"Evicted" S2 / E10
- A- Community Grade
Most of you seem to think that this season of FOTC has been showing a bit of strain, and while I don’t wholeheartedly agree with that assessment—I think repeat viewings will reveal that, on average, this season was mostly on par with the last one—I do think that they’ve taken this concept about as far as it can go without becoming annoyingly redundant, instead of just plain old redundant. While the jokes remain as sharp as ever and the songs are still impressive overall, the second half of this season especially has had an air of wheel-spinning about it, returning to the same setups rather than attempting to advance the series’ paper-thin plot.
Take tonight’s episode. Aside from the last five minutes, it could have been any other episode in the guys-need-money mold (or, alternately, the-guys-are-creeped-out-by-Mel mold). After discovering that they owe over $7,000 dollars (the American kind) in unpaid rent, Bret and Jemaine are evicted and forced into the all-too-eager arms of Mel, who sets down a list of rules that stops just short of “it rubs the lotion on its skin.” As a result, Doug unexpectedly grows a backbone and splits, at least for a little while, and a silly joint-custody montage ensues. Meanwhile, Murray’s grand scheme to put on a show (itself one of the oldest entertainment tropes ever) based on the guys’ lives—and a little bit of Star Wars—results in a predictably awkward musical production.
That plot could have fit comfortably anywhere in the Conchords timeline, but thankfully, this episode did make a few tweaks to provide some sort of closure, such as it is. Aside from the obvious—the embassy officials taking note of the musical’s “Illegal Immigrants” dance number and shipping the boys back to New Zealand—Mel and Doug also got their happy ending, so chances are slim she’ll move to New Zealand to fervently follow the guys’ shepherding careers. It wasn’t a triumphant or thought-provoking or legacy-acknowledging ending, but it was an ending, and an appropriate one, and for that I’m grateful.
The only real problem with “Evicted” was the main musical number, “Petrov, Yelena, & Me.” While the visual accompaniment was very, very cool, the morbid sea shanty was an odd note to go out on, musically speaking. It wasn’t necessarily a bad song, but it was pretty weird, even a little alienating. I guess I was hoping for something more uplifting or dramatic—more along the lines of “Pencils In The Wind.”
Thankfully, a musical “dramatic ending” of sorts was still provided, albeit in an unexpected manner. The two percussive, Stomp-esque numbers that bookended the episode were nicely executed, subtly acknowledging the show’s end while maintaining its absurd sense of humor. I like the idea that the guys are going to keep on keepin’ on in the fields of New Zealand, away from the Mels and Band Meetings of the world, enjoying the same simple amusements they always have. The setting may have changed (and the pigeons may have been replaced by sheep), but the song remains the same.
• All of the supporting cast got at least one final good moment in tonight: Eugene’s watch-calculations, Dave’s stint as Lady Liberty, Greg the Prop Master, Doug’s wicked harp solo, and the neat bit of misdirection when Mel popped up right after the story of the murderous wife.
• Also neat: The callbacks within the musical to both the TV series and the radio show.
• “Our story is the story of two guys who start at the bottom, and with a lot of hard work continue along the bottom, and finally end up at the bottom.”
• Conchords math 101: Jemaine + shorts + Wellies = hilarity.
• Okay, it’s time: favorite Flight Of The Conchords episode/moment. Aaaaand GO!