January 24, 2004

WF: Wonderfalls Pilot Summary

The question many of you may be asking, is what exactly 'Wonderfalls' about. Here's Fox's official description.

"Wonderfalls is a funny, provocative and magical one-hour dramedy about Jaye Tyler, set against the backdrop of Niagara Falls. Jaye is an underachieving twenty-something souvenir shop worker whose life is forever changed after she has what her family calls "an episode." That's when inanimate objects - toys, cartoon images, anything in the form of an animal - begin talking to her, providing her with cryptic messages that invariably lead her into the lives of others in need. Jaye meddles in, muddles up, and ultimately betters the lives of herself, her eccentric family of overachievers, and the eclectic variety of strangers that cross her path. Jaye discovers that the world around her really is a magical place...even if she fears that listening to inanimate objects means she is slowly losing her grip on sanity."

Now, if you would like a few more details, read on for a complete summary of the pilot episode of 'Wonderfalls'. There is no guarantee that this will be the actual first episode that we will see, or if it is, that there will not be major changes made (ala 'Tru Calling'). But it does give a fair representation of what the show will be like.
Wonderfalls Pilot

The episode opens to a voiceover narration to the history of Niagara Falls 'Maid Of The Mist'. The narrator, is a young woman, who is related the legend to a bratty kid. It goes something like this..

Centuries ago, the local indians were afraid of the god of the waterfalls, because he kept on killing them. None of their sacrifices worked, so they decided to offer a human sacrifice, the chief's daughter. She paddles off in her canoe, as her father realizes that he's made a mistake. He pursues her in another canoe, trying to convince her to turn back before it's too late. She won't, stating that she must 'Surrender To Destiny'. So over the falls she goes. However, because of her beauty, the god offers to save her if she will spend eternity with him under the falls. If she will, he will promise to protect her people and enchant their land. She agrees to stay with him, while her father goes over the falls to her death. This is how she became the 'Maid Of The Mist'.

Flash to the present, and we find our heroine Jaye, telling the story to a tourist's kid in the souvenir shop where she works. She's trying to sell him on buying the video version of the story. Which doesn't work, so she tells the kid to beat it and goes back to her lackluster folding of the other souvenir merchandise. Both she and her fellow co-worker, Alec, are bored out of their skulls.

The EPS deliveryman, Thomas, arrives with some packages that need to be signed for. You can tell that he's very interested in Jaye, but she's more interested in watching the video for the hundredth time. Then someone shouts her name from the register, and it turns out to be someone that she knew in High School. She's just returned to Niagara Falls after marrying her very successful boyfriend. She asks if Jaye managed to end up 'overeducated and unemployed' as she promised in the yearbook. Which is a big yes for our Brown graduate with a degree in Philosophy. Well, her friend commiserates, at least she's the manager of the souvenir shop.

Which is where we flashback to Jaye and Alec in the manager's office earlier, as she awards the assistant manager position to Alec. So essentially, Jaye's life sucks. Which is why it's a good thing that the magic is about to begin.

We focus on a small souvenir machine, which manufactures wax lions. A customer has just put in her money for one, and received a defective product. The machine is outside of Jaye's control, but the customer insists that she failed to give her the discount she was supposed to get on her purchase. It turns out that the customer forgot to present the coupon at the time of purchase. Jaye refuses to give her the discount, at which point the customer starts raising her voice. Alec rushes over and gives her the discount, telling Jaye to give her a refund for the difference.

At which point, the deformed wax lion that the customer put on the counter, looks at Jaye and advises her not to give the money back.

A stunned Jaye slowly pulls the money out of the drawer, as the lion continues to chide her not to do it. The customer grabs the money out of Jaye's hand and rushes out the door. Right into a man who snatches her purse and runs off. The lion looks at Jaye and says, "Told Ya". Jaye promptly faints.

Later, at Jaye's home (A rusted old trailer in a dumpy trailer park), Jaye sits locked in her bedroom. Outside her door, Jaye's parents and brother and sister have all come over to visit. Her mother is concerned about Jaye's 'episode', and the family are all arguing about what could be wrong with her. It's obviously a very intelligent, very successful and very dysfunctional family. Mom wonders if Jaye's father can prescribe any medication, but he insists that's not what she needs. He goes to Jaye's closed bedroom door and loudly asks when was the last time she had an orgasm. He then suggests that she talk to Dr. Ron, her mother's therapist.

Shortly, Jaye is in Dr. Ron's office. He tries to get her to talk about her family, which she doesn't really want to do. They are discussing various things, when suddenly the brass monkey bookend on this desktop starts talking to her as well. Dr. Ron continues to probe, about the relationship with her sister, while the monkey keeps chiming in. (I should point out that she is the only one who can hear them).

Later, at the local bar, Jaye sits drinking with her friend Mahandra. The brass monkey sits on the bar in front of her, as she stole it from Dr. Ron's office. Her friend tries to cheer her up, though not very successfully. She leaves Jaye sitting at the bar, who strikes up a conversation with the bartender (Eric).

It turns out that Eric, earlier this week, had married his high school sweetheart. They had headed up to Niagara Falls for the honeymoon. The next day he discovered her in their hotel bedroom, getting it on with the bellman. So he walked out of the hotel, into the bar, and he's been here ever since. He actually starts hitting on Jaye during the conversation, and although she declines, there's major sparkage.

Which is a good thing, because the next day Jaye has to deal with Thomas (EPS guy). Again she blows him off, until the wax lion suggests that she ask Thomas about a ring. The one that he doesn't wear. When she refuses to ask him, the lion starts singing. So she asks Thomas about the ring. We discover that his wife left him for no reason, and they were divorced. Thomas doesn't know what he did wrong, but he ended up pawning the ring. At which point he starts to cry and leaves. On his way past the large fountain outside dedicated to the 'Maid In The Mist', he tosses a coin into the fountain. As the coin arcs toward the fountain, it sparkles in the sunlight. The lion suggests that she pick it up.

Jaye goes outside and finds the coin in the fountain. It's a quarter, and as she looks at it, the eagle on the coin moves. This startles her into dropping it, and it rolls across the plaza, down some stairs and into a lunch bag. At which point the man eating his lunch grabs the bag and rides off on his bike. Jaye chases after him, and just as she's about to give up, he throws it in the trash. She rummages through the trash and finds both the coin and the purse of the angry customer from the previous day.

Later that night in her trailer, Jaye is trying to figure out what is going on. She's talking to the wax lion, brass monkey, and quarter. She wonders if they are Satan or God, but who can say, they aren't talking now.

Jaye goes out to the hotel that the angry customer was staying out, where she finds the woman and returns her purse. Since there is nothing in it now, the woman thinks that she stole it, and that this is some kind of scam. Jaye tries to explain how many doors she knocked on, leaving her with raw knuckles. As she shows her knuckles to the woman, she thinks Jaye is going to hit her, so she punches Jaye first. This turns into a knock-down drag out fight in the hotel room.

Jaye has to call her sister (Sharon) to come vouch for her, so the cops will let her go home. As they are leaving the hotel, they get into a shouting match in the streets, as they've never really gotten along. Her sister drives off, revealing the woman's daughter who thanks Jaye for finding her mom's purse.

The next day, at the souvenir shop, Jaye is watching the same video for the gazillionith time. Jaye's mother and Sharon come into the store, she wants to talk to her about the monkey. Dr. Ron is refusing to see her until he gets the monkey back. Jaye tries to deny it, until it turns out that Dr. Ron videotapes all his sessions. Her mother is also excited to see that her sister is talking to Thomas. As her mother and Sharon leave, Thomas comes up to Jaye and mentions that her sister is hot. At which point, the wax lion says to Jaye, "Make Me A Match". That night, Jaye is trying to sleep. Which is hard, as the lion sings all night long about making the match.

That night, Jaye uses some subterfuge to get Sharon and Thomas, to the local bar for dinner. She then ditches them at the table and heads over to the bar. Sharon tells Thomas isn't going to get anywhere with her. Thomas is trying to figure out why Sharon doesn't like him. He wants to know, as he thinks it could be why his wife left him. At which point, Sharon confesses the truth, that she's a lesbian. Back at the bar, Jaye has confessed to Eric everything that has happened. He's not so sure what to think, especially about the talking lion. Jaye thinks she's figured it out, the universe is against her. But even with all her insane ramblings, there is major sparkage between these two.

Jaye heads back to the table, where Thomas asks right off the bat if Jaye knew her sister was a lesbian. Jaye has no idea what he's talking about and thinks that he's just being rude, when she notices that his neck is swelling. It turns out there were peanuts in his salad and he's having an allergic reaction.

On the way to the hospital, Jaye asks if Sharon really is a lesbian. She admits that it's true. Of more immediate concern is Thomas, who is asphixiating in the backseat. Jaye suggests that they trach him, and Sharon asks if she has a pen, to which Jaye replies 'Ball point or Felt Tip'. Sharon grabs one and performs a tracheotomy on Thomas.

Later that night, at the hospital, it turns out that Thomas will be okay. His ex-wife comes in, and asks if Sharon was the one who brought him in. When Sharon says that she did, his ex-wife asks if she's his girlfriend, Sharon gets a bit flustered, and strangely, so does the ex-wife. Guess what, there's sparkage between those two.

Sharon and her go to his room, where both Thomas and Jaye figure out at the same time what's going on. Sharon offers his ex a ride home, and they go off together. Jaye tries to console Thomas, when a sexy nurse comes in and naturally

There's sparkage, followed by a sponge bath.

Back in Jaye's trailer, she finds Sharon waiting for her there. She's curious why Jaye is interested in her all of the sudden, especially since Jaye has never seemed to like her. Jaye doesn't have an answer, she's just trying to figure out what's going on and what they wanted her to do. Which causes Sharon to asks, "who 'they' are". Jaye brushes it off as nothing and hugs her sister. In the corner of the room, the brass monkey suggests quietly, that Jaye tell her sister that she loves her.

Later that evening, Jaye stands outside the fountain looking up at the statue of the Maid In The Mist. Eric is walking by and comes up to her. They discuss the 'Maid of the Mist', and why she did sacrificed herself for her people. He suggests that instead of struggling with fate, people should just accept it. They spend some quiet time together staring out at the falls.

A few days later at the souvenir shop, Jaye is stocking the shelves and looking out the window. Thomas and the sexy nurse walk by, very happy with each other. As they pass, she sees someone toss a coin into the fountain (sparkling just like the first one). Suddenly, a teddy bear on the shelf behind her says 'See a penny'. She starts yelling no, they had a deal. She did what they wanted her to do, they were supposed to leave her alone. To which the bear replies, 'Dont Squeeze The Charmin.' Jaye sees a woman walking by, who has some toilet paper stuck to her shoe. Jaye grabs the bear and heads out the door after the woman.

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