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The Goldbergs - Let's Val Kilmer This Car - Review: "Fitting Finale"

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Well here we are again. The end of another season. Season 5 of The Goldbergs has been a mixed bag in places, which I expect from any show that goes past 2 seasons, but ‘Let’s Val Kilmer This Car’ was a great finale. Not problem free, but a good enough send off for a show and leave us eagerly anticipating season 6.

Barry sort of had the A storyline this week. He was determined to pull off a legendary school prank that would make him the school’s prankster, because the year had been a bit sucky for him. Lainey had obviously left and his plans for a rise in popularity didn’t exactly take off.

Neither did his prank. I can’t exactly describe what it was and it doesn’t really matter since it was a disaster anyway, but Barry’s mood was soon perked up when he realized that our Erica and other Erica were back from college, which meant that Lainey was back.

I haven’t made any secret of the fact their relationship does nothing for me. Lainey is a far better character immersed in Erica’s stories or just being a supporting character. Barry is barely tolerable at times as it is, and when they’ve been together, she becomes all about him and he makes himself even more about her. As a result Lainey’s friendship was Erica is somewhat tossed to the side, and she becomes just as intolerable as Barry. With his tunnel vision well and truly in motion Barry goes to Lainey’s house all dressed up to win her back. Both her and her father shut Barry down, since they’re trying to cope with the reality of Lainey dropping out of college.

Any other person in the world would simply accept that attempting to make a move on your ex when they’ve just dropped out of college, is very much not the greatest idea in the world. Any other person would be respectful of the issues on the mind and allow for space, but Barry Goldberg isn’t any old person. He decided if Lainey won’t go to prom with him and he doesn’t want to go with anyone else, then he and Adam will pull off a legendary prank that gets Principal Ball so annoyed he cancels prom.

Job completely in that front as they tear apart Principal Ball’s car, and prom is indeed cancelled. Everyone is annoyed, Barry and Adam are faux annoyed, and Barry thinks all the problems are solved. Except for the fact Beverly has bribed the Principal into letting Erica’s band play at the prom.

Yep, Murray took the news of Erica dropping out as well as anyone could, and comes down hard on her. She has to pay rent, she has to pay towards the bills, food, and basically can’t do anything in the house without paying for it. In order to help, Beverly gets her the gig at the school, and Erica is on cloud nine. So happy in fact she goes out and buys new clothes, whilst managing to slip in that other Erica is staying with her. The girl’s are all really happy with their first big payday until they discover the prom’s been cancelled.

Lainey and her dad chuck Barry out of the house, and Beverly doesn’t know how exactly to break the news to Erica. Feeding off her mother’s support, Erica is completely relaxed over the whole situation. This gig may have fallen through, but Beverly will just get her another one lined up, or better yet give her money directly, and Erica can live a life of luxury.

At this point Beverly realizes her support has gone kinda screwy and puts her foot down hard. Whilst Murray just wanted to make Erica pay for everything, Beverly wants to take everything away. Erica’s a little dumbfounded by Beverly going hard ball, whilst Murray is somewhat pleased even if she has gone over the top.

Becoming an adult is a pretty big, scary step. I remember when I turned 18 and spent a week lounging in my room, drinking a lil wee bit heavily and just watching DVD’s all day. My mum let me enjoy a week of that cause hey! You only get to enjoy being 18 once, but after that week? She went just as hard ball on me and I’m pretty sure everyone has experienced that in some form. As kids we do get so used to always being able to full back onto our parents for help, that it can stop us taking the step up and assuming responsibility for ourselves. It’s only when your parents are threatening to kick you out, monitoring your job search and keeping an extremely close eye on the finances that you realize you’ve gotta step up.

For Erica this week the step up was Beverly putting her foot down. Dropping out of college was an extremely rash decision. It’s one she made was Beverly’s support eventually, but it’s a rash decision that has no idea of outlook. Erica and the girl’s have no idea when exactly they’ll get THAT big gig, no means of supporting themselves in the mean time, and every parent does feel like life has massively gone wrong when your kid drops out of college. Whilst Beverly is drowning her sorrows and Murray is cutting off her supply, Erica reveals that the prom is back on, they’re getting paid crap money, but she will begin to actively look for a job in between gigs because she knows it’s what she has to do.

Murray may still not be pleased that she’s dropped out of college, but he’s at least happy that she does want to become self sufficient and won’t be leeching off them. Beverly meanwhile assures Erica she will always have a home waiting for her, and all is somewhat well on that front.

In order to get the gig though, it requires the prom to be back on, which requires Barry to take responsibility for his actions. That he does do and the Principal doesn’t care, since insurance has paid out and allowed him to get an upgrade car wise. He is though banned from the prom, so whilst everyone else is enjoying Erica and her band singing, Barry is off by himself.

Lainey does come to him and the two do reconcile, with Barry even proposing to her. It’s a sweet enough moment for them and for fans. However Barry missing out on prom is supposed to be scene as a heroic moment. Sacrificing himself so that everyone else can be happy, and that isn’t actually what happened. He did the prank because he wanted to stop prom, and only admitted once he realized that his actions had effected Lainey. Up to that point he was pretty chuffed with himself, and that for me at least is an incredibly selfish move, and why Barry Goldberg continues to be one of the most polarizing character on any show I watch.

Some weeks he can be written well to the point I enjoy him on screen, and other weeks he’s just written extremely badly. Troy Gentile though always nails the humour of his character especially in his expressions.

Beverly and Murray are proud as punch of Erica up on stage in her element, and decide to leave Barry and Lainey’s engagement for another day. Adam is also filming the event and it is teased that something big lies in store for The Goldbergs, which I hope season 6 delivers on. Even when the show has its off weeks and some character aspects can be annoying, it’s still without a doubt my favourite comedy on TV with Speechless a close second.

There’s just something about this crazy family that you can’t help but love.

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