Karma Chameleon

<--   19 March 2004   -->

# 2 ~ FOX
# 2 ~ VisionTV
# 2 ~ Télé-Québec
# 3 ~ DVD
# 2 ~ logo
Wonderfalls, 'Karma Chameleon' Jaye takes a twenty-something with a stutter under her wing--until the girl begins dressing and behaving exactly like her.

Darrin Tyler reads aloud from the inner dust cover flap of Karen's book, Thumbing Through the Finger Lakes With Karen Tyler. The flap contains a long bio of Karen, Darrin and each of the kids--except for Jaye, whose bio is only five words long. Jaye protests, but the others think she's overreacting. A short time later, at Wonderfalls, Jaye bumps into Bianca, a mousy blonde twenty-something with a bad stutter. Bianca steals Jaye's wallet, takes it to her van and studies it. She seems more interested in family photographs and Jaye's personal items than money.

Bianca returns to Wonderfalls and gives Jaye back her wallet. She admits having stolen it from her pocket, and claims she needed money. Bianca then begins folding shirts and re-stacking them with unbelievable speed. Alec watches Bianca in amazement. He offers her a job at the store. Jaye works closely with Bianca, showing her the ins and outs of retail. Bianca likens Jaye to having a mentor. When Jaye finds out that Bianca is living in a van, she invites her out for a beer at The Barrel. There, a stuffed bass tells Jaye to "get her words out." As a result, Jaye helps Bianca work on her stutter. As time passes, and Bianca embraces more of Jaye's habits, Alec notices a decline in her work ethic. Alec tells Jaye she managed to ruin a perfectly good employee. As Alec and Jaye converse, a rubber dart hits Alec in the eye. Bianca tells Alec she found a toy gun that works. Later, Jaye tells Mahandra about the dart incident. Mahandra finds it odd that Bianca is carrying out "acts of violence" on Jaye's behalf. Jaye insists that Bianca is perfectly normal, buy when she shows up for work the next day, Bianca's hair is done up to match Jaye's.

Jaye encourages Bianca to find her own style. When Alec arrives at Wonderfalls, he mistakes Bianca for Jaye, and Bianca doesn't bother to correct the mistake. Moments later, Darrin shows up at the store. He tells Jaye that Karen's book is being reprinted, and now Jaye's bio can be increased by ten words (as space on the dust jacket is at a premium). Darrin encourages Jaye to write her own bio. Later, at The Barrel, Jaye and Mahandra bump into Bianca, who's wearing Jaye's vest from Wonderfalls. Bianca says she spilled coffee on hers. Jaye and Mahandra can't help but notice that Bianca's stutter has disappeared. That night, Jaye contacts Sharon and asks her to locate Bianca's family. Meanwhile, back at The Barrel, Bianca asks Eric and Mahandra all sorts of questions about Jaye. Mahandra phones Jaye and reports back about Bianca's eerie fixation. Jaye returns to the bar with Sharon in tow. Jaye accuses Bianca of prying into her private life, and, imitating her stutter, says "buh-bye." Bianca runs off, in tears. Mahandra tells Jaye it was all a mistake--Bianca was asking questions about Jaye so she could write Jaye's bio. Jaye reads what Bianca wrote--and is genuinely moved. But shortly thereafter, Jaye spots Bianca's van and decides to do some investigating. She climbs into the van, where she discovers a treasure trove of research material on her life. Bianca enters the van, catching Jaye in the act. Bianca then reveals that she's an investigative journalist who's studying Jaye for an article on Gen-Y-ers. A crestfallen Jaye doesn't take this as a compliment--she thinks she caught Bianca's attention because she's a loser. But Bianca counters that even a steady stream of Ivy League graduates have failed to make significant contributions to society. Jaye's spirits rise--and even more so when she finds out the article is some five thousand words in length. But then Bianca reveals there's no point in writing the piece, as Jaye's awareness of her identity has tainted it. Jaye decides to sweeten the deal by offering Bianca complete access to her life. As Bianca takes notes on a pad, Jaye explains the philosophy behind her life, and her observations on friends and family. As they converse, Bianca suddenly begins to stutter again. She explains that she's fine until she starts thinking about writing the article. Once that happens, the pressure becomes too much, and she stutters. Bianca walks away, and a wax lion tells Jaye to "get her words." When Jaye arrives at work the next day, she finds Bianca hanging out with Mahandra. Jaye tells Alec that Bianca is an investigative journalist, certain it will get Bianca fired. Alec reads the notes that Bianca made while she was supposedly working at Wonderfalls. In a strange twist, Alex takes more offense at the things Jaye said (in Bianca's notes) than Bianca taking notes. He promptly fires Jaye.

Bianca shares her notes with Mahandra and Eric, who take offense at the things Jaye said about them. Jaye feels herself growing increasingly lonely. And when she returns home, her family already knows that she's been fired, thanks to Bianca. Moments later, Jaye is surprised to find Bianca sitting in the living room. Bianca joins the family for dinner, heightening Jaye's concern about her life slipping away and being replaced by a complete stranger. Jaye suddenly blurts out that Bianca is an investigative journalist, something Bianca denies. Unfortunately, the entire family thinks Jaye has lost her mind. Jaye storms out of the house, and the family smiles at Bianca supportively.

Jaye decides the only way to get Bianca out of her life is to write the article on Gen-Y-ers herself. She receives an acceptance letter from the publisher, and gives it to Alec to prove that Bianca is a fraud. Bianca decides to quit her job at Wonderfalls and go back to her first love: investigative journalism. Alec then rehires Jaye.

Time Magazine publishes Jaye's article, only Bianca's photo is featured on the cover. And the second printing of Karen's book is eventually released. Jaye's bio reads: "Daughter Jaye, twenty-four, lives a unique life in Niagara."

Script: 1AHM10-KarmaChameleon.pdf

Guest Cast: Karim Morgan (Customer #2), Sarah Drew (Bianca), Kathryn Haggis (Annoyed Customer), Jeffrey R. Smith (Muse), Scotch Ellis Loring (Muse), Neil Grayston (Alec), Toby Malone (Muse), Tim Minear (Karma Chameleon)

Written by: Tim Minear   ·   Directed by: Marita Grabiak

Final Ratings: 1.3 / - in households   ·   3.68 million viewers   ·   - / - among adults 18-49

Episode summaries with thanks to