Greetings and welcome back to our Wonderfalls watch-a-long! This time we’re watching episode two, “Pink Flamingos *“, so if you haven’t watched it yet do so now! Unlike last time, there will be spoilers and a link to Hannibal?!?!
Have you watched it yet?
Good. Let’s get to it.
We last left Jaye in the aftermath of her first encounter with the talking wax lion guiding her onto a path of being a better person. After completing her task and successfully shutting up the lion, Jaye is ready to be done with her “hallucinations” only to get more instructions from more inanimate objects.
This episode, we open with Jaye impatiently waiting to go out for breakfast with her father, only to be blocked into the driveway by the trash bins at the end. The lawn flamingos encourage Jaye to, “Get off [her] ass,” but – as is Jaye – she refuses and only shuts the doors, rolls up the windows, and remains comfortable in the car… until it begins to roll down the drive towards her father. Guilty that she has now put him in the hospital because she didn’t listen to the flamingos, Jaye struggles to help only to be shot down by her family and their expectations that she will only make matters worse. Useless, she returns to work only to be kicked when she is down by the appearance of high school classmate, Gretchen, and her eagerness to get Jaye to help her put together their six-and-a-half-year high school reunion.
Following Jaye from work to the bar, Gretchen refuses to take no for an answer, the same stance the talking fish on the wall of the bar has. Much to Mahandra’s chagrin, Jaye finally agrees to help Gretchen out while Mahandra begins to plan the young woman’s demise.
Meanwhile, Sharon – Jaye’s sister – is facing the eternal struggle of the closeted lesbian as she continues to blow off her plans with Beth. Although Sharon’s storyline in this episode is small, it discusses the very real issue of biphobia in the world. Beth has been married to a man and enjoys men just as she would if she were straight. When she makes an offhanded comment about not being gay, Sharon’s instant reaction is defensive as she uncomfortably asks Beth about her past experiences with men. Beth is quick at brushing it off and calling out Sharon on being jealous, but I know I saw a little more in that scene: gay people can be just as phobic as straight people when it comes to bisexuality. I do hope these two will be explored more in the future and that Sharon will loosen up.
Back at Reunion Planning 101 with Gretchen Speck-Horowitz, Jaye and Mahandra are dragged back to Gretchen’s hotel room where she plans on introducing them to her husband and showing off all she has accomplished since graduating high school. Things do not go as planned when Robert ends up not coming to the reunion at all. Devastated, Gretchen flees the room and Jaye pursues to attempt to comfort her as commanded by the higher powers communicating through figures. Weirdly enough, Jaye succeeds in calming her classmate down, only to be told by the chicken clip in her hair to destroy Gretchen.
Now I know what you all are probably thinking. “Why the hell does ‘Gretchen Speck-Horowitz’ sound so familiar?” Hold onto your seats, friends, you’re in for a wild treat.
In her attempt to ignore the chicken clip, Jaye borrows Gretchen’s phone to tell her lame husband to come to the reunion… and gets him into an accident that may or may not have killed him. This is the straw on the camels back for Jaye and she gives in completely, ruining Gretchen’s dress. This prompts Gretchen to break down in the bathroom where she is faced with the guy in the army uniform who has been more or less stalking her the entire time.
Chuck Aronson confesses to Gretchen that he is in love with her and this conversation brings Gretchen to the realization that it has been a long time since someone has been obsessed with her and the fact that she does not love her husband. This prospect excites Chuck, but Gretchen is having none of that.
So hold onto your hats for this next part. Gretchen, for what is clearly the first time in a long time, feels as on top of the damn world as she did when she was in high school and is not about to let Jaye off the hook for her behaviour. Calling the girl out in front of everyone, Gretchen Speck-Horowitz thanks Jaye for helping her regain her self worth and announces to the room that she is done with Robert by saying, and I quote, “That’s right! I’m losing the hyphen and keeping the ring!”.
THAT’S RIGHT! GRETCHEN SPECK, BITCH OF THE SMALL NIAGARA REGION HIGH SCHOOL, NARROWLY AVOIDED BECOMING A MUSHROOM GARDEN!
But back in 2004, Jaye has once again succeeded in making everyone’s lives better in an incredibly round-about way. Even her dad was saved as the accident resulted in the discovery of a blood clot in his leg. Once again, a good time of dry humour and easter egg fodder for Fuller’s later works. I must say, the realization of who Gretchen “is” had me flipping out (I mean, I’VE SEEN WONDERFALLS BEFORE! HOW DID I NOT GET IT!?).
But what did you think? Will Sharon and Beth become a proper thing? Will Eric’s wife show her cheating face and rage against Jaye? Will Gretchen come back?
We will find out next time with Episode 3: Karma Chameleon!
* Disclaimer: Last post, I mentioned that the second episode was “Karma Chameleon” as listed almost everywhere. My DVDs, however, have decided to disagree with that as does Wikipedia. Either way, these first episodes appear to still be setting up Jaye’s character. I do not believe this to be a huge problem to have this as the second watch-a-long episode and we will hang with the Chameleon next time!