Keeping pace with the strange and abnormal, this FreakyLinks episode gets underway with the sighting of a “Skunk Ape” in a bedroom at the Sunset Streams retirement home. Betty, an elderly resident of the home, awakes in the middle of the night to the sight of an eyeball staring down at her from a hole in the ceiling. Frightened out of her wits by a hairy man-like creature, Betty phones her daughter for comfort but ends up talking to her son-in-law Gil instead. Gil, a reputable car salesman, passes her spooky story off as elderly nonsense and hangs up the phone. Tired of his mother-in-law’s dreamy intervention, Gil seeks out Derek Barnes and the FreakyLinks team to debunk Betty’s “Skunk Ape” story and keep in her in the retirement home.
Meanwhile, Chloe is on the verge of having her psychologist license revoked as a result of involving the FreakyLinks crew in one of her previous cases. A date with her review board is scheduled and Chloe is fined nine-thousand dollars for her actions. Derek, who’s unaccustomed to debunking the paranormal, agrees to take on the “Skunk Ape” case in an effort to help raise money for Chloe’s cause and charges Gil a fee of nine-thousand dollars. Of course, all as a friendly surprise to Chloe who’s unaware of the plan. Derek and Jason (who’s a dead ringer for basketball star Vince Carter) pay a visit to Sunset Streams where they’re instantly recognized by older fans of the FreakyLinks website. They meet Betty and half-heartedly conjure up a logical explanation for her encounter. While Betty and her male buddies rest easy from logical reasoning, Derek and Jason decide to check out the attic above the old women’s room for clues. Upstairs, much to their surprise, they find a stinky room and evidence of the “Skunk Ape’s” existence. Despite the discovery of claw marks, they stick to their cover-up and tell Betty the attic is home to a family of raccoons. After Betty buys the story, Derek and Jason leave with the hope of collecting payment for their services.
On the Sunset Streams golf course, Betty’s boyfriend wanders off the fairway and into the woods in search of his lost ball. A few steps into the woods, the old man senses the “Skunk Ape’s” presence. Alone and scared, he calls 911 on his cell phone while a hairy arm grabs the lost golf ball. Calling for help, Betty’s boyfriend takes a heart attack. The hairy creature lifts the body and drags it into the woods. At the same time, Gil shows up at Derek’s place with the dough but Chloe intercepts the check and catches on to the money plan. Back at Sunset Streams, Derek and Jason return and set the record straight and lend credibility to Betty’s claim, the “Skunk Ape” does indeed exist. As their investigation continues, Chloe shows up with the money and blasts the boys for compromising their integrity and debunking the story. After Chloe refuses the coin, Derek and Jason spend the money on spy supplies in order to track down the “Skunk Ape”. With cameras and surveillance gear in check, Chloe and the boys set up shop at Sunset. Of course, all retirement homes welcome “Skunk Ape” investigators with open arms, but that a whole different matter on its own. On cue, the “Skunk Ape” shows up and falls through the ceiling in Betty’s bedroom. Derek is knocked unconscious and the mysterious Skunk Ape starts to root through Betty’s drawers in search of her underwear. That’s right, the creature has a fetish.
Frightened, Betty decides to stay with her daughter which throws a wrench into Derek’s debunking agreement with Gil. As Gil’s scheme unravels, Derek and Jason keep on the “Skunk Ape’s” trail at Betty’s urging. Deeper into their investigation, the boys find evidence pointing to the identity of the mysterious “Skunk Ape”. After checking out the home of Betty’s friend Henry, a resident of Sunset Streams, they discover a shrine devoted to the older woman and numerous bottles of a strange and smelly liquid. Back at the FreakyLinks home-base, Derek mistakenly tastes the strange fluid and as a result, turns into a “Skunk Ape” for a few seconds. The mystery is solved as they determine Henry has been turning himself into the Skunk Ape by drinking the abnormal fluid. When Derek and Jason arrive at the home of Betty’s daughter, so does the “Skunk Aped” Henry. Ironically, Gil is scared out of his wits and hides while Derek, Jason, and Chloe reverse the “Skunk Ape” transformation by making the creature clean water. Henry returns to his natural form now embarrassed at his foolish attempt to capture Betty’s attention. Without carting the guy off to the funny-farm, all involved watch as Henry shares his true feelings for Betty. Life is restored for everyone including Chloe who defends the FreakyLinks gang to her review board. The board decides to uphold Chloe’s license but still enforces the nine-thousand dollar fine. In an ironic twist of fate, Gil reaches for his wallet and saves the day putting a cap on the case of the mysterious “Skunk Ape”.
There you have it, the unaired FreakyLinks episode Sunrise at Sunset Streams. I certainly can’t say it was the best out of the bunch but it did keep in line with the consistent paranormal theme of the show. The writing improved a great deal since the pilot and this episode indicates a strong attempt at breathing a fun breath of fresh air into the series. I’m always up for a good Bigfoot story but unfortunately the “Skunk Ape” got in the way. Doomed from the start after a rather lackluster pilot, the FreakyLinks crew get an “A” for effort with this episode’s content.