“A Krampus Carol” / “The Curse of Shiva” S4 / E12-13
- B Community Grade
The season four finale of The League included more vocabulary lessons than an episode of Sesame Street. MLA? That’s “mouth like anus,” an unfortunate condition in which a woman’s mouth is too pucker and flesh-colored, and one that Andre’s fiancé seems to have. Crarf? That’s a portmanteau for cry and barf at the same time, or what happens when Ruxin sees a pair of “mandals” (man sandals, for those uninitiated) or gets hit in the crotch by the flailing baby fists of Baby Jeffrey. But above all, this finale, the gang had to remember the middle school mantra that finally has an acronym: PYS. Protect your scrotum.
“A Krampus Carol” and “The Curse of Shiva” were solid episodes, befitting the excellent season The League has had. As ever, there were some bizarre plot holes and some jokes that didn’t really pan out. But I’ll trade a little narrative inconsistency for liveliness any day, and that’s a quality both these episodes had abundantly.
It is, of course, time for the Shiva and Sacko trophies to be doled out, which means extra sneakiness and gloating for all. What this double block finale did nicely—and what last season’s finale failed at ruefully—was to bring the machinations around the competitions to the edge of absurdity without dropping totally off the cliff. Was Taco’s New Year’s Party a ridiculous, impossible, horrible idea? Yes. Can you actually tinker with a vuvuzela to make a smoking implement, sex toy, or weapon that makes people shit their pants? Who knows. But the scene of Taco orchestrating some dozen white-gloved vuvuzela players as all his well-dressed friends poop themselves? I’ll take that joke over last year’s Viking funeral gag any day.
Neither of the finale episodes stood out as a stand-alone offering of The League’s best, but they worked together better than the past two double-block installments have. In “A Krampus Carol,” Jeff Goldblum returns briefly and excellently as Ruxin’s father in order to offer his sperm to Sofia. Ruxin gets into an argument with Bob Odenkirk-as-mall-manager about the anti-Semitism of the holiday season. And finally, and best, Taco appears at the mall as the Christmas Krampus, the anti-Santa who takes bad children and eats them. He breaks into the Santaland at the mall as Mr. McGibblets before hurtling to the floor and getting beat up by the mall Santa. If that doesn’t say “holiday spirit,” I don’t know what does.
“The Curse Of Shiva” brings the plot back around to the beginning of the season, when the real Shiva cursed the bowl and all it stood for. Her hex seems to be coming true. Pete runs into Adrian Peterson out to dinner, gets super-psyched, and then realizes that AD is dating his recent ex Gina. “I hope AD doesn’t stand for Awesome Dong,” he says mournfully. As a result, Pete won’t play Peterson in the Shiva bowl against the mysterious and invisible Ted. And he loses it all.
Ruxin, meanwhile, is still trying for that Anchor Baby. His swimmers are back in action, and he’s trying to keep it that way. So he hires Rafi as a guard for his testicles during scrotum-squishing season, the most terrible time of the year. Rafi has dubious chops as a defense instructor—nunchucks are really dildos on a chain! Protect your hole!—but he does launch some scrotum smacking that is worthy of any eighth-grade playground. He even lures Taco into a suicide scrot, a horrifying decision to make.
And yet, his efforts are for naught. Ruxin is finally felled at the Sacko by his own flesh and blood. Jeffrey switches the line-up while Ruxin sleeps on the couch. As Ruxin watches his hope for escaping the Sacko trophy crumble, young Jeffrey decides that he wants the Sacko after all. In the ensuing tussle, Jeffrey hits Ruxin in the nads. No siblings for Jeffrey.
The finale scene—in which Andre’s fiancée turns out to be allergic to his semen, and Taco reveals his invention with much fanfare—is a great way to close out a season of great episodes. I’ll miss you for nine months, The League. But in the meantime, I can brush up on my bro-cabulary.