SCHITT’S CREEK Review: “Lawn Signs”

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Airtime: Wednesdays at 8PM on Pop
Episode: Season 2, Episode 12 (S02E12)

TB-TV-Grade-B

Tweetable Takeaway: #SchittsCreek moves quickly this week, ending the season’s primary arc in a solid ep


“When you have limited resources, your best course of action is to create a stir.”

Moira Rose is creeping pretty close to reality in “Lawn Signs,” the penultimate episode of the second season of SCHITT’S CREEK, an episode that packs in a ton of plot development to set up next week’s season finale.

It’s necessary, too. The town council election, pitting Moira against Jocelyn Schitt, moved slowly and came to a dead stop last week in “Motel Guest,” which felt harshly out of place. The election is back in the spotlight this week, as Moira tries to figure out what happened to her lawn signs (there are three of them) while Roland puts hundreds up around town for Jocelyn.

Considering the shadowy machinations of the Schitt political empire in town, it seemed evident that the Roses and Schitts would square off in a winner-take-all battle at the season’s climax, and this storyline was setting it up. And that was happening this week: Johnny nearly trips over himself in half-accusing Roland of stealing the lawn signs, while Roland rightly plays slightly dimmer. Meanwhile Moira fancily dances around any accusations while attempting to court the Jazzagals help, which of course makes Jocelyn nervous.

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But then we zag, and slightly awkwardly. Moira reveals to Johnny that she, in fact, took her own lawn signs to create controversy in town. It’s a dirty trick but in line with what we’ve known Moira to do. Plus it helps move things along quickly.

And Jocelyn reveals to Moira that Roland has strongarmed residents to host lawn signs. Plus, apparently Jocelyn hates how tense the election has made her (she can’t get through MasterChef Junior without crying apparently – a great character joke). She decides to drop out of the race. Just like that.

It’s not quite in step with how her character had been building – she even gets her schoolchildren to make pretty signs to help Moira – but maybe there’s more to this: Last week’s “Motel Guest” revealed a fight between Roland and Jocelyn. Add Jocelyn’s changing behavior, and Roland’s thirst for being in control, and maybe there’s real trouble in the Schitt household.

But as it stands Moira is now, apparently, a lock for town council, a prospect she seems to love until she’s reminded that she now has to work everyday with Roland. Maybe Jocelyn knows what she’s doing after all. Maybe there is more to Jocelyn than meets the eye. It’s still unclear, but that isn’t necessarily bad.

CeNlvuY

While Moira nets another win this season, David pulls through big time for the Blouse Barn. There have been hints that David’s “brand enhancement” of the clothing store was creating more trouble than success (there’s now a hilariously large black ostrich statue in the store), and now it’s confirmed: Wendy has money problems, and she’s blaming herself … for hiring David. But there’s a parachute: an Australian company wants to buy out the name Blouse Barn. David sees this as an opportunity to cash in, and Wendy – who supposedly knows no lawyers – lets him (and Alexis, you know, because she negotiated her way out of some trouble in Korea on New Year’s Eve) in on a meeting with a representative for the company.

There’s a nice back and forth between David and Alexis, and though David could’ve folded under pressure, he gets Wendy a ton of money because he sees the Australian company went to a lot of trouble to get the naming rights. Real skill in the heat of the moment – a great win for David in a season where he’s slowly maturing.

Wendy still decides to close the store and take time off, but she gives a chunk of the money to David and Alexis for helping. That chunk – $40,000 – is a nice new start for the Roses. They reluctantly agree to save it (David trying to say the word “save” is priceless), but only before getting one manicure … but not Johnny.

So yes, tons of plot development this week. Tons of setup. Again, it was necessary. One would’ve figured the town council election would be decided in the finale, and a lot happened with the Blouse Barn for one episode. We still have a few lingering stories out there (Alexis and her personal development and/or Ted; will Johnny ever catch a break?; what about Stevie?) but they’re inconsequential compared to what went down this week.

Oh, and this is crucial: “Lawn Signs” was funnier than most weeks. Probably not the funniest episode of the season thus far, but it certainly had a few great one-liners and pieces (Jocelyn’s MasterChef Junior reference; Alexis with another fake name; David trying to make the cool exit in his own store). It sets us up well for next week’s season finale where, really, anything could happen without reservation.

TB-TV-Grade-B

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is a writer who grew up on “The Golden Girls” and “Seinfeld,” and writes regularly about entertainment, arts and lifestyles for a number of publications. Talk TV with him on Twitter.

Twitter: @timothymalcolm
www.tsmalcolm.com

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