It’s prom night for THE GOLDBERGS on this week’s episode, “A Night to Remember.” And all three Goldberg kids need dates. This week’s episode had some great laugh-out-loud moments, reminding fans that when the show is on point, the comedy can truly deliver.
The episode begins with Barry’s dilemma – in a grand gesture to ask Lainey to the prom, Barry pulls the school fire alarm. He’s got eighty bucks Beverly helped him get out of Murray to create the most Barry-esque, epic night for the two of them, but of course he’s going to spend it all on the fire department fees for pulling the alarm. Except, because he’s Barry, he’s misplaced the money. Instead of sticking around to hear Lainey say yes to his proposal, he takes off.
Meanwhile, Adam’s got his own problems. The nerdy girl of his dreams – a junior who might actually out-nerd Adam (played by Riley Matthews – I mean, Rowan Blanchard) – asks Adam to the prom because they like all the same things. Except, she thinks Adam shares her love for Lord of the Rings, but Adam can’t bring himself to finish the book – it’s too long and boring for him. Nervous that she’ll discover his lie, and desperate to make sure he can contribute to any hobbit talk she engages him in, Adam does the most shameful thing he can think of: read the CliffsNotes version.
Adam and Barry aren’t the only two people struggling with their prom dates and details. Erica gets asked to prom – not by Geoff. And because the social rules of high school usually require you to attend the prom with whomever asks you to the dance first, she reluctantly agrees to go with him, even though she really wanted Geoff to ask her. To add insult to injury, Geoff asks her in the very next class. Upset with the timing, Erica tells Geoff she was already asked by someone else. Disappointed, they lament the timing. But then, Erica has a brilliant idea and goes and cancels her other date. Excited, she tells Geoff – who has already asked, well more like been “strongly suggested,” to go with another date himself. Even more upset, Erica goes and gets her other date back, only to have Geoff come and tell her that he called the other date off, at the risk of his own physical health. This whole back-and-forth continues a couple more times before the two just give up and accept that the universe still hasn’t made the timing right for them.
Back in Barry’s world, he tries one more time to ask Lainey to the prom in front of the whole school by pulling the fire alarm. Unfortunately, and completely unexpected for him, Lainey not only says no to going to prom with him, but also breaks up with him. It’s just too hard to continue their relationship when she knows there’s a ticking clock on it.
Adam is also running into complications. Trying desperately to keep his CliffsNotes of Lord of the Rings a secret, Adam is exuding suspicious behavior around Beverly. The kind of I’m-going-to-find-a-playboy-under-your-pillow-aren’t-I suspicious behavior. Beverly’s worst fears are realized when Adam also tells her that he’s been asked to the prom by an older woman. Beverly, upset that all three of her kids might be growing up and out of her grasp before she’s ready, tells Barry that she wants to meet his prom date before she’ll allow him to go to the prom. Adam, thinking that once Beverly sees how much Adam and his date have in common she’ll feel less threatened, agrees. However, the night turns into Adam’s worst nightmare when Beverly confronts Adam’s date, accusing her of being the reason Adam is hiding things from Beverly, and pulling out Adam’s CliffsNotes version of Lord of the Rings from his backpack, thinking – again – that it’s something entirely raunchy and discovering instead that it’s perfectly innocent. Except, this is exactly why Adam was hiding the CliffsNotes to begin with, because now his date knows that he was lying about liking Lord of the Rings the whole time.
Back in Erica and Geoff’s universe, the two decide that if they can’t get the timing right to go to prom together, they’ll go as double-dates. Of course, this seems like a good idea, but once out on the dance floor, the two realize how much the situation sucks. Then, throwing all caution and the universe to the wind, the two say screw it, abandon their dates, and finally, FINALLY, dance together. Seriously, sometimes I swear, high schoolers are so silly.
Barry, who’s in denial about his break up with Lainey, goes to win her back. Lainey is also very upset about their break up, and the two decide to not go to prom, together. Instead, they wind up going out to eat super casually at a super casual diner. It’s a sweet moment for the pair, and perfect in Barry’s eyes.
And for once, Beverly is actually able to fix Adam’s problems for him. She goes over to his date’s house to apologize for ruining Adam’s potential relationship with her. She brings over the photo album she has of Adam in all of his many different nerdy costumes, and bonds with Adam’s date’s mom, who has a similar photo album of her daughter’s equally nerdy costumes. Adam’s date realizes that even though Adam lied about Lord of the Rings, they still have quite a bit in common. A realization that comes just in time as Adam shows up to apologize himself, not realizing that Beverly has already done it for him. All’s well that ends well.
Season 4, Episode 19 (S04E19)
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