This is turning out to be the season of Murray on The Goldbergs. The saga of his buried dad-love continues in this week’s episode, “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” With the boys having to dig themselves out of a hole with their dad and Erica coping with Beverly’s smothering, the episode deals with a lot of really relatable family issues and offers up some light-hearted and really heartwarming moments for the Goldberg family.
The episode starts with Adam and Barry’s Fresh Prince inspiration. Back when Will Smith was actually known as the Fresh Prince for rapping, not for the TV show, and not as Will Smith the movie star. The two brothers decide to start their own sensational rap group and attempt to create their own hit song.
With the help of the JTP, Barry and Adam come up with the idea of a song called, ‘Dads Just Don’t Care,’ a tangential spin-off of the Fresh Prince’s ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand.’ Utilizing Barry’s surprising talent for rhyming lyrics, and Adam’s talent for filmmaking, the two make an impressive copycat of the Fresh Prince with a song that is surprisingly catchy and has some great rhymes. Unfortunately, it’s also super mean to Murray, basically calling him a horrible father. Honestly, if that song got into the hands of anyone outside of their family, it probably would be enough to call child services about. That’s how much it slanders Murray’s role as a father in their lives.
Of course, Adam and Barry give a copy to Murray to watch before the JTP has a chance to point out to them exactly how mean the song is, and because Murray actually does care about them, he watches it. Then, of course, comes the confrontation, where Murray gets to yell at Adam and Barry with some sailor talk that would give Beverly a run for her money. He does what every parent would like to tell their children, pointing out all the ways in which Barry and Adam are ungrateful and take advantage of how good they have it, with Murray working to make sure they have money to buy all the things they want and need.
Meanwhile, Erica is ignoring the incessant calls she’s getting from Beverly, who keeps trying to check up on her to make sure she hasn’t died. Unfortunately, Erica ignoring Bev’s calls doesn’t make them go away, they only make her stoop to crazier and crazier antics. First, she tries to recruit Geoff to call Erica under false pretenses and ask her a series of awkwardly invasive and very mom-ish questions. Then she attempts to get Erica’s RA to eavesdrop on Erica’s conversations with her roommate, Erica. Finally, when she finds out that Erica is throwing a party called ‘Girls just want to drink rum,’ she decides to go to visit Erica at school herself.
Once she gets there, though, she discovers that Erica has actually gone into full-Bev mode, worrying for the safety of everyone at the party and being concerned to the condition of the room and the furniture. Beverly is really proud to see how responsible Erica has become, and Erica realizes how it feels to constantly worry about the wellbeing of someone else. Beverly tells Erica that all she needs is a phone call everyday telling her that Erica is “good.” And Erica agrees that she can do that.
Back at the Goldberg house, Adam and Barry attempt to apologize to Murray via another rap, this time listing out all the reasons why he’s a great dad, which is pretty much just the fact that he pays for everything and buys them things. This doesn’t make things better between them. Instead, Murray tells the boys about how his father really wasn’t a great dad, and how he promised when his kids were born that he was going to be a better dad for them. He admits that Barry and Adam’s rap video just demonstrates that he has turned into his father, if they truly think all the things they said about him are true.
Barry and Adam realize the only true way to make things better with their dad is to simply apologize and honestly tell him why they think he’s the best dad they could have. The three share a super sweet moment and hug, while Murray tries not to cry. It’s possibly the best moment of any episode this season yet, and you should totally go watch the episode, even if it’s just to see that part right at the end.
Season 5, Episode 9 (S05E09)
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.
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Tasha Cerny | Contributor