cancelled too soon… Sigh!

    • “Catholics aren't bad people. They just do things differently”.

      This isn’t a story about God, although it features a nun, a priest and an attempted exorcism. It’s a story about fate. At the beginning of the tale, the animals are torturing Jaye by singing throughout the night; by the end, she has accepted that it is her fate to follow their instructions.

      We begin the episode by having a little more Jaye and Eric bonding – they both like beer, they both live in strange accommodation (Jaye = trailer, Eric = dry storage) and their lives have both changed recently after one fateful day (Jaye = animals begin giving her messages, Eric = discovering his wife being unfaithful on the first day of their honeymoon). Their relationship develops as they help a runaway nun, Katrina, who is living in an even stranger home: a decorative barrel in the, erm, Barrel pub where Eric works. Jaye is more than usually unwilling to help the homeless woman, preferring instead to steal her coat, but the thought of an adventure with Eric, and the machinations of a toy penguin persuade her.

      They go to the train station to try to find Katrina, in a scene that reminded me of Amélie, although Jaye is perhaps the diametric opposite to Adurey Tatou’s character (“I didn't pretend to be your friend; I was forced to be your friend. Those are two very different things”) as she immediately jumps to the conclusion that the runaway is a prostitute and the man in black looking for her is her ‘goth pimp’, rather than a Sister and a Priest, respectively.

      Jayes and Eric’s attitudes to Katrina’s problem, which is that God has never spoken to her, differs widely. Jaye wishes that things *wouldn’t* talk to her whereas Eric sees Katrina wishing to leave her convent as an allegory of *his* need to move on following his disastrous marriage. Mind you, Eric sees metaphors everywhere. The transitory nature of motels becomes a reason for he and Jaye to almost have a fleeting intimate moment, as he ponders on the ships passing in the night theme. Meanwhile, Jaye realises that she may be able to help herself at the same time as returning Katrina to the fold by being exorcised of her ‘devils’. But she unwisely involves her family:- Aaron, the atheist theologian, scares Katrina with his anti-religious doctrine and her parents decide that if Jaye is going to “turn to the Lord”, it’s doing to be to *their* [Presbyterian] Lord (“Presbyterian prayers go straight to the source. Right to JC”). Eric, in the meantime, ends up in a confessional toilet with the priest, trying to work through some guilt at not forgiving his wife and coming a little closer to accepting his new life in Niagara.

      As usual the animals’ cryptic messages lead to some comedy- suffering for Jaye’s sin of helping: she gets tied up and has holy water flung into her face by the nun, and as usual there is a twist in the tale. The animals’ command to “bring her back to him” refers to the priest’s pre-priestly love-child – he is a father as well as a Father – and he is the one who ends up losing his religion as the nun regains hers. “It’s a miracle”, she says and Jaye realises that the animals move in mysterious ways and that her fate, her life, is now to do their bidding. Jaye of Arc, anyone?

    Carrie Preston

    Carrie Preston


    Guest Star

    Aidan Devine

    Aidan Devine

    Father Joe Scofield

    Guest Star

    Sean Sullivan

    Sean Sullivan

    Ticket Guy

    Guest Star

    Scotch Ellis Loring

    Scotch Ellis Loring

    Muse Voice

    Recurring Role

    Ted Dykstra

    Ted Dykstra

    Muse Voice

    Recurring Role

    Jeffrey R. Smith

    Jeffrey R. Smith

    Muse Voice

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (2)

      • Continuity: When Father Joe Scofield walks over to Marta in the police office, a woman is seen walking over to a man and shaking his hand. When the camera zooms out about 10 seconds later, the woman is seen walking over to the man and introducing herself again.

      • Unlike most of the other muses, the toy penguin does not appear in any future episodes. That is because this episode was one of the last shot, though scheduled to run third.

    • QUOTES (15)

      • Eric: This is her stub. She arrived eight days ago. Anything you can remember would be great.
        Ticket Guy: Wait a minute... I think I do remember, yeah. This ticket... It had another half.

      • Jaye: (To Eric) I can imbibe quickly if you need to get home.

      • Jaye: Why are you all dressed up?
        Sharon: We're going to church.
        Jaye: Is it Christmas? 'Cause if it is, it snuck up on me and nobody is getting anything.
        Darrin: It doesn't have to be Christmas for the Tylers to go to church.
        Jaye: Is it Easter?

      • Jaye: Is there some sort of leader I could speak with? Leader? Hello! Anyone want to let me in on the plan? 'Cause I'm assuming there's a plan, a reason for all this. Anyone?

      • Wax Lion: (To Jaye) Hey! Break a tail light!

      • Eric: One bad day and everything changes.
        Jaye: One bad 'sode and not only does eveything change, but everything starts talking to you.
        Eric: I don't get it.
        Jaye: I'm not sure I get it either.

      • Wax Lion, Karma Chameleon, Brass Monkey: (Singing) Eighty-eight bottles of beer on the wall, eighty-eight bottles of beer . . .
        Jaye: This is what cults do, you know: deprive their followers of sleep so they'll be more willing to do the stupid things you ask them to do--like drink the Kool-aid. Is that what you're working up to? Oh God.

      • Katrina: I was wrong. You're not hearing the devil. You are the devil.
        Jaye: Just so we're clear? Calling a girl the devil in front of the boy she likes? Not the best way to keep a friend.

      • Jaye: Yeah, missionary man. Where do you get off browbeating a hooker? Jesus was nice to prostitutes!

      • Jaye: I didn't pretend to be your friend, I was forced to be your friend. Those are two very different things.

      • Karen: Catholics aren't bad people. They just do things differently.

      • Darrin: Your mother and I are tickled to death that you've turned to the Lord for guidance, sweetheart. We just... think it should be our lord...

      • Jaye: Oh, Him, with a big H!

      • Jaye: She's a prostitute and he's her pimp. Her goth pimp!

      • Jaye: Yes, but maybe she's just a lazy whore. That happens, right? They can't all have hearts of gold and good work ethics.

    • NOTES (11)

      • In this episode there is a train station scene. The actual station used was Union Station located in Toronto. It is an interesting piece building that was built in 1927. It was recently renovated. For the show our nun was sleeping on wooden benches. These benches do not actually exsist. The station actually has steel mesh chairs. It would have been too difficult to have Katrina sleep on those items.

      • The Muses sing through one verse of "99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall" in ten seconds. At ten seconds a verse, they've been singing for a whole 2 minutes and 50 seconds when Jaye leaves the trailer. They'd have finished the entire song song in 16 and a half (16:30) minutes.

      • Executive Producer Todd Holland provided the voice for the Wound Up Penguin.

      • "Penguin" is a term some people use for nun, and Katrina certainly was wound-up about her crisis of faith.

      • This episode mentions the 1978 cult incident where all the 1000 cult members drank Kool-Aid (grape flavor) and it turned out to be poison and they all died along with Reverend Jim Jones in Guyana, South America. Jaye mentioned this while being annoyed by the Muses.

      • Aidan Devine previously played a priest on the Canadian series The City.

      • Jaye talks with a wound-up penguin.

      • Featured music: "It Ain't Easy" by Ricky Fanté, "Devils and Angels" by Toby Lightman, and "Waltz" by Hem.

      • The train station scenes in this episode are filmed at Union Station in Toronto, ON, Canada.

      • This episode reveals that the Tylers are Presbyterians.

      • Tracie Thoms ("Mahandra") does not appear in this episode.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)