It’s little brothers versus big brothers (and sister) in this week’s episode of THE GOLDBERGS, “Jedi Master Adam Skywalker.” In keeping with prior episodes, this week’s episode continued the show’s consistent humor. Though the scenes didn’t lend themselves to strong punchlines, the banter and quick quips at the characters’ ridiculous antics were abundant and in good form.
As a youngest sibling myself, this week’s episode particularly resonated with me. The classic Goldberg heartfelt moment was actually two moments in this week’s episode, both shared between siblings – first, Murray and his brother are at odds when Marvin hits rock bottom and needs Murray’s help to get back on his feet. Next, Adam just wants to be seen as an equal with his older siblings, and seizes an opportunity to hold power over Barry and Erica when they want something only he can give to them.
For the Goldberg kids, this episode centers around the yearbook: a very important document highlighting memories and students from throughout the school year in a collection of papers hardbound and sandwiched between a cover and a back page. In ancient times, before the kindle or tablet, this historical document held extreme importance every spring: just long enough for every student to obtain a copy and ruin others’ copies by writing cliche quotes in them with permanent marker. The yearbooks would then be placed on a shelf and promptly forgotten until ten years later, when that girl you bring home to meet the family discovers it in that very same spot, and proceeds to make fun of you for wearing the hat and suspenders which are so clearly now a fashion faux-pas, but made you look cool (you thought) then.
I digress. In this episode, Adam’s girlfriend, Jackie, is the editor of the yearbook, and Adam has been helping put the yearbook together. Barry, in his usual Barry way, is desperate to be remembered as being the best at something in the yearbook. He doesn’t really care what, and he’s got some hilariously out there ideas about what that might entail – including “best bully.”
Meanwhile, Erica realizes how badly she wants her and Geoff to be ‘Cutest Couple’ in the yearbook. Lanie points out that it’s not a set-in-stone guarantee that they will be, though, as she and Barry could very easily also be cutest couple. Knowing that Adam can help them resolve their dispute, and make sure that Barry gets put into the yearbook for something, Erica and Barry go to Adam. But Adam has plans – has had plans for the last four years – to milk this situation for all it’s worth. Finally, he has something over Erica and Barry, and he’s going to see to it that Erica and Barry get a little taste of their own chaos.
Meanwhile, Marvin has lost everything gambling. When Murray drags his feet to help his brother, Beverly and Pops step into help Marvin get a job at the furniture store. With Beverly and Pops practically forcing Murray to take on his brother, Marvin excitedly does his best not to screw the gig up – and then he screws it up.
Back in Adamland, Erica and Barry devise a plan to get Adam away from his computer, as they’re sick of doing the list of chores Adam has created for them to do in order to get a sneak peek at the yearbook. Adam quickly catches them, however, but not before they’re able to see that neither of them have gotten what they wanted in the yearbook. A manhandling of a floppy disk subsequently occurs after Adam tries to reclaim the disk with the entire yearbook on it from his deranged siblings, who want to make selfish changes to a book they’re going to forget about in a month’s time anyways. One thing leads to another and Barry’s big fat thumb touches the sensitive fleshy innards of the floppy disk – the stuff that makes floppy disks so annoyingly fragile. One thumbprint, and the entire yearbook content and layout is gone. Yikes.
With Marvin’s failure at the furniture store, Marvin has to move out of his home in order to payback the debt he owes. Beverly finds him sleeping in his car and tells Murray, who realizes that, even though Marvin is really immature, he’s still Murray’s brother and he wants to help him get back on his feet. It’s yet another heartfelt moment for Murray to shine, and I am loving how many of these we’ve been getting lately.
With the yearbook messed up, Adam is once again in trouble with Jackie, and Barry and Erica realize they have to help Adam fix things by first realizing that Adam isn’t a baby anymore. With some help from friends, a really bad but also great song, and Adam’s bar mitzvah money, Adam is able to recover the yearbook and win Jackie back. All’s well that ends well for another good episode.
Season 4, Episode 23 (S04E23)
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