Unlike last week’s rehashing of the pilot, Grandfathered begins to develop Jimmy and Gerald’s father-son relationship in “Guy’s Night.” By separating the two characters from the rest of the show’s core group, the series is able to really dive into the misunderstandings that both men have about one another and their struggle to find common ground.
As Gerald notes after his and Jimmy’s drunken night of debauchery, the two of them don’t really spend much of their time together talking. However, they do share one conversation that is important, as Jimmy tells Gerald that “you think you have forever” until the moment passes you by, and that you should never delay going after the thing you want most in life. This talk is pivotal, not just for the fact that it makes Gerald spring into action and attempt to declare his love for Vanessa, but because it also reveals Jimmy’s philosophy about life.
In its first two episodes, Grandfathered struggled to add more to Jimmy’s character than the archetype that he was presented as in the pilot’s opening moments. However, his confession to Gerald about Sarah highlights the fear living inside Jimmy: he lost the one person who truly mattered to him because he thought she would always be there, so he no longer tries to hold onto anything that’s not superficial. This short scene allows us to finally see the real Jimmy and begin to understand why he’s become who he is; it’s not out of arrogance or selfishness but a form of self-protection–he doesn’t want get close to people because he doesn’t want to mess it up again.
But throughout “Guy’s Night,” Jimmy shows just how close he is becoming (or already is) with his new family. His back-and-forth with Sarah about the music in the car shows again how he has held onto the memories of the two of them and also how he knows her better than almost anybody else (aside from Gerald). And similar to the “This is cool” scene with Edie at the conclusion of last week’s episode, Jimmy staying with Gerald while he gets sick serves as a powerful moment for Grandfathered, a scene that indicates that Jimmy really is letting these people into his life not out of any type of guilt or obligation but because he wants to.
Furthermore, while Gerald seems to be having a major impact on Jimmy, the opposite is also true. No, it wasn’t the best idea for Gerald to go to Vanessa’s house in the middle of the night to tell her that he loves her, but it was because of Jimmy’s influence that he finally took a chance and didn’t wait around. And also, through the video that he created, Jimmy got to learn yet another fact about his son (aside from his age and middle initial).
“Guy’s Night” isn’t a great sitcom episode, but it’s a promising sign that Grandfathered can explore its many relationships in fresh and interesting ways, instead of simply retelling the story from the pilot over and over again. If the show can improve upon this solid effort, pour me a glass of $300 bourbon and consider me all in.
- Annalise gets her own story this week, too, as Jimmy lets her hire a mixologist to join Willy at the bar. Compared to the stuff with Jimmy, Gerald, and Sarah, this whole plot was kind of forgettable and didn’t provide too many laughs. However, I’m interested to see how Jimmy will handle working alongside Willy’s daughter, who he slept with 20 years ago.
- Sarah’s continuing disappointment at getting Ross on the “Which Friends Character Are You?” quiz was absolutely wonderful. “Oh, come on. I’m Monica!”
- Could the CGI on that drone have been more ridiculous?
- Paget Brewster is still my Grandfathered cast MVP, but Josh Peck is doing really great work as Gerald.
- “I’ve known Gerald for a month, and she expects me to know what size boxers the kid wears.” “Come on, man, you know that kid wears briefs.”
- “What do you think the emjois, cucumber, cucumber, yogurt cup mean?” “Nothing good.”
What did everyone else think about last night’s Grandfathered? Comment below and let me know.
[Photo credit: John P. Fleenor/FOX]