Oh, The Goldbergs. Your use of 80’s nostalgia sometimes can be a really insightful and emotional thing. More to come.
Anyway, last night’s episode, “Stefan King” saw Erica (Hayley Orrantia) at her lowest point in the series, comparing herself to Barry (Troy Gentile), using that platform for “loser status.” She’s been pining after Geoff (Sam Lerner) after she lost him to Evelyn (Allie Grant), and their new romance has really hit Erica badly. Geoff and Evelyn are both crazy about each other, so Erica tries to shrug it off in front of them, including when they are talking about being Little Shop of Horrors characters for the Halloween dance. When Evelyn has to rush to the hospital in another state to be by her grandma’s side, Erica sees an opening to hang with Geoff, so she states the two can go to the dance just as friends, and Erica will even wear a Little Shop costume to still keep with the theme. However, Evelyn rushes back to Geoff, and when he’s not around, she alerts Erica it was all a test, and knows her thoughts. This is all during a really awkwardly funny face touching sequence.
Lainey (A.J. Michalka) says that Erica should still go to the dance, but not in the Audrey II plant costume she planned. Lainey willingly gets Barry to help her sister out by dressing up as the plant (being completely hidden) and being a “mock date” Barry complains inside the puppet letting out a perfectly hilarious blurred out curse word, which killed me. Erica dons an Audrey costume, and, once at the dance, Barry flips out, ruining the illusion of the fake date. Erica is embarrassed and broken, but Geoff comes to her aid, thanks to Barry. Geoff and Erica sing “Suddenly Seymour” during a touching moment, ending with Geoff saying they’ll always be friends, even though Erica wants more. She thanks Barry in a very kind, sweet way, and that storyline ends.
Meanwhile, Adam (Sean Giambrone) is obsessed with Steven King books, so much that he writes his own. About his mother (Wendi McLendon-Covey). She reads it and loves it, saying her son is a better writer than “Stefan King.” Once her book club gets their hands on the story (as Beverly gives them all a copy), they immediately know who its about. Momma Goldberg is furious, so she forces Adam to rewrite a nicer story about his mom in a sequence that is a subtle nod to Misery. Once finished, Adam’s new tale is awful, and Pops (George Segal) calls Beverly out on it. She reluctantly agrees, telling Adam that he should write whatever makes him happy, saying that, in a great fourth wall breaking moment, that, “All of his stories may not be true, but they are pretty darn good.”
The fourth season Halloween episode of The Goldbergs was a fun, touching, and breezy half hour. Any television show that seamlessly integrates Little Shop of Horrors into it immediately wins in my book. Good stuff!