If there’s anything straightforward about Golan The Insatiable, it’s that the show definitely shouldn’t be called Golan The Insatiable. Yes, it’s one of those weird enough titles that can stop a bored channel flipper dead in her tracks, but as much space as bloodthirsty warlord Golan takes up, it’s his tiny acolyte Dylan that anchors the series. Without her, Golan is just another crude monster tearing through animated towns with a lecherous grin. Fun though it is to watch Dylan relish having someone (or something) that understands her boiling hatred and general disdain, it’s her fumbling attempts to deny that she has any kind of humanity that make this show interesting. “Shame On Pee” is the series’ best episode so far by a significant margin exactly because it tackles that fascinating—and hilarious—duality head on. Golan has his moments, but “Shame On Pee” proves that Golan The Insatiable is at its best when it lets itself be Dylan The Insatiable.
I had a feeling this episode was going to make me love Dylan even more than I already do when she fell for Swingley. I love that Swingley wins Dylan over with his blunt force gawkiness, giving her heart palpitations when he tumbles off his desk chair to show her the disturbing shit he can do with his broken body. Horrified at her own affection, Dylan whispers, “badass”—and with that, she’s a goner. It’s not the first time she’s reminded me of Louise Belcher, and I doubt it will be the last, but I’m cool with it as long as it takes the form of liking someone so much it makes her furious. She does her best to pretend she just wants to induct Swingley into Golan’s cult for the sake of making him a human shield, but really, she just wants to be close to him all the time always, ugh, feelings are terrible.
As Dylan grapples with the crushing reality of this inconvenient crush, Golan pushes to include in the cult, because he is determined to make it into Kyle’s inner circle. I have no idea why Golan decided that Kyle is the arbiter of all things awesome, but we’ll go with it, because it at least leads to Kyle’s party and one of the funniest runners to date. See, Kyle’s nervous about throwing a party because it’ll be totally lame if it doesn’t end up on the local news (italics for emphasis and the reverent hushed tones in which Oak Grove residents always say the local news). And while his coolness factor is at stake, so is the love of his father (Ken Marino), who doesn’t want to be associated with anyone whose party can’t even make the local news, goddammit.
Oh, and there’s a shame demon hopping from body to body as it feeds on Golan’s embarrassment, which grows to mythical proportions when he realizes that Dylan doesn’t wet the bed—he does.
Just like with last week, there’s plenty of sardonic buildup before the shit hits the fan. When Dylan wakes up in the wet bed, her disposal of the sheets is an incredibly involved disappearing act that includes fire, gunshots, and attaching it to an anchor that slowly sinks in a burst of bubbles as she holds glaring eye contact with a fisherman dropping bodies off the side of his boat. This Dylan is a stone cold asshole, and it’s a glorious thing. Then, when they realize that Golan’s the one to blame, his shame demon makes a hop, skip, and a jump into Swingley’s frail body, which Golan then promptly flattens. Dylan sobs as she bricks Swingley’s body into the wall, only to fall for it when the demon wakes up and coaxes her to let him back out, please. Just listen to him tap dance! This prompts a chase scene throughout Oak Grove as the demon keeps trading bodies, from Swingley to an old man, from the old man to a squirrel, from the squirrel to a bird that flies away with a smirk.
It’s an amusing enough series of events, but what launches this episode above the disappointing “Winter Is Staying” is that the chaotic final act of “Shame On Pee” is less random than it is a horrifying and hysterical merging of all the pandemonium that came before. The shame demon hides in various teenage bodies at Kyle’s party, but Dylan and Golan can’t see who’s hosting it thanks to the 3D glasses Kyle made everyone wear in his pathetic attempt to make the party local newsworthy. Dylan realizes that owning up to embarrassing secrets shrinks the demon, and so she gets everyone to admit their darkest shames, starting with her confession that she likes Swingley way too much to use him as a human shield. The secrets burst out of everyone and get more and more ridiculous as they go, and then a shark flops onto the dance floor and eats a guy, launching Kyle’s party into that lofty pantheon of the local news. The jokes fly fast and sharp, barbed bites that perfectly exemplify this show’s particular sense of humor. Then, just as it’s looking like Dylan and Golan are going have something like a happy ending and/or learn a valuable lesson, the shark eats the shame demon before Golan has to confess his bedwetting, and Swingley cheerfully tells Dylan that he has a boyfriend. In these jarring and weirdly heartwarming moments, “Shame On Pee” is a very promising step for
Golan Dylan The Insatiable.
- Apologies for the late review, which came from a nefarious combination of technical and human error. Never again!!
- It would be a shame if the only reason original Dylan Mary Mack was replaced was to get a Name in there, but Aubrey Plaza is still doing such a great job with Dylan’s swings between frustrated kid and devoted hellraiser.
- I never thought twice about Kyle and Alexis as a couple, but oh man, that choreographed party invite was a goddamn delight.
- Also an A+ Alexis moment: “I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m actually Dylan’s mom!!”