[For The Jim Gaffigan Show‘s “Wonderful” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Wonderful. After getting frustrated with sick, lice-infested children, Jim wishes that he never got married.
The final episode of The Jim Gaffigan Show had so many inside jokes it ate itself. In the first scene Jim and his friend, Dave run into John Mulaney on the sidewalk and Mulaney talks about how he just “got offered another show on TVLand… what? TVLand, yeah sounds like an amusement park but it’s a TV channel.” Gaffigan, who was just saying he’s not disappointed he can’t go to an Australian comedy festival with Dave, now has yet another great opportunity to secretly envy a fellow comic. He grumbles and groans, like everybody else in line at Katz’s, turning Dave’s stomach so he loses his appetite, but Dave’ll get lunch anyway since it’s always on Jim. Then, finally, Gaffigan admits that yeah, he’s getting soft career-wise. In fact, at this point he’s “probably like half pillow.” Jim starts thinking maybe he should just bite the bullet, leave the family and go to Australia for the comedy festival. This will give him a chance to escape not only the stomach flu that’s ravaged his whole family for weeks but also the lice infestation he’s about to face entering the apartment.
Next thing he knows, Jeannie picks through Jim’s hair and says she didn’t find any lice but adds, “there might still be those invisible ones, though.” He consoles himself with a good solitary cry on the toilet a moment later and then the youngest Gaffigan trots in with Jim’s MacBook Air and dumps it in the full bathtub. THAT’S IT! Gaffigan out! Jim rages and then storms out into the street. It’s now time for Gaffigan’s out-of-body experience thanks to a group of hipsters on Citibikes and an oblivious Steve Buscemi listening to Call me Maybe on his headphones.
Bikes, Buscemis, and Gaffigan worlds collide so that suddenly we’re in an alternate version of Jim’s life a-la It’s a Wonderful Life. Here’s where we get the meaning behind the last The Jim Gaffigan Show episode’s title Wonderful. After all, he did just scream that he hated his life and wished he’d never gotten married. This is the natural next step – angels and lessons and celebrity guests, oh my!
Gaffigan returns to his apartment but now it’s a clean and empty bachelor pad that Jim apparently shares with Dave and apparently his old school full head of luscious hair. But then a gross one-night-stand and the fact that he owes Dave back rent sends Jim back out to the sidewalk where his Buscemi/Angel awaits. Buscemi explains that Jim’s been granted the wish of never having married Jeannie. He also explains that he only appears to Jim as Steve Buscemi but is actually a guardian angel. His angel could’ve looked like Whoopie Goldberg… but with her role in Ghost that might have been too confusing.
Gaffigan momentarily brightens with the news that he’s still a comedian in this alternate angel world. He’s excited to go to a comedy club where he might finally feel comfortable and at home again. But once at the comedy Jim immediately falls into a deep pit of despair because it turns out that in this world he’s a filthy mouthed douchebag comic who disses and slutshames cool women like Whitney Cummings. This Jim offends wife-and-kids Jim. At this point Gaffigan starts begging Angel Steve for his family life back. On the sidewalk a shrieking Jim yells at Guardian Buscemi (invisible to all others) for not telling him where he can find Jeannie. This draws scoffs and mockery from nearby Alec Baldwin and – who else – but the ever present Macauley Culkin, now with his hair back in a manbun.
Jim finally gets Steve to help him locate Jeannie. Turns out she owns a bar, has a David Beckham haircut with matching tattoos up the wazoo and married Daniel, her real-world gay best friend. But in this world Daniel loves Jim’s comedy and Snicker bars… a real shock and almost a letdown given that this can’t possibly be an authentic Daniel. He’s living a lie because everybody knows Daniel’s loathing for Jim is his favorite feeling. This world’s Jeannie is also an opposite. She has major anger issues and punches Jim right in the kisser for even mentioning the notion of her having children. She hates kids!
Wonderful then leaps into the clouds of TV episode wonderland and everything shifts gears yet again. The punch from Angel-world Jeannie knocked Jim out. He wakes up on the sidewalk in the real world where it turns out he’s just hit his head. Steve Buscemi is there but he actually is Steve Buscemi. We take a turn into META town now as Gaffigan returns to his apartment with a new, more grateful perspective. Jim can’t wait to get upstairs and when he does things are about to get REAL. We’re talking real life real.
In his apartment Jim’s actual wife and show co-creator, Jeannie, awaits rather than the actress that plays Jeannie. His real kids are in the apartment too hugging Jim, and we can even see the crew shooting. Gaffigan tells Jeannie, his real life wife, how he had this dream that they made a TV show about their family and actors played her and the kids but he played himself. Jeannie replies, “Yes, and they’re all here.” Then the cast of the show comes out of the back bedroom so they can all sing Auld Lang Syne together, arms around each other, smiling, and swaying with the tune. The cast and crew toast to a show well done. The episode exits Season One with a big “Thank You” onscreen from The Jim Gaffigan Show – so polite and typical of Gaffigan, the boy scout comic. Thank YOU, Jim and Jeannie, for the creative fun and endless laughter. We’re truly looking forward to Season Two.