Kidding Season 2 Recap: Episode 2.09 “The Beaten Path”

Some memories are worth keeping.

Sometimes life throws you lemons. You try to make lemonade. Sometimes life throws you a test of faith. You either crumble or you make do with your illusion that isn’t divine providence but rather a concatenation of events you had worked so hard for, it just had to succeed… Sometimes, life is just so fucking weird and random that you can’t just magic away, wish it away, hope it away or in very special times, erase it away. Sometimes moments in life just exist and nothing will ever be the same moving forward. Welcome to the penultimate episode of Kidding (Showtime), “The Nightingale Pledge.”

“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We open in on the failure of Pickles on Ice. Tara Lininspky’s throat, not in the operating room is freshly cut. Seb (Frank Langella) and Derrell (Alex Raul Barrios) cut their losses and toss the big heads into the trash. As Divine Providence would have it, a few hoodlums looking to knock up a convenience store decided to use them. Yep. One of them got a shotgun to the face, sorry, “head,” blood spurting all over the other one that managed to escape, life intact. Turns out he who lives another day was cashing in that cheque to fire-bomb Jeff’s former domicile. With that warmth, welcome to the ninth goddamned circle of Hell.

We continue on Jeff (Jim Carrey) being confronted by his stalker, Bobby Belongo (Matt Gourley). There is mutual and odd respect betwixt the both of them. Instead of being run over, Jeff gets to breathe for another day. This isn’t exactly the case with Jill (Judy Greer) and her family though. She takes Jeff to task for putting them in harm’s way and basically painting a target on their well being.

Not having any house for which to reside in, Jeff sleeps decamps to the house he created… The house that bought him a house- his set.

In a house that is not a home, Deidre (Catherine Keener) is at the end of her rope with Maddy (Juliet Morris). Her daughter can’t sleep without her ax, and yes she named it, too. Didi’s life is falling apart and the only person that can save her is her daughter. She can regain her characters, but it’s going to take a leap nobody think she would or could take.

Back on set, Jeff is awakened by Seb, protecting him with a fucking rifle. Jeff, full of remorse from firing his father from the show, finds out that his father is suffering from dementia. Sometimes, when these things hit, they hit hard and quick. Seb tries to cook an egg tart in a non-functioning oven on set. Yep, it’s hitting hard and quick. Seb’s languished freak out is something so far removed from his comprehension, it’s scaring Jeff. He’s suddenly a kid in a grown-ass man’s body. How does one handle their own god wasting away in front of their eyes?

Meanwhile, Scott (Bernard White) is living his best, smarmy life. He has a new commercial on TV with him bedding a woman (I mean, come on, if you hit the nail on the head any harder, it would be a stud), he has a huge mansion and he has Astronotter. Deidre came to play, knocking on his door. She has an offer so good, he cannot possibly refuse.

Scott agrees to forfeit Astronotter, Snagglehorse, Ennui Le Triste, Uke-Larry, Thump-Thump and last but not least, the aptly named Oops. This all came at a price more expensive than the millions of dollars that intellectual property was valued at. Didi’s bargaining chip was Maddy and the sole custody of her.

“Some days, there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin

At the hospital, as Jeff stares down his idol and his ruler, now bedridden, he breaks down. He’s not seen a giant fall before and he honestly doesn’t know how to grapple. He breaks down and wants some guidance when such can’t be sourced.

As Scott scoops up Maddy, Didi is super regretting her decision… But zero time to worry about what currently is. Jeff calls his sister to worry about what will be.

Seb had a massive stroke and may not be able to come back to the living world. Didi admits that she was responsible for all of this and responsible for winning the show back. Jeff is too overwhelmed to deal at the moment.

Back at school, when offered a hit of that sticky icky from his friends, Will (Cole Allen) refuses for once. He’s talked to someone who’s inherited his brother’s lungs. Both friends look out for him. This is part of the Nightingale Pledge. He is also stalked by Bobby Belongo. This stalker is wildly intent on affecting every corner of Jeff Piccirillo’s life. What’s the saying, you fuck with my family you fuck with me? Oh wait, I’m getting a little too ahead of myself. Continuing…

Bobby sits down and has a heart to heart with Will. He blames his mother for killing off his brother and bedding another man. This broke the Nightingale Pledge, which is anti-deleterious, and this weirdo doesn’t want Jill to harm Will like she harmed Phil.

Will asserts that due to magic, Phil is still alive because he can turn back time. He’s looked into his brother’s eyes, talked to his lungs. This gives the new Mr. Pickles pause and he takes off his head, asks Phil to put the faux head in the trunk and drive with him. If there is ever a time to make a choice, this moment is it…. until it isn’t.

Like a goddamn golden hawk out of the blue, Jeff breaks the window of his car, chokes the stalker out and proceeds to beat the ever-living shit out of Jeff Pickles 2.0. Oh, it was filmed in glorious fashion. Oh, he got a little bit stained with blood. Just a little.

As Will recites exactly what brah said in his mother’s presence, Jill recoils. He said she was responsible for his brother’s death and would rather spend the rest of the day with his dad, not with her. Did she purposefully leave Phil’s seatbelt off?

Jill realizes that Will took all of Phil’s letters. Yeah, say that three times fast.

At the hospital, Didi tries to win a one Seb’s heart back by telling a comatose version of him she won all the intellectual property back. She is basically talking to a momentary corpse, attempting to win his affection, which she never had in the first place.

Will questions his father about people not liking him from his rage going viral. “Even Jesus had enemies.” “Jesus also never be the shit out of anyone.” “He didn’t have a son.” Probably the three coolest lines in tandem ever.

As Didi and Jeff figure out what to do, Mr. Pickles is now trending. Beating the fuck out of a stalker and protecting his family is now the new porn.

As Didi and her brother are figuring out what to do with their father, Will comes in and talks of turning back time. This gives Jeff an idea since his little entre into violence made his toy more popular than ever. Ostensibly, children want to talk to someone who will go back to the mat for them.

Back at the Turn Back Time Station, Cornell (Tyler, the Creator) outfits Will with his new role. He is now a player in his grandfather’s story. Seb isn’t alone. In fact, he’s better than okay. He’s found Louise (Annette O’Toole) and fights with her as only one intellectual can do. She matches him.

Deidre, Jeff and Will watch as Seb match wits with someone with whom he had a passionate love for- his ex-wife.

The episode itself, pithily put a lovely and gratifying tie on the end of Seb’s story for the season. The fact that we had the family acting in concert for doing what will invariably soothe the soul of their sometimes asshole father and their absentee mother in the twilight of their lives seems like an extremely sweet and dignified way to help them find peace in the tortured beings they are. They didn’t kill off Seb, which would have been the easier thing to do in a penultimate episode.

This can only mean the next episode can tip the scales in a good or bad way. Out of miasma may come a brighter day, but one thing is for certain- nothing ever will be the same.

About Robert Kijowski

Robert Kijowski
Robert J. Kijowski is a screenwriter who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He enjoys the company of strangers in a theatre but adores the camaraderie of friends watching Netflix. He also loves to talk- a lot. This can be read through his recaps and reviews on the Workprint or heard through his weekly movie podcast, After the Credits. His presence can be felt through Facebook, Spotify or Ouija. Don’t use the latter though- he almost always ghosts people.

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