Gee willikers, Batman, it’s a crime-fighting-filled time on this week’s episode of THE GOLDBERGS, “The Dynamic Duo.” When Barry feels left out because Pops and Adam won’t include him in their inseparable friendship, he decides to turn the joke on them. Meanwhile, Erica is having a tough time figuring out which college she is going to go to. The episode was endearing and entertaining, but lacked the comedic strength of previous episodes this season.
The show starts with the new Batman movie debuting. Adam is ecstatic about seeing the first cinematic take on the superhero, but he’s not the only one: Pops and Murray are both fans of the original Adam West tv show, and Barry has been dying to see the movie as well. When Pops and Adam do go to see the movie, it’s a full theater and Barry shows up late enough to the showing that the only seat options are down at the very front, where he’ll have to crane his neck to see the whole screen. In a very Barry reaction, Barry thinks this will only be fair if Pops and Adam give up their nice seats in the middle of the theater and come sit with him, but they don’t want to.
While Barry is arguing flawed logic with Pops and Adam, Erica is trying to convince Beverly and Murray that she doesn’t need to interview at Penn State because she’s going to Carnegie Mellon. Beverly has set up an interview for Erica at Penn State as a back-up, but Erica refuses to believe that she might not make it into Carnegie Mellon, and doesn’t want to waste her time on this Penn State interview. After a lot of badgering, though, Erica gets an idea and agrees to go on the interview to shut Beverly and Murray up.
Back with the Goldberg duo and their pesky sidekick, Barry, Adam and Pops are having trouble agreeing on which Batman is best. Pops still likes the classic Adam West best, because the movie was nothing like the Batman he enjoyed watching in the 60s. But Adam is enamored with Michael Keaton’s Batman, and it’s making the decision of which Batman to imitate in their own Batman movie a little difficult. With this small crack in the pair’s partnership, Barry seizes his chance, pulling a real Joker-like move to break Pops and Adam up.
Meanwhile, over on the Penn State campus, Erica is at her entrance interview. She decides to try and bomb it, though, because she’s certain she’ll get into Carnegie Mellon, and she doesn’t want anyone to try and talk her into going to another school instead. She does a fine job of it as well – she shows up in sweats, insults the admissions counselor, sings a rude song that she makes up about him, and eats a meatball sub during the interview, getting marinara sauce all over the counselor’s desk. It’s safe to say she’s left an impression, but definitely not a good one.
Back at the Goldbergs’ home, Barry tricks Adam into complaining about Pop’s tastes in Batman on video, and then distracts Adam while he shows the video to Pops. Fortunately for Adam and unfortunately for Barry, Pops is a mature adult who sees through the set-up for what it is. Barry is disappointed that he wasn’t able to steal Pops away from Adam to star in his own BMX movie. He confesses to the two of them that he’s always been jealous of Adam and Pops’ friendship. Moved by Barry’s confession, Adam and Pops decide to make their duo a trio.
Erica, on the other hand, is not doing so great with her scheme or her confession. She gets a rejection letter from Carnegie Mellon and panics, realizing she has to go and try to make things right with her interview at Penn State. Unfortunately for her, the admissions counselor thinks she’s crazy and won’t stop to listen to her try to convince him otherwise. She has to confess to Murray and Beverly that she bombed the Penn State interview on purpose, and now she’s not sure if she’ll even go to college. Beverly refuses to accept this, though, and drags Erica back for yet another round with the admissions officer. This time, he’s still not convinced that Erica isn’t crazy, and when Beverly tries to pull Murray’s alum card as a reason Erica should be admitted, Erica and Beverly discover that Murray didn’t actually graduate from college – he was a credit short. Of course, after all of Murray’s badgering about Erica going to college, Erica feels betrayed by the lie that Murray’s been living her entire life. She decides maybe she won’t go to college at all, and instead she’ll become a street busker.
Back to Batman, Adam and Pops agree to use both Batmans (or Batmen as Pops would say) in their movie. In another strong move to compromise, they ask Barry to play the Joker, and they deck out a BMX bike to look like the Joker’s getaway vehicle, so that their Batman movie can also be Barry’s BMX movie. It’s a very Goldbergs-sweet moment.
And of course, Erica and Murray also make up. Erica realizes that she needs to go to college no matter what – it’s the right decision. But she makes Murray agree to go back and finish his last credit so he can finally graduate, too. Another sweet family moment for this Goldbergs episode, which was heavy on heart and light on laugh-out-loud humor.
Season 4, Episode 20 (S04E20)
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