It is finally graduation day for Erica in THE GOLDBERGS season finale, “Graduation Day.” With Beverly in denial, Murray in delight, Erica and Adam both confused and Barry in despair, it’s a pretty typical week for the Goldberg family. This season finale was full of that typical Goldberg heart, and plenty of silly antics and quips.
The episode starts with Erica packing up her room for college. Even though she still has three months before she heads out for her new life, she can’t wait to go. Beverly is of course panicking about losing her daughter to college, and is distraught when she thinks about all the other things that will be changing when Erica leaves for college, too.
Adam, meanwhile, can’t wait to go see Police Academy Five with Jackie, who he is officially calling his girlfriend. When they get to the theater, though, Adam runs into his ex, and – having never had two girlfriends to worry about being in the same place at the same time – he freaks out and runs away.
While Adam avoids the problem, Beverly decides to face hers head-on and create a chart on exactly how to spend as much time as physically possible with Erica before she heads off to college. Feeling smothered, Erica continues to push Beverly away until she starts going through all of the things she has stuffed in her locker at school. In it is a huge pile of letters Beverly handwrote to Erica and stuck in her lunch every single day. When Geoff starts reading these off to Erica, Erica realizes exactly how great of a mother Beverly is, and begins to think maybe she’s not ready to graduate and go off on her own yet after all.
Adam is equally not handling his problem well. At school, he apologizes to Jackie and tells her the truth about his ex-girlfriend and how he didn’t know how to handle himself. Jackie is pretty understanding, considering she gets weird around her ex-boyfriend, too. When Adam finds out who Jackie’s ex-boyfriend is, though, Adam gets even weirder, immediately turning a little bit jealous because of his own insecurities. The two get into a fight, which is kind of becoming the typical storyline for this couple.
Finally, the day everyone’s been waiting for, and for Beverly – and recently, Erica – the day they’ve been dreading, has come. Erica and Lainey are graduating. Chaos breaks out on stage, however, when Lainey’s dad accidentally lets it slip to Barry that Lainey isn’t going to be around all summer – she’s leaving in a few days’ time to start college early. Barry freaks out and does the typical Barry thing, ruining Lainey’s perfect diploma moment. Meanwhile, Erica refuses to take her diploma. The principle has to chase her down and forcefully hand it to her.
Defeated and sad, the Goldbergs head home. Erica and Beverly find what they think is good news, however, when they discover that Erica’s diploma is actually a note from the P.E. teacher telling her she has insufficient credits in P.E. to graduate. Elated, Erica goes off to unpack her room. Murray quickly reminds Beverly, though, that while he will miss Erica too, they can’t hold her back forever. Reluctantly seeing the light, Beverly goes to pay a visit to the school.
Adam, during this time, takes his ex-girlfriend to see Police Academy Five, but she doesn’t get it. He quickly realizes there is absolutely no spark left there, and that he was wrong for freaking out on Jackie. He tries to break things off and then is embarrassed to find out that his ex didn’t think it was a date to begin with. Awkward. Thinking things are ruined between him and Jackie, Adam takes Barry to see Police Academy Five, but runs into Jackie while he’s there. The two make up and get back together.
Meanwhile, Barry and Lainey talk and reminisce about their own beginnings. It’s a super sweet and heartfelt moment for the two, and a worthwhile ending (or perhaps, just pause) on their relationship. Beverly also finds out that Erica did indeed graduate, and does have a diploma, the P.E. teacher just always uses a popular kid who skips a lot as a scare tactic to motivate other students not to miss class. In the end, they all make peace with the changing times, even Erica. It’s a happy finale for the Goldbergs this season.
Season 4, Episode 24 (S04E24)
The Goldbergs airs Wednesdays at 8PM on ABC
Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.
Tasha Cerny | Contributor