TV Recap: The Goldbergs, ‘Couples Costumes’

The Goldbergs

I have to admit, I’ve had some minor trouble with this season of The Goldbergs. There’s been a ton of great moments bogged down by crummy story lines or running gags that just aren’t funny. In addition, Adam (Sean Giambrone) has begun his puberty journey so the writers think it’s a good idea to make fun of him for every element of aging awkwardly. Maybe a few times is ok, but they’ve run out of steam quickly with that angle.

So last night I was pleasantly surprised to find that The Goldbergs pretty much heard everything I said negatively about the recent stuff going on (although I’m sure nobody at ABC reads my reviews but whatever) and ultimately came back with one of the best episodes this season, if not one of the best episodes in all the seasons.

“Couples Costumes” finally brought Dana (Natalie Alyn Lind) back, thereby removing any puberty jokes Adam is accustomed to and more just giving us a “growing up” story that works. Let’s keep her around more this season, please? The two work great together and it saves us from overused comedy.

Anyway, Adam is all set to go trick-or-treating with his lady friend alone but mom Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey) isn’t ready to let her baby boy go wandering all by himself with his girlfriend. Seems Beverly isn’t ready to let go just yet. Of course, her overbearing mother system goes full force and she plans to warn Adam of the dangers of trick-or-treating shoving a razor blade into a candy bar. It’s so over-the-top but outrageously funny and something Bev would totally do to get her point across.

While Adam’s initial plan is to go get candy, Barry (Troy Gentile) and Erica (Hayley Orrantia) tell their brother that in order to win Dana’s heart, he has to man up and protect her in a haunted house. If you know Adam at all, you know he’s not down with this plan. However, to be Mr. Smooth, he does it anyway, leaving his mom 100% behind because he’s skipping out on candy now.

Beverly is completely lost emotionally and misses the fact that Murray (Jeff Garlin) throws out the razorblade candy. Mama Goldberg begins a furious hunt for the dangerous delectable not even knowing it was properly thrown away. Her actions are ridiculous and in the process she lets out a well placed “beeped” curse word that adds fuel to the funny. I’ve been giving The Goldbergs some grief for overusing the swear words, but this time it was a riot.

Pops (George Segal) is featured more in this episode than the rest of season 3 total I’m sure, and I even chuckled at his bit where he incorrectly names all of the costumed characters that show up at the house. Finally, Pops got some good liners in!

I won’t go into much more detail, basically to avoid spoilers, but the usual formulaic “heartfelt” elements here don’t feel tacked on like they normally would, and the ending alternates from what one expect for the most part. Plus, concluding the episode “Shadows of the Night” by Pat Benatar? Hell yes!

The Halloween moments of The Goldbergs have always ranked among my favorites. This one can be included without fail. Not only does it feature insane costume design (that looks homemade) and awesome pop culture elements, the actions of the characters truly showcase the reasons why I love this show so much. “Couples Costumes” was laugh out loud greatness and as sweet as a savory treat. All treat, no trick.

Rating: 9.5/10

Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video game editor on He contributes his thoughts every week for Trailer Tuesday and ABC’s The Goldbergs.” Logan’s “kid at heart” nature has led to his discussion about pop culture that many geeks love to talk about, including superheroes, Super Mario Bros., Pixar, and Muppets, among other things. In addition, one of his first pieces for the site, “Top Ten Comic Book Movies,” was picked as a “Freshly Pressed” piece by WordPress and remains one of the site’s most well-read articles. Many of Logan’s friends have said that he moonlights as Spider-Man but this is so not true. Wait, are those police sirens I’m hearing?! Gotta go! -thwipp-