Let's meet the new millionaires, shall we? Weâve got Cameron and Nina, who clearly have some kind of steamy history over and above having been on Boomtown together. But now they're married to other people. Nina's husband is Peter, played by Luke Perry, whose thing is that he's nice but clueless, and squarer than Dylan McKay's pompadour. Cameron's wife is Beth, played by Sarah Wynter from 24, who annoys me more than ever. Beth's got a mysterious coworker named Sean, and another coworker who's divorcing her husband and has a teenage daughter named Frankie. And then there's also a nurse named Maggie, and also Kimberly, who delivers pizza to the "lotto party" (!?!) at Nina and Peter's house, and a neighbor kid named Damien who runs into Nina at the convenience store where she's buying the lottery tickets. And they all win the $386 million jackpot, because really, the only way for most of these people to be more obnoxious is to suddenly become rich. So then Cameron tries to get back together with Nina while also fielding an ex-student with a paternity claim; Damien gets himself emancipated from his control-freak dad by poaching somebody's Russian mail-order bride; Maggie quits her job to become a health-care philanthropist or something; Kimberly vacates the trailer park via helicopter; and Nina assures Peter and Cameron that she's not going anywhere. Well, thank heaven that's resolved. As for Sean, his shady past makes it a little tricky for him to collect the money in his own name, and he enlists a lawyer named Zoe to receive the money for him so they can split it. And they also have sex. Basically, there's a lot of dancing and celebrating, a lot of weirdly paced exposition, a lot of crap dialogue, and a big honking check. And a recapper who hopes that this show gets better, fast.
Okay, this is where I realized how spoiled I've been in my recapping career and what it's like to cover a show that lacks the ambitions of a Six Feet Under or a Rome or even a 24. And I realized something else while writing this: except for that time I subbed on Gilmore Girls, every show I've ever recapped has people getting eliminated and/or killed every week. I'm going to miss that here.
The title sequence consists of one shot of a bunch of twenties blowing around over a suburb, behind the word "Windfall." It's money literally falling through the wind. If you're feeling a little over your head, don't worry; this is about as oblique as the symbolism gets.
In some seedy urban street, a young man gets thrown out of a slowly moving car. He complains to the driver, who apparently owns a bar where he's been drinking. "Pay your tab, Sean," the driver threatens. "Or next time, I don't slow the car down." Oh, no, where's poor Sean going to find the money to pay his tab?
In a suburban McMansion, a tall teenager named Damien is getting yelled at by his burly H!ITG dad for missing his curfew, even though the kid called to say he'd be late. Oh no, how will Damien ever get out from beneath the thumb of his domineering father?
Next morning, same suburb, different McMansion. There's a teenager named Frankie, whose parents are getting divorced. Which is good, because Mom and Dad clearly hate each other. Frankie clearly hates her life. Oh, no, how will Frankie ever escape this drama?
At a hospital, the charge nurse announces that the full-time nurses are getting an 80-cent per hour raise. One of the nurses makes a "crack" about how now she can afford both milk and a can of tuna. Oh, no, how will Maggie ever be able to afford a decent sense of humor?
Inside another suburban McMansion, this one either done up in "shabby chic" or actually shabby, Peter (played by a fiftysomething Luke Perry, now pompadour-and sideburn-free) is playfully chasing his wife Nina (played by Lana Parilla from Boomtown and Season Four of 24), trying to get their credit card away from her so he can buy booze for the party they're throwing that night. So money's tight for them, but they have plenty of happiness and love. Oh, no, how will they ever be able to reverse that situation?
The camera pans past a sign advertising a Lotto jackpot of $294 million. On the same street, there's a flower shop. Inside the florist's, Cameron (played by notorious show-killer Jason Gedrick, and in this case I wish him godspeed) has come to pick up his wife Beth. Beth is played by Sarah Wynter, who labored so mightily to wreck Season Two of 24. Alas, her show-ruining powers will prove largely superfluous in this case. She's not quite ready to leave work, so she sends Cameron off with some casserole for Peter and Nina's party. In the foreground, Sean -- yes, the same Sean who can't pay his bar tab -- is busy getting some flowers ready for something or other. Maybe it's a peace offering for the grumpy bar owner. Behind his back, Beth tips an urgent glance in his direction, for Cameron's benefit. Picking up the cue, Cameron dutifully invites Sean to the party. Sean says something noncommittal, and Cameron wanders out, mumbling some business about the lottery pot canister from the last party, and who has it. Nobody cares. Beth assures Sean that there'll be a diverse mix of people at the party: "I promise you'll feel comfortable." Sean agrees to go, probably just to shut her up. Keep doing that, Sean.